My family spent the last weekend with some very dear friends, down south. The husband is what we refer to as an “Old Scroll Ranger.” This is someone who served in the Ranger Battalions, before the 75th Ranger Regiment was stood up in 1984. This may seem inconsequential, but it’s important for what follows, so keep it in mind. This is a guy who went on to do some pretty spectacular stuff in the Army, and currently continues serving in other venues. More importantly, said friend is the quintessential American patriot. He works a full-time job, very successfully, as well as building a business of his own, with a couple of business partners. He and his wife have well-mannered, polite, professional children (some are grown). He’s about as “American!” as you can get. Sunday, our respective wives sent us on a mission to the store to get some things. We were both wearing olive green soft-shell jackets, since we’d been at the range running some high-angle shooting drills at intermediate-distance ranges (300-600 meters), and both of us had some sort of military logo on our ball caps. We’re both reasonably fit, athletic looking guys. In short, even the dumbest motherfucker in the room would have made us as prior service. As we were paying for our purchases, the checkout girl asked if we knew what the score was. “What score?” “Uh, the Super Bowl, duh!” “Yeah, no. I don’t know the score. I don’t watch football. It’s retarded.” “That’s un-American!” “Uh huh.” So, our lack of interest in watching a bunch of grown men, wearing tight pants, chasing each others’ balls around, is now un-American. Not possessing any desire whatsoever, to watch a bunch of inherently anti-American spirit commercials (seriously, go watch this video, and explain how THIS is American…. …), is now defined by many people as “un-American.” But….but…THREE-PERCENT!… It’s popular in the Liberty Movement to point out that only “three-percent” of colonists actively took the field against the British during the rebellion against the Crown. While there is some validity to this, what is overlooked is the fact that a solid 30-40% or more of the general population actively supported the efforts, even if they did not take the field. The population of the colonies in 1775 was 2.4 million people. 30% of that is 720,000. The population of the US today is 314 million people. 30% of that is 94,200,000,000. There are NOT 94 MILLION people in this country that are pissed off enough to support a change in the system of government. The idea is preposterous. In fact, I would be willing to bet that if you polled any random 10 people you know, you’d be lucky to get 10% who would support the effort. The problem is cognitive bias. We hang out with people who share our values, which means we may have a higher percentage that agrees with us. Most people however will not. The Decline of the Empire As we left the grocery store on Sunday, the entire surreal experience sparked a conversation between myself and my friend. The Roman Empire—which is often used as a parallel for the American Empire, since both followed similar rises in power from representative republic to corrupt empire—did not collapse in a day, a month, or even a decade. It took a couple of centuries. As the finances of the Empire fell, the power of the Eternal City fell with it. Gradually, there was a reduced level of support for the frontier legions. For the most part however, those legion did not just disappear, and they were not simply overrun and massacred. What happened, in most of the Empire was a few key leaders, with the intelligence to recognize what was happening, and what it meant for them, decided “Hey, we need to look to the protection of our people, here. Fuck the Emperor.” If you believe that things are falling apart in the USA and the rest of the world, quit worrying about what is happening in DC. Quit worrying about what is happening in Jordan, Iraq, or even Saudi Arabia. Focus on what is happening in your community. Focus on the impact that will have on your family and friends. Build solid, resilient relationships, with solid, resilient people that you trust, so that you have a solid, resilient community of people that you can trust. Your success—your survival—will not be defined in the generations to follow, solely by how well you shoot, move, and communicate. It will be defined by how well you avoided unnecessary fights, that led to you—and the people in your community—surviving, instead of dying. Of course, that is going to be labeled as “un-American” by the exact same kind of moron who will think not watching the Super Bowl is un-American. Fuck them.