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Monday, December 13, 2010

Liberty Ain't Easy...But It Sure Is Fun!

Funny how life throws curve balls at you.

I remember when I was in college - I was pro-choice, full-on Leftist. I was campaigning for Clinton-Gore because it was the in thing to do, the girls liked it, and I felt like I was making a change. Plus at that age, I knew everything.

A few years later, I was in the real world, working and paying taxes. I "knew" the Left was wrong and went full tilt to the GOP. I was a card-carrying member, and even ran for county committee. I still have the sample ballot with my name on it somewhere. Once again, I knew it all and was sure of myself.

2000 rolled around and I got a real jolt of reality from being active in a party. I learned that the overwhelming majority of Republican brass were crossovers from the Democratic Party who were looking to keep a job in party politics, or who were trying to advance themselves. Principle? Pfft, that was for the dumb it seems. Play the game, you'll go far. You don't have to stand for anything, as long as the money rolls in.

Let's just say I had something of an identity crisis at that point. While I held to conservative values (and you can call me one today, although paleoconservative or Constitutionalist is more apt f you have to apply labels) I was sickened by hearing how the party of "conservatives" was just a whore to whoever had money. I walked away disgusted, never to return to them.

I spent some years drifting, looking for a party which shared my values. I even kicked the idea around of a new party. I voted for Mike Peroutka in 2004 (the Constitution Party) and I supported Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr in 2008. I have friends in both the Constitution and Libertarian parties. I used to be on the mailing list for the America First Party as well. All three have great points. All three are for small government and a return to the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.

At this point, while I'm still registered with the Constitution Party, I can safely say I'm through with partisan politics. Washington was dead-on. All it does is divide us further. The Constitution party, the Libertarians...they more or less believe the same stuff in regards to the Constitution. The CP has a more religious-based interpretation, which bothers some less religious Libertarians.

What I really enjoy, though, is that being a consistent supporter of the Constitution seems to tick off a lot of partisan folks on both sides. I really enjoy being a prick sometimes, I suppose. The neocons love when I speak against big government - but they flip out when I speak against the fake conservatives and neocons who've done nothing to scale back government. They cringe when I say the wars are illegal and serve only the central banks and the criminals who run them.

My liberal friends like when I speak against war and when I mention the crimes committed by W and Cheney. But they hate when I talk of morality or of our 2nd Amendment rights.

I like to wonder if any of them stop to think about the points I make or if it's just knee jerk reaction because I went against their programming. There are times when even I don't like the way the Constitution is set up. But it was set up for the benefit of all, and it is, after all, the law. And in a Republic, the law is king. It behooves me to support the law, but work to amend the law within the right channels if I think that law is unjust.

I stir the pot. I make myself think more. Hopefully, I make others think more as well. It's fun to get a reaction sometimes - you know you've hit a nerve then. Sometimes I hurt the feelings of my friends, and for that I am sorry. But I have to admit I get a kick when someone gets riled up enough to speak their mind. Pushing for liberty is not always an easy road, but it is one worth taking.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Of Leaders and Followers

One of the things I've heard for some time now is how the Patriot movement needs leaders. I used to be a regular Glenn Beck listener and he always said that the leadership has to come from the regular joes - people who aren't some high-powered voice.

I am now an avid listener of Alex Jones, Gary Franchi and the like. They say more or less the same thing. Alex says true leadership comes from the people. Gary's bye-line on the Reality Report is "I'm not here to make you a follower, I'm here to make you a leader among the people."

Well, they're all right. Yet, I think there needs to be some clarification on the subject of leaders and followers.

Glenn Beck has shown us WHY we need leaders from among the people. He kept insisting that "he did not want to be a leader" yet gladly took the role. Glenn had been claiming to be libertarian, claimed to reject BOTH major parties on grounds of extreme corruption. but he backs the co-opted "Tea Party" element led by Establishment types who preach a good sermon but do not back it up.

He's helped to wake people up somewhat. But the problem is, the people who watch him seem to only go as far as he is willing (or allowed) to take them. It still seems that a lot of people decline to investigate more for themselves - or refuse to think on their own. They swallow what he says as Gospel. He dismisses the 9/11 truth movement as a group of insane people. He parrots the old quotation "question with boldness the very existence of God", yet somehow questioning the events of 9/11 is off-limits.

The 9/11 truth movement is not about accusing the government of anything more than not telling the whole story. Too many things do not add up. I can't say it was an inside job - even if the evidence points that way - because we simply don't have all the facts. All I can say for sure is that the official story does not add up, and there needs to be an investigation done by someone other than the government. If it WAS an inside job, the government is not going to do an investigation and point the finger at themselves.

Anyway...back to the topic. Glenn has shown that looking to someone else to lead is a bad idea. A leader in that sense of the word has a lot of power to steer people to whatever agenda he or she wishes.

Alex and Gary are closer to the point. While both are seen as leaders among the authentic "tea party" and Patriot movements, neither claim to be the voice of the people per se. They are merely more visible figures who speak their mind and, most importantly, are not afraid of the consequences, be it arrest, being put on a DHS "list", or whatever else may come. I can't see Glenn Beck willing to face arrest for speaking out. What Alex Jones and Gary Franchi say is that we ALL need to be leaders. It's nice to have a spokesperson for issues, and I think both do a great job at that. They have the means to reach a lot of people, and they do so through talk shows, movies, and the Web.

Ultimately, though, their job is to inform you and I, and to jolt us into seeing that neither of them can do the job on their own. Every one of us needs to become our own leader. What we need to do is educate ourselves beyond what we hear from them. Glenn Beck is good for information, but he props up the two-party system, which only serves the interests of the existing power base. Alex Jones, Gary Franchi, Jason Bermas, G. Edward Griffin and countless others don't look at party affiliation, they look at actions. When you look at the actions of the politicians, you quickly realize that both parties are towing the same line: total government control. Sadly, far too many people get blinded by the (D) or (R) after a name and assume one stands for good, the other for evil.

Being a follower is simple. Sit on the couch, rot in front of the TV and don't worry about anything. Assure yourself that someone else will clean up the mess.

Ultimately, being your own leader sounds daunting, but it's not. Start off simply enough by going to other sites and getting different angles on the news. For the uninitiated, the Drudge Report gives you a quick overview of big stories. Read all the way through the articles for the nuggets of deeper truth hidden within. The headlines only serve to steer opinion. Reading into the stories reveals little pieces of information that can jolt you into looking further at things.

The local library is another place, often there are books on topics to give you a better understanding of issues in government. Sometimes, you'll even find ones pointing out the agenda of the global elites.

Get active on some of the message forums and social sites, like rtr.org, to talk with others who care about the direction America and the world is heading. You won't agree with some people, it's bound to happen. But even in disagreement you will be challenged to think about your worldview more and possibly rethink things.

To be a leader, you don't have to be on the radio or TV. You don't have to stand in front of crowds and speak. You don't even necessarily have to face arrest (although get5ting on DHS "lists" is probably a certainty for questioning the government). You just have to get informed and share your findings with others. If you wake just one person up to things...congratulations, you're a leader!

Naysayers will say "one person can't make a difference". That's a lie. One person wakes up another and keeps the concepts of personal liberty and freedom alive. One person can not change everything. But one person can make a real difference by simply caring enough to talk to others.