We naturally want anything that will make our lives easier, and we’re slowly succumbing to more tyranny and slavery because of it. We want safety, and we will trade liberty for it. We want peace, and we will trade freedom for peace, even if peace comes with chains.
There’s an old principle in marketing: “lead with the benefit.” In short, you only have a few seconds to grab a person’s attention, so don’t waste time with details and explanations: get to the point, tell them why they want this, need this, can’t live without it, will regret it if they pass it up. Do this by presenting the benefit of the product up front. Make the sale quick, then close the cash register.
Never mind the costs, drawbacks, tradeoffs, etc. We don’t want to mention that at all, and if we have to, we’ll put it in the fine print.
Governments and political parties have been doing this forever, and they are expert at it. A massive percentage of modern politics is nothing but finding slick new ways to sell one’s party by telling people what they want to hear in a glamorous and desirable package, and never mentioning the baggage and bondage that come along with it.
We want peace, and we accept the chains that come with it. And today, the chains have digital links. CNN reports that “a growing number of schools are replacing traditional identification cards with iris scanners.”
It’s bad enough that these local governments will now have an extensive database of nearly every child’s biometric identification. This may never be erased. The database will grow generation by generation until the entire population is logged in a government-owned database.
The federal government will have access to this data in some cases, and there will, over time, be a steady push to link this to a full federal database, likely through ObamaCare. This means, also, the IRS will have your iris as well.
Simply put, this is a bad precedent with data that is very easy to capture, retain forever, and centralize. Imagine, in time, having to have your retina scanned to board a plane, open a bank account, use your credit card or debit card, use an ATM, buy Ibuprofen, etc., etc.
The child’s eye scan today will be like Social Security cards in the old days : “Not For Identification.” Yeah right.
It’s bad enough, yes, but that there is already a “growing number” of such schools is even more startling.
But even worse yet is the fact that people are accepting such tyranny—being tagged and herded like cattle—because of the perceived benefits. One nursery school parent interviewed didn’t see any problem at all: “I think parents will subscribe to it very quickly just because the level of security that’s involved is such a comfort.”
“Such a comfort.” Oh government, thy rod and staff shall. . . .
We’ll do anything, after all, if it’s for the safety of the children. It’s even better if the standard for the decision is the emotions of a mother. There is no debate beyond that point, you cold-hearted threat, you.
A tech blog picked up the CNN article, and that author’s sell-out point was even lower: “If this means shorter lines at customs, we’re all for it.”
Right: we’re all for subjecting ourselves to tagging, chipping, and herding as long as the herding is efficient. We’d give our right eye for something that great!
The American spirit was once defined by treasuring liberty above even safety and security. You’ve heard me quote Franklin and Jefferson on these before, but here goes again. I paraphrase both:
“Those who would trade liberty for safety deserve neither.” —Ben Franklin
“I would rather suffer the evils that attend too much liberty than those attending too little of it.” —Tom Jefferson
But too many Christian and conservative parents today sell out this spirit already when they herd their children onto buses and into government schools to begin with. After all, it’s more convenient than homeschooling, and it’s “free.” It makes life so much easier.
Do you see that? Do you see how they lead with the benefit, and you buy it?
Then comes the fear for the safety of the children. School shootings happen, you know. Already acclimated to government herding as the norm, we have to make sure the cattle make it to market. So what do we do? A few school shootings in, and few Christians or conservatives are thinking of alternatives upholding liberty or even the Constitution. No, we wanted armed guards in the schools. We want TSA-style turnstiles to get in. Oh, to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”!
Consider TSA-style checkpoints to be “bad cop.” Now the easy, convenient, safe, secure, allegedly non-intrusive eye scanners come in. This is “good cop,” and the people clamor for it. They gush over it.
I am reminded of one of the first critics of the Constitutional centralization in 1787, “Cato.” He derided the imposition of centralized government in the following words:
For what did you open the veins of your citizens and expend their treasure?—For what did you throw off the yoke of Britain and call yourselves independent?—Was it from a disposition fond of change, or to procure new masters?—if those were your motives, you have your reward before you—go,—retire into silent obscurity, and kiss the rod that scourges you—bury the prospects you had in store, that you and your posterity would participate in the blessings of freedom . . . let the rich and insolent alone be your rulers—perhaps you are designed by providence as an emphatic evidence of the mutability of human affairs, to have the shew of happiness only, that your misery may seem the sharper, and if so, you must submit. But, if you had nobler views, and you are not designed by heaven as an example—are you now to be derided and insulted?—Is the power of thinking, on the only subject important to you, to be taken away? And if perchance you should happen to dissent from Caesar, are you to have Caesar’s principles crammed down your throats with an army?—God forbid! . . .
For what use is American independence if we use our freedom to bring even greater tyranny upon ourselves? For what use? What advantage does America offer, then?
I for one do not believe that thinking people, God-fearing people would sell out so easily. That is why the forces involved—the tyrants and those who profit from the tyranny—lead with the benefit, and don’t want you to consider the principles of liberty. “It’s free.” “It keeps you safe.” “It protects your child.” Lead with the benefit, and appeal to power of the great mass of the most vulnerable emotions.
But these are all half-truths at best. It’s not free. It only keeps you safe like a jail cell or a padded room—by taking liberty. And it only protects your child by further enslaving your child. That’s the decision you’ve made, and made for your child.
Shall I leave you today with the legendary question from Patrick Henry?
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
And we all remember the answer:
Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
We all know the answer. But do we believe it?
Don’t wait until the IRS has your iris to answer that.