WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?


CONGRESS ACTION: March 14, 1999
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When the Bolsheviks staged their revolution in Russia in 1917, it was a revolution of the people against an oppressive Czar who had dragged their country, poorly equipped, barely trained, and incompetently led, into a World War in which millions of them had been slaughtered. The people rejoiced. It was the dawning of a new age in which the people ran their country and their own lives. There were, of course, the skeptics, the naysayers, and the dark mutterings of those who saw the writing on the wall. They were less enthusiastic about the ascension of Lenin, less sanguine about the ideology of Karl Marx. Many alarm bells sounded, but few listened. Those who were the targets of the proletariat class revolution, the intellectuals and the owners and those with property, were directly threatened by the class warriors, and when they were able, they fled. By any means possible they fled Russia, they fled to Europe, and the fortunate few, ultimately, fled to America, the shining land of Freedom over the seas. In Russia, the masses had triumphed over the hated bourgeoisie. But their glory was short-lived. The "people's" victory quickly turned into slave labor camps, gulags, and government induced starvation of millions to accomplish collectivization. Communism, the seductive ideology of lies and class envy, became what it always must, a totalitarian nightmare which enslaved the people of Russia for seven decades.

When the Nazis first became a presence in Germany, the country was wracked by dissension and poverty. The nation staggered under the burden of the hated Versailles Treaty and the worldwide Great Depression. Communists and nationalists clashed violently in the streets, the government of the Weimar Republic was weak and powerless to stop the tumult or save the economy, and chaos reigned. People saw their life savings wiped out virtually overnight, as skyrocketing inflation saw the middle class pushing wheelbarrows full of almost worthless Deutchmarks to buy the meager necessities of life. Amidst the chaos there rose up history's quintessential demagogue. He would heal the nation, he would end the chaos, he would take care of the people, he felt their pain and he would make them great again. All he asked in return was total loyalty. Perilous times demanded stern measures, and the old structures and old institutions were swept away. The Cult of Personality overwhelmed the Rule of Law. The people rejoiced, their savior was at hand. There were, of course, the skeptics, the naysayers, and the dark mutterings of those who saw the writing on the wall. They were less enthusiastic about the ascension of Adolph Hitler, less sanguine about the ideology of Nazism, which placed the needs of the State above the liberty of the people. Those who were the targets of the demagogues, when they were able, fled. By any means possible they fled Germany, they fled to other parts of Europe, and the fortunate few, ultimately, fled to America, the shining land of Freedom over the seas. Soon the Constitution of the Weimar Republic was replaced by the doctrines of National Socialism. The power of the State grew unbridled, enemies were rounded up, the dreaded knock on the door in the dead of night presaged the final trip to the concentration camps. But those who were left put aside their foreboding and enjoyed the good times. Full employment was at hand and the economy boomed. Before anyone knew it, the State machinery of bureaucrats and secret police had taken over, the inflated ego of the Ultimate Leader infected everyone, and world domination seemed within their grasp. Their empire would last a thousand years, but a mere twelve years later there was total collapse, ruin, desolation, starvation, and millions dead.

The people living in the sunny Caribbean island of Cuba were brutally oppressed by the military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. After a guerrilla struggle against overwhelming odds, the popular revolutionary leader Fidel Castro rallied the people to himself and overthrew the hated Batista regime, naming himself premier and later, Head of State. Castro initially received the support of businessmen and landowners who opposed Batista's corrupt regime, and the United States welcomed the promise of a new democratic leadership in Cuba. Within months of his ascension to power, however, the skeptics and the naysayers saw the writing on the wall, as Castro established military tribunals to judge his political opponents, throwing hundreds in prison. The peasants who held out hope for a return to freedom in Cuba watched as Castro seized industries and large land holdings, but then grew dismayed as he converted the land into collectivized state farms on the Soviet model. Those who were the immediate targets of the revolution, when they were able, fled. Soon, many more fled, seeking any means to escape the prison camps, the poverty, and the collectivized starvation. By any means possible they fled Cuba, and a fortunate few made it to America, the shining land of Freedom just ninety miles across the sea. After 40 years of Castro's commitment to Marxist-Leninism, Cuba remains a poverty-stricken island prison.

From Russia, from Germany, from Cuba, from around the world, enslaved people fled their oppression and sought refuge in the greatest bastion of liberty in the world, America. Liberty. For even the slightest chance to attain that ideal, oppressed refugees risked their lives, and many lost their lives attempting to attain the freedom they sought, but despite the often overwhelming odds, some did make it.

To secure the blessings of Liberty, the founders of this nation risked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred Honor. Throughout history, men have faced hopeless odds in battle, and have accepted valiant defeat and the prospect of certain death in defense of their liberty, rather than surrender their ideals: from the pass at Thermopylae, where a handful of Spartans stood against the million-man armies of Xerxes who sought to enslave them; to the Alamo in 1836, to Pickett's doomed charge up Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg in 1863; from the refusal of the surrounded and outnumbered Lost Battalion to surrender in the Argonne Forest in 1918; to the like refusal of General McAuliffe to surrender Bastogne in 1944; from Wake Island in 1942, to the defense of Pusan in 1950. Some apparently hopeless battles were won after all, through tenacious determination, fortuitous events, or just plain luck. Some battles were lost, but the war was won because of precious time paid for in blood. And sometimes the loss was total: Pickett's men were slaughtered at Cemetery Ridge, Lee withdrew from Gettysburg, and the Confederacy lost the Civil War; but the ideals of freedom for which they fought -- the idea of a State's right to stand up to the federal leviathan -- eventually came to be seen as a noble and worthwhile effort.

Throughout history Liberty was never won, freedom was never preserved, ideals were never vindicated, by surrender. The present struggle for the soul of our nation, for our Constitution, and for the supremacy of the Rule of Law in our nation, has been likened to a war, it is called a Culture War. This Culture War is every bit as destructive, of our institutions if not of human lives, as a war of bombs and bullets. The front lines of this war are our schools, our homes, and our community institutions. The casualties thus far have been truth, duty, honor, tradition, and freedom. That war, like any other, will not be won by surrender, no matter how bleak the outlook at present.

During World War One, for four days in October, 1918, a battalion of about 550 men, without food, withstood constant machine gun, rifle, trench mortar and grenade fire, and, according to a subsequent report dated April 15, 1919, "with undaunted spirit and magnificent courage, successfully met and repulsed daily violent attacks by the enemy." By the end of the four day battle, the battalion had sustained a casualty rate exceeding 60%, with nearly 20% of the force having been killed. The American Expeditionary Force commendation report for what came to be called the Lost Battalion simply stated, "On the fourth day a written proposition to surrender received from the Germans was treated with the contempt which it deserved."

During World War Two, for 6 days in December, 1944, American Army units were surrounded by superior German forces in the town of Bastogne during what came to be called the Battle of the Bulge. On the second day of the siege, American General McAuliffe, commanding the besieged forces, was presented with a German demand for surrender. McAuliffe's laconic reply was simple and to the point: "Nuts!" By the time Bastogne was relieved, the defending forces had sustained a casualty rate exceeding 25%.

Paul M. Weyrich, head of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation, by open letter dated February 16, 1999, wrote: "...victory for them [those who continue to wage the war for truth], and us, may no longer be possible. If that is the case, we must look to other means to survive." Weyrich is ready to throw in the towel, to surrender. He suggests that conservatives withdraw from politics, and allow the totalitarian forces of the left to reign supreme in our society. But despite his gloom, all is not lost, as Weyrich himself acknowledges: "Consequently we are now going to have to examine parallel institutions with which we can win the culture war. The home school movement comes to mind." And indeed, education is both the cause and the cure for the sickness which infects our culture. Generations of children have been educated in ignorance of our Constitution, and of the fundamental requirements for the sustenance of Freedom. That which our Founders understood in their hearts and their souls is no longer common wisdom among modern Americans.

Bill Clinton proposes myriad new ways to spend your money, which will naturally require you to slave away an ever increasing percentage of your life in servitude to the almighty State. He demands the right to send your children around the world to sacrifice their lives in service to global "peacekeeping", and suggests that if your elected representatives even debate his wisdom in doing so, they risk jeopardizing his peace efforts. He uses our military as his own personal get out of jail free card, attacking other nations every time another one of his scandals becomes public; while allowing our enemies to obtain the means to destroy us for the sake of his own political survival. Those who were happy that the Cold War with the Soviet Union had ended can now thank Bill Clinton for setting the stage for a new Cold War with communist China. Al Gore proposes federal bureaucrats to micromanage every aspect of your life, to dictate how you work and where you work and how you will get there, and what sort of community in which you will live. Bill Clinton want's to hire your child's classroom teacher, and Hillary Clinton wants to tell you exactly how many children you shall be permitted to have, and supervise how you will be allowed to raise them. The extremists in the House Progressive Caucus strive to implement the vision of their allies, the Democratic Socialists of America, to transform our Constitutional Republic into a socialist gulag.

Throughout the world, oppressed peoples have looked to America as their salvation; when tyranny swept their own nations, they were willing to sacrifice everything to come here, for Freedom. We have been the last bastion of Freedom for so many people, for so many generations. If we allow Freedom to wither here, if we allow our nation to succumb to the forces of totalitarian socialism, to where shall we flee? Where do we go from here?

"The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just." -- Abraham Lincoln


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