I try to never criticize or judge the “low information voter” because, up until 3 years ago, I could be counted among them – and I’m 64 years old! I know what happens to most of us. We are trying to make a living, raise our children, take care of aging parents, spend time with our families, and attend to the myriad of every day responsibilities. We also like to be able to escape from all that responsibility by spending fun time with friends. We might skim the newspaper or online headlines or catch the evening news on TV but who has the time to really investigate their news sources to be sure they’re truthful and accurate in their reporting? Besides, it’s all so complicated, isn’t it?
That brings me to another problem the average person has when it comes to being informed – media bias. I don’t know how long this has been a problem but, in my short 3 years of paying attention, I have noticed that the majority of the so-called “mainstream media” outlets seem to have a left leaning or progressive bias. Naively, I always assumed that the job of the mainstream media was to be our watchdog but I guess I was mistaken. I don’t know about you but I just want to be given truthful information; I don’t want to be told how to think. Also, the 24-7 news cycle of the Internet has created a lot of sloppy journalists who, in trying to either create a story or be the first to break it, do not take the time to check their facts.
Paying more attention to news and politics awakened my interest in American history and that, in turn, has led me to a deeper appreciation of the principles upon which our government was founded. I have been reading about our founding fathers and I have learned about the roots of our Constitution thanks to KrisAnne Hall, Constitutional attorney, author and speaker KrisAnne Hall. Last year I attended her 5 hour seminar “Genealogy of the Constitution” (you can watch a condensed version on YouTube and she also has an excellent lecture called “State Sovereignty) and learned way more than all my high school history classes combined. I also learned that during the past 100 years progressive ideology has gradually chipped away at our freedom until we have reached the point where most of us don’t even realize how much freedom we have already lost. I wanted to understand this ideology so I read “Progressivism: A Primer on the Idea Destroying America” by Libertarian James Ostrowski and I learned that progressivism exists in both political parties. That explains a lot!
This has been an interesting and unexpected part of my journey and my self-education has helped me to better identify who I am and what is important to me. On September 12th I’m going to the FreedomWorks 9/12 Grassroots Summit in Orlando, FL. There will be many well known speakers – politicians and activists alike – and I’m sure I’ll learn something new. If you had told me 3 years ago that I would be attending an event like this I would have laughed.
Recently a friend said she doesn’t like to get into conversations about politics or religion and I agree with her, especially if you know your companion has very fixed ideas that are different than yours. It’s not worth the stress or the possibility of ruining a friendship. On the other hand, whatever your ideology, I urge you to be educated and informed about your beliefs. Ask yourself what you want from your life and how much of a role you want government to play in it. How much freedom are you willing to give up, knowing you’ll never get it back?
The other day I was thinking about how over regulated we are. Every new administration ads more federal agencies and they, in turn, churn out more regulations that affect every aspect of our lives. I went online to find out how many federal agencies are currently in existence and I was surprised to learn that, when you include sub-agencies and “Offices of …” there is actually no list that gives the exact number! On the bright side, in my search I stumbled across an interesting and well-written blog, which I’m now following – InvestingforOne. Just to give you an inkling of how all these regulations affect us, here is a very partial list (apparently, there are thousands) of things that were legal in 1975 and are illegal now, according to Richard Wenzel, a Liberty Movement blogger:
- You could buy an airline ticket and fly without ever showing an ID
- You could buy cough syrup without showing an ID
- You could buy and sell gold coins without showing an ID
- You could buy a gun without showing an ID
- You could pull as much cash out of your bank account as you wanted without the bank filing a report to the government
- You could have a phone conversation without the government knowing who you called or who called you
- You could open a stock brokerage account without having to explain where the money came from
- You could open a Swiss bank account with ease
Freedom + Responsibility = Liberty
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