History is filled with pitfalls and terrible occurrences. For most of human history, the early world consisted of nothing but war, theft, slavery, and obedience to a state which ruled through fear. While those of us living in the US live so comfortably, that not even kings from a different era could compare to even our lowest standard of living, there are many people throughout the world that still live in an environment where something is absent- liberty.
Since WWI, the United States has rocked back and forth between waves of socialism followed by waves of freedom, continually fighting a war of ideas waged before our eyes without some even noticing. With the amount of negativity seen on the mainstream media and throughout the internet, it’s easy for people to become boxed in a frame of mind clouded in doubt, depression, and an absence of faith. I’m not going to tell you to look for silver linings, the upside to things, or say that storms bring better weather afterwards. What I want to tell you is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
In the end of all things, the good guys always win.
Philosopher and writer Ayn Rand once wrote, "Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.” While Rand pushed individuals to continually fight against the challenges and obstacles they faced, it’s understandable that each and every one of us can be beaten down.
It’s easy to be beaten down in your private life, but to encounter personal struggle and then to see the world around you spiral out of control can be heartbreaking. The current trends we see in our government are haunting, as we witness men and women swearing to uphold the US Constitution as they place their hand on a Bible, and then go draft legislation that encumbers the most important tenant of a civil society- the individual. It seems everyday the principles of liberty are being treaded upon by a government that sees itself as the caretaker of your wellbeing, instead of being the caretaker of your ability to have opportunities.
Consider a caged bird- if it has lived it’s entire life in a cage given the promise that without the cage it would be harmed, how is the bird to ever fly if for an instance the cage is opened? Simple sayings carry larger answers though. Sometimes, as much as we feel bogged down pushing for ideas and solutions that fall on deaf ears, the most vital decision we can make is to wait to take action when the opportunity shows itself.
During a speech on behalf of 1964 Republican Barry Goldwater, a young Ronald Reagan once said the following :
"You and I are increasingly told we have to choose between left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as left or right. There’s only up or down: Up old man’s dream–old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course… You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last hope of man on Earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness… He has the faith that you and I have the ability and the dignity and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny."
The ways you can effect change in your community can be small, but still carry a large impact. The hard part is determining whether or not you want to continue hearing convenient lies or an inconvenient truth.
Part of the inconvenient truth many don’t want to hear is that you weren’t born to simply work, pay taxes, and die. There is nothing wrong with passing through this world a quiet, normal life, but what is important is the decisions you made and how you carved the world around you.
This election cycle is not another chance to play two parties against each other, or see which individual candidate you’d rather have a beer with; what is important is whether or not in your heart of hearts you made choices that advanced the message of free markets, individual freedom, peace, and prosperity. No one ever died wishing they had done less in life.
The time for choosing is everyday, and the choice is ultimately and forever yours to make.