Are you feeling depressed about the state of the nation? Are you furious with what the radical leftists are trying to impose on America?
I don’t know about you, but when I hear things like H.R. 1, nicknamed the “Permanent Democrat Rule Act,” which would forever keep Democrats in office, or how the Big Tech billionaires’ wealth skyrocketed during a time when millions of Americans lost their jobs and businesses, it just makes me want to weep in frustration. And don’t even ask me about the stolen presidential election.
But what can any individual do to change the mighty course of the ship of state, which is headed for a collision with communism? Many are asking the obvious: If our vote doesn’t count, why go through the motions of giving a d*mn?
That’s the hardest thing to accept: how powerless individual Americans feel in the face of this hegemony among the Five Big Evils (Big Tech, Hollywood, public education, mainstream media, radical leftist politicians). To those of us who treasure the freedoms upon which America was built, this element of hopelessness and helplessness is hard to bear.
Said one weary person, “I’m just one guy. I try to be a good person; I try to treat everyone equally; I try to be kind and compassionate; I try to be a force of good. But I’m just one guy. I have problems of my own. I have a life of my own. I shouldn’t be expected to constantly wade through the s*it that is the political and societal hellscape of 2020. I’m not a racist because you don’t think I’m angry enough. I’m not uneducated because I don’t pour through hours of toxic political commentary. I’m not privileged for wanting to distance myself from hatred. I’m so sick of being alternatively mocked and hated for not living up to other people’s freedom fighter fantasy. I’m trying my best, but I’m just one guy.”
But oddly, within this note of despair, there is hope. There is even, dare I say it, freedom. How?
In her essay entitled “Freedom is dying. Be of good cheer,” professional curmudgeon Claire Wolfe mentions one despairing individual (let’s call him Charlie) who joined her discussion forum, unable to shake away the gloom of America burning down around his ears. Many others on the forum attempted to cheer up Charlie, but he “sucked up everything we had to offer, then spat it back out. None of it applied to him. He told us a thousand reasons why all our ideas and experiences were worthless. We were blind and insensitive to the depths of his plight. Nobody had ever been as unfortunate as he. Nobody had ever been as helpless as he. No one had ever been as depressed, as oppressed, as mistreated, as ugly, as inept, as trapped, as misery-laden as he. No one had ever suffered as much as he suffered; therefore no one could possibly give him useful advice or encouragement because we were all so much luckier, healthier, wealthier, and more fortunate in every way than he. It didn’t matter if a forum member offering encouragement was suffering from cancer or missing a limb or jobless or living in his car or had lost half her family in the Holocaust; no one, anywhere, ever, could understand” the depth of Charlie’s suffering.
And therein, Wolfe points out, is the true barrier to freedom: the inability to evict doom and gloom from our brains. Instead, we give misery free rent. When all you can focus on is what you CAN’T do, you forget what you CAN do. Charlie is paralyzed by his own despair. “But just as ‘the perfect is the enemy of the good,'” notes Wolfe, “‘all or nothing’ is an enemy of progress toward freedom. … Our best hope of either averting or surviving those times lies in refusing to allow doom to squat forever in our brains. … All-or-nothing beliefs destroy progress. Fear is a tyrant’s most potent weapon.”
These points were mirrored in an interesting book entitled “Enjoy the Decline: Accepting and Living with the Death of the United States” by another professional curmudgeon, Aaron Clarey. He, too, discusses the meaninglessness of life if one’s sole focus is the inability to fix what is beyond our control. Not a man of faith, Clarey’s advice nonetheless has shades of the Serenity Prayer to “accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
In other words, if you focus on what you CAN’T control, you will give in to despair. Instead, focus on what you CAN control. “Quintillions of calories of energy are spent every year by Americans worrying, fretting, and concerning themselves over things they simply do not control,” observes Clarey. “How do you accept you will never experience [the American’ dream]? The answer is simple – you have no choice. You must abide by reality.” [Emphasis added.]
Clarey’s book (which also includes some advice I don’t agree with) emphasizes the need to pursue happiness within the things you can do. Play with your kids. Love your spouse. Hike in the woods. Learn a musical instrument. Whatever it is, do it – and find happiness in it.
Clarey’s book was written in 2012, at the beginning of the Obama administration. He could have no idea what lay in store after a “plandemic,” lockdowns, anarchy, stolen election, cancel culture and radical socialism. One of his survival strategies is something he terms “minimalism” – steps to reduce one’s vulnerability to socialism.
Much of his advice coincides with the column I wrote last July suggesting a personal defense against the Five Big Evils and how to minimize their impact on our lives. This includes: cultivating multiple income sources, reducing debt, reducing expenses, transitioning to working from home, skipping college (with its leftist indoctrination and crushing student loan debt), hardening your social media position, leaving war-torn urban areas behind, reducing dependency on smart technology, etc.
None of these is easy to do; but they permit you to live freer, despite America’s descent into socialism. At some instinctive level, many people are already trying to do this. Why else has there been a mass flight from urban areas over the last year?
Remember, despite his best effort during four years of stellar presidential leadership, even Donald Trump was unable to drain the swamp and return America to the great nation it’s meant to be. You can’t either. That’s the reality.
Do you really want to live like “Charlie” in the above example? Unless you want to spend the rest of your life a slave to anger (like the leftists), your best bet is to harden your personal defenses against the Five Big Evils and then get on with enjoying your life.
This doesn’t mean we can’t mourn America. This doesn’t mean we won’t join the revolution when it happens. It is simply a survival strategy to keep our sanity.
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