I’ve been getting out lately. Talking with folks on the street, in offices, on the job. I’ve been talking to the clear-eyed ones, and tallying up what they see. It’s been interesting.
It’s been bi-partisan and non-partisan, and it hasn’t looked like what we’ve been shown on TV. For starters, I find a lot more Libertarians in the wild than are accounted for in the mass-media view of the world. Not surprising given the state of denial manifested by the press in the early goings of the Republican Primary season. As always, the mainstream media had a great deal of trouble admitting that Ron Paul existed, let alone that he was getting votes. But, I’ve also talked with many people who see the differences between Republicans and Democrats to be like the Emperor’s New Clothes.
The mood on the street is grim. Most of the people I’ve talked to feel that neither Obama nor Romney will be able to save us. They therefore conclude that an economic collapse is coming soon to America, and that the government is too paralyzed by corruption, greed, partisanship, and self-aggrandizement to do anything about it.
“The question isn’t ‘if’, it’s ‘when'”, explained an Information Technology Project Manager. “The question we need to answer is how bad it will be, and how we’ll pick up the pieces when the Federal government collapses”. The Texan brought in the topic of States’ Rights as exemplifying how the Feds have extended their reach beyond their grasp. He pointed out how the Feds are collecting far more personal information than they know what to do with, and agreed with me that it’s some sort of obsessive-compulsive disorder. He also pointed out that they (the Feds) would like to think they can lock us down, but that we out-number them, and they might find the military and law enforcement switching sides if they try to crack down on the populace, say, by claiming that we need martial law to protect us from terrorist threats.
Just how much abuse will Americans take from their government? That question was rhetorically posed by the owner of a landscaping business in New Jersey. “I really don’t know” he complained. “It seems like when police break into peoples houses, they could be spread-eagled on the floor with a boot on the back of their neck and a gun pointed at them, and they’d beg for more”. He marveled at how it seems most Americans are willing to give up all their rights so they can remain “in a state of denial”.
A Vice President for Business Accounts at a Nebraska branch of a large national bank said: “when the sh*t hits the fan, nobody’s going to be breaking down _my_ door. I’m heavily armed, and anyone trying to enforce anything on me or my family will wind up full of holes.” He added “I’ve got a good supply of [freeze dried] food stashed away, and several hundred gallons of water.” Like many of those I talked to, he was keenly aware that if an interruption to the food supply chain in America lasted longer than three days, mass hunger would quickly ensue.
A common theme among those I talked to was that things have gotten so bad, the government will not be able to fix them. However, no one had any idea of who or what can. They all seemed to feel it will boil down to every man for himself, in one form or another, and that the future will therefore feature much chaos. The consensus was clear: the government is the cause of the problem, and is unlikely to be a part of the solution.
Ironically, although the views seem very dark and pessimistic in print, the people espousing these views were actually fairly upbeat. They all seemed to think that after the chaos of collapse, we’ll have an opportunity for a fresh start, and, perhaps, avoid the mistakes of the past.
One can only hope they’re right on the last point!