Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Apologies to George Santayana

There's an old saying that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.  Judging from the things I hear from the media and my friends I have to wonder if that perhaps that it should be expanded to more current events.

There seems to be a certain level in disconnect in politics in the States these days.  People often wind up fighting for one issue, and then take up arms in support of another issue that when you boil things down to their basic level seems to contradict the other.  The Democratic party is often seen as the champion of a strong central government, but an enemy of large corporations, which can only exist through a strong central government. (Without a blanket set of regulations, the cost of complying with multiple State's regulations give smaller single State business an advantage over a multi-State entity, one that is multiplied with every State added.)  The Republicans portray themselves as 'Pro-life' when it comes to abortion, while being the staunchest supporters of the death penalty.

Sometimes this can be traced back to whomever is in the White House at the time.  To someone who is neither a Republican or Democratic it can be almost hilarious to keep track of the 180 degree spin that seems to occur when there is a change in the party controlling the Presidency.  Suddenly, policies that once were the only way to save the Nation are horrifying, and something they spent years railing against doesn't look all that bad.  It starts at the top, but slowly works its way down to the individual level and I find friends who were ready to support anyone who would prosecute Bush as a war criminal supporting Obama sending troops into Syria on evidence that is arguably as flimsy as what sent us into war in Iraq.

Which brings us back around to where I started this rather rambling piece.  The civil war going on in Syria is perhaps the best argument for the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to come along in years.  An oppressive Government is using superior weaponry to suppress those trying to overthrow it.  Had they been armed in the beginning perhaps things might have been different and we wouldn't even be hearing about it now.  Instead it took the international community to step in and arm them for them even to have a chance, and from the looks of things that may have come too late to really matter.

This is the true intent of the Second Amendment, to provide the people with a last resort if Government gets out of control.  We are nowhere near that now, and I hope we never get there.  There are many other options open to us that should be used first, and we are a far cry from even needing those. The thing that some people loose track of is that even though we have a relatively good Government now, doesn't mean it will always be that way.  Just look at the recent abuses at the IRS and NSA and picture that on a more systematic scale.  Supported causes the Government doesn't like?  Kiss your foodstamps goodbye.  Oh, and no housing assistance for you.  Enjoy your higher tax bracket.  Oops, sorry Sir, your passport photo didn't get attached correctly, you'll have to cancel your trip that you just sat through a 5 hour screening process for.  This sounds extreme, and it is, but it is what some people in the world have to deal with.  Can we pause for a minute and think about that before we start making it harder for us to stop it?

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