Or actually, they wanna be loved by government. Or maybe not. In the heads of the people on the left there seems to be a curious kind of confusion between government and all of us.
They didn’t snort-giggle when Obama came up with “Government is the name for what they choose to do together” (Was it Obama or Warren? Those leftists all look alike to me.) Instead they nodded their heads with pseudo-wisdom.
Well, brothers and sisters, I’m 54 years old. In my life, I’ve chosen to study with people, to go to movies with people, to cook with people, to have sex with people (husband is demonstrably a people), to watch kids with people, even to have writers’ groups with people and to work with people. I have never in my entire life sat around in a circle of friends on a Sunday, when there’s nothing good on the telly and said, “Hey, let’s set up a government and organize some sort of enforcement so we can tell people what to do.”
Maybe that’s just me. Or not. I don’t think most people decide to “do” government together, and please, don’t push me down the path of the multiple meanings of “do” because it’s early morning and I haven’t had coffee, and I’ll start giggling.
But in all honesty, it is important to be kind to our friends and acquaintances on the left and remember they have an unsteady grasp on the difference between government and society.
They don’t understand the American idea of government (which to be fair is not difficult since the rest of the world doesn’t either, by and large), they’re not aware of the protections afforded them by the constitution, protecting them from the things the government could do TO them. (Which is why they continuously try to do things TO other people in the name of unicorn farts and utopia.)
They don’t get the bill of rights or the importance of negative rights. The long list of things the government is NOT supposed to impinge on. (To be fair, our school system never taught them that, or the importance of keeping a system that can put you in jail from sticking their nose into everything you do. They also never taught them that countries who don’t have that protection end in mass graves. To make it worse, the politicians they support also seem blissfully unaware of how we’re different from other lands, particularly hereditary monarchies. Remember when Obama assured us he would be “ready to rule on day one” and thereby proved how little he understood of our form of government? Which ended in rule by pen and phone, which like passing health care was swept under procedural fig leaf but is still D*MN unconstitutional for the purposes he used it?)
Keep that in mind when you see them running around with their hair on fire because the whitehouse.gov website suddenly doesn’t have an entry for whatever the heck category they were taught encompasses all that they are and all that they do.
Yep, because an administration changed — have they no memory of other switchovers? Are these summer children mired in perpetual now? — and therefore its priorities and what it promised people is what is highlighted on the website, they’re SURE armed men are going to start collecting them to put them in camps.
We can leave aside the insanity of expecting an administration to promote another priorities, and the insanity of believing that because Obama made a lot of noise about various minorities he did anything good for them. (Listen sweetie, to the extent the alt.right exists (though it’s not right, of course) it is the creation of Obama, the master divider. Did you really think you could make everyone else into a victim deserving of reparations and love, and keep “White cismales” as the perennial bad guy? And not make them aware they’re also a group, they’re by and large unjustly accused, and they will realize the power they wield and form their own movement? Be glad right now it’s just the wounded fringe, and the majority of people in America, whatever their color, still trusts our form of government, still wants rule of law and a “fair go” as the Australians say, [Yes, I had Austrians, but it was a typo caused by remote-linking. It ate two letters. It’s slower than my typo. It wasn’t even a dig at ex-president Obama] and simply want someone who doesn’t actively hate America at the helm. If you keep up dividing Americans into arbitrary groups and assigning victimhood and blame to groups not people (Yeah, you think Obama’s daughters are more oppressed than a the white son of a single, unemployed mother? You have rocks in your head. They’re made of calcified stupidity.)
Division and giving prominence to any of your characteristics except “Americans” is not a recipe for uniting or healing the country. It’s a recipe used for centuries by various tyrants. Divide the people into tiny splinter groups at each other’s throat, so they’ll need the “good king” or in this case government, or president, to keep them safe from each other. And none of them will realize Iegev– I mean, the ruler is a louse. Any tyranny that lasted for more than a blink used that technique.
When I was seventeen and crazy (Ray Bradbury was right that the two often go together,) I used to be terrified of walking alone.
Not alone in the middle of a forest, understand. There are tons of reasons a seventeen year old woman would be afraid of doing that.
Not even alone at night on city streets or alone in deserted streets. There were tons of reasons in that time and in that place to be afraid of that, as I found out when I did it. (Eh, I walked away.)
No, I was terrified of walking without a friend, a relative, someone who knew me and knew I was there. I would walk in the middle of a crowd, at lunchtime in downtown Porto, and it seemed to me my steps sounded fainter and fainter, and that I’d vanish. And no one would notice.
This was insane, and possibly an early sign I was supposed to write sf/f. Or perhaps just insane. But the point is that I needed others to know I existed in order to affirm my own existence.
I say this to explain that I DO understand why you’d feel you stopped existing because a whitehouse.gov tab went away.
But if your hold on your idea of yourself i so precarious that you must check a government website every morning, to make sure you still have a right to exist, you might want to read our founding documents, the declaration, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It should reassure you. Sure, of course, the first is mostly magnificent poetry, and the others are the nuts and bolts of making that poetry into something solid.
I retain a bit of the seventeen year old. I prefer the poetry:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
In our debased times, when you must be mentioned by name or you think you don’t exist, I feel compelled to note that “men” encompasses women, and children, and anything of the homo sapiens sapiens genus, including but not limited to those who are transitioning to the sixth gender of alien which uses tank pronouns.
The beauty of taking language at its root is to realize grammatically “men and the male pronoun” are different from having the genitalia of the male sex. Very progressive of the language after all, to realize you couldn’t list every single gender, orientation and idea of self, and there was no point it it, really. This thing of taking offense at the structure of a language is a thing of “rich privilege.” You are rich beyond the dreams of your ancestors, and you’ve come up with little hobbies. Like claiming the language oppresses you. We get it. But understand that even the Founding Fathers couldn’t understand how wealthy and bored you’d be.
And their words still cover you. Their words are what made this country. you’re endowed with unalienable RIGHTS, rights which no government (or other person) can LEGALLY take away from you. And we have the laws to stop them if they try. And the people who will stand between you and any attempt to take these rights away from you. Most of them are called army and Constitutional experts, but in the last resort there’s us, the citizens who swore fealty to that idea of unalienable rights.
Sure sometimes, for a little while, we stray from the path. Though it’s been a while. The internment of Japanese will remain a dark blot, but notice it’s not happened again. Yes, there’s also slavery — but the difference is this country STRIVES not to do those things, and that those words pull us towards the ideal of the founding documents. We the people have not lost our frigging mind. And if you’re going to use the times we fell short and didn’t cover ourselves with glory to scare yourself, do remember all of them were a long time ago, and generally we’ve moved away from such abuses. We have more protections than other nations, and our history shows it.
Even if the tabs on a website no one in their sane mind goes to very often no longer reaffirm your existence, you’re an American. And that’s all the affirmation you need. Everything is else you are is a right, based on the founding documents.
You are fortunate beyond and above the dreams of citizens of other nations. You don’t need to be divided into groups and you can only be conquered if you allow yourself to be.
Now go on with your life. The government can’t and won’t give you affirmation and love. To do so it would need to oppress others not-like-you. It can’t do that.
But you can find affirmation and love and purpose in your own life. It’s under that “right to the pursuit of happiness” thing. Go and pursue.