We have reaped what we have sown.
Joseph R. Larson, Chairman, Restoring America
Several years ago I knew I would be writing this letter. I dreaded it then and it is no easier now, yet the truth must be told.
Sadly, on Tuesday September 11, 2001, the American people saw and felt the consequences of their own apathy, ignorance and self-centeredness. Many people were shocked, surprised or in total disbelief over the act of war brought to our shores. Others(those patriots who were paying attention) heard the threats and believed the warnings issued by our enemies; for them it was only a matter of when and how. We all felt the grief and the revulsion; yes, I too cried openly over the unnecessary loss of life. I am also extremely angry because I believe that what happened was, to a large extent, preventable.
The question being asked is; who is to blame? Our enemies will certainly be forced to take their share, but in the end we have only ourselves to blame. As Patrick Henry once said, "We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth … For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst; and to prepare for it." If you, dear reader, wish the truth - then read on.
In the Preamble to the Constitution there are six stated general purposes of the government of the United States. The most important was and is "To provide for the common defense". George Washington, perhaps the greatest American ever, warned us against foreign entanglements and involvements other than mutual trade. (Remember, it was the U.S. Government who placed Fidel Castro in power etc. etc. etc.) Washington and other Founding Fathers left us their warnings and maxims, and a wealth of knowledge: instructions on how 'we the people' were to govern ourselves; vote, select our leaders, oversee our government and, above all else, participate in our own governing. We have, not only, ignored their warnings and wisdom, but have allowed most of this knowledge to be removed from our schools and textbooks of America. While we were distracted by our daily lives, we failed to notice that we were being dumbed down as a people and led like sheep into socialism. We have become complacent and trusting; even greedy (becoming takers) and in the end, victims.
Somewhere along the way, we lost our heritage; a heritage of ruggedness and self- reliance, a heritage of faith in God, morality and self-government. This loss has been gradual but certain. As our history became unimportant and irrelevant, so did our responsibility to God and Country. When many people became informed and aware of this great loss, the reaction was often indifference. No problem: "It's the economy, stupid." As long as we had time and money we did not care.
In the past 36 hours, I have heard too many politicians and talking heads refer to how this great democracy will handle the crisis. They proclaim that our great democracy will triumph. Are they all really that ignorant, or are they lying to us even in such a crisis? We were formed as a Constitutional Republic because our Founding Fathers hated and feared democracy. They remembered the most famous democratic vote in history, occurring over two thousand years ago, when the will of the people (pure democracy) cried "Crucify Him". If we don't even understand what our form of government truly is, then how can we ever hope to govern ourselves and remain a free people?
Throughout the Clinton years, many of us wrote articles, gave speeches and ranted on the radio about the decemation of our military and national defense. We spoke out strongly about the dismanteling of our intelligence networks. We warned of the danger of reliance on high technology (trained field personnel cost too much). We opposed the slashed budgets that placed intelligence gathering near the bottom of the expense heap. Nobody, especially politicians wanted to spend money for national defense or security. Our economy was going great guns. I think people thought we could just buy friendship; that the gross national product would be our savior. We wanted so much from the government, in selfish programs and benefits, that we readily told our leaders to place our needs and wants first (over the needs of the nation), which they gladly did.
Not so very long ago over 60% of the federal budget went to defense spending. Every time our nation has period of peace, we lower our defenses. Then, when trouble arises again, we are always unprepared. We never seem to learn. Today only about 15% of our national budget goes to defense. Instead of national defense, we spend money for unconstitutional services and departments like the Department of Education. Our foundational and organic laws of the land place education as a duty and function of state government. [Please read the twenty functions of the federal government listed in the constitution] Since the people wanted less responsibility and less involvement in government, we let "Uncle Sam" do it for us. We wanted a give-me government, and we got one. We allowed the federal government to usurp States rights and perform functions of government that they were not constitutionally authorized. The FED became so busy and concentrated on performing tasks not assigned to them that they neglected or mismanaged those functions they were mandated to do.
We failed to notice (or didn't care) that give-me politicians were often dishonest, morally corrupt and often incompetant. These politicians were rewarded, for their behavior, with re-election. When the people were told of government waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement, what did they do? Nothing. When the news reported the egregious China scandal, Americans turned a deaf ear; and possible treason at the highest level of government was carefully shied away from.
Many of us wanted to know; where was the anger, where was the outrage. I think we now know what it takes to get the attention of our fellow citizens. If you think what happened on Tuesday was horrific, just think what could happen if just a small nuclear bomb were set off! People will not want to go there, but we cannot be caught off guard again. Look at the history lessons and warnings we've forgotten before.
The truth is the majority of the American people took the easy way out, avoided unpleasant news, ignored problems and hid from the truth. September 13, 2001, we paid the price for our neglect. Perhaps our biggest enemy is not another country or one of the "ism's", or even terrorism itself; but our own ignorance, apathy and greed. Maybe it's even simpler than that. Our biggest danger may be our propensity to avoid responsibility for anything. After all it must be someone else's fault. It can't possibly be my responsibility. Can it?
Maybe some good will come from all of this. Maybe some good old- fashioned patriotism will rise up from the ashes of disaster. Maybe we can start to restore America. Maybe some of the flag waving and American pride will last. Just maybe. It may just be up to you.
Joseph R. Larson
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