Rebellion: It’s Our Birthright

Be nice! Be kind! Be civil!

Is that the kind of thinking that founded this country?

Well, no. It isn’t. America’s founders had grievances. They wanted to address and to resolve these grievances. They went to war. War is how the greatest nation to ever exist came into being. Not just war, rebellion to be specific. Very uncivil, very aggrieved rebellion. People died. More specifically, people were killed, many of them, to start our country. We owe a philosophical and physically violent rebellion more than we can repay. Rebellion is our birthright.

With the 2012 Election Day now past, I’d have to say that I, like our Founders, have grievances. You probably do, too. If not with every outcome, you probably are dissatisfied with at least one or two. One problem I have is that I was aggrieved before the election. The list is long and if you continue to read this blog after this post you’ll hear about more grievances, and how to fix them, than you might have imagined could exist. Many of them will bother you, no matter how you lean politically.

Let’s just start with one grievance, one that might be less-than-obvious for many people because “the press” never brings it to light. Our Congress has not passed a budget in years! Forget about whether they extend the budget ceiling or any other such nonsense. Without a budget there is literally no formal guideline for spending. How is it possible to run ANY enterprise, whether it is your home, business, or government without a budget, without figuring out how much money there is to spend and on what? Yet the crew who are supposed to look out for your best interests can’t even be bothered to adhere to the legal requirements set out by the Constitution, the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, and the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974. In other words, they have all broken the law, with your money at stake. If you don’t have a grievance with this, then please stop reading now and think long and hard about how it is that no budget for Federal government spending is a good thing. Then, realize that we have been left, after the election, with mostly the same people who have been so irresponsible.

Here’s another problem I have. Prior to the election, I tried being polite and to avoid offending people during this election cycle. I have friends who fit many different political preferences. I’m not someone who would stop being a friend just because of political differences. I have heard repeatedly, though, how this has happened to others. With such easy access to opinion-sharing, it seemed better to be safe than regret offending someone, who does not believe exactly everything I do.

So, that said, I didn’t do the right thing. I should have been up in metaphorical arms, sharing my opinion like crazy. Here’s a sign I know that I didn’t do the right thing. Both candidates for President were, for the most part, the same guy. I know we all can point to the differences, but, trust me, you cannot win this argument with me. They were almost the same guy. And I don’t want to choose between two of the same thing. I want two very different things. I don’t want vanilla versus French vanilla,or more appropriately, the Statist versus the Statist. Our Founders didn’t replace a king with another king. I want to see some serious rebels, some serious choice.

That is where I come full circle. As I’ve mentioned, I have grievances. Serious ones. And, I don’t want to look back in two and four years and think, like I’m currently thinking, “Well, I didn’t really do much more than vote.” Yeah, I made the occasional comment on Facebook and even a few face to face. However, I didn’t do enough.

The revolutionary ideas, real or just lip service, represented four years ago by “Hope and Change” have evolved into the status quo (again, you cannot win this argument with me). All of you revolutionaries out there must have woken up post-election and found that a part of you is saying “Wait, a second, I’m officially ‘The Man’” now. You know “The Man” of the 1960s “The Man” fame. You have voted for the status quo, and not a great status quo. You succumbed. Well, the status quo is not for me. Just the same as it was not for the people who started the Revolutionary War.

Over time this new status quo has evolved to say that no choice is the right choice, and that is absurd. I no longer want to be nice, to be kind, and to be civil. I don’t want to accept the absurd status quo. I want to live in a country that believes in exceptionalism and freedom as its highest virtues, a country that lives up to these virtues. That’s the same country founded by the very uncivil, very aggrieved rebels we owe for what freedoms we have left. I, officially, vow to speak out. True to my twice-rebelling, redneck Southern roots, I’d like to invite you to my rebellion. It can be yours, too.

Hello America

So… It’s the day after election day. In our usual messy way, we have chosen our President for the next four years, and a lot of people are very unhappy about it. I’m unhappy too, but not as irate as many, for the simple reason that my answer to our current situation was “none of the above.”

Here’s where I begin, and you can apply this thinking to almost anything I say on this site. The political process in America is completely out of control.

Whew! I feel better. You may not agree, but Romney didn’t stand for any real solution either. How the GOP managed to put up such a lousy candidate is beyond me. I listen to everyone yelling that Romney was the answer and I think back to six months ago when the entire conservative theme was “Anything but Romney,” and somehow he got the nomination. How? But, game over. That’s neither here nor there.

What I’m thinking about is rights, freedom, and liberty. If you are paying attention, you may have noticed that we are losing those precious things at a startling rate, and for me, Obama stands for the rapid degradation of our basic “American-ness.” I take it as a fundamental threat to our way of life. In order to get a bead on what we are losing, I’ll talk to my eight-year-old self.

I was in Mrs. Mosley’s class in 1976. Back then, we learned about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Who knows if kids still do? We even had to memorize parts of it. In our little elementary school in the rural outskirts of Nashville, we were in the thick of the Bicentennial celebrations. In between smacking my hand with a ruler for being left-handed, Mrs. Mosley rolled a TV into the classroom so that we could watch as many red-white and blue activities as possible. It was good to be an American, even with the dark echoes of Viet Nam, and the beginnings of signs announcing Georgia peanut farmers apologies for putting Carter in office. We understood what we were.

Of course, I was eight, so I was missing more than I understood, but even today, I can borrow that simple perspective, that white and shiny view of our future as Americans, as the greatest country on earth. That idea was only slightly diminished when I discovered that the Soviet Union was much bigger than us. Biggest is best, right? The point is that we seem to have lost that simple, common understanding of who we are. On my paranoid days, I believe that our identity is being systematically destroyed so that we can, in turn, go the way of the horse and carriage. On my mellower days, I think we have merely lost our way.

In either case, my thoughts for the future involve trying to recapture some of what we have lost before it’s gone. I welcome you to the discussion, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.