This post from Tom Lester has more optimism than I am able to generate. While we may disagree on how optimistic we should be, Tom provides valuable observations and guidance at a time when those who understand this country and how it works are very disillusioned and down.
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
So wrote Thomas Paine on December 23, 1776, in The Crisis to attempt to renew the rally for the colonists in the American Revolution. The country was divided, General George Washington was in retreat after losses in several battles, and his soldiers were deserting or returning to their homes after their enlistments had expired. The future for a new American nation looked bleak.
On November 7, 2012, perhaps many Americans felt very much the same way as American colonists in late 1776.
It’s no secret that I am a conservative, neither Democrat nor Republican, but who saw the election as an opportunity to slow, unfortunately not completely stop, the move toward socialism in this country. I am disappointed and disillusioned as many logical and reasonable thinking people have since expressed in their emails and phone calls to me.
On TV I hear the political pundits analyze the reason for Romney’s defeat, some even blaming him for not capitalizing on the murder of four Americans in Benghazi. Romney is an honorable man and I suspect he believed the news media would finally question the actions, or lack thereof, of the Administration and State Department in the terrorist’s attack on our Libyan embassy and the pursuant attempt to misdirect and blame a video. It was an error by the Romney campaign but the major issues of the election were, and still remain, the stagnant economy, employment and the massive deficit. I suspect Romney honestly believed that the American people would respond to his ability to finally address these issues more effectively than the unproductive concepts by Obama and the progressive Congress, attempted and exhibited as complete failures. Many of us would like a “do-over” but our Constitution does not allow it.
So while we seek to find answers to the disappointing results of the election and direct recriminations of the errors and misjudgments of others, we need to acknowledge our own shortcomings in this past election. Did we as small business employers paint the picture of the impending potential of the disastrous impact of an Obama re-election? I’m no employer but I’d like to think I would have made clear to my employees that my business might require layoffs, decreased participation or even total elimination in my health care insurance plan, and the prospect of my doors closing permanently. Did we educate our children adequately on the failures of socialism and the successes of a capitalistic free-market society? Or did we shirk our instructive responsibilities assuming the free expression of political thought would never be a requirement for our offspring as they entered adulthood? Did we engage youth on the value of individual responsibility?
Did we seize every opportunity to discuss facts of the last four years with that liberal or moderate voter or did we simply assume that we could not change his or her mind? Too many are ignorant and/or apathetic to the affairs of the nation, and therefore think their vote would make no difference in changing the very things of which they complain. Did we think that our voice would be any less influential than the people in Washington who supposedly represent us? It’s perhaps human nature to always seek others on which to level the blame without accepting responsibility that our small, seemingly insignificant action could have made a difference.
That is dramatically demonstrated as we typically judge ourselves by our intentions while we judge others by their actions. In other words, ‘It was my intention to do that, so you need judge me by my intention rather than my action, and therefore I’m absolved of any responsibility. Yet so-and-so didn’t do this or that, whatever his intention, so he bears the blame and I can criticize his lack of responsibility.’ Individual responsibility was once the standard of this country but we’ve now become a nation in which we too often want “ole George” to do it. Ironically, this country sought its independence in the Revolutionary War when King George III and Parliament decided and demanded increased tax revenues from the American colonies to offset the deep debt Britain incurred in waging the French and Indian War while not providing the same citizenship rights as those granted to residents of the British Isles. It seems that we’ve come full cycle with our Washington leadership now in the role of Parliament believing higher income earners should pay for the Federal bureaucracy‘s debt incurred with legislation and massive regulation.
Many of us are disappointed and distraught with the results of the election. Many of us, me included, feel that we’ve lost the very essence that made the country great. These were freedom, entrepreneurship, American exceptionalism, the quest for a better life, the chance to give each successive generation a more trouble-free life than the parents’ lives before. That seems to have evaporated with the election results, almost certainly assuring one of the biggest tax hikes in world history, a very liberal Supreme Court, a surrender of rights and sovereignty to the whelms of the United Nations, and the further growth of the Federal government as the supreme authority how our lives are to be lived and for how long.
What’s one to do? We have two choices. We can either throw up our hands and acquiesce, or we can stand up for our convictions and fight. And please don’t insult me by interpreting my meaning of fighting as an encouragement of armed rebellion. The Constitution has served us fairly well for the past 226 years and it can continue to serve us.
The fight of which I speak is Demand that government become more closely allied to the beliefs of the Founding Fathers in which are embodied in the United States Constitution. Instead of watching events unfold, become an advocate for driving events. Flood letters and emails into $16,000,000,000,000 Pennsylvania Avenue, to your House and Senate representatives, and to the state houses and legislatures, demanding they embrace a much more fiscally responsible approach to government. Demand transparency and complete unadulterated truth, without the spin, from all elected officials regardless of the outcome.
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
That statement was by Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Germany Reich Minister of Propaganda from 1933 to 1945. German newspaper such as Völkischer Beobachter (“People’s Observer”), Der Angriff (“The Attack”) and the Illustrierter Beobachter were employed and commanded to promote their propaganda. The Soviet communists used this same ploy during the Cold War with their Pravda (“Truth”) and Izvestia newspapers. Some of our own American newspapers and news media today use this same ruse to influence the news rather than report it. The significant difference is that Nazi Germany and the Soviets did so at the point of a gun while our news sources do it willingly.
Demand that news outlets become just that – truthful outlets reporting the news, not attempting to influence with their own interpretation of what America needs. If you encounter a television news station that can’t provide a fair assessment of both sides of the argument, turn it off. If a newspaper editorializes without the opposing view, cancel your subscription.
Take an active interest in your children’s and grandchildren’s primary and secondary educations. Read their text books for content and voice concern for arbitrary conclusions and political correctness.
Perhaps many of us have had that fleeting thought of wanting to abandon the country for the simplistic life of a desert isle. It’s difficult to know if my words are finding resonance with an audience and I continually struggle with the question. I’d much rather be spending time doing other things and this pursuit does require commitment, time and energy. The truth, however, is that I truly care about this country and I want to do this for my children and grandchildren that they may continue to have the same love of freedom and country. Despite the outcome of November 6, this was just one election and I’m not yet ready to give up even though
THESE are the times that try men’s souls.