When the last installment of Marcel Proust’s “magnum opus” was published in 1927, it was the culmination of a writing effort that spanned a fifteen year period. The work was translated into English as, “A Remembrance of Things Past”.
Those who long for the halcyon days of a kinder, gentler, smaller, more rational government already realize that problems which have been created over long periods of time cannot be remedied with short-term and short-sighted solutions. Attempting to repair society by applying Band-Aids to deep, festering sores may staunch the flow of blood for the moment but this approach will not remove the cancer from the body politic.
It is essential that those who recognize the deadliness of the path on which America has set its footing (and by implication much of the Western civilized world as we know it) are not merely passing through time and history. We are the ones who have the opportunity to take action and write history through the steps we take today to make ours a better country and a better world.
History provides us with a great deal of nurturing guidance. And one of its most important lessons is that it takes time to unfold. From Plymouth Rock to The Declaration of Independence, 156 years of history had to pass. If we embark on a path of real change today, many of us who start this process will not live to see its fulfillment. But we will leave, as did the Founding Fathers, a legacy which those who come after us will enjoy.
Those of us who are educated, rational and pragmatic have spent far too much of our time and resources in an effort to convince those of a different opinion that we offered a better way than the one to which they subscribed. Underlying our arguments was the assumption that these people were also educated, rational and pragmatic. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When Governor Romney made his famous “47%” remark he was immediately attacked and lambasted for telling it like it was. His statement was, of course, correct – but the emphasis should have been that meant that there were 53% of the populace who still had the dignity, desire and self-esteem to work toward changing things for all of America’s population for the better. We’re still here today, despite our war injuries.
So how do we regroup, rearm and begin? The first thing must be to define our goals and to keep them in mind as our frame of reference. If we don’t know our destination, it’s difficult to determine a travel plan. And too many of us are buying into our opponents’ strategy of distraction, holding up minor issues as talking points so that we ignore the real, fundamental and root causes of society’s malaise.
We also have many talking points. But if we waste our efforts critiquing the opposition on Benghazi, the economy, the general level of unemployment, or a myriad of other subjects we only serve to weaken ourselves and thus give aid and succor to our opponents.
While those criticisms might be valid and well-documented, they mean nothing to an uneducated or under-educated mob whose only concern is surviving today and hopefully tomorrow. And they mean nothing to those who, through intention, have helped to formulate this permanent under-class so that they may continue their own agenda which is to rule and dominate.
Perhaps the simplest way to define the goals of our war is to say that most of us who are reading this believe that a return to limited, Constitutional government wherein the individual has personal freedom based on a moral code would be a desirable goal. Implicit in that is our ability to elect people to office who share that view. And this leads us to a practical way to approach our ongoing battles.
It’s many years since presidential candidates rolled into town on a train, gave a speech and took off for their next destination. Campaigns were financed with a few dollars here and a few dollars there. Today, getting elected is a function of how much money can be raised for advertising and whose content slams the opponent the harder. “Media is the message,” to misquote Marshall McLuhan.
It should be obvious that if those who contribute vast sums of money to get our opponents elected were to have their incomes reduced, they would have less ability to fund them in the next election cycle. This is nothing more than the boycott strategy which worked so successfully in the 1960’s and 1970’s for the migrant farmworkers under the leadership of César Chavez.
There is a reason that I do not insure through GEICO or Progressive Insurance, or buy See’s Candy or eat at Dairy Queen. By choosing to spend my money with them, I am supporting those who have helped foster our present policies and contributing to those who want to advance them further. Why would any person who shares my view, rationally and willingly support those who would make us target practice?
Obviously, this is hardly an inclusive list of companies or services which I avoid. But it should give you the basic idea. The fact is that there are alternatives, often better alternatives to these companies’ products and I would rather spend my money with those who share my philosophy.
One person boycotting a company’s products is a personal statement. But hundreds of thousands doing so will have an impact. And if that number escalates to the millions, even the most hardcore liberal businessman will take notice and re-consider his thinking.
One of the most consistently generous groups in their views and their financial support for the liberal agenda comes to us from Hollywood. Arguably, their products are also contributors to the violence which has become so commonplace on the American landscape.
Setting aside the fact that from an artistic standpoint, Hollywood offers little in the way of output that appeals to me, this is an issue which every conscientious conservative thinker should examine for himself. Do I want to support an institution that actively seeks both to erode my personal freedoms and expose myself and my children to prurient violence and standards of morality which do not meet my personal expectations and example?
Again, one person boycotting the movies is a personal statement. But millions, committed to a boycott would not only have a financial impact but just might cause those screenwriters to create material that is actually worth viewing.
History is not merely something that has happened before. Its pages are being inscribed even as I type this post. But the question is will it be written by those people of conscience who believe in the freedom of the individual or by those who believe in the power of the state?
The answer to that will be determined by what each of us does because, at least for the moment, the power is still in the hands of the people.