Holding back anticipating a safety in numbers that may never come.
Every one of those Americans who understands this must realize that this is it. This is the last moment for the American Republic, the last time we will even have a glimmer of a chance of an honest election result, and the last time any opposition to modern communism will be afforded space in the public square. And yet, neither I nor most of you are going to do anything about this situation that might risk our present status or comfort.
This is why I won’t yet act.
Unfortunately for me, the crisis has come either too late or too early. Our family has four young children, a single income, and a base of assets which could be easily lost but probably never replaced. We are maximally vulnerable to the sorts of attacks which collectivists bring against those who fight back.
Even so, if the fight were on, if the majority of Americans who this past election shows are opposed to creeping collectivism were on the march, I would risk it all to join them. No comfort, no wealth, not even life itself is as important as preserving the possibility of human freedom. The hive-society prison which is being built around us must be demolished at any cost.
But when I look around me, I see many people who are paralyzed as I am. We know that the fight for our republic is unavoidable, and that the time is now, but do not see a nucleus of resistance to which we can pledge our lives, fortunes, and sacred honors without it being tantamount to suicide. We are watching and waiting for someone else to be that nucleus.
Most people who have not committed to the cause of freedom are not conscious supporters of modern communism. Some hold out the futile hope that things will all go back to normal, others have convinced themselves that what is happening is inevitable and cannot be opposed. Both are dead wrong. As open struggle against collectivism, communism, authoritarianism, and globalism rises, both of these positions will weaken, and support for freedom will grow.
I put “American Coward” in quotes in my title because honestly, I’m not at all sure that that’s she actually is. Her initial commentary on communism—indeed, the whole piece, which you should definitely read—shows her to be a woman of intelligence, a modest mother of four whose primary concern is for her family’s security and well-being but who nonetheless acutely grasps the overall situation, and is sincerely pained by it.
So is she REALLY a “coward,” then? Or is she a rational, reasonable soul who is deeply troubled by all this but finds herself at sea when it comes to the practicalities of what she can do about it personally? Does her duty to her children override all else? Or does her duty to her country compel her to rise up and take every action she must to help preserve it from Enemies, Domestic? Exactly what IS her duty here, anyway? Might there still be some useful part for her to play? Kit Perez takes a stab at resolving the conundrum.
I wonder how many in the current climate recognize the act of defiance it took for you to write your letter. There will be those who focus on your supposed “cowardice,” as if standing up in the current game of Whack-a-Mole is somehow bravery, and restraint is proof of spinelessness. In reality, it is not cowardice you possess, but a recognition that there are different roles to play in this war, and different times to play them. Not all roles require a rifle, and not all of them are being played right now. I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but I fear they will all be in much greater use sooner rather than later.
Your choice to raise your children and train them in freedom, to serve as a support mechanism instead of a front line partisan, is not a cowardly one. The time is coming soon when those fighting for freedom will need a place to hide, food to eat, and a way to communicate. You may be a conduit for supplies, information, and a safe place for a partisan to get a tiny bit of much-needed rest someday in the near future. This is all for naught if our children cannot live in freedom, but doubly so if they do not understand its cost.
There are those who are willing to be on the proverbial tip of the spear, and they see you as well. If they are students of their own role, they understand that yours is crucial too. Paine wrote that “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace; and this single reflection, well applied, is sufficient to awaken every man to duty.” Duty doesn’t always mean a rifle, and I have no doubt that you, and many others like you, will find a way to serve in the coming trouble.
Your letter did not fill me with a sense of superiority or judgment for your position, and I do not believe that you are somehow worth less in the cause of freedom. If anything, it made me take heart, because I see you. I see your heart and your willingness to be part of the fight for liberty, if only as a “mere” cog in a larger system, one that is bigger than any of us.
There will be a time when you are needed to take up your role, and that day is coming so much faster than any of us would ever wish for. Perhaps a wounded patriot will find your door in desperate need of help. Maybe you will find a way to get supplies to those who are fighting. Maybe your role is simply to stay alive long enough to tell our story to your children. And if all else fails, in a time when there is seemingly no hope, someone has to pick up our rifles and keep fighting. Your letter says that you will, and that is all we can ask for.
Seems right to me. As I’ve said here several times before, I am way too damned old and sickly now myself to shoulder a fifty-pound ruck, a medium-to-long range rifle and ammunition, and then hump on off for a month-long sniper sojourn in the woods. But among other things, I can roll bandages and/or load mags like a motherfucker. That may not seem like very much, especially to the chest-thumpier types among us, all a-brim with bluff and bluster as they are. But it ain’t nothing, either. Flinging hot lead downrange isn’t the only contribution to be made in wartime, as every real soldier knows. Not by a long yard, it ain’t.
So be of good cheer, Sarah, as much as any of us can manage during these most parlous times. We’ll all have our own part to play in the dark days ahead. Even the most valiant of warriors requires substantial rear-area support in order to fight and win on the front lines. It’s not shirking or cowardice to recognize where and how one can be of most real use, and to know one’s limitations and liabilities. What matters is that we jump in and fill that hole when we see one.