Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying on our backs and hugging the elusive phantom of hope, until our enemies have bound us hand and foot?
I don’t know about you reader, but I am tired. I am tired of talking about and hearing about politics. I am tired of talking heads on “expert” panels telling me what “most Americans” truly want or believe in. Those same “experts” clearly have no idea what I think or what anybody that I know thinks. I am tired of losing. I am tired of losing elections, my income through taxes, my country through a trampling of the Constitution and my culture to hedonism.
If I am honest, since the election, there are times when I have to force myself to write this column. I wonder if anybody is listening or if anyone cares about what is happening. Even among those loyal Patriot Update readers that do care, even among my fellow conservatives, I sense an overall feeling of burnout and defeatism. I know it is there because I am struggling with it myself. The message I want to share with each of you today, and the message I think Patrick Henry was communicating back in his era was this…get over it!!
Remember, I am talking to the man in the mirror as much as I am talking to anyone. But do any of us really have anything to be “burnt out” about. When we compare the challenges and sacrifices we face to those of the founders, to the men at Valley Forge, or to the men that shivered in the brutal cold of Bastogne, we begin to feel very soft and very silly.
I got the chance to talk to a man the other day whose father flew fifty combat missions as a waist gunner in WWII. His father NEVER talked about the war. When he did try to talk about it, he got so emotional that he couldn’t complete the story. This man told me that one day his father did tell him a story. He had completed the milestone of his fiftieth mission and therefore the war was over for him. He didn’t have to go up again. He could have caught a flight back to the U.S. but he chose to wait for his best friend who was only on his 49th mission. When that friend took off for his own fiftieth the two agreed that they would celebrate upon his return and then fly back home together. His friend’s plane came back to base terribly damaged. When it landed my friend’s father knew in an instant that his buddy was dead. He had to fly home alone.
“You don’t know,” the father later wagged a finger at my friend (his son) and said, “You don’t know what we went through, I can’t describe it in words. You don’t know what we went through so that you could be free and have the quality of life that you have now.”
So what should our generation do? Should we throw up our hands and quit trying to change the government through the legal and peaceful means that were won for us? Should we dig bomb shelters and buy survival food, then turn on American Idol, and tune out of the public discourse as we wait for the whole thing to collapse?
I know many of us are discouraged. I know that the main stream media force us to compete in a heavily rigged game. I know that we have been, and continue to be, blindsided by the ferocity with which our protections against an intrusive state are being bulldozed and our values have suddenly become passé . Still, we barely know what tough times are. We have yet to absorb anything like the blows that our ancestors suffered while never wavering.
If we learned nothing else at CPAC we should have learned this: The heart is there. The fight is there in the people. It becomes incumbent upon every one of us to fan those sparks to a flame. We have to be our own media, Rush, and Beck and Hannity etc. are not enough. We must inform our own neighbors. We must cajole the non-participants in our own communities into full engagement and participation. We have to fight, and then falter, and then get up and fight some more. With or without this or that minority group or special interest group’s vote, there are more than enough people in this country to defeat the progressive agenda. Ninety three million eligible voters did not vote in 2012. We must make it our mission to bring those voters to the polls in 2014 and 2016 as conservatives.
Patrick Henry’s challenge to his countrymen is all the more fitting now. This is no time to let up, no time to give up, and no time to surrender.
Chris Skates has 23 years’ experience in power plant chemistry and environmental issues. He is the author of the novel Going Green: For Some It Has Nothing to Do With the Environment and an Adjunct Scholar of The Cornwall Alliance. You can follow him on Twitter or follow his blog at www.chrisskates.com