When the surreal becomes the norm, then what is surreal?
The rhetorical question of surreal versus normal behavior is playing itself out throughout our nation. When a society's boundaries of acceptable behavior become so distorted then the very fabric of society becomes threatened.
Today, the concept of "normal" is often the subject of scorn and ridicule. The dangers of undermining a norm are that society loses its frame of reference and its character. If the norm harmed liberty, than abolishing the norm is good but for anything else, liberty is destroyed and mankind suffers.
When the understanding of normalcy is not rooted in the core values of a nation, the nation itself and our way of life are threatened.
Yet today, surreal is perhaps the only way we can describe events.
The Dallas police officer murderer is being hailed by some as a martyr.
The presidency is viewed as a prize to be awarded to the next to group whose "turn" it is. Capabilities and experience no longer matter.
Presidential candidates compare the size of their hands with other parts of the anatomy.
Lying is now misspeaking.
Wrong is now a matter of opinion and the perpetrator is now the victim.
Regardless of anatomy and biology, gender is now matter of self identification.
A leading Caucasian activist identifies as black and no one questions the absurdity of the statement or the veracity of the perpetrator. Previously such behavior was fraud.
Anyone who is white is labeled a racist. Anyone who is not white is considered a victim regardless of your status in life.
Entitlement is a birthright and hard work is a responsibility but only for those who wish to pay the taxes to support those who do not wish to work.
Social Security is now an entitlement program even though no government funds were used.
Shutting down highways to protest is a right but getting to your job on that same highway is not.
Showering with whomever you wish regardless of the desires of the person being showered with is now a right and the person who opposes it is a bigot.
A shooting on a military base by someone shouting religious epitaphs is workplace violence.
A presidential candidate escapes prosecution for mishandling classified documents because apparently no one knows the meaning of is.
The government created this, you did not!
Transparency is only demanded of those who oppose your views.
The list goes on…….
In the Declaration of Independence, the signers enumerated their complaints against the British:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security"
Subsequently, in the United States Constitution which I have sworn to support and defend states:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America"
The underlying principle of this great experiment of ours is Liberty! When liberty is subverted, surreal becomes normal and the nation as we know if falls.
Liberty is not the same as freedom. Liberty implies responsibility. When the distinction between liberty and freedom became distorted the door is opened for the surreal to become the norm. The confusion between liberty and freedom started in earnest with Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal and to a lesser extent with Abraham Lincoln in his "Gettysburg Address".
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal….
….. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
The surreal has allowed the concept of freedom to distort the meaning and significance of liberty such that the loss of liberty has virtually guaranteed the destruction of freedom.
In the words of the great American patriot: "Give me liberty or give me death." Until the principles of liberty are reaffirmed the absurd will become the norm and normal will be absurd — or until we collapse as a culture. I will take Liberty!
Col. Frank Ryan, CPA, USMCR (Ret) and served in Iraq and briefly in Afghanistan and specializes in corporate restructuring and lectures on ethics for the state CPA societies. He has served on numerous boards of publicly traded and non-profit organizations. He can be reached at FRYAN1951@aol.com and twitter at @fryan1951.