It is, obviously, self-referential to quote yourself, but I do it to make a point. I wrote the following on New Year's day, 1994. America 16 years ago was a relatively content nation, though full of political sparks: 10 months later the Republicans would take the House for the first time in 40 years. But beneath all the action was, I thought, a coming unease. Something inside was telling us we were living through "not the placid dawn of a peaceful age but the illusory calm before stern storms."This echoes things others have said that I have quoted here. The perennial favorite from Rev. Donald Sensing from 2003:
The temperature in the world was very high. "At home certain trends—crime, cultural tension, some cultural Balkanization—will, we fear, continue; some will worsen. In my darker moments I have a bad hunch. The fraying of the bonds that keep us together, the strangeness and anomie of our popular culture, the increase in walled communities . . . the rising radicalism of the politically correct . . . the increased demand of all levels of government for the money of the people, the spotty success with which we are communicating to the young America's reason for being and founding beliefs, the growth of cities where English is becoming the second language . . . these things may well come together at some point in our lifetimes and produce something painful indeed.
The biggest political change in my lifetime is that Americans no longer assume that their children will have it better than they did. This is a huge break with the past, with assumptions and traditions that shaped us.
I predict that the Bush administration will be seen by freedom-wishing Americans a generation or two hence as the hinge on the cell door locking up our freedom. When my children are my age, they will not be free in any recognizably traditional American meaning of the word. I’d tell them to emigrate, but there’s nowhere left to go. I am left with nauseating near-conviction that I am a member of the last generation in the history of the world that is minimally truly free.Or this one from the GeekWithA.45 as he looked to relocate from the People's Democratic Republic of New Jersey that same year:
People are moving away from certain states: not because they've got a job offer, not because they want to be closer to family, but because the state they are living in doesn't measure up to the level of freedom they believe is appropriate for Americans. We are internal refugees.Peggy refers to an earlier piece from 1994, but omits the one she wrote in October of 2005, A Separate Peace, from which I quoted at length some time after it hit print in my essay Tough History Coming, from which the title of this post is inspired. Instead of reprinting that piece, I'll just point you back at it. It's still valid.
The fact that things have gone so far south in some places that people actually feel compelled to move the fuck out should frighten the almighty piss out of you.
Ten or fifteen years ago, I would’ve dismissed that notion, that people were relocating themselves for freedom within America as the wild rantings of a fringe lunatic, but today, I’m looking for a real estate agent.
It is a symptom of a deep schism in the American scene, one that has been building bit by bit for at least fifty, and probably more like seventy years, and whose effects are now visibly bubbling to the surface.
Just open your eyes and take a long look around you.
If you’re an informed firearms enthusiast, you know how much has been lost since 1934.
Even if you lay aside gun rights issues, let me ask you some questions.
No, on second thought, let’s save the 50 questions for another posting, for now, lets just ask one:
When was the last time you built a bonfire on a beach, openly drank a beer and the presence of a policeman was absolutely no cause for concern? Hmmm?
And yes, Alan, pessimistic.