Chapter 12

A very short chapter, in which we learn that some dissent has begun to get a foothold in the ranks of Latrell’s followers.

When leaders go bad, they use ideologies to consolidate power, oversimplify complicated issues, gather true-believers, and draw down the battle lines. And the people, if they become frightened enough, or angry enough, or distracted enough, can be compelled to join and follow, or at very least to comply. A day can come, though, when they wake up and realize they’ve been led astray.

This book is not anti-militia, any more than it’s pro-Republican or pro-Democrat. At one time or another as you’re reading it, however, I wouldn’t blame you for briefly thinking that it might have one of those (or many other) agendas. In truth, it only has one: My hope is that as you read it to the end, you ‘ll see that my point in raising those ideological possibilities was to show how twisted they all can become when they’re overtaken and left in the wrong hands. Political parties, activist groups, religious factions, corporations, entire nations can be skillfully subverted and gently led down that down-sloping road that’s paved with good intentions.

Betsy RossIt’s easy to forget in these strange times, but those who founded this country really were revolutionaries. They overthrew a standing government, and replaced it with a new one unlike any other that had existed before. And they put their trust in the people, not in the rulers, to watch over the delicately balanced system they’d created, and if necessary, to straighten things out if the government ever threatened to forsake us. The government was meant to respect us, and serve us, and in a way, to fear us. Doesn’t it seem like those tables have been turned in the last several decades?

“Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God,” Jefferson said, and he knew as well as anyone that tyranny could someday arise even within the new nation he’d helped create. He knew that, because among so many other things, he was a student of history. The American Revolution wasn’t expected to be a one-time, turning-point victory, but a daily commitment to eternal vigilance and lawful action from its citizens, to preserve what had been won.

Chillingly enough, Edward Latrell loves his country; it’s the subversion of the government that he hates. To me, the scariest bad guys are the righteous ones, because they can justify almost any atrocity in the cause of some greater good they’ve envisioned. Latrell simply lost faith that the United States could be put right by any means other than violence.

And in case anyone’s wondering after this lengthy soap-box, this author certainly has not.