In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Thursday, July 25, 2024

Time for a change? Start at home


Angry America out there. People are pissed and those who cash in on opportunity have seized upon that anger to get rich and/or expand their power base.

Sarah Palin has pocketed $12 million so far. A California consulting firm picked up a few million for its political action committee. Politicians embrace the voter anger to get votes and then turn into normal politicians as soon as they polls closed.

Barack Obama is a good example of playing voter dissatisfaction for political gain. He campaigned on “real change” and then changed from the agent of change to just another political hack as soon as he took the 2008 Presidential election.

Democrats played voter anger in 2006 to take control of Congress, just like the Republican did in 1994 and threaten to do in 2010.

Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown courted voter anger to take Ted Kennedy‘s old Senate seat and then turned into just another politician who votes with one eye on the opinion polls back home.

Yeah, people want change, but every time they vote change all they get is a changeling.

It’s the oldest con in politics. Promise voters what they want and then forget them as soon as the election is over.

So voter anger turns both nasty and comical with amateur activists taking to the street dressed up like Uncle Sam or the Statue of Liberty while waving signs filled with hate.

Or they follow failed populists like Ron Paul, the Republican/libertarian who rallied the masses in 2008 and failed to score a pull even one percent of the vote in the GOP primary.  He tried once before as the Libertarian candidate and rang up a whopping one-half of one percent.

Change won’t come from rallying behind lost causes like Ron Paul or participating in staged photo ops for the industry-backed “Tea Party.” Change comes with becoming an active citizen rather than just an “activist.”

Change can’t come from painting a Hitler mustache on an image of the President. It can’t come from sending anoymous emails to elected officials or publishing angry screeds on Internet sites while hiding like a coward behind a cute “screen name.”

Change comes from standing up and taking a position and then moving to take serious, positive action on that issue.

How many of you who advocate change participate in local government? How many of you have run for the school board, the town council or the board of supervisors? How many have served on the many volunteers boards and agencies that help make a local or state government run?

Change comes from within and you can’t change from within unless you are part of the system. The governments that most affects the majority of Americans are the town and city councils, the county boards or the citizen boards that help serve those entities. They are the ones who make the final decisions on how federal money is spent in your state and whether or not you have safe bridges, pothole-free roads and a working social services system.

A real “grassroots” operation springs from actions of the locals, the people at ground zero: The many towns, counties and communities that make up this nation. Grassroots cannot be started by consultants in Washington or those with hidden agendas at the national level.

How does this change things at the national level? It can, given time, persistence and patience. A real grassroots operations grows and expands but it cannot work if it starts at the top and works down. It has to spring from the real grassroots — one person at a time.

Former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill once said “all politics is local.”

So is all meaningful change.

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48 thoughts on “Time for a change? Start at home”

  1. All right! Everybody calm down and SHUT UP! The name calling stops now. The next person who calls anyone a “troll” or hurls any other personal insult will be banned from this site. No exceptions, no warnings, no appeal.

    Griff in entitled to his opinion, just as anyone else who posts here is entitled to theirs. We disagree — nothing more, nothing less.

    If you can’t stick to the issues, stay the hell off my web site. Go to Free Republic, Democratic Underground or one of the other fringe sites if all you want to do is lob personal insults because they are not — I repeat NOT — welcome here.

    Any more personal attacks and this thread will be closed.

    • Seemingly I’m a dupe as to what a man or woman writes on “your site”. You are a far better “web psychologist” than myself. My apologies. : )

      I forget you have a back channel a to what member’s think via private exchange emails since you used griff’s first name.

      I’m the real deal Doug Thompson. I truly admire you and your CHB efforts to expose political truth whatever that might mean through the years

      I, possibly like you don’t embrace drive by posters attacking longtime participants or anyone else for that matter.

      Nice to see you are up on a late watch of your site; ie., 2am on Wednesday morn… : )

      Carl Nemo **==

    • Doug:

      I apologize if you feel what I said was out of line.

      Mr. Nemo, I have a question. Earlier in this discussion, Griff called Doug an “establishment hack.” Do you defend his name calling? You question others while defending your friend who attacks the owner of this web site. Is that not a bit disingenious?

  2. Not hardly Darlene. I “know” griff through his writings. He’s the real deal and doesn’t engage in such pedantry. If he says his butt was kicked, he means so and with humility. : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Sorry Carl but I believe you misread our friend Griff on this one. I know him too and I’d bet the pot that he was being sarcastic. Michael does not admit defeat easily.

      He’s welcome to contradict me here but I doubt he will. Doing so would be an admission of defeat 🙂 Ain’t gonna happen.

      Now let’s stop this debate that has nothing to do with the issues at hand and get back on track or I’m closing the thread.

      • Indeed. Of course, there was no winner or loser, just a good ole Mexican

        With all due respect, my original comment did touch on the main theme of your column, which was the argument that, without an informed citizenry, going to city hall or the state house armed with nothing but a sign and a dream is useless.

        But to get back to that theme, a couple of questions….

        Will filling potholes or fixing parking problems end the endless wars?
        Would a new sewer pipe or drainage ditch solve our economic crisis?
        Will squabbling over the allocation of federal bribes to your city or town reign in the federal deficit?

        While being involved at a local level is both admirable and necessary, the vast majority of our systemic problems are caused at the federal level. That’s where I choose to take the fight.

  3. Lauren Yates, Robert Akers, Sam Rogers…all three of you are “the trolls” as far as I’m concerned.. I’ve never witnessed your handles on this site in the past three plus years, but you come onboard and attack one of our most knowledgeable posters when it comes to politics and the grassroots principles of the founding of our Republic and the history of our nation.

    Griff is a far greater man for admitting to a butt-kicking then bottom feeders; ie., parasites such as yourselves joining in the feeding frenzy. : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Mr. Nemo, I am pretty sure that mr. griff was being sarcastic in his “thanks for the ass kicking.” Did that go over your head?

  4. Griff writes:

    So I would expect nothing less than you take that advice concerning Paul. Comparing him to Palin and Obama is comparing apples to oranges. They rely on false rhetoric and false populism in order to gain votes for the Republicans. Referring to us as blind zealots is inappropriate – we are any thing but blind.

    I disagree. I believe Paul is cut from the same cloth and is just another politician. We disagree. It’s as simple as that. We are not going to agree on this so this pissing contest is a waste of both of our time and my bandwidth. I suggest you move on. The focus of this column was not Ron Paul. He was mentioned as an example. You have not changed my mind. Based on the arguments you have used you will not change my mind. We’re at an impasse so leave it at that.

    • I was going to weigh in on this one again with some deep philosohical stuff, after I got home from work, but it looks like the show went out into the alley. I think Doug’s right, let this one go and wait for a fresh thread.


      • Mr. Griff you got your ass kicked every time you posted your tired talking points. My guess you are stoned on the Ron Paul Kool-Aid. Mr. Thompson answered every one of your charges with citations. You simply responded by calling him an establishment hack. Obviously you have a problem with the host of this site. Too bad. I, for one, prefer his cogent commentary to your pandering.

        • Amen Lauren. Wading through the tedious, repetitive rheoric of griff is a waste of time. Doug showed an incredible amount of patience with this troll and his attacks. I would have shown him the door early on.

      • You’re a troll, griff, a school yard child who thinks the way to win an argument is shout a lot and say nothing. Doug kicked your butt every time you foolishly tried to engage him. It is too bad he did not also kick it out the door so we can debate real issues and not be continually distracted by your Ron Paul cyberbabble.

        • Alas, poor griff.

          He’s too wrapped up in his imaginary world to realize he lost every argument. Doug destroyed him.

          What a pathetic, petulant child our griff has become. Maybe he needs a vacation or a drink.

    • Have to agree with you here Doug. If Ron Paul is so great, how is it he’s been at this nearly 30 years with next to nothing to show for it but his own continual re-election. Not that there is anyone better out there, but when push comes to shove, Ron Paul backs down to protect his Congressional seat just like Dennis Kucinich on the other side. Just another politician full of hot air.

  5. What most people don’t realize is the system is so corrupt, so dysfunctional that no one from Mayberry, USA’s input counts anymore. Only corporatist input counts; ie., the orgs with big bucks to grease the palms of their running dogs in Congress.

    I’ve tried the proactive route; ie., town hall meetings, snail mail, email, calls to my reps and even a few local groups that were organizing from local county land use planning to federal issues and the results are always the same. My Democratic Congressional district rep; ie., Brian Baird voted on the wrong side relative to the welfare of his constituents and the Republic as a whole more often than not. Supposedly he’s not running for reelection this November. No matter, the new crowd of Congressional wannabe’s are cut from the same slick, slimey cloth.

    Baird’s recent visits to the Vancouver, Wa area turned into a rout; i.e, a crowd of angry citizens confronting him on a host of issues. Like most Dems, he’s never met a federal buck that he couldn’t fritter away on some feelgood program of questionable value. The same goes for Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, both Washington State Senatorial Dems. I’m not saying that having republicans at the helm would be any better either because to pols it’s simply a game; i.e., one they always win, we the people always lose.

    So I still stand with my predictions that it will take a free falling dollar, sky-rocketing interest rates, more massive job losses along with this continuing “what me worry?” government that will precipitate blood running the streets.

    No good or reprieve is to be had for citizens of this failing to failed nation. Seemingly we’ve ended up with a government we sorely deserve…no? / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • GL…

      There is a far cry difference from being anti-government and recognizing serious flaws and esculating problems inside of government, party machines, special interests that want to own government, which by the way, are doing a damn good job of purchasing a lot of shares in our government.

      Government is necessary…just not on their terms. You know the old saying, “absolute power corrupts…yadda, yadda, yadda. Well, I think we have all of the evidence we need to see the corruption in our government. Corruption=broken.

  6. You (generically speaking) want change? Start by voting out your own representatives…love’em or not. Try voting for independents. Change the game a little bit – no, a whole bunch.

    Exercise your rights given to you in the Constitution. WE are the 4th branch of government. WE are the most important part of the check and balance system. Forgotten all of that old civics stuff?

    G.L. You say our government’s not broken. Do we live in the same country? Naahhh, probably not. I live in Texas.

  7. Mr and Ms. America says, “I want change as long as it’s not yours”. So, there ya have it in a nutshell.

    • Since we are bragging now, this Act of Congress was modeled upon a forest restoration enterprise that I developed, and is becoming the new funding method for federal forest management:

      It will save us money and generate global environmental benefits. Every $1000 of federal tax dollars invested will generate $8000 in direct economic activity and $16,000 in indirect activity, resulting in $2500 in new tax revenues (not new taxes).

      Griff, if you have some smaller government, free market ideas on how to improve this scenario, I would be more than happy to pass them on to my Congressional delegation. I’m pretty sure I can get them to listen, even though I have no political influence besides my reputation for good ideas. I won’t tell them that you want me to vote them out, however (that will remain our little secret).

      • I can’t tell if you’re being patronizing or not, but I wouldn’t pretend to know the intricacies of your business or the overall bureaucracy you deal with. I’m sure it’s quite a lot to deal with.

        But if it does what you suggest it does, then it’s a strange occurence indeed. But is that initial thousand dollars a new procurement or is it re-allocated from existing funding?

  8. Doug, excellent piece. of course I say that because if you go back through my commentaries here you will see that this is exactly what I have been saying for years, even including my current commentary.

    It isn’t about one party/person/ideology as much as it is about becoming a part of the process through hard work.

  9. GOSH DOUG you like to drag up items from 18 years ago that may or may not have been authorized by this person or that person. How about reprinting some of your booze-crazed diatribes that you apologized for last year? Let’s see some of your thoughts then and then judge you on your credibility today.

    Now, wasn’t that a terrible personal attack? My apologies. Better if I focused instead on the truth of what you say. Yes? Of course. Please do the same for current Ron Paul statements and views.


    • Yes, I am a recovering alcoholic, something I have written about on this web site a number times. Yes, I have written things I later regretted and apologized to readers of Capitol Hill Blue. I do not, however, regret or feel the need to apologize for a single word I have written in this article or thread. My drug of choice nowadays is caffeine.

      When I screw up I admit it. I see no reason to feel that I have done so here.

      • So you’re saying we should accept that you’ve made mistakes long in the past but no one else should be afforded that luxury?

        • I’m saying I recognize my mistakes and apologize for them. Has your political hero apologized? I did an search on the Web and on Nexis and failed for find one.

          Here’s what Jacob Sullum wrote about the issue for Reason magazine during the 2008 election campaign:

          In addition to anti-gay comments that pine for the days of the closet, the newsletters include gratuitous swipes at Martin Luther King, discussions of crime that emphasize the perpetrators’ skin color, and dark warnings of coming “race riots.” Taken together, these passages clearly cater to the prejudices of angry white guys who hate gay people and fear blacks.

          When Paul’s opponent in his 1996 congressional campaign pointed to some of this ugly stuff, Paul accused him of taking the quotes “out of context.” It was not until a 2001 interview with the Texas Monthly that Paul said his campaign advisers had discouraged him from telling the complete, “confusing” truth about the newsletters: that the most outrageous material had been written by someone else.

          That is Paul’s defense today, and I’m inclined to believe him. The race-baiting newsletter passages do not sound like anything else Paul has said or written in his public life. People who were familiar with the newsletters’ production confirm that they were largely ghostwritten and that Paul often did not review them prior to publication.

          Yet the fact remains that Paul earned money and built his fund-raising list with newsletters that seemed to be aimed at bigots. Given his association with “paleolibertarians” such as Lew Rockwell who sought to construct an anti-statist coalition partly by appealing to racial resentments, he owes his supporters more than accepting “moral responsibility” for inadequately overseeing the newsletters to which he lent his name.

          In a CNN interview, Paul alternated between acknowledging the legitimacy of this issue and dismissing it as old news dredged up “for political reasons.” I’m sure most of his supporters were not familiar with the content of his newsletters. I’ve been working at the country’s leading libertarian magazine on and off since 1989, and it was news to me.

          If I thought Ron Paul might be president in 2009, I’d have to admit that his newsletter negligence raises questions about his judgment and about the people he’d choose to advise him. But since the value of the Paul campaign lies in promoting the libertarian ideals of limited government, individual freedom, and tolerance, the real problem is that the newsletters contradict this message.

          When a libertarian publication continues to raise questions about the issue in 2008, it does not fall into the often-claimed rationalization of “old news.” Has Dr. Paul apologized for what happened? Or does he continue to evade the issue (as even libertarians admit)?

          • So he’s also the first politician to take bad advice from his advisers? Call Guiness, we’ve got a new record! And as the article rightly points out, this doesn’t sound like any thing Paul has written before or since.

            But to use your line of reasoning as it pertains to yourself, you say we should ignore what you’ve said in the past and focus on the present, correct? That your current views aren’t representative of your past views, correct? Or were they latent views brought to the surface via alcohol?

            So I would expect nothing less than you take that advice concerning Paul. Comparing him to Palin and Obama is comparing apples to oranges. They rely on false rhetoric and false populism in order to gain votes for the Republicans. Referring to us as blind zealots is inappropriate – we are any thing but blind.

            In fact, this article on Politico may shed some light on the vast chasm of differences between the Palin crowd and the Paul crowd at the recent tea parties.

            “Tea party activists are divided roughly into two camps, according to a new POLITICO/TargetPoint poll: one that’s libertarian-minded and largely indifferent to hot-button values issues and another that’s culturally conservative and equally concerned about social and fiscal issues.”

            “In general, those who turned out for the April 15 event tended to be less culturally conservative than national Republicans.”

            “Specifically, 51 percent of tea party activists say “government should not promote any particular set of values,” while 46 percent said “government should promote traditional family values in our society.” Compare this to national Gallup Polls, which recently found 67 percent of self-identified Republicans think government should promote such values.”

  10. Griff:

    Your basic premise is wrong.

    Government is not broken. Bent, certainly, but not broken. A broken government is one like Somalia’s where there is no government. The fact that you do not like the government is not sufficient proof that it is broken.

    All you are offering is empty rhetoric, the same old spouting over and over again that we need to destroy the village in order to save it, and then saying truly helpful stuff like:

    “Washington doesn’t work, no one knows how to fix it but myself, but I’m not going to reveal the secret.”

    All you and your ilk want to do is tear down, not to build. You want a revolution. And there is going to be a revolution, but it will be a revolution in which the system is healed by working together, not calling for the leaders to go up against the wall.

    There is no place for that sort of thing in our country. If you cannot be helpful stay the hell out of the way and let builders do the job rather than the destroyers.

    If you have any love for your country you need to be positive and do positive things.

    • Yeah right, I’m the one tearing down? Take off the blinders, man. Empty rhetoric? Stick around a while. It’s Doug’s rhetoric that’s empty.

      Working together? You’re kidding, right? How about working together to audit the Fed? 331 cosponsors in the House (widespread bipartisan support) and it languishes. Is that not an example of working together? Would that be a positive step for America? Real, effective legislation that would do real good is killed because that’s not what this government is all about.

      Your last line absolutely slays me. Please, save the feel-good kumbaya crap for the wide-eyed fawns and bleeding-heart dreamers. That’s why we are where we are. All the positive thinking in the world won’t make any thing any different.

      I’m afraid asking nicely doesn’t seem to work.

      • What will auditing the Federal Reserve do for this country? How will it help with things like immigration issues, health reform, the war on terror? How will replacing paper money with gold and silver, as your idol Ron Paul wants to do, make political leaders work together to repair the infastructure that has been neglected by the Republicans for so long? How will removing all the social programs help the elderly, and the infirmed, as Ron Paul wishes to do? How will abolishing the IRS and all taxes benefit this country? Please explain it, as best as you can. We are not living in the early 1800s as Ron Paul dreams of…

        • Auditing the Fed is merely an example of what grassroots activism based on solid economic fundamentals and understanding by the People can accomplish. You know, that fabled informed decision-making thing we always talk about but don’t really believe.

          Of course, auditing the Fed won’t solve any of these other problems you mention, but I never suggested it would. There are other solutions outside of “mainstream” (read: government-sanctioned) thinking for these other problems, but your obvious misunderstanding of and over-simplified interpretation of these other policy positions tells me I’d be wasting my time.

          I know we want every thing to be fixed immediately, but these problems didn’t spring up overnight, nor will they be straightened out overninght. But hey, if you’re at least serious about understanding these positions before you dismiss them out-of-hand as being archaic and unachievable, check out the following sites…

          Campaign for Liberty

          Ludwig vonMises Institute

          Perhaps some other time we can talk of some of these other thing, but as it stands now, I have to go to work.

  11. You just love to bash Ron Paul, don’t you Doug? That goes to show how little you know of his supporters or his politics. This isn’t about the man, but the philosophy. It’s not about personality but ideas. It’s about reigning in an out of control federal government, out of control taxation, and out of control foreign policy. It’s about sound money and sound economics, not the bipartisan Keynesian rape-room central planning disaster we’ve been saddled with for nearly a hundred years. It’s about the long-forgotten ideals of liberty and self-determination.

    It’s about educating people about the realities of the system, so they can go forth and spread those ideas; so when we get to city hall, we have an argument based on reality, not the psuedo-fantasy alternate universe that most of the people believe to be real.

    Ron Paul happens to be the only politician in Washington that exemplifies these ideals, but I guess that doesn’t sound good to you, or any one else that thinks continuously feeding the gluttonous beast of government will miraculously make it less hungry.

    You’ve been pretty fair in your calling out both sides over the years, but you offer nothing in terms of information to go on. You suggest we go local, but you yourself stand for nothing. What do we do when we get to city hall, if armed with nothing? You can be against any thing you’d like, but without some thing better, all the complaining in the world won’t change any thing.

    Say what you like about Paul and his supporters, but the reason he’s gone from obscurity to the national stage is because he’s been consistent – and consistently right. While yourself and the rest of the media focus on personalities, we’ll continue to advance real ideas and real arguments that support our positions.

    • Consistently right? Hmmm.

      From the October 1992 Ron Paul Newsletter:

      Carjacking hip-hop thing to do among the urban black youth who play unsuspecting whites like pianos.

      From the same issue:

      I frankly don’t know what to make of such advice, but even in my little town of Lake Jackson, Texas, I’ve urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense. For the animals are coming.

      “Animals?” I wonder who he is talking about?

      Of course, Paul now claims he never wrote any of that stuff and never read the newsletter that bore his name for 20 years. Some say Lew Rockwell wrote it. Others claim it was a black author. I find it hard to believe that a man who is known as “hands on” on the Hill didn’t know what was in his own newsletters.

      In January of this year, in an interview with CNN, Paul said Martin Luther King was one of his “heroes.”

      In June 1992, he said in his newsletter that King was a “pro-Communist philanderer.” In that same issue, the newsletter said:

      (In the LA riots) order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.

      If Paul is “consistently right” as you claim then he must be consistently racist. If he has since changed his views on race, then he is anything but a “consistent.”

      Which is it Griff? You can’t have it both ways.

      You’re still bringing a knife to a gunfight. You won’t win. 🙂

      • Blah blah blah. The same tune over and over again. And your knife to a gunfight analogy is getting quite old. Can you come up with any thing within the last twenty years or so at least?

        As if no one knows any thing but the great Doug Thompson, who of course was once an establishment hack himself – and apparently still is. I can go out and find select distasteful quotes from just about any one on the Hill. Big deal.

        What of economic policy? Foreign policy? Immigration policy? Domestic policy? Where might the infallible Doug Thompson stand on those issues, or are you too afraid to weigh in on such complex issues? You call every one else kooky while you safely hide behind your own wall of ambiguous non-commitment.

        Washington doesn’t work, no one knows how to fix it but myself, but I’m not going to reveal the secret. Ha. Gunfight indeed.

        • Can you come up with any thing within the last twenty years or so at least?

          Let’s see. I quoted from 1992 newsletters. That’s 18 years ago or within the last 20 for those who are educated in basic math.

          Jesus Griff, in your blind zealotry to the holy grail of Dr. Paul have you forgotten how to count?

          If you want to discuss Ron Paul, go to ReaderRant and start a new thread on him. Your blindness on that subject is clear to those of us who can see. His was simply one of three politicians mentioned in the piece, nothing more or nothing less. Your arguments are nothing more than a diversion from the real topic at hand.

          I’ve been writing columns and news articles about the issues you mention for decades. I’ve worked in the political system for several years as well, run two Congressional offices and worked a number of Congressional,. Senate and Presidential campaigns. I also ran the largest political action committee in the country for five years.

          What have you done? If you are so proud of your activism why do you hide behind a screen name? In a head-to-head fight on issues or politics or in getting in there and getting my hands dirty, I feel I can trump you any day of the week. Talk is cheap and I believe you’re bankrupt when it comes to this debate.

          • Oh gee Doug, crucify me for rounding up. Duh, he has to be dumb – he said twenty when it’s really eighteen! Ha ha ha. And I’ve revealed my name before, so that equally lame and tiresome ad hominem cop-out doesn’t fly. You want my home address too? Social security number? You gonna come to my house and beat me up Doug? If so, remind me to grab my camcorder – I’ll want to watch it over and over again.

            Any one that dares question you is hiding behind a screen name. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re on the internet. That’s how it’s done. But you’ve learned the craft well, I’ll give you that.

            You make me laugh with your tough guy bullshit. Yeah, you worked tirelessly for the Republicans, so I guess we owe you a debt of gratitude for that, yes? An errand boy for the establishment.

            What have I done? Well for starters I’ve never worked for this thieving government. In fact, I’m just a regular joe that’s sick to death of being raked over the coals by this government. But I guess that doesn’t put me on the same level as some one that suckled at the federal teat for so many years and made a good living at my expense.

            As far as being bankrupt in this debate, I was unaware that we were even engaged in one. But as soon as you’d like to start a real one based on real issues…well, I’ll be looking forward to that famous ass-kicking.

            In the meantime, enjoy this video of Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center advocating states rights and local involvement. I guess you’re a looney tea-bagging racist homophobe now too.

    • How, exactly, did a call for local participation in government transform into a Ron Paul for Exalted Leader response?

      The first thing a person learns (with any luck) upon becoming functionally engaged in governance, is that every individual has a native one in six billion fraction of influence over the nation. For any engineers out there, that’s the same as zero. That fraction increases dramatically with the amount of serious and sincere work and effort that any one might choose to invest in shaping one’s neighborhood and community, an activity sometimes known as government. It is a painfully slow and personally costly process, one that not many folks will stick with.

      Contrary to the Ranter impulse, it is not useful (no matter how much fun it is) to attend public meetings, where many folks who have dedicated a significant portion of their time to addressing social issues (a fact that makes them likely “socialists”), only to shout “Facists!” and Nazis!” (as our local TEA partiers have done) in counter-productive disruption of true participatory “small” government. If you really believe in smaller government, then you must participate in it. Shouting from the laz-e-boy doesn’t cut it, you ultimately have to work respectfully with your neighbors.

      Ron Paul, even if he was perfect, can’t do it for you. I think that’s the point of the column.

      Gordon West

      • And I would ask again – what good does it do to participate if you have no knowledge of either the problem or the solution? Just keep swapping parties until one of them figures it out? Yeah, that’s been working out just fine.

        Maybe that’s why they devolve into shouting matches instead of intelligent debates – because most people have no idea what they’re doing or saying. And heaven forbid some one suggests changing these policies based on actual study of the problem instead of blind idolatry. That’s just crazy.

        • What good does it do to not participate? Maybe the issue is the definition of participation? To restate what I said above, participation by yelling (at the computer screen, the TV, at town hall meetings) yields the same results as zero participation.

          Despair is usually a result of wanting something that you can’t have. I find that adjusting my wants gets better results than indulging in feeling helpless does (is that some sort of personal political compromise?). You can have influence at the local level and it’s possible to learn not to shout at people that you don’t agree with (or simply don’t understand), by allowing that maybe they aren’t completely stupid. Maybe the other person will allow the same about you. Maybe you both learn something…

          Did you mean blind idolatry, or blind ideology? A major problem with ideologies is that they are not debatable.

          • And that would be assuming that I’m not involved locally, of course. You can be against some thing all you’d like, but standing for some thing is another story entirely. Today, every one knows that this government is broken, but real, fundamental change is too scary to handle.

            What I see a lot of these days is every one complaining about this government, but not much in the way of solutions. In fact, for decades our solution seems to be to try the other party next time around in an endless cycle of betrayal while the Political Class gains more power and the People get poorer.

            I don’t shout either. Have no need to, as the first one to start shouting has already lost the debate.

            Maybe it’s time for all the old-timers to take up shuffleboard or crochet. Hit the golf course or some thing. You’ve spent your entire lives supporting, voting for, and enabling this criminal enterprise in Washington, and still you claim to be the experts we should all listen to, like some pompous oracles from on high, ignorant of your own roles in creating these problems.

            Well here’s a news flash for you…The young people know it’s a fraud, and all the propaganda and brow-beating won’t change that fact.

  12. Bravo, Doug.

    Two more things we need: an honest media (and CHB is a help!), and campaign finance reform (so you can run for office without being rich, or having rich backers).

    -Nevada Ned

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