Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Black Friday Day!

Written by Scott Cooper

I am grateful for the many friends, family, and politicians (many who are friends) who sent messages yesterday on Thanksgiving Day.  We do indeed have much to be thankful for.  I chose not to send a Thanksgiving message, not because I am not thankful – I am.  I am thankful for many, many, things.  My wife, my two sons, my extended family, for the education and experiences I have been blessed with, for many material blessings and for the fact I have had the privilege to grow up in the freest and most prosperous republic in the history of the world.

While I am thankful for all those things and more, yesterday I continued to struggle with deep sadness and exhaustion.  My sadness has not to do with the November 6 election, as some might suspect, but the loss of culture, virtue and the Judeo-Christian values that enabled our republic to be the freest and most prosperous republic in history.

My exhaustion is not because I have not had adequate time for sleep or even that I have not slept well these past several weeks.  I have.  At one point in the last several weeks, to the amazement of my wife, I slept through a violent storm, evidence that I am sleeping in peace!  I believe my feeling of exhaustion is because I recognize the amount of the work required to restore our society back to the values that made it so exceptional, and the apathy of so many standing in the way of this restoration.  Again, I am not speaking of elections I am speaking of values.  Without Divine Providence, which our republic’s founders relied so heavily upon, we will not see the restoration of these values. 

Click the link above to read the entire text.  I want to highlight the third paragraph of George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation:

“And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. “

Clearly, George Washington understood that our blessings came from above.  He also understood and promoted that in order to secure continued blessings; we must collectively possess certain traits:

1.      Seek forgiveness of transgressions, both private and public. (Humility)
2.      Perform our individual and collective duties properly and punctually. (Personal Responsibility)
3.      Ensure a government of wise, just and constitutional laws – to be faithfully executed and obeyed. (Accountability)
4.      To bless sovereigns with good government, peace and concord. (Honesty)
5.      To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue.

Using Mr. Washington’s standards, do we deserve continued blessings?  Without a restoration of these values and principles, I believe we do not.  We are reaping what we have sowed.  It is easy to say that our politicians are to blame, but the reality is, We the People Are To Blame! (Link to previous writing)

Today, on Black Friday 2012, our republic is in a downward spiral.  Many think we can solve our financial woes by opening the stores earlier.  Others, who foster covetousness, (link to previous writing) have called for labor strikes on retail businesses to promote greater equality of results between the rich and the poor.  Personally, I don’t believe the solution lies in either course of action!  We as a nation are sick and we need to review George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation in depth, especially the third paragraph!

What we need more than anything this Thanksgiving and Christmas season is not an economic revival, but a Spiritual Awakening!  In my opinion, Mr. Washington’s Thanksgiving proclamation actually points us in that direction.  He gave us the recipe.  He did not speak of economic prosperity being achieved through “shopping for the holidays,” through “spreading the wealth”, or “social justice.”  Mr. Washington encouraged seeking forgiveness of sins, personal responsibility, accountability, honesty and the promotion of true religion and virtue.

Please consider spending this season praying for new leadership which is being developed at the local and state level around our country.  Pray for the men and women who are starting to stand in the gates of their local and state communities to say that our collective financial tragedy and potential future economic prosperity are rooted in moral principles.  Continuing to stray from these principles will continue our path of decline.  Returning toward these principles will lead us toward renewed strength as a nation.  These men and women, if they take the required stand in their local and state communities, I believe will one day take the reins of leadership away from those at the Federal level who we have allowed to lead us to the brink we currently face.

Happy Black Friday Day?  Well, that was an interesting title!

May God bless you and your family during the next 32 days – the time period between Black Friday 2012 and Christmas Day!  Remember – Wise Men Still Seek Him!

A Time For Compromise

A Time For Compromise
Written by: Scott Cooper

Last week after the election, I was engaged in a discussion on a blog with a good friend and mentor who has lived in Europe for the last 25 years.  He cautioned me and my friends within the Tea Party, stating now is the time for compromise, that the election was over.  Quoting Ecclesiastes 3:8 “There is a time for war, and a time for peace” Now is the time for The Tea Party to compromise and make peace, he cautioned.

To follow was my response:

First, since you quoted Ecclesiastes, allow me to share 1:9-11 “So, there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one might say, “see this, it is new?” Already it has existed for ages which were before us. There is no remembrance of earlier things; and also of the later things which will occur. There will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later still.”

Let me share my perspective. I am angry. I believe it is ok to be angry. Ephesians 4:6 says “Be angry and sin not.” I believe there is such a thing as righteous anger. Now is a time for righteous anger. Allow me to share someone else’s review of a book on this subject, which I find helpful.  Click here to read that review!

Two Thoughts on moving forward in a compromising way, following the election:

First, while President Obama did win re-election, he barely won the popular vote. He clearly does not have a mandate. His election was more about style and likability, and I dare say that since 93 % of blacks voted for him, race. He was also helped by the GOP, whose efforts to shut out Liberty and Tea Party Grassroots activists at State and National Conventions this year caused many conservative individuals to either not vote, or actually oppose Mitt Romney with their vote. The point is, Barack Obama’s ideology did not win – his personality and his political machine did. This was aided by GOP incompetence. The compromises you are asking us to make are based in ideology and worldview, and our republic is clearly divided on these ideologies and worldviews.

Second, our extremely wise founding founders established a divided government because they wanted to limit extreme changes from taking place. They understood the tyranny of a centralized government, and they knew that someday we would be fighting the battles we are fighting. We must utilize the systems in place, which they wisely set up for us, to do everything we can to limit the further expansion of Government, which inevitably reduces individual liberty and personal responsibility. Remember, our republic was founded on the principles of individual liberty, not centralized government or collective results.

I am not willing to compromise on giving our Federal Government one more cent of revenue, whether the measurement is a percentage of GDP or as a dollar per citizen – you choose the matrix. I have yet to see them be wise stewards of my financial contributions, and I am angered by their waste. We have seen the GOP consistently compromise on our principles of fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, constitutional limited government and personal charity for the last 100 years, and it has led us to the brink of our republic’s impending financial demise.

We could confiscate 100 % of all the millionaires and billionaires wealth and we would still be in an unmanageable financial hole due to previous compromises.  Therefore, taxing the rich is not a solution. We must learn to live within our means. The riots and demonstrations which are taking place throughout Europe this week due to their required austerity measures should be all we need to see we must wake up and grow up.

While the current administration, which was just re-elected, is what helped to wake up the individuals that comprise The Tea Party, the one’s you say that must compromise now, our anger is not directed at this Administration, but at the GOP, which has peacefully compromised our liberties for decades.  It was George W. Bush who “Abandoned the free market in order to save the free market.”  We will retreat on our liberties no further – in order to attain immediate security. I am reminded of Benjamin Franklin who stated: “they who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

While we diligently work to restrain the growth of government, our struggle going forward is to educate our citizenry on the worldviews at stake. This election shows that the majority of youth 18 – 29 are ok with Socialism, which is in opposition to our form of government. The Pollsters are consistently speaking out about different races and classes. We need to educate that our ideas of limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility and private charity are not respecters of persons – they work for all races and creeds. I am so sick of our leaders dividing us up to win elections – our ideas win across all the lines, if we can articulate them well enough – which obviously, we need to improve on.

Some specific worldview items I will not compromise on, which we must do a better job in educating on are:

1.  Fiscal Responsibility. We need to have a budget. It needs to be tied to something measurable, like GDP. It needs to be balanced. This democratically controlled Administration and Senate has not passed a budget in 3 years. Why should we compromise on anything before this is accomplished – seriously – why?

2. Our President breeds Covetousness – and I am sick of it.  Please click here to read my writting on this subject.

3. Our President stands against life – As a State Senator he supported 3rd trimester abortions, right down to the last minute – and now wants enforce mandated healthcare that requires birth control, up to and including abortions. This is against our First Amendment Religious rights.

4. Our President stands against free speech – We are in a clash of worldviews with Radical Islam, and when our Ambassador is assassinated, President Obama attacked the First Amendment free speech rights of a film maker instead of addressing those who attacked our consulate – or better yet – did his job and ensured that attack didn’t take place!

I could write more, but I am done for now. I am going to go back to the question I started with: Where specifically do you want to see compromise, and what principles dictate that compromise or retreat?

 Here are some additional thoughts I have had since writing those words on November 15th:

Those who seek Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets – as laid out in our Constitution are hated not only by the Democrats, but by the establishment GOP as well.  Indeed if you listen carefully to many GOP leaders, they are posturing themselves so as to blame the Tea Party for any inability to reach a compromise. 

The reality is the party, which in writing states they hold to the values of the Tea Party, has compromised repeatedly on their written values for decades, and that is why the United States is facing the fiscal demise we face.  Now that there is growing momentum to hold the GOP party accountable, they are doing what every party with power does – clinging to their dwindling power, making every attempt distance themselves from those who are holding them accountable, which are actually the silent majority.  Rather than seeing the Tea Party as the reinforcements they need to hold to their principles, they will make every effort to blame the Tea Party, a movement which began only four years ago, for their long history of principled failings.  Just like they did in state wide and the national convention this summer, they will continue striving to shut and marginalize the Tea Party.

For many idealistic Tea Party members, it has been painful learning to be hated by those we want to help reinforce their principles.  The Tea Party movement however has learned, it is not here to be loved by the GOP.  We The People are here to restore our republic to the principles we hold so dear.  At a recent national conference of Tea Party leaders, we reflected multiple times on Winston Churchill, who left London in defeat in the early 1930’s; only to be called back to lead his country through the chaos of WWII. 

Financial Chaos is coming.  Its seeds were sowed a long time ago, prior to the inception of the Tea Party in 2008.  The Tea Party is not going away.  It is girding its loins, getting thick skinned and focusing locally where it has a greater impact. It will be ready when wisdom and common sense prevails at the Federal Level – which clearly is not yet!