On Saturday, July 7th, 2012, the SW Virginia Tea Party held their Independence Day celebration in Abingdon. I discussed putting my comments online for Mr. Trivett to read, so here they are!
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My name is Stuart Bain, and I hail from Salem, Virginia. My family and I were just recently redistricted into the 9th Congressional District, so I appreciate the warm welcome and look forward to learning the lay of the land.
Years ago, when I was running for congress in the sixth district, I addressed a similar group of patriots at the Roanoke Tea Party Independence Day Rally. It was July of 2009, and the wheels in Washington D.C. had already begun to turn on the process of health care reform. I had just announced my intention to run for the 6th district congressional seat in the 2010 elections, Obamacare was starting to take form, the stimulus package was fresh on everyone’s minds, and the Tea Party rally in the park that day was packed. The energy in the park was infectious, and I felt like the momentum would carry the ideals of smaller, constitutionally limited government forward for years to come. I left the park that day feeling energized, and I challenged the crowd with a three-part call to action to educate themselves, to find their voice, and to be vigilant.
Fast forward to a year later, and the momentum had already started to wane. The 2010 rally held by the same group in the same park didn’t seem to have the attendance and enthusiasm as the year prior. The support from all but the most dedicated patriots seemed to vanish. By 2011 the rally wasn’t even a rally any more. It was a picnic at another park. This year? Nothing. My research into the matter lead me to find out that it was not just Roanoke where this happened. Across the country, the interest in similar patriotic groups of citizens seemed to just fizzle out; so what happened, and what can be done about it?
I can’t speak to the decisions of other people; but I know in my case, my family and my work have to come first. I simply did not have the time to play an active role in helping the cause of liberty in the year following the 2010 elections. I imagine others were probably impacted by the economy and unable to spare the time and resources to attend meetings and contribute. Perhaps some simply gave up hope, letting complacency and apathy settle back in. Many of the groups had internal disagreements. The neocons in the Tea Party groups didn’t agree with the paleocons who didn’t agree with the paleolibertarians who didn’t agree with the minarchists who didn’t agree with the anarchists. I think infighting and divisive topics splintered and decimated our cause. Some patriots insisted on focusing on single issue subjects to the detriment of all others. They weren’t willing to set aside differences to work towards common goals, so their groups dissipated. This election this year is too important to allow that to continue. Regardless of what happened in the past, we must look at where we are now and where we want to go in the future.
Which begs the question, “where are we now?” I don’t know about you; but I think we’re on a crash course, a course we as a country can not afford…. a course that will leave our children and grandchildren buried under piles of national debt, growing steadily under the massive overspending in Washington D.C. on entitlement programs, bailouts, and the military-industrial complex. It’s not like we didn’t see this coming. History has proven that when we leave the status quo establishment in this country unchecked, it drifts further and further away from liberty and towards tyranny. To some it may seem like we lose our freedoms in massive chunks; but in reality, we have been losing them bit by bit for quite some time. We certainly didn’t get to this point overnight, and we won’t be able to fix it overnight, either.
Therefore I say our business is urgent, not to wave a magic wand and try to fix everything all at once, but rather to shift the direction in this battle of inches. The forces of tyranny are NOT taking time out from destroying our country, so we can’t either; nor do they think this is “like” a war. Instead, they think it is a war. Indeed it is a war, albeit one fought with words and ballots instead of violence. We must meet the challenge head on. In light of the recent Supreme Court rulings, some may think we’ve already lost this war, but the Obamacare debacle is simply one of many battles, and in reality we are just starting to fight. I say let’s fight effectively. Let’s accept our current situation as the starting point. As much as we would love to snap our fingers and have all of the country’s problems solved, we need to face reality and work towards restoring our republic.
To accomplish this we need an army of patriots so overwhelming to the forces of statism, socialism, Marxism, progressivism, and leftist liberalism that their ideas are politically devoured and liberty can once again win the day in America. Ronald Reagan himself said it best, “Let us be shy no longer.” He was right! It’s time for us to find our voice, to call the socialists “socialists”, the Marxists “Marxists”, and the tyrants “tyrants” without shame. It’s time for us to show up as contributing members of political party committees and units to help shape the future political landscape at our local, state, and federal levels. Some of you may feel like it is a lost cause, that the establishment politicians have too much of a stranglehold on the system. Some would say to give up, but I say, “TOUGH! Stay in the battles and keep fighting.” I will openly admit that the candidates I voted for in the Republican primaries did not win. Primaries are just one of the many battles in the war on our freedom. There will be more elections and more primaries, and if you haven’t already started planning for them, the time to start planning is now.
President Obama was quoted this past Thursday as saying, “This election is about two fundamentally different ideas of where America should be going.” I have my ideas about where America should be going, and I can tell you they do not match up with the President’s; so let’s work together and get Obama voted OUT of office in November. We can’t be nearsighted, though. We have to look past November and have a strategic plan for moving forward after the election. We can take up the goal of defeating Obama and other outright enemies of liberty and still plan ahead for recruiting more people to our cause. Look at what happened in Iowa, Minnesota, and other states with their RNC delegates. It CAN be done. Bring reinforcements into the fight if you have to! Like any organization, the liberty movement also needs recruiting. We should go to our families, neighbors, and friends; our co-workers and congregations and say to them, “I need YOU to get involved in politics. Not just once every four years when there is presidential election, but active and attentive to local and state politics, too!” Tell them to turn off American Idol and America’s Got Talent long enough to make sure there’s still an America to name them after. Don’t leave this up to someone else or put it off. We can not win without your help, so start recruiting them today.
So, ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to leave you today with almost the exact same call to action from Independence Day in Roanoke three years ago because it is still relevant, possibly moreso today. We can not sit idly by and watch as our liberties and freedoms erode before our very eyes. Rallies such as this are important, but it’s time to go beyond the rallies and get involved every day, in EVERY WAY we can.
First call to action, I encourage you all to educate yourself, but DO NOT take a single issue approach. If you oppose abortion, immigration, the war on drugs, the wars overseas, the war on war… whatever you’re against most, that’s great… continue to fight that fight, but DO NOT let that be your only fight. Broaden your horizons. Take a step back and survey the political landscape as a whole with more of a holistic approach. READ EVERYTHING YOU CAN. Go to the FairTax website and learn about abolishing the IRS. Find out about Agenda 21 and ICLEI and why it is crucial we protect personal property rights. Read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. While you’re at it, read the Federalist and Antifederalist Papers that explain our founding fathers’ visions for this country. Go to a VCDL meeting and get involved in 2nd Amendment rights. Read up on the party plan and bylaws for your political parties and committees. Research the evils of the Federal Reserve. Get together and discuss these things… teach each other. In this war, we must arm ourselves with knowledge and truth if we expect to win against the baseless name calling and deceit we face.
Second, find your VOICE, get out there and spread the word. Let people know that apathy is no longer acceptable. It’s time for us to stand up and fight for the freedoms our forefathers entrusted to us. Write your elected officials, voice your opinion, write letters to the editor, offer to speak at civic group meetings and rallies like this one. Find a political party with patriotic candidates who ascribe to the principles of freedom and liberty. Join and lend your voice to the chorus. Use it to get your friends and family involved. Recruit them and grow the army of patriots.
Third, and lastly, I ask you be vigilant. Hold your elected officials accountable for their actions and their votes. Censure them when the forego their principals. Question them when they compromise on their platform or vote against the Constitution. Don’t be afraid to tell them point blank “RAISE MY TAXES, LOSE MY VOTE.” PERIOD.
In closing, thank you again for giving me the opportunity to speak, thank you all for being here, and GOD BLESS AMERICA, LET’S KEEP HER FREE!!!