Don’t say it. The guvmnt—lie? During president Obama’s recent speech, representative Joe Wilson shouted out “You lie!” He has since apologized. But let’s be clear. Coercer Obama lied, undoubtedly, concerning a number of things, and coercer Wilson, on this occasion, to make political hay, told the truth, but then apologized for telling the truth, at least in the manner that he did it. Politics is not hard to figure out. It is the main gang of coercers versus the other main gang of coercers. The presently dominant coercers get to coerce just somewhat more than the gang of out-of-power coercers. And year after year more than 300 million people not only put up with it, but they call this the American way, and their eyes tear up when the state idol, the star-spangled banner, is put on parade.
Most citizens are voluntarily party to the farce of the state. We participate in it, and so we justify it as being good. It must be good, for we are involved, eh? When elections are presented before them, most dutifully go and pull the lever for one party or the other. Because they voted for the present coercers, they think they have the right to complain about the coercion. If they hear that you did not vote, you did not participate in the circus, they say that you have no right to complain about the coercing. They lie. (And they have a poor understanding of logic!)
We should determine whether we wish to be party to all this. If the answer is no, then we should withdraw our fealty from the state. We can reduce its footprint in our lives a great deal without directly confronting it. We can choose to be free men and women. We can refuse to grant the state its sheen of legitimacy. But after a lifetime of being surrounded by the all-powerful state, after years of education in state schools where we learned how good the USA is and how it carries the torch of freedom from coercion on behalf of the world, we have somewhat of a project in reeducating ourselves.
But if we do not reeducate ourselves, we will soon find that we lie too. We will join the liar-in-chief. We will begin to voluntarily strip our own children and grandchildren of their wealth and their freedoms. We will subject them to state schools and all the juicy “the state is good” programming. We’ll mess with their heads. We will perpetuate the myths.
The president is the leader of the national gang, 300 million liars. As far as the state goes, once we have seen its fallacies, it would be well, that is to say, moral, for us to exit the lemming horde. Hauerwas nailed it: we need to learn how to tell a counter story to the commonly accepted story of the United State and all the presumptions that underwrite the supposed necessity for what we call the nation-state system (See Stanley Hauerwas, After Chistendom, p. 150).