Opinion: So you get it. America is in trouble. What can you do? As Gandhi suggested, “be the change you wish to see in the world” and, more specifically, I suggest you use the First Amendment with pride and humor.
When someone asks, “Will that be all?” My favorite answer has become; “This, that and a free country of good character!”
Usually, the response is a smile, but sometimes a conversation breaks out. Regardless, the daily routine is enhanced with a thought or two about what kind of people we have become. Maybe a bystander will think about the bigger picture. Maybe the clerk will talk with their spouse later about this "odd" patriot that said something during their shift. The point is to impact popular culture on an individual basis in your community.
Consider it a Chinese Water Torture for freedom and individual responsibility – drip, drip, drip; a word or two one-on-one to stand for good character and freedom. It could renew our country.
I understand this approach may not be for everyone. Not all are comfortable potentially irritating strangers, but I have never seen a reason for life to be less than entertaining. Truth be told, I have amused myself and others in pubic over the years by suggesting I would "also" like; a non-psychotic relationship, a large sail boat, less pot holes in the street or whatever the issue of the day.
Examples of other one line additions to your shopping list could include:
A President with a clue
An honest Congress
Media with historic and economic understanding
Lower taxes and less government spending
A Weiner-free Congress and a Sheen-free media
George Washington for President
A smaller government out of my business
You get the point and in conversation I find most agree. You may be pleasantly pleased with such encounters and more hopeful, overall, for the nation.
Sometimes you find resistance, but Marxists, Socialists and other types of ignorance can be found anywhere. Should some in anger answer, “It IS a free country” a simple shrug of the shoulders with an “I’m just saying” reply works well to disengage. You can’t fix stupid, but ignorance has a cure when facts arrive.
If time and opportunity presents itself, detailed responses from your own study of history and current events can be helpful such as:
It’s not freedom when you are taxed into poverty
It’s not freedom when a minnow stops regional farming in California
It’s not freedom when a lizard stops oil exploration in Texas
It’s not representative government when the representatives don’t read the bills
It’s not a fee country if elected officials don’t abide by the Constitution or established law
I admit the common tendency to avoid confrontation is not a dominate character trait of mine. Maybe that is why my year as a radio talk show host worked so well. The basis of those conversations and writing here are public policy positions developed over decades of reporting and years of reading with due consideration. My current list of the best history and public policy works are included in the story, Radio Review (click here for a review of the show and list of source material).
Of course, when general conversation provides opportunity, don’t forget sarcasm:
“How’s it going?”
“Surprising – I never thought I’d live in a Marxist nation.”
So ladies and gentlemen, engage your wit and have some fun. After all, the First Amendment is specific in protecting free speech and the courts have ruled that the most protected of all speech is that on public policy and criticism of the government. It could be great fun and you could make new friends while agitating the ignorant.
That’s a good day for America in my book and if enough people start talking, we can make a difference – one patriot at a time and have some fun with it all.