Happy New Year!
Unfortunately, the number has changed — from 2013 to 2014 — and not much else. The battle is the same and the problems are worse. Recent headlines have cited new studies about how the public schools are still lousy. The world is still a dangerous place and now America’s position in it is weakened. Our local, state, and federal government debt is reaching new heights (or is it depths?) as the level of incompetence of the governing class remains consistent. The cultural rot continues to grow — though there are positive signs that the public is tiring of the fascist-like behavior of those with behavior issues.
There continues to be much cause for optimism. The country can be saved from destruction if enough people rally and decide to force a change in direction. As with almost every era, it comes down to the public will — is there a sufficient number of people willing to do the work called for in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution? I say yes. And I’ve been saying it for a long time.
December 30, 2009:
I don’t agree with everything on the Cato Institute’s Downsizing the Federal Government website — but I do agree with most of it. I’d bet big money that few Republican politicians, if any, realize what it’s going to take to accomplish any downsizing of government at any level.
So what is it going to take? We need new people to step up and join in the process. We need to elect a better class of leaders. We need them to modernize their approach to their job and realize that public opinion is job one. And we need the GOP itself to become what it can be.
I’ve referred to it as a Counterinsurgency — and the need for a “troop surge” much like the military strategy that was successfully implemented in Iraq.
The only way conservatives will see [the necessary] change in direction from our elected leaders is if it is forced — since nothing in politics moves unless it’s pushed.
January 2, 2010:
Government over-spending is people driven. Special interests that gather together and make themselves into a political force to be feared by politicians have created the fiscal messes that surround us.
This has come about because too many Americans somehow think “We the People” doesn’t apply to them when it comes to insuring the proper function of their own government. Sorry, but it does apply.
You don’t want to provide oversight when it comes to the government run schools that your children attend? Don’t be surprised when your kids are taking remedial courses in college, and don’t be surprised when you read about how your kids’ teachers are retiring at 56 years old and receiving an amazing taxpayer funded pension.
You don’t want to take responsibility for your own pension system but instead prefer to rely on Social Security? I’ll let you do the research on that one – visit www.heritage.org and get ready for some really bad news about your future.
The list of governmental boondoggles and entitlement program scams runs long. So what can little old you do about it? You can wait for the Republican Party to reform itself if you want, but you’re probably too old for political Santa-like stories.
This is a rough way to begin a column that starts a new decade, but as reformers we have a lot of work ahead, and we need you. Politics is a contact sport and this decade will bring victory or defeat for this country when it comes to a whole host of fiscal, social, and foreign policy decisions. Reformers need you in the fight.
Get informed. Reach out to your friends and neighbors. Develop low cost ways to help inform as many people as possible about the local, state and national issues that concern you. This can’t be about waiting for others to do their part.
One foreign diplomat last spring noted that our nation”succumbed to economic ‘groupthink’ and believed its own mythology about being a ‘culture of individual responsibility’ even as it indulged every whim.”
In this new decade Americans must change course – and we all have a duty to contribute to the necessary political solution that has to come before the needed policy solutions.
January 5, 2010:
Today’s political communication needs parallel WWII munitions production
The “lamestream” media is against conservatives, blah blah blah – we’ve been hearing that sorry excuse from our so-called political leaders for over twenty years. Fortunately, we don’t have to listen to it any longer. Everyone knows that the Internet has opened up countless avenues for supporters of limited government and traditional values to connect with each other and reach out to the unconverted.
The old fashioned methods still work as well. Phones, mail, door to door, public or private events and forums or small gatherings hosted for the sake of spreading the word, meeting new people and discussing the issues of the day.
Resources exist to provide ideas, examples, and information about what’s possible and what’s necessary. We all have a role to play. Not everyone can run for office or otherwise devote a lot of time to politics. But since we all live the consequences of politics every day – from the economy to the culture, we all must step up and act in the arena to whatever extent we’re able. Government continues to have a negative impact that will only be undone through the sustained, concerted efforts of concerned citizens.
When World War II began in Europe in September 1939 the Unites States was woefully unprepared for a fight. Even after we finally entered the war in December 1941 the country was a long way from being fully mobilized. By May of 1943, however, President Franklin Roosevelt said that “the American people have accomplished a miracle.” By the fall of 1943 the American war machine was operating at maximum capacity. By then the factories and shipyards ran twenty-four hours a day.
War correspondent Robert Sherrod noted in 1943 that he believed America was losing the war:
“I know we have the machines to fight this war, but the question is, do we have the guts?”
In language that mirrors the sentiments of some people today, Sherrod wrote:
“This generation isn’t mentally prepared to bridge the gap between the comforts of peace and the horrors of war.”
Of course we’re only talking about politics here, with war as the commonly used metaphor. Today’s struggle, however, is as important as any of those waged by previous generations of Americans.
As my colleague Cathy Santos has said, politics is summed up as “a message and messengers.” We have the message — limited government, personal responsibility, traditional values and a strong, smart national defense. We can’t afford to wait for others to carry that message. And we certainly can’t wait for a rebirth of the Republican Party. We must act ourselves.