Calling all ACT-ivists! It's time to get serious and ACT!! We are in for the fight for our lives in 2014. This could be the final battle if we do not get off of our couches, turn off the TV or the XBox or whatever is distracting us, and fight not only to protect our rights, but to take back the rights that have already been taken from us or...that we have foolishly given away. You may think that this message is not for you. Unfortunately those who are act-ivists are usually too humble to consider themselves as such, and many of those who call themselves act-ivists rarely ACT. The most basic definition of an act-ivist is:
Someone who takes part in activities that are intended to achieve political or social change. (see http://www.macmillandictionary.com)
In short, act-ivists ACT and they ACT in an effort to achieve a desired change in their political environment. If you have ever done something as simple as signing a petition, writing a letter, or making a phone call while hoping to achieve political change...you ACTED and you are an ACT-ivist. Conversely, if you sit on a board of a large activist organization and you do nothing but show up to board meetings...sorry, not an act-ivist.
Because this country is currently in critical condition, I am asking everyone who reads this to search themselves to look for that inner act-ivist and ask yourselves 4 simple questions:
1. Do Americans have the freedoms that they had 50 years ago, 12 years ago, or even one year ago and will they have the rights that they have now 50 years from now, 12 years from now, or even next year?
2. Is there something--anything--that I can do?
3. Am I willing?
4. How can I get started?
I recently attended the Western Maryland state delegation pre-legislative meetings with the Washington County BOE, the county commissioners, the Hagerstown mayor and council, and finally the community. It was a long day, but I stuck it out hoping to be inspired to fight on or at least find something interesting to write about. I was feeling mostly apathetic because the last time that I saw this delegation it was at the post-legislative community meeting and it appeared that we had lost every battle. (See Senator Shank Perceives Two Marylands.) The super-majority Democratic administration had passed over 40 new taxes (including a Rain Tax), brutally infringed on our 2nd Amendment rights by passing SB281, and gerrymandered us out of our solid long-time Conservative representation in the U.S. Congress. So, I spent the entire day waiting for a glimmer of hope that this year would be different. It looked as if it wouldn't come...right up until the last 10 minutes of the day when Senator Shank said:
"It is time to push back..."Yes, my little act-ivist heart went pitter patter. Suddenly this depressing marathon was worth every minute of lackluster comments and requests coming from those who are supposed to have an enthusiastic vision accompanied by workable plans for our county and city in the coming year. Those four words were the spark that I needed to reignite the act-ivist passion needed to continue to fight. Make no mistake. It will be a fight.
Senator Shank stated that while he is concerned about the issues of the Rain Tax, Common Core, and the corporate tax climate, he is also interested in a few alternate issues as well. He and Delegate Serafini are creating a Freedom Agenda. This is huge! Yet you did not read about it in the Herald Mail when they reported on these meetings. He only spoke about it briefly. I know he plans to give more details at a later date. He did say that the Freedom Agenda would push back on privacy issues (state laws regarding email, drones, and cell towers) and would also entail creating a Religious Freedom Caucus. He stated that there are two very different world views in Maryland with limited choices. Those who do not feel represented in this state can either relocate, get involved in the secession movement (he believes it is not viable), or get involved in the political process and be prepared to fight. I am very interested in hearing more about the Freedom Agenda from Senator Shank. I have since corresponded with Delegate Parrott as well, and he also is ready to push back (push back is his middle name), and we all believe that the Hagerstown TEA Party (HTP) will play a big role. The HTP's Board of Directors are currently in the process of developing a vision for 2014. We will be meeting with Conservative elected officials, other local Conservative leaders, and our members to get feedback and suggestions about how we can most effectively move forward in the new year.
I wish that I could say that the fight will only be against Liberal Progressives. Not so. The establishment Republicans, at least at the national level, are publicly declaring war against the TEA Party and other Conservative groups (Libertarians, 912 Groups, Restore America's Mission, Campaign for Liberty, Americans for Prosperity, et al), although the TEA Party seems to be the largest target. I wish that it wasn't so. I have said it many times. If establishment Republicans would stand firmly on their own platform and be willing to fight to defend it, the TEA Party would go to the front lines with them. We would fight with them and for them. But, if they continue to sell out and cheapen the principles of their own platform...we will fight them! I am all for compromise, but a compromise typically results in a 50-50 outcome or at least close to it. I am tired of the charade of the establishment Republicans at the national level pretending to take a stand only to inevitably give in and give the Progressives all that they want. There is usually a payoff. It is too predictable. Either these Republicans are the biggest losers ever to exist or it is all theater with a pre-planned outcome that protects a career politician's seat or enriches someone personally or someone's constituency.
So we will be fighting on two fronts. It seems insurrmountable, but always remember that radical ragtag little group that took on the the largest military of its time to form their own country...and won. We will have to unite in order to take on the Progressive machine. It is very important that every single Conservative resist the urge to criticize one another and to only promote their primary issue.This is another whole topic of discussion for a later time.
Lets consider those four questions that we need to ask ourselves:
1. Do Americans have the freedoms that they had 50 years ago, 10 years ago, or even one year ago and will they have the rights that they have now 50 years from now, 10 years from now, or even next year?
The answer to that is no, no, no and most likely no, no, and no....unless we ACT. When I was in elementary school in the 1960s who would have believed that the day would come when it would be illegal to pray in school or to say the Pledge of Allegiance? Who would have thought that in the United States of America the government would be able to take your private property againsts your will for the good of society (eminent domain)? Just a year ago it seemed a ridiculous notion that the government would ever seek to infringe on our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms or the privacy to own the unregistered weapon of our choice for the protection of ourselves and our families...and then it happened. We all know that SB281 is just the beginning of the Progressive plan to disarm every American. Who in their wildest dreams would have thought that the U.S. Supreme Court would protect an unconstitutional law that requires American citizens to purchase a product (health insurance) or be penalized? So what will it be next year? There is no question that at this time our freedoms are more at risk than ever before. We can not let them gain anymore ground. We must take back what they have illegally taken from us.
2. Is there something--anything--that I can do?
I realize that not everyone has the time, the finances, or even the strength in body to commit to or participate in every aspect of act-ivism every time an opportunity or need arises. Some can. Most of us have some kind of limitations, but there is always something that we can do. Recently I realized that many or even most of who were active in the TEA Party at its inception in 2009 were already retirees. Five years can make a huge difference in the physical capabilities of a senior citizen, so I understand that there are many who feel that they can no longer participate in grassroots act-ivism. I suffer with a painful spinal condition that limits what I am able to do compared to what I want to do, so I get it, but most of us (not all) can still do something at home. If you can use a telephone or a pen and paper you can still play an important role in this critical defense of our freedoms. I just ask that you search yourself and try to find something that you can do to support the HTP in 2014. We will be reaching out to everyone with a specific plan of action in the next few months and it would mean so much to us to know that we can count on you.
3. Am I willing?
This is where we really need to get honest with ourselves. If you are reading this you must have some interest in current events and Conservative politics. Something in your gut is telling you that this country is in trouble. You may have searched yourself and found that you do have skills, talents, time, or finances that can be used in the upcoming and ongoing battle for our freedoms. But, are you willing? How much does your freedom and the future of our nation mean to you? What are you willing to invest in saving our country from a Socialist Progressive agenda? How much is it worth to you to preserve the freedoms that has made this country the envy of the world for future generations? Will you give up a couple of TV shows so that you have time to participate? Or will you give up one frivolous expense in order to donate money? Or will you have the courage to get out of your comfort zone to ask the hard questions or publicly take a stand in some way? Are you willing? If so, you are a patriot and an ACT-ivist reporting for duty. Proceed to the final question.
4. How can I get started?
As I said earlier in this post, the HTP is in the process of developing a vision and an action plan for 2014. We need your input. I will personally be calling our membership because I want to hear your ideas and suggestions. We have close to 700 people on our contact list. Certainly we can get at least 50% of you to commit to some form of act-ivism in the coming year. Can you imagine all that we could accomplish if even 50% of you who placed your information on our contact list were to stand together in the coming year? It would be phenominal! We plan to have a membership meeting, tentatively on January 23rd, to discuss the details. Please plan to be there! Please plan to get involved.
You do not have to wait for me to call you. If you have something that you would like the board to consider as we develop the vision and action plan, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 301-992-6943. If you don't get an answer, leave a message and I will call you back as soon as possible.