By J.B. Shurk
With America's Independence Day fast approaching, it is worth repeating that there is nothing wrong with pointing out and condemning government tyranny. Doing so is not only a natural right, but also a long cherished American duty. When we celebrate on July 4, we celebrate those who stood up to tyranny. Never let Deep State defenders such as Bill Barr or Lindsey Graham hypnotize you into believing that criticism of the American government threatens the durability of American institutions. It is government corruption that threatens those institutions, and only those institutions resilient enough to survive public scrutiny deserve continued life.
Tyranny thrives in the absence of confrontation. It depends on a conspiracy of silence when good people become too afraid to speak its name. Do not fear directing an outstretched finger at the unjust machinery of the State. Those quick to denounce free speech as "treason" are often the most deserving of blame.
We are in an uncomfortable stage in history during which a growing number of people have begun to accept difficult truths, and the response from people in power has been to crush those truths before they can be fully heard and appreciated. This has happened many times before. Censorship is not new, nor is political persecution. Oppressive State surveillance is not new, nor is use of the legal system to imprison political enemies. Just because these forms of tyranny have been digitized and now operate behind a network of computers, that does not make them at all different from the secret police forces that terrorized citizens living behind the Iron Curtain last century. Being "canceled" is an instance of crippling tyranny — whether that "cancelation" involves black-clad men with billy clubs "disappearing" outspoken dissidents in the middle of the night or black-clad Antifa clubs destroying someone's livelihood while under the implicit protection of the State.
While the dangers during this kind of historical moment are frightfully familiar, so are their antidotes. Truth and courage remain both dagger and shield. There has never been a form of tyranny that does not eventually meet its deserved end, and that end always comes when good people find the strength to rise and speak tyranny's name. The faster people break their silence, the quicker they discover that real power resides within them — and not with the small collection of government agents who hoard power in their name.
Some have called this moment a kind of "quiet revolution" or "great awakening." Whatever it is called, the change in social consciousness always serves a similar purpose: it becomes a hinge that swings open a door to the next epoch in history.
Understood in this way, it should not surprise you to see governments working so hard to suppress information and control what their populations can hear, read, and believe. Those who protect the status quo have no role on the other side of that door and therefore will do anything to keep it slammed shut permanently. Government heavy-handedness should never be mistaken as a demonstration of enduring strength, but rather as a telltale sign that the State is weakening.
Central bank digital currencies, automated fact-checking, "vaccine" passports, social credit scores — these are the actions of governments in fear of losing their control. Healthy, respected, self-sustaining institutions do not construct digital prisons, treat citizens like cattle, or use heavily armed revenue agents as shock troops for intimidation. Like a star expanding into a red giant before finally shrinking into a white dwarf, dying political powers expand into totalitarian monstrosities before their despotic bluster wanes. In between monster and minion, it is normal citizens who drain the State's powers and reclaim them as their own.
Draining the State's power requires a mindset that accepts that things are changing. Destroying tyranny requires heightened self-reliance and diminished respect for authority.
Whenever I hear someone say that the battle for America's future is already lost because of institutionalized election-rigging, I always think, "The more that people understand the voting process as rigged, the less important fraudulent elections become." The recognition of injustice is far more potent than its imposition.
Imagine if George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had dismissed colonial resentment to English taxes simply because the Crown had assured them that faraway lords in Parliament were more than capable of representing Virginians' interests.
Well, George, the king says our rights are secure, and it is best to follow orders and trust authority.
Quite right, Thomas, we have nothing to fear with the Redcoats here to ensure our safety.
That never could have happened. They did not tolerate the trampling of their rights because those who did the trampling assured them that it was for their own good. They did not bow down before their would-be conquerors because their tormentors accused them of treason. They certainly did not vote their way out of tyranny when they did not even have a voice in Parliament! More likely, I imagine, the two future American presidents clinked their snifters of brandy while Washington toasted emphatically, "You grab your quill, Tom; I'll get my sword; and we'll meet somewhere in the middle." The idea wasn't to play by the rules, but rather to break free from a system lacking legitimacy.
So, if Americans today no longer trust elections that have turned into months-long affairs inundated with mail-in ballots devoid of voter identification or secure chains of custody, that's a good start. If voters are fed up with elections that lack transparency, statutory fidelity, timeliness, and prompt reproducibility, then we're moving in the right direction. When elections are correctly understood as tainted by fraud, then we can finally have a "national conversation" about election illegitimacy. We can talk about the unbelievability of Joe Biden winning more votes than anyone in history. We can talk about how cruel and oppressive Congress and the courts have been in aiding unethical prosecutors in their persecution of J6 election protesters. We can talk about how despotic the ruling government has become when it advocates for the life imprisonment of a former president — and the sitting president's chief political enemy.
Saying the quiet part out loud is critical — because there is no doubt that Washington and Jefferson would see all this nonsense as outright tyranny.
Some say calling out election theft is dangerous for the country. I think the last few years of national destruction under Joe Biden prove that not calling out election theft is even more dangerous. Tyranny thrives on intimidation and silence; truth, on the other hand, never fears confrontation. The fact that the federal government has conspired with social media companies to censor Americans from criticizing their own elections says everything.
If Americans cannot trust their government to oversee free and fair elections, then what exactly can Americans trust their government to do? To guard the country's borders from invasion? Nope. To enforce the law impartially and safeguard citizens and their property from violence? Not anymore. To vigorously defend Americans' constitutionally protected rights? Not when the federal government attacks their free speech, freedom of religion, right to bear arms, and freedom from warrantless searches. To maintain the monetary value of the nation's currency? Not with reckless money-printing and spending. To protect American sovereignty and avoid long-term foreign obligations? Not when the U.N., WHO, and WEF rule from afar. In every way, the federal government has failed to fulfill its principal obligations to citizens of the United States.
As Lawrence W. Reed wrote recently in an essay for the Foundation for Economic Education, "evil is on the loose. The restraints with which civilized society shackled it seem to be dissolving." However, evil fears nothing more than "an informed citizenry eager to resist. It is not inevitable that evil should win — unless good people give up." Exactly right.