To The Herald-Whig:
"Why don't they just get out?" That's a common refrain when we realize someone we care about is trapped in an abusive relationship. There are many similarities between that scenario and the "relationship" we have with our government.
One would think it might be mutually beneficial, but I submit that it's far from it.
In an abusive relationship, the pattern of abuse starts out almost imperceptibly, and grows very slowly so as to avoid detection. In America we unwittingly surrender more freedoms every day over time, but it started with one. In an abusive relationship, the victim loses self-esteem, to the extent that eventually, they mistakenly believe they "need" their abuser. Are there not people in our country now who have lost hope and who behave as if they cannot survive without the "help" of their government? An abuser makes all the decisions, exerting complete control over the free will of the victim, leaving them feeling helpless. I don't believe I'm unique in that I often feel powerless against the forces of my government (can you say April 15?).
In an abusive relationship, mistreatment is redefined as "normal" on an ongoing basis. Do we not, almost daily, witness an almost sickening erosion of the values that made this country great? The abuser asserts complete domination over their victim, through intimidation and bullying. Are we not intimidated, and yes, bullied, by the agencies and authority of the federal government on a regular basis (OSHA, FTA, FCC, EPA, FDA, IRS, etc.)? The abuser controls everything; money, access to information, opportunity, freedom, and they ration it to the victim as necessary to maintain complete control. Does this similarity even need further illustration?
So the obvious question is, how do we fix the relationship we have with our abuser? How do we ... get out? We have to vote our way out. We have to stand up to our "abuser" and let them know we aren't putting up with it anymore. There is no acceptable outcome staying in the relationship we currently have.
Daniel P. Musholt