'We're Doomed!'

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It
started out as a joke in a soft cynical sort of way. As a talk show
host, whenever an egregious example of THS (Terminal Human Stupidity)
made headlines – "Zero Tolerance," for example –
I'd tell the audience, "We're doomed!" We'd laugh, re-gird
our loins and press on to more important things.

Or
so I thought.

Now,
I'm thinking "we're doomed" was more prophetic than mildly
amusing. THS was not a joke.

It
was a succinct prognosis, a symptom, one of the early warning signs
of a cancer spreading through our society. "The Deliberate
Dumbing Down of America" has reached the goal Ms. Iserbyt warned
us about. Ignorance instilled via Academia has given birth to the
ugly fraternal twins: Arrogant Apathy and Aggressive Ignorance.
Their coast-to-coast ubiquity provided the breeding ground for Incrementalism,
the unseen killer of human initiative which now pervades most all
areas of endeavor, both public and private. Socialism is overwhelming
capitalism. Collectivism is the everyday curriculum in public schools.
Samuel Francis' anarcho-tyranny is bulking up just over the horizon.

As
we learned in John Gray's "Men Are From Mars….," men are
hard-wired problem solvers. With that affliction, I went in search
of a solution — a cure, if you will — for the depressing diagnosis
above. How to "beat back the boundaries of ignorance,"
as my friend Walter Williams would say. How to initiate a Deliberate
Smartening Up of America? How to warn the townspeople that Chicken
Little only had to be right once — and this is it!

Here's
where it gets scary.

For
a moment, imagine you're Paul Revere. Your mission: wake and warn
every village and farm of the approaching danger!! Off you gallop
into the night, yelling to darkened houses on darkened roads: "
The British are coming! The British are coming!" A light goes
on! A window opens! A fellow colonist leans out and yells back,
"Shut up, you idiot – it's 2AM!" The window slams
shut and the light goes out.

This
is the lot of the Paul Reveres of today. The Rockwells, the Bovards,
the Sowells, Walter Willliams, Charlie Reese, Joseph Sobran and
precious few others. In our little analogy, today's "colonists"
don't even know who the "British" are. They get their
news from "Entertainment Tonite," perky Katy Couric, John
Stewart and the Leno/Lettermen monologues. When the alternatives
are Rather, Jennings and Brokaw, maybe that's a good thing — in
a dismal sort of way.

Thus
the challenge remains before us: How to warn the village of the
Advance of the -Isms (social, collective, state) via government
sanctioned programs that nullify basic freedom of choice, even the
very definition of private property? Especially when the good people
don't comprehend the 7 most important words in the preceding sentence.

"A
generation of Americans was never taught why socialism must not
succeed in America. Instead, they were taught that the environment
must be protected by government, without learning why government
must never be allowed to confiscate private property or manipulate
free markets." Henry Lamb, "Socialism’s March across America."

Key
words: "…never taught…." To paraphrase a famous quote:
We will only cherish what we love. We can love only what we know.
We can only know what were taught.

EDA
(Eminent Domain Abuse) is just part of the infestation of socialist-collectivist
termites munching merrily away on the support beams of Freedom and
Liberty, way off the radar of "The Evening News With (insert
name here)" – although any actual, effective benefit from
that coverage might be more cosmetic than cure.

When
the preponderance of the population cannot correctly identify a
picture of the Vice-President or name the rights contained in the
First Amendment or, worse, actually believe Government grants
them those rights, it becomes obvious why you can't get your neighbor
worked up about the serious downside of the USA Patriot Act, the
excesses of the War on Drugs or the long-term effects of some recent
Supreme Court decisions. Imagine a conversation around the water
cooler concerning the inexorable encroachment of government regulation,
the subsequent Lost Rights and, ultimately, Freedom In
Chains (See: James
Bovard
). One should easily conjure a portrait of the perfect
glazed expression. We could title it "American Still Life."
However, quoting George Orwell: “If liberty means anything at all,
it means the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear.” 

But
what if the people hear — but don't, can't or won't comprehend?

After
nearly 40 years of laboring in the fickle vineyards of talk radio,
I can state emphatically the public's penchant for selective hearing
is bodacious. Their collective cognitive reasoning scores are consistently
in range of lower primates. Also, it is quite discouraging to experience
what passes for "objectivity" — in a mass com sorta way.
You might be amazed to discover how many fellow citizens hold a
world view crafted ugly by the NEA, Dan Rather and the cast of Saturday
Night Live. And we are to believe that Obesity is our biggest national
crisis? John Wayne summed it up best, "Life is tough. It's
tougher when you're stupid."

Taking
a break from his highly successful brewery biz, Samuel Adams said
"…it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an
irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”
While no doubt numerically and strategically correct, Sam's tireless
band — Pyromaniacs For Liberty — is having extreme difficult locating
sufficient intellectual tinder to get those blazes going.

While
Constitutional abuses and ignorance grow to epidemic proportions,
the greater problem is finding individuals sufficiently armed with
factual information and motivational concern to appreciate the problem.
Motivating the citizenry would be less a problem if we could first
win the uphill battle to reach the level ground of Comprehension
101, the Pork Chop Hill of public schooling. Under current circumstances,
we would be more successful telling the tide not to come in. (Note:
At this time, there is no evidence the tide has any intention of
reversing itself on its own.)

The
opening sentence of a recent LA Times article provides a
good example of the level of "debate" on an issue with
enormous consequences:

LOS ANGELES
– It was already an incendiary topic: whether to grant illegal
immigrants driver’s licenses.

To
pose the oft-queried question: What part of "illegal"
don't they understand? After a brief review of the definition, what's
left to debate — without the intentional distortion of the word?
There is a Latin phrase for this which — Obfuscatum non est –
when loosely translated means "Your fly is open." The
only positive in the story was the reporter didn't opt for the PC
term "undocumented workers." It also highlighted the wisdom
of Orwell's admonition: "We have now sunk to a depth at which
restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."

The
"Good Book" (aka Bible) says "The harvest is great,
but the workers are few." Indeed, the salvation of a Constitutional
Republic would be a great "harvest." But considering the
battle required to do so, General Custer's last comment at Little
Big Horn might be more on point "Where the hell did all these
Indians come from?!"

Apathy,
Ignorance, Incrementalism. As we slide down Tom Lehrer's "razor
blade of life," the prophetic one-liner remains: We are doomed!

July
24, 2004

Brian
Wilson [send him mail] is
a talk show host, author and speaker. He’s heard on better talk
radio stations across the country through his Vacation Relief Service
and most recently vented his libertarian views on KSFO/San Francisco.

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