Welcome to a new chapter in the evolution of the SonOfLiberty2k10 blog.
This site has been around for almost 3 years now, undergoing various changes as my personal life and activism paths have taken different forks over that period of time.
I thank you, my faithful readers, for sticking around, and hope you will continue with me down this new and interesting path. Without further ado, then, I present:
Part 1 of 3 –
The Power of Persuasion, or the Persuasion of Power?
I use that heading in homage to the resignation of Andy Stern, the head of ACORN’s labor-relations alter-ego, SEIU. He advocated opting for the latter.
We, my friends, must choose one or the other. They cannot both exist simultaneously within a single ideology.
The brushfires of Liberty spoken of so long ago by Samuel Adams have again been kindled in our great nation. The message of Liberty is alive and well, and just as capable of persuading the public in 2010 as it was in 1775. Naturally, believing this, I am vocally supporting using the power of persuasion.
The story I am about to relate comes from very close to my home, but I am not getting into the weeds here. There is a larger (and extremely important) overall point to this, so please bear with me for a few paragraphs.
Here in the 5th Congressional District of Virginia, the revolution has begun, and it is not a pretty sight to behold. I am speaking of a series of elections that are currently taking place to select unit chairs, on the county, large city, and district levels, in the Republican Party.
One such election took place in Campbell County last week, and the sitting Republican chairman was rejected, by a small margin, in favor of fresh blood. The new chairman happens to be aligned with the TeaParty Movement, while the GOP establishment and even the current Virginia Lieutenant Governor endorsed the outgoing chair.
The same exact scenario unfolded in Bedford this past Monday, except that the margin of victory was not even close. The new chairman won 220-105.
This same outcome has, so far, played out in 12 local units. And you can expect encore performances, all across the country, as TeaParty groups become more active on their local political battlefields.
However, the fallout will be just as similar. I witnessed an event Monday night that sent cold chills to my bones. As the new unit chair took to the podium to thank the voters and accept his post, two entire rows of people (about 35, in all), stood up, as a block, and filed out of the auditorium.
Whatever your alignment, TeaParty or party-line, this is an egregious display of bad form.
But it should surprise no one.
The sad fact is this: power does corrupt. And when power is stripped from those who have proven (over and over) that they cannot be trusted with it, they will lash out. Whether it is the controlling party in a governing body, or an unpaid volunteer leading a small local unit, they have gone to great lengths to secure and maintain their modicum of power, and their sphere of influence is jealously guarded.
Just as the local party elites have shown their true colors when faced with their own mortality (in terms of influence), so, too, will the power-brokers inside the 495 beltway jealously guard the power they have amassed, as we the people assert our own authority under the banner of the 10th Amendment. And they will lash out, savagely, at all who oppose.
But we must be prepared for this, and these battles must be waged, for our success or failure there will ultimately predict the outcome of the revolution as a whole.
In short, we must take bold and decisive action to curb the confiscation of our liberty and financial security, but we must recognize that it is the usurpation of our power that has allowed it. And our complacence, by and large, has allowed our power to be taken from us and amassed in a Federal stockpile.
I am an advocate of redistribution, but not in the way our current Federal Feudalists mean it. I believe we need the sort of redistribution that our founders would support: the redistribution of power.
In my next post, I will delve into the strategies that are being used to achieve this goal, and whether they will work. Until then, thanks for reading, and keep up the fight.
May 11th, 2010
My apologies for the dearth of posts lately. Things have been very hectic on both the work and home fronts. But, here I am again, to continue this post.
So, on to part 2.
Power Doesn’t Just Corrupt
Or: The Year of the Sand Blaster
In my last post, I related the story of Tea Party backers taking over local unit chair positions, and the establishment hacks being very unhappy about it. Since then, the 5th District has elected a new chairman, as well. (He appeared on one of my recent shows, by the way.)
One group that has defined “deafening silence” since then have been the lefty bloggers (and even some establishment GOP types) who had previously been very vocal about the Tea Party Movement and their certainty that it would never be able to have a discernable impact at the ballot box. The reason for their silence now is simple: every one of these local unit chair elections involved, of all things, ballots being cast and counted.
In my last post, I also talked about the redistribution of power. This time, I want to make the case for a movement in that direction being absolutely essential to our present struggle.
The Founders laid out very specific powers that were granted to the Federal government, but so granted only by our consent. For months, on my own blog and radio shows, I have been making the case that we should withdraw our consent. This is, indeed, a crucial element in our movement as we go forward.
But we have already begun to do that. Protests and solidarity are well and good, and serve a useful purpose, but instead of spending all our time and energy planning the next round of Independence Day Tea Party events, we have begun to come to terms with two facts.
First of all, we have a greater understanding of our current batch of Congress Critters. We realize that we can make all the noise we want, with crowds as large as we can possibly muster, but they don’t care. They were not listening during the August Revolts of ’09, at town hall meetings in their own districts. TIME magazine issued their “Year In Pictures” publication, while completely ignoring over 1.2 million people surrounding the Capitol last September. And their refusal to care about our voices, way back then, should give us a clear indication of their future course.
Secondly, with that knowledge, we are faced with the reality that Tea Party gatherings serve mostly as an echo chamber, a place for us to gather and remember that we are not in this struggle alone, and an opportunity to meet like-minded local individuals to assist us in the next steps.
Those next steps are being taken, as I alluded to in my last post, within the party structure. Here, I will try to reinforce this resolve, and attempt to lay out the reasons why this is so crucial.
The old adage goes: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. While corruption is rampant, anyone who has dealt with corrosion and oxidation knows that these are just as detrimental.
Corruption can weaken the structure of whatever body it happens to infect, but only when it is exposed can we begin to combat it. Corrosion, on the other hand, begins on the surface and, left unchecked, will eat away at the underlying structure, and its appetite is voracious.
This is a vitally important distinction, and the crux of the dichotomy between the two largest special interest groups in our country today: the Republican and Democrat parties.
The underlying corruption, in both parties, has been exposed to a certain extent in recent years, and even more so of late with the advent of new media and the Tea Party Movement. This is, overall, a good thing.
The damning “but” begins here… But, the Democrat party has been completely overrun by progressives, rooted in Marxist ideology. The corrosion is there, right in the open for all to see, but there are none left to point to it. In the meantime, it has progressed past the point of surface rust and eaten away bits of the party’s structure, leaving the gaping holes exposed.
That corrosion is, for all intents and purposes, inextricably tied to the structure. It cannot be sanded out, much less painted over (as some are attempting to do). The only possible means of repairing it is by way of back-filling those portions that have rusted out.
A few Democrats exist who have not yet been completely wasted away by the corrosion of progressivism. I can only hope they have a large enough supply of Bondo to repair that structure.
The Republican party, in contrast, is under scrutiny even more now, and for very good reason. (I’ll get into the details on those reasons in Part 3.)
My point, regarding the Republican party, is this: the corruption is rampant, but exposed. The corrosion has largely eaten away the top layer or two of the structure, but it has been noticed. The repair IS possible.
But this corrosion in the Republican ranks is NOT progressivism. Progressivism is the corruption.
The yearning for government power while preaching about limiting the government’s power is the corrosion I’m speaking of.
The corrosion is that born of stagnation. The notion that this person or that one should be given a boost up to the next rung of the political ladder because it’s “their turn.” The closed-minded idea that newcomers must be “taken under the wing” and “shown the ropes” by those who have made a career “on the inside.”
This exclusionary mind-set has been rampant inside the GOP ranks since 1986, and is a complete 180-degree turn from the open-armed rhetoric that Reagan espoused, and which led to an epic landslide on the 1984 Electoral College map.
Republicans have been posturing ever since, scrambling to secure their foothold, their little niche of power, claiming the mantle of “the party of Reagan,” all the while betraying Reagan’s vision of inclusion.
When corrosion has set in, to the point that it has in the Republican Party, there is but one course of action to take. Sandblast it out. The Tea Party Movement, if they plan their steps carefully, can help make 2010 “The Year of the Sandblaster.”
Part 3 will delve into the tactics for doing so.
Until then, thanks for reading.
Finally- I present Part 3:
On Power- Part 3
The Final Jigsaw Piece
2010 has been labeled as “The Year of…” well, a whole host of things. In my last post, I put forth the notion of making it “The Year of the Sandblaster” to scour out the corrosion within the party structure.
I have previously articulated the differences between corruption and corrosion. In this final part of the series, I’m seeking to put a very fine point on it. In so doing, I shall use that point to poke at the eyes of those who seek to distract us from what 2010 is, and should be.
There have been a series of failures on the part of the Republican Party. I am not simply referring to the last eight, or even twenty-eight years. Each Republican President since – and including – Herbert Hoover(ville) has been relentless in the pursuit of more Federal power.
These GOPers have increased the Federal Government’s size (who created the Homeland Security Department, TSA, FDA, OSHA, the CEQ? And I could go on and on). They have increased the Federal Government’s scope (Medicare Part D and massive expansion of S-CHIP, as a recent reference). The Republican Party has also increased the Federal Government’s power (the PATRIOT Act & TARP, anyone?). Unfortunately, in most cases, they have done all three.
Four of the five biggest-spending Presidents of the last one hundred & ten years were Republicans.
Let’s look at the big picture for a moment. To be honest with ourselves, we have no choice but to conclude that the Republican Party has been a reliable engine of government expansion and intrusion. The Democrat party does not hold a monopoly on this, not by a long shot. The only variance is in degrees.
Put another way, whether it’s a high-speed electric rail line from Chicago, Illinois to Washington, DC, or a diesel-powered Amtrak train from Crawford, Texas to Washington, DC; the destination is identical. Granted, the cargo and passengers will arrive faster on the former, but when we see that the tracks are damaged up ahead, speed becomes irrelevant. Derailment is certain, at any speed.
The popular refrain is that we can avert that eventual catastrophe by wrestling the reigns of power from one political party and turning them over to the other, which will apply the brakes and slow the train down. You know, the old familiar “political pendulum” notion.
But will the opposing party follow through? What evidence has been offered that leads us to believe this scenario will actually play out? Faced with this so-called “evidence” (which is circumstantial, at best), will we, the provably gullible electorate, buy it? …Again?
As usual, the GOP has been touting the “50 state strategy” and the time-tested “we need to grow the party” line. But what solutions have been offered? Can you name 3, specifically: without the aid of Google or the latest RNC mailer? Hell, I’ll give you a triple-word-score AND Yahtzee if you can name one.
“Repealing ObamaCare,” you say? Nice try, but remember, I said “solutions,” not “proposals that stand no chance of becoming law before January 21st of 2013.” Anyone? Anyone at all? Bueller? Bueller?
Sure, lip service is paid, and in large quantity, to the “big-tent” platform, but the lie is put to that immediately, once one looks closely at the persons spouting the line. Almost to a man, or woman (I don’t want to tread into the swamp of misogyny by denying GOP women their rightful scorn), they are partisan, establishment hacks whose idea of growing the party consists of patronizing minority groups. And, to make matters worse, it’s usually surrounded by the foul odor of condescension.
Folks, Ronald Reagan understood that the “big tent” is neither a shelter that needs to be constructed, nor is it a corral into which disparate groups and voting blocs can be herded. It is organic: the fabric woven from the very individuals who inhabit the tent. All that is required of the party is to erect the central tent stake, and make sure it is rooted firmly. And, most importantly, to ensure that the elected officials and party leadership aren’t digging around the base of that stake.
Republicans, ever since the Reagan era, have proceeded to put the cart before the elephant. I hate to quote horrible movies, but the most over-used line from “Field of Dreams” applies here. The GOP’s stance on the ‘big tent’ can be summed up as “If you build it, they will come.”
Reagan knew that the people coming in WERE the tent. No assembly required. The central tenet, the main tent-stake of the conservative big top, if you will, was and always will be individual rights – or what Locke called “natural rights.” The Founders set this country on the firm foundation of natural rights, granted to all men by our Creator. They posited, and rightly so, that these rights were inalienable. Meaning that neither man nor God could ever confiscate them, short of taking away our very breath.
In practical application, this overriding philosophy is the only “big tent” we need. It not only welcomes, but also positively beckons folks from all races, cultures, religions, and creeds, precisely because it not only promises, but delivers on the notion of equality. The idea of liberty, rooted in the natural rights of all mankind, places before each individual an ironclad guarantee of success, but only to the extent that individual wishes to pursue it. It is a binding compact, signed in the blood of countless patriots who died to protect it. Moreover, they died willingly, out of respect for liberty and the sheer awe of what it inspired in them.
Part of the oxidation & corrosion within the Republican Party comes from our ingrained refusal to recognize these fundamental, core principles as the very foundation of this land. We did recognize them, at certain points in time. We did fight for them, at certain points in time.
But we are on the verge of utterly abandoning them, at this, one of the most uncertain, and pivotal, points in time. This corrosive process has been years in the offing. Steadily, piece by seemingly insignificant piece, we have surrendered to the voices of “moderation,” calling for “bipartisanship.” What we have failed to ask, for far too long, is the central question: “Why?”
Why are we being urged toward the middle of the road by voices of supposed “leadership” in the party structure? Why do these same voices pay lip service to Reagan’s ideas, while utterly ignoring (or outright denying) his strategy for achieving those lofty goals? Most importantly, by far, is this question: “Why should we compromise our stated principles, even in the face of heavy opposition, when history is littered, not with heroic tales, but with the battered corpses, of those who did just that?”
Ayn Rand summed it up thusly (and I’m paraphrasing a bit): Wherever evil succeeds, it is merely by default. Evil prevails only in the moral vacuum that is created when men (who should know better) ignore the glaring absolute: that there can be NO compromise on core principles. And: In any compromise between good and evil, the end product always, necessarily, contains some element of evil. When the men who strike that compromise recognize the good, they also recognize the evil. They then have NO moral grounds to accept ANY portion of the latter.
Love her or hate her, those words are cold, hard, unflinching truth. True leadership consists of being able to not only state that truth, but to act upon it, and show others, through the fierce determination to do so, that they can, as well. That they MUST.
When we compromise, it only serves to demonstrate, to friend and foe alike, our inherent lack of faith in our own principles. Why else would we so quickly balk at defending them?
No one is perfect, of course. Reagan had his flaws & moments of compromise, as well. This was, however, more a problem of bitter partisanship than of abandoning principles.
But when Reagan stuck to his guns and firmly reasserted his core convictions, even those who stood in staunch disagreement had to grudgingly admire his strength, determination, and character.
He understood, as very few have since, that the central post of the big tent also doubles as a rallying flag. And, more importantly, that the tent flaps, on all four points of the compass, should remain open to allow in those who will surely rally to it.
Who among us is up to the task of staking that claim once again, and planting that tent post firmly in the bedrock of our nation’s (and not a particular, and fickle, party’s) founding principles?
October 28, 2010