Nearly all of us have either been involved in an abusive relationship or known someone who was. Abuser belittles victim, and if victim resists, abuser resorts to restraining, beating, stealing from, or assaulting the victim with a deadly weapon. The victim is usually a weak and innocent individual who lets the abuser persuade them that their life would be worthless without the abuser around. When the victim decides enough is enough, the abuser comes back, apologizes, and acts nice to the victim – for a while. Then the cycle repeats itself over and over until the victim screws up enough courage to break it.
Last year, The Ohio Republic reproduced an article by Daniel Miller of the Texas National Movement, which likened the relationship between the American people and their federal government to domestic abuse. The feds take our money in taxes, then create rules that make it either degrading or difficult for taxpayers to gain any benefit out of it. They make nice to us every election cycle; and when the election is over, the oppression resumes.
At the federal level, political campaigns are so expensive that only the “abusers” can get elected. The rest of us feel powerless to resist the attacks on our pocketbooks and our freedom. As a secessionist, Mr. Miller suggests that we have to break the cycle by seceding from the union. Perhaps we will not have to go quite that far, but it should be clear by now that we will not get government under control by relying on the results of national elections. We will have to get outside our comfort zone and try a different approach, such as passing nullification resolutions and acts refusing to support the federal government in unconstitutional activity. Ohio has already started down this road with Issue 3, which added an amendment to our state constitution forbidding state officials from allowing any laws to be enforced that would force individuals to purchase medical insurance.
However, the sickness in our political system is deeper than that. Our voters have at least two similarly abusive relationships with their political parties. In both cases, a certain group of people vote so reliably for their party that their party’s establishment takes them for granted. They make nice during the campaign season, then neglect them after the election.
On the Democratic side, the real interests of African-Americans are neglected because they have so consistently voted over 90% in favor of Democratic candidates, regardless of office, regardless of election. So how have the Democrats rewarded their loyalty? They have dumbed down public education, especially in inner cities, making it harder for inner city children (predominantly African-American) to succeed in school or in life. They discourage entrepreneurship, which is how people gain the business experience that eventually leads to corporate success. And they prosecute a drug war that deprives far too many African-American families of the strong husbands and fathers that they need. And Democratic rhetoric mocks Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by insisting that people be judged by the color of their skin or group affiliation, instead of by the content of their character. All the while, the Democrats give lip service to “black power,” as they systematically take away the means to acquire it.
The day after the Super Tuesday primaries, libertarian Republicans discovered that the party establishment took them to the cleaners again. There were high hopes in the 12th Congressional District that Bill Yarbrough would topple Pat Tiberi, but Mr. Yarbrough had to struggle to get 20% of the vote against the longtime incumbent. Ron Paul did not do well in Ohio, and appears to be fading as a Presidential candidate. Why? Because libertarians hung their hats on the Republican Party, instead of continuing the intense non-partisan activism that began in 2009. Why should the Republican establishment care about us? They have our votes in their hip pocket, and they know it.
African-Americans and libertarians cannot reform society to their benefit until they get out of their comfort zones and try new ways to influence the political process. Blacks might be amazed what they could accomplish if Republican or Libertarian candidates could really get their foot in the door at the NAACP. Tea Party voters might be amazed what they could accomplish by divorcing the movement from the Republican Party, and by building communication channels with the public that do not rely on the so-called “mainstream media.”
Years ago, a manager in my office jokingly put a sign on his door, which read, “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” The beatings will continue until the states stand up to the feds, and until Blacks and Tea Partiers divorce the party establishments that abuse them. We must learn the ways out, and then find the courage to take them.
Harold D. Thomas is a regular contributor to The Liberty Voice. He writes the blog The Ohio Republic, and has recently published his first book, Governing Ourselves: How Americans Can Regain Their Freedom, published by BookLocker.com, and available at bookstores and online booksellers everywhere.