I would never have imagined on New Year’s Eve 2012 that 2013 would be such a momentous year for me. I wish I could say it was momentous in a positive sense.
2013 is the year I learned I have been mistaken about America – and Americans.
Since 1993 I have been pounding the drum of liberty as loud, long, and hard as I could. I started out writing treatises on various items of history and law that I thought Americans should know and understand if they are to be free. These treatises contained information that would never be presented to you in the government schools.
As time went on, I was asked to bring my particular outlook on liberty to radio. My first show aired in 2003. It was an hour once a week. That first show was internet-only and less than 50 people hit the server. As nervous as I was, you’d have thought 1,000,000 people were listening!
Over the next 9 years my show moved from network to network. Because the so-called “liberty movement” is not well funded, the networks/stations that carry the “message of liberty” tend to be less than stable. At the height of my show I was doing a 2-hour show every afternoon, Monday – Friday.
It might shock people to know that I never earned a single penny from my radio show. From the start it was a labor of love; an opportunity to promote the single most important thing in one’s political existence. LIBERTY! I felt fortunate that I had the opportunity to serve such a worthy cause. Being compensated for it never entered my mind.
In the final year of the show other business obligations no longer permitted me the luxury of investing 18 hours a week (includes the show’s prep time) in a venture that had no tangible return. During that final year I went back to the beginning; back to internet-only broadcasts. Being back on the internet allowed me to do shows as and when it was convenient for me.
Having been restricted for 9 years to FCC, network, and station mandated controls on my choice of language, when I went back to internet-only I re-branded those shows “Champion Uncorked” and delivered the material in my own inimitable style; the style you’d hear me use if you and I were driving down the road together and I was really fired up about something. I don’t know how my podcast audience felt about the shift in my language, but it was both pleasurable and cathartic for me.
In October of 2012 I was asked to take my show to TV. I accepted. The over-the-air station covered Las Vegas and the town of Pahrump. Not exactly Fox or MSNBC, but it was another step in the adventure of life and the promotion of the message of liberty.
In 2010 I released my first book, “Income Tax: Shattering The Myths”, which shows – using the government’s own statutes, regulations, Treasury Orders, Treasury Decisions, and federal court decisions – the very limited actual scope of the income tax. It is, in my opinion and the opinion of many others, the definitive work on that subject. The lawyers who have read it tell me they agree with the book’s content and the undeniable conclusions derived therefrom, but that they cannot imagine any way a federal court would rule properly on the matter, even if presented with all the facts and law. (You might want to ponder a bit the implications of living in a country in which the courts refuse to take cognizance of the law.)
From 1993 until this very moment I have worked tirelessly for the cause of liberty. But 2013 was the year that events finally convinced me the vast majority of Americans, indeed even many in the “liberty movement”, don’t actually give a rat’s ass about liberty.
It is the year I learned that for most Americans – if they even bother to think about liberty at all – it falls into the category of “For me, but not thee”.
There are many reasons I have come to this depressing conclusion. Believe me, it is not a conclusion to which I would ever WANT to come. But it is a conclusion my fellow Americans made all too obvious to me during 2013.
The first inkling (for me) that Americans are completely lost, was in the aftermath of the 2012 Presidential election, as I reflected on what had transpired.
During the process of selecting the GOP candidate for President, the Republican National Committee (RNC) pulled every dirty trick in the book to ensure that the most liberty-minded American in national politics would not obtain the party’s nomination. Perhaps this would have been acceptable if the alternative candidate was somewhat liberty minded. But that was not the case. Instead of the liberty minded candidate, the RNC made sure that its candidate was a Socialist/Statist.
The party that was, in 2012, the last best hope to defeat socialism and statism at the national level had soundly rejected the liberty candidate, selecting instead a man who was a Socialist/Statist.
Possibly even more alarming was that many on the Right adoringly embraced Romney as a “conservative” and acted as though he was God’s gift to America. Can I vomit now?
In our current two-party system, the Left had put up a communist and the Right responded by putting up a socialist. When I brought Romney’s political history into the discussion, and made it clear that he was a socialist/statist, I was viciously attacked by many on the Right. Although Barak Obama is even more repulsive as President than Romney would have been, I was branded an “Obama lover” for speaking the truth about Romney.
I also made it very clear that – using a beer analogy – you cannot run Bud-Light (socialism) against real Budweiser (communism) and hope to win. The outcome proved that principle. (My apologies to Anheuser-Busch.)
The next occurrence that proved to me Americans are lost is that – despite their choice for America’s Commander-in-Chief being either a communist or socialist – (both of which being completely antithetical to liberty) in the aftermath of that disgusting national debacle those on the Right STILL reject the creation of a liberty-based third party. If the Dems and the GOP are both offering nothing but collectivists/statists candidates, then by rejecting the idea of a liberty-based third party those in opposition to it are saying they are willing (perhaps even satisfied) to continue into the future with collectivist/statists running this nation.
I have nothing in common with such people. Collectivists/statists are not welcome in the government of my country no matter from under which party rock they crawl. Those who would accept, and even defend, a collectivist/statist in the United States government are, quite frankly, traitors.
Any American who supports a collectivist/statist in a bid for election to any office in this country simply cannot say he is an American who supports the ideal of unalienable rights, the vision of the Founding Fathers, or the principle of liberty. Some will attempt to defend their actions by saying that the other guy was worse, or that they “held their nose and voted for the lesser of two evils.” No matter what fig leaf one wishes to employ, the bare truth of the matter is if you voted for Obama or Romney YOU SANCTIONED – YOU ASKED FOR – a collectivist/statist to attain the office of President of the United States.
The reality of that election is that Democrats and Republicans voted together, as one giant voting block, for America’s Executive Branch to be led by a collectivist/statist. Each party may have voted for a different man, but both men are collectivist/statists. If you were willing to sanction that process by lending it the credibility of your vote, you and I simply have a different paradigm for what is acceptable.
What I have been discussing is how the citizens of this nation relate to the political process. There is however another measure of where people are on the issue of liberty, and that is how much liberty they extend to one another. And it is upon that matter I had my second unfortunate epiphany.
At the beginning of 2013 I got “sleeved”. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, it means having tattoos covering most of your arm from the shoulder to the wrist. I got sleeved on both arms.
I think we all know that some folks don’t like tattoos. And I don’t mean simply for themselves. There are people who don’t like any tattoo, anywhere, ever. And that’s fine. That is their choice. However, what I had not anticipated was the obnoxious level of discrimination I encountered after getting sleeved.
Since I have mentioned “liberty” a number of times in this post, perhaps I should share with you my definition of it. Let me begin by sharing Thomas Jefferson’s version, followed by my own.
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.
~ Thomas Jefferson
Liberty is freedom restricted by our responsibility to respect the equal rights of others.
~ Dave Champion
Clearly, by these two definitions liberty is living life as you see fit so long as your activities don’t stop others from the same opportunity to live their lives freely. So I ask you; do tattoos on a man’s arm restrict the liberty of another man? Clearly not. (Hang in there; this is not about tattoos. Tattoos were simply the jumping off point.)
Do you know that in a 2013 poll 66% of human resource managers said they’d be more inclined to hire a person without tattoos than a person with tattoos?
If we have already agreed that one man having tattoos on his arms in no way affects the liberty of any other man, why then would some people want to turn around and restrict the liberty of the man with tattoos?
“But wait!”, you say; “A man is free to get tattoos. That is his right. But he must accept the consequences of that decision. That is also part of freedom.”
And THAT is exactly the problem in America!
Why in the hell should a man who has harmed no one, nor infringed upon the liberty of any other person, be required to “pay a price” or “accept a consequence” for his non-harmful actions? That is insanity in a (supposed) land of liberty!
On my TV show I have discussed the concept that liberty is not merely an equation between “We The People” and government. The far more important (but seemingly completely overlooked) dynamic is you and I extending liberty to our fellow citizens each and every day in our own communities. It is that part of the “liberty equation” at which Americans fail. And they don’t just fail a little bit; they fail miserably. More significant than merely failing is their unwillingness to even look at their failure.
What I have observed of my fellow Americans during 2013 has shown me that Americans absolutely LOVE to deprive their fellow citizens of liberty, and that they will FIGHT to maintain the…um… ”freedom” to do so.
Getting sleeved has been an interesting experience in that, for the first time in my life, it placed me in a group people love to discriminating against. Prior to that, being an intelligent, well-spoken, white, male, I hadn’t fit into a category of discrimination. I do now!
Being a target of discrimination for the first time in my life opened a vista I hadn’t been able to view before. I suppose – in a way – I should be appreciative of the narrow-minded shitbags who have reacted negatively to my sleeves. Without them I wouldn’t have had the new experience of being a target of discrimination! Of course that’s a bit like thanking a person who hasn’t showered for 2 weeks for giving you the experience of his foul stench.
As is my way, I like to perform research and explore issues that are new to me. So I started researching discrimination. When something is a cultural phenomenon, there are two ways to research; one is academic research and the other is personal discussion with people in society. I wouldn’t consider my research complete without doing both. So I did.
The academic side was straightforward and offered few surprises. I studied the history of discrimination in America, as well as the theories and principles of it, including position papers and research from academia and the psychiatric community.
But the shocker – and what irrevocably altered my view of America and Americans – was the discussions with my fellow citizens. I assumed that most Americans would stand against discrimination. I was sadly – and seriously – mistaken.
Most Americans support discrimination.
Of course they don’t come out and say it that plainly, but a person who rejects the only course of action history has shown to have ever achieved any notable reduction in discrimination is a person who actually supports discrimination. One cannot claim to oppose discrimination but then reject the only course of action that has ever reduced it.
If a person says he is opposed to structure fires (with their attendant risk to human life), but then opposes laws that require the installation of overhead fire suppressants (in commercial space), the presence of fire extinguishers, and the existence of fire departments, his claimed position is a lie. If a person claims to despise rape, but then opposes laws that criminalize rape, he actually is in favor of rape, no matter how often or how loudly he says otherwise.
I mentioned earlier that there has been only one form of action that has ever reduced discrimination in any notable way. That action was to make it a violation of law. The 1964 Civil Rights Act made discrimination in the workplace and housing a violation of federal law. And that law had sharp teeth! After 99 years of virtually no change, within 20 years of the 1964 Act America looked like a different country; a country in which racist assholes were (finally) no longer in charge.
Despite the inarguable success of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, many Americans have angst over the concept of “protected classes”. OK; I heard you, and I created a solution to that!
I recently wrote what I see as a future constitutional provision to make discrimination against anyone (not just those in a “protected class”) a violation of law. It is a mere two paragraphs. The first paragraph is a broad but succinct definition of liberty. The second contains the prohibited conduct. Pretty simple stuff.
Liberty is a philosophy by which an individual can live among others, each individual being free to live any way that suits him, provided that his actions do not interfere with the equal rights of others.
“Interfering with the equal rights of others” includes, but is not limited to, denying to any person who is qualified for an opportunity, or able to make payment at the uniform scale applied to all other persons for the same product or service, the freedom to acquire, receive, give, buy, sell, trade, rent or lease, any lawful item, service, or opportunity, including but not limited to, the essentials of life such as work, food, housing, clothing, medical care; said denial being based on a person’s appearance (whether genetic or by choice) or any group affiliation (whether genetic or by choice), without the denier possessing particularized information about said person’s character, abilities, or suitability. Personal prejudice, including but not limited to, religious beliefs are not permissible factors in determining “suitability”.
The upshot of that language is that a person is perfectly free to deny someone a job, or refuse to sell/lease a product/service to a potential customer, etc., so long as that decision is based on an articulable rational reason. Because things like acquiring employment, or purchasing a product/service available to society generally, are under this provision things that cannot lawfully be denied a person without a “rational basis”, a person who denies someone these things must have a rational basis for doing so. Again, pretty simple stuff.
Want to deny a person a job position that you’ve advertised to the public? That’s your call – it’s your business – do what you need to do. But you can’t deny him the job because he’s black, or has long hair, or has a cleft palate, or is a Christian, or has visible tattoos, or at one time “she” was a “he”, or walks with a limp, etc. You CAN deny him the job because he’s not qualified! Or she’s been fired from her last several jobs for poor performance. Or his references were less than stellar. Or any other rational business-basis reason. In a land of liberty – populated by people of decency – isn’t that the standard all good people should want?
Sadly, I have discovered that is not what most Americans want. Though it is inarguably what good and decent people should want – it is not what Americans want. If that isn’t a self-damning proclamation by Americans, I don’t know what is.
Before I go further, let me make certain you understand a pivotal point. Discrimination is not harmless or benign; it is HARMFUL! Let me reinforce this by saying it a different way. Every act of discrimination is a willful and intentional act of HARM against another human being. If you have any question in your mind about this, watch the “Brown eye, blue eye experiment” video, which can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeK759FF84s. (If you’re reading this article on the internet I’d suggest taking a moment now to watch the video and then return to this article.)
I equate discrimination with pouring poison in your community reservoir. When your community members begin falling ill, the reason is neither apparent nor understood. Despite the lack of knowing or understanding the cause, it infects the community. Even those who drink bottled water still get infected by those who have been exposed to the poison. Yet the cause of this debilitating phenomenon remains a mystery. While not an exact analogy to discrimination, the “poison” scenario is a close parallel of what discrimination does in your community.
But there are two significant differences. First, the result of the sickness discrimination causes in your community is even more insidious – more difficult to discern – than poison in your water supply, and its ill effects are deep and long lasting. Second, everyone agrees they do not want their water poisoned so there is a community consensus that poisoning the water supply should be a violation of law. How odd that people want one harmful act made illegal while stepping away from wanting an equally harmful, yet more insidious, action to have the same status.
So…if discrimination is not a violation of law, how can it be punished? No one seems to have that answer. Only one person I know ventured a suggestion. His suggestion was “education”. In other words, if people understood the harm that discrimination does, they wouldn’t discriminate.
To test his suggestion I recently conducted an informal on-line poll. I asked people to choose between two options concerning how society can best address rape and rapists. Note I did not say “stop” rape. There is no way to do that, so why ask a nonsense question. I also did not ask for a “solution” to rape, for the same reason. I chose the word “address” because that is what society can do.
The poll asked the respondent to choose from the current model; convicting and jailing those guilty of rape – or whether they thought “education” was a better option. 93% of the respondents chose the current model of punishment. Only 7% felt “education” was the way to go. Interestingly, before I tightened up the language of the poll (so people were clear they must choose only from the two options shown) people offered their own “solution” for rape. Nearly 100% of those offering their own “solution”, wanted to see violence take place against the perpetrator once convicted.
So, why are people so adamant about punishing rapists, but dramatically less so about punishing those who harm others through discrimination? Simple. Statistically speaking, very few people want to rape. But a whole lot of people want to discriminate without being held accountable for it.
Expecting Americans to want discrimination to be a violation of law is like expecting your elected officials to enact laws that would punish politicians for lying during a campaign. Politicians will never enact such laws because they have every intention of saying whatever it takes to get your vote, and being truthful isn’t an important part of that equation. Likewise, Americans have no desire to see a new anti-discrimination law enacted because they want to be “free” to harm others via discrimination whenever they so choose, without any consequences befalling them for their evil conduct. But yet they want poisoning the water supply to be a violation of law because they have no intention of doing that!
Now, some folks have told me that the problem with making discrimination a violation of law is that it brings the government into the picture and we have enough government in our lives. OK, so then let’s get the government out of making laws about rape or poisoning your water supply. Wait…what? We should still have the government involved in THOSE things? Of course, because that objection isn’t real; it’s merely a red herring to distract you from the fact that they don’t want consequences to befall them when they harm people by discriminating.
So, in summation we find that Americans want harmful acts they will never commit to be made a violation of law so the perpetrators can be punished. But they do not want harmful acts they may very well commit to be violations of law because they do not wish to be punished for the harmful acts they commit.
People who cherish liberty would say “Hell yeh! Make discrimination a violation of law because as a person who loves liberty it would never occur to me to discriminate against my fellow citizens, and those who do that ugly shit should be held accountable!” Yet just the opposite is being said by a huge block of our society, even those who (falsely) claim to love of liberty.
As I said earlier, if Americans even bother to think about liberty, it is in the sense of “For me, but not thee.” “I want to be free to harm you through discrimination, without you – the victim – having any recourse against me!” You can almost hear them giggling gleefully about it. Not much to be proud of there. And not much to respect.
There is a lot of talk in America about the Republicans versus the Democrats [sort of like trying to distinguish between a whore and a hooker], liberals versus conservatives, States Rights versus Federalism on steroids, collectivism versus the free market, and libertarianism versus statism. The truth is that none of that matters unless or until Americans open their hearts and choose to extend liberty to each other.
As long as Americans take the position that they want to be free to harm others by closing off opportunities, and other forms of deprivations, that have nothing to do with the character of the man being harmed, and refuse to take the only action that has ever been shown to reduce discrimination, then discussing all the political dynamics mentioned above is little more than intellectual masturbation. It is akin to talking about a great marriage while treating your spouse like shit.
It’s not your words that matter, it’s your actions. It’s not what you convince others you believe in, or even how you fool yourself, that matters. It is what lives in your heart that will create the future.
2013: The year I discovered I’d been wrong about my countrymen. The year I discovered that the vast majority of Americans don’t give a rat’s ass about liberty. They demand it for themselves, but have no intention of giving it to others.
America is waning as a world power and slipping into a police state here at home. Liberty is evaporating right before our eyes.
If I could write an epitaph for America’s tombstone, it would read, “They experienced the outcome that was directly proportional to the amount of liberty that dwelled within their hearts.”
Copyright 2014 Dave Champion