The political winds are blowing at gale force speed. What's a concerned citizen to do?
We are barely into 2014 and the November election is heating up fast and furiously. In addition, the pundits are already handicapping presidential aspirants for the 2016 election. It seems that for ordinary Americans there is no rest from political pressure.
The radical left now in charge of the country acts like the left always does: trying to stir up the pot, keeping things on a continuous boil. To listen to the news—and not just the political news—there always seems to be some crisis going on which demands our attention and above all, government action.
We got to this place by not paying enough attention to what the political class was up to. As Americans, we still want to be pretty much left alone. The problem is that the radicals in government don’t want to leave is alone: they want to control every aspect of our lives through some part of the vast federal bureaucracy. And they will do virtually anything to stay in power.
Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny. - Thomas Jefferson
What’s a concerned citizen to do? Sticking our collective heads in the sand and hoping the problem will go away is not an option. Becoming a full-time activist isn’t an option for most either. There is a middle ground that most people can follow to take an active role in their government and make informed decisions.
Don’t listen to the pundits
As a class, pundits have more in common with each other than they do with ordinary Americans.
The word “pundit” comes by way of British India, where the Sanskrit word “pandit” referred to a learned person, typically of the Brahman class. Here, we tend to use the word for anyone in the media who has an opinion and voices it, whether it be a TV host like Bill O’Reily or Chris Mathews or a frequent guest like Charles Krauthammer or Paul Krugman.
The problem with pundits is that they always push a point of view. They are almost never giving out information—they are giving out select information to push an agenda or prove a point of view they hold. Some do this more than others and some are more knowledgeable that others. The point is this: don’t just listen uncritically to what they are saying. Know who these people are, what their experience is and what their point of view is.
Generally, they’re career reporters or academicians who have less experience in the real world than you do. On all our coinage is the phrase, “In God we Trust.” Pundits are not gods.
Specially don’t listen to them when they discuss the merits of politicians. Most in the media are left-leaning: they don’t have your interests at heart. When the press tells you Chris Christie or Jeb Bush would make great Republican candidates for president, run in the exact opposite direction. Remember, these are the people who told you John McCain was a maverick and a great candidate…until he was nominated.
The more they seek to marginalize, the more you should look carefully at the politician as a possible good risk. They seek to destroy the biggest threats as early as possible. Think Sarah Palin, Herman Caine, Michelle Bachmann, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.
The problem with politicians
If you can’t trust the pundits, you can trust the politicians themselves even less. As a class, their goal is to get elected and re-elected. They will tell you whatever they think you want to hear. If you like your doctor, you can keep him. Elect me and I’ll make your life better!
Politicians are generally followers, even though they like to portray themselves as leaders. The big question is, who are they listening to?
The kind of politician we want is the kind who will listen to We the People and act in our best interests. Their problem is that there are many competing interests to balance. Still, we need politicians who will actively listen and attempt to move in the majority direction. In Colorado for example, the Democrats in charge of the state legislature didn’t listen to the massive opposition to their gun control proposals. As a result, two senators were recalled and one forced to resign.
Did this encourage them to moderate their agenda? It did not. They are deaf to the concerns of ordinary Coloradans—even though they say they want to create jobs and get the economy moving again. Who Colorado Democrats are listening to is not entirely clear, but it is certainly not the people.
Voting for some Republicans is only a small step above voting for radical Democrats. Like pundits, career politicians have more in common with each other than they do with the people.
This is the first in a series of articles about how We the People can work to take back the government and reorient it to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Next: Cutting through the fog and properly vetting candidates.