So as you awaken to the beginning of yet another week in today’s America, I offer today a bit of a pep talk, a bit of a rallying cry, and a bit of a further explanation for where I want to go, both personally and with Stand Up For America. I can tell you all that the last 14 months has been a tough time for me. Challenged by many of you, those faithful readers that have digested my daily thoughts, and then took off your kid gloves and smacked me around, I have spent the last 14 months challenging myself. I found that the paradigm that I had been living for so very long….. was not entirely flawless (yeah, I know… Shocker). I found that while I still am smarter than the average bear, I still make mistakes, find contradictions in my conclusions, and stumble as I attempt to find the path to personal freedom, individual liberty, and personal responsibility. My most shocking conclusion (at least most shocking to me) came in my conclusion about government in general.
What I found is that I have absolutely zero interest in taming big government…. I want to kill it.
When I started SUFA, I was searching for a political identity. Disgusted with the Republicans and always knowing that the “progressive” movement was absolutely wrong, I did not know where to turn. So I began looking at other parties out there. Libertarians, Constitutionalists, whoever. The idea for me was that both major parties had abandoned the Reagan idea that “government is not the solution.” They both decided that bigger government was better, albeit they each wanted to take away our freedoms and liberties in different ways. But make no mistake, neither is interested in anything other than furthering their own reach, power, scope, and control. The other parties each seem to be attempting to find a niche, corner a market, but they don’t campaign on the idea of actually shrinking government, and the few that do add in some other crazy things that the country either isn’t ready for or that completely contradict their premise. That lead me to fully endorse the concept of VDLG. And be clear… I am not taking back that endorsement in any way here today.
I want all of you to think about something for a moment. Think about the founders and all the folks involved in the discussions back then. There was so much difference in the paths forward that they saw. Some saw a larger centralized government as the path forward. Some saw a small federal government with powerful state governments. Yet others saw the people as the ultimate authority on power, with a government that served and obeyed them. Fortunately, that last group won out in the end, at least to an extent. However, we have danced towards populist ideals ever since, losing sight of the individual liberties that were intended to be protected.
The point is that when you think back to all the discussions we have documented from those debates and arguments, the constant cry was that the intent was to find a path forward that granted the people of this new group of united colonies liberty and freedom. Beyond all else, no matter the path, the founders we remember were those who championed the cause of individual liberty and personal freedom. Those were the principles and values on the tongue of every person who put their name to the Constitution of these United States of America. Was the final document itself flawed? Unfortunately it was. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in. A flawless Constitution would not have allowed the interpretations and manipulations that have occurred over the last 220 years or so. We will discuss that fact some other time. The point is that the leaders of that time spoke incessantly about individual rights and personal freedom for all men.
Fast forward to the modern federal government. Take Ron Paul out of the equation. Can you name a single other national politician who has taken the stand that personal freedom and individual liberty are the tantamount goals in today’s America? I can think of NONE. We have two major parties with a couple of independents thrown in for good measure. And there is no one in Washington DC who is interested in protecting your individual liberty. There is no one in Washington DC who is interested in securing your personal freedom. Each party simply talks about how their version of stripping you of those things is better than the other guys version of those things. They both work in tandem with the other, neither ever exposing that the ultimate goal is their power. Neither will ever point out the inherent flaws in the fact that government is infringing on your rights no matter which party tactic is used. They work together to make you all think that they are mortal enemies. But all they are really doing is ensuring that half of America is mortal enemies with the other half. This is why I often refer to them as being one team with two different color shirts (with a tip of my cap to BF for being the first to give me that analogy).
And that, my friends, was why in its initial stages the Tax Day Tea Party movement was so appealing. The idea behind the movement was that government had become too big, too intrusive. I know the folks on the left thought it was about hating Obama, but they were dead wrong. Obama was nothing but a catalyst. An impetus. A poster child for what big government was trying to grow even larger into. No my liberal friends, the tea parties were not an anti-Democrat movement, they were an anti big government movement. Taxes are too high. Government is too far reaching. Congress no longer represents the people. The President no longer is our champion. It is a shame that the left took the movement to be what the MSM told them it was, because a golden opportunity was lost for us to all come together and begin demanding the changes that we all know we need. Big government, with the MSM’s assistance, did what it does best, and kept us all divided.
The unfortunate thing is that the tea party movement has begun to unravel. Hope is not lost for their cause. But the reality is that they are beginning to be embraced by the Republican party. A bit of the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” complex happening there. Tea party dislikes big government (ie: Democrats because they have complete control right now). Republicans dislike Democrats. Therefore Tea party and Republicans should be friends. And there are too many in the tea party leadership embracing this because they believe it makes them mainstream. Acceptance from one of the two major parties “legitimizes” them. That is truly unfortunate, because acceptance from one of the two parties that espouse big government makes the tea parties illegitimate. As I said, it is not too late for them, but they are fading fast.
In short, I have not found that perfect party. I have not found a political set of ideals that I wanted to ally myself with. I found no champion on the national political scene. But I found that I do not need them. I don’t need that champion. I will be my own champion. And I will work tirelessly to ensure that each one of you become your own champion.
What I embrace these days is the concept of individual liberty and personal freedom. I embrace the concept of not initiating violence on non-violent people. I embrace the idea that we were born free, and that the government and its agents do not have the right to take that freedom away, no matter what “greater good” they claim to serve or what impending evil they claim to protect me from. I embrace that I am free. I don’t hold the illusion that I am able to live free in today’s environment. But that does not mean that I don’t have the right to be free. And I will work every day to live more free, to eliminate the obstacles that keep all of you from living free, and to wake up those who don’t yet understand that freedom and liberty are the ultimate goal, not comfort or more equal outcomes.
What I will not do is demand instant perfection. I will not demand that if it is not the perfect answer to the universe, that I must reject it and reach for the unreachable. I understand that small government is still government, and therefore it will probably mean that some folks are not as free as they would be with no government. But small government is a ton better than big government. So given the choice I will champion small over big. The other position to take would be to say no government is the best solution for freedom, and I will settle for nothing less, and will therefore go from big to none or not do anything at all. What I am searching for, my friends, is to begin by making things BETTER. Not perfect, but better. If I start a business, the goal is to get better each year. Sure being a billionaire next year would be great, but highly improbable. That does not mean that I forego starting the business altogether. I look at a transition in government the same way. We need to work to get closer to freedom each day. Take big steps when they are available, take little ones when that is what presents itself, and to hold the line when the populist or progressive movements have a surge in popularity.
And how do we take steps each day to make things better? By taking a stand. By standing up for what America was founded on. By waking America up one person at a time. What we have to do is to once again get Americans to understand and value the concept of freedom.
So what does all of this mean for Stand Up For America? It means little other than I have explained where I stand. The site is not going to see dramatic changes. I am still going to take relevant topics and political discussions and write my articles about them. I am still going to run everything exactly the way that I have done from the beginning. I will still maintain that my only rule is that respect for all opinions is required. I will still welcome those who offer a different opinion than the one that I hold. Because I still believe that the ultimate path forward in America is for the two sides to come together and understand one another. Freedom cannot come at the end of a gun my friends. It can only come with the liberation of minds. It can only come with discussions that foster an understanding of liberty and why it matters. I will still work to educate those who want to understand the political world better. I will still work to bring information to all those who read here, in the hopes that they will digest that information, discuss it, hash out their thoughts, and reach their own logical conclusions. What SUFA has become is a place that I am very proud to be a part of, and I have no intention of changing it in some dramatic way.
And before I forget to do so, I want to say a little something to those of you who fall on the progressive side of the arguments. I realize that some of what I may have written above may lead you to believe that I want to silence you, refute you, or banish you. Please believe me when I say that could not be further from the truth. Ray, Charlie, Bob, Todd, Chris, Mathius, Buck, and others, I have the utmost respect for you all. You come to a forum where you are vastly outnumbered and offer your insights, your thoughts, your wisdoms, and your beliefs. That is not an easy task. But to say that your opinions are highly valued here at SUFA would be a VAST understatement. We cannot come together without understanding each other. You, good sirs, have allowed me to gain a far better understanding of different perspectives than I ever could gain if this forum were filled with nothing but those who agree with me. I cannot thank you all enough for the intellect and massive spirit that you have given to my site. I hope that we will all continue to learn from each other for a long time to come.
So as we move forward, I will expect everyone to come to the table with all their thoughts. I challenge those of you who don’t take part in the discussions to enter into the fray. You have nothing to fear. And you have everything to gain. I challenge each reader at SUFA to look inside yourself and search for the core principles that drive your inner harmony. And then stick to them, explore them, challenge them, and more forward by remaining in harmony with them. I challenge everyone to explore the dogma (political not religious) that has consumed the US, and to find its flaws and then refute them. I challenge everyone to seek to understand the different perspectives offered, and engage them with respect and reason. In short, I challenge each of you to use SUFA for what I intended it to be used for: to take each day and grow and learn and reach for better. Because in the end, the goal has to be to make sure that liberty doesn’t end up floating in the New York Harbor.
I start the new year with a firm understanding that as the size of government continues to grow, the leash on my personal liberty and freedom gets shorter and shorter. I don’t like leashes. I was born to run free. And run free I will.
I don’t want to tame big government, my patriot friends, I want to kill it.