Rugged individualism is a very American trait, but it is also a very destructive one. An article in a local Colorado magazine this week surprised me. In a State that mixes legal marihuana with mass shootings, fathers carrying M-15’s across their backs while pushing their babies in a stroller, and self-professed liberal universities, it is surprising to read an article that criticizes individual rights.
The article leads with a picture of a tombstone engraved with the words “R.I.P., United States of America, 1776-2021”. The title of the article is “Cause of Death: Rugged Individualism”.
I’m slightly surprised the author hasn’t been lynched, but it gives me hope that the “insanity” I described in a blog a couple of weeks ago, may not be terminal. Let me quote:
“For the last decade, we’ve watched the creeping death of expertise under the blade of poorly written memes, punditry disguised as news and served up as entertainment, and self-proclaimed citizen journalists with an iPhone, ring-light and a $50 microphone eviscerating even the most obvious things we know unquestionably to be objectively true.
The Earth is not now, nor has it ever been, flat. Yet thousands of Americans believe it is. We stand perched on the ever-shrinking precipice between “knowledge” and “belief.” And we teeter there because this nation is filled with a populace raised to cling to the notion that their opinions are always valid, and must be respected. No, Todd, your opinion that the Earth is flat is not valid, and it is not respectable.”
The author goes on to say:
“It’s the underlying theme that drives all the wedge issues in this country. A sense of personal freedom – which is left up to the individual to define – trumps any sense of responsibility to the community. Guns? Don’t tread on my freedom. Wearing a mask? Don’t tread on my freedom. Paying into a bigger pool so everyone can get healthcare? Don’t tread on my freedom. Baking a cake for gay people? Don’t tread on my freedom.”
French Davis, the Scene Editor of YS Yellowscene Magazine, I congratulate you, and I couldn’t agree with you more. It is why I have quoted you extensively in this blog.
It’s an uphill, even dangerous, struggle, fighting over two hundred years of cultural indoctrination, but we have to try. The concept of rugged individualism may have been a nation-building tenet, but it is recipe for self-destruction in today’s Dis-United States.
Please keep up the good, and maybe nation-saving, work……..and stay safe.