Sunday, January 6, 2013

Perhaps there is Hope for Change

Sometimes it can be disheartening looking at the direction the country appears to be going.  Hardly a day goes by when we do not hear news of some new program or regulation or law that is supposed to make us "safer" or "healthier" or to promote the "common good."   When we note that these laws and programs and regulations restrict our individual liberty and limit our rights (or take them away altogether), we are told that we all have to make sacrifices to make this country great or for the "public good."*

Sadly the majority of Americans seem intent on electing officials, in both parties, whose opinion of the people is essentially "you are too ignorant or easily misled to make good decisions about <insert whatever issue they want to control this time>, so just let us tell you what to do and think."  The only difference between the parties often appears to be little more than which issues we are too stupid to make decisions about or the best way the government can make those decisions for us.

Sometimes though, there can be a little glimmer of hope that things can change to a more positive direction.  On today I was reading a review of "Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944–1956," by Anne Applebaum.  In the midst of the review was the following quote that was one such glimmer of hope for change, and especially relevant today:
"Even when they seem bewitched by the cult of the Leader or of the party, appearances can be deceiving. And even when it seems as if they are in full agreement with the most absurd propaganda—even if they are marching in parades, chanting slogans, singing that the party is always right—the spell can suddenly, unexpectedly, dramatically be broken."

*oddly, it often appears that the definition of "public" in this usage is "everyone but you."

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