Yesterday I returned home at the end of a week of travel and speechifying that took me to several Tea Party events, starting with the April 11th gathering in Pittsburgh posted previously, and continuing on to Washington, D.C.(April 15), across from the Treasury Building and the White House. I also spoke at events in Hazleton, Pennsylvania (April 15) and Fort Wayne, Indiana (April 18). Contrary to the hate filled slanders being perpetrated by the character assassins in Obama's servile media claque, the people I met were not racists or greed driven rich people; nor were they phony throngs fabricated by Republican media hacks. What impressed me most about them, in fact, was that they are not mainly driven by selfish fears and desires, clamoring against some real or imagined harm being done to themselves alone. The present economic situation of the country, and the orgy of debt financed spending in Washington certainly precipitated their involvement in the rallies, but the predominant reaction was one of angry and indignant shame over the oppressive burden it implies for their children and grandchildren, future generations whose representatives were plentiful in all the crowds.
At the rallies I addressed, the attendees responded with cheers and applause to denunciations of the greedy bankers and self-serving politicians whose dereliction helped produce the financial crisis that provides the excuse for abusively squandering the faith and credit of the American people. But they also gave sober and heartfelt affirmation to words that laid a fair share of the blame at their own feet- as members of what is supposed to be the sovereign body of the people of the United States. In their response to such clearly reproachful words, and in many of the comments they made to me afterward, people shared their feeling of shame that somehow, through their inaction, indifference or preoccupation they had failed to understand and act against what has been happening to our country, with all the misery it implies for their posterity.
Though the economic implications of the skyrocketing national debt helped to trigger this shame, at bottom it seemed to reflect a sense that moral decay is killing America's liberty and prosperity. Though many media figures and self-serving political types have articulated mainly money focused outrage, the people I spoke to, and the homemade signs many of them carried to the rallies, focused on the threats to our constitution and form of government. They pointed to the need for the restoration of moral standards and self-discipline. They fervently expressed the truth that the strength of America comes from our faith in God, not in government or even in ourselves alone.
I doubt that the rallies, or the state of mind clear in the people who organized and attended them, gave unequivocal encouragement to partisan hacks, seeking to exploit the situation for narrow political ends.
My speeches reflected the thoughts I have shared on this site in recent weeks. I pointed to the role that both "major" parties played in the leap into socialism. I pointed to the phony show of opposition that I have likened to two heads on the same body, vociferously engaged in mock combat while its feet move steadily, consistently toward socialism and the surrender of America's sovereign liberty. It was clear that I simply gave voice to thoughts and feelings that were deeply a part of the indignation, anger and grief for America that impelled many of the participants to join in the rallies. They feel threatened and betrayed, not just by Obama, but by all their supposed leaders, especially those who have taken their votes and then betrayed them by leading or joining the move to surrender the liberty and independence of their country.
I was surely not alone, therefore, when I raised the hue and cry against incumbents implied in the famous phrase "Throw Da bums out." Of course, people aren't so thoughtless as to neglect the obvious fact that you can't fight something (even something bad) with nothing. They know the present party system has not only failed them, it has failed the Constitution and our very existence as a free people. But the causes and methods of its failure have produced, among the people themselves, a sense of helplessness when it comes to thinking about any alternative. They are like families after several generations have come up within the welfare system, in which children grow up so accustomed to waiting on the government that they can't imagine doing anything on their own. Many Americans have a concept of political action that depends on leaders served up on some Party platter. They have accepted the essentially passive and slavish role assigned to "the people" by a party system that offers leaders the way a restaurant offer items for lunch and dinner. They have forgotten how to cook, how to shop for food, and certainly how to hunt for, gather or grow their own. People have actually come to accept the notion that their role is to choose among leadership grown, bought or prepared by others. They no longer remember that any leadership they do not have the whip hand in cooking up cannot truly represent who they are. Couch potato, consumer politics destroys representative government. (Potatoes are, after all, really meant to be consumed not consumers. Think about that.)
In a republic such as ours the people must be both the matter and the maker of government. Isn't this the clear implication of Lincoln's famous description of the American republic as "government of the people, by the people, and for the people?" I am praying earnestly that the Tea Party Events will be the beginning of a return to the activist understanding of politics without which there can be no hope of restoring the sovereignty of the American people, and the republican form of constitutional self-government that establishes and sustains it. As part of that prayer, I will continue to use this blog to flesh out the possibilities of citizen activism, so that people will understand and follow through on the necessary implication of the move to "Throw Da Bums out." Like the wise general of a victorious army, we must realize that it will not be enough to drive from the field those who have plotted and connived at the overthrow of the constitutional republic. We the people must occupy anew the ground they thus sweep clean. If you're willing to be part of that effort, you'll find some good principles, tools and ideas at http://aipnews.com. Go there and check things out. Then come back here to help me think them through.