OPINION – At first glance, supporters of personal liberty and limited government have little reason to be optimistic this election year.
From the presidential race down to many local races, the two-party cartel has done a masterful job of limiting the voters’ choices to those who will serve to maintain the status quo. Over the past 40 years, under five Republican and three Democratic presidents, the federal government has expanded inexorably. This trend will not change regardless of who wins this year.
This means that the state will continue to grow and freedom will continue to wither for the foreseeable future.
But a willingness to face unpleasant truths does not mean that all is lost. Succumbing to the counsels of despair robs us of hope, limits our vision, and prevents us from recognizing that we always have options.
One of the great disservices of the current election-year frenzy is how it creates and reinforces a false belief that our well-being depends primarily upon political solutions. The pre-election mania that currently infests every corner of social media is solid evidence of this dangerous idea.
Politicians and opportunists work tirelessly to convince us that political solutions are our only hope. With this lie, they seek to sway enough people to gain power to rule over virtually every aspect of our lives.
They behave very much like well-dressed and well-spoken con men who, in order to gain the trust of their mark, tell us what we want to hear and then fleece us without mercy. But, just like a con artist, once their deception has been exposed and we refuse to play along, they have no power over us.
Principled candidates may be in short supply this election, but a growing number of voters have caught on to the ruse and are refusing to play the rigged game. They will vote third party, write in their vote or abstain from voting altogether. This deeply annoys the poor suckers who refuse to believe they’re being played.
Those who have bought into our national false dilemma have been manipulated into wasting valuable time and energy perpetuating the deception. They’ve forgotten that government, with its one-size-fits-all political solutions, comprises but one small facet of our overall lives.
In reality, those institutions that have nothing to do with government actually have a far greater impact on our lives. They include family, churches, our communities, businesses, media, and academia. In a free society, these institutions operate with a degree of balance between them. If any one institution begins exercising too much influence, at the expense of the others, society becomes dysfunctional.
As individuals, we have much greater ability to affect positive change within these institutions than we do within government. Where we have the power to make change, that’s where our efforts are best spent.
There is hope in that alone.
Charley Reese explains, “Human beings have free will. Within the parameters of our present circumstances, we can choose to make our own lives and our own community better or worse. Nobody and no thing can force us to be either good or bad. The choice is ours alone. That’s why hope never dies.”
It’s easy to become discouraged when we take an honest look at the moral decay, corruption, and abuse of power swirling around us. But the truth is that our problems are not so different from those faced by others throughout human history. Human nature has not changed in many thousands of years.
Throughout that time span, decent people have always worked to improve the world. Most have done so without recognition. Even in humanity’s blackest hours, there have always been great souls and great ideas that have led the way out of the darkness. Not only do such people still exist, but also each of us has the capacity to be such an individual.
Anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
When enough of us recognize that most solutions to life’s challenges aren’t political in nature, we’ll see that things are far from hopeless. Not getting our way in an election year is pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.
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.
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