I haven’t written here in some time, mainly because all of my time has been dedicated to the neighborhood watch we started along with other political activism. Something has come to the surface recently though that is so important I have to say something about it.
It’s almost an axiom amongst people of the “liberty minded” persuasion that we don’t work very well together, particularly our grassroots organizations as compared to those on the other side. Liberty and collectivism are polar opposites. Unfortunately, you can’t have any true success without working together. This is easy for our opponents as they’ve already (gladly) subordinated themselves to the collective. It’s not so easy for individuals, where every single person thinks they know the “right way” to accomplish something.
Another aspect of this is the concept of “right and wrong” or more specifically “moral and immoral”. The other side is full of people who don’t believe in an objective notion of right and wrong. Postmodern philosophy in fact has taught the last few generations that objective reality is unknowable. This inevitably leads to “might makes right” and “do what thou wilt”. Put simply, our side believes in rules, their side believes in none. This brings us to the question, how does the side that follows the rules defeat the side that doesn’t?
First off, we need to define what rules exist for a legitimate reason and what rules have been arbitrarily created because an individual or group simply prefers it that way. In legal theory this is defined by the Latin terms “malum in se” (bad by its very nature) and “malum prohibitum” (bad because someone decided it is). Murder and rape are of the former category because they take something that is not yours and destroy the very fabric of our society. Illegal narcotics or gun control are of the latter because a group of people decided they are.
This brings me to the main point of this article. How does one liberty minded person get along with another liberty minded person when they have conflicts over what actions belong in which of the two categories described above? The best way is to have discussions about these issues before you ever decide to work together. Even with that, there will be disagreements.
In the past, I had a group disintegrate underneath me because certain people in the group were ardent supporters of a particular candidate but I wasn’t. The others couldn’t simply “agree to disagree” and decided to undermine our work instead. We see this often when people say “a vote for X instead of Y is the same as a vote for Z”. People get so invested in their chosen candidate, that if anyone dares to vote for someone else they claim it’s the same as voting for the most evil candidate on the ticket.
Another way this manifests itself, is when our side finally elects a good candidate, but immediately starts tearing each other apart in disagreements over trivial decisions that elected official is forced to make. Imagine yourself as that elected official. Now imagine that every single person that voted for you expects that you are going to do the job in the EXACT MANNER that they personally want. It’s one thing to call out someone you elected for a blatantly immoral decision they made. It’s quite another to be so inflexible that you immediately want to dump them cause they didn’t do exactly what YOU wanted.
The truth is, I’m one of the first people that will call out what I perceive as corruption in one of my representatives. On the other hand, I also know you can’t please everyone all the time. Politics is the art of compromise. You simply have to know what is okay to compromise on and what is not.
Another aspect of this is what happens when someone goes from being an unpaid political volunteer to a paid position, whether it’s as an elected official or working for a non-profit. We all donate time to the things that are important to us. At the same time, we all have to pay our bills. Some people can only volunteer a few hours a month while others it can reach the level of a second full time job. When the required time commitment crosses that invisible line, each person has to make the decision whether they can continue to volunteer or whether they now need to be paid.
Our opponents have always been very good at this. They donate money to causes that are important to them. This money goes to fund “community organizers” and “get out the vote” campaigns. Our side has traditionally balked at this, even assuming that anyone asking for donations is some sort of grifter. Now, I’m not saying there aren’t plenty of grifters out there, there are, but there are many more that are doing the exact work that their donors expect them to. Barack Obama is a perfect example of this. Our side may hate him, but he did exactly what his community paid him to.
We need to learn this lesson and we need to learn it quick. Our side is full of people busting their asses to fight for my liberty and yours. Sometimes they are lucky enough to get paid. Politics is a brutal business and I’ve seen plenty of good people get burned out or even envious of another person who found a way to get paid for their work. When envy creeps in, it is yet another way our groups end up destroying themselves.
Lastly, I’d like to tie all this in to the work that we’ve ALL been doing here in Coos County. Let’s summarize our recent victories:
- Replaced a progressive on our Board of Commissioners with a solid liberty minded individual
- Gained control of the North Bend School Board
- Gained control of the Bandon School Board
- Elected a liberty minded individual to the local Education Services District
- Forced the Coos Bay City Council to reverse their divisive flag policy
- Caused North Bend High School to cancel their support for a divisive event
- Removed county level funding for a local organization pushing woke ideology
- Formed a county-wide neighborhood watch group that now has nearly 6,000 members
- Put every woke group in the county, public and private, on the defensive
I’m sure there’s a ton more I’m forgetting, but the point is this… we… are… winning. That doesn’t mean we are anywhere near finished. It’s just the second inning and we happen to be up 3-0. We can still lose, and lose badly. You know how we keep winning? STICK TOGETHER AND PLAY SMALL BALL.
What is small ball? It’s paying attention to everything, no matter how small. Every pitch, every swing, positioning, running, communication and FINISHING EVERY PLAY. It’s picking up your teammates when they have a bad game or congratulating them when they have a good one. It’s talking to them while your in the dugout about how to do it better next time.
We are currently winning because a ton of people finally got fed up enough, put their personal egos away and started working toward the same goal. We’re all still individuals. We aren’t going to agree on everything, but what we MUST do is this…
- Understand that people have different skills and different ways of accomplishing our goals.
- Realize the difference between our ego-driven preferences and morals that can’t be compromised.
- Help our friends who end up in official positions by providing sound counseling and filling in their knowledge gaps so they don’t end up consumed by “the system”.
- Support the other people who are freely volunteering their time, either monetarily or by taking some of the load off their shoulders.
- Don’t sacrifice the “good enough” in search of the “perfect”. We win by chipping away at this long term.
I’m writing this because what we’ve accomplished in Coos County is far too important to let it be destroyed because of ego and petty bickering. I personally have put in way too much damn time to see it all fall apart cause certain people can’t get along. My friends have put in too much time. You have put in too much time.
Learn a lesson from your enemies. Play as a team.
Matthew Wilbanks – Editor @ The Daily Resister