Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Arsenal of Democracy - The Beginning or End?

With my current job, I have had the opportunity to observe many things about the world first hand.  Being an aviator bred with a passion for freedom, I look for these things when I am abroad.  Depending on the region and country, they can be difficult to find.  Elsewhere, signs of their existence can be located with dedicated searching. Yet,  no matter where you go, there is something incredibly obvious about them both; neither exists without the other.
Did you get that?  Aviation and freedom, neither exists without the other.  I wish I could find a way to drive that home to everyone in our sport.  For almost twenty years I've been expressing this belief to anyone who would listen.  Now that I've been able to travel globe, I can say it is not a belief, but fact.
Wherever you travel, watch the sky for general aviation.  If you don't see it, the country is not free.  Of course I should point out that it is possible, even without GA, for a country to give off the air of freedom.  Nations try very hard and spend millions of dollars to make their countries appear welcoming.  That's how freedom feels.  But, I've seen it time and time again and I can tell you that in free countries general aviation exists.  The more free, the more GA you will see and hear in the sky.  I simply cannot convey how true it is.
It is for this reason that we must not and cannot allow any further restrictions on aviation in America. To do so is to restrict freedom and to restrict freedom is to allow our country to fade into obscurity.  Therefore, and this may be hard to swallow, this means aviation's survival will be won or lost on the playing grounds of politics.

Sadly, that word "politics" is why many of our aviation leaders have no spine when it comes to this matter.  Aviation's existence depends on freedom and yet somehow freedom in our country is no longer American but an indicator of political affiliation.  When the heads of our groups look at the challenge of saving aviation, that's what they see.  Myself, I see it as a perfect and easily defined opportunity.

Aviation is so dependent on freedom, you can use it as an indicator.  Those who seek to restrict aviation, and those who complain about aviation, they are always and without fail the enemies of freedom. Those people, from both parties, must go and I have just given you a way to spot them.  When given the opportunity, always appose them and continually seek to replace them with people who understand and value freedom.
If we are to do what is necessary to save aviation, everyone in our sport must become fiercely motivated, political, and supportive of only those who value freedom above all else. Oooh, but that could be uncomfortable right? Well, that's the field the game is played on and it's time for you, all of you, all of us, to get off our collective asses and get this sorted out.  It won't be easy and it may take decades, but we have no other choice.  

That brings me to the Arsenal of Democracy Fly-Over of DC.  It was great wasn't it? Yeah, I thought so too.  Privately owned aircraft, which were once the most powerful weapons in the world, were flown over our capitol by private individuals and the world did not end.  Yes, everyone was properly vetted but you can't deny the fact that nothing but goodwill happened. Meanwhile, those who don't play by the rules can still fly right onto the lawn. Why is that? Because it's all bogus; that's why; we all know it.

Why do we continue to put up with it?  Fear of the government?  Your government? Push back.  If the Arsenal of Democracy Fly-Over is to have any meaning long term, it will come to be known as the first salvo in a long string of events coordinated to prove aviation and freedom go hand in hand.  But how do we do that?
Airplanes must be seen everywhere and they must be accompanied by the message of freedom.  When thirty planes fly over a football game the script given to the announcer must include a note that aviation and freedom go hand in hand.  When kids are taken for rides they must be educated that without freedom their ride would not be possible.  If a plane crashes and anyone from aviation speaks to the media, the first and only thing out of their mouth should be that aviation and freedom go hand in hand, and that where there is absolute safety there is no freedom.  Plant the seeds, plant them often, and sew them everywhere.
Photo credit:  Brady Lane
Don't expect someone else to do it.  It's up to you.  Continue to sit on your hands and events like the Arsenal of Democracy Fly-Over will have been nothing but cheap thrills for a few, and media ops for congressmen. That would be a crime and a massive opportunity lost.
During WWII, President Roosevelt famously proclaimed that the United State would be the "Arsenal of Democracy."  The machines that recently flew over DC came from that effort. Built for the purpose of returning freedom to people who had lost it to tyrannical governments, they naturally represent many things.  But let there be no doubt, the reason these machines were built was to return, protect, and promote liberty.   Never forget that.
I have no idea who came up with the name for the 70th Anniversary Fly-Over of DC, but I can say they hit a home run. Thanks to those who organized the event.  You set a great example.

1 comment:

B25Flyer said...

Wise words Rich...

Doug Rozendaal