I was fresh out of college and I learned very quickly that the technical world of professional engineering had its own jargon. Anyone who has worked on projects has likely heard of the dreaded ‘scope creep’ when discussing why projects are over budget and behind schedule. The gist of scope creep is this:
Say the primary project is to replace a pump but since you are in the building you might as well seal some of the windows, maybe fix the door, and before you know it, the whole pumphouse is being renovated including a new roof! But none of this happened overnight, it happened slowly and sneakily. The problem with scope creep is it is gradual, can happen right under your nose (sometimes with your permission) and then it’s too late, and you’re in over your head.
This scope creep doesn’t just happen in the world of engineering; it has permeated into our everyday personal and political worlds. It’s like when you have that sticky note grocery list of a couple items and then all of the sudden you’re dropping a Benjamin at checkout or when you go for frozen yogurt and you find a little more space for those cookie crumbles and then the gummies and oh don’t forget the sprinkles and then you have yourself a $10 yogurt. It is sneaky and at first sight is appealing but then has unforeseen consequences. It has now even creeped onto our ballots, into our HOAs and school board meetings.
As conservatives, we are wholly for the idea of property, but when that certain neighbor parks a very unseemly RV in their front yard, something should be done! So the next step is to give control to the local municipalities to pass ordinances upon ordinances and then we are surprised that American flags are disallowed for display, and our grass length needs to be exact same and don’t you dare put out that campaign yard sign. All a sudden the creep has crept and the control comes easy and our freedoms fall to the wayside.
Take a minute, and look at the eroding of our second amendment. Tragedy has struck in horrible ways when an evil person with a gun hurts innocent people; we immediately turn to licensing, and then that leads to background checks, and then limiting magazine capacity. Then the horror occurs again, and maybe closer to our backyard, and now we want to support red flag legislation. And today, we have watered down our 2nd amendment and that has done nothing to truly prevent violence, and now background checks on ammunition seems like the next natural step. The creeping has crawled into our pockets and our representatives’ pens to the level that the natural steps are ones for more control and less freedom.
If you look through past ballot initiatives and news reports, these freedom grabs didn’t happen overnight and sadly, they didn’t happen without our permission. The principles and freedoms we let go out of convenience then allow government entities, big and small, to creep up their power against us. In this culture of convenience, it is incredibly difficult to stay principled and cling to our freedoms when decisions are based on personal emotions and desires. I get it, as an engineer, a neighbor, and a participating citizen, the scope creep is so appealing but it isn’t worth it in the end because you and I are less free. I urge every one of us (myself included) to look long and hard at the freedom creep and stay vigilant against the creep because just as our projects or personal lives can get out of control, our present government is far more out of control.