The 21st Century American Conservative Populist Movement

The Republic Reawakened

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Where are we heading as a country?  Who will be making the important decisions that directly affect our daily lives?  When did it become wrong for citizens to stand up and question their leaders in the public forum?  Why are we feeling as if our personal freedoms and liberties are in increasing danger?  What, if anything, can we do to stop it?  These are just some of the many questions Americans are beginning to ask themselves as their sense that “something just doesn’t feel right” grows stronger by the day.

Over the last several months, Americans have found themselves being increasingly drawn in to the political debates surrounding issues that have reached an intensity unseen for decades, and perhaps even since the founding of our country.  Many Americans are becoming involved with politics for the first time in their lives as they mobilize themselves to attend the many “Town Hall” meetings being conducted by some of our elected representatives.  The public outrage has been rooted in opposition to out-of-control spending by our federal government: first by George W. Bush’s $700,000,000,000 “too big to fail” bailout, then by Barack Obama’s $787,000,000,000 “stimulus,” $400,000,000,000 “omnibus,” and quadrupling of the federal budget.  This has reached a fevered pitch as citizens realize they are in danger of having their federal government completely take over the health care system.  This massive and sudden shift in power would not only give a powerful central government the ability to directly affect citizens’ quality of life, but to make crucial life and death decisions based upon the whims of a bureaucratic committee.

The first signs of this populist outrage were demonstrated through wide-spread and heavily-attended local protests across the nation on April 15th, 2009.  Left-leaning commentators posing as journalists, Democratic politicians, and even the Department of Homeland Security dismissed these protesters as being either “Obama-haters,” “right-wing extremists,” or even potential “domestic terrorists.”  Blinded in an ideological fog, they completely failed to recognize the true genesis of this growing dissent.

From the beginning, this Tea Party Movement made it clear that they did not represent Democrats, Republicans, or any other major political party.  Instead, they were standing up for core ideals as articulated by our nation’s founding fathers.  In the eyes of the vast majority of these people, the “mess” we found ourselves in wasn’t created by Bush, nor was it created by Obama, but it was something a long time in the making.  These peaceful and impassioned voices knew that to remain silent was no longer an option, and their sense that something “just didn’t feel right” was too overwhelming to ignore.  In spite of their desire to simply be left alone in order pursue their own individual dreams and aspirations, they banded together with fellow citizens all across this great nation to echo a common theme, a shared concern, and a singular yearning for a better Republic.

Many argued this “mess” grew from roots as far back as the 1930’s, when our country witnessed a massive expansion of the federal government through significant tax increases, huge expansions in federal power, and massive usurpations of the people’s freedoms and liberties through voluminous federal government legislation and executive orders.

Sadly, any citizen who expresses disdain for and resistance to a large and powerful centralized government is often immediately written off as a dangerous extremist.  Some of our currently elected officials have even been quick to disparage such thinking as being on par with home-grown terrorists like Timothy McVeigh or evil political radicals like the Nazis.  Private citizens who have chosen to exercise their First Amendment rights to free political speech have been condemned as “un-American,” “evil-mongers,” and “angry mobs.”

In reality, the Tea Party Movement is rooted in the philosophies of our country’s great founding fathers: smaller central government, responsible and prudent spending of taxpayers’ monies, power structures located closer to the people being governed, limited government intrusion into the peoples’ lives, and the notion that individual freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness should be rewarded rather than punished.

Given the amazing success of this grand experiment over the last 233 years, who would decry the political philosophies and ideals of those brave and brilliant men who introduced these new and exciting ideas to humankind?  Who would be so bold as to condemn Thomas Jefferson as a “right wing radical” or “dangerous extremist”?  One could argue that the only people who would make such indictments would have been those who wished to see the dreams of Thomas Jefferson and his peers fail.  One could further argue that such detractors also would wish to see the failure of liberation from tyranny, while preventing the freedom to realize one’s individual potential.  It is quite likely that King George III of England was fully vested in the camp of these detractors.

However, today we are told by United States politicians and members of powerful media outlets that to dissent is un-American.  To question our leaders is dangerous.  To stand up and speak boldly and question openly the extent to which a central government has increasingly suppressed our freedoms and liberties, and endeavors to do so further, is the equivalent of radical extremism.

Perish the thoughts of Thomas Jefferson, who wrote, “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.”  Ignore Jefferson’s warnings that the “democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”  Why should we listen to the sage words of a man who was the architect and author of our Declaration of Independence?  What wisdom could these words possibly hold?  Are these the words of a radical, extreme, and dangerous threat?

Dangerous to the forces of tyranny, perhaps.  But a beacon of hope for those who cherish liberty.

The brave patriots who count themselves amongst the increasing numbers in the Tea Party Movement are realizing that their great country is on the brink of being fundamentally transformed forever.  As many revisit and reacquaint themselves with the amazing men who invented and gave birth to this grand experiment, they realize that our country has steadily departed from the very core philosophies which created its success.  We have forgotten, and some have even dismissed, the core principles that have ensured our great country’s ascension to a level of wealth, prosperity, and good-will towards fellow humans that has never been equaled in world history.  And we have done so to our own peril.

However, it is not too late.  It is all-too-easy to become overly focused on the individual issues being presently debated, and even further focused on the many details and nuances that comprise these issues.  While this definitely helps one to gain a better grasp on the intricacies of such issues, thus allowing for intelligent and informed debate, it also opens up the common pitfall of losing one’s grasp on the larger context.  In other words, one can lose sight of the forest for the trees.

We must remember the great, proud, diverse, and rich forest that is America.  While the very massive centralized government of whom our founding fathers warned us has succeeded in clear-cutting away so many of our individual freedoms and liberties, only to be replaced by its own will and self-serving motives, it is not too late to slow the damage.  It is not too late to rebuild our great forest.

We must remember that our founding fathers were bold and daring men of genius.  We must remember they risked their very lives to promote the ideas of a government of the people, for the people, and by the people.  We must revisit the writings and reacquaint ourselves with the philosophies of these great men so as to remind ourselves of the pillars upon which this nation was built.  Where we are not familiar with these precious ideas of our founding fathers, we must take it upon ourselves to educate ourselves.  In this amazing age of information, the Internet offers us with a limitless wealth of opportunity to do just this.  Should we refuse to take these steps towards a better understanding of our country’s core philosophical foundations, we run the risk of losing it forever.

The Republic is at stake.  What will we do to save it?


Written by ericcvorst

August 12, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Posted in Main Page

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