Recently, as I was filling up my vehicle with gas, I looked bemused at the price of the gas I was pumping into my vehicle – $3.79 a gallon. As the numbers on the screen ticked higher and higher, I realized that we as Americans have been lulled into apathy. We have been lulled into apathy by the slow and methodical dulling of our senses to the issues that we once thought were so important, issues like the price of gas, or more importantly – freedom.
I remember the day when gas prices in my local community hit $2.00 a gallon; everyone freaked out, it was all over the local news, and every politician from one side of the country to the next vowed to lower the price of gas.
Personally, I became obsessed with the price of oil and gas, what caused fluctuations in market prices, and how the market worked. I also determined to drive less to prevent the “drastic” rise in prices from affecting our miniscule early marriage budget.
I remember one weekend when gas hit $2.09 a gallon, my husband and I canceled a weekend getaway to Chicago (2 hours away at the time) because, in our opinion, gas was just too expensive. Looking back, it almost makes me laugh because now I would kill to fill up for less than $3.50 a gallon, much less $2.00 a gallon.
This brings me to the question, how did I go from stressing out about $2.00 a gallon gas to not blinking an eye when gas prices near $4.00 a gallon? I was pushed into an apathetic stupor; little by little my senses were dulled by repeated assaults. With each passing year, as the gas prices remained artificially inflated or came down slightly and then went up again, I got tired of worrying about gas prices and I decided to accept the high price of gas, not because it hurt the bottom line any less and not because gas is worth more than it used to be, but because I finally realized that I didn’t have a choice, so why bother?
The same is true, for most Americans, when it comes to the freedoms that are slowly being siphoned from our daily lives. Each year thousands of new regulations are passed and each year Americans blindly accept these new regulations without twitching a muscle or uttering a word of dissent. The American Revolution was started by patriots who revolted against Great Britain’s push to tax and control the colonies. Now we allow the government to tax and control us more each and every day without many of us even noticing.
As little pieces of our freedom are taken away, we sit by quietly because we think “it’s just a little freedom” or “well, if it makes us safer” but soon all those little piece will add up to our entire freedom and suddenly we will no longer be free.
With the price of gas, my frustration couldn’t get me very far because there is little I can do to change its price. Personally, I can curb my consumption, but my consumption, as an American citizen, isn’t the problem. The market is the problem. Speculators are the problem. Regulations are the problem. Growing nations are the problem. Regardless of how much I squawk or complain, I can do little to change the price of gas – I don’t have a voice.
However, when it comes to our diminishing freedom as American citizens – we can bring about change. We have a vote. We have a voice. If enough of us start using our voices, our voices cannot be drowned out by the mainstream media. Our voices, if strong enough, cannot be ignored by Washington. Our voices, if used enough, cannot be shouted down.
The problem is Americans don’t realize they have a voice. Americans don’t realize they have the power to bring about change.
Because the citizens of our great country have also been lulled into apathy; they have become too comfortable sitting on their couches and muttering about the dire state of our country, but are somehow unable to find the strength to stand-up and speak out.
George Orwell wrote, “If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them”.
At this very moment in our country freedom of speech is under attack, freedom of religion is under attack, the right to bear arms is under attack…..the list goes on and on, yet because many (most?) American’s have become apathetic, they are not willing to fight for the freedom that so many Americans before us fought for and for which many died.
This is unacceptable!
Apathy is unacceptable.
If we want to save our country, and I believe most Americans do, we must use the voice and the power the founding fathers gave us.
Election Day 2014 is fast approaching. Starting today, starting now, we must use our voice to help propel the right people into our nation’s capital. We must use our voice to make a real and lasting change in our country. The task may seem daunting, but as Americans we have faced overwhelming odds before and have emerged victorious; not because we had a government that made the right choices, but because we had people who were willing to fight.