Blowback: Resilience [Part 3] (2012)

[The following was published July 4, 2012]

4.) Epilogue. Allow me to be informal for a moment as Blowback closes for this year. Taken as a whole, the things discussed in Blowback this year can be fairly discouraging. Shortly after the Obamacare decision, I spent some time talking to friends and looking at various social media sites, trying to gauge the reactions. At least to me, it seemed to range from the idea that the ruling was a sort of nail in the coffin to thinking that it merely made the elections more important.

While I agree with the latter view, I think people need to also start thinking beyond the election. For years, we have focused on and placed a lot of authority in the Federal government. Constitutionally, the power was always meant to rest with the states. The Federal government’s powers were not only limited, but specifically laid out in Article 1, Section 8. Furthermore, in the time that the Constitution was first created and ratified, the first question asked in Congress with a bill was NOT who it would (supposedly) benefit or whether it was a good idea to start with. The first question was, and needs to be whether the government is allowed to do something in the first place.

At the state level, we are seeing some resistance to the Federal government, and states are re-asserting their power under the Tenth Amendment. A prime example of this is Arizona’s attempts to secure their own border with Mexico, seeing the Federal government’s efforts as weak and ineffective. This week, Governors in several states have responded to the Healthcare Reform ruling by proclaiming that they will ignore it and continue to fight it.

The local level is where the real changes are. As an example, I will use the 2012 Ron Paul campaign. Ron Paul’s campaign (and indeed Ron Paul’s supporters) were essentially blacked out and/or stigmatized by right-leaning news sources and radio hosts. Straw polls which saw Paul in the top 3 early on were either avoided, or shown with Paul barely being mentioned, to the point where it even became a Daily Show skit. Rather than endure the blackout, however, Ron Paul and his supporters changed tactics, and educated themselves on how the party worked. Using some of the more arcane rules of the GOP against the party, Paul’s campaign supporters managed to send many more delegates to the Tampa convention than most estimates had expected Paul is slated to have a sizeable voice at the Tampa convention. Paul’s campaign was and is largely grassroots, but has given rise to what has been referred to as the “Liberty Movement.” The Liberty Movement can fairly be described as a Libertarian take, and a much more uncompromising one at that, on the Tea Party.

But there’s another element at the local level, and this is what I would like to close on tonight. “Community” is kind of a dirty word among some on the right. This is unfortunate as it’s really the only way anything is going to change for the better in this country. Going back to the Paul example above, the Liberty Movement outstretched itself almost immediately, by going for the Presidency with not much else underpinning that President. This caused a panic in the Movement, a fear that all of the work up to this point was wasted.

All because everything beneath the Presidency had been almost completely ignored.

The same thing needs to happen generally. It’s not enough to talk about Romney vs. Obama. (Especially since there are PLENTY of similarities between the two….something even Romney supporters will admit.) People need to change not just how they vote, but how they think as well. A Libertarian/liberty-minded message isn’t going to be carried on the main news networks (if you can actually call them news networks), nor is it going to be carried on Republican talk radio. Talk radio, especially, has very little interest in carrying a truly libertarian message, or any message that involves taking a sharp look at wars and the bank-owned financial system.

It’s about going around them. Telling someone that you want the government off their backs, that you want them to be able to move without restrictions, and that you want people to be able to think; do; and say as they please is inherently powerful. Anything that offers independence is. It also makes those who would prefer people rely on government, or some sort of external force, very nervous. And that’s where the battle should be; at a local level and on principles, instead of a national one on which barely-different candidate should be in the White House. Once the base is taken care of, everything above it will be fairly straightforward. In short, if I may borrow from survivalist Jack Spriko, the secret to getting the country back on track is simply changing tactics, and trying to change the country from the bottom up, and not from the top down.

Happy Independence Day, and thank you for reading.

Over and out.

– Jordan

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