HUMINT: American Street

The American Street, by humint

STREET CORNER CONVERSATION: "I think your missing context in your life so I'm going to give you some. Did you know, I can read the headline off that Revolutionary Communist Party newspaper you’re selling on this street corner through the scope of a rifle 300 yards away? That’s not a threat; in fact it's the exact opposite. I mention what an average marksman can do because that's how enemies in most places around the world communicate. In this country, however, ideological enemies like you and I can communicate non-violently. That’s context. That’s a beautiful thing isn’t it? The beauty of this nation and our government is that you and I can have a polite conversation about politics - live and let live - and learn. But if you succeed in your ambition to overthrow the United States Government, what makes you think that you and I wouldn't communicate at a distance of 300 yards with riffles? Your ideas threaten my way of life. In fact, your ideas threaten your way of life too. You’re freely expressing your ideas right now on this street corner aren’t you? Try proselytizing your opinions on this street without a guarantee of liberty. Why not visit Tehran and risk your neck for your bad ideas. Neither you nor I could speak our minds freely on the street there. The fact is, your ideas have made disparaging the fundamental principles of liberty popular and I've had enough. Explain your theory of civil government and how it’s an improvement over what we have today. You can’t can you?"

In the United States, Americans live in an age of liberty and happiness like none other in history. Success has befallen calloused American hands in preordained fashion. Thomas Jefferson once said, "The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." Jefferson's compatriots and their descendents were also endowed with the same brand of luck. The very first Americans generated a new ideological force when they signed the Declaration of Independence.

A genius in his own right, I believe too much credit for the American Revolution is given to Jefferson for the act of penning the Declaration of Independence. While he displayed uncommon valor and transcendent leadership in those turbulent revolutionary days, it is the names of his compatriots, the signatories to the Declaration, our generation of Americans should recall with reverence. Jefferson, by his own articulation, could not have prosecuted the American Revolution on his own. It was accomplished by a team. Their work product was a righteous rebellion. It was rooted in philosophy and rationalism. It established the American direction that is as righteous today as it was in 1776. Those individuals are the reason success tends to favor contemporary Americans.

Obviously the country they created is not perfect. They never suggested it would be. The "pursuit of liberty and happiness" is guaranteed, not "liberty and happiness". Therefore the onus is on the individual in America, implicitly suggesting that personal responsibility generates the momentum for society to migrate towards utopia, whatever that may be. In other words, protecting individual liberty has the uncanny consequence of propelling society toward a collective success in every organized effort. American philosophers, theologians, artists, scientists and engineers operate in a natural social environment. In America they are free to test the limits of their craft. As a result, their organic work product is typically superior to foreign equivalents, often emulated and occasionally improved upon by cultures without such freedoms.

With the immaculate conception of the United States, why then are there no guarantees for America's future? Arguably, the most significant idea in America’s ideological toolbox is the embrace of dissenting opinion. The American political machine treats dissent like a vaccine. But what happens when a strain of dissent has no constructive intention? If left unchecked and unbalanced what we think is a vaccine will be our terminal disease. I beg you, leave your riffles at home, but instead face your enemies armed with the kind of context that will win the American street back, for liberty.




  • HUMINT: American Street

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