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An Open Letter to the Republican Majority: Why the Right Mistrusts You

American Policy Center
1998 Tom DeWeese

In the Spring of 1970 I found myself standing in front of the ROTC building on the Ohio State University campus. Inside, graduation exercises were taking place. Also, just inside the front door, was a group of grim-looking police officers, dressed in full riot gear.

Outside with me, wearing no such equipment, was a rag-tag band of about one hundred students. Most, like me, were members of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). Others were members of the College Republicans along with an assortment of fraternity brothers from around campus. We were spread out in a thin line, running the length of the long glass front of the ROTC building.

We were there because the violent Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) had vowed to disrupt and stop the ROTC graduation exercises. My colleagues and I had vowed they would never get inside.

And so there we stood, barehanded, as the SDS, led by the soon-to-be Weatherman terrorist, Bernadine Dohrn, came over the hill, several hundred strong, Viet Cong flag flying. They charged, throwing rocks, bottles and eggs. Hand-to-hand combat ensued. We drove them back. The cops never had to get into the battle.

That's how I spent my early days in the political arena; locked in a titanic battle against those who sought to destroy the very core of the nation I loved.

They were called radicals, revolutionaries, the counter culture, the underground or, sometimes, just the movement.

They advocated rebellion, resistance and revolution against the foundations of America. They opposed free enterprise, blaming technology for oppressing the poor. They demanded universal health and child care, women's liberation and confiscation of wealth - for the common good. They denounced private property, national defense and morality. They denounced national boundaries, calling for a world-wide "class struggle."

They used every means possible, from rhetoric to violence, to force their vision of society onto the rest of us. They demonstrated, marched, rioted, burned buildings, organized strikes, sit-ins and school evacuations to disrupt our daily routines.

They were the SDS, the Black Panthers, the Yippies, the Young Lords and the Weathermen. And they sought to change America into the vision of Mao and Che.

I fought for what was called the "establishment." I believed in what our Founding Fathers had created. I believed government's job was to remain as small and unobtrusive as possible while protecting our liberties, as outlined in the Constitution.

I believed that Americans had the right to be free to carry out commerce as they saw fit, without intrusion or regulation from the government - so long as they did not infringe upon those same rights of others.

I believed that an individual's private property was his to use, develop, enjoy and protect in any manner he chose - without government intervention -and it was the duty of the government to uphold that right.

I believed that "volunteerism" was a personal choice, not (as is now the case) a "mandatory" requirement for high school graduation.

I believed that only individuals, not groups, had rights - and that only individuals created human progress. I believed in absolutes and that certain things were indisputable, such as 2 plus 2 equals 4.

I believed that American science and technology worked hand in hand to create the greatest standard of living the world had ever known. I loved the United States of America because it was the only nation on Earth that was founded on the idea that individuals had the right to "pursue happiness."

And I spoke out against the tyranny being proposed by the street thugs in their drive to destroy my beloved nation. I supported my government, my elected officials and my nation's institutions. Even in disagreement, I treated them with respect.

I spoke before Kiwanis dinners and Optimist Club lunches. I spoke at Fourth-of-July picnics and Flag Day rallies. I appeared on radio and television as the sane youth who was standing up to the insanity that was engulfing our nation. I was received with standing ovations and awarded with plaques for my "Americanism." I was told again and again that I (and those youths like me) represented the promise for America's future.

That was thirty years ago. Times have changed. The nation has changed. The paradigm has swung. Today, as I continue to take exactly the same positions as thirty years ago, I find I no longer want to be considered part of the "establishment."

I find I now stand on the outside, opposed to the actions of most of the nation's once-respected institutions. I find it increasingly difficult to feel respect for elected officials. As a result, I am now considered by many in the "establishment" to be "unreasonable" and "uncompromising." I find that my views (mainstream thirty years ago) are now considered radical. I have now been labeled an "extremist."

I have never been bothered by name-calling from the Left. It's to be expected. After all, I oppose the very core of their ideas. But in the past three years a very painful reality has set in. As I continue to fight for my unchanged belief in the limited role of government, the accusation of "extremist" has been most often thrown at me by the new majority Republican leadership of the Congress. How can that be?


It was a glorious day in 1994 when the Republicans finally became the majority in Congress. Now those of us who had been fighting in the cold thought we had friends on the inside. Now those friends would control the committees and the flow of legislation. Hearings could be held, and the good guys would be called to testify. The true damage of the Democrats' social revolution would finally get a hearing.

No more would we need to fear the creation of massive legislative initiatives of social change. There would be no more Hillary Clinton socialized medicine proposals. Property rights would be protected. The federal invasion of the schools could be stopped.

At the very least, we would have sympathetic allies in possession of voices of reason and a sense of honor, bent on re-establishing the principles of limited government intrusion in business, schools and private lives.

Americans finally had hope that the out-of-control government created by the Democrats could now be tamed to again serve the people instead of the other way around.

Frankly, since Waco and Ruby Ridge, a great number of Americans have been growing afraid of their own government. Every aspect of our lives has become subject to federal regulation.

The massive data banks of the various federal agencies have become a source of near panic as citizens try to come to grips with a growing invasion of personal privacy.

Use of the military has changed. Suddenly, unannounced, in the middle of the night, tanks roll through the streets of unsuspecting neighborhoods as helicopter gun ships rumble over head, troops rappelling to the streets, in unannounced "urban training missions."

Such reports of in-city maneuvers have come from Pittsburg, Memphis, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas, small communities in the Adirondacks and Los Angeles. On some occasions the troops have actually been using live ammunition. Unlawful joint maneuvers are being held between military and local police. Americans are becoming afraid of their own protectors.

Occasionally we hear reports that an American base has been transformed into a German, Russian or UN training center. American's have never experienced foreign troops on our soil - so this is a cause for alarm. But no explanations are received. Instead, those asking questions are simply put down as "nuts." Under the silence, Americans, who are used to a free and open society, are becoming suspicious of the purpose of such activities.

Vast areas of American land are being placed off-limits, many times taken from land owners by gun-toting federal agents in the name of some environmental regulation. Americans who try to comply with the ever-growing number of green regulations are often told conflicting stories by the same agency. And in the end, some Americans find themselves in jail for a violation - even after permits had been issued. As development is banned, retirement nest eggs have been destroyed and families have faced ruin.

Property owners are becoming little more than government-sanctioned tenants on their own land as property rights disappear. Some Americans have begun to fear once-benevolent agencies such as the Park Service and the Forest Service. Smokey the Bear is becoming a feared killer Grizzly.

Parents who question school policies find themselves on the "troublemaker" list. They are barred from seeing tests their children are forced to take. They are told not to help with homework. They are refused permission to see text books and class material. Parents who home-school find themselves harassed by public school officials.

Meanwhile federal programs engorge schools with more money and more regulations, assuring the education establishment more power and more arrogance over parents -as kids grow steadily dumber.

School-To-Work is a federally funded nightmare that represents a complete transformation of public schools into job-training centers. Some Americans have begun to fear the day their children reach school age and literally become "wards of the state."

Under the guise of fighting drugs, new laws have given police unprecedented powers to invade private homes. Property confiscation laws, under the anti-drug statutes, now give local and federal police agencies the power to take property, sell it and buy more equipment.

Consequently, we find local police units equipped like a modern-day army. How long can civil liberties last in such an atmosphere? People are terrified as more and more stories emerge of police violently breaking down doors of innocent homeowners, forcing the occupants to the floor as the officers destroy the home's contents, in some cases killing pets, only to find they've come to the wrong address. No compensation, not even an "I'm sorry" is offered by this new breed of brutes.

In 1996 the federal government had 45,366 law enforcement investigative personnel at thirteen agencies. All have the power to arrest. All are armed. And Americans are afraid.

Black helicopters, the Chinese in Longbeach, election fraud, UN land grabs, the New World Order - these are the reasons Americans have grown to fear their own government and its elected officials who don't seem to take notice of these threats.

Certainly some of these things are just rumors, misunderstandings or just plain unfounded fears. But enough have proven to be true to give credibility to much of the rest. People are paranoid - with good reason.

But their fears have been met with silence and ridicule by intolerant, arrogant, power-hungry federal, state and local agents who admit to having a great disregard for Constitutional rights that get in the way of their desired policies.

That was all supposed to begin to end with the Republican victory of 1994. Unfortunately, for many, those hopes were soon dashed.


The Republicans stormed out of the gate of the 104th Congress, armed with the Contract with America and Republican ideas for cutting costs and regulations and limiting government infringement in the personal lives of Americans. The Democrats were on the ropes.

But almost overnight things changed. All the Democrats had to do, it seemed, was challenge Republican ideas, pinning the usual label of "mean-spiritedness" on Republican attempts to roll back or eliminate government programs.

To the dismay of their most loyal supporters, the Republicans failed to even try to counter the attack. So the charges stuck and the fight seemed to be drained out of the leadership.

Rather than fighting to reduce government, Republicans began to use Democrat rhetoric about "helping the poor," "saving the environment" and assuring that our children receive a "world-class education." Worse, the Republicans began to introduce and support "recycled" Democrat legislation - sold to the American people as "Republican" ideas.

And as they began to lose the support of their most loyal grassroots activists, Republican leadership responded by calling those with whom they had once fought side-by-side in the trenches, "misguided," "uncompromising, "impatient," and "extremist." Sound too harsh? Consider the following examplesof Republican bait and switch.

Grassroots activists across the nation unified like never before to stop Hillary Clinton's socialized health care scheme. Yet, step by step, during the 104th and the 105th Congresses, Republicans have allowed the passage of so-called education legislation creating in-school health clinics and the expansion of Medicaid/Medicare programs to increase federal intrusion into health care. Hillary's hated, discredited program is being implemented one step at a time - on the Republican watch.

Republicans are now going through a great hand-wringing exercise as they attempt to decide whether to use predicted federal budget surpluses for a tax cut or to reduce the deficit that has accumulated over forty years of Democrat rule.

Yet, the decision would be much easier if Republicans would have listened to their own rhetoric when they were creating the 1998 fiscal year budget. Incredibly, the Republicans produced a bigger budget than Bill Clinton asked for.

In trying to play favor to the radical, property-hating, anti-capitalist Sierra Club, the Republicans actually gave the Interior Department $206 million to rip more private lands out from under their owners.

Republicans upped the foreign aid bill; raised appropriations to the Export-Import Bank; increased the budgets for subsidized housing, Head Start, refugee assistance, and even the hated Food and Drug Administration. And the pork was flying higher and faster than in the days of Dan Rostenkowski. In fact, the Republicans spent almost $5 billion more on domestic programs than Bill Clinton had even requested.

Even worse, without firing a shot, the once fierce Republican attack dog instantly put its tail between its legs and surrendered on the raising of the minimum wage. There is no stronger economic principle held by Republicans than the fact that a federally-dictated minimum wage is intrusive to private enterprise and harmful to the very people it's supposed to help.

Yet, there is was, with a Republican majority in power; a minimum wage enacted with little opposition. And as a result, the emboldened Democrats have decided to seek another increase this year. What do they have to lose?

But as the Republican leadership gives us the rhetoric of tax cuts, reform and elimination of the IRS, and family values, they have actually succeeded in perpetuating federal power.


American education is a mess. It is the issue parents are most concerned about. Kids are stupid. Employers can't find suitable employees. Test scores are plummeting. Parents are beginning to yank their kids our of public schools in droves. And the Republicans see this issue as one that can drive them to new majorities.

That would be true if they would only spend an afternoon researching the real problem, listening to parents, reading a text book and finding that children can't read, write or add and subtract because the psychology driven, behavior modification curriculum is doing it deliberately.

But instead, somewhere along the way Repulicans grabbed hold of the socialists' concept of combining education and job training. Rather than understanding that a political agenda is driving our kids to the stupid farm, Republicans have decided to throw the baby out with the bath water and rework the whole education system. And no matter how much evidence of its failure is presented, they are determined to push on.

The Republicans promised to get rid of the Department of Education, Goals 2000 and School-To-Work. But instead, they have strengthened all of these with more money and more power. That department and these programs have brought about an umprecedented revolution in public schools that, if left unchecked, will change the very foundation of this nation.

It will result in a nation driven by the dictates of the federal government. The economy will become a planned socialist nightmare, with goods and services controlled by unelected goons and the future of the children determined by national need instead of personal choice. Is that the kind of reform the Republicans now support?

If just once Trent Lott and Newt Gingrich would take a look at what is going on in the classroom, instead of listening to the glorious rhetoric about computers for every student, national guidelines for excellence and a "world-class education," they would see very quickly why children can't read and write.

Trent, Newt, just ask yourselves these questions: If children aren't taught to spell - can they do well on spelling tests? If children aren't taught multiplication tables or the process of creating math equations - can they learn math? Do you know who is creating the software for all of the computers you are helping to put in every classroom? Could it be possible that the software is not value neutral? Is someones political agenda involved?

No matter how much money you throw at the classroom, no matter how many tests you call for, no matter how many teachers you hire, or school buildings you provide, education will not improve until you replace the psychologists with real teachers and the behavior modification and self-esteem programs with basic academics. It is not the purpose of education to provide workers to employers. Schools exist to teach children the basics so they can make their own decisions.

How is it possible that Republicans have failed to understand the origins of today's education restructuring? It's written, plain as day, in Marc Tucker's report, "A Human Resources Development Plan for the United States," written for the Clinton White House shortly after the 1992 election. Have the Republicans ever read it?

That report clearly shows the purpose of School-To-Work, Goals 2000 and the CAREERS Act. It outlines in great detail, in a report written by an avowed leftist, that the Clinton White House intends to have the Federal Government take over schools; control curriculum; engage in behavior modification programs to change the attitudes, values and beliefs of the children; implement cradle-to-grave control over the development of children; interfere with parental rights; re-educate parents; build massive data banks on every child; control employment and career choices; interfere with home-schooling; use the schools to implement socialized medicine and expand the welfare system. Yet, this is what the Republican majority has embraced as its own agenda.

In the 103rd Congress, Ted Kennedy first introduced the CAREERS Act with language almost verbatim to the Tucker report. In the 104th Congress, Republican Buck McKeon, with the blessing of Bill Goodling, introduced an almost identical bill as a Republican measure. They sold the bill as simply a cost and bureaucracy cutting plan.

In spite of the fact that back-to-basics activists have proven time and again that the bill not only did not cut costs but, actually built federal power through new bureaucracy, the Republican leadership pushes on in its efforts to pass this legislation. Why?

There has never been more dishonesty and deception surrounding the true purpose of a bill. In fact, Buck McKeon told me and fellow activists that he had personally written the CAREERS Act. He said the similarities to the bill and the Tucker report was just a "coincidence."

When I wrote a letter to the House education committee opposing the bill, Republican Mark Souder told the committee that he didn't understand my opposition. Chairman Goodling explained to him, "well this fellow just doesn't believe the federal government should be involved in education."

Goodling was right. And also true is the fact that our Founding Fathers didn't believe the federal government should be involved either. They didn't give the federal government a single role in education.

How could Mark Souder have strayed so far as to not even recognize the reasons for my outrage over the bill? Mark Souder and I were once allies in Young Americans for Freedom. We attended the same conferences and were taught the same economic policies. Yet now, Mark will tell you that he supports this legislation because he believes the federal government should help in job training. Mark, where was such an idea ever written in YAF's "Sharon Statement?" And what place do federal job training programs have in our classrooms? Once, you would have been on the attack with me. What happened?

Why the deceit? Why do Republicans fail to hold hearings on the education crisis? Why do they refuse to hear from parents about the true crisis in the classrooms? Why do they rarely listen to anyone but the National Governors Association, the Chamber of Commerce and the American Federation of Teachers when it comes to education issues? Each of these groups stand to gain power and control from this legislation.

Republican support for charter schools and vouchers sounds good. It sounds voluntary and "Republican." But the truth is each of these initiatives come with federal strings attached. Each will only serve to entangle private schools in the big government web and increase federal power. Charter schools have become the Trojan Horse to suck in the remaining hold outs to the education restructuring revolution. And Republicans have become the Judas Goat to lead the lambs to the slaughter.

Worse, the Republicans' favorite block-grants have become the fuel to perpetuate the system on the state level, where the same type of bureaucrats with the same Hillary Clinton/NEA pedigree wait to implement the programs so faithfully supplied by the Republicans. Republicans naively believe the block-grants are returning power to the states. Yet that's not possible as long as federal programs and the Department of Education continue to call the shots from Washington.

Goals 2000 is due for reauthorization. Here is the chance for Republicans to take the first step toward actually rolling back the education crisis by removing a massive part of the federal intrusion. But will Republicans be true to their roots? Will Republicans lead the charge, so hoped for by the core of the party faithful?

Apparently not. According to my sources on the House education committee, Republicans plan to take a page from the Democrats on this one. They intend to keep appropriating money to Goals 2000 without trying to reauthorize it. Again, an opportunity is lost as the Left's agenda goes on with Republican help.

Do Republicans simply fail to understand the true motives behind those pushing the education restructuring agenda - or have they now joined in lock step with Marc Tucker and Hillary Clinton? There's only one answer to the education crisis. Get the federal government completely out of the education business - block grants and all.


Hand in hand with the education restructuring agenda is the radical environmental agenda that is usurping private property rights nationwide. Once considered a western states battle, the assault on property rights is now invading cities nationwide, through a monster called sustainable development.

Americans all want clean water and air. They all want polluters stopped and endangered species protected. And Americans have proven that they are willing to sacrifice their liberties, alter their property rights, even their way of life, to save the planet. But if the American people were told the truth about the land grabs, the deceit and the utter lack of scientific reasons for it all, their support for the warm and fuzzy-sounding agenda would be shaken.

It is the most cynical hoax ever perpetrated on the American people. The majority of Americans, who get their news from the networks and CNN, have not been told that there is no scientific consensus in support of the theories of global warming. They have not been told that the Endangered Species Act not only has never been credited with saving a single species, it is actually hazardous to the existence of most. They have not been told that the idea of a "biosphere reserve" has absolutely no scientific basis whatsoever.

A simple study of the environmentalist movement will show an agenda that literally places people in a category below other animals and plants. Here is an agenda driven by earth-worshipping pagans who reject all of the tenets of Western Civilization, including private property rights, free enterprise and individual liberty.

Just by reading their reports, attending their conferences and reading their quotes, informed Americans could learn of the true agenda of the radical environmental movement.

By reading the "Wildlands Project," authored by Earth First's Dave Foreman and Reed Noss, Americans could learn that the environmental movement intends to herd Americans into "human habitat" areas while converting the rest of the nation to wild, uninhabited areas.

They could learn that sustainable development and biosphere reserves and wetland regulations are just some of the tools already in place to implement such a radical assault on America's way of life. Don't Members of Congress have some staffers who could research all of that, as I have?

Here is an opportunity for Republicans to rush to the forefront with truth and with genuine American solutions. Here, Republicans are finally in a place of power to stop and turn around the assault that has been in the works for almost three decades. Here, Republicans could expose the lies and deceit used by the radical environmental movement to steal our liberties, simply by holding hearings and bringing in a wide array of scientists and property-rights experts to testify.

But instead, except for a few courageous Republican members of the House (Helen Chenoweth, Don Young, Ron Paul, John Shadegg, to name a few), the Republican leadership is doing exactly the opposite.

House Speaker Newt Gingrich has called for an "International Biodiversity Year" where scientists would be encouraged to "think big about biodiversity." This would call for millions of federal dollars to dally in a folly dreamed up by radical environmentalism as a tool to stop human development.

But it's not the first time the Speaker has helped those who seek to destroy property rights and American liberties. In the 104th Congress, Gingrich deliberately derailed all attempts to pass property rights protection legislation.

Just this month, Congressman John Kasich, with eyes on the White House, along with Congressman Rob Portman, have announced a "Debt for Nature Swap." According to news reports, Kasich and Portman are trying to "shake off their anti-green image." In the scheme, the United States would forgive 400 million dollars of debt owed by developing countries if the money is used to save the rain forest. The World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International and the Nature Conservancy are "pleased."

I've known John Kasich since 1976 when we worked side by side in the original Reagan effort to defeat Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination. Time Magazine called that effort "Thunder on the Right." Why, John, now that you have the power to fix things, would you support the rhetoric of groups that you would have called communists back in 1976? What has changed?

During the 104th Congress, the grassroots activists politely stood on the sidelines to allow the Republicans to rewrite the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These activists, who faced losing their homes and jobs to a bad law - based on bad science, believed in Newt Gingrich's words about a new Republican revolution. They believed their long fight was about over - until suddenly Gingrich betrayed them by refusing to allow the Congress to act on any of the ESA reform bills offered.

Today, in the 105th Congress, the activists are being rewarded for their silence and cooperation with a new ESA bill offered by Senator Dirk Kempthorne of Idaho. Turning a deaf ear to their pleas, Kempthorne has refused to add any language for property rights protection.

First, Kempthorne told the property-rights advocates that their concerns would be addressed in a separate bill. But he refused to offer the property-rights bill before the ESA legislation was enacted, so we couldn't be sure property rights would be protected. Finally, after a warm and fuzzy meeting with Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, Kempthrone dropped all intentions of introducing property rights protection.

But it gets even worse. Under the current ESA, the federal government has been shutting down property and production illegally, without compensation to the owners. Kempthorne's legislation, rather than stop such practices, actually now legalizes them through provisions of the bill. Is it any wonder Bruce Babbitt has endorsed the bill and is actively pushing for its passage.

The Kempthorne ESA bill represents the interests of the environmental movement and big industry which uses such legislation to destroy its competition. The "Republican" bill offers no protection or compensation for small land owners whose property is regulated out from under them.

This is the bill property-rights activists are now being told they must support. And the Republican leadership is upset with activists who openly oppose it. Again, they call us "extremists" for attempting to fight for our homes and our jobs and the American liberties we thought Republicans were elected to protect.

Why have the Republicans joined forces with those who seek to destroy Constitutionally-guaranteed property rights, free enterprise and individual liberty? Why have they abandoned the call for sound science? Why are they not taking the lead for property rights? When did the Republican party decide to abandon individual citizens in favor of large, multi-national industries which owe allegiance to no country or party?


In what can only be called a "flimflam," Republicans have taken on the United Nations in a silly exercise. They puff out their chests and threaten the UN with severe sanctions if it does not "reform" itself.

Republicans talk of bloated budgets and huge bureaucracies and unpaid parking tickets in New York City. Speaker Gingrich threatens to support non-payment of UN dues unless such "reforms" are achieved. But then pushes for payment anyway as our "duty" to the international body.

Republicans stand before cheering crowds and speak with indignation of "American boys begin forced to fight under foreign generals while wearing UN uniforms." Maddening yes - but it's not the real problem with the United Nations.

International treaties that ignore American property rights and commerce are the real threat. UN plans for "global governance," UN taxation and a UN standing army threaten America's sovereignty.

These are not pipe dreams or "right-winged conspiracy" theories. The information comes from the UN's own documents. Anyone can read them. They're on the internet, they're for sale in the lobby of UN headquarters in New York. The information is readily available to anyone who wants it.

In the 104th Congress, when UN officials first sent up the trial balloons to check reaction to UN tax schemes, Members where swift in their reaction. There was evidence that the Clinton Administration, through its hand-picked UN Development Program Administrator, James G. Speth, was working hand-in-hand with the UN to implement the idea.

Outraged Congressmen called for hearings. Bob Dole introduced a bill to block such an idea. Clearly the schemes were viewed to represent a real threat to the nation. But that was before Republicans lost their will to fight for their principles. The hearings were dropped, no bill was passed and vocal opposition to the UN by the Republican leadership evaporated, except, perhaps, for the demand of payment for those parking tickets.

But, of course, those of us who have read these documents and are aware of the true UN threat, have been labeled "extremists" - not to be taken seriously.

When Secretary of State Madeleine Albright served as Ambassador to the UN she said, "This is not a world government and the people who say that are trying to create a is really a complete figment..." But within three weeks of her denial, the UN's Commission on Global Governance released its three-year study which provides a 400-page blueprint to achieve global governance by the year 2000.

That plan calls for a UN standing army; UN taxation; UN authority over the "global commons" (the world); an International Court of Justice; expanded authority for the Secretary General; and a parliamentary body of non-elected private organizations like the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy called NGO's (non-government organizations).

These plans are prepared and are being distributed. International agreements like the Biodiversity Treaty set up the NGO power structure. Others, including the Convention on Climate Change, Agenda 21, the UN Rights of the Child, and the Rio Declaration put in place UN intervention of families; internationalize sustainable development; and the Wildlands Project.

Why the concern over these UN activities? Because the United States is signing these treaties and giving them the power of American law.

Shouldn't the mere mention of a UN document entitled "Global Governance" sound alarm bells to a Republican majority that professes to support and defend the Constitution of the United States? Where are the hearings? Where is the concern?

Those of us who ask such questions are called "isolationists" and, of course, "extremists."


There was a time, in the early days of this Republic, when Members of Congress carried a copy of the Constitution in their pocket. Whenever a bill was introduced, they would take out their copy and review it to decide if the bill fit in the framework as outlined by the Founding Fathers.

Today, I wonder how long it's been since Members of this Congress have even bothered to visit the glass enclosed tomb of the Constitution at the National Archives.

The Constitution has become a bothersome roadblock to a host of great sounding schemes. Members rarely consult or consider it when drawing up legislation. The main concern now is simply whether they can get the law passed. Opinion polls, rather than the Bill of Rights, are the guide posts for these modern day legislators. Defend liberty? Relative to what?

In Phoenix, Arizona the federal DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) demanded that a publisher of a book on marijuana cultivation provide the names of all of the Arizona residents who had purchased the book. In addition, the DEA demanded that the owners of two gardening-supply stores in Tempe, Arizona provide the names of every customer who had purchased hydroponic equipment, grow lights, fans and copies of the book.

When both the publisher and the store owners refused to comply, the DEA's response spoke volumes on the new government attitude about the Constitution. Al Reilly, the DEA agent in charge ranted to the local newspaper: "The scumbags always hide behind the First Amendment. People are more concerned about civil rights than they are about some scumbag growing marijuana."

Then there is the European delegate to the UN's Kyoto conference on Climate Change who scolded the United States for its opposition to the Climate Change Protocol (which would dictate that the United States roll back its energy usage a full one third based on the unproven theories of global warming). The delegate said, "you Americans are the only ones blocking this, because you have all of these ideas. (But) The rest of the world is getting in sync" (with global governance).

There is a reason why Americans have all of these ideas about liberty and rights. There is a reason why the United States (still in its infancy compared to the rest of the world) has become the most advanced nation on Earth.

The United States of America was the first nation ever created based on scientific research. Our Founding Fathers (who are now being written out of the history books as nothing more than white slave owners) were scholars and historians. They researched other civilizations and cultures, looking for the best and the worst ideas man had used to govern himself.

Their search was part of an intellectual movement in the eighteenth century, called the "Enlightenment," which questioned traditional beliefs and taboos. They sought to achieve absolute scientific fact and reason in their decisions. They questioned the accepted traditions and the old ways of doing things. And they worked to put together a means of existence that recognized natural rights and logic.

The movement was led in England by John Locke, David Hume and Sir Isaac Newton. In the colonies, students of the "Enlightenment" included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and James Madison.

The result was the creation of a idea for self-government that was based on sound science, free speech, property rights, individual freedom, free enterprise and freedom of religious expression and choice.

It was no casual remark, then, when Ben Franklin's answer to the question "...what sort of government have you given us" was "a Republic, if you can keep it." It was purely experimental, never attempted before in the world.

That's why Americans have all of these "ideas." And that's why we fight so passionately to keep those once unheard of liberties from disappearing at the hands of "unenlightened brutes." It's easy to take them away. It's each generation's job to see that they aren't. Now they are in the hands of the Republican Congress to defend.


Recently I attended a property-rights conference on Capitol Hill. Also in attendance were several congressional staff members who missed no opportunity to tell the grassroots activists in attendance that we needed to be more patient and more understanding of the Republican majority.

They told us how downhearted the Members were becoming because of our continued swipes at their efforts. They explained that they had tried in the 104th Congress to make gains but they had their heads handed to them by the Democrats. They said that, if we didn't stop our attacks our Republican heroes might just turn their backs on us.

Last year, shortly after one of the failed coup attempts on Newt Gingrich's leadership, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott stormed into a meeting of House staffers with fire in his eyes. He told them that if their Congressman had been a part of this attack on Newt then they had better grow up and learn reality. He said that the leadership in place was the leadership that would stay.

Lott went on to attack voters when he said, "...if any of your constituents call to complain about Republican leadership, tell them that they are the ones who elected Bill Clinton." Lott admitted that "we can't beat him."

Lott may have provided the most eloquent justification yet presented for new leadership. If the current Republican leaders can't positively express and promote Republican ideas, then it would indicate that the current leadership either doesn't understand those ideas or doesn't truly believe in them. Step aside and let someone who does believe take a crack at the Clinton machine.

As I listen to Republicans whine about lack of support, I can't help but think back to our founding fathers and their sacrifice to give birth to the idea of the United States.

I think of poor Caesar Rodney, Delaware delegate to the Continental Congress, who was literally rousted from his sick bed to make an emergency trip by carriage over muddy, bumpy roads to Philadelphia. He was urgently needed to sign the Declaration of Independence. Had he whined and refused, Independence would not have been possible.

Then there is the story of another signer named Thomas Nelson, Jr. of Virginia. At the final battle of Yorktown, where the outcome meant life or death for the new nation, Nelson noted that American forces were not firing at a certain key section of the British line. When he inquired as to the reason, he was told that his own house was in the way. Nelson quietly urged George Washington to fire on his home, destroying it. As a result, Nelson died bankrupt.

There are many courageous Members in the 105th Congress who are itching to take the right path. Granted, it is the duty of the grassroots to help create a positive atmosphere on Capitol Hill so that the ideas of rolling back government programs and legislative battles Republicans should be leading to restore their freedoms. The trouble is, we hear no guns blazing - only the sound of the clinking of glasses at the Republican's bipartisan party. It's time for the Republican majority to remember who got them their invitation.

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