Tyranny both at home and afar

Earlier this month President Obama told graduates at The Ohio State University that they should not listen to the voices that warn of tyranny in our country. Of course, since then, it has been revealed that the IRS has been targeting those who disagree with the administration and that the Department of Justice spied on reporters from the AP and Fox News, demonstrating that those who have warned of tyranny were correct.

Some of us realized that tyranny existed in our country before these revelations.

We saw tyranny in the passage of the over 2,000-page Affordable Care Act in 2010. Most, if not all of those who voted for the behemoth legislation did not even read it. This is a bill that 56 percent of Americans now say they would like repealed.

We saw tyranny in an ever increasingly powerful federal government with federal regulations costing the American economy an estimated $1.8 trillion each year according to Job Creators Network. We saw tyranny in the attacks on the Second Amendment and passage in some states of overreaching gun control legislation.

Tyranny exists here in Trumbull County in the form of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources buying land in townships leaving them with an ever-decreasing tax base to provide basic services to their residents. When discussing this with someone recently, he said that the townships have fewer residents so they don’t really need the property tax money.

Townships still have miles and miles of roads to maintain and residents who still need fire departments. It is becoming increasingly difficult for those townships to provide these services to their citizens.

The ineptitude of Children’s Services in Trumbull County and the lack of any action by those in charge to address the problems also amounts to a form of tyranny- a particularly sad form of tyranny as it affects the most vulnerable among us. I’ve talked to foster parents who want things done to fix the issues there who are scared to speak out for fear that children in their care will be taken from them.

Those who have dealt with the septic rules in our county and have been caught in the gears of the health department bureaucracy understand what tyranny is. We have rules here that no one else in the state must follow. Those who are in control of the health department have used their power to target those who would dare speak out about this issue and about the inconsistencies and inequities.

In spite of the president’s claims, we do have tyranny here locally and in our nation at large. What can we do? We need to recognize that this is partially our own fault. Our system of self-government was intended by our founders to have active, informed participants as citizens. We have instead become passive uninformed spectators.

Edward R. Murrow’s quote: ”A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves” explains exactly what has happened. We have been like complacent little sheep listening to those who would tell us that we have nothing to worry about or that the problems we have in this county are normal.

As a result, the wolves have taken over. To correct this, we must become informed, active participants in our communities and in the public square.

President Ronald Reagan understood that tyranny is always around the corner and warned us that freedom is not a permanent state in mankind when he said, ”Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

I have come to the conclusion that it is my generation’s turn, and our task is to roust ourselves from our complacency and ignorance and reclaim our inheritance of freedom.

I don’t want to have to explain to my grandchildren how my generation lost our liberty, do you?

Yoder is a West Farmington resident. Email her at editorial@tribtoday.com.