The Hard Road

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
— John F. Kennedy

All empires eventually fall. The trick is to put off the end for as long as possible and to make the years in between the start and the finish the best they can be. Bumps and ruts in the road during these in-between years are standard fare. We get ourselves in trouble, make mistakes, and, at times, bumble along. If we can identify our mistakes, learn from them and generally not repeat them, our republic has a better chance of a long and prosperous existence.

America is in the middle of one of those bump-and-rut situations right now, and it’s going to take a concerted effort to get our country back on the road to liberty and prosperity. Instead, we are sitting mesmerized in front of our iPhones and TVs, sending our hard-earned money to political grifters and expecting someone to come along to save us. Pretending the last five years didn’t happen and waiting for the 2022 midterms to vote our way back to sanity is in itself the definition of insanity. The hard truth is that no one is coming to save us.

In 1979, when almost everything in America seemed broken, Jimmy Carter famously said we were suffering from a “crisis of confidence” in an address commentators soon dubbed “the malaise speech.” For our time, maybe the better description would be we’re in the middle of a national shit sandwich. On one hand, it’s obvious that political “business as usual” is over. At the federal level, voting and elected representation are now comically low-return mechanisms for influencing the actions of government. On the other hand, the seppuku-like overreaction to the January 6 Capitol clown show has cowed conservatives into abandoning the remaining avenues of physical protest and dissent against the Left’s authoritarian aspirations. 

So, what’s left? George Will-style principled debate? How does that debate exist within the framework of our current cancel culture? If traditional America wants to be anything other than the Left’s token opposition, it needs to push away from the political dinner table and say “No . . . no more of this shit sandwich for me, Mom.”

Make It Rhyme

The current regime in D.C. has some issues, to put it mildly, and its handlers are busy working to shore up its power. Creating a faux internal enemy with the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, H.R. 1 election rigging, gun control, lawless immigration, Puerto Rico and D.C. statehood initiatives and a rash of executive orders are all part of a plan to give the Left unassailable political dominance and implement permanent one-party control. The regime is moving fast, aware that traditional America is disorganized. They realize that this sleeping giant will eventually awake, and they are racing to put in place the cage to contain it before it does.

History doesn’t always repeat itself, but you can make it rhyme if you try. In 2010, the Tea Party grassroots movement halted the Obama Administration’s overt agenda to radically transform America. It wasn’t the GOP establishment, the RNC leadership, or the politicians who made the Tea Party the destroyer of utopian fantasies—it was the people. More specifically, it was the little people—the grassroots. The working class, the independent-minded conservatives, and the rowdy not-in-my-house Americans took back the House of Representatives and staved off the Democrats’ planned transformation of America in a 2010 version of the spectacle we are seeing today. We need to take the lessons learned from that grassroots Tea Party effort and make them rhyme in the present.

Black-pilled voices of doom say that “voting is the suggestion box of slaves.” This might not be exactly true—yet. But voting can no longer be the end all be all of the citizen’s methods of managing their governance. 

If the integrity of the vote is threatened by H.R. 1 and the 2020 election template, and if our elected representatives are not representing us, how do we, the people, reassert control of our country? 

The answer is by employing citizen actions—political actions—as part of a grassroots movement that eschews old-school GOP street theater. The grassroots have a unique authority to do this because they alone consist of the people whose consent forms the legitimacy of government.

Building the Movement

Political actions are the people’s way of making their voices heard when couch-based slacktivisim, Twitter, and voting don’t work. Political actions run the gamut of activities, including organized protests, marches, general strikes, information operations, civil disobedience, election organizing, and more.

These are not social events where we don our red hats, hang out and party with friends, and take selfies to post on social media. Political actions should be serious, planned, and controlled events. Think of Poland’s Solidarity movement or Martin Luther King Jr.’s marches during the civil rights era, not Trump rallies or spring break, D.C.-style. When the people engage in political actions in the streets, it is an instrument of their struggle for freedom and the future of the republic. When a movement is operating in a non-permissive environment with an active threat from the nation’s security services, it needs to employ reasonable digital countermeasures, tactical maturity, and discipline.

Successful political action starts at the grassroots. Local grassroots organizing lays the foundation for the necessary recruiting, training, education, and fundraising that allows for effective and disciplined actions.

Likewise, local grassroots movements become the building blocks for larger regional- and national-level political movements—start local to go national. Organizing at the local level has added benefit as an alternative to overreliance on social media and other types of electronic communications platforms—nearly all of which are controlled by the Left and are monitored by the national security apparatus—and it provides an out-of-band mechanism to plan and conduct events.

The key to victory with political actions is to employ them all together in a multi-domain effort. In almost every Chuck Norris martial arts movie, Norris bravely takes on a pack of 10-15 super bad guys . . . one at a time. Why? Why don’t the bad guys all rush him at once and give Chuck the beatdown of his life? Some questions will forever go unanswered, but here in the world of political resistance, the rule is that multi-domain actions should take place concurrently in order to create a critical bow-wave that 1) disrupts the opposition leadership’s decision cycle and 2) neutralizes his activities. Political actions need to be all the time and everywhere. They need to capture the people’s voice, their demands, and their inherent power. 

Influencing the policies of state and local governments is now more vital than ever. To disrupt the Left’s march to an authoritarian oligarchy, traditional America, via their grassroots political movements, should leverage the 10th Amendment and advocate a process called nullification

Nullification derives from the fact that the federal government is limited to only the powers expressly granted to it by the Constitution, and all other powers are retained by the various states. Through the 10th Amendment, the sovereign people explicitly grant the states the status of sovereign political entities within a federalist compact by granting them specific powers. When the federal government exceeds those powers granted to it by the sovereign people in the Constitution, or when it infringes on the sovereignty of the states through laws or executive actions that are neither necessary nor proper, the states have the right to use nullification to protect their citizens’ interests. In our situation, consider nullification a defensive shield that buys America the time and space it needs to get the republic back in functioning order.

Think about it for a moment. We have the capability to do all these things. We don’t need a leader in Washington to tell us what to do. We don’t need permission from a political party. We can make our voices heard and our demands heeded merely by organizing, creating a unified agenda, and taking it to the streets.

Whither the White Knight—Long Live the Republic

America in 2021 is a very different country than it was even five years ago. It seems to have lost its defiance and the will to do what it takes to assert a government by the people, and for the people. To save the republic, its citizens are going to have to do the work. We will not win back our freedom by passively awaiting the arrival of a white knight. We need effective grassroots organizations to employ the political actions that will make our voices heard, and chart a future where we can again speak freely, associate with whomever we choose, and pursue the once-vaunted American dream. 

Americans have a history here. We’ve done this before. We can do it again. If we are going to get back to a free republic we are going to have to travel the hard road.  It may seem trite to say “freedom isn’t free,” but it’s true—and now is the time to make the next payment on the future of our republic.

About Max Morton

Max Morton is a retired U.S. Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, former CIA paramilitary operations officer, and a veteran of multiple armed conflicts, revolutions, and contingency operations.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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