By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 03/07/10
It appears that a storm is brewing. This is an ideological storm, and is of monumental proportions, and it appears to be sweeping the nation with hurricane force. It is, intrinsically, a grass roots movement to its very core. The forces converging to create the political disturbance are motivated by a visceral reaction to what we’ve come to recognize as “hope” and “change,” the Obama version of which is antithetical to those principles upon which this nation was founded.
Most of us are familiar with the Tea Party movement, motivated by the spending binge Washington is engorging itself with and the dilution of individual liberty. Aside from the obvious anti-incumbent demeanor of the Tea Partiers, they seem to be finding their voice in positive ways by coalescing around the possibility of a Constitutional Amendment which would constrain government spending to a percentage of the U.S. economy which would require a declaration of war or a two-thirds vote by Congress to waive the spending constraints. That should be an amendment any sound-thinking American find logically acceptable.
Another manifestation of the anti-Washington mood is the Mount Vernon Statement, posted on the Heritage.org website. The Statement is garnering significant attention, and serves as a reaffirmation of our founding principles. The statement posits, in part, “We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding. Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government. These principles define us as a country and inspire us as a people. They are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other in the world. They are our highest achievements, serving not only as powerful beacons to all who strive for freedom and seek self-government, but as warnings to tyrants and despots everywhere.”
Illustrating the profundity of the grass-roots movement against “hope and change,” ecclesiastical leaders are also fighting back against the secular, anti-religious and specifically, anti-Christian elements of the amoral, if not immoral cancer spreading out from our nations’ capital. As the Washington Times reported in December, “unlike the signatories of other declarations that are long on rhetoric and short on calls to action, the more than 300,000 people who signed this declaration (including 55 Catholic bishops who have oversight of more than 600 of the nation's private hospitals) agree to engage in civil disobedience regarding laws that reject mainstream values.”
Signers pledge “that no power on Earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence” on the sanctity of life, the divinely ordained nature of marriage, and religious liberty.” Those truths, they agree, are open to neither compromise nor revision.
With conviction and clarity, the signatories vow, “We will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriage or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”
Further, the Oathkeepers’ movement shows how concerned our first responders and military personnel are over the possibility of being issued orders clearly unconstitutional. The movement was spawned by reports from General James Cartwright, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s office early last year that the new president wanted their oath made to him rather than to the Constitution. The Oathkeepers declare, “We each swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and affirming that we are guardians of the Republic,” they vow to disobey orders contrary to the constitution, including disarming of citizens, warrant-less searches, unlawful detention of citizens, and several others.
The media and the ruling party leaders in Washington, attempt to portray all of these as “radicals,” “extremists,” and “dangerous right-wingers.” It appears to me they couldn’t be more mainstream American. Those who assert their fealty to the Constitution are not radicals or extremists, except to those who disdain the principles and limitations it’s based upon. They rather epitomize the American spirit.
These reactions to “hope and change” are to be expected, and even applauded. Nationally polls indicate that just 30% of us feel the country’s headed in the right direction. Even Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton reminded us just a few years ago that dissent is the ultimate form of patriotism. Well, the country seems to be teeming with patriots who are being awakened out of their passivity and political agnosticism incentivizing them to fight for the preservation of the republic they love.