It's like the proverbial boiling of a frog. If tossed into boiling water, it is said that the frog will not stand for it and jump out of the pot. But if the water is comfortable, the frog supposedly will relax as the water is slowly heated and become too lethargic to do anything as the water gradually is brought to a boil.
This is not to say that the process, even though quite advanced and accelerating in the U.S., thus far has been the result of the intentional and purposeful actions of any individuals or groups. The process may be a natural one resulting from the enervating effects of wealth and the apparently conflicting senses of guilt and entitlement that result from it.
However, as was the case with the Nazis, who did not create the ruinous post World War I conditions in Germany, there always are individuals and groups prepared to exploit a bad situation to seize power and control of the government for their own purposes.
K. R. is too dubious about the ability of people to keep secrets to subscribe to conspiracy theories and does not believe that anything that has occurred in the U.S. to this point has been the result of any plan or design. On the other hand, we appear to be approaching a tipping point. And, as was stated on a sign posted on a wall from which operations were conducted by the clandestine group with which K. R. served our government in the days of his youth:
"Even Paranoids Have Real Enemies"
Precursors to the approaching tipping point can be seen in the histories of (i) the income tax, and (ii) Social Security. The constitutional amendment that made the income tax possible was adopted with the understanding that only the income of the country's most wealthy citizens would be taxed. Social Security was supposed to be a program through which Americans would save for retirement. Social Security now has been transformed into an income redistribution program and the internal revenue code now impacts everybody and every aspect of everyday life.
Now a new scheme that purportedly will impact only the most wealthy Americans is being fashioned. It is patterned after legislation enacted in the early days of Nazi rule in Germany. The Nazi scheme permitted Jews to flee the country but required that they leave behind for the regime virtually all of their assets. With the passage of time, the Jews who remained were enslaved and huge numbers of them were murdered by their own government. The new American legislation will require wealthy citizens who want to get out from under what many see as an increasingly authoritarian and oppressive regime to forfeit the bulk of their assets to the Internal Revenue Service in order to leave the country. We may not call it enslavement, but implicit in the legislation is the notion that our most productive and successful citizens and their assets belong to the government and must continue to fill its coffers one way or another.
Any bets on how long it will take for this scheme, once it is put into effect, to expand to cover middle class Americans?
It also is worth noting that we have a charismatic major party presidential candidate openly stating that Americans cannot continue to drive SUVs or keep their homes at 72 degrees because people in other countries cannot afford to do so. This can only mean that he envisions and favors governmental actions that will prevent those of us who can afford these things from enjoying benefits we have worked and saved to obtain. The goal appears to be to lower our standard of living to a level that is uniform around the world.
As someone once observed, capitalism is the unequal sharing of wealth and socialism is the universal sharing of misery -- although, as George Orwell noted, some animals such as the pigs at the top somehow end up being more equal than others.
The other major party's standard bearer deserves admiration and respect for his military service but his political record is dismal. He fervently supports open borders and amnesty for illegal immigrants, and he is economically ignorant and no regard for free market capitalism. In addition he has exhibited little understanding and less appreciation and support for our bedrock civil liberties, having sponsored incumbent protection legislation -- a modern day version of the alien and sedition laws that curbs political speech and empowers the government to regulate when we can effectively criticize and what we can effectively say about federal office holders.
The sad fact is that our elites and the institutions they control -- academia and the education establishment, most of the mass media, many of our churches, the bulk of the judiciary and the nation's major law firms, and the government at the federal and many state and local levels -- reject and seek to dispel the concept of American exceptionalism. They want to make us just like every other sorry country in the world.
Ordinary Americans, especially those living outside our chic coastal enclaves -- in what the elitists refer to as "flyover country" -- know that America is, and want it to remain special. They continue to resist the blandishments of the increasingly corrupt elites and they still have the means to do so. Underlying the unceasing efforts to undermine the second amendment is the desire of the elitists to strip common people of the means to resist anything the government may wish to do to, and impose on the country. The elitists' goal is to give the government and its agents a monopoly on the tools of violence essential to effective resistance and rebellion that -- as was foreseen by Thomas Jefferson -- may become necessary if individual freedom and liberty is to be preserved.