My sister and I grew up in chenille robes. Mama called them housecoats, and we used them as such. The heavy flamingo pink chenille covered us from chin to ankles and was as warm as our winter coats. We jumped out of bed in a cold bedroom, slipped those heavy robes over our homemade flannel pajamas and dashed for the fireplace in the living room. 

Even though we still like them, they are hard to find today. When a few years ago they appeared in a catalog in my mailbox, I immediately ordered two blue ones—one for Sarah Nell and one for me. We’ve been snuggling into them on the coldest winter mornings for three years now. Recently I was surprised to receive a letter from the mail order company I’d bought them from.

Curious, I ripped the envelope open and read: “The chenille robes you ordered from our company are being voluntarily recalled because the fabric does not meet government regulations for safety. Please return the products to the address below and we will refund the full purchase price plus shipping.”

I called Sarah Nell and laughing, we agreed we’d take our chances with our dangerous robes. If we had managed to avoid burning up during all the years of our childhoods, we thought we could probably manage now, especially since neither of us has an open fireplace anymore. Big Brother is taking care of us, whether we want him to or not. 

George Washington said, “It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.”

I resent a government that thinks I’m too stupid to keep my robe out of the fire. After all, most things will burn if you apply enough heat. Big Brother has become an integral part of not only mine, but of every American family. He’s sitting there ordering me to fasten my seatbelt when I sit behind the wheel. We wore seatbelts before the law ordered us to, but I resent the law nonetheless. I wish Big Brother would move out and leave sane, responsible adults alone. I do not resent laws that protect children. They often need protection from their own families. 

George Washington, our first president, is often called the father of this country. If he could see the monster he spawned, I suspect he’d be both shocked and appalled. He stated emphatically that “government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Our government has seeped insidiously into every facet of our lives. 

Back in the mid-19th century, Henry David Thoreau refused to pay his taxes because he did not wish to support the war with Mexico. He was jailed for the infraction, but he stood up for what he believed. Today we never see our full earnings except on paper. When we draw our paychecks, the government’s already been there for its share, whether we approve of our various wars or not. We’re taxed on property, on purchases, on inheritance, and the list goes on ad infinitum. I agree with Washington that “every citizen who enjoys the protection of a free government owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defense of it.” It’s the very basis of our system, yet I reiterate that things are wildly out of hand in 2020. Even the simplest citizen realizes that he cannot operate the way our government is operating. Eventually, the money will run out, has run out, but Washington—D.C., that is-- continues to spend.

George Washington also said that “the marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.” 

Government expenditures and our taxes are totally out of hand, even to the point that normally docile people are starting to slowly move stone limbs. We’ve been quiet far too long; our silence has allowed government to become the master, not the servant. As I pull my blue robe around me, I spend a minute hoping and praying that it’s not too late.