Steve A. Stone
Dear Friends and Patriots,
I’ve been on a journey for a while now. It started when one of my life’s mentors died in the early days of 2013. He and I were set to begin a collaboration to try and figure out a way to make libertarianism more mainstream and to see if there was a way to make the Libertarian Party a viable, competitive political entity. His untimely death ended that notion, but sparked another. I decided to go forward and go on record on my own.
I understood that voicing opinions was valuable, but committing them to written form was even more so. It would allow opinions to be shared, understood, critiqued, made better, then shared again. It would make my voice a bit louder. That “bit” depended entirely on how widely my work could be shared. I always understood that truth. The power of any voice depends not on volume, but on how widely it’s heard and how it’s accepted. A voice with a small audience is a small voice indeed. So is the voice with a large audience that’s filled with skeptics and naysayers. One may be a seemingly more popular voice, but no more powerful.
Since 2013, I’ve committed analysis, opinion, and referenced recitations to print on a regular basis. Ten years. One decade of my life, spent to inform, educate, share analysis and speculation with my most trusted friends, people I know to be patriots. I published ten books and have one ready to publish, should I ever decide it’s worth my time and effort. None of those ten books were “sellers” in any sense of the word.
After a couple of years, I realized the information I was putting in those books were things most people didn’t want to know. They were things most people want to believe are myths and conspiracy theories. Too many want to reject them out of hand. The titles of my books are enough to ward off many. They aren’t “fuzzy.” They evoke dark images. At one of my book signings I listened as a locally popular college professor pointed to one of my books and declared, “I’d never read a book with a title like that.” In this one instance, I’d say her judgment of my book because of its cover was accurate. Most things in that book were the opposite of her own teachings. I learned from our exchange.
Instead of trying to sell books, I began to concentrate on getting the messages right. I understood if my books were to be anything, they might someday be a record of the times. For the first couple of years, I went out on book signing expeditions; efforts to get my name and work more widely known. Signings became rare after the second year, and almost non-existent after four. The messages in my books aren’t what average people want.
In a sense, my book signings were demonstrations that my thoughts about the mindsets of average Americans are right. Most tend toward a kind of casual patriotism. They can sing The Star Spangled Banner and recite The Pledge of Allegiance to our nation’s flag, but they want to live their lives in sort of a peaceful ignorance. They don’t want to know what lies under the thin veneer that’s the surface of America. They don’t want their unease about the future to be confirmed. They would rather live lives filled with family, friends, food, entertainment, and work than to understand the rotten foundation and dangers that lie beneath that veneer.
After about four years of effort, I understood my dilemma. My efforts have been about waking people up; making sure they understand the future and the dangers ahead. I’ve had to come to grips with the truth that the will of the average American not to know is far more powerful than my efforts to warn them.
There are some who understand. But, they don’t understand because of me. Something or someone else caused them to pause their lives just long enough to question what they were taught, to question what they saw, to question what they heard. Something caused them to take a little effort of their own and seek to understand that the truth of things is there for them to find and comprehend. Something made them different from the herd; willing to ignore any possible criticism and to learn things that others are afraid of. They are people who now understand that reality isn’t a singular concept. Reality is many things. They now understand the difference between superficial reality and actual truth. They understand truth is not always provable, and there’s an element of perspective to it, and those two facts don’t make truth any less true. Those brave souls are willing to stare into the abyss and see what’s there. They’re willing to learn what it takes to stare at evil without blinking. But, none of that is my doing.
Until recently, I had delusions that I could make a difference. I don’t believe that today. I tried, but I’ve failed. At least I’ve failed for now. It could be the things I leave behind will one day be judged to be of value. That’s for people in the future to determine. It’s not for me to predict or know. Let the future be what it will. It’s up to the people of America and the world to decide. If they remain in their mainly passive mindsets, that future will be as I’ve predicted. If there’s a modern Great Awakening, things can be different. Keep in mind, though, “different” is not necessarily better.
This is all my way of explaining why I’ve made a decision to stop writing and publishing. I’m a realist. I know when I’m kidding myself. For a long time now, I’ve been struggling. I know I’m not relevant. For a time, maybe I was. I had a formula that I followed, and it seemed to work. I’d scan events and news of the day, searching for something that was being missed. When I’d find that “thing,” I’d focus on it to see if there was enough there to work with. If there was, I’d wring it out so that others would understand aspects of events and news that weren’t being depicted.
Today, things are different; better in some ways. Not for me as a writer, though. I’ve concluded that I’m trapped in the echo chamber that is the milieu of religious and patriotic writers. It’s great company, but many times I realize we’re mostly shouting at each other. The “other side” has succeeded at branding us all as just a bit “out there.” We’re what used to be called kooks. That’s the best pejorative they use. We range from being kooks to right-wing, racists extremists. That’s how the mainstream media paints us, and that’s how at least half the world sees us.
So, what is my problem? My problem is I don’t believe I’m relevant in this particular moment. I was more relevant when I was even lesser known, not now. The din of the echo chamber deafens me. And, there seems to be no other audience. The audience we need are those casual patriots I mentioned above, but they pay almost no attention to us at all. Once in a while, we get a little notice and those casual patriots will cluck and nod, but it doesn’t move their needle. They know we’re on to something, and they know we’re mainly right. But, they won’t invest themselves emotionally. It’s just too hard for them. They have bought into the myth that they’re free and will continue to be free. They willfully reject the notion that we exist in a police state and are under the thumb of a government that quit giving a hoot about the will of the people decades ago. They willfully reject the idea that they could soon be enslaved for the sake of the convenience of having a unique digital ID instead of continuing to have a cash monetary system. They willfully reject the truth of the dangers of 5G technology. Most of the people I’m talking about are extremely uneasy about the entire COVID pandemic saga, but will still allow themselves to consider yet another vaccine. Those are the people we need to reach, but we can’t. The volume and intensity of the propaganda focused on them is just too much for us. We can’t compete. We are writers in a world that doesn’t take the time to read more than a single paragraph every day. Writers can’t turn this tide. If anything will save us from an almost certain New World Order fate, it’s not going to be us.
I’m not giving up. But, I do intend to quit writing and publishing. This may be the last you ever hear from me. I have to focus on our problems in a different way. I have to find a way that matters and also works. What I’ve been doing for ten years … it doesn’t work.
Steve© Steve A. Stone
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