Politicians, bah. Gods, Hope n’ Change is wearing thin these days.
Folks did not like the NeoCon rule. The excessive fearmongering, Iraq, excess spending, infringements on civil liberties, creation of entire new beaucracies, etc. It ended up with Bush having an extraordinarily low popularity, and with Congress having even less popularity. Comes the election. Change is promised. It sells, the bums are thrown out. Not much changes. Few if any of the Bush era excesses are repealed. Certain Republicans are shocked (shocked!) that now the shoe is on the other foot. They are actually surprised when their base is declared the enemy. DHS is declaring right wing extremists, primarily veterans, are the most significant threat to the United States.
The difference between Democrats and Republicans is little more than rhetoric and a few unimportant wedge issues. Both love spending, taxing, controlling and economically destroying US citizens. The only significant advancements in civil liberties are those that the citizens take for themselves. Either through the courts or forming special interest groups powerful enough to threaten the politicians.
The US Constitution was written to strictly limit the role and abilities of the federal government to specific activities. If an activity is not enumerated in the Constitution, they are not allowed to do said activity. This has been strongly ignored since FDR. Now, the view is the federal government is allowed to do anything which is not strictly forbidden. The Bill of Rights is only marginally enforced by the courts. The Executive and Legislative branch have given up nearly all respect for the Amendments enumerating specific civil liberties, and only bow to it when forced to do so by special interest groups.
A lot of folks in the media are giving the NRA flack for actually trying to have the Second Amendment respected and enforced. They claim that the NRA is manipulating Congress and the courts for malicious purposes. The Second Amendment is very clear in its intentions. The Constitutional arguments that it applies only to the National Guard or only allows government entities to be armed is beyond tortured logic. There is no government on this planet that has ever existed that has denied itself weapons. None. Even the Vatican grants weapons to some of its employees. The sole purpose of the Second Amendment is to ensure the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Why this is necessary is interesting philosophic debate, but is not essential to the central point. Folks are allowed to have guns and the government bears a heavy burden in any restrictions they may wish to impose.
My point isn’t to rehash the Second Amendment or RKBA. It is to point out that the government has a very strong desire to disarm its citizenry. It is significantly more difficult to oppress a minority group if they are well armed. It gives the potential for the government to answer to its citizenry. It’s not a magic wand that grants freedom, liberty and prosperity to all. It merely gives you a chance. One you must maintain. All governments become more restrictive and oppressive as they age. It is the nature of all governments, as far back as human records go. The citizenry must hold their own against their own government. The most intelligent way to do so is to band together for a common goal. Even if I disagree with the individual actions of a special interest group such as the ACLU or the NRA, I very much agree with the sentiment. Banding together for mutual protection is the only way to hold your ground, and possibly retake some.
In the last few decades, think of what ordinary citizens have accomplished. Concealed carry reform has spread. Obscenity laws have been dismantled. Income taxes are merely crushing instead of blatantly confiscatory. The Internet has taken mass information dissemination away from the hands of the few and has given the chance for any one person to get information out to millions.
Despite the plethoria of infringements, there have been a few advances in civil rights directly in spite of our politicians. Some of these are minor, some are significant. It grants one hope. Real hope, not the plandering of a Chicago politician who has never held honest employment in his life. Get involved, do what you can. Don’t protest to ‘feel good’, be effective. Law suits, bribery (the legal kind, campaign contributions), networking, etc. If what you are doing is not effective, drop it and try a new set of tactics.