El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hold Your Nose and Vote!

By Bob Bauman JD, Offshore and Asset Protection Editor

I know a thing or two about elections. As many of you know, I served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay district a while back.

During my campaign, a Harford County newspaper editor, who didn’t like either candidate, concluded that I was the least harmful and titled his reluctant endorsement as, “Hold Your Nose and Vote!”
I believe that during this disappointing election year, this should be the national motto for American voters.

You will also notice the word, “vote” - which separates me from some of my Sovereign Society colleagues, who advocate not voting at all. That was also the libertarian argument of our founder, the late Bob Kephart, and of our late chairman, Jack Pugsley, and I debated the point with both of them. They believed that voting made no difference - nothing changes and voting endorses a failed system.

Well, I believe otherwise.
A Destructive Government

During the mid-19th century, Frederick Douglass, a fellow Talbot County Marylander and leader of the abolitionist movement, wrote: “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them.”

It seems that for many years both major U.S. political parties have been vying with each other to test Douglass’s theory - and the great mass of Americans seem willing to submit to almost any indignity at the clumsy hands of our government.

We often hear by way of conventional wisdom that there is not enough “bipartisanship” in our politics. But, as columnist Glen Greenwald points out, the opposite is true. Many of the most damaging acts inflicted on Americans by Washington’s political elites were enacted on a fully bipartisan basis.

One of the most destructive political acts of this generation, the invasion of Iraq, was fully bipartisan, as were most of the post-9/11 civil liberties abuses and other Bush-era initiatives that President Obama has adopted and expanded, including the onerous PATRIOT Act.

In 1757, Edmund Burke, the founder of the current-ruling British Conservative Party, wrote: “No passion so effectively robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Fear as a decisive factor in political and national life is nothing new in history.

President George W. Bush made fear his trademark. He constantly used fear to get his legislative way, describing dire threats that were (and still are) amorphous, shadowy and never-ending - for example, terrorism.

Bush, Obama and other politicians employ fear as a controlling and guiding principle to achieve dubious ends. Offering themselves as protectors, they tout their nostrums against alleged foreign invasions, barbaric tribes, suspect minorities and that wealthy “one percent” that fails to pay their “fair share.”

The solution is always more and greater taxes, increased spending and more abject surrender of our freedoms.

Gone is the Constitutional requirement that laws must relate to legitimate government interests and may not result in unfair or arbitrary treatment of any individual. Impartial judges are replaced by faceless bureaucrats, incompetent TSA friskers and anti-terror police.

Under Republican and Democrat administrations, the government engages in virtually unchecked surveillance, and no one is safe from trumped-up charges based on secret surveillances of internet use, phone calls, emails and other communications.

In the book, In the Name of Justice, published by the Cato Institute, U.S. Judge Alex Kozinski suggests that we are all federal criminals - just not yet indicted.

The Sovereign Society is of course concerned with unjustified intrusions by government, such as FATCA - the invasion into offshore financial activity, as well as the destruction of personal and financial privacy.
Pogo Says it Best

In 1948, the late cartoonist Walt Kelley created Pogo, a sensible, sensitive possum as the lead character of his long-running daily comic strip bearing the same name. Syndicated in hundreds of U.S. newspapers, the strip often engaged in social and political satire.

Pogo gained such a cult following that in 1956, a boom developed when the possum mused about whether to run for U.S. president (I still have my "I Go Pogo" button that bears his furry likeness).

Perhaps the most quoted line ever to come from a comic strip came from the disgusted possum as he surveyed an environmental mess made by his fellow swamp denizens. He said:“We have met the enemy and he is us.”

That pithy saying gained such currency in so many situations that Kelley was forced to explain the meaning, “I attempted to explain each individual is wholly involved in the democratic process, work at it or no. The results of the process fall on the head of the public, and he who is recalcitrant or procrastinates in raising his voice can blame no one but himself.”

Kelley was correct. Even if we don't participate in voting, we get the government that the majority of those who care enough to register and vote impose on the rest of us.
Wake Up America!

Unfortunately, too many Americans stand mute as freedoms die around them. This feeble public awareness needs to be converted into a true understanding of events — and into decisive action for true change and real hope.

My fellow Marylander, the late H.L. Mencken, once described democracy as “the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

I can predict with absolute certainty that unless Americans wake up, we’re all going to get it “good and hard” and it won't be pleasant. It already isn’t.

Wake up America - and vote!
Faithfully yours,

Bob Bauman

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