Op-Ed by Maalikah Hartley
After the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump it was like clockwork when the supposed anti-war left emerged out of their caves while the small-government right went back into hiding. It took a bit of getting used to (from all sides) when he won the election, but since then, and after his first address to a joint session this past Tuesday night, it looks like the country is still divided (superficially at least) in getting to where we need to ultimately get. One great hindrance on what is holding America back from reaching its true potential is identity politics; many of us are still addicted to clinging to our identity through our political party or politicians instead of embracing a good idea: liberty.
For the last eight years, and far beyond that, the U.S. has seen more aggressive foreign wars overseas (undertaken under false pretenses), more blowback, more support for international dictators, more inflation (don’t forget quantitative easing), a weaker dollar, more taxes, a lowered standard of living, a failed immigration system, a bigger police state, a bigger government and more centralization of power. And while the president’s speech this past Tuesday night brought a sense of hopeful optimism back to the table, his ideas, or the road to get there rather, are not rooted in freedom and liberty.
A trillion dollar infrastructure rebuilding plan sounds amazing, but where would the money come from if we don’t end our biggest expense overseas; the horrific wars and military spending? How would we keep a sound economy to go along with this goal if we don’t even discuss the Federal Reserve; a private organization that prints money out of thin air, loans it to us at interest as we go deeper into an insolvent debt and which has the power to expand and contract the money supply?
Immigration security and enforcement is good for a safe nation, but it cannot end there when our immigration system is broken for so many. Our nation boasts a permanent underclass who works extremely hard to get by and they cannot legalize themselves to enjoy the same liberties and opportunities as their fellow countrymen. Migrant work and freedom in traveling is also essential for a robust and fruitful nation and building a giant wall that taxpayers will have to pay for for years to come is the wrong idea.
Not to mention drugs and undocumented immigration coming over on planes. And if we want the drug violence to stop, end the drug war. Stopping this underground, unsafe economy has been proven in other countries to lower drug consumption and make it safer.
And finally, many presidents before Trump have used the family members of fallen soldiers to promote patriotism or war acceptance; but while it is very honorable to praise fallen victims, we should not be in these particular countries in the first place. Families on both sides are unfortunately losing loved ones all the time without recognition—it is time to end the unjust wars that have no end in sight.
But the left and right will continue to argue benignly for changes that move us further away from the goal of freedom. The nation has not yet been able to transcend into a higher level of thinking, a greater awareness and consciousness, because we are immobile in a left-right paradigm. We continue to believe the controlled talking heads that point us toward our party’s favor, but if you haven’t realized by now that both Democrats and Republicans are equally awful and corrupt, then you haven’t been doing enough digging. Once we free our minds from this burden, and truly come together to actually listen, empathize, discuss what is common sense, what is moral, what it means to truly try the experiment in freedom, then we can finally look downward onto issues from a higher perspective.
This is where the liberty movement comes in. It is nothing new, but something that has more so gone forgotten and misrepresented over the last couple of centuries. It is a constitutional train of thought that simply adheres to the golden rule and says live and let live, but do not interfere. It truly relies on the power of people, free markets, free (yet fair) trade, private property rights, small government, a protective judicial system, equal rights, and more importantly, no central bank controlling the economy. America began with a pretty sound Constitution and a government of checks and balances through three branches, but unfortunately our system has been turned upside down through the power of corporate lobbying, government compliance and excessive executive power.
When it boils down to it, people are more agreeable than disagreeable when it comes to how they want to live their lives. The truth is the repetitive type of thinking of left vs. right and how government (force) will save us from ourselves will continuously hold America back from reaching a new renaissance where the people are back in control of the government, level playing fields are established, energy and clean environment revolutions can occur and peace and prosperity can be achieved.
We should stop buying into media hype (like current Russian conspiracy theories which lack evidence and have already been debunked by German intelligence), demonization, division and start doing our own research. If you experience cognitive dissonance, don’t run from it, but embrace it and do more research. Once we elevate ourselves above a left vs. right paradigm, we can truly start seeing the forest for the trees and understand how freeing it is to be a free thinker.
The problem has never been the concept of government by the people and for the people, it has been a train of thought that makes Americans have no confidence in the people governing.
Image Credit: Anthony Freda Art