Enough being depressed about the elections

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Think about other dark times in our history … gather strength – and get back to work!

Patrick_Henry_1_630_pxlwby Chris Skates

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?

– Patrick Henry

I don’t know about you, good reader, but I am tired. I am tired of talking and hearing about politics. I am tired of talking heads on “expert” panels telling me what “most Americans” truly want, or truly believe in, when those same experts clearly have no idea what I think or what anybody 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, my culture to hedonism, my children’s future through liberalism – and my once energized political campaigners to depression.

When I am honest with myself, since the election there have been times when I’ve had to force myself to write my columns. I wonder if anybody is listening, or if anyone cares about what is happening. Even among those loyal Americans who are reading this and that care very deeply, even among my fellow conservatives, I sense an overall feeling of burnout and defeatism. I know it is there because I’ve struggled with it myself.

But 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 that we face to those faced by our founding fathers, the soldiers at Valley Forge, the prisoners on the Bataan Death March, or the paratroops and Army troops who shivered and died during the Battle of the Bulge – we begin to feel very soft and very silly.

I recently had chance to talk to a man whose father flew fifty combat missions as a waste gunner in WWII. His father NEVER talked about the war. When he tried to talk about it, he got so emotional that he couldn’t finish the story. This man told me that one day his father did share one of his most difficult experiences. He had completed the milestone of his fiftieth air combat 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 US, but he chose to wait for his best friend, who was on his 49th mission. When his friend was leaving for number 50, the two agreed that they would celebrate and then fly back home together. His friend’s plane came back to base terribly damaged. When it landed the father knew in an instant that his friend was dead. He had to fly home alone.

“You don’t know,” the father wagged a finger at my friend that day. “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 and preserved for us? Should we dig bomb shelters and buy survival food, and then turn on “American Idol” – and tune out of the public discourse, as we wait for the whole American system to collapse?

I know many of us are discouraged. I know the “mainstream 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 the way 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 took, while never wavering.

If we learned nothing else at the Conservative Political Action Committee events, we should have learned this: The heart is there. The fight is there in the people. Our fellow political soldiers have not given up.

It is therefore incumbent upon every one of us to fan those sparks to a flame. We have to be our own media. Rush, Beck and Hannity, et cetera 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 nation-collapsing 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 conservative voters.

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 is an energy specialist and novelist who won the best historical fiction award from the Christian Writers Association for The Rain: A Story of Noah and the Ark, and rave reviews for his second novel, Going Green: For Some It Has Nothing To Do With The Environment.

About Author

PAUL DRIESSEN is senior policy adviser for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), public policy institutes that promote environmental stewardship, the enhancement of human health and welfare, and personal liberties and civil rights. He writes and speaks frequently on the environment, energy and economic development, malaria eradication, climate change, human rights, corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. His articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines and on news and opinion websites in the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Peru, Venezuela, South Africa, Uganda, Bangladesh and many other countries. Driessen’s book, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death, documents the harm that restrictive environmental policies often have on poor people, especially in developing countries, by restricting their access to life-enhancing modern technologies. It is in its second US printing and has also been published in Argentina (Spanish), India (English), Germany (German) and Italy (Italian). He was editor for Energy Keepers - Energy Killers: The new civil rights battle, by CORE national chairman Roy Innis; Rules for Corporate Warriors: How to fight and survive attack group shakedowns, by Nick Nichols; and Creatures, Corals and Colors in North American Seas, by Ann Scarborough-Bull. His report, Responsible Progress in the Andes, examined ways that modern mining operations can bring jobs, infrastructure, and improved safety and pollution control practices to poor communities. Driessen’s studies and analyses have also appeared in Conserving the Environment (Doug Dupler, editor), Resurgent Diseases (Karen Miller, Editor) and Malnutrition (Margaret Haerens, editor), all part of the Thomson-Gale “Opposing Viewpoints” Series that is used in many high schools and colleges; Redefining Sovereignty: Will liberal democracies continue to determine their own laws and public policies, or yield these rights to transnational entities in search of universal order and justice? (Orin Judd, editor); and other publications. He played a lead role in the “Kill Malarial Mosquitoes Now” campaign, an international effort that restored the use of DDT to African and other malaria control programs, and served as an advisor to the film “3 Billion and Counting,” examining how environmentalist and EPA campaign against DDT had devastating impacts on families in poor developing countries. Paul received his BA in geology and field ecology from Lawrence University and a JD from the University of Denver College of Law, before embarking on a career that also included tenures with the United States Senate, U.S. Department of the Interior and an energy trade association. He has produced documentary films about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, immigration through Ellis Island, and marine habitats beneath offshore oil production platforms. Driessen is also a frequent guest on radio talk shows and college campuses, and at business and public policy forums. He participates in energy, health and environmental conferences, and was active in the Public Relations Society of America, where he served as Washington, DC chapter newsletter editor and in the Social Responsibility Section.

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