The title of this post is pure plagiarism – coming as it did from one of the catch phrases of the ‘60’s. At that time it was one of the rallying cries of the ultra far Left. But how things have changed. Now the power resides in the ultra far Left and their phrase calling for empowerment lies on a forgotten dusty shelf in a government warehouse. It’s time to dust it off and have it become the mantra for those who believe in limited, effective, Constitutional government.
Last week’s recall election of two anti-gun Colorado State Senators, Senate President John Morse and Senator Angela Giron may be a small first step in the right direction. In media underplayed (this should come as no surprise to any thinking person) reporting, both senators lost their bid to keep their seats. The media coverage that was reported emphasized the “vast amounts of money” that the NRA spent to achieve the successful recall effort. Notably absent was that those who supported the senators spent three times as much as the NRA – including a $250,000 contribution from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
For years the left has descried the absurdity of “trickle down economics”. Of course, in a different format, that is precisely the economic and cultural policy that they themselves employ. The only difference is that rather than allowing the private citizen to do the “trickling” they have substituted Big Brother government.
Well, there is one other difference. Instead of allowing the individual to arrive at moral, rational decisions on how to govern his or her life, the government “for our own good and based on its incredible storehouse of wisdom” will tell us how to think and how to behave, how to speak to each other and, most importantly, how to redress our grievances should someone have the audacity not to follow the government’s rules. In another time we would have called this tyranny – and it’s time to dust that phrase off as well.
If those who have a belief in the value of the individual are ever to hope to re-establish that way of life in these United States, we need to set aside our prim and proper ways and get down in the trenches. Change for the better will never come to this country based on rulings and new laws promulgated in Washington – at least not as it is presently constituted. The reason is that those in power have the significant advantage of incumbency which is almost impossible to overcome – unless they receive real challenges in primary elections. The only way to get the SOB’s out is to replace their names on the ballots in the first place. Colorado has shown us that can be done.
Some of the pundits in commenting on the recall election (including Senator Giron) cited the low voter turnout as the reason for their defeat. Well, the nature of elections is that the side getting the most votes is the winner – irrespective of the size of the turnout. That is something that conservatives need to keep in mind. We may be smaller or larger in number than our political opponents – but they are by far more catalyzed to do something that is fundamental to politics – getting out the vote.
Perhaps it is ironic that we conservatives frequently point correctly to one of the failings of government – lack of accountability. I thoroughly endorse the idea that it’s easy to spend money when it isn’t yours. Of course, the government considers all of our wealth and assets as really being theirs. They simply allow us the privilege of holding on to some of what we have earned for a period of time before they impound it.
Consider how they tax every American’s wealth. First we earn it and they tax it – Income Tax; Second we spend it – Sales Tax; Third we save it – more Income Tax or AMT; Fourth we die – they tax it again through Estate and Inheritance Taxes. My father when he was audited for the third year in a row by the IRS – all of which resulted in no changes being made to his returns – made the comment to the auditor, “Perhaps we could simplify the process. Why don’t I just turn over all my income to you and you can give me back what you think I’m entitled to live on for myself and my family.” That was in the 1950’s – and we’ve pretty much devolved to that condition.
But returning to accountability, it’s interesting that once ensconced in power the government, since it has no personal skin in the game – other than yours or mine – is so wasteful. Yet they only are able to be in that position because they have well orchestrated the effort to get them elected. Having lived most of my adult life in Chicago I have seen that first hand.
If you are a Democrat precinct captain you no doubt hold a city job. Although not written into that job description is one that is tacit to your maintaining your livelihood – getting out the vote on Election Day. It’s a little like having your four year college career determined by one test given on one day. And if you don’t think that motivates the Democrat precinct captains you are sadly mistaken.
Of course, this does lead to vote fraud and abuse. That is almost inevitable when one party holds nearly absolute power and control. I am sure there are examples of the same which could be found in Republican strongholds as well. But it points to the underlying premise of this post. People, at a grassroots level who are highly motivated can make a difference and can make history.
It’s time that conservatives grasped that concept and worked to return the power to the people.