One thing has become painfully clear to me in the last year or so. If your cause is fighting excessive government spending and control over our lives, your fight will never be over. There is no end zone. There is no goal line. There is no touchdown dance. You work in the trenches, fighting the expansion of government power and concurrent threat to freedom that expansion represents. The battle is never won. The game is never over. You best recognize this reality and live your life with some level of comfort knowing that it’s going to be built around this fundamental and most virtuous pursuit.
It’s time for all conservatives to strap on their helmets and get in the game. It’s been commonly reported that Benjamin Franklin was approached by a woman at the end of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia as delegates left Independence Hall for the last time. “What have you given us,” she asked. “A Republic,” replied Franklin “if you can keep it.” I’m here to tell you that our Republic is in danger of failure. You don’t need to fight for a day or through another election. If you understand what’s at stake, you need to make a commitment to fight for the rest of your life.
Edmund Burke once commented that “nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.” Please consider Burke’s words as you take a full inventory of the state of our nation, the state of your state and what you have to offer to put us on a better path and keep us on that path. If you keep up on the news by following like-minded souls on Facebook and Twitter, that’s wonderful. Bypassing the filter of the traditional media and sharing reputable, important news through the tools available to you is very helpful in this war. But if that’s all you’re doing, I’m here to tell you that you aren’t doing enough.
Leaders in this battle who choose to serve in public office, best understand that their true commitment to cutting the size and reach of government, may result in their political careers (at least in the short-term) coming to an end. But it is the job of people like you and me to minimize those casualties. In Wisconsin and Ohio, both states with a very strong labor union tradition, leaders are stepping up to change the status quo and return sanity to the process of spending public funds. Heroes aren’t being made in places like Wisconsin and Ohio, they are being revealed. To the extent they suffer politically and lose legislative battles, legal battles and reelection battles, another nail is put in the coffin for the Republic of which Franklin spoke.
The battle is about freedom. The battle is about existence. The battle will never end. The government monster is like the terminator. “It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.” As the size of government grows, the freedom of individuals is proportionally reduced. As the spending of government grows, the liberty of individuals is proportionally reduced.
Edmund Burke also said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Well good man and woman, you best stand up and do something meaningful. Two things will be critical in our effort to make progress in this never-ending struggle. Just as you may tithe 10 percent or more of your income to your church or other noble causes, I’m going to encourage you to consider a similar investment in America’s future. Give money to those non-deductible, political causes and candidates that need it. Even little bits of money. And help raise money and turn out voters. And always support and encourage those warriors on the field of battle willing to put themselves on the line to fight the government terminator. Thank them and encourage them.
Giving money does more than simply help the recipient. It also allows you to be personally invested in the cause. Personally invest in a lot of causes. Not with lip service alone, but with your hard-earned cash. If you don’t have a lot, set aside $100 and donate $10 each to ten important causes (or $20 each to five important causes) and then invest yourself with time and sweat and effort to personally see those causes succeed. You become a lot more credible fundraiser if you yourself have invested. When you are able to tell people on Facebook, on Twitter, in emails, in phone calls or personal conversations while walking door-to-door that you yourself have also personally invested your hard-earned dough in a cause, your appeal to others is much more likely to succeed. And tell them that it’s important that they give for all the reasons outlined above.
Following the news and chatting about it on Facebook and Twitter is a fine pursuit, but if that’s all you’re doing, you may be part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. If you want to see a change in this country different than the change delivered after Barack Obama’s election in 2008, then start by becoming and demonstrating the change we need to make that happen.
And one more thing — laugh once in a while. Take a deep breath. Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. Nothing is more tedious than being confronted by an angry liberal, with a vein popping out of his intense forehead as he lectures you about your ignorance. Don’t be the conservative version of that. At the end of the day, you’ll be much more effective in reaching other people if you truly learn to enjoy your mission and don’t just focus on the destination, but enjoy the ride.
Author’s note: This post was also shared at www.punditleague.us – the author, Brian Fojtik, can be followed on Twitter @PositiveEnerG