Raiders of the Lost Ark

In case you were wondering what happens with all those studies, reports, commentary pieces and talk show transcripts after they’ve been printed — I’ve been able to obtain a picture of the latest week’s batch being rolled into the conservative movement’s warehouse for storage (see above).

Okay, not really. That’s actually a screenshot from the 1981 movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the prized archeological find (the Ark of the Covenant itself) is wheeled into some massive governmental building for safe keeping.

At the beginning of the movie members of the United States Government meet with everybody’s favorite fictional archeologist Indiana Jones (played by Harrison Ford). Responding to intercepted wires and rumors about what the Nazis might be up to, they seek out answers from Jones and he accepts the challenge to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do.

As all the fans know, the story has a happy ending. The “Raiders” find the Ark — the good guys win and the bad guys are punished. It’s a fun fictional concept — clearly the power of God falling into the wrong hands would be a problem.

Too bad real life isn’t as much fun when it comes to our current political problems.

Our founding fathers had an idea: let Americans decide — let them govern themselves through their own elected representatives. A crucial hurdle exists, however. Americans need to have good information to make good decisions. And despite the reality of the “information age” in which we live, not enough voters are being reached with a convincing argument to support the right path.

Name the issue. The role and size of government at all levels. Taxation policy. What constitutes justifiable government spending and what doesn’t. Energy policy. Foreign policy. Education policy. The list is almost endless.

A big one in the news right now, of course, is health care policy. Anyone who wants to can find plenty of materials on the web. But what have you heard from your Republican elected officials on the topic?

What’s needed is for our Republican state legislators and for our Republican members of Congress to speak out loud and clear about what the course should be — and what it should not be.

Instead, it’s as if the men and women we elect are out on some adventure — searching for the missing artifact — an elixir — the solution that will act like the power of God coming out of an old Hebrew container said to hold the remnants of the very tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written by the finger of God.

If only that was how it worked. Then our action heroes wouldn’t have to do the messy and difficult work required in a democratic-republic. They can just let the power of God rip and people will instantly support the right cause. Obama will be finished, along with all those attempting to freeload off of taxpayers.

However, off the screen and in modern America, it’s going to require an aggressive use of all available communication methods — radio, TV, print, Internet, public forums, mail, and any media outlet that will cover the conservative side. As regular readers of this website already know, we argue that a strong Republican Party has a crucial role to play especially at the local level to help get the word out.

Because of the work of the think tanks and commentators, a lot of Americans will hear and get the message — but not enough of them will. For a victory — critical mass has to be reached. Our elected Republicans must not only get in the fight against government health care — but also get in the fight for every good policy solution that’s needed.

At the end of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” the Ark is no longer lost. Yet, whatever power it might contain wasn’t tapped. That reminds me too much of all the great materials wheeled into warehouses (or residing unseen on websites or on computer hard drives) — their potential to persuade — wasted.

Until the power of ideas are tapped and effectively disseminated by our elected leadership and our Republican Party at all levels, don’t expect to see a happy ending to our present political drama.

This article was first published in June 2009.