Must Read Of The Day

If you read nothing else today, or even this year, read this. It is just a short excerpt from an absolutely riveting essay by a man you may know more for bring you laughs than for sober analysis, yet it is probably the best thing I’ve read this year:

Since what we know about America flows mostly from the media, we can be certain that most of what we know is just plain wrong, or at least atypical. My old journalism professor used to say, ‘News is coups, earthquakes and three-legged chickens.’

In other words, Walter Cronkite was exactly wrong to say ‘That’s the way it is.’ Journalists don’t report the truth about life. They are carnival barkers selling the unusual, the atypical, the freaks. And we continue to reward them for doing so.

The actual truth about life in our great Republic is quite different from the daily portrayals in the media.

Everywhere in this God-blessed America covert radicals roam, committing seemingly-random acts of kindness — unmonitored, untallied, uncontrolled, unshackled from the federal government. It is, in effect, a shadow government that we have set up for ourselves to promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty.

This decentralized movement of men and women accomplishes most of the great work of charity, compassion and community building. Their individual efforts are a drop in the bucket compared to the ocean of government largess, but in the aggregate and ultimate their service far exceeds anything that government can deliver.

In fact, the vast majority of Americans behave as if the federal government did not exist in their day-to-day lives. This underground movement is entirely healthy and necessary for the maintenance of our Republic and for our pursuit of happiness.

We don’t have time to blame anyone for our misfortunes. We’re too busy working to overcome them. We don’t have faith in some distant bureaucrat, rather we turn to the resources that God has placed near at hand. We lean on our brothers. Many of us call on our Father in our time of need, and He sends our neighbors who love us more than we love ourselves. Later, we will turn to our helpers when they need us and repay the debt, only to learn that no debt existed because acts of compassion shower blessings on giver and receiver alike.

We find these local (and spiritual) solutions not only adequate, but invigorating and inspiring because it is only when we are pressed hard by life that we discover there is more life in us, among us and beyond us than we had imagined in carefree hours.

Though he would no doubt wish to decline the ‘honor’, I’ve always considered Scott my blogfather. ScrappleFace was the first blog I ever saw way back in 2003, beginning with Scott’s famous post sending a message of support to the troops. All my oldest and dearest friends are people I met there, and I am blessed to count a good number of my readers.

An amazing post from an amazing person, and someone none of us appreciate nearly enough. Scott managed to capture, far more eloquently than I could have, what I meant to convey in my post this morning.

Don’t miss it.

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