17 Nov Conversations with Normal People: Part Two by Chris Dates
“The truth, indeed, is something that mankind, for some mysterious reason, instinctively dislikes. Every man who tries to tell it is unpopular, and even when, by the sheer strength of his case, he prevails, he is put down as a scoundrel.”
~ H.L. Mencken
A friend of mine walked up to me one morning looking very upset. He was looking like he needed to get something off of his mind. I asked him what was wrong, and he said in a half joking, half serious tone, “well apparently I’m not a citizen of this country!”
Before I continue with the story I have to tell you the amazing tale of this man’s father. He was a soldier in WWII, and he fought at the battle of the bulge. In a German artillery bombardment, he had one of his legs blown off. As he lay there severely wounded, German soldiers approached him. Seeing this man was still alive, they raked him with automatic machine gun fire at point blank range. I’m not too sure how this man got out of there alive, his son told me that he didn’t remember much after he was shot up by the Germans, only that he remembered waking up in an American field hospital and thankful to be alive. He served with the 101st Airborne Division. Years later he was a foreign correspondent for the Voice of America. While covering the Vietnam conflict, his son, my friend, was born in Thailand. After he came back from Vietnam, he went to work for a newspaper out of Colorado.
My friend came into work one morning to find that a confidential letter had been slipped into his toolbox. It was a letter from the records department informing him that his social security card copy they had on file for him was illegible. This department was in the middle of an internal audit, and they needed him to provide a copy of his social security card that was readable. Returning home that night he retrieved his card and found that his copy had become worn over the years, and concluded it needed to be replaced. He ventured down to the local social security office to see about getting his battered card replaced, and that’s when the fun began. It seems the local bureaucratic tyrant takes his job a bit too seriously. My friend instructed the socialist security bureaucrat that he needed to replace his card. He explained that the card that was on file for him at his employer was illegible, and his current card was unable to be recopied. He said the bureaucrat became very upset about this and he said, “you tell your employer that they are breaking the law by copying social security cards, you tell them I said so! You tell them the Federal Government says so!”
After the bureaucrat was done ranting and needlessly flexing his petty power, he asked for my friends name and social security number. After he punched in his name and socialist tracking number, he looked up at my friend with a shocked look on his face. At this time the bureaucrat motioned to another bureaucrat to come over and observe his computer screen. They both looked at each other and then they went back to looking at the screen. The bureaucrat that was “serving” my friend looked up at him and asked him if he was born in this country, and he responded with a no. The bureaucrat then preceded to tell him he is not a “legal citizen”, and that in fact he is an “illegal alien”. My friend explained that he was born in a military hospital, and that his father was a government employee when he was born. The bureaucrat said he didn’t care about any of that, and he would not help him anymore until he produced a specific piece of paper that was given to his parents in Thailand over forty years ago. He explained to me that he has no idea where this paper is, and he has no idea what to do.
While he was telling me this story, I could see this man’s reality collapsing before him. Everything he thought he was, and everything he thought he knew was just assassinated by some tax sucking bureaucrat. He actually said to me, “Chris, if I’m not a U.S. Citizen, then I don’t know what I am.” I guess a lifetime of paying taxes, and unquestioning obedience doesn’t earn you the right to wear the title of of “citizen” in this country. He explained to me that he was sure that his old man had paved his way for him with his blood, and that was enough to cement his citizenship.
At this point I wanted to tell him that he wasn’t the only one one who was not a citizen. I wanted to tell him none of us are citizens, there are no citizens. The Supreme Court has ruled that the government has no obligation to protect you, therefore you have no obligation to pledge your allegiance to it. A citizen is supposed to be afforded protection for his obligation of allegiance. Since the robed government employees have ruled that the government has no obligation to protect, that makes the government nothing more than a very large protection racket. Inhabiting a specific land mass does not obligate a person to any government, no more than a person would be obligated to pledge their allegiance to the local warlord or other gang of thugs. The word citizen has a political implication, and the very word lends credibility to the idea of a government. Just as monarchies had their subjects and serfs, democracies have their citizens. The words have changed, but the circumstances have always remained the same. There is only free men and slaves. A citizen is only a different form of slavery. Free men choose their obligations, citizens have them forced upon them. Slaves are made in such ways, even if they are enslaved with good intentions.
In the first installment of this story, I had a conversation with a former sheriff’s deputy, and we both agreed to pick the conversation up later. Well, since that time we have had many short conversations, and I have learned that he is a man that would follow almost any order that was handed down to him. We discussed gun laws, and what he would do if he was given the order to confiscate firearms. He said he would be reluctant to follow such orders, but he would do it if he had to. I also asked if he would turn in his personal firearms, and he said he would because he believes the system has provided him the avenues to right these injustices, and to regain lost freedoms. He said in order for this to remain a nation of laws, the law has to be followed, good or bad.
I asked the former deputy how much corruption and crime he had witnessed in his long stretch in law enforcement, and he told me he had witnessed his fair share. I asked him if he ever did anything about it, because in order for his logic to hold the law would have to be applied to all men at all times, or it indeed becomes a nation of men and not of law. I told him if this was the case then the law becomes subjective, and it is as good as having no law. I asked him if he ever arrested people for the same thing he saw his fellow officers doing, and he was reluctant to answer. I knew now I was dealing with a man who cared nothing for the law, and that this was only a paycheck to him. I asked him if there was any order he would not follow; I asked him if he would have been one of the ones who helped bring about Nazi Germany. He said there is no way that would happen here. Unfortunately history is not on his side.
“I know no class of my fellowmen, however just, enlightened, and humane, which can be wisely and safely trusted absolutely with the liberties of any other class.”
~ Frederick Douglass