As you might know I publish a political blog, Bluegrassbulletin.com.
This week I will celebrate my fifth year of publishing. My body of work includes nearly 7,000 articles published over my signature. In addition, we have had thousands upon thousands of comments posted and some of them include replies authored by me as well. But what I have been seeing lately is of some significant concern.
Yesterday many Americans celebrated Independence Day a lot like we celebrate Christmas, following traditions but ignoring the meaning.
But I am beginning to sense that for many others the imagery of revolution has taken on a very dangerous life of its own.
In recent comments on my blog a number of people have expressed extreme anger directed at our government. During my recent Congressional run I witnessed a seething hatred for elected officials, the institutions of government and a nearly violent intolerance for any idea that did not fall in line behind this new revolutionary spirit.
For example, just the other day I posted an article about how the Department of Homeland Security had identified “liberty loving” Americans as a terrorism threat. If you have time find that article and read some of the comments. What you might discover is that the DHS could be right.
Your neighbors might stand up and say they are members of the TEA party. They might fly the flag, stand for The National Anthem and take a pretty firm stand in favor of “liberty.” But I have a question for them: On whose terms do they define liberty?
Wouldn’t the kind of liberty designed by our forefathers include the freedom for people to have differing points of view? Didn’t the original version of democracy place the right to govern in the hands of the people, design an orderly process for resolving those differing points of view and then have us all sign an unwritten social contract agreeing to abide by the decision of the majority until it could be changed by proper election processes?
What I am beginning to sense is that there is a version of “liberty” which is being taught to a growing number of people as a doctrine which refuses to accept orderly debate and refuses to accept differing opinions. I see people becoming increasingly frustrated that their agenda is not advancing fast enough such that their level of intolerance is pushing them to the edge of violence.
Is this new energy born out of logic and reason? I think not. Too many of those who are speaking out in favor of this new “liberty movement” have a very narrow and incomplete view of what the Constitution says, much less what the courts have said about the way in which the Constitution applies to real life. It is as if there is a handful of cult leaders in the world who are whipping up flames of revolution.
I understand what July 4 represents. It represents the day on which British subjects took up arms against their government and began the bloody fight in the streets that lasted seven years and resulted in 50,000 Americans killed or wounded. Considering that the population of the colonies at the time was only about 2.5 million people and now the U.S. population is over 300 million, to put the casualty rate in perspective that would be the equivalent of about 6 million people today.
Is that what this new band of liberty lovers wants, war? Judging by some of the comments I’ve been hearing, the kind of intolerance I witnessed and the attitude of the Department of Homeland Security, maybe there is a credible threat we need to assess.
I like liberty, too. But I also want to live in a country where I am free to have my own opinions, and express them without fear that my government or my neighbor will hate me simply because we do not agree.
The next time you hear somebody preaching to you that you need to join the “Liberty Movement” ask them this one simple question: Will I be able to enjoy MY liberty on my own terms?
Marcus Carey is a Northern Kentucky lawyer with 32 years experience. He is also a farmer, talk radio host and public speaker who loves history and politics. He is a prolific and accomplished writer whose blog, BluegrassBulletin.com, is “dedicated to honest and respectful comment on the political and cultural issues of our time.” He writes a regular commentary for KyForward.