Why I Expect Much More of Republicans on Obamacare

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Sam Adams and friends risked their lives in the commission of a felony in their outrage over government overreach.

That was the Boston Tea Party.

Look at us now! People furious with me for going after Senator Roy Blunt. I went after him because he announced he will vote for cloture knowing full well that cloture give Harry Reid his only chance to strip the House’s Obamacare defund language from the continuing resolution. Without cloture, the Democrats have to negotiate. With cloture, they can run roughshod of the Republicans.

I won’t back down because I demand more of my Republican representatives than I expect from Democrats.

Why do I expect more from Republicans?

Because I bought into the Republican notion that the party stands for courage and freedom. I still believe that within the GOP lies the American Ideal. And I’m not ready to give that up.

It is our birthright to expect a lot our elected leaders. Look what we expect from our doctors, our teachers, our inventors, scientists, engineers, artist, actors, entrepreneurs, and managers.

I still believe what General Patton told the Third Army on June 5, 1944:

When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.

It is in our history to demand exceptional courage, commitment to principle, selflessness, statesmanship, responsible risk, and bold action from the people we elect. If we expect it of our enlisted personnel and draftees, we sure as hell should demand it from exalted Senators.

Of course, I’m not stupid enough to believe we won’t make mistakes. Yes, we’ll elect people who fail to live up to our admittedly high standards.

And we put up with human flaws. We should. We just won’t tolerate self-serving surrender.

I don’t expect perfection from anyone. I firmly believe what Peter Drucker said: people of great strength are also people of great weakness.

I might be the exception. I have remarkably deep and refined weaknesses that aren’t balanced with any notable strengths. But that’s my problem. And my family’s, I guess.

When we send people to Washington, though, as our representatives in government, we have every right–and a duty–to expect that their strengths be principle, courage, and boldness at critical moments in human history.

We are standing on the doorstep of history. Without courageous action, everything will change. For the worse. The American Era teeters.

This is not the moment for slick gimmicks. This isn’t the time to vote for Obamacare before you vote against it.

This is the moment to risk your career for the country if you are are Republican Senator or Representative.

This moment.

I would hate to be a Republican Senator today. I would hate the burden of history on my shoulders. Looking across America from Washington would buckle my knees. I break a cold sweat just thinking about such responsibility.

And I can only hope and pray that I would do the right thing if I were there. Nothing in my character or experience convinces me I would.

I can tell you, though, I wouldn’t relish doing what Ted Cruz is doing right now. I wouldn’t willingly trade places with Mike Lee. Or Roy Blunt.

And if, God forbid, I woke up tomorrow a US Senator from Missouri, and if that cloture vote stared at me while Senators Cruz and Lee stood and fought, I would pray that this cup would pass me by.

Left to my own devices, I am too weak to do the right thing. I know I am.

But I would not be alone.

I would be nothing more than the embodiment of you, of your courage. Of your hopes and prayers. I would be an animated vessel of the Marines at Iwo Jima, Washington at Valley Forge, and Reagan at Reykjavik.

As unworthy and unfit for such a job as I am, I’d forget my feeble courage and let theirs flow through me. I’d know the fate of the American experiment wasn’t really on my shoulders, but on the boundless courage of those remarkable people who faced greater fears than I could imagine — and soldiered on.

In America, the highest rank of society is citizen. Senator is down below school boards, town councils, and State Reps. As long as the people are behind me, I don’t need my own courage; they’ll lend me theirs. And if God would not take that cup from me, He’d send me whatever I needed to do my job. If I would only let Him.

At least, I pray I’d do so.

For weeks, you have lent your courage to Republican Senators. Millions of petition signatures. Thousands upon thousands of phone calls and office visits, emails, letters. You gave them your strength and a simple instruction: expend every drop of your power as a citizen and a Senator to stop this monstrosity of a law.

So far, three Republican Senators — McConnell, Cornyn, and Blunt — have closed their hearts and minds to the courage and strength you sent their way. They tried to stare down history with only the meager courage of a single human being. They tried to go it alone. And they flinched.

I’m not angry at Roy Blunt for his cloture vote. I’m disappointed that he wouldn’t channel our power to save America.

I don’t want to vote for Superman. I want to vote for simple people humble enough to channel and use the power we willingly lend them to do the right thing.

At least when the republic hangs in the balance.

 

The Election’s Over, and America Gave Obama His Eviction Notice. Here’s What Went Down.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The look on George “Stephie” Stephanopoulos’s face was priceless. He had to say it.

romney-smiling

ABC News now projects that President Obama will go down to defeat.”

He couldn’t bring himself to say, “Romney won” or “Republicans won.”  He just couldn’t.

The network analysis was a political cliché run amok. My favorite came from James Carville who told CNN viewers that the election result “proves that crackers and racists vote.”

Andrea Mitchell: “Usually in a democracy, you get the government you deserve. In this case, America reject the government so desperately needs.”

Wolff Blitzer: “The Obama era’s days are numbered, and America’s might be, too.”

As map turned red in key states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and Florida, the anchors turned a sickly shade of white on NBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, and CBS.  Jesse Jackson announced on CNN that “I am too distraught to rhyme because this election was a wrongdoing.”

Here’s how it came about.

  • Obama ate dog. Sure, Romney gave into his dog’s desire to ride on the roof of the car, but Obama ATE dog. Dog meat turns off voters.
  • Romney Ran Right. Independents want a president with commitment and competence.  They are right of center, but they’ll vote left if the right disappoints. Candy-ass centrist Republicans disappointment, so they vote for the Dem.  But Romney ran toward the right, locking in the Reagan Democrats and independents.
  • Obama’s presidency was incompetent, narcissistic, arrogant, and anti-American.  That’s not a good combination.
  • Popular and effective conservative governors, Senators, and representatives did a fabulous job promoting other conservatives instead of running up their own scores or buying favors from moderates.
  • Ron Paul visibly worked for Romney and Republicans on the under card.
  • The Supreme Court rules Obama attempted, and failed, to corrupt the Constitution through Obamacare, uncovering for many Obama’s authoritarian aims.
  • The economy sputtered.
  • Some Democrats, fearing the gallows of history, refused to endorse or openly abandoned Obama.
  • Tea Partiers realized that four more year of Obama would leave their children and grandchildren living like the Soviets . . . and supported the Republicans big time.

Less than six months’ time separates us from November.  This scenario, frankly, is far less probable than my previous scenario in which the GOP gets slaughtered.  But this one is plausible.

What is one thing you can do to produce this outcome instead of the other?

Why Empire?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

5026548507_c06c91b515 “Why would a nation become imperial?,” Steven asked me. “I mean, why would you want to take that on?”

The conversation had been on Japan leading up to World War II.  The question was important.  Why would a nation conquer dissimilar nations?  Why accept that burden and risk? 

My answer, which I’ve grown more fond of as time’s passed, was something like this:  Imperial people view everything as a fixed pie. 

More importantly, if you view the world as fixed, you’re right.

If an acre of land produces enough food for a family of four, what do Mom and Dad do when baby number three is on the way?

If they live in an imperial, fixed-pie world, they have to get more land—or get rid of one of the kids.  But if they believe in innovation, ingenuity, and initiation, a whole new world of opportunity arises.  They can find ways to produce more from their single acre.  They can sell products or services to farmers with a surplus of food. They can form an exchange with several farmers, merchants, and artisans. 

Whatever path they choose, the little farmers don’t have to take up arms and annex a quarter of their neighbor’s one acre.

What made America (even when it was still Terra Nova) unique was our diehard belief that we can grow the pie bigger. We realize that doing so means hard work, painful mental focus, trial and error, and risk.  That’s why we do it. The pilgrims set sail for the New World to seek something greater, not to avoid something.  They believed in growing the pie, and their behavior after arriving proves it.

When we see examples of fixed-pie thinking, such as the union vandals destroying Madison, Wisconsin, we see how dangerous and destructive that archaic thinking can be.  The fixed-pie mentality makes every moment of life a fight to the finish for survival.

But our view makes life an endless opportunity to grow, secure, bond, and create. 

I like the American view better, don’t you?

Are We the Last Americans?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sometimes nightmares end well. 

Sometimes they don’t.

Salon carries a depressing story for the lower 48 of North America. Author Alfred McCoy writes:

Despite the aura of omnipotence most empires project, a look at their history should remind us that they are fragile organisms. So delicate is their ecology of power that, when things start to go truly bad, empires regularly unravel with unholy speed: just a year for Portugal, two years for the Soviet Union, eight years for France, 11 years for the Ottomans, 17 years for Great Britain, and, in all likelihood, 22 years for the United States, counting from the crucial year 2003.

He proceeds to examine four scenarios that would turn the USA into a minor nation by the year 2025.

Is McCoy right?

He could be.  If our purpose is or becomes imperialism, then we are doomed. Deservedly so. Empires fall because they are unsustainable, to coin a phrase. Imperialism relies on continued spread of power.  Once there’s no place left to conquer—or the supply lines stretch too thin—the house of cards collapses.  Quickly, as McCoy points out.

On the other hand, if our purpose as a people is to protect life, defend and advance the cause of liberty, and to allow just men and women the unbounded opportunity to pursue happiness according to their will, then the disaster scenarios Professor McCoy details will be avoided.

The reason the Tea Party ideals continue to grow and spread is because those ideals begin with the people.  A government that serves the people who formed it and sustain it will be too weak to become an empire.  A government that lords over its people has already become worse than empire; it has become a tyranny.

“Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if
persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the
courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is
thus with what you show me!”

The Spirit was immovable as ever.

                                                       —Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

 

No other nation was founded on a belief in such a profound truths as was this nation.  Our beliefs, brought to life through the Constitution and sustained by an informed electorate, produced wealth beyond our imagination. But that wealth and our power are by-products of the America Ideal, not its end.

Let’s make McCoy’s wonderfully chilling article serve us the way the Ghost of Christmas Yet to come served Scrooge. Let’s return our government and our people to those founding principles before it’s too late.