High crimes and misdemeanors

I wrote this a decade ago at the conclusion of a little essay called “We’re all gonna die” (page 31):

“Refuse to be afraid. Resist the impulse to yield to the fear and let someone strip your liberty in the name of security and protection. Live like you were dying – because you are dying, someday, so better to live free than in chains.”

Our rulers successfully changed the subject when they got us to start arguing over masks and injections. We had been arguing over whether governors have the right to shut down an economy, to prevent people from assembling in groups larger than 10, to tell barbers they can’t cut hair, to tell theaters they can’t admit patrons.

It was clear to most people that those were not lawful acts of governance — heck, that assembly thing is even in the First Amendment — so they had to find something else to distract us. Now we argue over whether wearing a mask is healthy, or whether a vaccine developed in nine months can be trusted as much as the polio or smallpox vaccines, which took decades.

“It’s just a piece of cloth, vaccines save lives, what’s the big deal,” say the supporters of the state, forgetting that this conversation started with de facto house arrest and crashing the economy, which was a big deal. Once they’ve initiated an economic depression in the name of public health, it’s hard to trust the same people about any little thing.

I don’t care if you buy my book, I just want to repeat its message in the context of our present crisis. These people are trying to scare us. Sure, it’s a scary disease and people have died, but the extent to which they have disrupted our lives in the name of a New Normal is even scarier.

These are scary people who want us to be terrified. We used to call people like that terrorists; I still do.

It’s easy to be scared, but we need to fight the fear, refuse to let the fear grow to the point where we surrender what’s left of our basic freedoms. Refuse to be afraid, that is to say, refuse to let the fear control your actions. Free yourself – In the most basic sense, the only way you can lose your freedom is to surrender it. And dream of a better way of living than curled up afraid to venture outside.

We need to overcome the fear and live in freedom. Otherwise, the terrorists have won.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, Dejah and Summer, and Blackberry, an insistent cat. Author of Full, Refuse to be Afraid, Gladness is Infectious, 24 flashes, How to Play a Blue Guitar, Myke Phoenix: The Complete Novelettes, A Bridge at Crossroads, The Imaginary Bomb, A Scream of Consciousness, and The Imaginary Revolution.

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