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We the Government:
If Only We Will Trust Us

by John G. Lankford

September 27, 2001

The Bush administration's wish list of departmental power-enhancements and us-subjugations is mildly stalled in Congress. This may be due in part to energetic messaging on the part of libertists. That factor needs a larger part, and the wish list needs a larger stall, something on the order of an industrial wood chipper.

The Bush administration is not the Bush administration yet. It remains riddled with Clinton-Gore administration holdovers, not replaced due to pre-September-11 Congressional stalling on Bush's secondary- and lower-level appointments, nominations to the offices in which the work really gets done.

Every government agency's first imperative is to expand its power. Right now, by sheer dint of numbers and holdover institutional incumbency, the Clinton-Gore folks can and do overwhelm their superiors, even Bush and his Cabinet members, notably John Ashcroft. That is where most of this mobile-house-arrest-for-the-citizens flood of absurdities is coming from: power-hungry bureaucrats and Clinton-Gore holdovers. And we know what great civil libertarians those people are.

National identification card indeed. During World War II, this country was amply flooded not only by agents of our formal enemies, but a comparable if not greater number of agents of our nominal ally the Stalinist Soviet Union. Morally, that was not as sinister, on their parts, as it would appear now: a deluded overspseudosophisticated dolt could be a patriot, wanting the Allies, including the Soviet Union, to win; sincerely wanting what he believed best for America; and happening to believe that was Communism, which required subordination to the senior Communist nation, the Soviet Union as it happened, all as specified by Karl Marx. There is scarcely any limit to the breadth and depth of conviction a person can attain, provided the head has been firmly lodged in appropriate places and kept there.

Pragmatically, it was horrible, of course, and it persisted throughout the early and middle years of the Cold War, when all conceded nuclear cataclysm would be arriving any moment, and abated thereafter less than is generally supposed. During the Vietnam War, a major portion of academia declared for the enemy, some blowing up ROTC buildings, laboratories, and libraries, some occupying administrative offices. Concessions and accommodations in favor of Communist and other rival nations during the Clinton administration were of inconceivable generosity.

And, as it was reported Wednesday, Clinton has now revealed that when he cruise-missiled bin Laden in Afghanistan he missed him at the office because he decided the strike on the Somalian aspirin factory should take place at the same time and so waited until everyone had gone home for the evening in both places, so as not to hit civilian aspirinmakers. Apparently there was a danger that if bin Laden were struck and killed during the day, and the two onslaughts did not occur simultaneously, he would hear of the subsequent strike on the aspirin factory and come back to life, or retroactively evade the strike on him.

Both bin Laden and Clinton remain at large at this time.

And we survived all of that without sophisticated identification cards or hypertechnologized monitoring. For much of that period we did not even have photo identifications, unless we had especially sensitive jobs. We not only survived, but prevailed, stupendously, except against the rot in our own timbers.

Now, just why in the ecumenical Hell would "we the government" empower the operators of our institutional government to monitor us-the-people in computer-enhanced microscopic detail, and pay large sums to furnish the means, when we're threatened by people we could smoke most conclusively within the span of a given hour? Is it that we like subjugation, or that we love spy-on-us equipment saleshumans and want to help them prosper? Or have we really bought that don't-trust-each-other pigswill the communications media have been infiltrating into our neurons for decades, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding?

If most of us were not productive, constructive, and trustworthy, our society would be Somalian chaos, not American comfortable prosperity. We can trust us. We've proven ourselves to one another. Even if we have large differences of opinion on many subjects, we all share something that enables us to produce spectacular results year after decade. I call it providence. Other people call it other things. But it's most indisputably there.

Home Defense by Collective Security

Collectivists, communists, moral equivalence pontificators, gather 'round. You will never get another chance like this. I am about to offer you your Utopia on a silver platter.

Just everybody carry a loaded gun. Everybody. Senators. Ambulance drivers. Liberals. Minorities. Majorities. Pluralities. Convicted felons. Christians. Jews. Islamics. Buddhists. Cargo Cultists. All of the Above. Undecided. Gays. Straights. Strays. Gates. Everybody. We're all morally equivalent and essentially the same, right?

No, I'm not kidding. I'm calling.

Firepower to the people.

Convicted felons? Yes. Most aren't violent. Those who are will be hopelessly outnumbered in more situations than they are now. The ones who want to, carry loaded guns already. If they're dedicated career criminals, they aren't obeying laws as it is, right? So what's your choice, admit they carry, too, and move on, or, next time you pass a gun control law, add a paragraph that says convicted felons really, really, really have to obey this one like everybody else? Think that will work? If you do, fear not. I said liberals could have guns, too. No, you don't have to. With all the humiliations you bring on yourselves, what's one more?

But think before you kneejerk in the negative, O ye of the vacant-eyed left. Your heroes used to be pretty frisky with the armaments, and burn libraries, too. Not too very long ago, you were the terrorists.

And don't forget one of the traditional euphemisms for the hogleg, er, gat, er, bigiron, that is, firearm: equalizer.

After all that conniving in pursuit of egalitarianism, it's just that easy. Surprise: it always was. All we ever had to do was stop infringing people's natural rights and then jockeying for special exceptions to the repressions.

But back to the point as we sometimes get. Nothing is perfect in this world. A well-regulated militia is not a perfectly-regulated militia. Ask your National Guardmember friends whether their outfits run perfectly. A well-regulated militia is a group of well-behaved individuals with guns.

There will be the odd oops bang, we may as well admit it now. Those lapses will be the cost. The benefit will be lower crime and terror-vandalism rates, releasing police to do police work against people who really do commit crimes (and survive), snoops to snoop out real saboteurs and atrocitators, (punches his poetic license), National Guardshumans to guard refineries, navigable rivers and other dammed things, highway patrolpersons to patrol highways, and so forth and so on.

Just one other thing for this session: Give the spooks some money and gear to work with. Not more authority, not more power, just a decent budget and gear inventory. As I maintained several days ago, our problem is not that they goofed September 11, it's that they did such a good job for so long that we were in an estimable casualty-taking war for more than two decades and didn't even have to acknowledge it. And they did it on steadily diminishing budgets.

In fact, now that those who have had things to do with arranging hostile acts against the United States have been declared the opponent in a war, pardon, resolution, based on reports coming down the newswire from this and other nations, I will bet you that the constant refrain of the Bin Laden, Taliban, & Heinous Associates these days, other than "Duck!" and "Run!" and "Hide!" is "They knew about that one?" A lot of thug stuff is being rolled up, tight, right now, much in countries where interdiction procedures are less solicitous of suspects' rights than ours. Then, the spooks knew and couldn't do. Now, it's war. Pardon, resolution.

And don't let the recent fiascos deceive you. We made the spooks do so much with so little for so long we got to thinking they could do anything in no time with nothing. They're not that good. They're merely very good. If they weren't, we wouldn't always trepidatious at the prospect they might be spying on (yawn) us.

So free us, fund them, arm us, equip them, and prepare to be surprised at how very happy that makes everybody except the hooligan set.

How-to? Consult your local sheriff. If it's legal, wear! Make a "we the government", "well-regulated militia" fashion statement. If not, have a frank and productive exchange of views with your state legislator, not neglecting the word "recall" if appropriate. Hasn't s/he heard there's a war on? Well, resolution, anyway?

And mention, past the point of tiresome repetition, to your federal Congresshumans that after diligent research, we have conclusively determined that the Second Amendment means if the subject of citizens having armaments arises, they have to sit down and shut up. Any arguments, call it liberal Constitutional construction. It leads to egalitarianism, doesn't it? Just because it's the kind that works, that's no reason to quibble.


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Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est ("A sword is never a killer, it's a tool in the killer's hands") Lucius Annaeus Seneca "the younger" ca. (4 BC - 65 AD)

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