The illusion of liberty is the oil that makes the gears of American politics mesh. Without this grand illusion, citizens might actually wrest government control away from the political criminal class and demand Constitutional governance.
The average American citizen of the late 18th century was a person who could read and write eloquently, intelligently debate complicated issues, and took up arms against tyranny and excessive taxation. Remember that the Federalist Papers were a series of 85 newspaper articles that appeared in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October 1787 and August 1788. They were written to the average reader on the street, not to intellectuals in some university publication. The authors wanted to encourage ratification of the new Constitution and influence its interpretation.
Compare that 1788 citizen with today’s American. Over the last 100 or so years, the government schools have been wildly successful in omitting Constitution education and Civics from the curriculum. They also omitted competent math and science education. According to the 2006 report of the US Department of Education’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the American education is ranked #21 of the top 30 nations for science, and #25 of the top 30 nations for math. Azerbaijani students had higher math scores than American kids, and Latvian kids scored higher than Americans in science. Consequently, we have a population that is largely ignorant and uneducated, and ill equipped to live as free people.
But they do very well as sheep.
In place of true education, the American students of the 20th and 21st centuries have been force-fed a pablum of political correctness, social justice and a high priority given to sports, washed down with gallons of racial divisiveness and false patriotism.
Thus undernourished on this toxic stew, and dedicated to entertainment above all, Americans make meaningless choices and think they are free.
For the most part, American are compliant and credulous, willing to believe on slight or uncertain evidence. If comes to them from radio, or TV, or in their favorite magazine or newspaper, it must be true. For over 100 years they have been taught to be good order takers, good factory workers, good followers and good soldiers.
Think about it. Here are the choices you get on a daily basis:
• Cash or Credit
• Paper or plastic
• Regular or No-lead
• Shell or Exxon
• 2-Door or 4-Door
• Domestic or Foreign
• Whole or skim milk
• Regular or decaf coffee
• Fat or low-fat
• Over-easy or scrambled
• Latte or espresso
• Dairy or non-dairy creamer
• Smoking or Non-smoking
• Window or Aisle
• AM or FM
• Pepsi or Coke
• Light beer or Regular
• Burial or Cremation
The simplest, drooling moron could make those choices successfully. However, to make some of the next choices calls for more gray matter than rests in most of the American psyche.
• Vote or Don’t Vote
• PC or Mac
• Gay or Straight
• Liberal or Conservative
• Pro-life or Pro-abortion
• Democrat or Republican
• McCain or Obama
• Adherence to or ignoring the Constitution
• Sound money or Federal Reserve notes
• Balanced budgets or Deficit spending
• Religion or Secularism
• Creationism or Evolution
• Free speech or Permitted speech
Notice a few things about the last list. First, many of these choices are also meaningless, but with more serious consequences. “Democrat” and “Republican” are the two faces on the same coin of Big Government servitude. No matter which side of the coin you choose, you still get the coin. Second, many of the terms are without definitions anchored in reality. For example, today’s “Liberal” and “Conservative” bear no resemblance to the original terms.
What is religion? Do you practice religion or seek truth? There is sometimes a difference.
We just completed a Memorial Day celebration. Millions of people flocked to their town squares, streets, churches and cemeteries to pay homage to the war dead. Few of those celebrating Memorial Day would ever admit that none of the men and women of the 20th and 21st century wars died actually protecting America and its Constitution.
But they have the ILLUSION…the erroneous, teary-eyed viewpoint…that those soldiers died protecting our freedom. I think they would be hard pressed to actually define just how “American freedom” got protected in places like Vietnam, or Grenada, or France, or Afghanistan. No one since the British in 1812 has attacked the United States mainland. Yet the illusion of liberty persists like a smoker’s cough.
The illusion of liberty is the widely-held notion that will keep America from actually experiencing true liberty.
“The reason people call it “The America Dream” is that you have to be asleep to believe it.”