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The Sting

The Sting  – (the 1973 7-oscars winning movie about con artists)
Liberty is a political state of being; freedom is an internal state of mind.* Today we have front row seats to the end of American liberty and freedom and the greatest political con ever perpetrated on the American people. The thing about a con is that unless you are an insider or know what to look for, you never see it coming until it is too late.
The con that we are currently experiencing is that we must choose between Donald and Hillary. The truth is, it literally makes no difference.
Let’s do a quick comparison.
Party Affiliation – Both have been members of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.
Policy Orientation – Both have flip-flopped on scores of issues and policies.
Values – Both have declared adherence to values that fly in the face of liberty and freedom.
Sexual Behavior – Both have tainted histories of questionable moral and sexual behavior. Do the research.
Political Record – Hillary has proven her lack of leadership ability in political office and Donald has given every indication after decades of business dealings that he is loyal first and foremost to “the Donald.”
Net Worth – The Clinton’s combined are at $125 million and Trump is at a solid $3 billion. They both are members of the wealthy, and most likely cannot relate to the average American.
Party Platforms – It is very difficult to see any difference between the parties these days, the leadership of both parties have committed America to inexpugnable debt for the next 100 years and have legislated us into a legalistic bondage of so many federal and state laws that it is estimated that the average American unwittingly commits 3 felonies a day. (
Donald and Hillary are two sides of the same coin. The con is that there are meaningful differences . . . there aren’t.
My advice? Do not vote for either of the two primary candidates.
For once America stop allowing the parties to control the elections and vote your conscience. Vote for the person who you believe can best serve our country as president. Forget about whether or not they can actually win. That is not the point. Imagine 30 million voters voting for who they thought could serve us best, irrespective of party candidates. That would break the entire stagnant and corrupt system.
Stop strategizing and start sharing your choice with as many people as possible. This will begin a flurry of conversation outside of the normal “political speak” and begin to introduce the idea of options. The party system is the problem. As long as the party system stays in place, we will continue to be offered limited and unqualified choices.  The party system has a history of morphing into a new form from time to time. I say it is time we morph it out of existence.
Who in America has the personality traits, the background, the values, and the “disinterestedness”** to lead the free world?
That is who you should vote for.
See *Notes Below:
*Freedom versus Liberty
Dr. Shanon Brooks
December 2009
Copyright © 2009 Shanon Brooks
I recently read The Long Walk to Freedom: the autobiography of Nelson Mandela. He discusses at length the distinction between freedom and liberty. Victor Frankl talked a lot about these differences in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. And of course, this topic has been discussed in great measure by such luminaries as C.S. Lewis, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Benito Juarez among others.

Even non-political writers, thinkers and doers have touched on this subject; consider the words of Dave Ramsey, Joel Salatin, William George Jordan, Suze Orman, James Allen, Gloria de Souza and Ryan Hreljac.

Liberty is a political state of being; freedom is an internal state of mind. To people who live in relative liberty, freedom can be a difficult concept. I recall somewhere in the hundreds of pages of his autobiography and numerous speeches, where Mandela suggests that even though South Africa may someday become a nation founded on liberty; true freedom comes from the mind and the heart. A study of Mandela’s life is a lesson in living by a set of principles, understanding the brutal facts around you and then working to enlarge your personal freedom thru discipline and an adherence to truth. This is referred to as the Stockdale Paradox by Jim Collins referring to the story of James Stockdale in his book, In Love and War. Frankl alluded to the same thing, when he related his story of life and death in a German concentration camp.
Liberty is an uncommon condition in world history. On the other hand, freedom has been as prevalent as the number of people who could see it and who had the will, knowledge and discipline to strive for it.
Today we have a very unique situation. Usually the struggle for freedom is outlined as a group that is suffering and has had their rights and liberties usurped and are now fighting back to regain them. The American situation is unique in that we have a climate (liberty) in which we exercise more freedom—even now—than most citizens of any country on earth, but because of our lack of education (not schooling), comprehension and discipline, we are on the verge of not only losing that environment (liberty) but also of losing the means of maintaining or regaining that liberty. (See History of Dark Ages and the book The Cube and the Cathedral – Wiegel)
We have ceased to think and act as a free people.
Free citizens live within their means, financially save for the future and are self-sufficient. Slaves must have most things done for them.
Free citizens look inward for solutions. Servants seek solutions from employers, the government or other sources outside of themselves.
Free citizens understand that society needs them to step-up and do their part. Subjects take little initiative and must be directed in all things.
100 years ago, Yankee Ingenuity and the American Dream were the stuff of legends. People flocked to this country at great sacrifice, not to join the ranks of welfare, but to live in a land of liberty and provide their children with a greater chance of experiencing freedom on a daily basis. In many cases, they had already mastered the “live-within-your-means thing,” they knew how to work hard and they adhered to a strict culture of self-discipline and morality. What they lacked in the “old world” was an environment of liberty in which freedom was the natural result of their chosen lifestyle and cultural mores (customs).
We seem to have the latter but fall short of the former. Until we, the America people regain our sense of disciplined direction; until we grasp the reality of the brutal facts; until we re-embrace the concept of delayed gratification—we will likely not see much improvement and I can almost predict that our grandchildren will not understand nor enjoy the bastion of freedom in which we currently live.
Ideas have consequences.
Copyright © 2009 Shanon Brooks
** In the awesome book, “An Education for Our Time,” Bunting defines the 18th century concept of “disinterestedness” as a quality of putting the people ahead of oneself. Serving on limited terms as a servant-leader rather than for a lifetime as a career choice.

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  • The Twist | Shanon Brooks

    […] October 13 I posted the idea of voting your conscious rather than following the offerings of the parties in an article entitled The Sting. A few days […]

    December 17, 2016 at 12:31 pm

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