I’ve been trying to return to Saturday’s theme. My aim: to celebrate a few great, inspirational reasons not to be afraid — to be hopeful.
But as I try to write about those reasons, I find post after abortive post going in a different direction. Not because the reasons to be hopeful don’t exist, but because they all lead to a conclusion I don’t want to conclude.
It’s not a new conclusion. Others have reached it long since. It’s just one I think more of us need to quit dancing around, like it or not. We’ve bitched about how the fedgov now treats its
citizens subjects as criminal suspects. But that misses the point by orders of magnitude.
You don’t spy on millions of people, militarize your police, encourage neighbor to rat out neighbor, define thousands of innocuous activities as “domestic terrorism, conduct checkpoints and VIPR raids, lock people up without trials, kick down doors in the middle of the night, or arbitrarily deny people the freedom to travel if you’re looking for mere criminals.
You do that only if you’re pants-pissing terrified because you fear that those millions — millions! — of peaceable people are enemies of your regime.
The U.S. federal government has (covertly of course, and gradually) declared war on its citizens. That’s the reality. We’re not mere criminal suspects. We’re enemies — and by their choice, not ours.
Sure, some of us may have philosophically fancied ourselves enemies of the state. Some of us prefer to be ignorers of the state. Most of us have learned to live, one way or another, peaceably in the shadow of the state. But I don’t know one of us who has ever violently attacked the state — or wanted to.
But no matter what we think, or how we live, or with what civility and decency we conduct ourselves, in the eye of Mordor-on-the-Potomac, we are all enemies. All despised. And above all — all subject to destruction at the whim of power.
We need to recognize exactly what that darkness is, massing on our horizon. We need to quit being indignant innocents protesting against it and nattering about constitutions and rights — as if anyone in power listened or cared. We need to understand exactly what the looming darkness portends for us — and what the forces behind it intend for us.