Never being one to adhere to convention, when watching The Wizard of Oz as a child I always wondered where the Red Brick Road led. I imagined that the horrors found on the Yellow path might have paled in comparison to those along the Red.
As a “grown up in physical age only” (GUPAO), I find myself comparing the adventures of Dorothy and Toto on their mission to find the Wizard to the power of the current administration to deflect our attention from their true intentions. Those she met along the way were either a) inherently evil; b) lacking empathy; c) unable to think without directions from a more “educated” or charismatic being; or d) fearful of speaking out against the abuses of power that grab at your gut and alert you to the dangers of usurping the true meaning of the Constitution. The only good character spoke in riddles and did not reveal the knowledge she held until after they had been through hell and back. Or Dorothy just chose not to listen to reason because she was awed by the pomp and circumstance, seduced by the Emerald City at the end of the road.
Of course, Dorothy did not begin her journey along the Yellow Brick Road without encouragement and testimonials from those gathered in the town square. There was the Lollypop Guild (Union), The Lullaby League (an organization dedicated to lull her into a sense of security), various politicians, and the Main Stream Media (town crier). All appeared to toe the party line.
What if Dorothy had decided that the information being fed to her in rapid fire confusion just did not sit right? What if she chose her own path – the Red Brick Road? Let’s suppose that a journey along that road began with a pocket Constitution and a print-out of the Declaration of Independence. Of course, the villagers would walk away, shaking their heads in disgust. Dorothy and Toto would be outcasts in a land of “group think”.
So, in choosing the path of free thought, freedom to worship whomever whenever you choose and the right to protect one’s self and his/her family, Dorothy set off with the belief that she was a free individual who could survive without government assistance or intervention. This would prove to be more difficult than she imagined.
The first attempt by the “Yellow Brick Roaders” (YBRs) to dissuade her from continuing was to play upon her familial responsibilities. If Dorothy remained on her current course, and others followed her lead, who would pay for Obamacare? Oh, Secretary Sebelius was doing okay with her fundraising efforts, but the tax dollars earned from the family farm were necessary, too. Dorothy could be condemning Auntie Em to a life without food stamps, Medicare, Social Security and responsible physicians to evaluate when care for Auntie Em was no longer fiscally viable. How dare she! But, Dorothy knew her aunt quite well and ignored the ploy to cajole her to turn back towards the road to dependence upon government.
Along the Red Brick Road, Dorothy noticed people working hard, communities that supported each other and an overriding belief that the Constitution is the law of the land. The YBRs would have none of that. They unleashed their most feared weapon upon Dorothy and the villagers – the IRS…
Of course, though orchestrated by the Witch, the flying monkeys did the dirty work. They messed up paperwork, requested information to which they were not entitled, hid documents in trees where no one could access them and caused delays in processing requests for 501(c) 3 and 4 entities for months – even years. With the Constitution as their guide, the villagers began a long, arduous fight against the witch and her minions. Once Dorothy was certain they had things under control, she and Toto continued down the road.
For a day or so, the duo enjoyed a leisurely stroll down the Red Brick Road taking in the scenery and thinking of those they left at home. To her left, Dorothy saw the most beautiful field dotted with colorful flowers and chose to veer off the path. Toto tried to warn her, but Dorothy wanted some of the flowers to bring home to Auntie Em.
As soon as she entered the field, Dorothy became extremely tired, lay down and fell into a deep sleep. At first, the voice of the Anointed One sounded like that of an angel – soothing tones and logical rhetoric. But, something changed. His voice became more defensive and condescending. “I think when you spread the wealth around it’s good for everybody”, “After a century of striving, after a year of debate, after a historic vote, health care reform is no longer an unmet promise. It is the law of the land.”, “It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” – Barack Hussein Obama. This new tone of voice jarred Dorothy out of her slumber and back to reality. She now knew, if only for a moment, what it felt like to drink the Kool Aid™. It was an empty, desperate feeling she hoped never to experience again.
“I know, Toto, I screwed up.” Toto looked up at Dorothy and wagged his tail. Lesson learned. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Not long after the “Poppy Incident”, they came across a group of individuals who seemed quite lost. A lion, a scarecrow and a man made of tin. After what seemed like hours of round about conversation, Dorothy finally understood the dilemma the three found themselves in. The tin man had lost all empathy after being forced to assist in a cover-up of the murder of an American diplomat and three others in Libya. The words he was ordered to repeat to the world over and over again became truth in his mind and heart. He was having a hard time regaining his humanity.
The lion was fearful of losing his income, pension and standing in the YBR community if he did not support the views of the administration both publicly and in private. He knew of attempts to bypass legal channels in order to step on the First Amendment Rights of journalists who resided within or on the fringes of the YBR and he did not want that kind of misery to befall him.
The scarecrow had been a political appointee of the Anointed One and had lost the ability to think for himself. He parroted their talking points regarding the Embassy in Libya on several news shows and his brain had atrophied due to constant misuse.
Fearing there was nothing she could do for them, Dorothy brought the trio to the villagers in hopes that their faith in what the RBR stood for might help her new found friends get on the road to recovery.
Dorothy and Toto were coming to the end of their journey. She had learned much about the strength of communities and the importance of maintaining your individuality. She was even stronger in her conviction that the Constitution was meant to protect individual citizens from their government, not give the government a tool to oppress the citizens. It was not a “living, breathing document”, it was written in a way that it could be applied – as is – today just as it could over 200 years ago.
When they got to the end of the road, a mountain range was visible in the background. The sun was setting behind them. An eagle soared over the largest American Flag Dorothy had ever seen. “Toto”, she said, “we are finally home.”