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Who is to Blame?

July 23, 2016

I’ve written before that I’m just not a believer in conspiracy. That really hasn’t changed. For purposes of clarification, let me explain a little about what I mean. I really do believe most of the things about which many want to scream “conspiracy” can really be more accurately and reasonable ascribed to confluence, convergence and synergy. Here’s what that means, at least to me.

People, including you and me, tend to seek out and associate with those with whom we have things in common. If I’m a Christian who actively seeks to live according to my faith, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be spending a lot of time with other Christians. If I fly expensive RC airplanes, I’ll probably spend time with other enthusiasts. Democrats, Progressives, Libertarians, Republicans and members of other parties tend to spend a lot of time with those with whom they share a particular political view. Business people tend to spend time with other business people. Gun people spend time with other gun people. The more passionate we are about something, the more likely we are to interact a lot with those who share our passion and beliefs. We see it all around us in the people with whom we come in contact every day. If this is true, and I believe the evidence overwhelmingly says it is true, that it is simply a basic fact of human nature, then it explains a great deal, does it not?

Let’s take this a step further. Since I’m a pretty strict Constitutionalist, is it really surprising that I spend a lot of time talking with others who believe the document is best understood in light of its original context? Is it surprising that when I talk with these other folks we spend a lot of time not just discussing the meaning of the document’s text in context, but also talking about how to get others to see it the way we see it and apply it in practical ways? I don’t think that is surprising at all. In fact, it would be surprising if we didn’t do that. I’m a pro 2nd Amendment guy. Are you surprised I spend a good bit of time discussing the 2A with people, including trying to get others to understand why I believe the amendment is so very important? I doubt you are surprised at all. If I knew the things that matter greatly to you, I would not be at all surprised to learn you spend a significant matter of time 1) with people who see things the way you do, and 2) trying to help others see things your way. So, if this normal human tendency is true of you and me…

George Soros may be evil. I don’t know. I’ve never met the man and I won’t share my opinion of him here. The same is true of, say, the Koch brothers, if we look at what is ostensibly the other end of the spectrum. Would it be surprising, given our tendency to seek out those with whom we have something in common, to learn that Soros, or the Koch brothers, spend time with others who share their views? Should we be shocked if we learn they spend time trying to get others to see things their way? Let’s go further and look at the 2A and gun rights.

For those of you interested in the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, I am an INTP. In practical terms that means that among other things, I am not much of a joiner. In fact, since I’ve become an adult, I’ve joined exactly 3 groups.* One of those is the NRA, which I joined less than 1 year ago (congratulations, Mr. President, you managed to do something that was beyond the ability of your predecessors). Now, what has that meant? Aside from the money I sent them, it has led me, the non-joiner, to become more active in seeking to help at least those who are ambivalent about gun rights perhaps come to see things a little more from the perspective of us pro gun rights folks. It has also meant I’ve spent time thinking and sharing how to bring about a significant shift in the way the majority of the American people view guns, with the end goal of having even more people view them in a positive light. I do the same thing regarding the Constitution. Sometimes, pretty frequently really, I spend time mapping out with others strategies for getting people to understand the Constitution the way we do, including how to get this view into schools, the media and other institutions and industries. In all of this, I doubt many of the folks with whom I do these things view themselves as participants in a conspiracy.

If I’m George Soros – and no, I am not – and I, along with those of my peers who see things my way, spend time and effort trying to get a majority of people to see things the way we do, is that a conspiracy? Does it become a conspiracy because we have access, as a result of our vast collective wealth, to greater resources to bring about what we see as desirable? No, it does not. What, then, might make something a conspiracy?

Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary defines conspiracy as:

  • a secret plan made by two or more people to  do something that is harmful or illegal
  • the act of secretly planning to do something that is harmful or illegal

Here’s the important part. To truly be a conspiracy, the thing we plan or do must be both secret and have the goal of doing something harmful or illegal.

So, as say you and I plan out ways to get future generations to see the Constitution the way we do, we may or may not be really open to one and all about our intentions. One could argue, for instance, that if we are truly transparent about what we plan, we might face great difficulty getting people like us into positions to make such a thing happen. How would we go about getting people into education, the media and academia if we let it be known what our long-term goals are? Does that make what we do a conspiracy? I don’t think so (by the way, I’m not necessarily arguing either way regarding transparency, here). It’s not a conspiracy, I submit, because it doesn’t have the end goal of something harmful or illegal. There are some, though, who would undoubtedly see things differently. They really do believe those of us who view the Constitution as meaning what it says, and as severely limiting the power and role of government, seek to promote something harmful. I believe their reasoning is sadly deficient, but that’s a different topic.

When we look at globalists, of whom I’ve actually met a few, I suspect the same thing is true. Most of them, including George Soros, are pretty plain about what they favor, what they hope to see and even what they hope to bring about. Now, I tend to think what they want is frightfully harmful. I don’t see as ever coming about, the benefits so many globalists tout. But, to the extent it is not planned in secret, I don’t see it as a conspiracy.

See, in my view we don’t have to have conspiracies, vast or small, to explain most things. We just have to have people who see things the same way working to bring them about. Honestly, I don’t even believe a conspiracy is necessary for our freedoms to be in danger. Neither my freedom nor yours is at risk primarily because of what George Soros, the Federal Reserve or George Bush do or did. Now, I believe our freedoms are at great risk. I believe we are on the verge of seeing our nation transformed even further into something most of my generation will not recognize if it comes about. I just don’t lay the bulk of the blame at the feet of conspirators, existent or nonexistent. No, the blame lies somewhere else.

NavyJack, in a post on the Oath Keepers site, lays the blame at the feet of your neighbor. He writes:

“…the real villain here is your neighbor. You see, had your neighbor not become complacent with their liberty and freedom we would not be having this discussion. Had your neighbor not accepted state control of the media, unfettered spying on their life’s activities, social safety nets that have been abused for decades and the willingness to disarm for paltry promises of greater safety, this discussion would not be required.”

The only thing I would add to the above excerpt is this: It is not just your neighbor’s fault or my neighbor’s fault. It is your fault and it is mine. We have all failed to treasure our liberty enough. We have all failed to become active enough early enough and we failed to teach enough others to have avoided being where we are now. We are where we are because we the people abdicated our responsibility. The watch and the vigilance it requires has always been ours to keep. In that we have failed. It is that vigilance we must regain. I may disagree with what seems to be his view of Soros and others, but it hardly matters if the results are the same – the loss of freedom.

In the context of this topic I truly do not care if you think there is a vast conspiracy to deprive us of our freedom. Further, I do not care what you think of this billionaire or that one. I do not care what you think about banks or central banking. I do not care what you think about this political party or that one. I do not care what you read or the kind of music you prefer. I do not care about your faith or the lack thereof. I do not care about your race or gender. I do not care who you sleep with or how many. I do not care if you own no guns or if your armory contains a load out sufficient for a US Marine Corps rifle company. I most certainly do not care what you think about me. Here is what I care about: do you treasure freedom enough to fight for it? Is liberty important enough for you to sacrifice everything in its defense?

*For what it’s worth, those three groups are the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the National Rifle Association and Oath Keepers.

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  1. It’s not a conspiracy | retiredmustang

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