At the recent Redstate Gathering, an attendee asked what we can do to push back the agenda of the left so that we can stop dealing with all of this stuff every day, and get things back to normal.
Jefferson might have answered that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. He was talking about us. This is normal, friend — and to me it feels great.
We’ve just awakened from a century-long nap, and while we were lazing about on our couches, the progressives stole the country.
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come on you like a bandit, and scarcity like an armed man.
Going back to sleep is not ever going to be an option. By contrast, many of us are hopeful that the flame is just now catching hold. We believe it will continue past November, past a November two years from now, and never die out.
If America is to continue past this generation, it will have to do as nations throughout history have done, and renew itself with new enthusiasm for its basic principles. The Hebrews of the Old Testament periodically rediscovered the Law of Moses, usually after finding a ruler with a real faith (perhaps one who heard what his pastor of 20 years was saying). The ancient Chinese governments would rise, decay, fall, and renew themselves based on adherence to their Confucian principles. And so it will be with us. Not in the Confuciusy part, but in returning to our own first principles.
In a brilliant piece at the Washington Times site, Doug Mainwaring says:
The Tea Party is the leading edge of a “Great Awakening” in America. In many ways, it appears to have the force and vitality of one of the religious awakenings that have occurred throughout our nation’s history. It is more than a populist movement. It is more than a reactionary group expressing voter dissatisfaction and anger. It can’t be boiled down to election results. It will not be co-opted neatly by the Republican Party. It is something much, much bigger.
Most Americans have culturally inculcated a deep respect for our Constitution and its traditions. We might quibble with this amendment or that one, or differ on the interpretation of one clause or another. But we know that the United States Constitution stands across history as a flame burning bright, bright enough to call immigrants from across oceans, strong enough to guide us in our darkest hour.
And this is the darkest hour we have faced in a long time.
There is a tremendous amount of work to do. Wherever we turn, on every front, the forces of darkness have crept in and taken hold:
- Unequal Taxation
- Uncontrolled, Ad Hoc Spending
- Socialized Medicine
- Global Warming Hype
- Energy policy
- Education failure
- Defense of Europe
- Federal / State Imbalance
- Political Correctness
- Bureaucratic control of business
- Class envy
- The imperial Presidency
- The Commerce Clause
- The Ninth Amendment under assault
- The Tenth Amendment utterly abandoned
- Social Security ponzi scheme coming due
- United Nations overreach
And the list of inextricably intertwined issues could go on.
We didn’t get here because we elected Barack Obama president. We got here because we didn’t rise up to undo each and every failed fix the Collectivists offered for each and every real or perceived societal ill. Instead they piled up one fix after another, with fixes for the fixes. And always, government grew. We surrendered our liberty and watched our government stray from its path as it lost its Constitutional light.
Turning that back is going to start with conservatives getting on board and influencing the ostenibly small-government Republican Party. This can’t be done by paying attention for a few months every two years. It will require constant attention — eternal vigilance, you might say. The days of the reservist party are over.
|Instead the Tea Parties and the wider conservative and libertarian Constitutional awakening should adopt the Concord Project. Concord is about getting out the vote (GOTV) during election season, but for it to be effective we must continue it, with the flame set lower, between elections.
Between election cycles we will apply the principles of the Precinct Committeeman Project, and continue to recruit people to become involved in their local party. We will develop relationships with organizations that share some or all of our ideology, so that when it comes time to elect conservatives, they’ll help. We’ll continue to talk to our friends and neighbors, noting what issues drive them.
And you power-hungry manipulators in Washington? Check your voice mail.
We didn’t get here in two years, and we can’t undo the damage in two. Our country — our society — will take a long time to fix. But fix it we must.
It begins, but does not end, November 2.