Perspectives: When we cling to our own reality

OPINION – The greatest threats to liberty, says conventional partisan wisdom, exist in the opposing political party. The blame always belongs to someone else.

We’re encouraged to cheer louder and clap harder at our own party’s pep rally with the promise that our candidate, our party will set things right when elected.

But, election after election, it never happens.

The promises of political salvation fail to square with reality because both political parties have an insatiable thirst for power. Despite the blatant failures of our two main parties, few partisans are willing to concede their belief that their party is the vehicle to save America.

Most American conservatives rightly view socialist policies and power grabs as incompatible with liberty and prosperity. Therefore, they are galvanized and more than willing to stand up for smaller government and greater personal freedom when a Democratic leader is in office.

But far too many of those same conservatives have a peculiar blind spot that excuses and even cheers the abuse of State power. This is especially true when a Republican, in the name of security, is doing it.

The Republican Party’s betrayal of principle is evidenced in the effort undertaken to discredit and silence those who think independently or call for a return to principle.

When party loyalty is rewarded over principle, those who tend to think for themselves are intentionally marginalized so as to minimize their influence on the party.

Any time conservatives abandon their principles in order to wield government force to achieve their goals; they’re morally no different than their socialist counterparts who also abuse the state’s power as the means to their ends.

This is why Republicans who favor non-interventionist foreign policy, sound monetary policy, and the protection of individual civil liberties over the security of the garrison state are systematically silenced.

Too many otherwise conservative voters have based their beliefs on the traditions of partisan power rather than engaging in original research to inform the basic premises of their worldviews.

This blind spot is one of the reasons we see government expanding at every level while individual freedoms are declining. For now the trend continues unabated.

How do we change that course?

The cause of liberty needs scholarly, independent thinkers, not uninformed, emotional cheerleaders.

Independent thinkers understand that information is not the same thing as truth. They do not blindly follow politicians, political parties or commentators who are competing for their allegiance.

Those who would move the cause of liberty must devote time and effort to understanding not only the challenges and opportunities before us, but also the foundational principles of good government.

Once we recognize how hostile both major parties have been to liberty, we might stop holding our noses to vote for the “lesser-of-two-evils” candidates.

We’ll stop lending legitimacy to a rigged system that, while giving us a sense of participation, still carefully denies us any possibility of affecting actual change.

The almost imperceptible and incremental baby steps by which full-blown despotism arrives add up far more quickly than we realize. The great shock that we suppose will awaken everyone will arrive too late.

The future of liberty depends upon our ability to recognize how the little infringements today lead to a total loss of freedom over time.  We’d also be wise to learn from those who have made similar mistakes.

The future of liberty doesn’t hinge upon the outcome of any single election. But it has everything to do with the long-term character and principles of the voters who will participate in this and future elections.

If enough of us can be deceived every election cycle into selling out for an illusory short-term political gain, we will all lose in the long run.

Thankfully, there are still plenty of reasons to remain optimistic. A recent study at the Rensselear Polytechnic Institute has found that once an unshakeable belief is held by just ten percent of a population, it reaches a tipping point where it will be widely adopted by the majority of that society.

But, as Stephen Palmer points out, that day will not come “until our love of truth outweighs our attachment to our beliefs.”

But if enough of us are willing to honestly research the issues and principles for ourselves, to test our conclusions and replace false ideas with sound ones, to think independent of party, then there is hope. Hope that the greater struggle for liberty and good government can be won in here in Utah and throughout our nation.

Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.

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9 Comments

  • sam August 16, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Excellent opinion article, its nice to see a media outlet that will put articles like this out and many other well written news stories.

  • Murat August 17, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Can you spot the difference between the attendees at a Republican rally versus a Democrat rally? I can’t. They’re all slaughter-qualified sheep to me.

    • Bryan Hyde Bryan Hyde August 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm

      It makes reminds me of a quote from Milton Mayer’s book “They Thought They Were Free – The Germans 1933-1945” about another nation that forgot the importance of independent rather than emotion-based thought: “Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. … Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?”

      This is a totally curable condition, but actual thinking is hard work and it’s no longer fashionable.

  • Tyler August 17, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Murat, actually, atleast in the near past, I could tell a huge difference between the parties’ rallies…Dems atleast had answers and topics (even if made up) and Repubs only knit picked, b*tched about and shot down the topics of the Dems.

  • John August 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    I began to have serious doubts regarding the two major parties when I realized nothing got done or progressed even when one party controlled the presidency and the majority of the house and senate. What’s more, they use different words and attack each other, but, the SAME program moves forward.
    If anyone remembers, one of Reagan’s platform pitches when he was running for president was to abolish the Department of Education…it doubled in size during his presidency. There really isn’t a lot of difference in “their plans”, only in their words, approach and speed. The end result always ends in shambles, more laws, and regulations, deeper in debt and less independence and liberty. (One party will be certain to blame the other party for it. We won’t remember. )

    As an example, today I read an article where a woman in the eastern United States was ordered to stop feeding poor neighborhood kids because the local council had not approved a variance for her. If she doesn’t stop she could face a fine of $600/day. The cost of the variance is $1,000. Really? And to think such things are an isolated incidence is foolishness. These types of abuses and folly of common sense abound country wide, every day on the television, the radio, the internet and print. It’s painfully obvious.

    Yet, en mass, we continue to “vote for the lesser of two evils”. As a people, we clearly and openly acknowledge we don’t like either choice, and that they are far from our ideals. More telling still is that we directly reference those choices with “evil”. That’s a very strong word. Which, in the conversations I have with many a voter over the years, is said with a very sad and somber tone. No one’s joking.

    Looking to our government is not the answer. Individual accountability and adhering to rock solid principles is the answer. Sadly, those are two things thought to be understood and practiced even less. On the federal level, I challenge anyone to study deeply any ONE of the recent scandals over the past 20 years, follow the money, follow the accountability, follow who does and doesn’t get punished. It’s frightening. It’s a nightmare.

    Wake up 10% we need you.

  • -Mike- August 17, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Finally Bryan says something I can agree with, even if he had to bring up the Fourth Reich again in his comments. It appears to me that the only reason we have a two-party system is for pointing fingers. Everybody has an answer, but nobody can agree on what the problem is. Forget about the clown(s) in the White House (the current one or the several before him) it’s all about those 535 morons in congress swapping secrets, favors, and bribes, along with their 17% approval rating. Why can’t we get these guys out once they get elected? It’s time to clean out all the houses, and get some people who are willing to make changes (not just SAY they’re going to make changes)

  • Valerie Butler August 18, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    It’s best to start with truth. I think we keep thinking we are free, yet we have more government control over our lives than ever experienced by the revolutionaries. We think we are democratic, and yet an inordinate amount of government policy is made and executed by regulatory departments rather than in the three branches of government. We think we are safe, and yet willing subvert key inalienable rights so we can get our government “perks” of the day. We think we are a lot of things, the list could go on, but I don’t have time. If we seek the reality of the situation, then sincerely act on that truth, we could actually end up being as amazing as we think we are.

    • Richard Fowler April 16, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Valerie I have been trying to find or contact you since November Where are you !

  • Richard Fowler April 15, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    You are so on the mark Valerie ! By the way where are you hiding ?

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