Friday, November 5, 2010
Back to the Galt Mines
Now that the election is over, we can get back to the work of liberty.
That seems an odd statement to some, but it is true just the same. It is true in that for many people who have woken up in the past two years, the election was somewhat of a distraction.
It was a necessary distraction, to be sure, but a distraction none-the-less.
A few weeks ago I wrote about this, starting with the thesis that taking the red pill, that waking up to the reality of what has happened to our country over the past century, also means that the newly awake sleepers will necessarily go through a mourning process. And that the distraction of the election--although necessary, too--elicits a kind of desperate clinging to the idea that if we can just get the right people or party elected, we can go back to the time before this present Crisis, and even perhaps get a few more winks of sleep in, before facing reality.
Now the election shows us how well all of our hard work pays off. The people who have tried to talk to their representatives, only to be rebuffed with evasions; those who went to town hall meetings, only to be called crazy; those who protested the costly Obamacare bill that would require them by force of law to make certain purchases, and were called racists and rubes; all of those people who were ignored have now had their say at voting booth. The ballot box has prevailed. And it prevailed with a great sea change that left the uncomprehending congress-critters looking like fools. This was a great victory for those of us who have held Tea Parties, networked, spent time and treasure going to meetings and conventions, congresses and Constitution courses.
And we should celebrate it.
I will say that again. Once more, with feeling:
WE SHOULD CELEBRATE IT.
We should recognize what can be accomplished by determined, liberty-loving people. We, who have been ignored, dismissed, laughed at and called names, have by our persistent emphasis on principles and values, been heard. We know we have because even before the returns were in, we heard the self-anointed arbiters of culture on MSNBC and in the halls of power stop using derisive terms and talk to us on our terms. That change--from "tea-baggers" to "the Tea Parties"--tells us we have been heard. And that is what we ought to celebrate.
However, we must recognize that being heard is only the beginning of the beginning. It is not even the Churchillian end of the beginning. And being heard does not mean that the action we want will follow. It almost certainly won't. A battle won is not the campaign. And it is certainly not the whole war. The second American R3volution is just beginning. It can easily die aborning if most of those awakened sleepers decide that they have won the whole thing in one easy election, hit the snooze alarm, roll over and go back to sleep.
We're not hardly finished. In fact, we have just begun.
Over the next two years there are two major tasks that we must accomplish. The first is to become educated and principled with respect to the Constitution and to the philosophy of liberty and natural rights that is its foundation. Secondly, we must insist that the people we send to Congress represent our interests.
First Educate Ourselves and Our Children:
The other day I saw a You Tube video that made humor at the expense of a group of lefties who were long on talking points that originated from others, and short on knowledge. A Second City reporter walked through the crowd at the Rally for Sanity with a sign that said: Obama = Keynsian? Another Second City reporter followed with a camera and mike, and got the reaction of members of the crowd. Most of the people were prepared to believe that Keynsian = Kenyan, and rather indignantly and hilariously took off on diatribes against the notion that Obama was not born in the United States. This highlighted the ignorance that is masked in talking points and invective. And Liberty people who know who Keynes is, and what Keynsian economics is, and even who Hayek is and what he wrote, had a good laugh.
But the problem illustrated by this stunt exists among liberty people, too. On a number of occasions, I have heard Tea Partiers and others make statements or advocate positions that sound good on the surface, but that are actually antithetical to liberty and individual rights. Some issues that have been mindlessly supported by different groups within the patriot movement betray an ignorance of the Constitution itself. Almost invariably, when asked the provenance of the idea, I have been told that it was the position of some politician or political party. Talking points will not a revolution make! We must clarify our values, and make sure that positions that we support are in line with our principles. If we are educated in the bed-rock foundation of the Constitution, the idea of natural rights that are inherent to all individuals, then we have no need of talking points. We can speak directly from our understanding of and passion for Liberty.
Secondly, the Congress Must Represent Our Interests:
The majority of the new Congress will not be composed of liberty people. A few have those credentials, but most are politicians. And all of them are walking into a lion's den of corrupted interests. The Republicans are--as a party--no better than the Democrats. We saw that with the collapse of the Republican Revolution from the election of 1994. Instead of honoring their "Contract with America", they became as supportive of tax-and-spend, and grandstanded with a failed and costly (both in dollars and in political capital) attempt to remove the president by impeachment. We saw the same co-option occur with President Bush's agenda, and the loss of the House to Democrats in 1996. While it is true that the Obamaniacs completely mistook that election and the election of 2008 as a mandate to take this country leftward, this does not excuse the Republicans.
Further, a few people of principle elected to Congress can easily be dismissed, as Ron Paul has been continuously over the course of his career in Congress.
In order to prevent the co-option of our new Congress by corrupt and venal forces in government, and in order to prevent the actual liberty people among them from being dismissed and rendered ineffectual, we must do two things.
1. Feet. Fire.
It will be easy enough for this new Congress to take one presidential veto and turn it into an excuse not to buck the system. Therefore we must continually remind them that they DID NOT WIN. Rather, the Democratic Socialists (formerly the Democratic Party) LOST. We did not elect these guys, rather we threw the bums of the other party out. The new Congress has no mandate for their agenda; rather they have marching orders for OURS.
Remember those calls to our Congress-critters during the past two years? They should continue, although perhaps on a more friendly basis. We must let them know we are watching and that they represent us.
We must hold their feet to the fire. We must insist that they propose the bills that we want to be heard, such as a repeal of the egregious and tyrannous Obamacare legislation. We need to remind them that we know that the Senate will likely not go along, and that Obama will likely veto it all. WE. DON'T. CARE. These trials will establish a record for the election of 2012. That record will be the basis of who will get thrown out next time.
To this end, I am sending each of the Congress-critters from New Mexico a simple postcard reading: It's the CONSTITUTION, stupid!
We need to keep the Constitution ever before their eyes, so that they may not stray from the path of Liberty. We must bid them: Remember, remember the 5th of November, election day 2012. We brought them into Congress, and we can take them out.
But we must not only sternly remind them of why we sent them up. We must also provide them with support for doing the right thing.
2. Support the Liberty Reps:
Michelle Bachman is proposing that the Tea Party Caucus become the Constitutional Caucus. She argues that the caucus should be named for the main unifying focus of the Tea Party movement, a return to Constitutional governance. We should urge Congresswoman Bachman to keep the focus on the Constitution, and the limited nature of the government that it created. All other issues, no matter how dear to conservatives or libertarians, should not constrain the membership. Some issues are not federal issues at all and should not be allowed to divide the caucus. If this is done, such a caucus can become a bastion of support for our new-be representatives, and it will give them the get-up-and-go to get up and do what needs doing.
But we should not leave support to the caucus alone. These guys and gals represent US. We ought to pledge ourselves to keep apprised of what our particular representative is doing and saying, and not only hold his/her feet to the fire when needed, but also call or write our support when he/she does the right thing, or makes a good speech. Let them know that we will support the hard actions that are needed to bring Liberty back to the center of our government.
It is time to celebrate. A victory is a victory, and every one of them is important to this ongoing campaign for the peaceful Restoration of the Constitution. But we're not done.
Why, we've only just begun . . .
So after that victory drink or dance or moment, it's . . .
. . . Back to the Galt Mines.