Has America succumbed to a fatal and inevitable decline? This attitude seems to be infecting a growing number of conservatives, especially since government has continued to centralize, regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are in power.
Although I understand this cynical sentiment, I ultimately find it insulting and disturbing.
For too long I fell into the trap of complaining about what was going on in the country without doing anything about it. Ranting on social media or whining at the water cooler only goes so far, if it does anything at all, to advance liberty.
Ronald Reagan’s words come to mind:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
In a sense, the “America is screwed” crowd is absolutely right–if we surrender the fight, then America is indeed destined for darkness. If I allow myself to be discouraged to the point of submission, I am not part of the problem–I am the problem.
I dearly cherish the idea of America and her constitutional principles, and I am appalled at the government’s abuses. Shouldn’t that motivate me to action, not apathy?
The truth is that there is great reason to hope. Republicans now control 31 states and 70 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers, which is the biggest advantage in 150 years. Recent elections have seen an uptick in the number of constitutionalists in Congress, including Justin Amash, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Dave Brat.
Even if these trends were not present, I’ve come to realize that nothing is more un-American than surrender. Giving up the fight and thereby damning my generation, and all future generations, to a future of government servitude is patently unpatriotic.
Now, when I hear news of the government’s overreaches, I use it as motivation. I have come to better embrace the American tradition of an active defiance that burns in our hearts–for freedom and our future.
As the late great President Ronald Reagan once said,
“We are not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.”
To throw up our hands and say “America is screwed anyway,” is only a degree separated from the utopian-statists who actively seek to centralize government control and kill liberty. Watching it happen is akin to second degree murder.
Nobody conveys this better than former Secret Service agent and conservative activist Dan Bongino.
Bongino was the first candidate to take me by the shoulders and slap me out of my apathy that had transpired following the defeats of the 2012 elections. He led by example, personally knocking on more doors than any other congressional candidate in the nation. I took the time to research him, meet him, call his staff, and sign up as a volunteer.
Even during a very busy semester as an out-of-state graduate student and a job with long hours, I refused to let excuses stop me. I was able to make hundreds of phone calls and knock on hundreds of doors when I was in town.
Oftentimes we complain to our friends and when we’re done, all we can do is throw up our hands in surrender and say, “What can we do?” I have learned to rephrase the question: What will I do? You don’t have to be a Reagan or a Bongino to make a real difference.
Here are some simple things you can do.
Help a Candidate
Find a candidate you believe in–whether it be for local, state, or federal office–and help that candidate. Knock on doors, make calls, and spread the word on social media. Whether it be for two hours a week or 20, you’ll be surprised how much of a difference you can make. Chances are you’ll have fun, make some great friends, and learn a lot while working to advance the message of liberty.
Join a Cause
Same goes for a cause; they just sometimes have different needs. Here at Red Millennial we have endorsed Convention of States Project, the most-organized effort to call an Article Five Convention of States in American history. In just two years they have recruited 200,000 citizen activists and are making a tremendous difference in educating people about the Constitution and making real progress to restore America to first principles.
Run for Office
If you are seen as a leader in your community, then you might have the right stuff to run for political office, especially if it’s a position with your town or county. There are hundreds of thousands of local offices in the United States, and there’s no reason that we shouldn’t work to fill them. Change starts at the local level.
Ultimately, there are innumerable ways you can help, depending on your unique personality, creativity, and skills. Don’t give up. Don’t surrender. Endure. Resist. Fight.
America must remain that shining city on a hill. Let’s be a generation that saw the flame of liberty flicker and took action to set it ablaze again for all the world to see.
“We as Americans have the capacity now as we’ve had in the past to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom… ‘Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone.’ With God’s help, we can and will resolve the problems that now confront us. And after all, why shouldn’t we believe that? We are Americans.”