I saw Shutter Island last night, and I must say it’s a great film for anyone looking to take the wind out of their Friday sails. I think the most uplifting part of my night was the Iron Man 2 trailer. After that, it was all insanity and sad stories and Nazi Germany war crime flashbacks.

With that said, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character,Teddy Daniels, asks a great question at the end of the film: “Is it better to live as a monster or die a good man.”

I promise I won’t ruin the film like someone who tells you Bruce Willis is dead at the end of Sixth Sense, but I would like to draw some parallels between this film and the federal government:

Teddy Daniels gets himself stuck in a federal penitentiary for the criminally insane. Many of the inmates don’t even know they’re locked in an insane asylum. They put up mental barriers to block any knowledge that the federal government is holding them, and often concoct rosy realities to deal with their loss of freedom.

In some ways our world is the flip side of that coin: very sane people like Peggy Joseph, who I mentioned shortly before seeing the movie, are actually trapped in a federal prison without even knowing it. And yes, they’re so deluded that they think Barack Obama will make their mortgage payments!

As I mentioned yesterday, government dependence is like a drug. It saps the will of free people, making them less likely to realize their full potential. It’s the federal government saying, “You need me,” when…you don’t.

Think back on your own life milestones. Think back to all those moments where you had to dig and scratch and claw and fight for something you weren’t sure was attainable–and the moment where you questioned whether you had the strength or the intelligence or will to go on—right before you succeeded. How did you feel afterward? If you’re like me you were shocked, heartened, and invigorated. And if you’re like me you were a little disappointed in all the times you second-guessed yourself and thought about giving in, knowing that if you had done so the success before you would never have happened.

And THAT is what a massive federal government takes away from its people. And THAT is a crime. Politicians who promise you the stars in the sky at someone else’s expense (e.g., “fat cat” businessmen, “Big Oil”, “Wallstreet”, etc.) aren’t telling you the whole truth. Sure, they’re taking money from a third party and redistributing wealth (which is also wrong), but they’re also stealing something much more important than money—from you. They’re stealing the spark that turns what’s special inside of you into an explosion of technology, art, ideas, businesses, and acts of greatness that benefit all mankind. And you should be livid. And you should be angry. And you should not drink the water.

Because when you refuse to take their little pills, they’ll be the ones who go insane.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

4 comments

  1. Those three paragraphs on government dependence are terrific, especially the way you compare it to the personal struggles almost all of us go through at some point. I’ve sometimes wondered what would have happened to me if I’d won the lottery when I was in my early twenties. Those were aimless and difficult years for me, but they made me find direction and they made me work. And I thank God now that I didn’t get the kind of rescue I wanted so much at the time.

    Anyway, I just came across your blog by chance but I’ll be back. Nice work.

    1. Thanks, Wallydog. I appreciate the feedback. If there are any topics you’d like me to address let me know and I’ll try and come up with something. Like I told Poy above, I’m always open to ideas.

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