The world around me is going crazy right now.
The busy restaurants that used to compete for my business struggle to keep their doors open. For the third time in the last week, I found the restaurant door locked tonight when I went to have dinner. When the next two places I tried were also locked, I went home instead.
It felt as though I had no choice.
After some flooding at our office a couple of weeks ago, I needed to install tile in an office where the carpet was damaged. My flooring supplier couldn’t sell me tile. Why? He can get the tile, but he can’t keep a dependable installer. (At any price.) I had to install a cheaper vinyl plank floor instead.
It makes me feel as though the choices I’m accustomed to having have been taken away.
I wasn’t thrilled when gasoline prices rose above $2 a gallon last December, but those prices sound great compared to the $3.199 price at my “cheap” neighborhood station this week. The price of everything I buy seems to be going up. Of course, anyone paying attention to the massive inflation of U.S. currency in circulation over the last 18 months would expect this.
It’s been obvious that politicians and central bankers have been destroying the value of our money — going back to the creation of the Fed in 1913 and the eventual end of the gold standard in 1971 — but it’s more obvious than ever today.
And I have no choice and no control over any of what they’re doing.
I need the world to make sense. I need people around me to be rational and behave in ways that I can understand. But that’s happening right now — and I find it’s affected me in an unexpected way.
I’m angry and grasping for control. As I feel my choices taken away from me, I’m angry with the politicians — of every party, not just the ones you think are evil — for leading us toward devastation.
I need the world to make sense. And the less sense I see the world making, the more my compulsion kicks in to be a perfectionist and to be critical of other people for not living up to the standards that seem normal to me.
The more the world seems to go off the rails, the more rigid I want to be and the more I want to dictate to other people what they should become. Even though I realize it’s not my right to make choices for other people’s lives, the growing chaos in the world makes me want to scream.
“You people are too stupid to be allowed to control things,” my angry ego wants to shout. “You’re going to do things my way from now on!”
As the world continues to spin out of control — and to take away the choices I’ve always taken for granted — I find myself grasping for perfection. I find myself wanting to seize control and force my idea of “normal” on others.
I know this isn’t my right. I know I can’t force you — or anyone else — to do the things that make sense to me. I think I’m wise enough that I wouldn’t take real control even if it were offered to me. But it makes me painfully aware that we’re heading into a period when power-hungry politicians are going to become popular with the masses.
In times of chaos and loss of choices, most people are eager to turn to populist demagogues who promise to restore order and give the people their dignity back.
Why did Adolph Hitler come to power in Germany? The German people weren’t any more evil than you and I are. They were simply economically hurting and they listened to a demagogue who promised to give them stability and prosperity. He told them they were good people and their enemies were evil. He promised to restore their wealth and power in the world.
Today, hurting and angry Americans are certain that one political group or another is the enemy. Conservatives are convinced that the progressives of the left have caused all their problems. The leftist activists from the poor underclass are convinced that “white supremacy” has caused all their problems. And various subgroups have differing ideas about who the evil people are.
But most people are angry and hurting. No matter what caused the problems they face — and most of these people are truly blind to the economic and political forces that have created what we have — they are ready to listen to radical populists who promise to destroy “the other side.”
Someone such as Donald Trump could be our future new Hitler. Or our Hitler could come in the form of some socialist Democrat who claims to represent the poor and oppressed. The ideology that these people claim to represent is less important than the radical control that the next populist demagogue demands.
I can’t tell you what the end game is — or who will play which part — but I do know without question that the result will eventually be a nightmare for all of us.
You will not find the answers you seek in politics. You will not find salvation in the politicians who promise to fix things. You will find only more evil opportunists who want more and more control — which will ultimately make things worse.
You can’t put a fire out by feeding the fire.
If a tidal wave is about to smash into a beach city, it’s insane to stand around arguing about who should have stopped the tidal wave before it ever got here. It doesn’t matter by that point. The only sane response is to run away before the destruction hits.
I am angry right now. I want to find a way to feel in control again. But I’m rational enough to know that I can’t fix the world. I’m rational enough to understand that politicians laid the foundation more than a hundred years ago for what’s going on.
And so the only control I can have is to figure out how to run away.
That’s not defeatist. That’s not cowardly. It’s the only reasonable and rational response. And it’s the only way an individual can have any control over his own life today, because the life we were promised in this country is about to be wiped out. There’s nothing we can do about that.
It might be next year. It might stretch out to five years. Maybe 20 years. But it’s coming.
There are ways to prepare. There are potential places to run. But there’s a lot to learn. There are a lot of plans to be made. And it’s very hard to do it all by yourself. Those of us who understand what’s coming need each other — because there aren’t enough of us.
I’m angry that so few people see this. I’m personally angry that the world I have known is being destroyed by greedy and ignorant politicians. I’m incensed that the political system we have been taught to worship is the source of the destruction heading my way.
And I desperately need to seize control — at least of my own life and future — so the destruction of the society around me won’t ruin me, too.
The clock is ticking. And I’m running out of time. You are, too.