Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What "Take America Back" means to me

I often get asked what I believe on various issues and what it is that I'm advocating with the Take America Back bands. Take it back from whom?, I'm often asked. Let me say this... this is not about health insurance, it's not about higher taxes, it's not about cap and trade issues, it's not about the farce that has become our monetary system, it's not about obscene deficits, it's not the degradation of our basic and common culture, it's not even about the government intrusion into private industry. It's much, much larger than that to me.

Those are all merely symptoms of a larger illness. We (the people) have allowed government to take responsibility for us, rather than ourselves. We have continued to elect the same sort of people, year after year, who continually promise one thing but do another. We have been distracted and medicated by the comforts of our credit card society. The bigscreen TV has trumped the town hall and a trip to Walmart has become more important than going to vote. Yes, I am guilty too. I have seen the ball rolling down the hill but, until now, have merely watched and muttered the occasional gripe. I have missed voting in elections. I too, have stood by as America's greatness has been dimmed.

What is this "greatness" of which I speak? It is the freedom to become whatever we desire. The freedom to achieve. The freedom to fail. The freedom to use our God-given abilities to create comfort for ourselves and our families. It's the freedom to live uncoerced my our fellow man. It's the freedom to help others as our conscience dictates. It's the freedom to be free.

A little more than 230 years ago, a group of individuals came together who realized that freedom was the natural state and desire of mankind. They set out to create the most unique and daring social experiment that has ever been attempted. That system, enshrined in the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights, has been an unequivocal success by any measure. It has allowed us to not only achieve great economic and social progress, it has been a beacon to other people around the world that they too can live in freedom. It works because it's foundation is built upon our God-given freedom to live, to prosper and to help others do the same.

What is under attack, and has been for quite some time, is this very foundation. There are those among us who believe the state to be more competent than its citizens. They believe the collective to be more important than the individual. They seek to enslave us to the will of the state not out of some evil dictatorial ambition. No, they truly believe they are saving us from ourselves. The policies mentioned above, regardless of their intent, have consequences. They make us less free. They go by the name of Democrat and Progressive and yes, even some Republicans. Regardless of political party, they seek to embrace us with the protective arms of the state by preying on our fears and dividing us into the have's and the have not's. Our bumper stickers call them socialists or communists. What they really are is... misguided. It is sad that they do not recognize the potential for greatness that is within all individuals and our ability to seek that greatness out on our own -- without the coercion of the state. They misjudge human nature and our natural yearning to be free. It is this fatal misjudgment that threatens all that we have achieved and all that we may become. If they have their way, intentional or not, they will kill America and we know this in our hearts to be true.

THAT is whom I want to Take America Back from.

While I might wish for some other means or some "perfect" political party, the political reality of today says that this is best achieved through the Republican party. Republicans, independents and libertarians indeed disagree on many specific political issues. But on the nature of human nature and our God-given right and will to be free, we all agree. It is this fight we must take up now, together. The one thing that is truly at stake and is threatened by the Left is this common principle we share. This next election must do more than elect Republicans in name only. It is our duty to cut through the political and media clutter to elect people to represent us who believe in the core, fundamental truth and value of our individual freedom. From these people the correct policies will come.

I leave you with some ideas to consider from men far more enlightened than I...

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it" -- Thomas Paine

"Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err." -- Mahatma Gandhi

"Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better." -- Albert Camus

"Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves." -- Nietzsche

"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

"Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance." -- Woodrow Wilson

"Freedom is the oxygen of the soul." -- Moshe Dayan

Friday, September 4, 2009

Calling a spade, a spade. Or in this case, a Communist

You can't turn on the TV or talk radio show these days without hearing the words "communism" and "socialism" flying around like a swarm of locust. Most Democrats ridicule such talk and simply write it off as the rantings of those right-wing extremists. For Democrats, words like communism and its brethren are just pejorative barbs design to sidetrack debate on the good works they are trying to do. You know -- clean up the atmosphere, healthcare for all, save the economy, etc, etc. Democrats aren't for Socialism or Communism -- they're good Americans just like you and me with different approaches to policy, right? Wrong.

Now, I'm not talking about the average Democrat voter. They are merely followers. I'm talking about the insidious, treacherous intent of the left-wing activists which have overrun the Democrat party. They have been at it, chipping away at the foundation of liberty and capitalism for decades. Now, with control of all branches of government, they are stepping on the gas.

Before you poo-poo the idea that elected leaders could possibly intend to do such a thing, I ask you to continue reading... (my remarks in blue). Note that these prescriptions for communist panacea aren't in linear order.

10 Conditions For Transition To Communism
(Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich, The Communist Manifesto, 1848)

• Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
This can easily be furthered by the imposition of crippling property taxes, among other measures, as means to divest individuals of their private property. America is not near the abolition of private property today as incrementalism is the name of the game. This would likely be one of the last planks to fall on the bridge to communism.

• A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
The United States already has this in place and under Obama and the Democrat leadership, it would intensify. This is the most effective and perverse method to gain control of the nation's wealth and is the engine for wealth redistribution. It is also the most difficult to defeat because of the populist, political power inherent with sticking it to the "rich" -- a definition by the way, which will continually be redefined downward.

• Abolition of all right of inheritance.
This is well on it's way given the existence of the estate or "death tax". It's as high as 45% for estates as little as $1.5M -- that's a small house in many large cities. Many Democrats want to make this tax much higher.

• Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
Existing asset forfeiture laws are the mechanism for this element should it ever come to pass.

• Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
This one is a done deal. The Federal Reserve effectively controls the money supply and though that, the credit supply.

• Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
The "Fairness Doctrine" and a bill now in the Senate to grant authority to Obama to seize computer networks in an "emergency" puts this goal well in reach. The major broadcast networks have effectively turned themselves over to the Left long ago.

• Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
We have been witness to this evolution in just the past year. It's name is GM: Government Motors. This is just the first step as now, government has established a precedent. But beyond the traditional "factory" under Marx, our government has and seeks to absorb other elements of the productive economy. Consider what the government already controls: the Post Office (means of communication), Fannie and Freddie (primary means of home/property ownership), several U.S. banks and investment firms (private equity), Medicare and Medicaid (insurance industry for the poor and retired) and the list could go on. Now, they want control of 1/6 of the U.S. economy by seizing the health care industry. Oh yes, they will privatize it all -- hospitals, doctors and drug companies. The insurance industry as it stands today will be gone within a decade if the government passes Obama care. This is all more than a coincidental trend.... these growing elements of state control lead only to one thing. And it's not more freedom.

• Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
"We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded," said Barack Obama. This, along with his proposal to double the size of the Peace Corps and nearly quadruple the size of AmeriCorps is bone-chilling.

• Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equal distribution of the population over the country.
This has been an established trend of the past several decades. I'm not sure the intent here with Marx, but dense populations are inherently dangerous to oppressive governments.

• Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
This one is complete and is probably the most responsible for the state we are in as a nation. The liberals have had total control of the public education system for decades -- a time during which our education standards and results have plummeted by the way. Decades of children have been taught revisionist history and their receptive minds massaged to embrace the notion of "American Guilt". There is a good account of this here.

You can debate the intent of leftist politicians all you want. What isn't deniable is the fact that policies pushed and implemented by the Left have inexorably led to a less free society. Millions of Americans understand this. That's why "liberal" is a dirty word these days and they now call themselves "progressives". The labels can change but what remains is their fervent desire to metamorphose the "Land of the Free" into a well-intentioned, but nonetheless despotic, Nanny State.

The one inconvenience standing in their way is that thing known as the ballot box. America, are we fully awake yet? I am.