Kern: Start a quiet war on government abusers

How can citizens fight back against abusive government? Congress is divided, overwhelmed, and under-motivated. Citizens have options. Photo: Young Frankenstein / 20th Century Fox

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2013 ― Americans have been taking it on the chin for too long. The TSA gropes Granny; the NSA snoops through our phone records; the FBI intimidates journalists. The IRS decides which organizations will live or die, while they spend taxpayer money on Star Trek uniforms and on learning to line dance – and then they pay themselves $70 million bonuses, because they negotiated a fool union contract. The leaders of our ruling class either impress us with their stupidity, or hide behind the Fifth Amendment and get promoted.

Each of these organizations, and hundreds of others, from the Justice Department and the open-borders Department of Homeland Security, to agencies like the FBI, are regularly conducting raids on American citizens’ rights, privacy and businesses. So far, all we citizens have done is get outraged and vowed to replace elected officials.


SEE RELATED: Fast and Furious, IRS show Obama officials above the law?


How’s that working for you?

We need a different approach. Government officials appear to target groups; but their worst offenses are against individuals. They collect information about groups; but that is so they can target individuals for audits, identify individuals on donor lists, at airports, in phone records. Americans are taught to think in groups, but the tradition of American individualism truly lives on, at least in government persecution.

And we citizens don’t think of the individuals who usurp our rights, waste our money, harass our relatives, and suck the life out of our businesses. “It’s the bureaucracy,” we moan.

True, American government is too big. Its insatiable appetite for our money and its natural enmity toward self-determination have driven the government to irrational, immoral, and unconstitutional lengths. But all we do in defense is elect a few new people every few years, and throw them into the grinder, and expect them to make government smaller. We expect them to give us back our money and our rights. And we’ll hold our breath until we turn blue if they don’t.


SEE RELATED: Witch Hunting, 2013: NSA, IRS, Justice


That’s the wrong tactic. Citizens are individuals, and we get picked off one at a time, as our neighbors cower in the shadows, hoping they’re not next for an audit, or a seizure of records, or an indictment as a co-conspirator, along with an unnamed and unindicted government employee.

The right tactic is right in front of us; government does it all the time. Citizens all feel like targets, or fear becoming targets. We know the government has all sorts of information about us, and can get – and use – more, any time it wants. It can swoop in and pick us off if we rise to visibility or cause trouble, or if they think we might. Government attacks individuals.

The effective tactic is to do the same. We the people need to start outing individual government employees at all levels. Public employees need to live in public, known publicly as the recipients of our money and the regulators and oppressors of our lives. Where do they live? Where are their offices? They know this about us, too, so what schools do their children attend, and at what hours? What side businesses do they run? What did they buy at the pharmacy? What causes do they join, what are their hobbies, who are their friends, and what events do they attend?

Before you say, “That’s horrible! That would put innocent people in danger!” consider this: They know all that about us. They share all that information, and a lot more, with others in the government. All this proposal does is level the game ― citizens sharing government employees’ information among citizens.


SEE RELATED: Dueling rallies: Tea Party’s ‘Audit the IRS’ vs Obama in Berlin


Don’t worry about harming “innocent” employees at the IRS. Just as in the Mafia, where the sweet little old bookkeeper bakes cookies at Christmas and never “whacked” anyone, that sweet little old file clerk is an enabler. She makes it possible for the IRS to do its nasty work, in addition to its routine processing of checks. If she thinks about what she’s doing, maybe she’ll go work for an honest outfit. We don’t want more Edward Snowdens; but if everyone who had a conscience like his were to stop helping the government trample on Americans, the government would have to stop some of the trampling.

Going higher up in these legally-established criminal institutions, where the real demons lurk, is potentially more effective. Bullies hate determined resistance; bullies work in the shadows and pick on the weak. Putting a public spotlight on bullies hinders their boldness. Outright resistance drives them into hiding.

Government bullies have advantages over regular bullies, and these advantages make them worse: They have taxpayer-paid lawyers, and often they have special “no accountability” protections in their jobs, so conventional legal-system actions against them don’t work. We need other-than-conventional legal-system remedies.

Personal, unconventional societal sanctions can make a difference. Everyone with a private shop is afraid to not serve these bullies and crooks; but what if a few brave souls weren’t afraid? Responsible parents don’t allow their kids to play with troublemakers or visit the homes of known criminals and perverts; are there any bigger troublemakers than government employees? A congregation member who beats up another (outside self-defense) may be banned from the congregation; at the least, he is ostracized. Does anyone hurt fellow congregants more consistently than does every IRS thug and operative?

In their defense, government workers will say that they are acting within the law, and say, “I am only doing my job.” That defense didn’t work at Nuremburg, and it doesn’t work now. Governments can declare anything “legal.”

Congress either can’t or won’t restore our independence and our rights. The longer we wait, the weaker we’ll be. Every tyrant’s democratic takeover was a “surprise” to the people, who belived too long in having the system protect them.

So, starting today, let’s make it a point to find and identify, as publicly as possible, every known employee of the federal government’s most-egregious agencies, and let’s stick together in shunning and ostracizing them, treating them as coldly as they treat our fellow Americans. When we have the option of helping or not helping them, let’s not help them. When they do this, it’s called “keeping professional distance.” When we do it, let’s call it “saving America.”


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Tim Kern

Tim Kern taught economics for fifteen years, and discovered that understanding life is easy; it’s recognizing reality that takes practice. He holds a music degree, and later earned an MBA in finance from Northwestern University. He has lived across the US, and now makes his home in Anderson, Indiana.

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