As we get down to the last few days before the 2020 elections’ official date, we need to figure out what benefits we can gain from this mess. In the long term, we are certain to come out of our current difficult straits, but we need to be prepared for that future – not just to gain liberty and prosperity back, but to reduce the potential for certain things to happen all over again.
One of those key things is what we can do to teach our children and grandchildren (and even young adults). They need hope and encouragement NOT to live in fear. They need to put this election (and all the other things going on) in perspective. And they need to be prepared to deal with the do-gooders, the nannies, the controllers, the wannabe tyrants who are doing all this “for our own good.”
Here are some things we can use the 2020 political season to teach young ones:
- Be careful who you listen to – and what you believe. Not just the politicians, not just the mainstream media. Not just the “governing authorities.” Learn to separate lies from truth, and ignore and counter their lies.
- Be grateful for your country – your State. Failure-prone and imperfect as these Fifty States are, with all our faults and errors, it is still one of the best – perhaps the best – place to call home.
- A home – a land of opportunity, a land where we and millions of others can live and enjoy our lives, a place where we can have at least some trust in neighbors and strangers, in which skin color and religious differences and political differences still means less than in most lands.
- The beauty of our land – every land on this planet has its places of great beauty, but few (if any) have the enormous variety of natural beauty we find in the Fifty States, where so much is open to our enjoyment, not restricted to the elite, the wealthy, or those in power.
- Freedom and liberty – despite all the insane government laws and regulations at all levels, despite the constant attempts to steal away our freedom, and to exchange liberty for license, we are blessed by what we and our ancestors have had for generations.
- Be a good citizen and neighbor – knowing that the concept of citizenship in a State is often misunderstood. Being a good citizen is NOT blind obedience to stupid laws and regulations, and NOT limiting our response to voting every two or four years. It is NOT unseeing, nonjudgmental acceptance and tolerance. Rather, it is standing up for our private, individual principles and rights, and for those of others – even if we disagree with them. It is resisting tyranny, and learning and applying our knowledge of how the system works. If necessary, working around it. It is living the Golden Rule (and the Zero Aggression Principle).
- Don’t panic! All these things have happened in the States time and time again. We made it through them in the past – and we will again. Perfectly? Far from it, but overall, we can get through this – and come out better.
- Don’t try to figure it all out – you can’t! And don’t worry that you can’t. Concentrate on the little things, the important things, and don’t worry about what we cannot control.
- There is a better country/land than this one. Here on earth, as we learn and experience more and more – making this land and our society better. And an eternal home, in which many of us believe and have our true citizenship.
- Humans do not determine the course of history. The universe and even the planet on which we live is beyond our control: it is the height of hubris to think that manmade ANYTHING can truly destroy this planet: global warming, nuclear winter, extinguishing of plant or animal species. Who is in charge? It is NOT humans or a human. We can make things a bit better or worse, but the Creator rules.
- Human government is evil – don’t ever expect it to be truly good. Instead, prepare to work around it. Recognize that while the Creator tolerates it, it exists in rebellion to Him, and that we, with our God-given liberty, are not to be slaves to human government.
- Humans are fallible and often evil – as with government, be prepared for that and plan to work around it. Again, we are not to be slaves to anyone. We have to tolerate and live with those who are evil, those who make mistakes (and we make plenty ourselves). But we don’t have to accept those things – and certainly do not have to affirm and embrace those attitudes and actions.
- No one seeking political office is either perfect, or a man on a white horse who will save our State or the Union – or even our town! But often, it is as important to vote against someone as for someone. However, voting is not always required – or a good idea. It is not some political or civic version of communion!
- There is more to society and our community than politics. Politics should not dominate our lives, no matter how important a political cause may be.
- There is more to life than money – having it, spending it, or even giving it. Money is essential for most of us for living, in a monetary economy, but it should not be the measure of everything: many things cannot be assigned a monetary value.
- This too shall pass. Politicians, political issues, economic problems, even societies and nations are fleeting, and will eventually change. While there are sometimes setbacks, the long-term trend has been and is for better lives, better societies, and more liberty.
Even though this election is incredibly ugly, it IS a good, even beautiful, opportunity to teach young people how to live free in an unfree world, and to recognize the hope for tomorrow.