Brandon Smith, Contributor
Some discoveries are exciting, joyful, and exhilarating, while others can be quite painful. Stumbling upon the fact that you do not necessarily have a competent grasp of reality, that you have in fact been duped for most of your life, is not a pleasant experience. While it may be a living nightmare to realize that part of one’s life was, perhaps, wasted on the false ideas of others, enlightenment often requires that the worldview that we were indoctrinated with be completely destroyed before we can finally resurrect a tangible identity and belief system. To have rebirth, something must first die…
In 2004, I found myself at such a crossroads. At that time I was a dedicated Democrat, and I thought I had it all figured out. The Republican Party was to me a perfect sort of monster. They had everything! Corporate puppet masters. Warmongering zealots. Fake Christians. Orwellian social policies. The Bush years were a special kind of horror. It was cinematic. Shakespearean. If I was to tell a story of absolute villainy, I would merely describe the mass insanity and bloodlust days of doom and dread wrought by the Neo-Con ilk in the early years of the new millennium.
But, of course, I was partly naïve…
The campaign rhetoric of John Kerry was eye opening. I waited, day after day, month after month for my party’s candidate to take a hard stance on the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I waited for a battle cry against the Patriot Act and the unconstitutional intrusions of the Executive Branch into the lives of innocent citizens. I waited for a clear vision, a spark of wisdom and common sense. I waited for the whole of the election for that man to finally embrace the feelings of his supporters and say, with absolute resolve, that the broken nation we now lived in would be returned to its original foundations. That civil liberty, freedom, and peace, would be our standard once again. Unfortunately, the words never came, and I realized, he had no opposition to the Bush plan. He was not going to fight against the wars, the revolving door, or the trampling of our freedoms. Indeed, it seemed as though he had no intention of winning at all.
I came to see a dark side to the Democratic Party that had always been there but which I had refused to acknowledge. Their leadership was no different than the Neo-Cons that I despised. On top of this, many supporters of the Democratic establishment had no values, and no principles. Their only desire was to “win” at any cost. They would get their “perfect society” at any price, even if they had to chain us all together to do it.
There was no doubt in my mind that if the Democrats reoccupied the White House or any other political power structure one day, they would immediately adopt the same exact policies and attitudes of the Neo-Conservatives, and become just as power-mad if not more so. In 2008 my theory was proven unequivocally correct.
It really is amazing. I have seen the so-called “anti-war” party become the most accommodating cheerleader of laser guided death and domination in the Middle East, with predator drones operating in the sovereign skies of multiple countries raining missiles upon far more civilians than “enemy combatants”, all at the behest of Barack Obama. I have seen the “party of civil liberties” expand on every Constitution crushing policy of the Bush Administration, while levying some of the most draconian legislation ever witnessed in the history of this country. I have seen Obama endorse enemy combatant status for American citizens, and the end of due process under the law through the NDAA. I have seen him endorse the end of trial by jury. I have seen him endorse secret assassination lists, and the federally drafted murder of U.S. civilians. I have seen him endorse executive orders which open the path to the declaration of a “national emergency” at any time for any reason allowing for the dissolution of most constitutional rights and the unleashing of martial law.
If I was still a Democrat today I would be sickly ashamed. Yet, many average Democrats actually defend this behavior from their party. The same behavior they once railed against under Bush.
However, I have not come here to admonish Democrats (at least not most of them). I used to be just like them. I used to believe in the game. I believed that the rules mattered, and that it was possible to change things by those rules with patience and effort. I believed in non-violent resistance, protest, civil dissent, educational activism, etc. I thought that the courts were an avenue for political justice. I believed that the only element required to end corruption would be a sound argument and solid logic backed by an emotional appeal to reason. I believed in the power of elections, and had faith in the idea that all we needed was the “right candidate” to lead us to the promise land. Again, I believed in the game.
The problem is, the way the world works and the way we WISH the world worked are not always congruent. Attempting to renovate a criminal system while acting within the rigged confines of that system is futile, not to mention delusional. Corrupt oligarchies adhere to the standards of civility only as long as they feel the need to maintain the illusion of the moral high ground. Once they have enough control, the mask always comes off, the rotten core is revealed, and immediate violence against dissent commences.
Sometimes the only solutions left in the face of tyranny are not peaceful. Logic, reason, and justice are not revered in a legal system which serves the will of the power elite instead of the common man. The most beautiful of arguments are but meaningless flitters of hot air in the ears of sociopaths. Sometimes, the bully just needs to be punched in the teeth.
This philosophy of independent action is consistently demonized, regardless of how practical it really is when faced with the facts. The usual responses to the concept of full defiance are accusations of extremism and malicious intent. Believe me, when I embarked on the path towards the truth in 2004, I never thought I would one day be called a potential “homegrown terrorist”, but that is essentially where we are in America in 2013. To step outside the mainstream and question the validity of the game is akin to terrorism in the eyes of the state and the sad cowardly people who feed the machine.
During the rise of any despotic governmental structure, there is always a section of the population that is given special treatment, and made to feel as though they are “on the winning team”. For now, it would appear that the “Left” side of the political spectrum has been chosen by the establishment as the favored sons and daughters of the restructured centralized U.S. However, before those of you on the Left get too comfortable in your new position as the hand of globalization, I would like to appeal to you for a moment of unbiased consideration. I know from personal experience that there are Democrats out there who are actually far more like we constitutionalists and “right wing extremists” than they may realize. I ask that you take the following points into account, regardless of what the system decides to label us…
We Are Being Divided By False Party Paradigms
Many Democrats and Republicans are not stupid, and want above all else to see the tenets of freedom respected and protected. Unfortunately, they also tend to believe that only their particular political party is the true defender of liberty. The bottom line is, at the top of each party there is very little if any discernible difference between the two. If you ignore all the rhetoric and only look at action, the Republican and Democratic leadership are essentially the same animal working for the same special interests. There is no left and right; only those who wish to be free, and those who wish to control.
Last year, the “Left and the “Right” experienced an incredible moment of unity after the introduction of the NDAA. People on both sides were able to see the terrifying implications of a law that allows the government to treat any American civilian as an enemy of war without right to trial. In 2013, the establishment is attempting to divide us once again with the issue of gun disarmament. I have already presented my position on gun rights in numerous other articles and I believe my stance is unshakeable. But, what I will ask anti-gun proponents and on-the-fence Democrats is this: How do you think legislation like the NDAA will be enforced in the future? Is it not far easier to threaten Americans with rendition, torture, and assassination when they are completely unarmed? If you oppose the NDAA, you should also oppose any measure which gives teeth to the NDAA, including the debasement of the 2nd Amendment.
Democrats Are Looking For Help In The Wrong Place
Strangely, Democrats very often search for redress within the very system they know is criminal. For some reason, they think that if they bash their heads into the wall long enough, a door will suddenly appear. I’m here to tell you, there is no door.
The biggest difference between progressives and conservatives is that progressives consistently look to government to solve all the troubles of the world, when government is usually the CAUSE of all the troubles in the world. The most common Democratic argument is that in America the government “is what we make it”, and we can change it anytime we like through the election process. Maybe this was true at one time, but not anymore. Just look at Barack Obama! I would ask all those on the Left to take an honest look at the policies of Obama compared to the policies of most Neo-Cons, especially when it comes to constitutional liberties. Where is the end to Middle Eastern war? Where is the end to domestic spy programs? Where is the end to incessant and dictatorial executive orders? Where is the conflict between the Neo-Cons and the Neo-Liberals? And, before you point at the gun control debate, I suggest you look at Obama’s gun policies compared to Mitt Romney’s and John McCain’s – there is almost no difference whatsoever…
If the two party system becomes a one party system, then elections are meaningless, and electing a new set of corrupt politicians will not help us.
Democrats Value Social Units When They Should Value Individuals Instead
Democrats tend to see everything in terms of groups. Victim status groups, religious groups, racial groups, special interest groups, etc. They want to focus on the health of the whole world as if it is a single entity. It is not. Without individuals, there is no such thing as “groups”, and what we might categorize as groups change and disperse without notice. Groups do not exist beyond shared values, and even then, the individual is still more important in the grand scheme of things.
As a former Democrat, I know that the obsession with group status makes it easy to fall into the trap of collectivism. It is easy to think that what is best for you must be best for everybody. This Utopian idealism is incredibly fallible. Wanting the best for everyone is a noble sentiment, but using government as a weapon to force your particular vision of the “greater good” on others leads to nothing but disaster. The only safe and reasonable course is to allow individuals to choose for themselves how they will function in society IF they choose to participate at all. Government must be left out of the equation as much as possible. Its primary job should be to safeguard the individual’s right to choose how he will live. You have to get over the fact that there is no such thing as a perfect social order, and even if there was, no government is capable of making it happen for you.
Democrats Can Become As Power-Mad As Any Neo-Con
I think it is important to point out how quickly most Democratic values went out the door as soon as Barack Obama was placed in the White House. Let’s be clear; you cannot claim to be anti-war, anti-torture, anti-assassination, anti-surveillance, anti-corporate, anti-bank, anti-rendition, etc. while defending the policies of Obama at the same time. This is hypocrisy.
I have heard some insane arguments from left leaning proponents lately. Some admit that Obama does indeed murder and torture, but “at least he is pushing for universal health care…”. Even if it did work (which it won’t), is Obamacare really worth having a president who is willing to murder children on the other side of the world and black-bag citizens here at home? Do not forget your moral compass just because you think the system is now your personal playground. If you do, you are no better than all the angry bloodcrazed Republicans that bumbled into the Iraq War while blindly following George W. Bush.
There Is A Difference Between Traditional Conservatives And Neo-Cons
Neo-Cons are not conservative. They are in fact socialist in their methods, and they always expand government spending and power while reducing constitutional protections. The “Liberty Movement”, of which I am proudly a part, is traditional conservative. We believe that government, especially as corrupt as it is today, cannot be trusted to administrate and nursemaid over every individual in our nation. It has proven time after time that it caters only to criminally inclined circles of elites. Therefore, we seek to reduce the size and influence of government so that we can minimize the damage that it is doing. For this, we are called “extremists”.
Governments are not omnipotent. They are not above criticism, or even punishment. They are merely a collection of individuals who act either with honor or dishonor. In the Liberty Movement, we treat a corrupt government just as we would treat a corrupt individual. We do not worship the image of the state, nor should any Democrat.
Liberty Minded Conservatives Are Not “Terrorists”
There will come a time, very soon I believe, when people like me are officially labeled “terrorists”. Perhaps because we refuse gun registration or confiscation. Perhaps because we develop alternative trade markets outside the system. Maybe because some of us are targeted by federal raids, and we fight back instead of submitting. Maybe because we speak out against the establishment during a time of “declared crisis”, and speech critical of the government is labeled “harmful to the public good”. One way or another, whether you want to believe me now or not, the day is coming.
Before this occurs, and the mainstream media attacks us viciously as “conspiracy theorists” and traitors, I want the Left to understand that no matter what you may hear about us, our only purpose is to ensure that our natural rights are not violated, our country is not decimated, and our republic is governed with full transparency. We are not the dumb redneck racist hillbilly gun nuts you see in every primetime TV show, and anyone who acts out of personal bias and disdain for their fellow man is not someone we seek to associate with. We fight because we have no other choice. Our conscience demands that we oppose centralized tyranny. We do what we do because the only other option is subservience and slavery.
Many of the people I have dealt with in the Liberty Movement are the most intelligent, well-informed, principled and dedicated men and women I have ever met. They want, basically, what most of us want; to be free to determine their own destinies. To be free to speak their minds without threat of state retribution. To be free to defend themselves from any enemy that would seek to oppress them. To live within an economic environment that is not rigged in favor of elitist minorities and on the verge of engineered collapse. To live in a system that respects justice and legitimate law instead of using the law as a sword against the public. To wake up each day with solace in the knowledge that while life in many regards will always be a difficult thing, we still have the means to make it better for ourselves and for the next generation. To wake up knowing that those inner elements of the human heart which make us most unique and most endearing are no longer considered “aberrant”, and are no longer under threat.
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