He who hesitates is lost.
When we have the opportunity to accomplish something and we miss that opportunity because we fail to take action or we allow ourselves to be diverted from the best to accomplish the good that isn’t defeat it is capitulation.
To concentrate on attempting what cannot be accomplished while ignoring what can is beyond folly it’s culpably poor leadership. It ranks right down there with decision of the captain of the Titanic to dismiss warnings of icebergs ahead because his ship was unsinkable.
To lose momentum is to gain inertia.
The new House majority is locked in a confrontation with an adversary shameless enough to use a senseless tragedy perpetrated by an obviously deranged individual for political gain. An adversary aided by a mass media willing to present a surreal pseudo reality as if it were the real thing. Thus it is useless to expect a level playing field. Rolling a big rock up a steep hill is the order of the day. All of which says it is time to roll up the sleeves and get to work. Real work not symbolic work.
Reading the Constitution is good political theater. Demanding that every piece of legislation explicitly state where in the Constitution it is authorized should have been standard operating procedure. In fact most bills have always included a section pointing to the constitutional validation of the law. In the end this will probably lead to a continuation of the over use of the words, “Commerce Clause” and “Necessary and Proper” which in effect mean, “Because we want to.”
Conservatives are confronting a relentless opponent who has gained strategic and tactical advantage. An opponent, supported by the media, in control of the educational and entertainment establishments who has the cohesion of shared ideology and goals. To make concessions and compromises merely hastens their goal of an unlimited government and central planning.
Ultimately what it is; is what it is. This sounds obvious doesn’t it? The truth often is obvious, so obvious that it hides in plain sight and is either forgotten, overlooked, or missed.
Today what it is; is a political environment which ignores the Constitution and the limits it imposes. We may wish it wasn’t. We may tell ourselves it isn’t but it is. It isn’t what we wish it was and it won’t become what we want it to be unless we take positive steps to build upon our enlightened past to change the revisionist present. We must divert the flow of current events into a path that leads to the future we desire or we’ll end up in a future that repudiates our past and validates the present we now inhabit, one which in many ways will be the opposite of our constitutionally limited representative republic.
It will still be called the United States of America. We will be told that we have the most freedom and opportunity of any people on earth. But the fact will be that we will have become the creatures of an unlimited government, the playthings of a faceless bureaucracy.
We can’t know what we don’t know but we can know that we don’t know.
He who writes the past controls the present and he who controls the present shapes the future. We need to examine our own knowledge base. Each of us needs to frankly admit what we don’t know and actively strive to fill in the gaps.
If we aren’t sure how we got here we must learn our own history. If we aren’t sure how the economy works we must study economics. If we can’t understand why our leaders do what they do we must examine political theory. Americans were once known as the most politically involved and informed people on earth. An informed and involved populace is the rampart of a free nation. We must do the work, put in the effort necessary to take our place beside our ancestors as the guardians of liberty and the advocates of the limited government which alone can ensure its survival.
One can only do what one can do and one cannot do what one cannot do.
What am I calling for in the way of concrete actions by the new Republican majority in the House? Don’t waste precious time doing things you think will placate the Tea Party. Don’t spin your wheels in dead-end gestures as a way of tipping your hat to the newly activated voters. Instead do what you can do.
Refuse to add to the deficit. Refuse to grow the government. In other words refuse to be an accomplice to the building of the social welfare replacement state. Instead use your investigative powers to uncover the corruption that lies at the foundation of Chicago on the Potomac. Use the bully pulpit of being an elected representative, of being the majority leader and speaker of the House to state the case that one side in Washington are working to establish an unlimited federal bureaucracy and one side wants to re-establish limited government.
Do what you can do don’t pretend to do what you know you can’t do. Stand up and be counted or continue to do what you have done previously and eventually you might be counted out, at the ballot box.
There are latitudes to platitudes which often lead to the gratitude of the multitude and there are limitations to alliterations which leverage the legitimacy of literature. Rising above the temptation to be catchy in an industry that rewards catchiness while striving to enlighten as well as entertain leads us back to the reality of what it is; is what it is. And what this is; is a wake-up call to the new Republican majority in the House.
Act as a Conservative majority, a break upon the Progressive’s relentless advance toward the corporate state and the social justice welfare shabbiness it entails. Stand-up for what you stand for don’t fritter away your present advantage for hollow compromises which merely serve to advance the agenda of your opponents. Remember they see victory as anything bringing any movement in their direction. They realize there is a tipping point and that it’s approaching.
One last word to the wise; don’t mistake the victory of the last election as a vindication of your past tactics or motives understand it instead as a last chance reprieve. If you sell the birthrights of the American people for a photo-op and a friendly write-up in the media of record come 2012 you may be in for a shock. Strike now while the iron is hot. Do not commit the 8th deadly sin of procrastination or the voters won’t hesitate to try something else the next time around.
Dr. Robert R. Owens teaches history, political science, religion, and leadership for Southside Virginia Community College. Dr. Owens is the author of “America Won the Vietnam War,” “The Asuza Street Revival,” and called “The Constitution Failed.” He is available for speaking engagements.