Take Our Country Back!

This is a Tax Freedom Day Rally speech from April 15, 2012 in Medford, Oregon.

Published in: on April 16, 2012 at 10:35 am  Comments (1)  
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Taking Our Country Back, Part 2

The reactions I’ve gotten to my Tea Party speech are varied. Some people seem to think I was saying we should all be good little Republicans and vote for whomever “they” put on the ballot. One person actually thought I was advocating taking up arms against our government. (Not sure how he got that…)

Let me clarify my intent. If we truly want to take our country back, and restore it to the Republic that our founding fathers intended, we need to do it within the framework established by our founding fathers. That means we do it by voting. Voting alone is not sufficent, however. We need to get actively involved.

Setting aside wishful thinking, and acknowledging the reality of our two-party system, if we want to effect change in our government, we need to control one of the two major parties. The Democrat Party has already been spoken for by socialists; we’re not going to get much traction there. The Republican Party was originally founded on the same principles on which the Tea Party movement is founded. It seems reasonable to believe we have a chance of restoring that party to its true, legitimate roots.

I believe the Republican Party has betrayed the principles on which it was founded, and has been betraying them for years. I’m by no means suggesting that conservatives should fall in with the party line. I’m saying the opposite. Conservatives should be the ones defining the party line. The party line (platform) is formulated by the members who actively participate as PCPs and delegates. It’s very easy to become a PCP, and the PCPs elect the delegates. If we want to take back the party, we have to do it from within. That means registering Republican and working as grass roots activists within the party to rebuild it from the ground up.

As individuals, whether it makes more sense to register Republican or third party depends on the goals we want to achieve. If our goal is to find other idealistic people who all agree with us, we’re more likely to achieve that goal in a third party, because it’s a smaller, more narrowly focused group. If our goal is to actually change our government, and truly take our country back, the very quality that makes third parties effective in achieving the first goal makes them unable to achieve the second. We need massive numbers to achieve change in government.

If we can concede that we will always have some differences, but work together on the common goals that are most important to all of us, we can stop this country’s slide toward socialism and actually turn it around. But it takes a willingness to focus on the core goals that unite us (small government, less regulation, lower taxes) and a willingness to set aside (at least temporarily) the issues that divide us. And it takes a willingness to commit some of our time and energy to the worthwhile effort of taking our country back.

The idea of taking up arms against our government seems to have an appeal to some people. As a realist, I’m very much aware that, no matter how many weapons we might stockpile, we cannot outgun the mightiest military the world has ever known. Military technology has come a long way since 1776. In fact, the government wouldn’t even need to send in the military to quell a rebellion today. They could just shut down the power grid. That’s reality.

I’m not suggesting people shouldn’t stockpile weapons. I’m just saying it won’t help us save our nation. However, if it should come to pass that we do actually lose our country, then a stockpile of weapons could come in very handy. But, by that point, our nation would already be irretrievably lost, along with the ideals and principles upon which it was founded. I hope and pray it never comes to that.

Tax Day Tea Party Speech: Taking Our Country Back

This is the speech I gave at the Southern Oregon Tax Day Tea Party.

Welcome to the Tax Day Tea Party! — Have you filed your taxes yet?
– Are you happy with way your taxes are being spent?
– Do you like the direction our county is going?
– Do you want to take our county back?

– How many of you are patriots?
– As a patriot, what are you willing to do for your country?
– Would you be willing to take up arms to defend your country?
– Would you be willing to take up a pen, and mark your ballot, and drop it in the mailbox?

You may not realize it, but the most patriotic thing you can do this year is vote! — This year, it’s absolutely imperative that we start taking our country back. And, in a Constitutional Republic, the way we do that is by voting.

The other day, I was talking to the publisher of a national conservative Web site. He told me he’d rather have Barack Obama as president than John McCain. I said why? He said, under either of them, the country would continue its slide into socialism. Under McCain, we’d just get there slower. But when things get really bad, really fast, the people will rise up and start a revolution.

I respectfully disagreed. I said that, sometimes, you have to slow down to turn around. You can’t make a U-turn while accelerating. — And, once you go over the cliff, it’s too late to slam on the breaks.

If we should ever get to the point where it’s necessary for citizens to take up arms against our own government, it will be way too late to save our nation. That’s why we need to start taking our country back now.

I’m here today to talk about how we can do that. But first I want to tell you a parable. — Once upon a time, there was a blue state that had one Republican senator. After a couple of terms in office, he had learned the “fine art of compromise” so well that he had slipped to the left of his core constituency. He was by no means a liberal, but he wasn’t nearly as conservative as he’d been when first elected, and a lot of conservatives were disenchanted with him.

Come the next election, he was challenged by a far left, Socialist-leaning, liberal Democrat. And a conservative 3rd party candidate decided to run against him, too. It was a very close race. When the votes were counted, the Democrat got just under 49%. The Republican got almost 46%. The 3rd party candidate got just over 5%.

The Democrat won. But, if you added together the votes for the Republican and the 3rd party candidate, they added up to just about 51%. By splitting the conservative vote, the 3rd party candidate handed the election to the Democrat.

But wait. There’s more! — Not only did the state lose its only Republican representative in Washington, it so happened that the Democrats were only one seat short of a super-majority in the Senate. The loss of that Republican seat gave them the super-majority they needed to pass the Obama Healthcare bill without even having to negotiate with the Republicans. — And the saddest part of this story is that it’s true. And it happened right here in Oregon, in the last election.

The moral is, if you withhold your vote from the lesser of two evils, you help the greater evil win. — What good is “voting your conscience” if the real world result is that you help push the nation further into socialism? — That’s not the way to take our country back.

I can relate to wanting to vote your conscience. I was a Libertarian for nearly 30 years. (And I still am a “small ‘l’” libertarian.) But a couple of years ago, it came to me that voting 3rd party is a lot like mailing your ballot to Santa Claus. It makes you feel really good, but it has absolutely no impact on the real world, or the outcome of the election, or the future of our nation. So, I may sound like a cynic, but I’m a realist. In the real world, results count.

Voting for RINOs year after year isn’t going to help us save our nation, either. Sometimes it’s necessary, to prevent a greater evil, but what we really need is a plan to get actual conservatives on the ballot.

And I have a plan. It’s a simple, workable, three-step plan to take our country back. Like I said before, I’m a realist. And the reality is that this is a two party system. The Democrat Party has been taken over by socialists. The Republican Party is in utter disarray. And, the more conservatives who splinter off into 3rd parties, and 4th parties, and 5th parties, the weaker it gets, — much to the delight of the Democrats.

The good news is, if you look at the Tea Party movement all across the nation, it’s clear that there are enough conservatives now that, if we were to all unite behind one party, we have enough votes to take our country back. — But that isn’t going to happen as long as we’re all pulling in different directions. And every 3rd party that’s formed for the purpose of bringing us all together only splits us up further. — To have a real impact, we need to all unite behind one party.

The Republican Party has traditionally been the party of small government, less regulation, and lower taxes. That’s what the Tea Party movement is all about. The Republican Party used to be the party of principle. It hasn’t been that for a long time. But, with our dedication, our motivation, and our numbers, we can take it back and restore it to the Grand Old Party that it used to be. We need to turn the tide, stop the exodus, and start a new flood of conservatives into the Republican Party.

Here’s the plan:

Step 1. Register Republican. Get your friends to register Republican. We need all the Tea Party conservatives across the nation to register Republican.

Step 2. Become a grass roots activist within the Republican Party. Become a PCP. PCPs are the ones who elect the delegates to the National Convention. Those delegates formulate the national party platform and select the presidential nominee.

Step 3. We need to elect our people to be those delegates. Then we’ll be the ones determining the platform and choosing the presidential nominee for the 2012 election.

We can do this! — And this is how we can take the Republican Party back. And that’s how we can take our government back. And that is how we can take our country back.

Thank you all for being patriots! — Together, we can take our country back! Let’s do it!

There are Worse Things than McCain — Really!

OK, McCain it is. I’m not happy. You’re probably not either. I don’t know who all these “Republicans” are who are voting for him in the primaries, because I’m not aware of one person who likes him. But, be that as it may, the RINOs have spoken and McCain is going to be the Republican candidate. What do we do now?

The pragmatists will weigh the pros and cons and decide which candidate will do less harm to the country. The petulants will go home and sulk, and either not vote at all or throw away their vote on a third party candidate. The punitives will actually cross over and give aid and comfort to the enemy in our country’s time of crisis, and cast their vote for the Democrats out of spite.

From a pragmatist perspective, what are the key issues? The economy, the war, immigration, healthcare, and Supreme Court appointments are probably the most important.

The economy is a big one, because there’s a fundamental philosophical difference in the way Republicans and Democrats address the problem. Republicans believe in fixing the economy by cutting taxes to stimulate growth. Democrats believe the way to fix the economy is by raising taxes and redistributing the wealth. Which do you prefer? 

  •  McCain’s plan is to extend the Bush tax cuts, create more tax cuts for middle class families, make the current low capital gains and dividends tax rates permanent, and require a 60% majority in Congress to raise taxes in the future. He’ll also cut government programs that don’t work, earmarks, subsidies, and pork barrel spending.
  • Mrs. Clinton’s plan is to eliminate the Bush tax cuts, raise capital gains and dividends taxes back to their previous levels, spend $10 billion dollars on extending and broadening unemployment entitlements, hand over $25 billion to low/no income families for “emergency energy assistance,” establish a $30 billion emergency housing fund, and put a five-year rate freeze on sub-prime mortgages.

The war is another big one. Would you rather we fight it over there or over here?

  • McCain fully supports doing whatever is necessary to prosecute the war to the finish. He has consistently supported it from the start, and was an early proponent of the increase in troops.
  • Mrs. Clinton and Obama both supported the Iraq spending bill that would have brought most of our troops home by next month. Mrs. Clinton has promised that, if elected, she’ll bring all the troops home within two years. Obama promises to do it in one. Then we can fight the terrorists on our own soil. That ought to be fun.

On immigration, it’s a wash. They all supported the same immigration bill. Yes, McCain was a sponsor of it, but it’s the one thing on which they all agree, so there’s no win here.

On healthcare, we all know what Mrs. Clinton’s plan is.

  • Mrs. Clinton wants to legislate that everybody has to buy health insurance. For those who can’t afford it, she’ll just take the money out the rest of our pockets to make up the difference.
  • McCain opposes mandatory universal healthcare coverage.

There are likely to be three Supreme Court Justice appointments during the next administration.

  • McCain is a strict constructionist.
  • Mrs. Clinton would pack the court with liberal judges who believe we all need to be protected from ourselves more than we do from criminals and, like children, we can’t be trusted with firearms. (It’s kind of hard to defend yourself in an emergency with a trigger lock on your gun, but Mrs. Clinton thinks it’s necessary so we don’t accidentally shoot ourselves.)

There’s another consideration for the pragmatists. The president appoints the heads of a lot of federal agencies. If we have a Republican (or even a RINO) in the White House, these federal agencies are going to be run by Republicans. If we elect the Clintons or Obama, they’ll be run by socialists. Remember, it’s not just the president you’re voting for, it’s the party, too. 

Question of the day: If McCain were to choose Fred Thompson as his running mate, would that change your mind?

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What’s the Opposite of a RINO?

If a RINO is a Republican in name only, the opposite is someone with traditional conservative values who doesn’t identify as a Republican. Who are these people? Libertarians, Constitutionalists, Independents, and even conservatives who’ve given up on the system and no longer register to vote. My esteemed friend, the Sidewinder, refers to them as apostate Republicans. Most of them wouldn’t be caught dead voting for a Democrat but, for whatever reason, they’re disenfranchised from the Republican party. Some of them quixotically vote for third party candidates. Others, more cynical, don’t vote at all.

Why should Republicans care? After all, these apostates are not true believers. If they did come uninvited to the party, they’d no doubt be disparaged as RINOs. But can the party really afford to be so exclusive? Apostates though they may be, they’re also voters, or at least potential voters, and their numbers are inexorably increasing while mainstream Republicans are on the decline. (Look at the results of the last election, and consider the consequences if that happens again.)

I’m not advocating voting for RINOs, when there are true conservative options. But the last thing the Republican party can afford is to drive the RINOs away. The party can’t continue to view itself as a members-only club, or a church of true believers, while the Democrats set themselves up as a populist block party, everybody welcome, with free food (and healthcare) for anyone who’d rather get something for free than work hard to earn something better.

There are still a lot of people who share the traditional values on which our country was founded. But many of them are drifting away from the Republican center of gravity, and it’s going to take a concerted effort to reach out and draw them in. It’s time to start focusing on what we all have in common, rather than what separates us.

I’m an apostate, myself. I’ve been a libertarian for 28 years (and no, I don’t support Ron Paul). But I’m registering Republican this year because I’m so disturbed by the Democrats’ misguided agenda, and so apprehensive that they will prevail, that I see a real need for conservatives of all persuasions to form a united front to defeat them.

I’m not particularly partial to any of the remaining Republican candidates, but I tend to favor Giuliani. He’s got the strongest position on the economy and on national security, and he has a record of getting things done. (Does anybody remember the 1976 movie Taxi Driver, when Travis Bickle, a New York cabbie, said “Someday a real rain will come, and wash all this scum off the streets?” Well, the real rain did come, and it was Rudy Giuliani.) But, at this point, I’ll support whichever one wins the nomination. An actual elephant would no doubt be best, but even a RINO is better than a donkey bearing a staggering socialist agenda.

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Published in: on January 27, 2008 at 11:01 pm  Comments (7)  
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Chronology of Islamic Terrorism Against the U.S.

The Hydra was a mythical monster with the body of a snake and a hundred heads. Every time one of its heads was cut off, a new one grew in its place. The Islamic terrorist network, spread out across the world, is the modern day Hydra. It has many heads. And, any time you cut one off, a new one will soon replace it. But it’s funded by a small handful of very wealthy countries, who fund it through the proceeds from oil. We cannot kill the Hydra by cutting off its heads. The only way to kill it is to cut off its source of funding.

Ron Paul and the Democrats would have us believe that all we need do is go home, and the Jihadists will leave us alone. To me, that seems naive. Remember, the Islamic terrorists started this war by attacking us at home, on our own soil, killing several thousand civilians in our nation’s largest city and attacking our Pentagon. Before that, there was a whole series of escalating attacks spanning over two decades.

  • In 1979, fifty-two American citizens were taken hostage by Islamic terrorists who took over the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran.
  • Between 1982-1991, ten Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon.
  • In 1983, a Hezbollah suicide bomber attacked the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 63 people.
  • Later that year, another suicide bomber attacked the U.S. marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. marines and injuring over 100 more.
  • Terrorists also bombed the U.S. Embassy annex in Kuwait in 1983, killing six and injuring over 80 others.
  • In 1984, there was another suicide bombing of the U.S. Embassy compound in Beirut, killing 24 people.
  • Later that year, Hezbollah hijacked Kuwait Airways flight 221, and killed two American officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development when their demands to release the 17 terrorists who had bombed the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait were not met.
  • In 1985, Hezbollah hijacked TWA flight 847, first to Lebanon and then to Algiers, where they held the passengers hostage for 17 days. Again, they demanded the release of the terrorists who had bombed the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, and shot a U.S. Navy diver when their demands were not met.
  • Later that year, the PLO hijacked the Achille Lauro, an Italian cruise ship, and killed an American tourist when their demands for the release of PLO terrorists were not met.
  • In 1986, TWA flight 840 was bombed just before landing in Athens, Greece, killing four people who were sucked out of the hole caused by the explosion.
  • In 1988, Pan Am flight 103 from London to NY was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 259 passengers and 11 people on the ground.
  • In 1993, a Muslim sniper opened fire on the CIA complex in Langley, VA, killing two CIA employees and injuring three others.
  • That same year, a car bomb was planted in the garage under the World Trade Center.
  • In 1995, a car bomb in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia killed five Americans.
  • In 1996, Hezbollah bombed the U.S. military complex in Riyadh, killing 19 Americans and injuring hundreds more.
  • In 1998, Al Qaeda bombed the U.S. Embassies in both Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing a total of 223 people and injuring over 4,000.
  • In 2000, Al Qaeda bombed the USS Cole harbored in Aden, Yemen, killing 17 U.S. sailors and injuring 39.
  • In 2001, they destroyed the World Trade Center, killing 3,000 civilians, and attacked the U.S. Pentagon.

Our policy of turning the other cheek up until 9/11 only emboldened them. They kept escalating the violence until they hit us so hard we couldn’t ignore it. And they’re going to continue waging war on us, whether we fight back or not, until Allah grants them victory (as they’re confident he will). Ignoring them hasn’t worked in the past. Why would it work in the future?

Bringing our troops home before the job is done would result in bringing the war home with them. Is that really what America wants?

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Published in: on January 13, 2008 at 7:42 pm  Comments (26)  
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