The other day I wrote an article about the Occupy Wall Street movement, and what I saw as possible commonalities between that movement and the Tea Party movement. In my perusal of the Principals of Solidarity working draft postings, I was somewhat hopeful and gratified by some of what I saw there. Folks are understandably upset with the corruption of our government by special interests. In this, they are not different from the Tea Party, or the Founders of our Nation.
Today, however, I read that these loosely organized groups of peaceful protesters are about to be co-opted by the union thugs who terrorized Madison Wisconsin not so many months ago with threats of violence and mayhem. This is extremely unfortunate and predictable. It is much like the way protesters in Egypt who were interested in freedom and self-governance were quickly co-opted by the Muslim Brotherhood.
If those of you who are gathered in Zuccotti Park are serious about ending the influence of special interest groups in Washington DC, then I for one, would urge you not to let one of the biggest, most powerful special interest conglomerations in the country, organized labor, take control of your movement. If big business influence in DC is bad, so is big labor influence. Government of, for and by the people is meant to be just that, and co-option by any special interest, no matter what the stripe, is just as bad as any other.
What could be said about the current Administration in DC as well as the prior Bush administration follow to wit:
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Cartel Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
These among others were the grievances listed against King George in the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, the preamble to which reads:
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Good people occupying Wall Street, and those beginning to Occupy other locations in other cities, do not let yourselves be tricked into throwing out one bunch of tyrants in favor of another, for the other is no less tyrannical than the first. Those of us in the Tea Party movement understand your frustration with the current state of affairs in our Nation's Capital. We will be the first to agree when it is said that the type and amount of influence special interests, including those perpetrated by big business is entirely out of hand and unacceptable. Be cautious, however in your acceptance of leadership who would simply use your movement to exert their own flavor of special interest in the halls of government, for they are the same beast in a different coat.
A truly free market benefits everyone, yet we have not seen a truly free market in the United States for over a century. A truly free market allows market forces, the invisible hand if you will, to operate freely. In the 1930's the bankers and the large growers colluded with each other to keep wages unbearably low and profits unimaginably high. The system eventually collapsed when the starving migrants from Oklahoma, Kansas and the like refused to watch their children starve, and rose up. The collusion, however was not a free market force, but rather the opposite of it.
We are at a pivotal point in our evolution, and there are two or three courses we can take. One is down the road being followed by the progressive left toward communism and central planning. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need as Carl Marx put it. This sounds good on paper, it sounds very altruistic. The problem is that it fails to take human nature into account, and in the end, can only be imposed at the point of a gun. There will always be those who are a little more equal than others, and who will, to maintain their more equal-ness, oppress the rest.
The next possible course is Anarchy, complete chaos, and while this may have a certain swashbuckling appeal, I would urge the investigation of Somalia to see the results of that form of non-government. It is the best example we have in the world today. People are starving in the streets and the strongest among the people make the rules with violence and terror.
The third option, perhaps the most difficult, and the one requiring the most courage, it to repair or re-create our representative republic. That is the aim of the Tea Party. We submit that humans are basically good in their nature when guided in their spirit by a set of principals the most notable of which is, treat others as you would wish to be treated, and love your neighbor as yourself. We believe that all people are created equal and have the right to live free, own private property, be secure in their person, papers and property, have the right to defend themselves and the right to equal opportunity, have the right to fail miserably, and pick themselves up without being bailed out by taking from others. We believe in the right of all people to live as they wish, so long as their living does not infringe on the rights of others. We believe in the right of all people to worship as they choose wherever they choose, or to not worship at all if that is their choice. We believe in sound currency, free from manipulation. We believe in clean air, water, and a prosperous economy, and that these things are not mutually exclusive. We believe in the freedom of speech for everyone, not just the popular, and we believe in a free press. We believe in honesty and integrity and we believe emphatically that with these rights comes responsibility. We believe that with freedom comes the necessity to be responsible for one's own affairs. We believe in taking responsibility for our government as well, that only an informed and reasoned electorate can effectively govern themselves, therefore it is the duty of the citizenry to inform themselves, to discuss and debate among themselves, freely and civilly, the issues of the day.
We believe in caring for our elderly and our children. We believe in caring for those who, through no fault of their own, cannot care for themselves. We believe in the right of States to govern themselves, that local government is better and more responsive that state government, and state government is better and more responsive than Federal government, and the best government is that which governs least.
So I applaud your plumb, those of you who are gathered in the cause of freedom, but I caution you to beware of your bedfellows. I implore you to take a little time. Study our founding documents. Read the Declaration of Independence, Read the Constitution, Spend some time with the Federalist Papers. Read Bastiat's The Law. You might be surprised to find how much you have in common with those early patriots who threw the British East India Tea Company's tea into the Boston Harbor, because the Government had granted a big corporation a monopoly to sell tea in America.
While you work out your principals, and you are wise to do so, please remind yourselves why this country came into being. We have wandered far and wide from those principals for which our early citizens fought and died. Before we fight and die again in the cause of freedom, lets us take just a moment, spare a modicum of effort, and define for ourselves what we want that freedom to look like.
I stand with Mr. Henry when he turned the tide in the Virginia legislature with his ultimatum “I know not what course other men may take, but as for me...as for me, give me liberty, or give me death.”
Those early patriots believed that an informed electorate would be able to exercise wisdom, temperance and good judgment sufficient to govern themselves. Those of us in the Tea Party believe that as well. My question for you, brave occupiers of city parks in opposition to tyranny, is what sort of government do you envision. Is your choice to trade one of form of tyranny for another, to switch oppressors. Would you trade elected representation for Castro, Stalin, Hitler, or Chavez, all murderers and oppressors of freedom, or would you be inspired to free self governance like Jefferson, Washington, Dickinson, Paine, Morris, Rush, Franklin, Henry and the like.
So take time, freedom fighters, study well. The fate of our Nation hangs in the balance. The greatest experiment in self-governance and freedom of all people is on the line. This is no lark in which you have engaged, and now that the genie is out of the bottle, it cannot be put back. Choose well, my friends, my neighbors, study well and choose wisely. Perhaps you did not realize it when you took to the streets of Manhattan, but the course of the future is already irretrievably altered by your actions, and for that I applaud you. But if you choose leaders who are wolves in the clothing of sheep, if you believe promises of utopia that will emerge, if only to submit to their direction, you will have plunged this nation, and perhaps the world into an abyss of oppression, misery, and despair the likes of which the world has not seen since the dark ages.
But if you choose wisely, deliberatively, with a eye toward history, if you choose freedom, if you choose self-governance and responsibility, if you choose reason and compassion, if you look deep inside yourselves for guidance, then we have before us the greatest possibility for peace and prosperity the world has ever seen. I wish you well and pray for your inspiration.