"Don’t Tread On Me"

May 13, 2020
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My father hated Communism. Having lived through the emergence of the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and Imperialist Japan, you can see why. He carried with him a healthy dislike of people who tried to boss him around. Don't get me wrong: he knew well the value of teachers, mentors, and leaders. But he wouldn't give the time of day to bureaucrats, or anyone else who tried to assert their authority over him, just because they had it. This included everyone from school vice principals, to post office supervisors, to IRS agents. 

Sure, he might have stepped on a few toes and gotten some flack for it; but by and large, I think he would say that taking a stand was worth the trouble. It was the principle of the thing: you do your thing, and I will do mine. Just don't tread on me.

Of course, he knew that not every party comrade was a blood-thirsty dictator like Hitler or Stalin. But he also knew that every tyrant needs a horde of mindless and spineless serfs to do their dirty work. The peons help the tyrant make further conquests and expand the empire; in return, they get a little piece of it to call their own - under his rule, of course.

This is why he held bureaucrats in such contempt. At the end of the day, their motivation was to get more for The Man. That they did so behind the facade of “public service” made him loathe them more.  

If he was alive today, he would have a fit over how many of the mayors and governors in our country are handling the pandemic. Shutting down businesses? Forcing people into unemployment? Making people more and more dependent on government - the same bureaucrats that weren’t prepared for the virus in the first place? And who have been cozying up to Communist China for years?

He would not have bought into the party line about locking down the country “to save lives.” He would have seen that while the every-day people are losing their jobs and savings, the bureaucrats are still getting paid  - and increasing the power of The Man. 

He would have said, “I will take care of myself. I will stay home if I need to. I won’t shake hands if I don’t want to. I will keep social distance when I should.”

“But other than that, leave me alone. Don’t tread in me.”