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Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Game

     In case you don't remember, America is deep in debt, the economy is in the tank, and the government gives no indication that it intends to do anything good about it. Oh sure, they make all kinds of noises about being concerned about the economy, and they spew platitudes about what they want to do for the middle class, but in reality? They have no intention of making the hard, unpopular choices required to get America back on track.
    
     The reason for this is both simple and disheartening; a politician's first, last, and only priority is to get re-elected. Look at the history of any politician; read what they have said, and then look at what they have done. I suspect, more often than not, you will find that their records for delivering on their promises are dismal at best. From Barack Hussein Obama to your local City Councilman, you will find that, nanoseconds after winning an election, the politician in question abandoned any pretense of doing what he said he would do in favor of doing nothing. Every single skirt and suit on The Hill subscribes to Napoleon's philosophy, "If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing." and it is working. It has worked for hundreds of years, even before Napoleon said it.

     No doubt, he'll have a ready supply of excuses to appease those few hardy souls that actually manage to maneuver their way through the 'yes' men and handlers that surround him and call him on his lack of action. Oh, sure, he'll sit and talk with you for a few minutes. He'll look serious and concerned as he tilts his head towards you and makes eye contact. He may say things like "I'm glad you brought this to my attention." and "That is serious, I'll have my staff look into that." and my favorite, "I'll give it my full attention." all of which means exactly the same thing, "Since you have had the unmitigated gall to address me in person, I will deign to send you a form letter thanking you for your concern and then go back to my treasure hunt here in Washington DC." Don't get me wrong, it will sound legitimate to most people. He will adapt his reasons for not doing anything to the issue at hand. It will be "The other party is holding up progress" or "There are a number of unforseen problems we must deal with, first." The exact words don't really matter because the message behind them is always the same, "It's not my fault."

     To try and pin them down on when they intend to make good on a campign promise is akin to stapling Jell-O to the wall; it can't be done. Politicians are a cunning, cowardly lot. They take no stand, define no motivation, and subscribe to no tangible belief. The best word to define their core values is "fluid" not only because they piss on them regularly, but because they adapt to the prevailing mood of the mob. For proof, just look at the current GOP; during the Bush years, they had no problem spending us into immense debt, expanding government, or trampling The Constitution. Now, however, they're suddenly transformed into strict constitutionalists all puffed up with indignation over what the Democrats are doing to this nation. They roar at the other side of the aisle and call upon citizens to support them in their quest to save this country from ruination at the hands of Obama & Co.

     It's all balderdash.

     If you want real "Hope and Change", you had better have one or all of three things to offer them; money, power, more money. THAT is their only true motivation. Show up empty-handed and, well, you get what you pay for.

     So, is there hope? At the risk of sounding like a politician, yes and no. Do not look to either of the major parties to fix the problems of this country becase for the politicians it's not broken. It's working exactly the way they want it to. The more dire the straits the people are in, the more they look to, and depend on, government to solve the problems. That translates into more power and money for them because, of course, the only things they can do to help are increase regulation and raise taxes.

     Political Action Committees are one way to change things but eventually, they succumb to "mission creep" a situation in which an organization expands its mission beyond its original goals. A prime example is the National Rifle Association. Started in 1871 by a group of National Guard officers wanting to improve the marksmanship capabilities of the American public, they did so with great success. In 1934, they became politically active during the debate over the National Firearms Act in which they actively debated against private ownership of fully automatic firearms. Since then, they have performed adequately in some instances, and have been on the wrong side in others. Regardless, they are considered to be the number one gun lobby in America. Unfortunately, they have also become a bloated bureaucracy unto themselves.

     Do you want to know how to bring about change? In the words of my good friend Kevin Starrett, Founder and President of the Oregon Firearms Federation, "The only things politicians understand are fear, and pain; the fear of losing an election, and the pain of having to live under the laws they helped enact." There is NOTHING a politician fears more than being out of the game and becoming irrelevant. They are possessed of huge egos and frail character. To be cast out among the masses, to be forced to live like one of the proles, is a fate worse than death itself. As Kevin has proven on numerous occasions, NOTHING will bring a politician to heel like a grass roots movement large enough to cause them the above circumstance.

     Enter the Tea Party.

     If ever there was a juggernaut in today's politics, it is the Tea Party. Both Republicans and Democrats simultaneously court and condemn them. Above all, they fear them. Why? Because, despite accusations to the contrary, they are not controlled by one group or party. They are a true grass roots movement comprised of Americans from all walks of life that have had enough of politicians' abuse of this country and its wealth. So if you're looking to join a group, that's the one I recommend.

     On a personal level, I recommend doing what you need to do to empower yourself. Not being one to dictate to others, I will only suggest these four things:
  1. Get out of debt as fast as possible. As it says in Proverbs 22:7, "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." Money is power, start accumulating yours. The tools are out there, just use them to free yourself.
  2. Read. A lot. Read the works of people that have done what you want to do. read the works of like-minded people. Read because you like to; it sharpens the mind.
  3. Get involved. In the digital age, it takes almost no time to send an email to your congresscritter. If you're really mad, send a snail mail. It still carries a lot of clout and can't be 'accidently' deleted.
  4. Stay healthy. Living well (and a long time) is the best revenge.

     As it is stated at the Western Rifle Shooters Association, "We're screwed. There's gonna be a fight. Let's win."

Amen.