Revolution takes time and planning...We've only just begun
By Tom DeWeese
It is now obvious that Rep. Ron Paul will not be elected President of the United States in November 2008. There are those who have predicted that the Republic will die if Paul is not occupying the White House next January. A dire prediction, most certainly overstated, but considering the candidates left in the offering, it can be said with equal certainty that the Republic is going to be severely damaged by the next administration.
Rather than throw ourselves in a fetal position and wait for Armageddon, now is the time to make some concrete, long term plans to assure we can elect the next Ron Paul. That, in fact, is exactly what Rep. Paul had in mind when he started his campaign in the first place.
Without getting involved in the dynamics of party politics and the Herculean task involved in gaining control of a national party, let me offer three ideas that the average Ron Paul true believer can do right there on the local level.
First, every true believer in the Ron Paul Revolution must understand exactly what it is we are revolting over and then begin to control the debate. We should make sure that the other side does not dictate the way issues are framed. Today, Clinton/Obama/McCain gives us a false choice - they call it security. Security from terrorism; security from the unknown such as the dips and spins of uncontrolled free markets; security through free universal health care and so forth.
In fact, the real debate is a choice of freedom vs. control. National IDs wonâ€™t protect us against terrorism or illegal immigration. It is never safer to lock ourselves in a cell. The illegals should feel the heat for their actions - not average, law abiding Americans. Controlling our borders isn't racism; it's about the rule of law. Just because someone announces a new program to "protect the environment" doesn't mean it's true. Government control of the economy is not a good thing - ever. And there is nothing patriotic about the Patriot Act.
The average American wants freedom - if he understands what it is. And he doesn't want government intervention into daily life. Eighty percent of the American people oppose amnesty for illegal aliens. The same numbers are vitally concerned about the Supreme Court decision on eminent domain. But so many of these core issues have either been ignored in the political debate or they are being whitewashed as protection policy. We have to change that perception and we canâ€™t sell our revolution until we do.
Second: One has to plan for a revolution five years in advance - not five months before an election. One of the reasons Ron Paul's campaign did not catch on is because the media marginalized him from the start. They called him fringe, long shot or maverick. And they said it over and over. While the true believers called it censorship and insisted that Ron Paul had more support than the media reported, the fact is, when the votes were counted he became a five percenter - just as the media had predicted. As that happened in primary after primary, Paul was ever more dismissed.
However, had he surged in the polls and dominated in the primaries - just like Obama - the media would have been forced to report it and the revolution would have caught on, whether they liked it or not. How to make that happen? Start now for the next time.
While so many are lamenting that the Republic is dead, we are ignoring the very silver bullet that the Founding Fathers provided to assure a Republic everlasting by making government at the local level the most powerful force. The silver bullet is still there, rusting in the dust from lack of use.
The silver bullet is precinct captain. You scoff? You were hoping for something more exciting? Well, that's probably the very reason we've ignored it. We would much rather turn our attention to Washington, Congress or presidential campaigns. Frankly that's the very reason why those offices are so much more powerful than they are supposed to be - because we've let them become so by placing all of our attention on them while ignoring local organization and involvement in government.
But the power still lies in the precinct captain. Our opponents know it. They have left no lowly office untouched. Every office has power to impose policy, even dogcatcher, city treasurer and city clerk. The people who collect taxes and issue permits control building, development and how private property is treated. Start there and then move up to city council and mayor.
How important are these local offices? Consider this. Just two years ago the United Nations held a major conference in San Francisco on a policy called Sustainable Development. This is a policy of top-down government control that eliminates private property rights, makes limited government impossible and promotes the establishment of non-elected regional government to impose it - in short - everything Ron Paul's revolution is supposed to stop.
At the UN conference the main targets were the mayors. Those who attended were asked to sign two documents in which the mayors pledged to undertake 21 action items over the next few years to implement Sustainable Development. These action items include water policy, energy policy, transportation and health. They were provided sample legislation and pledged to enact it.
Our enemies know that the power to impose this tyranny on us is now at the local level. And that's where they are concentrating their efforts. So it will do little good to spend time trying to stop them through Congress or the White House.
What does the UN understand that you and I don't? That it doesn't matter what Washington policy is, they will just get the local communities to do it - because the towns and cities have the power to decide for themselves. That's how the Founding Fathers intended it.
Think globally act locally is not just a slogan. It's an agenda. It's been used against us to diminish our freedom because we have neglected it. Now, to save our Republic and way of life we need to make it our agenda.
How to get started? Make a chart of every single elected position available in your county. Break it down to the precinct level and then to the ward level. List every office, every board position, and every neighborhood precinct position. Now you will begin to see how large a task it is. But take it one step at a time and start to fill those spots. You need to find a leader for every neighborhood or precinct who will carry literature, make phone calls and turn out voters on Election Day. One of the most common reasons people gave for not voting for Ron Paul is that they never heard of him. A good precinct captain can make sure that never happens again.
Now, as you are organizing the precincts, use that now found network to begin to elect revolution-minded candidates for the local offices. Work quietly. Please don't hold a news conference to announce to the community that you intend to take it over. Work through whatever party you want - even the Democrats. The goal is to get our people, who support the principles of the Ron Paul Revolution, into places of decision-making. It would be a dream to have candidates from every party running on the same issues. It's a goal to shoot for. The other side seems to have achieved it.
Take over a precinct - just one. You will control the election of every candidate at every level - at least in your part of the city. Then organize a second precinct, and so on. You will need the precinct worker to make sure voters get to the polls. You will need poll watchers to make sure our votes are counted. Plan your work, work your plan and make our issues the ones people care about. It's hard work, but that's how a real revolution wins.
Third, pay attention to non-elected review boards, policy committees and planning commissions. Can you get one of your people on it? Who is doing the appointing? Get on the board and control policy - or better yet, make moves to abolish the board as unnecessary or unconstitutional. And don't stop there.
You need to have the ability to create controversy against policies by current office holders. This will help you find like-minded folks to join you. And it will help create public debates on issues so your candidates can address them and win. Remember, most people would oppose many of these policies if they knew anything about them. Tell them.
Consider this idea: if your local farm bureau or Chamber of Commerce, for example, isn't representing you - start new ones. Understand this - you don't have to just take their double-dealing and double speak. Go around them. Show up at council meetings, or at meetings of any agency or board that purports to make policy that affects you.
As a new group representing business interests, homeowners, or farmers, demand your say. Back up your demands by issuing news releases and doing interviews on local radio and television as you represent your new group. Over and over again repeat the message that the governing body isn't representing the interests of your constituents. If you make enough noise as a group, which is truly standing up for farmers or business or property owners, those victimized individuals will find you and follow your efforts. And the revolution grows.
Organizing today is the only way to assure victory tomorrow.
Tom DeWeese is the President of the American Policy Center and the Editor of The DeWeese Report.
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!