Opinion By Jeff Utsch
In my last article I defined the Establishment as follows: Anyone (elected officers at all levels and private citizens) who is happy with or benefits from the status quo and the power structure as is now constituted in this country or within their Party more than they value Freedom and the Proper Limited Role of Government.
Members of the Establishment are resistant to change either from a selfish position or they think that standing on principle alone is foolish and naive. Playing the game and practical solutions (at least in their minds this is what they call it) are the only way to win. Winning, of course, is placed above principle and they think winning is all that matters. “At least we are in charge now!”
Their definition of winning, however, certainly is not mine. For them it is just staying in power and benefitting from perks that come with the position. Therefore, they stay in what I call the never ending “Do Loop of Justification”. The “do loop of justification” in the political arena is as follows:
• I’m tired of the status quo, angry about it and want to run for office to make change
• To make change I need to be in power
• To be in power I need to play the game
• To play the game I need to be pragmatic or practical in my approach (corrupted by the system?)
• To be pragmatic or practical I need to compromise my principles at times
• When compromising my principles I lose some credibility and the ability to make real change
• When I lose credibility and the ability to make real change I get angry and need to run for office to make change
Ultimately they have power and no influence or real moral authority. Power without influence is not power at all. Now, I know this does not apply to everyone in office but it does apply to all too many.
If staying in power or getting (or protecting) your piece of the pie becomes more important than making the changes we all know needs to be made, you are part of the establishment.
Yes, we need leaders who compromise and work with all sides of the aisle. All too often, however, the compromises made are from a lack of courage to tackle the difficult problems, misplaced priorities or the fear of standing out and becoming a target.
Those who do possess a principled, selfless courage remind others what they should be doing and are like prophets of old who were silenced because of the painful truths they told. They become the targets of the establishment and are shunned and ridiculed as outside the mainstream (another word for Establishment) and as extremists.
Their “mainstream” is deconstructing our nation one founding principle at a time. Doing nothing or “going along to get along” is as bad as actively fighting against Freedom and Constitutional Government. We are losing our Federal Republic and bold changes need to be made.
Time is running out and as every season has its purpose the season of this Establishment has to pass. Words mean something. In some cases, sadly, this expanded definition of Establishment will include us.
Now, a new Establishment must arise. One where, as Lincoln put it, “every American, every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of this county (the Constitution); and never to tolerate their violation by others…let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.”
It is time for some soul searching. It is time that we become completely willing to stand on Constitutional principles even if it is not in our best interest. We must demand of ourselves and our leaders that we follow Lincoln’s admonition above. “Do what is right let the consequence follow” needs to become the standard of today. Don’t we ask as much of our children?
Our Nation’s Founders looked to the ideal (even if they fell short at times their ideals inspired a planet). Its time we did as well.
Why not a new awakening now?