Be honest: how many of you just want the government, and everyone else, to just go away and leave you alone?
Yeah, I’m right there with you. Believe me. A friend of mine and I had this conversation recently:
- Me: Ya know, you should totally go after that vacant spot on the planning commission.
- Him: I’m considering it.
- Me: You’d be great – it would nice having someone who understands the Constitution on a board, for once.
- Him: Yeah, it would be pretty funny showing up, taking over, telling the other board members that the government has no business doing most of what it does today, and then postponing the board until further notice. We could meet for 30 minutes every 6 months.
- Me: See, now you’re getting it.
You see, historically speaking, the only people interested in being part of the government were the people that have a deeply-held belief that the government can solve your problems. I mean think about it – for all of us who think “a government large enough to give you everything you want is large enough to take everything you have,” we have better things to do with our lives – like, ya know, go to work and stuff.
I’m a firm believer that most of just want to be left the heck alone. And yes, I’m looking at you, Common Core. But I’m finally waking up to the fact that this attitude has put us where we are now. Gun rights are under attack at every turn. Our education system is a joke and the government solution is worse. We have the lowest levels of employment in my lifetime. We’re $17Trillion in debt. The 1st Amendment is under attack. The 4th Amendment has become a joke. Ah, but the 5th Amendment – it’s alive and well. Here’s my theory on why all of this is happening: apathy.
Wanting to be free, “liber,” if you will, the original liberal, swells within us. We hate being told what to do and we hate paying massive chunks of each paycheck to the government (income tax + property tax + sales tax + Obamacare tax + hotel room tax + alcohol tax [which we need to cope with the rest of these] + gasoline tax + air transportation tax + fatty foods tax + satellite tv tax + if-you-want-to-exercise-your-2nd-Amendment-rights tax + new tires on the truck tax + yesterday it snowed tax… who knows anymore).
We get up on Monday morning, we go to work, we play with the kids, we watch some football, we complain about the coaching, we have a few beers, and then we go to bed. Rinse and repeat.
Trust me – I was right there with you… for a LOOONG time. And those were simpler times, certainly. But hear me once and hear me now:
THOSE DAYS ARE OVER.
Sorry to break it to you. But get off your tired butt and get involved. Talk to your local candidates – you’d be amazed at how many candidates profess to be in your same political party of choice but do not believe a damn thing you do, on any subject. Ask your friends who they support and why. 90% will say “Ah, I don’t know. Probably the same guy we have now. I hate him, but I guess he’s ok.”
Then get new friends. Then start over.
Most of my friends vote. The overwhelming majority will say they’re strongly in this political camp or the other. But only a few will actually stand up for what they actually believe anymore. I mean physically stand. With a sign or something, even. Or in front of a state or local committee.
When was the last time you went to a local town or city council meeting? Do you even know who your representative is?
When Lincoln said “government of the people, by the people, for the people” he didn’t adequately emphasize that “Hey loser on the couch in the John McCain t-shirt – YOU are the people. Get with it.”
I’m sick of people who will tell me to my face that they agree with me 100% and how much they appreciate what I’m doing. Really. I’d trade every single one of them for one more person who will put on some shoes and stand next to me. It’s not hard, but it does require you to actually get off the couch. And here’s a secret: I’m not really doing anything. There are many others out there doing plenty. I’ve just decided to call out an injustice when I see it. It’s a coincidence, I hope, that I see them everywhere lately… but maybe that’s just me.
Yes, they’ll try and attack you. Yes, they’ll randomly show up on your company’s facebook page and accuse you being “one of them,” whatever that means. Yes, at some point you’ll get misquoted in the local anti-freedom newspaper. Yes, you’ll have to actually critically think about your position on a whole host of topics. But I’m not sure that’s bad at all, is it? If you’ve been believing in the 2nd Amendment but you really have no idea why, or maybe your grandpa owned a rifle and you really respected your grandpa, you’re living a lie – and you’re not really on our team. Not to worry, though – we’ve all been exactly where you are. We’ll wait for you to catch up. We need you to catch up – we need you with us.
Politically, many of us are stuck in step #2 of our Five Stages of Growth (by Kathy Jackson… brilliant article). You’ve made it past “I won’t,” but then you’re stuck in the first “I will.” (Or worse, maybe you’re still stuck in Step 1!!) We NEED you to get to “I can’t” – but once you face this political demon, you get this great feeling of empowerment… and presto, you’re now in Stage #4. Saddle up, we need you in the game.
I need you to understand many of the common words being thrown around lately and I need you to know why our language matters. You need to politely correct your friends and family about what an “assault rifle” really is (hint: I don’t own one and I’m guessing you don’t either). You need to understand why prohibiting open carry in a town building is not only against the law (yes, the 2nd Amendment is actually the law) but it’s also a horrible idea.
But more importantly, you need to know exactly where you stand and why. I’d much rather you come to me with “I hate guns, I’m working on confiscation rules now and I’m working to get the 2nd Amendment repealed” than have you say “I love the 2nd Amendment but…”
I’ll leave you with this tidbit: since the Civil War, no national election has been decided by more votes than the people who were eligible but just didn’t show up. Think about that for a minute. Then get off your tush get involved.
Carry on, Colorado!