Re-Founding America


photo credit: Why Tuesday?

I don’t pay attention to talk radio because even though I am very conservative I find that the conservative perspective shared on talk radio is generally laced with too much thoughtless and inflammatory perspective that is designed to stir reactions rather than provide information. Despite that general disinterest I was intrigued when I heard about Glenn Beck calling for a re-founding of America. The idea fit so well with what I have been focused on that I thought I would share my perspective on the idea here.

On January 1, 2008 I wrote that what America needs is a new birth of freedom. Before I wrote that, and even more since then, I have been looking for exactly that within our nation. The final answer is as difficult as it is uncomplicated – we need people to be converted to the idea of America – no more is it enough to be born here – we must individually be converted to the idea of liberty that our founders fought and died for. During the last couple of years I have found two groups that give me hope for a way forward in giving this nation that new birth of freedom.

The first group is Downsize D.C. They argue that electing the right people will not solve this problem. Their platform is that we should instead focus our efforts on putting pressure on Congress to change the way they function and to hold them accountable for what they do. They support bills such as the Read the Bills Act, the One Subject at a Time Act, and the Enumerated Powers Act. They are right about this focus on pressure because Washington, with all the money and power that funnels through there has a corrupting capacity on all who are supposed to serve us there. Only three things can solve that problem and Downsize D.C. focuses on the two that will have the greatest immediate impact (and that most other groups spend less time focusing on) – having an informed and engaged public looking over the shoulders of their elected officials (they have build a great tool that they call “Educate the Powerful” which makes contacting you elected representatives very simple), and promoting bills that will reduce the power and money flowing through Washington.

The second group is the Independence Caucus. They, like so many others, focus on the need to get better elected representatives. Unlike other groups they are very good at showing how both parties are betraying their constituents and they are building the network of volunteers and information necessary to identify and support candidates who are committed to upholding the Constitution. Long term I think their work at exposing the corruption and abuse of the two party system will do even more good than Downsize D.C. but the nation may not survive that long unless Downsize D.C. can keep the immediate pressure on the Congress that we already have.

If we are to take back our government so that it can once again be a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” these two groups appear the best poised to help us cross that chasm.

14 comments for “Re-Founding America

  1. September 16, 2009 at 8:25 am

    I am glad that you are beginning to understand the function that Glenn Beck serves for our society, but I find your idea that talk radio should not stir reactions to be in the service of the status quo. I do not listen to the radio often, but I see many of the talk radian personalities on Fox News. If it were not for Fox News, and the information there provided, we would still have Van Jones as a Greene Czar and the taxpayers would still be continuing to fund Acorn to the tune of 8 billion dollars plus. Thank God that Fox News has the ability to stir real political reactions and that somebody is doing the vetting job that government and political parties have decided we do not need.I have seen replays of talk radio on Fox news. It astounds me that there is spin that Talk Radio or Fox news stirs reactions rather than report the facts. They do both and stirring reactions is as important as the facts. If we left it up to our politicians and other media to do the vetting

  2. September 16, 2009 at 8:34 am

    I did not mean to suggest that stirring reactions was somehow wrong, just that I don't personally care for it in my information seeking. That statement was meant more as an observation than a criticism. Some people will not be moved without the emotional appeal of such commentary.I think the country would be a better place if there were more people who would get involved rationally before being prodded emotionally – but that's not the culture we have now and I don't know if such a culture has ever existed for any sustained period.

  3. September 16, 2009 at 9:37 am

    David, THANK YOU very much for your encouraging endorsement. Actually, we advocate three strategies. You hit on two of them.

    1) Build an army of DC Downsizers, so large that Congress cannot afford to ignore it. The question always is, “You and what army?” It will take overwhelming force to bring Congress under control.

    2) Bind Congress down from mischief, and reset their incentives with limiting procedures, such as the three bills you mentioned.

    3) Make the army so large that we can spread the message everywhere, every day. An army that can afford Madison Ave sized, relentless repetition can change the political environment — make ideas that were marginalized become mainstream, and even dominant.

  4. September 16, 2009 at 9:58 am

    I’m glad to spread the word Jim.

    Items 1 and 3 in your list seem to be two sides of the same coin which is why I had lumped them together. Whether they are dependent or independent of each other it is am important strategy in our efforts to get the nation back on track.

    One of the great things about Downsize D.C. that I did not mention was that they are post-partisan (to use an Obama term) – they were vocally critical of many policies while Bush was in office and they are critical of those same policies as well as some new ones in the Obama administration. That consistency independent of party position is important in organizations and individuals.

  5. September 17, 2009 at 1:37 am

    But you do the same thing in your blog- you express your opinions- that is what pundits on talk radio do as well.

  6. September 17, 2009 at 5:02 am

    I don't tend to express opinions that are geared towards inciting an emotional reaction. I avoid fear-mongering which is prevalent in talk radio.

  7. September 17, 2009 at 5:12 am

    I do not know what you are specifically intending when you refer to fear mongering but I often see that term used to describe those that speak of the presence of real danger.I do not find the pundits from talk radio that I see on cable to be "fear mongerers" People probably used that term in Germany during the 40's as well. There is such a thing as real and present danger that we do need to be conscius about in order not to become the victim of it.

  8. September 17, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Yes, there is such a thing are real and present danger that we need to be conscious of. There is also such a thing as hyping the dangers to the point of inducing irrational fears. I can't make any claims about what talk radio hosts way (individually or collectively) since I don't listen to any of them but I can say that I have seen the reactions of many people who do listen to them and too many of those people come away fearful, sometimes in panic, without having any real understanding of the things they fear. They simply fear some vague and unexplained consequence of some action that they have been told the government is engaging in but they neither understand the thing they fear nor what to do to counter the threat – that's counterproductive.

  9. September 17, 2009 at 11:37 am

    I don't listen to the radio but the pundits that I see on cable from talk radio always base their speculations about what is to come on well researched information and so to be fearful of what is to come does not seem an unreasonable reaction. Perhaps your freinds are not adept at articulating what they have heard and maybe you should listen to the facts that are presented on talk radio – facts which support the opinions rather than pass your judgment about talk radio based on second hand reports.The radio pundits that are featured on cable have large audiences. The ratings generally reflect that the shows presenting the facts are the ones with the most listeners even though the facts are actually frightening. People want to be informed even if it is scary.

  10. September 17, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I've heard the facts – there are definitely reasons to be concerned – but there is a difference between informed concern and irrational, generic fear (which is easily driven and easily abused).I have also heard enough of talk radio – national programs as well as local ones with smaller followings – to know that they rarely stop at inciting the informed concern over facts. Instead it is all too common for them to continue on to the unfounded hype that generates the irrational panic that I have observed.My not listening to talk radio was an informed decision despite the fact that I agree with the vast majority of their principles.

  11. Michael Graves
    October 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Refounding America requires only two things: defining the citizen’s right to petition the government and defining citizenship. These changes both required modification to the Constitution. Our founding fathers were very wise. We have lost our way and our representative no longer work for us and their moral values have been corrupted. We need to “Hit the Reset Button.”

    • October 10, 2009 at 10:25 pm

      The only problem with that approach is that it fails to address the underlying problem which is that we have developed a society which may not even be capable of maintaining a sound government – even if it were given one on a silver platter.

  12. MM
    April 17, 2010 at 11:32 am

    In all this, there’s not any focus on regrouping, redefining, redesigning, a stronger voters’ basis from which to get and stay together on issues and on who to elect. For starters, just a few experimental communities would show how powerful it can be to Center economics and politics on the purpose of specialized regions such as college towns … instead of vice versa.
    There IS this additional aspect to the “Independence Caucus”, and I want to start a Conference-&-Publish Group Project for it.
    (I’m asking “Pursuit of Liberty” to help me set up a group that meets consistently over Internet to produce such a design from which Community Action is more cohesive than the appeal to separate voters.)

    • April 17, 2010 at 12:20 pm

      I’m not confident that I understand what you are asking but from the sound of it you are pursuing a type and level of central planning that is antithetical to the liberty that I seek for myself and others within this great nation.

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