|"May God grant us the wisdom to discover right, the will to choose it, and the strength to make it endure. "|
A good friend of mine always reminds me that it's easy to point out problems--it's far harder to point out solutions. So tonight I will try to discover a few possible solutions to the difficulties I wrote about last night. But, as a different friend of mine said, "we may be strong enough, but it will be a lot harder than we thought."
Are we doomed, like Athens and Rome before us, to fade into an obscurity of weakness and dissolution?
Are we the one, unique civilization in history that bucks the inevitable and finds a way back from the brink?
Or does the hatred and jealousy that has built for our country over the past half-century find expression in the dangers of doomsday weapons, bringing incalculable tragedy in a Sodom and Gammhora-like rain of fire?
The answer is, of course, I don’t know. I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet. But I do believe that the course can be corrected in time.
First of all, the men and women charged with the defense of this country are the finest, most conscientious people this country can produce. If we can manage to “encourage” our politicians to stay out of their way, then they will do their jobs. If we can put the pressure on the media and on the political class to just allow these men and women to discharge their duties without fear of prosecution by either jury or media, then they WILL protect us.
Speaking of the media, there simply must become an alternative to the way news and information is disseminated to the public. Talk radio, the blogosphere—these have become bastions of alternative information. And, while many people will simply say I equate “alternative” with “conservative,” it is indisputable that conservative views in the Big Media has become alternative. Unfortunately, talk radio and the blogosphere do not have the reach or the influence that CBS, NBC, and ABC News have. The Founding Fathers were not afraid of or above a highly partisan press—the open partisanship of the newspapers and pamphleteers of the time of the founding of the country was essential to the intellectual development of America. Open debate, naked disagreements, with full disclosure of partisan bias helped form the country; the partisanship became so heated that, at one point, a sitting Vice President was involved in an actual duel. The conservative interests in the country need to make the investment of capital, energy and infrastructure to develop a major conservative newspaper and a major conservative television news outlet. NOT to win any debates or serve to influence, but, rather, to simply make certain that a complete set of facts are entered into the record so that Americans have an opportunity to make their mind up for themselves. For “an informed populace” is necessary to the maintenance of a democracy, and a public that only gets one set of facts is not “informed.”
I would add to that that Conservatives should make every effort to stop getting their news from "professional journalists" until "professional journalists" become more professional. In point of fact, it would be useful to then tell those news outlets that "we" have abandoned them, and then tell their sponsors the same. As Conservatives, we should be very happy letting the market do its job--in a public fashion.
Third, and most difficult, Americans of good will must learn to say NO to the government. When offered a handout, say NO; when offered free health care, say NO THANKS; when forced to take money in exchange for . . . say NO. So, as the government moves towards widening the welfare programs, we should politely decline to collect the welfare; as the government increases the reach into the housing sector, we need to fight for our homes; as the government commands our cities and towns to grant licenses and meet quotas that are outside our community standards and beyond our sense of reasonable, we should politely tell it to go to Hell. If a school district wishes to abandon mandated testing, along with Title IX quotas and forced curriculum, it can ignore the government—at the cost of roughly 7% of its operating budget. There are going to be situations in which the individual and the local will be so burdened with commandments from the distant federal government that it will make increasing sense to turn down the financial incentive to meet those commandments.
And, by the way, if you think the mandates the government has imposed on schools in relation to No Child Left Behind (they actually have to pass a test . . . mon Deiu!!) are onerous, wait until an Obama/Pelosi/Reid Department of Education starts telling you what your schools are going to indoctrinate your children with.
And, finally, a new generation of independent, Constitution-centered thinkers has to be nurtured and encouraged to take their role at the center of American life, like their predecessors named Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison and Jay. Not only must they be developed, but they must have an outlet for their thinking, their writing and their actions. And, as importantly, they have to stop being so afraid of being called a "racist" or some other label that they clam up. It is an argument that can be won, but only if it is allowed to be heard.
Will this spare America the fate of its predecessors? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Perhaps the turmoil and conflicts these steps create lead to a wider split in the country. But this country has survived wide splits before, when it knew what the issues on the table were, and was able to make an informed choice. What rose from the ashes of the Civil War became the dominant country in the world in relatively short order—so it can be again.