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Do These Shackles Make Me Look Fat?

Humans tend to remain oblivious to all but the most tumultuous changes.

Few of us notice the first few pounds we’ve put on.  It’s not until our clothing becomes obviously and uncomfortably tight that we suspect something is amiss.

Even then few are willing to step on a scale to confirm the suspected weight gain and fewer still are willing to actually change their diet or exercise habits to correct the problem.

This same tendency can be found in our collective attitudes towards the cause of liberty and its preservation.

Changes in our society, our culture and our government from the local level on up seem virtually imperceptible to us as we focus on more pressing matters like keeping up on our payments, working our jobs and staying entertained.

But the changes in how we free we are individually and as a people continue to drift in a direction that leaves us with less freedom than before.

When our leaders choose to cloak their acts in secrecy for “national security” reasons that may never be revealed to the people who elected them, there is a corresponding loss of freedom.

When those actions extend to domestic spying, denial of due process, kidnapping, torture and unlimited detention without charge, everyone suffers a diminishment of their liberty—even if they’re not the ones being spied upon or detained.

The power of government has gradually shifted from its intended purpose of guaranteeing unalienable rights to simply consolidating its control for its own security.

Such changes are generally gradual in nature and carry euphemistic and benign sounding names.

Examples include the PATRIOT ACT, the Military Commissions Act, and a slew of other executive orders, presidential signing statements and other liberty-destroying devices.

But the incremental effect they have on personal liberty is real and lasting

They effectively remove the limits essential to a Republican form of government and allow the systematic creation of an authoritarian state apparatus that is restrained only by the consciences of those in power.

Regardless of the grandiose, sugarcoated titles or endless prattling about how “national security” justifies such measures, the end result is that liberty is reduced and the power of the state is increased.

Lacking the fanfare of mass rallies, rousing speeches and new flags waving in the breeze, life simply goes on for most of us as if nothing were different.

But the change has occurred and whether we personally feel the effect today or not, the loss of freedom is real and will be felt by future generations.

Even when the changes become blatantly apparent, there are few people willing to figuratively step onto the scales and measure how much freedom has actually been lost.

And among those willing to face the unpleasant truth, there are precious few who are willing to speak out for fear of being marginalized and labeled unpatriotic.

There are simply too many pleasant distractions that give us the excuses we need to continue to give our silent consent to those things happening around us that might require a degree of risk or effort on our part to correct.

Former Soviet dissident and exile Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote,

“It is impossible that evil should not come into the world; but take care that it does not enter through you.”

A person who pays attention to their personal health can determine early on if they’re putting on extra weight and then adjust their lifestyle accordingly.

The earlier the correction begins the easier it is to affect change.

Conversely, the longer the correction is put off, the more difficult the changes will be.

Constant vigilance is likewise required to detect the incremental changes that rob us of our freedoms.

And the longer we wait, the more difficult our task will be to restore liberty.

It’s past time to take notice of the winds of change blowing about us, and where a course correction is necessary, to boldly make it.


bryan-hydeBryan Hyde is a husband, father, disciple, teacher, guardian, reader, writer, truth seeker, stirrer of pots, radio talk show host, and PITA to those who seek dominion over others. He’s also a proud member of the Pro-Freedom Conspiracy.

He does professional voice work through his company One Clear Voice. He is also a frequent and popular contributor to St. George News.

Bryan and his wife Becky are raising their six children in Cedar City, Utah.

Subscribe to Bryan’s blog here.

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