You may or may not know about the documentary film Lies of Omission, being made by a few prominent folks in the freedom movement. If you’re a loyal reader of WRSA (and you damn well should be), then you’ve heard about the project, which brings together a number of names that should be recognizable to you in an effort to reach millennials about this concept we refer to as liberty.
I’m writing this because I see a lot of misconceptions, a lot of questions like “What good will it do?” and other such fatalistic things. You see, the movement does a few things very well — and almost none of them are things we should be doing at all. People in the movement crap all over any idea, they run their mouths about people who are doing something. They don’t have anything better to offer, of course, they just want to tell you how stupid your idea is. (And we wonder why we’re losing…but I digress.)
I spent the weekend with the people making this film, because they were gracious enough to ask me to participate. The idea of being interviewed by anyone is not something I relish; as many learn the hard way, interviews generally take one of two paths: total demonization, or mind-numbing boredom.
This was neither of those.
First of all, this wasn’t a friendly softball game. Although I did my best to finagle a peek at the questions beforehand, I was rebuffed every time. No one interviewed for the film was given the questions until the second they had to answer them on camera. There was no faking it, no planning answers, nothing — and the questions were not always easy, either.
What made it different was that I knew why they were making it. I’d had the opportunity to hear the extended version of the events leading up to the idea, and it was plain that the people involved were invested. This wasn’t some hobbyist project. It was something meant to bridge the generational gap. Like it or not, a lot of us are old enough to have grown or nearly grown children. Many of the people who were around when we started are gone now. Someday — sooner than later for many of us — we’ll be gone too.
What are we leaving behind? A pile of oversized gear, tricked-out ARs, and a whole lot of memes.
There’s a scene in the movie Serenity, in which the beloved Firefly crew comes to a planet where everyone is dead but there is no trauma, the civilization is obliterated but there was no war. A creepy holographic message explains what happened there.
On some level, Lies of Omission is that message; the past reaching out to the present and future. We can’t stop what’s coming, not really. But as Mike Vanderboegh told me once, “The possibility of failure isn’t a reason to go home. It’s a reason to fight harder.” I have no illusions about coming out of it on the other side myself, but I have hope that my son can…or maybe his children can.
It’s one thing to answer questions about what I believe, about the freedom that I am so willing to give of my time and effort for, and know that the answers will be given to some abstract group of ‘millennials,’ who I’ve never met. It’s completely another to sit across from one of those very people, and have to look them in the eye when I answer, knowing that they deserve something better than standard flag-waving rah-rah. It’s far more real, to see this member of our future, to hear these questions being asked, and know that in this moment, I have an opportunity to do something that matters.
I ask you in all seriousness: What could possibly be more important than passing all of this to the next generation? In fact, I posit that all of your Facebook groups, all of your stuff, doesn’t mean crap when compared to the value in training the young to value freedom and stand up for it. Because let’s be realistic. Your tactical god-like genius, as beyond amazing as it is, isn’t going to be around forever.
I could write another five years on this site, putting up how-to articles that people don’t read or are too lazy to put into practice, or trying to force people to care about technical or intelligence aspects they’re not interested in because it’s not sexy stuff that lets them say “over and out” on the radio or wear cool patches and give themselves ranks. You could spend another couple years and a few thousand bucks collecting classes like scouts collect badges. Hitting up all the big name instructors, going down the list like little achievements to be used as bona fides later. Oh, yeah, I took that class. Of course…I also have THIS class, and THAT class….
I daresay that all of that time would never amount to the very real, very worth it moment of sitting across from someone under 30, who would give freedom a chance if you could only sell it to them in a way they understand.
Many would argue that millennials want us dead, or that they are no more interested in dialogue than they are taking responsibility for themselves, and to some extent that’s true. There are those who want us dead, sure. There are many millennials who seek to silence us, and that’s on a slow day. But there are plenty more who already know something is wrong but are still searching to find what that is. They already know the government is lying. They already know that they got sold a bill of goods about all kinds of things. They already see the Vault 7 disclosures and everything else. We could be reaching them, if we weren’t so busy commenting on how stupid everyone’s ideas are.
Here’s the truth, like it or not. Millennials aren’t all morons, they aren’t all rabid socialists, and they are often searching for truth, even if they don’t know it. One thing we’ve always been really bad about is reaching the young. We don’t want them, don’t think we need them, don’t bother with them. And that’s why we’re here, with an entire generation of people who grew up in a surveillance state and don’t know anything else. Because while we were ignoring them, the other side was courting them, grooming them, indoctrinating them. They are this way, in part, because we didn’t do our job.
That generational gap is why this film needs to be made. And sitting in that chair this weekend, across from a millennial with big, expressive eyes who asked me what about my country was worth saving, I saw a chance to reach them.
So go ahead and crap on the idea. Discourage people from donating to the project. Run your mouth about it, even while you keep reading the same people who chose to participate. All you’re doing is proving the point. If you want to actually make a difference, right this second, put some money down and help these guys do something that will last a lot longer and help a lot more than the next class you’ll take and never use again.