Imagine with me; you’re eighteen, maybe nineteen years old. You just made your first big boy/big girl decision and signed a few years of your life away. “It’s going to be an adventure!” you say. “I’m going to travel the world and meet interesting people!” Next thing you know, you’re on a bus with a bunch of strangers. It’s dark. You go through a gate, you see buildings on either side. Suddenly, the bus stops. A huge dude in a sharp uniform and a weird hat climbs on board and starts yelling at everyone. Chaos ensues. You’re shuffling off of the bus. There are more weird-hat dudes. All yelling. “Get your bag in your left hand!” “Get to the yellow dots on the ground!” “Hurry up!” “You’re wasting my time!” Congratulations, you’re in the military.
For the next four to six years of your life, you will be told when and where to go to work, what to wear, when to leave your family and for how long, when to eat, when to take a crap… and you have to fill out paperwork to get permission for almost all of the above. You’ll spend what seems like years of your life standing in line for almost everything. You’ll spend even longer standing and marching in formation getting yelled at with your closest friends for something some other guy or girl did. You’ll become intimately familiar with the inefficiencies of government bureaucracy and bad leadership, and of course, the infamous “good old boy system”.
You’ll stay in just long enough to learn to hate the whole scheme or more than long enough to become a part of it.
But what does all of this have to do with the Liberty movement? Just this: the military may be one of the largest and most effective recruiting tools for Liberty. Not because it defends it, but because it is so far removed from even practicing it, that those in the military quickly become jaded when it comes to authoritarianism. Think about it; you spend years of your life, usually some of the best ones, being told what to do in almost every aspect of your life. For the majority of veterans, whether they served for four years or twenty-four, once they leave the military, they plan on living a life as far separated from that kind of lifestyle as possible. And for good reason!
The inefficiencies of government, from showing up at 0400 for an 0700 roll call, to missing your child’s birthday because the plane flying you home from the desertistan was delayed, again, because they’re waiting on the military supply system to send a part, is the real kicker. And of course for those of us that already leaned towards libertarian ideology, seeing each unit buy three new plasma TVs at the end of the fiscal year so that they use up all of their budget, “because if we don’t spend it this year, it won’t be there next year” made us grind our teeth. From top to bottom, the military is not only the perfect example of government inefficiencies and authoritarian management style, it is also the most widespread source of personal experience of these concepts. Especially in the post-9/11 world, one can’t speak to five strangers without meeting a veteran.
Now imagine using those kinds of numbers as a force for Liberty. If a literal army of veterans became active in the Liberty movement, each with his or her own stories of personal loss, missed anniversaries or birthdays, and being tossed aside by the government that sent them to fight after they had been used up. Imagine all of those voices coming together to be the voices in the desert crying out for Liberty for all, for downsizing of government, for accountability of the Washington bigwigs to the People that they ostensibly serve. The overreaching, overpowered government in this country has handed the Liberty movement some of the most well-experienced, passionate activists that it could ever ask for. All it takes is for someone to wake them up, to welcome them into the fold. Be a part of that movement, energize and inspire this group of warriors to step into the next fight, one more important than any they have faced before. The fight to bring Liberty back to this country.
Read more from William Gadsden on Think Liberty here.