Q. In an era when social media can motivate millions overnight, at what point do tens of millions of demonstrators, protesting on the streets against the status quo, gain the moral authority over a democratically elected but increasingly onerous and misdirected government?
Q. In a nation with ever-evolving restrictions on private gun ownership, can we rely on the armed forces to recognize such a turning point in the tide of populist protest, reassuring ourselves that the armed forces will always side with the masses and eject a despotic leadership?
Q. As believers in democracy, should we meekly accept the ascendancy of a disastrous or reprehensible political philosophy, simply because they won a majority at the ballot box?
In America, we believe we are not susceptible to widespread social unrest and are perhaps immune to revolution; after all, we already had our American Revolution.
But compare three different situations, with disturbingly common threads: The American Revolution (‘REV‘), the current situation in Egypt (‘EGP‘), and the current circumstances today in the U.S. (‘USA‘):
REV: The British thought the colonies should be utilized in ways that best suited the Crown and Parliament. EGP: Mubarak, and then Morsi, thought that Egypt should be governed in ways that best suited the leaders in government. USA: The ever-expanding Fed thinks that government should serve the best interests of government and the administration’s favored few: federal workers, trade unions, political supporters, etc.
REV: Increasing disagreement over the way Britain treated the 13 colonies, versus the way the colonies thought they should be treated. EGP: Increasing disagreement over the way the government treats the people, versus the way the people think they should be treated. USA: Increasing disagreement over the way the government treats the people, versus the way the people think they should be treated.
REV: A rallying cry of the revolution was ‘No taxation without representation’, combined with the common sentiment that the people were taxed too greatly. EGP: Egyptians feel they are over-taxed and over-regulated to the point of deterring business opportunities and entrepreneurship. USA: A majority of Americans has lost faith in the IRS, believing the tax code should be simplified and made fair or flat, a concept with which the administration disagrees.
REV: The colonists had a strong streak of independence and a desire for greater opportunities and more freedom. EGP: The Egyptian people demonstrated a desire to break away from authoritarian rule, to have more religious freedom and to have the chance at a better life. USA: An increasing number of Americans believe in limited government, but we have an expanding Fed and live in an over-regulated, overly politically correct, over-taxed, nanny state that spends money on wasteful projects like a drunken sailor and increasingly infringes on individual freedoms, business enterprise and property rights.
REV: The people’s desire for economic freedom and opportunity, unburdened by government. EGP: The people’s desire for economic freedom and opportunity, unburdened by government. USA: The people’s desire for economic freedom and opportunity, unburdened by government.
REV: Colonial legislatures had developed a measure of independence from the Crown and were used to operating at the local level, a practice the Crown sought to diminish. EGP: Religious organizations had evolved a system of mutual cooperation and respect, even though Islam is the dominant religion, a tolerance that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood sought to curtail with the imposition of Sharia laws. USA: States have exercised their rights in ways that have brought them into conflict with a Fed that increasingly seeks to bully and interfere with States’ rights.
REV: A government out of touch with the people, not representing the will of the people. EGP: A government out of touch with the people, not representing the will of the people. USA: A government out of touch with the people, not representing the will of the people.
REV: A government trying to confiscate the arms of the people, to prevent the people’s militia resisting despotic government. EGP: A government that had already banned gun ownership – the sine qua non for authoritarian regimes – to prevent the people’s resistance to despotic government. USA: A government that constantly tries to restrict or ban private gun ownership, an approach successfully used countless times throughout history to pave the way for authoritarian rule.
REV: The British Currency Acts (1751 & 1764) restricted the colonies’ issuance of paper currency and then outlawed the use of paper money to settle public and private debts. EGP: Egypt’s foreign currency reserves have been halved, causing the Egyptian Pound to plummet in value. USA: The Fed is printing $85 billion a month, devaluing the fiat currency and turning the U.S. Dollar into the U.S. Dullard. Meanwhile, gold and silver – the only true money – are denied the status of legal tender.
It is safe to say that the Founding Fathers would be horrified by the State Of The Nation today: a worthless fiat currency, a trampled Constitution, a Leviathan government and a populace increasingly dependent on Federal handouts. In the words of George Washington, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.“