Worth Defending At All Hazards
It wasn’t that long ago that most of us were happily oblivious to the world beyond our families and our jobs. Others of us were involved in politics by being loyal to a political party. A few of us were involved in the battle against the tyranny lurking beneath the surface anxiously awaiting its invitation.
In an ideal world, most people should be able to spend their lives in the first group, blissfully ignorant of what the government is doing. In fact, for most of our history, the government was not a factor in the average citizen’s life. That time has passed though. It is unlikely that we will ever again be able to take leave from our vigilance in defense of our liberties.
We are drawn into this cause of liberty because of a sense of responsibility to our ancestors who, as Sam Adams said, “purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood”. More importantly though, we have a responsibility to ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and future generations.
We are blessed that we can fight this cause without the violence that our ancestors needed to use. Our opponents are not taking arms against us, but they have cheated us of our liberties “by the artifices of designing men.”
Our opponents cannot use reason and logic against us. They have no principles upon which their beliefs are based. They are materialistic people only value envy, greed, and power over equality under the law, honesty, and the American Dream. In desperation, they use vile words, nasty rhetoric, and outright lies.
We have proven to be better equipped than our opponents. We have the words and actions of our Founders. We have the logic of natural rights. We have the greatest documents ever know to the human race which codify the proper moral society and the subsequent case for freedom; our Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.
Our opponents will continue to attack each of these. In fact, they have already done much damage to the Constitution and rendered the Declaration of Independence insignificant in our public discourse. Yet in the march of history, liberty always advances.
We need your help, not only to defend against the attacks from our opponents, but also to spread the message of liberty. It’s not enough to just respond to those who may never understand. We need to win the hearts and minds of our friends and neighbors by showing them that they are being cheated out of the fruits of their labor and of the rights that they were born exercise.
Please consider getting more active in our cause, whether it is through our organization or one of the many that are allied with us.
“The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”
Lessons From U.Mass.
“You can tell people they are wrong by a look or an intonation or a gesture just as eloquently as you can in words – and if you tell them they are wrong, do you make them want to agree with you? Never! For you have struck a direct blow at their intelligence, judgment, pride and self-respect. That will make them want to strike back. But it will never make them want to change their minds. You may then hurl at them all the logic of a Plato or an Immanuel Kant, but you will not alter their opinions, for you have hurt their feelings.“
One of the speakers at Thursday’s Worcester Tea Party meeting was Nathan Fatal, a recent Political Science grad from the University of Massachusetts. While at U. Mass., Nathan founded the New England Objectivist Society to promote the philosophy of Ayn Rand. In this effort, he connected with liberty activists across Massachusetts and he was a speaker at our 2012 Tax Day Tea Party in Lincoln Square.
On Thursday, Nathan talked to us about his painful experiences as a student dedicated to promoting liberty while living in an academic community blindly committed to a statist
dogma. You can imagine the challenges that confronted him in his efforts to convince his fellow students that individual liberty was preferable to the collectivist ideology that was instilled in them in the classroom. He was frustrated by the futility of his task, but he didn’t give up. He learned.
What Nathan learned is something that the Tea Party movement needs to learn.
Trying to get students to show up at a meeting to talk about Ayn Rand had become a waste of time. Nathan was committed to getting his message out to his fellow students though, so he switched tactics. He started to use Dale Carnegie’s philosophy of “How to Win Friends Influence People”. What Nathan learned was that he needed to relate his message to each individual that he was speaking to. This personal connection allowed his listener to receive Nathan’s message in a completely different light. The responses that he started to receive were much more positive.
Nathan and his coalition of college students are a major reason that liberty will thrive in the United States and around the world. They are part of a cultural wave that will wash away the Progressive ideology that has sickened our society for almost 100 years. Let’s use their wisdom to promote the Tea Party message.
Bashing our opponents with insults does nothing to win the support of our fellow citizens who hover in the center of the political spectrum or who have only been exposed to the toxic agenda of leftist academics. We cannot do this with a negative message. Our message is one of optimism and faith in individual Americans. By being more careful with the words that we choose, we can win more supporters.
Addressing the faults and philosophical ignorance of today’s politicians will only yield a short term victory, because these politicians will be replaced by similar charlatans. We need to destroy the dangerous ideology of these politicians. What we need to win is a cultural change, one where Americans once again value their freedom.
We must strike at the root.
Many Tea Party members are not sure what their role is in the movement. If you are not comfortable with getting involved at the organizational level, there is a simple, effective, and very important role for each of you. You are our messengers. One of the most effective ways to promote the Tea Party message of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and adherence to the Constitution is by writing a letter to the editor. Well written letters supporting our cause can light brushfires in the minds of people who may not fully understand the nature of the challenges facing our country. They also give us an opportunity to show that freeing the individual from the chains of a bloated and oppressive government is the most effective way to raise every American’s liberty and ability to pursue happiness.
What makes a good letter to the editor?
Here are a few pointers for writing an effective letter to the editor:
- Grab the readers’ attention in the first sentence.
- State your opinion clearly in the first paragraph and repeat it in the last paragraph.
- Do not use personal attacks. Don’t rant.
- Back up your opinion with facts. Verify your facts.
- Giving your opinion is important, but you should also offer solutions. Remember though, often the best solution is to do nothing!
- Be positive! Explain the value of freedom. Be optimistic.
- Keep your letter to 250 words or less. This is very challenging, but many newspapers have word limits and readers will completely read a short letter.
- The Worcester Telegram has the widest readership in our area, but weekly local newspapers shouldn’t be overlooked. Your neighbors and friends are more likely to be influenced by your well written opinion.
- Get in the habit of writing letters every month. Most newspapers will limit you to once per 90 days, but if you choose three newspapers, then you can rotate one per month.
Some of our members have volunteered to help with proof reading letters and helping you polish your message. They can offer as much or as little help as you need. You can contact them at:Letters@worcesterteaparty.com.
You can use the same email address to tell us when your letter is published, so we can let everyone know to comment on it. Be prepared to be ridiculed in the online comments. Don’t respond with the same kind of vile nastiness that they throw at you. If we can get our message out this way we can influence public opinion and ensure that our children will live in culture that values freedom.
An Irish Democracy?
We are fast approaching the 5th Anniversary of the first Tax Day Tea Parties. In the spring of 2009, Americans had become deeply suspicious of the institutions that defined our society. The government, large corporations, banks, legislatures, Congress, and political parties had betrayed the American public. We were fed up and decided to let our leaders know that we were mad as hell and we weren’t taking it anymore.
Five years later, we’ve become what is one of the greatest and longest lasting political movements in US history. To many, it is unclear whether our mission will be successful, but many more of us have no doubt that we will eventually free America from the oppression of a bloated government and the crony-capitalists that control it.
We have changed from an angry movement lacking direction into thousands of very effective small groups and individuals doing the daily tasks of restoring liberty. Whether it is aiding a campaign, being a candidate or educating and rallying citizens to an important cause, each action is a step in the right direction. There is one tactic that has not been sufficiently used until recently. It is called “Irish Democracy.”
Professor Glenn Reynolds recently quoted Professor James Scott in USA Today:
“More regimes have been brought piecemeal to their knees by what was once called ‘Irish Democracy,’ the silent, dogged resistance, withdrawal, and truculence of millions of ordinary people, than by revolutionary vanguards or rioting mobs.”
Whether it is refusal to sign up for Obamacare, gun owners avoiding registering their guns in Connecticut, willful disobedience of immoral laws or entire states nullifying drug laws, we as citizens are learning to exert authority over their own lives. In this mixed up and confusing political paradigm, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, and even Democrats, are finding common ground with those of us willing to stand opposed to a growing and intrusive tyranny. After 5 years of the Tea Party movement, many Americans are finding the truth in our message, even while they voice hesitancy about us.
Anthony Codevilla, a Research Fellow at The Independent Institute, recently wrote:
“The principal feature of today’s ruling class is precisely that it reigns in open contempt of the Constitution of 1787 and of their fellow Americans who wave copies of it in forlorn attempts to limit the ruling class’ pretensions. History is univocal: any ruling class self-referential to the point of defaulting on its obligations leaves the ruled no alternative but to turn their backs on it, and eventually to revolt.”
We are still learning how to resist their betrayal of our Constitution and our values and we are still learning how to revolt. We are running for office, calling talk radio, writing letters, picketing, voting, and, when we can, withdrawing.
In the words of Professor Reynolds,
“As we struggle, mostly in vain, to rein in the metastasizing power of a federal government that has grown out of control, perhaps Irish Democracy offers a solution. Sometimes it seems like that’s the only kind of democracy that’s likely to
make a difference.”
The late 20th century showed us many times that peaceful resistance to tyranny is one of the most effective tools available to liberty seekers. It is only one tool of many that we have available, but in this time of crisis, we need to use every tool possible.
Think about opportunities to practice Irish Democracy as we move into the 5th year of the Tea Party movement.