Alexander's Column

Ballots or Bullets?

By Mark Alexander · Aug. 25, 2011

Ballot Box Barriers to Restoring Constitutional Integrity

“We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our Liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections. If an election is to be determined by a majority of a single vote, and that can be procured by a party through artifice or corruption, the Government may be the choice of a party for its own ends, not of the nation for the national good.” –John Adams, Inaugural Address, 1797

All around us, there are imminent and ominous threats to the future of American Liberty. None, however, is more grave than the demolition of free enterprise by those who would replace it with the authoritarian rule of Democratic Socialism envisioned by Barack Hussein Obama and his leftist comrades.

Rancorous political debate is currently focused on competing solutions for our failing domestic economy and the collapse of our esteemed standing among the nations of the world.

Conservatives, particularly those resolute constitutional constructionists who identify with the much-maligned Tea Party Movement, rightly understand, as did Ronald Reagan, that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” That is why we are advocating for the restoration of constitutional limits on the central government.

Conversely, the growing ranks of leftists in Congress, some 80 of whom are openly members of the Socialist Party of America’s Congressional Progressive Caucus, led by Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), subscribe to the notion that government is both the engine and the drive train of our nation’s economy.

But if Essential Liberty and Rule of Law as enshrined in our Constitution are to survive, then free enterprise must be their economic engine. At present, however, that engine is attempting to pull an ever more bloated government trailer – a trailer so overloaded as to bring the economy to a dead stop.

How bloated?

Obama’s government programs will amass a $1.3 trillion deficit in fiscal year 2011 alone, some $400 billion more than the paltry $917 billion in savings to which Congress agreed over the next decade under the recent budget deal and corresponding debt-ceiling increase.

This oppressive bloat – and our elected leaders' utterly inadequate response to it – will serve as fodder for much of the political debate ahead of the 2012 election. Indeed, the future of Liberty depends on the successful defeat of enough congressional leftists to provide strong conservative majorities in both the House and Senate. Moreover, Liberty hangs in the balance of the upcoming presidential election. While conservatives recaptured the House of Representatives in 2010, the first effective step to restrain Obama’s agenda, only a conservative president can begin to undo the damage done to our nation by the Obama regime.

However, do we still have the luxury of political solutions, via elections, to salvage what is left of our Republic? Is the ballot box still a viable method to restore constitutional integrity?

As John Adams once warned, we must be vigilantly on guard against all contagions that would “infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.”

These contagions, these obstacles, are as follows, roughly in order of threat magnitude: an ignorant electorate; candidates who are unable to articulate the difference between Rule of Law and rule of men; institutionalized dependency on the state, including the fact that 40 percent of Americans pay no federal income tax; forced redistribution of wealth; comfort, complacency and indifference; Leftmedia dezinformatsia; opposition by the leftist elite; and, finally, the conferring of legal status upon illegal immigrants in order to fortify Democrat voter constituencies illegitimately.

The most significant obstacle to restoring liberty by way of the electoral process is the fact that so many Americans know so little about civics or civic responsibility. When it comes to getting government right, ignorance is not bliss.

It follows, then, that there is a dearth of qualified candidates who are able to articulate the difference between Rule of Law and rule of men, who instead get lost in the high weeds of lesser political issues.

A majority of Americans are beneficiaries of some combination of thousands of government schemes to redistribute wealth. The resulting institutionalized dependency on the state is insidious, as it results in reliable votes for whichever party (read: the Democrat Party) can take the most from one group and redistribute it to another. It’s no wonder that the most recent Index of Dependence on Government (2010) reports the greatest single-year percentage rise in dependence since 1976.

As Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) recently noted, Obama’s “intent is to create dependency because it worked so well for him.”

Additionally, 40 percent of Americans pay no federal income taxes. This huge voting bloc thus has no (apparent) stake in our nation’s fiscal health, and its voters are thereby motivated to use their ballots to keep the government largess spewing.

As 19th-century political economist Frederic Bastiat noted, “Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

The forced redistribution of wealth pushed the Cost of Government Day to 12 August this year, which means that the average American tax payer must now work 224 days to fund all taxes, and hidden regulatory taxes, imposed by the central government. That date is 27 days later than in 2008, and it now consumes more than 60 percent of national earned income. There are endless regulatory costs on the horizon, such as Obama’s new fuel economy standards which according to a study conducted by the Center for Automotive Research, will increase the average retail price of motor vehicles more than $11,000.

As government takes more, individuals have less to live their lives and to support Liberty advocacy organizations like The Patriot Post.

Of course, comfort, complacency and indifference, particularly among wealthy “Republicans” who contribute little to sustain our legacy of Liberty for our posterity, undermine the potential for sustaining Liberty by way of the ballot box.

In response to such indifference, Samuel Adams advised, “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!”

Meanwhile, Leftmedia indoctrination and thriving financial support for wealthy left-elite socialist causes continue to twist public opinion and ensure the success of leftist candidates and policies.

While these are certainly formidable obstacles to the rejection of socialism and successful restoration of constitutional integrity, they are not insurmountable. Still, when generations of Americans have been inculcated with the belief that they are entitled to so much from the state, it may take a generation or more to re-educate them, and to stave off the violence that often erupts when the state fails to meet their expectations as witnessed recently in Greece and England.

The question remains: Are we irrevocably locked into the Cycle of Democracy? Recall that this evolves from bondage to spiritual faith; spiritual faith to great courage; courage to Liberty (Rule of Law); Liberty to abundance; abundance to complacency; complacency to apathy; apathy to dependence; and from dependence back into bondage (rule of men). As for the gap between dependence and bondage, philosopher and author of Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, wrote, “The difference between a welfare state and a totalitarian state is a matter of time.”

At the close of the first American Revolution, George Washington wrote, “No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings [of Liberty] than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass.”

We have already veered from that road. Is there time to use the ballot box to attain a new dawn for Liberty, or are we destined to dependence and bondage, which will require another renewal of faith and courage?

Publisher’s Note: The young daughter of a long-time Christian brother, and a member of our National Advisory Committee, was killed Monday morning. Her name was Hannah. Please be in prayer for her family, particularly her father, Phil; mother, Lisa; sister, Teal; and brothers David and Ryan.


View all comments


Marcus said:

it is quite evident that both sides of the dispute between the makers and the takers have drawn battle is no longer relevant. this website has gone to great lengths to demonstrate that as have the governments of this, what's next?

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Ken in Cincinnati replied:

"voting is no longer relevant"

Written like a servile loser.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 12:00 PM

One VA Patriot said:

As to the issue: We Americans have but one more opportunity to use the ballot box and if the outcome is not successful we will be in despair.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Phil said:

We can not degrade to a third world, and use bullets, the US is to great to not overcome this man,

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Gonzalo Pena said:

So long as the right to vote means it is ok to grab a homeless person off the street, give them a sandwich, resgister them as a democrat, walk them to the voting booth, instruct them to pull the democratic lever, then we no longer have the ballot box as an effective tool to control government.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Enough-is-enough said:

Due to political corruption, the essentially bought elections that continually keep socialist demogogues in office along with their wealthy RINO counterparts, essential liberty is held hostage in this country. I think it is high time to let some tyrants' blood spill to water the tree of freedom.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Al said:

Thugs don't go easily. They will "win" the "election" by hook or by crook, and mostly by crook, or stage a "crisis" to defer the election (indefinitely) for the "good of the people".Zimbabwe has had elections for over 30 years, and amazingly Mugabe "wins" every time.America will be NO DIFFERENT.Obama is here to stay.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Ken in Cincinnati replied:

You are insane.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Bruce Hubble said:

Can you enlighten the patriots on the National Popular Vote push? It seems to be the last straw on electing a solid string of 'urban' Democrats as prez, who in turn will appoint liberal judges to the Supreme Court. I will pronounce that to mean the Constitution will be 'voted out' next.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:25 PM

One VA Patriot said:

@Gonzalo Pena,Sir, what would you have us do? If we abandon the ballot box because it does not work to our advantage, then we have already ceded the field to the opposition.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Jolynn said:

I am 72 years old and still work 40 to 50 hours a week. I am so afraid for this country! I know that I do not have that many more years to have to put up with the nonsense that we are having for a president now. BUT, I am so afraid of the mess that we are leaving for my grandchildren. What will they have if things keep on the way they are going now??

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:27 PM

James K. Hamilton said:

No representation without taxation without representation.Liberty is half lost and liberty regained may require revolution. Not until individuals regain their own destiny will the republic be back on the path to freedom.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Dan said:

The USA is done, obama's plan is working fine.Americans have become losers and like it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Richard Young in DeRidder, Louisiana replied:

Speak for yourself, but for one, I AM NOT DONE! Many of us will fight before it's over!

Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 1:32 PM

James Wagner said:

The ballot box is always the way to express our choices as long as we are a free democratic republic. However, it is an uphill battle with the mainstream media generally on the liberal side and a combination of apathy and lack of accurate information and good understanding among the people at large. Unfortunately, extreme right wing advocates often get the most publicity and give the wrong impression, making a common-sense approach to solving problems more difficult.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Daniel A. Roberts in Oklahoma City replied:

We actually live in a Constitutional Republic, with a few, limited democratic processes. I agree that our ballot box is a way to express our choices, but when those choices are limited, corrupt and unconstitutional, yet enforced, we have another choice. A revolution. The first stages of any revolution in a country such as the United States are always bloodless, begging for reasoning and understanding to those in power, over the things they unjustly infringe upon. However, when a peaceful revolution becomes impossible, a violent revolution becomes inevitable. Nobody wants a bloody conflict, but to assure freedom for my children and grandchilren, I'll shed my own blood with distinction and honor towards our original and unblemished Constitution,

Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Ruffslitch in Atlanta, GA replied:

You're supposed to make some other poor dumb, S.O.B. die for his country! ;)

Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 6:44 PM

WarlordX in Alaska replied:

I've got your back. Let the blood of tyrants refresh the tree of LIBERTY!

Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 11:23 PM

FreeDame in Racine, WI replied:

Remember, the Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants AND PATRIOTS. My blood is not as precious to me as my freedom.

Friday, September 21, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Dan said:

The USA is done, obama's plan is working fine.Americans have become losers and like it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:31 PM

One VA Patriot said:

@Jolynn;Madam, I am hopeful that there are enough patriots who read this column and talk it amonst their friends that the fires of liberty will be kindled within the breasts of all Americans. Once lit, the burning embers of freedom will provide a better world for our children and their childrens children.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Old, not stupid said:

If not the ballot box, what then...the ammo box?

Thursday, August 25, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Dee in Raeford, North Carolina replied:

It only takes between 10% and 17% of the people to conduct a successful revolution! I'm just saying.....! Seems nothing else is working.

Monday, July 9, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Ken in Cincinnati replied:

Nothing else is working because you civic nihilists are only a small proportion of the US population. If you hate democracy so much, you should give up on changing it, because that is what America is. Emigration is my recommendation.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 11:59 AM