Why is Government Overreach So Hard to Believe?


By Don Urbatsch

The new release of The Hunger Games is coming out soon and it got me thinking. I’ve read the series as I have children in the target demographic and I like to be up on the popular culture and personally verify the media that they consume. What I was thinking however is, how can the concept of a tyrannical, elitist, overreaching government be such an easy concept to accept in a work of young adult fiction, but be dismissed as having the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell of ever happening in our reality? . . .

There must be a name for this social phenomenon. I wouldn’t know what it is, but I believe it’s a function of the length of time a society is removed from certain historical events. The founders of our country were acutely aware of their own history and if you tried to suggest that a government would never overreach its constitutional authority, I suspect that they would have thought you a raving lunatic.

If you have grandparents or great grandparents that lived during The Great Depression you would find them to be fiscally responsible in a way that later generations (I’m in this group myself) that never knew true hunger or deprivation can even comprehend. Now, we’d say “Why should I save money, when I want things right now?” No matter how well (or not) history is taught today, the effects of time and complacency will outweigh the strength of the lessons our forefathers learned first-hand.

There will always be those who think that tyranny can never happen here. Those who govern us only have our best interests at heart. And there will be those who understand the human condition well enough to know that tyranny and oppression exist not in a government but in the hearts of men and must be continually fought and guarded against. Anyone who cares enough to pay attention has seen the opportunistic attacks on our Second Amendment rights during the last year and there’s no reason to believe those who would limit that civil right would be happy to stop there. How many assaults on our freedoms will it take for those who believe in the inherent beneficence of government to wake up and smell the coffee?