Rushin’ and Rantin’ with Reactive Ralphie
By Claire Wolfe
March 15, 2005
“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”
Reactive Ralphie rushes up and down Hardyville Main Street, tearing his hair and screaming.
“The sky is falling! The sky is falling!”
Oh. Wait. That’s not Reactive Ralphie. That’s Chicken Little.
What poor Ralphie cries is something more along the lines of: “Tyranny is coming! Tyranny is coming!”
And who could argue? With secret searches authorized by secret courts, “detention” without trial, and internal passports now an accepted part The American Way, the Land of the Once-Free is indeed beginning to resemble Everyday Stalinism.
The only thing is — what to do about it?
Reactive Ralphie knows — or thinks he knows — exactly what we should ALL do.
Drop everything! Write your congressthing! Come to the rally! Email an alert! Send This Article to Everyone You Know! March on Washington! Study the 2,000 Pages of Astounding Documented FACTS I’ve Assembled on My Web Site! Send a contribution! Sign The Petition! Support A Patriot in Need! Take A Stand! DO SOMETHING! NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW, NOW!
And Ralphie means that each and every one of us should do all of the above. All day long. All life long. In response to every bit of tyrannical [male bovine byproduct] that plops out of the Internet or governmental sphincter.
Man, if we did everything Ralphie says we MUST! DO! NOW!, we’d be feeling like the zookeeper who gave a laxative to his elephant.
‘Course, Ralphie would say that if we don’t do everything he insists on, we’re going to end up as thoroughly crushed as that mythical pachyderm-poop victim, anyhow. We will be buried in Big Brotherment.
I can relate to Ralphie’s desperation. Bet you can, too. Bet most freedom-seekers have wanted to Ralph over the current state of things many a time.
I’m on only a couple of political e-mail lists, these days. I frequent only one political forum. But this week I took a look at the number of extreme bad-news items that screamed for my attention. I counted up all the horrors freedom lovers should DO SOMETHING!!!!! about.
I’m talking about scary legislation in the works. Creepy control technologies being implemented. Even creepier control technologies under Pentagon development. Innocent people victimized by bad laws or corrupt officials. Children and old ladies being Tasered by cops. Prisoners or suspects being tortured. Corruption at the very core of our monetary, health care, retirement, and taxation systems. Serious, serious problems that ought to be addressed.
I tallied a single week’s barrage. It came to 12 items per day that a person of conscience ought to DO SOMETHING!!!!! about. Eighty-four causes per week screaming for outrage and action.
“There’s your proof of how bad things are!” Ralphie raves. “So get moving! If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem! To the barricades!!!!!”
But when Ralphie says that, I say, “Whoa. Stop. Breathe. Think. Focus.”
And Ralphie reacts — because reacting is what Ralphie’s geared for — “What? You just plan to sit on your [Democrat mascot] until the jackboots start kicking your doors down? You’re not going to fight for gun rights until the [children of unmarried women of easy virtue] come to take your guns away? You’re not going to protest national ID until they forbid you to ride a go-kart without showing ‘your papers, please’?”
And I say, “Whoa. Stop. Breathe. Think. Focus.”
And Ralphie charges off, screaming, “[Offspring of Hillary]! [Deity disfavor you]! [Byproduct!]”
Poor Ralphie. In his intentions he’s a true Hardyvillian. He’s almost the opposite of Compromisin’ Sam, the [weak-willed kitty] who believes we can gain freedom by selling out freedom.
But in Ralphie’s frenzy, he’s unintentionally sabotaging freedom just as much as Compromisin’ Sam is.
Ralphie’s right about two things: The news is indeed terrible. And we do need to do something (please note the lack of capital letters and exclamation points) about it.
But when the daily barrage of anti-freedom news keeps us in permanent Reactive Ralphie mode, the enemies of freedom have us exactly where they want us.
- We fling ourselves at one terrible act of legislation, while they slip a worse one into some 2,000-page budget bill in the middle of the night.
- We wave our arms in fervent outrage over one police injustice while the same police agency (and hundreds like it) rake in secret Homeland Security funding or War on Drugs funding to do more of the same — and worse.
- We fight without long-term objective or a coherent strategy, simply because we’re so desperate to redress the daily outrages and ward off daily threats to liberty.
- We burn ourselves out. Fast.
- And we have nothing to show for our most impassioned efforts, because there are more of “them” benefiting from bad laws, tax funding, and citizen apathy than there are of us to rush to put out every fire.
“But okay, smart[nether region],” Ralphie might say if he were still hanging around to listen and not off having a nervous breakdown somewhere, “Even if you’re right, so what? If my way is wrong, what’s your plan for getting free?”
I don’t have a plan. I admit it. Nobody else does, either. If you meet somebody who has some nice theory they say will restore liberty, just ask them how they’ll make it work. Nope, they don’t have a plan, either.
At this point, we simply don’t have enough freedom lovers or enough blatant tyranny to move our complacent neighbors into becoming freedom lovers. So tyranny marches on. And will march on until a certain time comes and a certain critical mass of fed-upness is reached. But that doesn’t mean we should either sit on our [Democrats] or carry on like Chicken Little.
Indeed, a few items on our need-to-do list are obvious.
- Because freedom lovers are small in numbers and have limited resources and little public support (at present), we have to use our brains and our wiles more than our force of numbers.
- We need to get out of reactive mode. We need to stop caroming around like a smacked pool ball every time bad news strikes us. We need to “keep our eyes on the prize” and have a strategy that moves us toward our long-term objectives.
- Because freedom lovers tend to be bad at organization and centralization of effort, we should make a virtue of our decentralization. A virtue of our invisibility. Decentralization, after all, is the one thing our highly centralized command-and-control opponents utterly fail to understand.
- And we should never, ever let the bad guys set our agenda, as Ralphie does. We should never ever act (or react) with no coherent agenda because we’re feeling so freaked out by the thunder of jackboots marching toward us.
People who work for freedom in these parlous days are guerrilla fighters — near-invisible opponents of a vast and powerful enemy. For the moment, our chief armaments are our brains and our spirits. We are members of a Mental Militia as Gen. Elias Alias calls it.
Guerrilla warfare is unsatisfying. It has no Sousa marches. No definitive battles. No victory parades. It is a war of attrition. And we are in a very, very early stage of our struggle to wrench our freedom back.
We must wear down the enemies of freedom instead of wearing ourselves out. Knee-jerking at every headline or horror story gets us nowhere.
As Abbie Hoffman said, “Random action produces random political results. Why waste even a rock?”
Next time: Ten Tips for Toppling Tyrants.