In more than a handful of ways, the cultural crossroads at which we’ve arrived as an American people is eerily similar to those initial days of the American Revolution. The predominantly-aged young people who are occupying many of the major cities across America in what appears to be more a show of haphazard defiance than anything close to resembling a coherent message with regard to the philosophical aims of individual freedom seem to take some degree of satisfaction in viewing themselves as “revolutionaries”.
If it’s George Washington and the Continental Army after whom they’re modeling themselves, then quite honestly they’re not even remotely aware of the degree of separation between their aims and the ideals that got a fledgling nation off the ground. To wit, if one were to take the time to read The 5,000-Year Leap – one of the defining books on the Founders – the reader would discover that in their personal correspondence, the Founders (including Jefferson himself) warned about what they called the dangers of the “collectivist Left,” as well as those who would either knowingly or unknowingly consider a new form of “monarchy” to be a desirable end. Our young Occupiers can’t seem to see or grasp that in an admittedly different form, they’re fighting for the dictatorship of a collectivist monarchy, something that took a violently unfortunate form in the French Revolution.
As I’ve pointed out in the piece prior to this one, we’re about to find out if this group of people – some paid (which is more than Washington’s soldiers received for their efforts), some not – are truly willing to make a stand at what could well be their Valley Forge, once the gales of November come crashing. The one question with which I’ll leave everyone is simply this: who are the real revolutionaries – those fighting for dictatorship, or those fighting against it?
Thomas Paine’s The Crisis (as updated by John Feeny)
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer citizen 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. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us: that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
As such, what is given to us without having worked, suffered for, and earned, we can never truly appreciate. Such it is with our younger generations and their sense of self-esteem: if they’ve been taught that they’re the center of the universe without ever having worked for or accomplished anything, they will never truly understand the sense of personal pride in their sense of and worth of self. It is therefore only natural, then, that by extension, those whom they view as responsible for providing that sense of self – parents, schools, and government – become the central objects of their sense of unfulfillment. This is the crux of the crisis that we face: too many of our citizens, mostly younger generations, have little regard if not outright contempt for the sacrifices made by their forefathers and elders and instead expect immediate sacrifices from a corrupted, essentially plutocratic government. They are apparently prepared to fight against us. So be it.
Only Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Washington, with a unionized army to enforce its tyranny, has declared that it has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER”, and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then there is not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Such a sense of unlimited power can belong only to God.
Whether the awakening of the American people came too soon, or delayed too long, I will not now enter into as an argument; my own simple opinion is, that had it been eight years earlier, it would have been much better. Republicans in Congress have, thus far, made moderate use of last November, but truth be told, we alone are the ones most responsible for putting ourselves in such a dependent state. No great deal is lost yet, however. All that Washington has been doing for this two years past is rather a haphazard ravaging of America rather than an organized conquest, through which the spirit of the American people shined nearly a year ago. With time and effort, we can pray that a little resolution will soon recover.
I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to destruction – military or otherwise – or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid conflict with their own country by every decent method which wisdom could invent. Neither have I so much of the infidel in me, as to suppose that He has relinquished the government of the last chance for Freedom in the world, and given us up to the care of devils; as such, I cannot see on what grounds the current President of the United States can look up to Heaven for help against us.
It is, indeed, surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them. Likewise, despite their fraudulent sense of arrogance and confidence, Washington trembles at the prospect of a free and uncontrolled citizenry. History is littered with examples of the power of a small group of people, or even an individual person, armed with a sense of honesty and decency bringing petrified fear to those in power. Would that Heaven might inspire some American citizen to spirit up his or her countrymen and save their fair fellow Americans from the designs of a political elite!
Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce good as well as hurt in equal portions. Their duration is always short; the mind becomes accustomed to and tired of mental conflict and can sometimes acquire a worse lethargy than before. The peculiar advantage of the good is, however, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and bring things and men to light, which might have otherwise been an awareness and a strength that would have lain forever undiscovered and untapped. Panics also sift out the hidden thoughts of man and hold them up in public to the world. As such, disguised Washington, loyalist Republicans have mostly shown their true intentions, that they shall cast off their cloak of integrity and throw in their lot with a corrupted political class.
As I have been politically active now for several years and have worked closely with people both at home and around the country, I am well acquainted with many circumstances, which those who pay little attention to what’s going on in their country know but little or nothing of. Our situation during this time has been considerably difficult, our first and most important initiative being to wake the people up to the threat right in front of them. Our force has been inconsiderable, being not nearly as significant as the power the political class could bring against us. We’ve had little support to mount a defense, given that even the messages that are sent out to mainstream America are controlled by Washington. Anything that we possessed that would enable us to raise our voices in protest were also effectively taken from us, as our own leaders derided and ridiculed any efforts that we made and rights that we possessed to peacefully assemble and protest the attack against our freedoms.
Such was our situation in late March of 2010, when the politicians representing only the interests of the political class effectively marched over their own constituents and arrogantly imposed an unconstitutional law on all middle class Americans who have not joined their ranks. Our first object has for some time now been to secure the eventual repeal of that law. At this point the rampant corruption in Washington has brought them to the point at which they effectively control our LIFE and our PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS; a last stand, of sorts, must be made at our personal LIBERTIES.
I shall conclude this paper with some miscellaneous remarks on the state of our affairs, and shall begin by asking the following question: Why is it that the enemy has now made the economic future of this country their chosen battlefield? That answer is easy: for several decades now, if not longer, this class that views themselves as rulers has worked within the constitutional law of our land and has used our freedom to destroy our freedom. The crisis that would ensue from a complete economic collapse would provide them an opportunity to re-structure our government in such a fashion that would allow them to permanently secure their positions of power and wealth and to impose their will upon the American people. I have been strident in raising the cry against these men and women, and used numberless arguments to show the people their danger, but it will not do to sacrifice a world either to their folly or their baseness. The period is now arrived, at which either they or we must change our sentiments, or one or both must fall. And what is a Democrat? Good God! What is he? I should not be afraid to go with a hundred conservatives against a thousand Liberals, were they to attempt to get into arms. Every Liberal is a coward; for servile, slavish, self-interested fear is the foundation of Liberalism, and a man under such influence, though he may be cruel, never can be brave.
But, before the line of irrecoverable separation be drawn between us, let us reason the matter together: Liberals – your conduct is an invitation to the enemy, yet not one in a thousand of you has heart enough to join him against us. President Obama is as much deceived by you as the American cause is injured by you. He expects you will all take up arms, and flock to his standard, with hatred in your eyes. Your opinions are of no use to him, unless you support him personally, for ’tis soldiers, and not Liberals, that he wants.
I once felt all that kind of anger, which a man ought to feel, against the mean principles that are held by politicians. A noted one was standing at his door with one of his constituents and after speaking his mind as freely as he thought was prudent, finished with the expression, “Well! give me peace in my day!” Not a man lives on the continent but fully believes that a resolution must some time or other finally take place and that a true adult should have said, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace;” and this single reflection, well applied, should be sufficient enough to awaken every man to duty. Not a place upon earth might be so happy as America. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade with them. A man can distinguish himself between temper and principle, and I am as confident, as I am that God governs the world, that America will never be happy till she gets clear of foreign interests. Wars, without ceasing, will break out till that period arrives, but the concept of America must, in the end, be conqueror; for though the flame of liberty may sometimes cease to shine, the coal can never expire.
Americans have not nor do they want conflict with their own country; as a result of an excess of seeming tenderness from our liberal representatives, we have been – since the end of that second world war – unwilling to consider the possibility that our own officials might have been knowingly working behind our backs. 2 1/2 years’ experience has now taught us better; yet with the mobilization of an awakened electorate, we were able to set bounds to the progress of the enemy, and, thank God! – they now seem to be steeling themselves for the oncoming campaign. I have always considered the American people to be a people that can mobilize quickly once alerted to attacks on their liberty, but I question the degree that an intense political focus can be maintained over the course of months and, quite possibly, years. Liberals, progressive Democrats, and the media will now, at this juncture, most likely step up their attempts to discredit the revolution that is beginning to move across the country, as has been evidenced to this point in the skirmishes that they’ve waged against the Tea Party. If they fail, their cause is lost; if they succeed ours is not lost, as they will, in these contests, bring the entirety of what they can muster against only pockets of ours. With the de-centralized nature of the Tea Party movement and the number of conservative candidates still in the field, progressive interests and the media cannot be everywhere, it is impossible. I consider Progressivism to be the greatest enemy Americans have; it has brought a war into their country, which, had it not been for it and their own complacency, they had been clear of. Should Progressivism now be expelled, I wish with all the devotion of a Christian that the names of liberal and conservative may never more be mentioned; but should conservatives give Progressives encouragement to once again advance or assistance, I as sincerely wish that our next campaign and subsequent election may expel them from the country. Hopefully, A single successful battle next year will settle the whole. There are those Americans who would like nothing better than to confiscate of the property of individuals they deem traitors; while revenge is sometimes an understandable end, the soft resentment of a suffering people who have no object in view but the good of all have staked their own all upon a seemingly doubtful event but, in the end, do wish nothing more than peace. Yet, we must not forget that it is folly to argue against the determined hardness of the Left; their eloquence may strike the ear, and their language of sorrow draw forth the tear of compassion, but nothing can reach their heart that is steeled with anger and resentment.
Quitting this class of men – those who would bicker over partisan politics – I turn with the warm ardor of a friend to those who have nobly stood, and are yet determined to stand the matter out: I call not upon a few, but upon all: not on this state or that state, but on every state – join and help us, lay your shoulders to the wheel. Better to have too much force than too little, when so great an object as freedom is at stake. Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of the winter of our struggle, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it. Say not that thousands have given up the cause, turn out your tens of thousands; throw not the burden of the day upon Providence, but “show your faith by your works,” that God may bless you. It matters not where you live, or what class of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all. The far and the near, the home counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike. The heart that feels not now is dead; the blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them happy. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death. My own line of reasoning is to myself as straight and clear as a ray of light. Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to “bind me in all cases whatsoever” to his absolute will, am I to suffer it? What signifies it to me, whether he who does it is a king or a common man; my countryman or not my countryman; whether it be done by an individual villain, or an army of them? If we reason to the root of things we shall find no difference; neither can any just cause be assigned why we should punish in the one case and pardon in the other. Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man. I conceive likewise a horrid idea in receiving mercy from a being, who at the last day shall be shrieking to the rocks and mountains to cover him, and fleeing with terror from the orphan, the widow, and the slain of America.
There are other cases which cannot be overdone by language, and here is yet another one. There are Liberals who see not the full extent of the evil which threatens them from the Middle East; they solace themselves with hopes that the enemy, if he succeed, will be merciful. It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf, and we ought to guard equally against both. For some reason, these members of our own countrymen have chosen to take a stance with them and against us. If this be the case, I will not hesitate to do what must be done in defense of my child’s future and my country.
One of President Obama’s important objects is, partly by scare tactics and partly by smooth talk, to convince the people to hand over their guns and to receive mercy. The United Nations has consistently recommended the same plan, and this is what the socialists call making their peace, “a peace which passeth all understanding” indeed! A peace which would be the immediate forerunner of a worse ruin than any we have yet thought of. People of America, do reason upon these things! Were the small cities to hand over their guns, they would fall an easy prey to the beginnings of a police state, forces who will be armed; this perhaps is what some socialists would not be sorry for. Were the small cites to hand over their arms, they would be exposed to the resentment of those who reside in more rural areas, who would then feel justified in calling their fellow countrymen traitors. And were any one state to give up its arms, that state will need to be forcefully protected by the socialist movement, as the remaining states will turn their anger upon it. Mutual fear is the principal link in the chain of mutual love, and God help the state that breaks the compact. The Liberals are mercifully inviting you to your own destruction, and men must be either rogues or fools that will not see it. I dwell not upon the vapors of imagination; I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as A, B, C, hold up truth to your eyes.
I thank God, that I fear not. I see no real cause for fear. I know our situation well, and can see the way out of it. While middle-class conservative Americans have begun to collect against him more and more, President Obama has had to walk a very thin political line; further, his hypocritical stance with regard to the nature of protest, in that he has openly ridiculed the honest, everyday Americans who are part of the Tea Party, while openly supporting the anarchists of the Occupy movement only makes his agenda more transparent. It is a great credit to us, that, despite the efforts of the mainstream media to ruin utterly the real nature of the Tea Party protests we have persevered with only negligible retreats in our message being necessary. None can say that any degree of our retreat was precipitate, for we have continued to march out in vast numbers against what can only be called our enemies and have remained steadfast in our efforts. The sign of fear has not been seen in our camp, and had not some of the cowardly conservatives spread false alarms through the country, even minor retreats would not have been necessary.
Once more we are again collected and collecting; our new army at both ends of the continent is recruiting fast, and we shall be able to begin this final push to save our country with more support than that with which we originally began. This is our situation, and who will may know it. By perseverance and fortitude we have the prospect of a glorious issue; by cowardice and submission, the sad choice of a variety of evils — a ravaged country — ruined cities — habitations without safety, and slavery without hope — our homes taken from us…. Look on this picture and weep over it! and if there yet remains one thoughtless wretch who believes it not, let him suffer it unlamented.