May 1, 2010
The New Leaders We NeedBy Jim Lion
There's too much power in Washington, D.C. It's dangerous for everyone, and we need to reduce it. Crush it, really. Power belongs to the states and the people. When politicians in Washington, D.C. try to increase their own power, they commit sedition against the sovereignty of the people, and we should have the courage to call them out on it. But that's not enough. We need to stop them, too.
This is why I love the Tea Party, where I can find kindred souls. Its why I vote Republican. Its why I want to throw the bums out.
But if all we get is another bunch of bums, then what's the point? Unfortunately, party affiliation is no guarantee that a new bunch of bums won't try to rule us as subjects any less than the last bunch of bums, even if they fly a banner of a different color. Who can tell the difference between the red Bloods and blue Crips in the gang-wars of Los Angeles?
Those of us who know our history -- who know how the Roman Republic, after seventy years of internal bickering, lost its freedom and became the Roman Empire under a benign dictator known as Augustus Caesar -- see the accumulation of power in a single city as an evil that crosses all party lines.
If we fail to reduce the power of Washington, D.C. by returning said power to the states, local governments, and private individuals operating within their own spheres, then there is no America worth saving. There is only power. Those who possess it. Those who do not.
We can all just sit in front of our TVs and let the powerful toss us a few spare bones, as if to a pet dog, while they gorge themselves on filet mignon every single day.
At present, we have only one political party offering a smidgen of hope that it will commit to reducing the power of Washington, D.C.: The Republicans. Unfortunately, many of the Republican Party bosses have fully vested themselves in the power of Washington, D.C. -- in national rather than local power -- and for this reason, we need a thorough house-cleaning.
We need people who desire to attain national power so they can wield less power than their predecessors. This runs counter to human nature. Human nature pushes us always to want to increase our own power -- at first out of private ambition, and then out of a sense of responsibility or a desire to "do good." Funny how that works. We always feel like we can do more good if only we have more power. Frodo Baggins knew better in The Lord of the Rings, but in the end, even he could not resist what the ring offered.
So how does one rise to power only to reduce that power -- and not only for oneself, but for all those who follow as well?
Look to America's founders. Look to George Washington, the man who gave his name to that shining city on a hill, at once the protector of our freedoms and the source of our approaching slavery.
When George Washington and his Continental Army found themselves in possession of a new and free country after the British lost the Revolutionary War, he faced his own crucial decision. Like Julius Caesar before him, he had a Rubicon to cross.
We can thank God almighty that George Washington didn't cross his Rubicon -- because he didn't fight a war for freedom in order to gain power for himself and in so doing deny his countrymen their freedom. At the time, his officers were upset that the Continental Congress hadn't paid them for their salaries-in-arrears after fighting all those years in the field, often in bare feet, on subsistence diets, while family farms got torched by the redcoats or turned to hayseed and weeds due to neglect.
They offered to make him the monarch of America. King of the United States. What a temptation!
He talked them out of it.
Would that we had such men alive today!
When King George heard that George Washington had been offered the American crown, and that Washington turned it down, he is said to have responded, "If that's true, then he truly is the world's greatest man."
Washington, you see, was known as the "world's greatest man" even in Europe, but there were those like King George who didn't buy it.
...Not until Washington proved it by climbing to a position of power, being tempted by the supreme prize, and resisting -- preferring instead to return to his family farm, like the legendary Roman Cincinnatus, who helped found the ancient Republic. He tossed the ring of power into Mount Doom, where it belonged.
Do we have any George Washingtons in our midst? Any men who truly understand the Biblical mandate to "love your neighbor as yourself" and realize that it means, first, foremost, and above all, to respect your neighbor's God-given freedom?
I don't know, but I hope so.
Because of this hope, I can proudly state: I'm a Tea Partier, just one of many. I'll be watching, and I'll be voting.