Political Hay

A Thanksgiving Day Prayer for America

Looking ahead to even greater Thanksgivings.

By 11.24.10

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The American people showed on Election Day that this is still America, and that everywhere except on the West Coast we are still able to govern ourselves. But, unfortunately, it was only a first step on a long journey to save our country, the last, best hope for mankind, as has been said.

Even though the American people generated an epic, 1932-style, political earthquake this year, because our system is so thoroughly infused with checks and balances, it has not nearly solved the whole problem. All that has really happened is that the 1960s New Left that seized control of our country in 2008 has lost its ability to ram its socialist vision through Congress.

The American people, though, still have not gained control of Congress to make policy themselves. That will require still another political earthquake in 2012. The odds are set up for that, as Democrats must defend 23 Senate seats that year, the Republicans only 10. With the right mix of political leadership, message, and continued grassroots activism, by January, 2013, there could be an even bigger Republican majority in the House, with conservatives back in control, a Reagan-style Republican President, and a filibuster proof Republican Senate.

You Can Make It Happen

But achieving that is going to require even more sustained grassroots activism over the next two years. And there is more to come after that. With such sweeping political control in 2013, we will finally have the opportunity to restore the rule of law with judges who know their role is only to apply the law, not make it up. We were getting close to control of the Supreme Court before the Obama detour, and have now lost the chance to replace two very aged liberals with younger Justices who understand their role. But 2013 holds the prospect for regaining control in time to put us back on course.

And such dominant political control creates the opportunity for sweeping, fundamental tax, spending, budget, and entitlement reforms. But grassroots activism will be needed to keep the pressure on to make sure all of this comes to pass. In particular, at least one or two hopeless establishment Republicans like Mike Castle, Charlie Crist, or Lisa Murkowski will have to be beaten in every election cycle to keep grassroots control over the Republicans.

But as indicated in my discussion last week of Newt Gingrich's speech at the IPI Annual Dinner, there is still more work to do after that. America needs a news media that understands the country it is covering, and is even capable of reporting the actual news, not party propaganda talking points, as it mostly does now. Revolution there is already under way as well, with the shocking rating results that Fox News actually beat free network news broadcasts on Election Night. And today's talk radio is going to go down in history as the phenomenon that changed politics in America, and saved the country.

The criticism we hear of Fox News is actually quite shameful. Because it is the only broadcast TV news outlet that does include both sides. Watch it and you will see how the straight news during the day includes coverage of conservatives as well as liberals, and how the opinion discussions in the evening are carefully structured to include the perspective of liberals and conservatives. It seems different just because it includes both sides, while we are otherwise used to dishonest establishment TV news which covers only liberals. What the critics of Fox News are really saying is that conservatives should not be covered, and allowed to present their views to the public. In other words, the critics are anti-free speech fascists.

America also needs an honest academia, rather than the brain-dead hotbeds of Marxist revolution we see too often today. We also need to reform unions to actually represent the interests of working people, rather than outdated, 100-year-old Marxist philosophy, which would only lead to stagnation and decline for working people and America, as it has always done throughout history.

And we need a new vision of civil rights to bring liberating capitalist prosperity into America's inner cities, barrios, neighborhoods, and farming valleys and plains, in place of the socialist political machine the Left now offers.

What You Can Do

This sweeping and complete revolution depends on each one of you reading this website today, and your friends, neighbors and relatives. The brilliance of the Tea Party is precisely its grassroots mystery, with no identifiable spokesman or leader. That means it is wide open for you to start your own local chapter, beginning precisely with your own friends, neighbors and relatives.

Start calling them together for a regular, monthly, social gathering, where you can lead a discussion of the major issues of the day. This will only better connect you with your family and friends any way. Ask them to invite their family, friends and neighbors. Start inviting speakers who can address the issues. Invite potential and actual candidates for local, state and federal offices. Collect everyone's name, address, phone numbers, and email addresses. With this alone, given how most people are not much involved politically, you would be more than half way there to being a major local political influence.

Activate the group to contact your elected officials on the major issues. The group can also be a source of volunteers and contributions for campaigns. If you start regular meetings, every candidate up to Congressman will want to come, and maybe further up beyond that. Run your own get out the vote drive among them on Election Day.

More broadly, grassroots conservatives should promote more aggressively "buycotts," urging purchase of the products and services of the advertisers and sponsors on Fox News and talk radio. Complain to the old media outlets regarding stories, facts and developments they are not covering. Recommend aggressively and persistently that they invite as guests conservative, free market advocates to present the other side. You can get on the phone and call reporters directly. Check out the bylines in your local paper. This is what the Left is doing all the time.

Governors need to gain control over public universities by appointing serious academics to top administrative posts committed to actual education rather than Marxist revolution. They need to appoint to governing boards real world businessmen and professionals who understand what is going on and will back up reformist academic administrators.

Blue collar reformists should get more involved in their unions, seeking to replace the left-wing political activists that now run them with mainstream Americans that will represent the real interests of working people. Real unions truly representing working people would vigorously promote public policies that advance robust economic growth benefitting all, rather than the throwback neo-Marxism of the 1930s seeking to plunder the public good for narrow, short-term gain. There is a whole new world of opportunity here for younger people committed to new thinking in union leadership.

Christians in the Coalition

The grassroots movement that swept Reagan and his allies to power grew out of America's churches. That was an extension of a long American tradition going back over 200 years. Don't listen to Brown Shirt thugs yelling that you need to get back inside your church buildings and stay out of politics.

The social responsibility of Christians to participate in saving America can be found in the Bible itself. In Mathew 25, verses 14 to 30, Jesus recounts the parable of the Talents.

Jesus says, "For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves, and entrusted his possessions to them. And to one he gave 5 talents, to another two, and to another one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey."

While he was away, "the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away and dug in the ground, and hid his master's money."

 When the master returned, he called his servants to account one by one:

And the one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, "Master, you entrusted five talents to me; see, I have gained five more talents." His Master said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master."

Then the second servant was called, and he recounted that with the two talents entrusted to him he earned two more, and he received the same response. But when the third servant was called, he responded, "Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you spread no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have what is yours." The Master responded, "You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I spread no seed. Then, you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest." So he ordered the one talent taken from the hapless servant, and gave it to the one with the ten talents.

Similarly, America's Christians have been entrusted with rights to democracy, and to freedom of speech and of the press. We are expected not to hide our light buried in the ground, but to use those rights for the common good, to maintain and spread freedom and prosperity for all Americans. The outdated Marxism of the New Left will achieve exactly the opposite of that.

Christians should embrace the special role of advancing the vision of a New Civil Rights to minority communities and the poor. The first civil rights movement achieved legal equality. What is needed now is the next step, a New Civil Rights movement focused on economic prosperity and empowerment. African Americans, Hispanics, and the poor should throw off the yoke holding them back in service and dependency to a political machine, which is just a modern, politically sophisticated plantation. They should embrace instead the public policies and reforms that would liberate and empower them to maximum participation in the broader economy, and to ride a wave of pro-growth reforms to greater personal prosperity.

That would mean the freedom to choose personal savings, investment and insurance accounts to finance all of the Social Security and Medicare benefits now financed by the slavery of the payroll tax. It would mean the transformation of health programs like Medicaid to open the door for the poor and lower income families to enjoy the same health care as the middle class, which they would be able to obtain through their choice of the same health insurance as the middle class, with public assistance through vouchers that would help them to pay for such insurance. It would mean as well the freedom to choose for their own children good, functioning schools, where they could get a real education, through freedom of choice school vouchers or tax credits.

And it would mean public policies that would produce a bounty of jobs for everyone, with rising wages for working people that would rapidly advance them into the middle class. We know what those policies are. But the modern slavemasters of the Left stand in the way.

If we Christians fail to use the freedom and democracy we have inherited to spread still more freedom and prosperity to everyone, maybe like the servants in the parable of the talents, we will lose the legacy that has been entrusted to us.

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About the Author
Peter Ferrara is Director of Entitlement and Budget Policy at the Heartland Institute, General Counsel of the American Civil Rights Union, Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, and Senior Policy Advisor on Entitlements and Budget Policy at the National Tax Limitation Foundation. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush.