We have reached a point in our nation’s history where we have put far too much power in, trust in, and dependence on government. Shortly after the nation was founded, government began to encroach on our freedom, making us more reliant on the federal government for our daily needs. In recent decades, that government creep has accelerated exponentially, to the point where every single thing in our lives has some form of regulation touching it. The more government intrudes through regulation, the fewer rights we have as individuals.
Recently, being an individual has been characterized by the following labels: radical, selfish, greedy, racist, unpatriotic, ignorant, narrow-minded, and egotistic. As is often the case, the irony lies in the fact that the name-callers are usually found to be the ones with the above characteristics. These labels are often used by members of Congress, widening the divide within the country.
Let’s be honest: congressmen don’t care about America, and they certainly don’t care about you and me, the individuals. Their every thought revolves around maintaining power and getting re-elected.
This was evident last week when the speaker of the House withdrew the bill he’d created to theoretically fix Obamacare. Under the Obama administration, Congress knew that the president would veto a repeal of his signature law, so they had no problem passing repeal legislation. They could easily say they were doing the will of the people, voting for repeal, and blame the president when he vetoed the repeal. Now it’s a different story. Whatever repeal bill the Republican-dominated Congress passes is likely to be signed into law by our current administration. President Trump and the Congress that passes a repeal bill will be held accountable if the new program is a disaster, and the last thing anyone in Congress wants is to be held accountable for his actions.
To further illustrate that Congress cares only about its own situation and not the individuals it represents is the speed – or should I say lack thereof – it takes to get anything done. How long have Trump nominees been languishing in committee, awaiting confirmation? If our representatives truly cared about accomplishing anything, they would get the president’s Cabinet in order and move on to the next issue. Instead, they create a media circus, spending time and money on the process rather than the goal, ensuring they get their five minutes of national notoriety. They’re mistaking activity for productivity – in the private sector, this would be a career-ender.
Watching the circus out of our nation’s capital reinforces the idea that the individuals must refuse to hand over our independence to lawmakers. America was founded in the spirit of individuality and self-reliance.
Understand, I’m not talking about going Grizzly Adams and going off the grid – what I’m advocating is that you find ways to solve your own problems while still working within the parameters of the law and regulations.
Independence and self-reliance aren’t just about putting aside food and silver for a crisis. Rather, the key to independence is knowledge. Not information – knowledge. Because of the internet, people mistake information for knowledge, due to the immediate access it gives us to information. Others go one step farther and mistake knowledge for wisdom. Wisdom and good judgment come from experience, and experience comes from previous poor judgment. To stand firm as an individual, one needs to gain knowledge and apply it to develop wisdom. Wisdom is crucial to maintaining your power as an individual, separate and independent from a government that could not care less about you.
Written by Gary L. Rathbun