If you’re like most, you view much of what is going on (and has been for years) and you say, “They need to do something about that.” Or you say, “Someone needs to fix that.” You grumble, shake your head in disgust or pound your fist in outrage—which, don’t kid yourself, everyone does at some point in time. You might even discuss the situation with your spouse or friends. If your observation is of a seriously grievous nature, you might even fire off an objection in an email, social media post, or a letter. But that’s pretty much where it stops. You vent. You’re done.
We all need to think a little deeper about that…
We elect others to represent our interests, and then we go on to live our lives, do our jobs, raise our families and unless some major event occurs, we forget about them until it’s close to time to vote, and then we focus. When we do, we are often disappointed in what we see. Rather than doing our own research into what has been happening on that front, we listen to pundits and those voices we respect, and we rely on them and their advice for the next round of voting. In other words, we abdicate responsibility to strangers who might or might not have our best interests at heart.
That abdication of personal responsibility has landed us into the situation we find ourselves. And speaking bluntly, the blame and fault is our own. We failed to mind our own business. And we did so knowing that whenever someone does that, there is always someone waiting in the wings to step in and mind our business for us.
The problem is those who step in have their own agendas, and it’s rare that their agendas align with our preferences.
When this all occurs to us, we automatically seek to blame them. What they said isn’t what they’ve done. Their agenda was obscured and now that it isn’t, we don’t like it. We haven’t gotten what we wanted and they said that they wanted.
But are they to blame? No. We are. We abdicated our responsibility.
All of this occurred to me over four years ago, and I took action. I stopped the heavy publishing schedule and spent copious amounts of time researching everything that had to do with the impact on our lives. It’s been quite the journey. But I decided it was worth the time and effort and the decrease in income because this wasn’t just about me. It was about my children and my grandchildren, and about all those who have no one looking out for them.
I turned off the news and set a standard of going directly to the source to find out information. Haunted the wh.gov website to read the presidential actions and executive orders. The justice.gov site, to read what was going on there. Defense Department and State Department. And the rest. A treasure trove of information is there. I also watched committee hearings, read transcripts and dove into topics.
I learned a lot more than I expected. Some was very good. Some reflected despicable conduct that honestly was shameful. What is said behind closed doors often varies significantly in hearings than what is said at a podium or on the House floor. There’s a reason for that. Representatives can’t be held accountable for lies told on the House or Senate floor. Thank goodness there are some but by no means all do that!
The point is I now know who does and who has not. That’s important. Why?
Because being a citizen in a Constitutional Republic carries magnificent privileges few on the planet enjoy. It also carries individual responsibility. It is not just wise to take on your personal responsibility, it’s your duty. And you should embrace it—and never take it for granted. Many embrace the freedoms and liberty—the privileges—but shun the responsibility. That tips the scales out of balance. We all know what happens when that occurs.
Elected officials often say that the current election is the most important. The truth is every election is important. They all matter and impact our daily lives. But in this election a lot is on the ballot that is unspoken and unlisted but clear to all paying attention. The outcome will determine whether America remains a Constitutional Republic or becomes socialist. Bluntly put, it’s that simple and that complex.
Honestly, I never thought those words would come out of my mouth. Largely because history has taught us repeatedly that socialism always fails. (If you doubt it, look at Venezuela twenty years ago and now. They were a nation rich in resources and now their people are starving, without water or medicine and some were reduced to eating zoo animals.) America tried getting aid in to them but were blocked at the border by its government which isn’t the one elected by the people. Less than twenty years and their entire country—poof!
Significantly, religious freedom (all the freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights) are on the unwritten ballot. Vote one way, you have those rights; they’ll be protected. Vote another way, you won’t have them; they’ll be gone.
That isn’t an exaggeration or me being an alarmist. In Covid, we’ve seen and experienced freedom to assemble restricted. No church services, yet casinos are open. Freedom of choice restricted. Small businesses forced to close but big-box stores open. Freedom of speech violated. Look at the media blackout on the corruption currently in the news, the banning, shadow-banning, and restrictions on accounts—including the press secretary’s and a powerful congressional committee account.
These are concrete and verifiable incidents we’ve all heard about occurring. We’ve witnessed them, and a lot more. Those facts are not in dispute.
Violations of rights such as these are offenses that we never thought we’d see in our country. Our media acting against the people is as well, though we got plenty of foreshadowing of it in the past four years. Still, we find this stunning. And yet, here we are, and these violations are occurring. Despite the fact that during times of war and crisis never has the Constitution been suspended. It has always remained in full force and effect.
All this and so much more being witnessed and experienced firsthand and yet many people of faith are saying they aren’t going to vote because they don’t like the president’s tweets.
Think about that. Are you willing to be controlled and not permitted to express religious freedom, be willing to forfeit your other freedoms because you dislike tweets?
Some cite their opposition to his personality traits. I find this astounding. We’re electing a leader, one who will and has preserved our rights and you don’t like his personality? Simply put, that requires a little broader thought with emphasis on that which most matters.
Look, bottom line is it is our responsibility to preserve our freedoms. Reagan warned us we were but one generation away from losing them. Well, we’re there. So if we want the privilege of those freedoms, then we must not abdicate our personal responsibility in preserving them. It’s that simple.
We know from the Apostles that one can endure extreme hardships and be at peace internally because we have faith in God. Here, while clearly under attack, we have the right to express that. But unless we are willing to be the change we seek, that right will fade into memory.
Before any of us make rash decisions to do nothing, we need to stop and think about the costs of inaction. For ourselves. For our children and grandchildren. And for all those who turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to their personal responsibility. Because like it or not, we are the change we seek and, with or without us, for better or worse, change is coming.
I hope that change is more of us no longer abdicating but exercising our responsibility.