When Frogs Jump

We have all heard the metaphor of the frog in the pot of water -- heard it to death, in fact. Some scientists disapprove, arguing that this metaphor is "untrue": at a certain stage in the gradual rise of the water's temperature, they claim, the frog's heart rate will speed up, and he will actually try to jump out of the pot. Here, however, in defiance of the scientific literalist, the old metaphor reasserts itself in a striking new form that may reveal the means of breaking today's growing progressive tyranny before it has completely eviscerated modern civilization.

What happens if the frogs do indeed realize they are being boiled to death, and start to jump? One or two leaping frogs may be ignored, or isolated as cranks and laughed out of consideration. But what if millions of frogs start jumping? What if they don't stop, even when they realize the walls of the pot are higher than most of them have yet learned how to jump? What if the best-fitting lid is unable to discourage them in their "unrealistic" leaping? What would the cooks of today's Washington political establishment do under such frustrating conditions? We are finding out.

Progressives expose their true nature when their slowly heated pot is categorically rejected by the frogs. The mirage of "politics as usual," bipartisanship, and collegiality lasts only as long as men acquiesce in their own enslavement. Of course, a little public disagreement here and there is good for progressive optics, as it perpetuates the comforting illusion of open debate. But what if that little disagreement turns into an all-out refusal to go gently into that good night?

This, as I've explained before, is the plausible path to conservative victory before the final collapse. Make no mistake about it: this is not a happy or short road, nor one embarked upon lightly. Dispensing with "politics as usual" means exactly what it says, and more. It means initiating and sustaining a strategy -- more than that, a life -- of continual resistance and provocation, i.e., of living as free men and women under authoritarian rule. And when progressives are provoked into extreme frustration, their rage knows no bounds. No bounds. For, mainstream mythology aside, we are not talking about a civil political faction here; we are talking about the ancient tyrannical impulse that, in its peculiar modern manifestation, has concealed itself in the garb of "democratic" civility, with horrific success. Strip off that finery and witness the old bloody thuggery of ages past. These people will not stand for serious, sustained opposition. They will crush it, by any means necessary.

And this may be the secret to their undoing, in the long run. To provoke them, through practical resistance and theoretical debunking, into doing and saying what they have spent a century pretending they would never do or say, is to expose their true nature for all to see. That nature has always been visible to eyes that examined the situation with enough philosophical and historical perspective to recognize power lust when they see it; but it is never fully understood by the broader, less informed public. If they can be forced to see it, the game will change decisively.

I am not predicting miracles, or even a high probability of success. There is probably no hope for the limp majority of modern man, which, being the product of generations of government education and mass media desensitization, will meekly plop itself into any vessel provided by the ruling class, and smile stupidly as the lid is closed. But there may be a substantial minority -- many more than are fully engaged now -- who will be shocked out of their detachment when they see what their leaders are really capable of doing.

This was the primary value of Ted Cruz's senate stand on ObamaCare, and the error of those who criticized his move as "unrealistic." (How has political "realism" been serving American conservatives lately? -- and by lately I mean the past century.) By helping to instigate another mass frog leap from within the pot, Cruz dragged his critics, the apologists for unlimited power, a little further into the cold light of day -- and that was just within his own party.

The government shutdown was precipitated largely by Cruz's last-ditch effort to defund ObamaCare, in tandem with an overwhelming outcry from voters facing the first ugly realities of life under socialized medicine, which combined to force the House of Representatives into acting principled for a moment. Within minutes, however, the call to defund was transformed by the GOP leadership into the rhetoric of "delay," and within a day, ObamaCare was essentially off the table, as the Boehner House transformed the shutdown into a debate over the debt ceiling. The whole episode was a microcosm of the way progressives of the "right" have sought to silence genuine advocates of liberty for more than a century (never forget that the first viable progressive party in the U.S. was led by a Republican, Theodore Roosevelt): pretend you represent their cause and will act as their spokesmen; mouth the right words while quietly compromising all the underlying principles; and finally change the subject entirely, all the while whimpering that you did the best you could under the circumstances. In sum: "Just relax in the warm water, dear frogs; we'll take it from here."

In the Senate, the sound of Republican pot lids slamming shut was even louder. From John McCain's shameful assault on Cruz's integrity to Mitch McConnell's capitulation masquerading as a "deal," the effort to marginalize and smear the tiny band of Senate patriots was one of the most overt attacks on constitutional conservatives the GOP establishment has ever attempted. And things are going to get uglier, as the gods of the simmering status quo, fronted by Karl Rove -- the "Architect" whose latest project is to design an impenetrable fortress to protect the GOP leadership -- have announced their nationwide plan to cut the Tea Party movement off at the knees, an effort far more comprehensive than anything attempted by Obama's IRS goon squad. From McConnell's overt cynicism, to Boehner's sleight of hand in dropping ObamaCare from the agenda, to George Will's smearing of the Tea Party as a faction that doesn't understand or respect the institutions of government, the Republican establishment has announced its intentions and motivations as rarely before: they will not resist the fundamental transformation of the United States into the Democratic People's Republic of America. They believe they can thrive within that transformed nation, and that is their chief concern.

For example, the current GOP congressmen and senators will not try to stop the implementation of government-run healthcare, because, in the big scheme of things, it is good for them. From their perspective, whatever they may say when they think their constituents are listening, almost any expansion of federal regulatory authority is desirable, because it further stifles the natural dynamism of a free society that would soon leave such advanced public parasites in the dust, and threaten the hegemony of their corporate allies and backers.

But I see that I have just fallen into their game by speaking in theoretical terms about the eminently practical, so let me restate that last point more directly: today's Republican politicians want power, and they want to keep it, America be damned. So they play their role in the game dutifully and, until recently, they had played it well enough to convince most people they sort of meant it. The Republican Party, at the leadership level, is now fully revealed as the Washington Generals, the Harlem Globetrotters' perennial "opponent": always appearing to play their best, but conveniently never threatening to win the game outright -- even when they get more votes.

I would ask all Americans who consider themselves conservatives, but who don't see why the Tea Party has to go to such "extremes," to ask themselves the following questions, and to answer with the utmost honesty: If the next occupant of the White House were a Republican of the sort approved of by the GOP establishment, and McConnell were to become the senate majority leader, do you believe congress would pass a complete repeal of ObamaCare -- or rather, of government-controlled healthcare (they would drop the nickname for optics purposes, of course) -- and that the establishment Republican president would sign it? (Remember "Repeal and Replace"? Remember Romneycare?)

Did you believe having a conservative majority in the Supreme Court would guarantee that the individual mandate would be ruled unconstitutional? Were you just certain that no Republican president of the post-Reagan era would ever declare that he had "abandoned free market principles to save the free market system," in effect blaming an economic crisis on freedom? Were you assuming that the mainstream media's token "conservative pundits" would embrace the Tea Party movement as the last chance to reinstitute those principles of limited government the loss of which those very pundits had been lamenting for a generation? Did you really expect the 2010 midterm election's clear vindication of the benefits of running as a constitutionalist to change the way GOP strategists selected candidates?

Those questions were just a little warm-up for the harder question to come. For to turn from the Republicans to the Democrats is to pass beyond the tyrant's antechamber, where the fawning flatterers and yes-men patiently await their turn to kiss the ring, and to peek straight into the throne room. Here your master Caesar sits, staring bleary-eyed at the nothingness, eating grapes while his team of eager-to-please generals discuss how to anticipate and crush the latest uprising, and to keep the serfs (that would be you) meek and submissive.

"Let's see," they reason, "we control their presuppositions and thought processes through government education, which also supplants the family as the primary moral influence, and inculcates a sense of dependence on the collective. The official news media report only the information we approve, and stop reporting it the moment we determine that it is no longer useful. The mass entertainment industry supports moral relativism to deteriorate the public's confidence in judging our rights-violating actions, while continually titillating the basest feelings to undermine the development of the moderation that makes sober reasoning, hard decisions, and long-term perseverance possible.

"At the level of practical politics," they continue, "our methods of taxation and our regulation of commercial and personal endeavor have eliminated private property in all but name, thereby diluting the feelings of personal accomplishment and the understanding of mine and thine that naturally inclines people towards self-defense. Now, at long last, we have declared their very bodily existence public property to be used and disposed of at our whim. And best of all, our (ahem) loyal opposition (and occasional ceremonial placeholders) are facilitating our efforts every step of the way, even to the point of doing our dirty work of crushing and dispiriting the latest uprising of sincere freedom-lovers within their ranks. The pot is simmering, the frogs are almost cooked, dinner will be served shortly. Life is good at the top!"

Or so it would be, if the frogs would just keep quiet and quit jumping around -- if, as the experts now put it, they would stop being so "unrealistic" and extreme, and let the game play out as it has done for a century.

It may be that any chance of averting the final collapse into global conditions more chaotic than anything a sane man wishes to contemplate depends on the continued noisy jumping from within that nearly-boiling pot. In what does such tireless effort consist? By forcefully clarifying the progressives' methods and intentions, not once but continuously, in as many venues as possible, you force them to respond with increasing ferocity and boldness. Senator Cruz gave a good example of how this can be done on a public stage. None of the attacks against him since his talkathon represent a loss of support: his, and the Tea Party's, silent critics simply came out of their holes and identified themselves. On the other hand, Cruz most likely won new supporters, not just for himself but for the cause of informing the public about the injustice of Obamacare and the hypocrisy of the Washington establishment.

By taking steps against the establishment, publicly and privately, individually and collectively, and by honing your rhetorical skills to encourage others to join you, you may force the statists into precipitous, unrehearsed action, which will in every case demonstrate their intrinsic hatred and disdain for the free individual, i.e., for anyone who refuses to submit to the theoretically limitless authority of the progressive ruling class. The hatred is already on full display for attentive observers: Hillary Clinton declared it with her frustrated Benghazi outburst, "What difference, at this point, does it make?" -- a charming locution that Nancy Pelosi has just reused, confirming the importance of making it the Democrat's unofficial slogan in future election campaigns. Barack Obama shows glimpses of the disdain every time he is directly challenged in public, as when Mitt Romney tentatively questioned his honesty regarding Benghazi during their second debate. Had Romney had the fortitude and principle of a Tea Party senator at that moment, the mainstream media might well have been forced to display live coverage of the President in an extremely compromising position, i.e., caught red-handed and enraged in the one of the biggest lies of his presidency, regarding American deaths he made no effort to prevent. Instead, Romney followed the establishment's unwritten "collegiality" rules, was cowed by Candy Crowley's dishonest attempt to rescue Obama, and never broached this explosive subject again.

Conservatives must not follow those unwritten rules. Their sense of honor and fair play is misplaced in this context, and thoroughly exploited by the authoritarians. It is not bad form to shout "Thief!" when you see a man stealthily making off with someone's purse, or to shout "Liar!" when a progressive attempts to manipulate a nation during a public address. On the contrary, it is bad form to let the opportunity slip past, allowing the thief to steal another day, the authoritarian to gain his unjust advantage through unchallenged lies.

Neither America nor the rest of the West can afford another generation of such missed opportunities. Resist the progressives to the limits of your resources and their patience, deny them the faux cover of civil discourse, force them to respond as tyrannical souls always will when push comes to shove -- that is, push them. They will show their real face when their subjects refuse to follow the comfortable rhythm of generational deterioration and the predictable tempo of strategic lies. Speed up the tempo, break their rhythm: jump non-compliantly, unsubmissively, from that pot, alone and together, until they come after you with the tongs. But be warned: they will.

And here we arrive at the hard question I promised earlier. Sleep on this before you answer: How far would today's American ruling elite go to stamp out real and concerted resistance to their brazen violations of individual liberty? What steps would they not take to force submission to, and compliance with, their socialized medicine, their compulsory schooling, their EPA violations of private property, and so on? In short, is there a point of coercive incivility beyond which you are certain they would never step to enforce their anti-constitutional, anti-natural rights, anti-rational plans? Know your enemy.

As intransigent practical and theoretical resistance continues to grow, the progressives' aggression against the jumping frogs will transcend mere vitriol, until perhaps the disengaged but decent plurality will begin to see things that hit disturbingly close to home, and awaken their drowsy conscience. Benghazi, the NSA's universal data mining, and IRS targeting of Tea Party groups are just a few recent examples of the progressives stretching the limits of their ersatz credibility. Keep up the pressure until, like all tyrannical men facing sustained opposition, they lose patience and show their teeth.

This method comes with no guarantee of success, although it does guarantee living up to the best of the human heritage, which is a worthy aim in itself. It requires making principled decisions that will affect every day of your life, to avoid allowing the progressives time to reassert their hypnotizing rhythm. The alternative, however -- the "realistic" approach recommended by the Washington establishment -- can only lead in one direction, and that direction is quickly running out of road.

Your refusal to sacrifice your dignity is driving them insane. Your civility in resisting their madness will unmask them. Your courage in refusing to be cowed by their increasingly open injustice may finally dissolve their illusion. When a tyrant's illusion is dissolved -- when he is understood as just another thug -- he no longer has friends among his countrymen, or at least has none worth having. No man with backbone will stand by as a revealed enemy devours his country.

Scientists tell us a frog in a heating pot will jump. I hope they are right. I wonder what a snake will do.

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