Monday, August 12, 2013

None dare call it tyranny

"Tyranny," much like the word "racism" is an oft-hurled charge that has more emotional than reasoned heft behind it.  Both words carry enormous emotional impact, making them easy-to-resort-to rhetorical tools.

Given that, we've heard plenty of political banter about 'looming tyranny' for years now.  Lost in the perpetual Mafia Wars grudge match of Republicrat vs. Demuplican is the question of whether tyranny, in fact, is making itself known in our land:
True tyranny is serious and should not be used as a tool to smear political opponents. It is a specific condition, one which the Founders found serious enough to initiate a revolt against England.   Now it is used more as political invective than in its true meaning. Sadly, the politicians who bandy the word about for advantage are unaware of true tyranny or that they are guilty of committing it.
Distorting words or misunderstanding them, however, does not alter the consequences of the acts. It is important to understand the true meaning of the word itself.

The Free Dictionary provides the following definitions of tyranny:
  1. arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.
  2. the government or rule of a tyrant.
  3. a state ruled by a tyrant.
  4. oppressive or unjust government.
  5. undue severity or harshness.
  6. a tyrannical act.
Definitions 2-6 describe symptoms; it's the first definition that identifies the root cause: the 'unrestrained exercise of power.'  Can anyone honestly claim the federal government recognizes any Constitutional limits to its power?  In addition to a National Security State run amok, we have the politization of powerful federal agencies, assertions of increasing executive power and a federal government increasingly deferential to the executive branch.

We did not get here overnight, nor can the blame for all of this be placed on the current administration or its immediate predecessor.  But we are at the point where we can see the results of a sustained 'long march' through the limitations imposed on government by the Constitution.  What's worse, Americans have aided that long march by succumbing to the allure of utopian promises.  I'll close with the words of Tom Dillon:
Freedom is an expensive thing.  It is also extremely fragile.  For all tyranny does not come with tanks and jack boots.  Tyranny also creeps in, like the fog, 'on little cat feet.'  Softly, soothingly.  Tyranny carries a nicely lettered sign on which it says, "this is being done for the public good."  Tyranny is sly.  It whispers to you and says "You and I know what the best thing is to do.  But those poor people over there are not as fortunate as you and I.  They do not have the wisdom to know that what we want is really for their own good."  Tyranny puts its arm around your shoulder and says, "Let's you and I save them from themselves.  Let us force them to make the right choice and later, when they are wiser, they will thank us.  Tyranny says, "Let us draw up some rules to prevent the advocacy of ideas that we know are wrong.  Come, let us go together and curb evil."

Things to think about...

No comments:

Site Meter