“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual.” –Samuel Adams, in the Boston Gazette, 1781
The country made it through these past four years. We survived. Mostly thanks to the 2010 election. But make no mistake, serious damage has been done. An election cannot, in and of itself, put things right. The debt is overwhelming. Progressives are burrowed deep in every department of government. We cannot trust the judiciary system. The mainstream media is corrupt. Education at every level is dominated by progressive partisans. Republicans are waiting for us to relax our vigilance so they can backslide into the kind of fawning behavior that ingratiates them with beltway society.
A Romney win in this election is only one battle in a long war. This election, however, is like the Battle of Midway. If we lose, the country is lost. If we win, we can continue to fight, and we’ll be fighting from a stronger footing.
“A few short weeks will determine the political fate of America for the present generation, and probably produce no small influence on the happiness of society through a long succession of ages to come.” –George Washington (1778)
“There is a simple sense in which at every election the electorate hold their representatives to account, and replace those who have failed to give satisfaction.”—John Adams
This is a watershed election. Never has there been a clearer choice. Do we follow the lead of our Founding Fathers and insist on a federal system with dispersed, balanced powers that have potent checks to protect against tyranny, or do we passively accept a collectivist state that provides for our physical needs in exchange for discarding our natural rights?
“The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.” Ronald Reagan
“If ye love … the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams
An election is supposed to hold our public servants accountable. This has not been true for decades. Incumbent politicians have rigged the system, installed political machines, corrupted our private sector, infiltrated our social institutions, and coddled citizens to buy their votes. We can still win, but we must rise up in greater numbers. Numbers so great they can overwhelm the misinformed, the apostolates, the cheaters, and the lawyers waiting to challenge anything close. Winning will take hard work—especially in the last week. Work at the polls, work on phone banks, work to stuff envelopes, work to do door-to-door canvassing, and last minute contributions to get the message out. Lose this one and there may not be another chance.
“We must put an end to the arrogance of a federal establishment which accepts no blame for our condition, cannot be relied upon to give us a fair estimate of our situation and utterly refuses to live within its means. … We must force the entire federal bureaucracy to live in the real world of reduced spending, streamlined function and accountability to the people it serves.”—Ronald Reagan
The Constitution begins with three outsized words—We The People. It’s our document. It has always been our document. It’s a contract between ourselves and the people we elect to govern us. Politicians have no incentive to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States because the Constitution is a restraining order issued by the American people to hold the national government in check. It’s our job to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. Most of the time we can discount this responsibility, but each generation seems to encounter a dire situation where they must step forward to protect our rights and liberty.
“A remedy must be obtained from the people who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers.”—James Madison, Federalist 44
Our government is not working. The American Dream means anyone, independent of their initial station in life, has an opportunity to achieve whatever they want. Not only is that dream fading, but basic gainful employment is outside the reach of many Americans. Traditional values are under assault. The government dictates school cafeteria menus and the light bulbs in our homes. National debt is so massive the Federal Reserve has no choice but to keep interest rates at zero. And the world outside our borders is in chaos. But we are not helpless. We can do something to start to right the situation.
“The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men.”—Alexander Hamilton
Next Tuesday, We The People are back in charge. It’s game time. If we all play our positions, we can win … and then we need to keep the momentum by staying in the game until our constitutional government has been restored.
James D. Best is the author of the Steve Dancy Tales and Tempest at Dawn, a novel about the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Look for his new book, Principled Action, Lessons from the Origins of the American Republic.