Do you want to know where bad public policy comes from? Do you want to know why governments keep getting bigger and bigger, despite you wanting smaller government? Here’s how it happens:

1) People consume “news” from media sources which give them no useful context and which lead them to believe scary narratives.

2) People feel intense grief and anger at the negative facts which support the narratives they have been led to believe.

3) Those people then selectively choose which facts to believe and which to ignore — based on the narratives they have been given.

4) Those people increasingly feel a strong emotional desire to “fix things,” because they’re scared and angry and hurt.

5) Politicians offer them simple-minded solutions which accept the negative narratives as obvious truth.

6) People who originally had firm and principled reasons to oppose government power grabs relent — “just in this case” — because they have been taught the latest new law or program is the only reasonable solution. (“Nobody could oppose this.”)

7) Politicians pass these bad policies and pat themselves on the back.

8) When the policies don’t work, the same politicians say it’s because we didn’t take action that was draconian enough, so they double down on a bad idea.

9) People who supported the previous bad policies — and who still want the problem solved — can’t admit they made an error before, so they agree.

10) Things get worse — and the cycle continues.

You started out knowing that government didn’t have the solutions. You knew that individual freedom was both moral and pragmatic. But you allowed yourself to eventually agree to things you never thought you would have agreed to.

You agreed to let politicians steal some individual income — “just a tiny percentage” or “just from the rich” — and then that theft grew more and more.

You agreed to let politicians dictate your health system. At first it was just to help the poor. Then it was to bring costs down. Before you knew it, their failed policies had destroyed your health care system. In exhaustion, you now agree to let them take over everything. (I’ve heard so-called conservative lately who favor “single payer” health care, because they’re so frustrated and can’t see where the problems originated.)

You agreed to let politicians control who gets guns. Who could argue with keeping guns away from criminals? And then they come back for more and more restrictions. Then they tell you the only solution is for them to have all the guns.

You agreed to let politicians control more and more small pieces of your life — and those small pieces always grow into huge things. By the time they’ve become monstrous evil, it’s too late to stop them.

And on and on and on.

Politicians aren’t to blame for this. You are.

You support a system which gives them the power to dictate to you — and to everybody else. You worship that system. You teach your children that it’s holy and must be obeyed.

You then fail to take the simple steps you need to take to understand what’s going on. Before you know it, you believe monstrous lies — simply because you went along with the narratives that media and politicians gave you.

The people telling you the lies already believe the lies. They don’t even know they’re lying. They have abdicated the responsibility of thinking for themselves, so they’ve accepted intellectually bankrupt solutions and morally bankrupt ideas.

Don’t blame the politicians. Don’t blame the media. Don’t blame anybody but yourself if you have come to accept any of this — because if you accept any coercive government, you have accepted the moral foundation for all of it.

If you ever hope to be free — to get rid of the overlords who control you — it’s your responsibility to free your own mind first.

It’s your responsibility to think for yourself.

It’s your responsibility to quit taking the easy way based on emotions such as fear, greed and envy.

You have to decide that you’re an individual whose brain isn’t going to be shaped by lies and fears. Only you can do that for yourself. Nobody else.