File this under "Reasons Not to Write Weblog Posts When You are So Angry You Can Hardly See Straight".
Last week, I penned the following quote:
I guess our country had a good run, but welcome to the police state. When an apparently law-abiding citizen and veteran can be gunned down in his own home for owning legal property and being unfortunately related to a family of allegedly law-breaking pikers, this "America" experiment of ours is well and truly over.
I stand by those words, but it has come to my attention that I probably need to clarify them.
I am not saying that America is dead and gone. I am not saying that our government has dissolved and we are all on our own. I am not saying, "Game over man, game over!"
I am saying that the point of no return has long since passed by with nary a whisper, and we are well past being able to recover our Constitutional Republic from whatever fate it is headed towards at the moment. I am saying that while the gears of America are still turning, and will probably keep turning for quite some time now, the spirit that once put those gears into motion has been sacrificed on the altar of the "common good".
A common phrase amongst engineers is, "Inertia is a bitch," – that tendency for unmoving objects to stay motionless, and moving objects to stay in motion, has been a long-standing source of headaches, broke equipment, and Lord knows what else for centuries, no matter your specific wrench-turning field. However, when applied to the current state of the United States of America, inertia will be simultaneously her momentary saving grace, and her damning condemnation.
On the one hand, governments are one of the hardest things to change (at least bloodlessly), so things will proceed more-or-less as they have been for the foreseeable future. Roads will keep getting paved, the military will continue protecting the country, the IRS will still want your money, laws will keep getting passed, elections will still be held, etc. etc. etc.
On the other hand, the trend from the country we were to the country we are becoming is so far along that the SWAT team that shot and killed Jose Guerena is not up on charges at the moment, and there appears to be no overly large hue and cry for them to be so arrested. Not only is our government overstepping its Constitutional and legal bounds on an almost hourly basis, but, by and large, the American people simply do not care, or, worse, that apathy has developed into something far more sinister – the belief that the government should overstep its bounds.
And, unfortunately, I believe the latter force is the stronger, especially since it is being facilitated by a not-insignificant fraction of the populace.
So, yes, I was being a little doom-and-gloom with my previous post, and I admit I did not phrase it as clearly as I should have, but the Guerena case is the first "perfect" (though I hate to use that word) example of the phenomena I am attempting to describe (at least in the time since I started politically weblogging), and the first real indicator that nothing is going to change… that the spirit of our country has well and truly been broken, despite its gears still turning. As the saying goes, "This gos-se just got real."
The die has been cast, the train is in motion, the avalanche has started… however you want to phrase it, but what started as a grand experiment in the preservation of individual rights and liberties has ended, for me, with the bullet-ridden body of a United States Marine, laying dead on the floor of his home, guilty of nothing more than being related to some unsavory characters. The country around us will still keep going – after all, there was a massive number of reagents at play, and a lot of time, energy, and effort stored up in that experiment, and all that has to go somewhere – but it is scant more than a corpse tied up in marionette strings, being toyed with by the people "in charge" who want to keep the charade going as long as possible.
And the worst part of all this? More people are going to end up dead in their homes no matter how this situation resolves itself…