2020: The Year of Perfect Vision Becomes the Year America Lost Sight of its Values

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D.J. Neeley | Civil Patriot 

Maybe things are different down here in the South. I don’t know. I can’t speak for all southerners (or even all Texans) but I can tell you that my Mama raised me with a conscience. And I learned how to use it at an early age. 

She put the fear of God in me to the point where I couldn’t lie about anything without turning around and admitting the truth. That’s a good thing, I guess. And Mama also taught me how to use my discernment. I can’t tell you how many times she said, “Open your eyes, D.J. Don’t just accept everything at face value. Look for the truth. . .the real truth.” She might’ve followed these words with the phase, “Don’t be an idiot.” (Or something to that effect.) 

Mama never was politically correct, but I’m grateful for her input in my life. On some level I think she must’ve been getting me ready for 2020, whether she realized it or not. Never have I needed my discernment and my conscience more than during this very crazy year. 

In many ways I feel like we Americans lost ourselves in 2020 and much of the blame can be placed squarely on our own shoulders because we forgot to check our vision when the stories got blurry. 

Let’s admit it: we went into 2020 like doe-eyed babes, thinking it would be a typical year. When COVID-19 first hit we were team players, ready to do what we could to encourage and uplift our fellow man. We were, after all, all in this together. 

But somewhere along the way, our vision got cloudy. We went into for a psychological eye exam and failed miserably. We ate up what they fed us, hook, line, and sinker, and forgot to question anything. And now, here we are at the end of 2020, wondering how we got here. 

We handed them the reins and said, “Lead us, oh wise ones!”

And now we’re paying a price.  

Look, I’m not saying we should have defied every mandate. But at some point we stopped questioning. We went along with the crowd. (I’m having flashbacks to Mama saying, “D.J., be a leader, not a follower! If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you?) 

Here are some of the lies many Americans believed in 2020: 

  • Trump is bad for shutting down traffic from China. That makes him a racist. 
  • Worshipping in person at our churches is bad, bad, bad.  We should learn to worship at home via the Internet. 
  • Business owners are bad for arguing with lockdown restrictions. 
  • We’re bad, bad, bad for questioning why it’s okay for protestors to burn down cities but it’s not okay for us to sit in a restaurant. 
  • People who stand up to tyrants are doubly-bad. (“You must do as you are told, no questions asked!”)

On and on it went. And we let it happen, one inch at a time. We gave up our rights, our freedom to worship, even our businesses. And we did it all out of “an abundance of caution.” (Oh, how I’ve grown to hate those words!) And every step along the way we were told, “If you don’t do what we’re telling you to do, you’re bad, bad, bad.”

No one wants to be labeled the bad kid, especially not one who was always in trouble as a youngster. 

Mama would’ve said, “D.J., screw your head on straight. Use your noggin. If that virus is spread through the air, then those rioters are responsible for spreading it, too.” She might also have added, “And by the way, their parents need to give them a swift kick in the backside for attacking others and burning down cities!” But that’s just how Mama was. She never minced words. 

Lately I’m not mincing, either. I finally found my backbone. (It was hiding under the mattress, along with $300 in cash I’d decided to tuck away for a rainy day.) I’ve brushed off my discernment and opened my eyes to what’s really going on here. I see a future filled with democratic socialism if we’re not careful. I see my grandchildren hiding in basements to worship God. And I’m imagining a country filled with people dependent on the government—for their food, work, clothing, even their income. 

“Wake up, D.J.!” 

I can hear my mother’s voice now. And even though 2020 is almost behind me, I’m finally opening my eyes and taking a stand. 

“Better late than never,” as Mama used to say. “Better late than never.” 

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