It may seem like a silly question to you. It certainly would have seemed silly to me. And then I read this.
Professors at the University of Maryland and University of Massachusetts released a report earlier this year entitled
|Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, |
1970 to 2008
It's certainly an interesting title. The content will blow your mind.
The authors of this report (which you can download here) describe a number of categories from which terrorists in the United States might come. For example, the authors deem those who are extreme right-wing as likely terrorism perpetrators. In their estimation, those who are extreme right wing are those in
groups that believe that one’s personal and/or national "way of life" is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent (for some the threat is from a specific ethnic, racial, or religious group), and believe in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism. Groups may also be fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty. (emphasis added)
Friends, the fact that the intelligentsia would put this in writing as part of a project with the Department of Homeland Security ought to scare the living hell out of you.
I tend to think those brave men who literally risked their lives when they signed the Declaration of Independence precisely 236 years ago today would be classified as potential terrorists today, based upon the description above. Many on the left may not like our founding fathers, and to be sure they were not perfect people. But they had a vision for constitutional, limited government, self rule by the people, and the ability to pursue their lives in a way they sought fit.
And for that, we should be grateful. Not critical.
Let me assure you - if you are preparing for the next derecho, hurricane, economic downturn, terrorist event, or regional emergency, you are in no way a right-wing extremist. You are a patriot. You are a being a good citizen. You are being self-sufficient. You are taking responsibility for your own welfare and that of your family's.
If you have the audacity to be (and I can't believe I am typing this) "reverent of individual liberty," you are not a right-wing extremist. Read the writings of our founding fathers. You'll see liberty referenced many times in their missives.
If you are "suspicious of federal authority," you are not a right-wing extremist. If you are "fiercely nationalistic," you are not a right-wing extremist. You are simply an American, with the right to have any opinion of the federal government you damn well please.
So what are we to do with this? Talk to your friends and family. Remind them our liberty and ability to have dissenting opinions about the federal government's actions is what makes our country great. Keep doing what you're doing in terms of preparedness and educating yourself. Share what you're doing and learning with others to the extent you can. Engage your political leaders. Let them know you value self-sufficiency, patriotism, and the right to dissent. Ask them to do the same when they vote on key issues.
Don't let the federal government define you. Only you can do that.