Vote for the Next Speaker

Several moments ago, I received an email concerning the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.  Americans for Limited Government, though The Speaker Education Project, is collecting a bit of input from average citizens.  The question is simple, if you had the choice, who would you elect as Speaker?  So, how about it?  Who would you choose?  Would you select current Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader John Boehner, or even Sarah Palin?  Palin?  Although every Speaker thus far has been a member of the House, he or she need not be.  Personally, I feel that we need a Speaker who has a proven record of fighting against government excess and is a strong adherent to the Constitution.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I wrote in my choice of Representative Ron Paul (TX-14).

So go vote for yourself here.  Then, feel free to come back and share who your pick is and why you support that person.

The State of Uncertainty

Sorry for the gap in an update.  I fear that I’m still mired in a state of uncertainty.  As I’m sure you well know, it is certainly an unpleasant condition.  After all, so much of the things that one normally takes for granted are suddenly unstable and upended.  Once I have located my next employment, I am certain that my writing will continue, more or less regularly, as it has these past two years.

Tonight, I cannot help but think of the parallels between my present state of uncertainly and Thomas Hobbes’ state of nature as he described it in his great work Leviathan.  Even though this undecided existence can certainly be nasty and at times brutish, we must hope that it, and not life itself, is relatively short.  Although the phrase “nasty, brutish, and short” is Hobbes’ most often recited addition to the political conversation, he has much more to say on this subject.  For example, directly prior to this grim pronouncement, he states that in this wretched state of nature, there can be “no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death.”  Although the fear of violent death doesn’t hold much sway, I assure you that this great uncertainty does hamper the spirit.  After all, how can a person be inspired to write when one is constantly hounded by the spectre of ruination?  With both fiction and nonfiction, one must have a proper mindset in order to properly craft sentences and paragraphs or else ideas cannot be properly conveyed.

Unfortunately I am not alone.  Perhaps you too tread in some kind of nightmare of uncertainty.  Remember that troubles come in a vast assortment of colours, such as personal, economic, spiritual, and even political.  My advice to both you and myself is that we never lose hope.  After all, although it is easy to give in to the temptation of despair, hope will see us through the dark times.  A better future will come, but we must constantly move toward it.  Sometimes we must slog through the murky unknown.

Share The Blame

I can’t tell you how many times recently people have said to me either via email or in person that our country would be heading on the right track if only President Obama was out of office.  Unfortunately, such a viewpoint is not only overly simplistic, it is also quite wrong.  President Obama is a problem, yes, but the issue runs far deeper.  Even if we were to broaden our scope and remove Congressional leaders like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, our government would still be in a bad shape.  Some people have the mistaken impression that our government is a type of monarchy whereby one person, or a select few people, runs the nation.  Although from all public appearances we seem to be trending in that direction, there are still many people in Washington D.C. who can influence policy.  Just disregarding the cabinet members, advisors, and legions of bureaucrats, we still have the power to elect our president and the four hundred and thirty five members of Congress.  You must remember that the President cannot make laws, that power is reserved for the Congress. So let’s turn our focus there.

How did Nancy Pelosi become Speaker of the House?  How did Harry Reid become Majority Leader?  Was it merely by chance or was it some sort of electoral free-for-all?  No, of course not.  With the Democrats in power, they selected two of their Congressional leaders to take charge in the House and Senate.  Don’t like the actions of Reid or Pelosi?  Blame the Democrats in Congress who gave them power.  What about the Republicans?  Can they be held responsible for massive increases in the growth of the federal government?  Absolutely.  While some of them outright supported unacceptable legislation, some of the others stood silent, merely watching from the sideline.  As all spending bills must originate in the House, House members must claim the courage to vote against unconstitutional acts and wasteful spending.  But our Senators are guilty too.  In the Senate, a dedicated minority can use the filibuster to stall business in order to kill or delay bad laws.  They must not be afraid to use this tool whenever the rights of the constituents are being trampled.  The simple rule we must follow is that Representatives and Senators who either actively or passively ignore the Constitution must be removed.  Although we rarely take advantage of the opportunity, we have that chance every two (or six) years.

But the blame goes beyond the corrupt cesspool of Washington.  Should our national leaders fail us, which most have repeatedly, we must look to Richmond, and related capitals for redress.  After all, under the authority of the 10th Amendment, power not specifically granted to the federal government is reserved for the states and the people.  As a result of this nationalized health care scheme, some states, like ours, have sued the federal government.  It is a step in the right direction, of course, but they must press other issues as well where D.C. has overstepped its bounds.  Unfortunately, such a course of action requires a political will and determination that few statesmen possess.  The majority of politicians do not chart this course, and so they are at fault as well.

But blame goes further than the White House, Congress, and the State House.  What about the average citizen?  Does he or she blindly go through his or her day rarely reflecting on the mischief of Obama and his associates?  When we vote, do we really consider the issues and stances of the potential leaders in question, or are we duped by the hollow promise of “hope” and “change”?  Educated and active voters are key components of a healthy nation.  In America though, our base is largely apathetic and ignorant, drawn to the tiny details of the relatively empty lives of celebrities rather than actions of our supposed representative delegates.  We cannot complain about the whims of Washington, and the power-grabbing nature of our leaders when we refuse to get involved.  How can you hold politicians accountable when you remain unaware of their activities?  Thus the greatest culpability for people like Obama along with the greatest hope for their removal rests with a single person.  Surely you know the individual.  After all, you see that person in the mirror every morning.  So, now that we all share the blame, only one question remains.  What are you prepared to do?

The Tennessee Conservative

Good morning readers and welcome to my latest piece.

You’ll notice the name of this post is the “Tennessee Conservative”.  I suppose a more accurate name would be “The Virginia Conservative in Tennessee”, but for sake of brevity, I chose the former.  No, I haven’t permanently left Virginia.  Shortly after my last post, I packed my bags and headed west, stopping beside Cherokee Lake in eastern Tennessee.

Cherokee Lake in Eastern TN

This adventure is nearly over as I’ll be returning to the Old Dominion tomorrow.  It has been good to see Tennessee again as I haven’t spent much time here since 2007.  Back then I traveled the state (as well as in southern Kentucky), spreading the Pro-life message across college campuses:  The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, UT-Chattanooga, Vanderbilt, Union, Belmont, the list goes on.  At that time, I was working for Students for Life of America.  The reason for my work was simple.  As freshmen are considerably more pro-life than their senior counterparts, we must fight at our colleges and universities to claim and reclaim the hearts and minds of tomorrow’s leaders.

Once in TN, you could imagine my surprise to discover that Students for Life of America (or SFLA as it is known), along with the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and several other organizations, was holding a conference at the Johnsonville Bible College in Knoxville.   Although it is difficult to precisely gauge the effect of my efforts back in 2007, like a surrogate parent, I felt that that I played some small part in aiding the pro-life movement in this state.  Therefore, I attended the event on Saturday; interested to see how the cause had advanced in my three-year absence.  I’m glad say that the room was jammed with numerous students and organizations eager to continue the fight against the gross injustice of abortion.

SFLA Director Kristan Hawkins and CBR Southeast Director Fletcher Armstrong

Regardless of what state we may find ourselves, we must continually fight for our principles of life and liberty.  Our task is to summon the courage to seek out friends and never surrender to the temptations of apathy and modern liberalism.  Not only can we win, we must win for our own sake and the sake of those who come after us.

Best wishes for the fight ahead.  I look forward to talking to you again soon.

The Downward Spiral

Good evening readers.

I hope your Labor Day weekend is going well.  I just wanted to send you out a personal note.  As some of you know, when I’m not working in politics I have been in the retail industry, selling and demonstrating gaming products to the community.  Such has been my life, on and off, for the past five years or so.  Well, I’m afraid that those days are over.  Yesterday evening, my employment suddenly came to a close.  Due to financial difficulties, I was abruptly released.  Although I’ll freely admit that I have been searching for political work once more, I don’t have anything new confirmed and so I was, at best, at least two weeks away from leaving.  So now here I am, another statistic in a troubled economy, madly scrambling to find my next job before my savings are reduced to zero.  But as for you, the reader, I hope that you will stick with me through this rough patch until I escape this downward spiral.