Well It Certainly Has Been A While…
…since I posted anything here. Sorry, life has been nuts.
Since today is Veteran’s Day, and I’m one of that bunch now, I thought I’d write something on the subject. I’ve been reading a lot of stuff today about different men (and even a few women, hooah) who have gone beyond the limits of prudence and sanity to protect me. And that got me thinking of just how good we have it.
See, most days, I notice the little freedoms that I don’t have anymore. I’m a politics junkie, but I can’t (or won’t allow myself to) say bad things about my Commander-in-Chief. At times (many, many times) I disagree with him — but I’m not going to call him a moron, or disagree with his specific opinion publicly (I attribute my disagreements to that amorphous entity called the White House)…because he’s my boss. Period.
I can’t choose the clothes I wear every day. On Mondays, we wear blues. On other days, we wear ABUs. So shall it be written, so shall it be done — and I have no choice in the matter. Even if it’s cold out, and I want to wear a sweatshirt, I can’t; because I have to be in the Uniform of the Day.
I can’t choose the food I’m going to eat. Sure, there are choices within the DFAC, but dude…it’s all Army food. We call it UFUs — Unidentified Food Units. Now I know that they’re feeding us on roughly eight bucks a day…but can we at least not pretend that the potatoes are potatoes? It’s rehydrated elf dandruff with butter flavoring.
The roast beef is pretty good though. It’s not mom’s Sunday brisket, but it’s undeniably beef. And that’s gotta count for something.
I am subject to the whims of megamind bureaucrats who outrank me by ten million miles, who haven’t had to look at an A1C since the last time they took a three hour tour through Lackland AFB. They determine what time I get up in the morning, PT standards and evaluations, how fast I must learn the hardest language for an English speaker to learn (Chinese; go away Koreans, your grammar patterns come with an alphabet), what constitutes acceptable socks, whether or not I may leave base on a particular day…every waking moment of my life is planned for me. I am not free.
But I give it all willingly.
You see, out there tonight are people who want to rule over you. They want to kill me, but that’s my job. What they intend for you is, at least in my opinion, worse than death. Not only will these people force you to eat a specific diet, dress a specific way, and speak a specific language; they will also force you to buy specific items, sell only during prescribed hours and in specified places, and finally punish your disobedience according to a law you cannot influence or change.
And no, I’m not talking about Democrats or liberals. I’m talking about terrorist Muslims.
These people kill Americans as a means to an end — and that end is the same end as any other totalitarian doctrine. It assumes that people are too weak, too stupid, or too morally fallible to rule themselves; and thus, must be ruled by a strong, smart, moral leader. Such are the delusions of a tyrant.
It is worse to live without freedom than to die to protect it — for yourself, or for others. Patrick Henry was right when he asked for a stark decision: “Give me liberty, or give me death!” This is my fight, to protect those who cannot protect themselves against the tyrannical impulses of lesser men.
But, I can’t protect you from all tyranny. You see, I am part of the federal government. Creeping tyranny through legislation certainly takes longer, but it is no less dangerous. And I’d really like some freedom to come home to, once the foreign threats are taken care of. So while I’m away, keep the idea of America safe. Keep freedom in your heads, and in your hearts — and never let anyone tell you that you’re too weak, dumb, or too anything else, to rule yourselves.
This is America — we’ve been ruling ourselves for over 200 years without the help of a king. And I’m pretty sure we’ve done all right for ourselves in that time.