Who Do You Trusht?

by L. Neil Smith

         The autumn of 1994 is almost upon us, and with it an election which may prove pivotal in the history of the United States. It will certainly be the most surreal the country's ever experienced. Ever since the abortive process that gave us Bill Clinton as President, Democrats have been emboldened to show us their true color -- red -- while Republicans can now be clearly seen draped in that hue which characterizes their political record best, pusillanimous yellow.
         Most people are unaware that there are different sets of rules for mixing and producing new colors, a special set for pigments and another special set for light. Under the strange rules by which such colors are mixed politically, the only result we can expect from mixing red and yellow is black -- the color of fascism.
         While Democrats have been busy fortifying America as a last bastion of central planning, the command economy, and Five Year Plans, Republicans have been ... well, perhaps what Thomas Jefferson should have said is that all that's necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to have another drink. That's exactly what I've seen Republicans doing every time in the last two years that I've turned on C-Span for a strictly Republican event, weaving and sprawling red-facedly with highball glasses slopping in their hands, congratulating themselves that they aren't quite as politically corrupt or personally disgusting as all the President's men and women -- and in whatever sober moments they experienced in between, blowing their noses on the Bill of Rights.
         A full recital of their dribbling honks and wheezes, from the approval of murderous Janet Reno to the vote on the Feinstein Amendment can be had almost anywhere you look. Democrats are bent on stripping America's 70 million gun owners of their last defense against mankind's two greatest natural enemies, government and freelance criminals. And Republicans ... well, they're having another drink.
         And yet ...
         And yet ...
         That number, 70 million gun owners, ought to have some meaning. Half that number, 35 million, is almost as many votes as George Bush got in 1992. One tenth of that number, 7 million, would have tipped the balance with plenty of room to spare. Republicans would realize this if they would stop listening to pollsters (who by inclination and education are predominantly Democratic in their outlook anyway) and recover from their alcoholic stupor long enough to remember that even if a majority of people favor some kind of gun ban, the Bill of Rights was written specifically to protect us all from the passing popular sentiment that is all that either major party's ideology consists of today.
         But they never have and they never will. And what that means is that those of us -- who care about the Bill of Rights and understand that it is the one and only thing remaining in America which keeps this country civilized at all -- have a long, hard pull ahead of us, creating an entirely new political movement which will use whatever power it obtains to enforce the highest law of the land, and to put those who break it -- because they're evil or simply because they're drunk -- in a concrete condo where they can't hurt anybody any more.
         By voting to destroy the Bill of Rights as they have consistently since Clinton was elected, Republicans have helped us make the case for that new political movement. They've helped by demonstrating -- clearly enough that anyone but a habitual drunk can see it -- the intellectual, moral, and historical bankruptcy of their own sodden, whimpering, hung-over approach to politics.
         Like a habitual drunk, they'll come crawling back over the next few weeks, promising tearfully that they'll never do it again, that they're reformed characters, that they've taken the pledge -- all the time they're peering dimly over your shoulder, trying to remember where they left that bottle the last time they were home.
         Don't believe them.
         Never believe any politician -- especially a Republican -- about the position he promises to take from now on with regard to the individual right to own and carry weapons, unless he first allows himself to be photographed at a shooting range, for public circulation now and until the sun burns out, firing a semiautomatic "assault" rifle and a high-capacity semiautomatic pistol.
         And for safety's sake, you'd better make him take a breathalyser test, first.

L. Neil Smith is the award-winning author of 19 books including The Probability Broach, The Crystal Empire, Henry Martyn, The Lando Calrissian Adventures, Pallas, and (forthcoming) Bretta Martyn and Lever Action. An NRA Life Member and founder of the Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus, he has been active in the Libertarian movement for 34 years and is its most prolific and widely-published living novelist.

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