The Tyranny of Overusing the Word "Tyranny"

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 | 0 Comment(s)

I never do this. I never start with a definition. It's trite. It's cliche. It's . . . the beginning to almost every horrific wedding speech. But here we go.

Tyranny is defined as "cruel and oppressive government or rule." And I'm not sure whether we've lost track of what "cruel" is, what "oppression" is, or both. But people across the US have been talking a hell of a lot about tyranny lately, and with all the tyranny talk -- Tyranny this . . . Tyranny that . . . the word has lost all meaning.

It bemuses me that any of the "Big Two" political parties in America could believe there is any systematic tyranny in the USA. I mean, the president is a Democratic, both houses of government are Republican led, and as a unit they do almost no governing. No governing and oppressive governing are very different animals. No governance is like a sheep that has gone lost and returns years later with matted wool and a desperate need to be shorn.

Whereas THIS is an oppressive government (Warning: this metaphor is graphic).

Now can you see the difference?

Obama isn't a tyrant because our checks and balances, while flawed, severely limit the President's ability to unilaterally do anything. This also means that, while also flawed, Bush, Little Bush, and Clinton also would be remiss to add "Tyrant" to their resumes.

Need more concrete examples? No problem.  If you turn your attention to the "militia" in Oregon right now you'll hear that one of the goals of the protest is to turn federally owned land over to locals so that it can be used for mining, ranching, logging, and recreation -- all free of oversight from the federal government.  Essentially, the local community would like to annex federal lands for themselves. One of the annexers, Ammon Bundy, was quoted as saying, "We've been able to see that these ranchers have been in this situation that's really a form of tyranny."

No. No it's not.  It's not even close to tyranny.

Here's how a know that the situation in Oregon isn't a question of tyranny: No one is bleeding, starving, or dead.  People who are FREE enough to gather up weapons to attack their government are not doing so because the government shot first.

Just for comparison, here's what the oppressive government in Syria looks like:

And I'm using restraint.  It took all my reasonability to not post a pic of dead children.

If you understand my sheep metaphor, and fail to see the stark differences between Oregon and Syria, please go directly to a therapist or at the very least use protection so we don't have to deal with more of you in the future.

Now don't worry. I can hear that little whiney voice coming from the corner of the room. The voice is wearing a shirt with an over-starched collar and a $150 dollar hair cut.  "But there IS tyranny in America!!! You don't have to be a foreigner to live under cruel and oppressive conditions."

I have three things to say to you, whiney little voice.

One. I hate you so very much.

Two. You are not wrong.

Three. You're talking about America's poorest right?

You must be talking about guys like Army Vet Derrell Odom.  Oh, you know what, I'll let him tell you.

It is hard as shit to be poor in America.  And nowadays there are tons of new ways to fall into a desperate financial situation (*don't get cancer!!!), and less ways out.  What is the government's response to help the growing number of impoverished families without the means to help themselves? They are working to shut down Planned Parenthood and Universal Health Care.  That is tyranny.

When your government is actively working against caring for your health, while at the same time using your tax money to pay for their health care.  Now were talking about cruel.

When some states still have laws allowing your boss to fire you based solely on your sexual orientation, that is oppression.

So until a bunch of rainbow-clad people of color start annexing federal lands in order to get health care coverage for their children and partners, shut your tyrannical mouths.

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