Posts Tagged ‘downgrade’

Eurozone Downgrades Looming – Markets Brace for Panics

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

This Time, Europe...

Santa Claus may be visiting Paris this Christmas, but it looks as though he’ll be dropping a lump of coal in President Sarkozy’s stocking, as reports are now widely circulating that Standard & Poors may issue a credit downgrade for the government of France in time for Christmas.  In truth, this is no laughing matter, and it certainly portends ill tidings for the season, as the financial markets, already in turmoil over sovereign debt issues, and the imminent collapse of the Euro are on the verge of panic.  Much like the downgrade that was issued for US government credit-worthiness, this seems to be bound to the failure to create a workable solution to the budgetary woes and general unsoundness of the fiscal policy of Eurozone member states.

In a report in the American Thinker on Friday, the details of the failure to attain a workable agreement for consolidation of fiscal policy among member states is outlined.  According to that report, the rating agency Fitch is now considering downgrading Germany and other Eurozone members as they look at the increasing probability that no fiscal order will be brought into this situation.

This sets the stage for a new phase of the Eurozone crisis, where we may see the beginning of one-wide collapse.  As I have reported in recent weeks, the looming catastrophe will have been due to two primary causes, and they are nearly impossible to overcome at this late date:  The nations of Europe that created the single currency overstated the value of some of the previous currencies to an outrageous extent, meaning that the Euro was destined from the outset for failure. At the same time, there was no consolidation or enforcement of a unified fiscal policy for member states, so that those countries with already high debt ratios and generous welfare state benefits as well as remorselessly unconscionable retirement programs for government employees virtually guaranteed that there would be a collapse in some form.  As with all such situations, government officials always seek one more postponement of the inevitable, but such a piper will not go unpaid.

What makes any and all of this relevant to we Americans is that our government and our Federal Reserve have tied us to the Euro to an extent that threatens to take us down with them.  If the Euro goes, we will face some sort of financial calamity, and because some Euro derivatives have now been backed by FDIC, it places the American taxpayer on the hook should this all go belly-up.  Add to this the trillions of dollars already loaned under the auspices of TARP and other bail-out programs administered by the Fed, and what you have is a scenario by which we are dragged down, cannibalized on behalf of our friends in Europe.

Our other increasing similarity to debt-ridden Europe is our debt-to-GDP ratio, all in the furtherance of the growing welfare state.  During Barack Obama’s thirty-five months in office, we have added to our cumulative National Debt by something in the neighborhood of $4.5 trillion.   For the first time in our nation’s history, debt now exceeds GDP.  At this rate, we will soon exceed the likes of Italy, that has now a debt of more than 120% of GDP.  At this point, the Obama administration in concert with the Federal Reserve is fighting the same sort of delaying tactic that the Eurozone is now employing: Prop everything up through just one more election.  This is ever the tactic of politicians, who seek to maintain power in the face of calamities they have created.  None of these heads of state are telling their people the truth, or preparing them for hardships that now loom in a very uncertain future. In part, they will offer that they do not wish to create undue panic, but in truth, they do not want to face their electorates’ anger.

Governments ought to have some responsibility to tell their people the truth, even when that truth is terrible and threatening.  The actions of the Eurozone leaders are despicable to me for precisely this reason, because they are telling their people that it will be worked out, somehow, but by now, I think most people have begun to catch on, both in Europe and here at home. What politicians fear most is having to tell their electorate “no,” or worse, “no more.” Politicians rightly understand that through their relentless building of massive welfare states, they have created monsters that will soon threaten their creators.  There’s a history of reprisals in Europe, and one can only hope it doesn’t come to that.

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Warning: Euro May Trigger Global Collapse

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

What Democracy Really Looks Like

Over the last week, I’ve been watching events unfolding with growing concern, and while I truly hate the idea that I might inadvertently offer myself up as just one more “Chicken Little,” I must in all candor tell you that because the sky is not falling now, do not assume it will not fall tomorrow.  We’ve listened to the media talking heads, the pundits, the analysts, the economists, and even the politicians, and virtually all of them have made rosy predictions and hopeful prognostications for the immediate future, and your federal government feeds this view with its own phony numbers, endlessly amendable and adjustable statistics, and a common lie that consists of telling you: “It’s all going to be just fine.”  As I’ve reported to you within the last few weeks, more downgrades were coming, and banks moved Euro liabilities under cover of FDIC, but now the downgrades are here.  There will be more.  When the Euro falls, it may very well take the United States with it.  The time to prepare has very nearly expired, and there will be no turning back.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am now going to tell you the truth, and I will place no bunting of red, white and blue around it, because you deserve to know it all lest you be left penniless and homeless and starving in the streets, unable to defend yourself from the cold, never mind the brigands that will likely swarm our cities:  If the Euro collapses, the blow-back may not merely damage our economy, but thoroughly destroy it, and there is absolutely nothing we can do but deepen and worsen the results by more delaying tactics.  Businesses are scrambling to come up with options if the Euro collapses, but the truth is that many of them are now in a position from which they will not recover.   The choices you make now may mean the literal life or death of you, but it’s important that you know how we arrived here so that if ever there is a chance to arise anew, you will already know the answer.  Even now, the statists of Europe are seeking ways to loot you. One world government will come riding in on the back of this nightmarish trojan horse.

It is a truism that few wish to acknowledge that one cannot consume more than one produces without eventually becoming subject to the sort of collapse we now face.  It goes for nations as well as people,  and just as people can hide the growing disparity between their financial underpinnings and their lifestyles for a time, nations can do so, and for even longer and to a greater degree because they can pilfer the value of the few still producing among their citizens.  The problem is that just like individuals, even nations and unions of nations run afoul of nature’s basic truism requiring one to produce at least as much as one consumes.  Herein lies the sickening truth of the impending Euro collapse, and the collapse of all those who have tied themselves to the Euro, including the United States.  For far too long, far too many of us have lived without producing while others camouflaged their bankruptcy, willingly or [more often] unwillingly carrying their burdens.  No nation can survive that.  No people can sustain that.

The single currency of the European Union was advertised to make them more competitive as a trading bloc with the United States and Asia.  In truth, that’s not the whole story.  The Euro was also devised as the means by which to buy a little more time before the welfare states of Europe failed.  No rational person ever thought otherwise, and every politician from Rome to Madrid to London to Paris and Berlin has known this for two generations or more.  Your politicians right here in the good ol’ US of A have known it too, and yet when they had a chance to do something to change it, they instead accelerated it.  You might ask: “Why?”

The answer has ever been the same, and it is the endless pursuit of power at the cost of any and every principle.  This ambition has blinded mankind almost from the very start of the first civilizations.  In our modern society, if you think politicians are the greatest bribe-takers, I urge you to think again: Modern politicians are the greatest source of offers in bribery but the greatest recipients are we the people.  You wonder who is guilty?  He who offers a bribe is powerless in the face of rejection, but he who accepts that bribe is guilty for all his days.  In small increments, and in bits and pieces, the people of Europe were convinced to surrender their liberty in exchange for small bribes.  Over time, the bribes became so large that to maintain them demanded more and more from the producers, until the relative few producers began to join the gravy train.  While they bribed your silence and your complicity with the get from your neighbors’ pockets, be assured that they have been busily lining their own.

The Euro was concocted to hide this.  All those nations whose fiscal problems are now manifest have always been unstable, and it’s because successive generations of politicians in those nations have been carrying out this sort of bribery of its citizenry from time immemorial.  The French revolution was a Marxist affair, though not known by that name in those days, and nations such as Greece, Italy, and Spain haven’t been fiscally responsible for centuries.  The disease is not heritable, but it often visits subsequent generations, because it is born of a bad idea that is passed from one to the next.  That idea is statism.  Statism is the ruin of mankind, and always has been, because its fundamental claim is that man exists to serve the state before himself.  Whether statism took the form of Monarchy, Theocracy, Democracy, or some brand of Totalitarianism, it has ever been the bane of human existence, and yet no idea has more staying power among people than this one.  It plays upon one of mankind’s greatest weaknesses:  The temptation of covetousness and envy, born ever of sloth.  It is enabled  by the deadliest sins against nature, or nature’s God.  It offers the false promise of a life without discomfort, effort, or pain, but in the end, it returns only misery.

A little more than a century ago, this idea began to catch on even in  America.  It has slowly grown as a cancer, and it has spread its tendrils through every community, on every level, and in all things.  We’ve been hiding it, too.  This disease has its own fuel, and the Federal Reserve provides it, and not surprisingly, has been providing it for most of the time in question: Easy money.  Low interest rates and plentiful credit has made this possible.  Consider the individual who runs up a pocket-full of credit cards, and struggles to make the monthly minimum payments.  That’s our nation.  Just as a weak-minded, or necessity-driven person can quickly run into debt to a dangerous level, so too can a country, and just as the easy availability of credit can act as an inducement for an individual, so does it work as a great temptation to nations.  Nations fall when they permit politicians to bribe them with credit.  Look around you: How many votes have been bought by a budget that is nearly two-thirds entitlement programs?

As has been reported this week, our own Federal Reserve loaned out over $7 Trillion at impossibly low interest rates.  That’s half the GDP of the United States, in loans.  Yet you may rightly ask:  Where does the Fed get the money?  Answer: It loans it into existence, i.e., it prints it.  Only the promise of the debtor to pay gives it any value, but if that debtor defaults, well, the value of the dollar is diminished accordingly, but even if the debtor makes payments, there is always risk attached, and that risk is shown in inflation.  This is why the Credit rating of the US Government has been such a big deal:  It is the single largest debtor, and substantially so. As our government looks less and less likely to be able to repay its debts, while it continues to borrow money at an increasing pace, what do you suppose will happen to the value of your money?  Why did Thanksgiving dinner cost an average of 13% more this year than last?  Next year’s will cost 20% more, or worse.

This is the real truth of this situation, and unless and until you are ready to confront it, and to reject the myriad bribes from politicians, you are going to see things grow much worse.  Perhaps most frightening, they may have successfully engineered not only the collapse of the Euro, but also the Dollar, and every other major currency on the planet, but what they will offer as a “fix” is a global currency that will make of us all slaves to the same masters.  They will offer you more bribes, or at least threaten to take away the ones you currently enjoy, all so you will go along.

Ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake about it:  With the current crisis ready to explode in Europe, and with the state of our own economy, under the willfully absent leadership of Barack Obama, we are waiting on the edge of collapse.  This may be a most un-Merry Christmas, and it only promises to worsen.  If we somehow survive as a nation, it will be surprising, but it will only have been possible if we reject calls for a global currency even at the expense of the bribes we are now so accustomed to taking that we believe them to be our entitlements.  From now until then, you can spend your time in contemplation: Do you prefer life as a slave?  Many of your neighbors will say “yes” without flinching.  Somehow, somewhere, we must find the strength to say “No.”   Prepare, my friends, and by the strength of your preparations may the republic endure.

Pick Your Poison: Bad or Worse?

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Where It Stops, Nobody Knows

Today’s news seems only to offer a choice between the bad and the worse.  Little hope was readily apparent with the market in free-fall, and at this point, we dare only admit that it might have been worse.   The bad news is:  Tomorrow may be even worse.  A 635 point plunge on the Dow  punctuated the end of the day’s trading, but there were other events today that bear closer examination.   Among them, one can find a brief statement to the press by President Obama, delayed by nearly an hour.  His statement was typical of this President, which is to say it was an outrageous display of both his growing hubris and his intransigent indifference in the face of a disaster largely of his own creation.

There was something else made all the more plain by the market’s performance, when juxtaposed with Obama’s simultaneously indifferent and smarmy statement:  There can be only one of two possible explanations for both things.  Either Barack Obama and his entire economic staff are the world’s most precocious imbeciles, incompetent beyond all attempts at rehabilitation, or, now more likely in my view, the lot of them have undertaken a course purposefully designed to accomplish all you have witnessed on the day.  In short, I now believe Barack Obama is sabotaging this nation intentionally. Thankfully, I also know that his presidency will come to an end.

The President said many things, while the market paused in its plunge to listen just long enough to confirm its fears of him, but notable among all of the things this imperious president said, was his continued insistence that this was all the result of the rancor and harsh politics during the debt ceiling debate.  As with all things he says, there was a nugget of truth, but the part about which he lied is clear:  The harsh politics and rancor that prevented the enactment of a bill that would have prevented all of this emanated almost entirely from his side of the political aisle.  There can be no doubt that he knew this as he variously blamed anybody but himself, however, the most telling evidence of his intentions lied in what he did not mention:  The bill that died in the Senate, famously known as Cut, Cap, and Balance, which he himself had pledged to veto, was the only plan offered that satisfied the S&P with respect to preserving our AAA credit rating.  Every other plan was judged by S&P to be insufficient, but in the end, we enacted one of those tepid plans.  Whatever else they may say or do in the days and weeks ahead, if the President or any of his henchmen tell you otherwise, they are simply lying.  Lying is not unusual for politicians. It seems to be the favorite hobby of many, yet in this instance, the lie is being told with other than the usual motive of preserving their power.  It’s told with the intention of deceiving you so he can justify even greater assaults upon your wealth.

As usual in Washington, there’s always more than one villain.  It’s now being reported that today’s market calamity may have made somebody a good deal of money, betting against the US.  Meanwhile, always in need of new scapegoats to go along with the usual ones, S&P itself became the target of Obama’s false accusations.  Some on the left are now openly calling for Standard & Poor’s downgrade to be investigated, and not surprisingly, most of them are Obama’s former colleagues in the Senate.  This is roughly equivalent to calling for the investigation of the radiology technician who finds the tumor in your brain.  “Now I must endure life-altering surgery, and chemotherapy, all because of you!”  It would be laughable if they weren’t serious.

One of the noteworthy features of Washington DC is that you can almost always identify the lying dog by which barks the loudest, and with the most ludicrous explanations.  Barack Obama’s statement today was an act in defiance of reality.  Whatever his motives, and most of us can now guess them, President Obama can’t do much damage that cannot be reversed.  This evening, Sarah Palin published an article on Facebook repeating some of the points she’s made before, and further expanding upon them with a properly scathing assessment of Obama’s failure to lead.

In all that Mrs. Palin says, there may only be one factual error, and it’s due entirely to her generosity:  When her critics last November crucified her for her stance on QE2, (including her predictions on a possible QE3 – now seemingly set in motion,) this writer does not believe it was due merely to their incompetence that they smeared her as unsophisticated.  Instead, it was precisely because they knew her to be correct, and wished to verbally bully her into silence, that they carried out their ridiculous campaign of personal attacks against her.   Nobody is laughing much today.  As has become her habit, Sarah Palin managed not merely to be right on the facts, but right in predicting where they would lead, in abject rebellion against the many and varied smears with which she’s been painted.   Governor Palin also pointed out the fashion in which the Tea Party was being scapegoated, referencing Nero’s use of the Christians as the object of his own nefarious schemes.  This back-handed comparison to Barack Obama is more apt than most might wish to acknowledge, and yet it’s also further evidence of Sarah Palin’s depth of understanding of the issues at hand.

In all the years of my life, I have heard it repeated, on too numerous an occasion to recount, that the “good intentions” of liberals offered an excuse for their wrong-headed policy initiatives.  In my youth, I would have readily believed that, not then willing to consider that there could be Americans who wished harm upon America, but in all the years since, I’ve abandoned that naive assumption, in favor of what my own eyes and intellect reveal:  Nobody could have witnessed any of the last century’s miseries under the iron boot of statism and continue to believe that this was in the public interest, or the common good, whatever you may believe those to be.  It’s abundantly clear that this has not been an accident, and it’s patently obvious that the intentions are not nearly so good as we had once dared to hope.  Barack Obama is not suited to be President.  While that’s bad news indeed, it’s not particularly new to many of us, but what’s worse is that we’re stuck with him for nearly another year-and-a-half.

The only good news in any of this can be found in the encouraging words with which Governor Palin closed today’s article:

“Our destiny is still in our own hands if we pick ourselves up and act responsibly and quickly. We must all get involved. Concerned Americans must seek truth, work harder than ever, and be willing to sacrifice today to ensure freedom tomorrow. Please get engaged in 2012 electoral politics and support experienced, vetted, pro-free market fiscal conservatives who will dedicate all to preserving our Republic and protecting our Constitution.”

Indeed.  We must find exactly that sort of conservative leader.  I have found mine.

And you?

Monday Morning: What Awaits At The Market Open?

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Grim Tidings?

It’s always difficult to suppose one knows anything about how the markets will behave in such a difficult situation, but the early indicators are breathtakingly grim.  Whether this will be merely a correction, or perhaps indicates the beginning of the bottom dropping out, none can say for certain, but this much we know:  When the markets open in a few hours, there’s a pretty high probability that it will be a sore day, on the news that ought to have hit late Friday, but was delayed by White House lobbying.  For the first time in history, the US has been downgraded from it’s AAA rating, and there’s a high probability, as great as one in three according to S&P, that it will be downgraded yet again before the dust settles.  That portends serious consequences in the credit markets, and suggests at least a short-run retreat. What this means to the stock markets when they open isn’t certain, but at the moment, it certainly doesn’t look positive.

How did we arrive here?  Simply put, the downgrade is merely an effect of profligate spending with borrowed dollars on the part of our government.  Deficit hawks have been warning for decades what would be the ultimate result if our spending wasn’t restrained.   We have arrived.  That bleak future may well begin today.  Where is our President?  He has skipped town to Camp David, by all reports, ina pathetic bid for invisibility, and in a play reminiscent of his departure before the large Tea Party rallies in DC.  The problem for the President is that this isn’t going away, and he’s not likely to be able to divert attention from it.  Things are caving in around him, and yet he’s not particularly disturbed by it, and from all appearances, he simply doesn’t wish to be bothered by any negative attention.  Whether he carries on with the “laying-low” approach, or he comes out and  makes a statement of some sort on Monday, you can expect that he’ll be trying to distance himself from any responsibility.  Bet on the Tea Party being blamed, as John Kerry’s already picked up that meme and has been carrying it on behalf of leftists all weekend.  In a clear indication that they’ve long known what was coming, the DC establishment has been setting up their favorite scapegoat for weeks.

Check out this page of Pre-Market data, courtesy of CNBC. For those who dismissed the effect of a downgrade, this should provide an eye-opening dose of reality.

What shall you do?  I don’t offer market advice, ever, because I’m not a paid professional investment adviser, but as you go forward into the coming murky dawn, as the veil lifts to reveal what it will, my advice generally, as a human being, is to preserve value wherever you can.  There may be some buy opportunities, as there sometimes are, but whatever the case, whether climbing, falling, or dropping through the basement, all I can tell you is what I have always told my friends: Prepare for the worst, work for the best, and if you wind up on the sunny side of that equation, smile at your good fortune.  If not, at least you’ll be prepared.

What many expect is another infusion of cash from the Fed at some point, in the form of QE3, as is already being floated.  If so, that’s likely to be a sign that things are worse, so they would do it as quietly as possible, but this strategy is like trying to keep a blown-out tire inflated: Air spills out the breach more quickly than you can pump it in.  At some point, all the pump-priming in the world just won’t get it done, and worse, it could well add to our problem.  At  this point, the proper tack to take is merely the time-tested adage: “Do not put good money after bad.”

Be prepared for the bumpiest ride in at least a generation. Other than that? Good luck to all!

Downgraded America: We Warned Them

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

Not All Vultures made it into Frame

None of the events of Friday night are the slightest bit surprising to economically-aware Americans.  Economists warned you. For my part, I warned my own readers repeatedly, and Governor Palin warned you too.  On the Thursday before the debt ceiling surrender, Sarah Palin tried to cajole members of Congress to a firm stand.  A simple respect for logic screamed a warning in your minds from which there was no means of escape.  We all knew this was coming and we all knew it would be humbling.  Responsible Americans heard the warning loud and clear, but when they relayed the stark warning to Washington, the DC-Axis pretended not to hear the din, or castigated their critics and defamed them as terrorists.

None of this is news to you, who’ve been reading this blog.  If you’ve tuned to Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, or Levin, among lesser lights, you cannot possibly have missed this.  Governor Palin warned against the irresponsibility of inaction, on her own Facebook page and during Fox News appearances.  Millions of thoughtful Americans made it clear that the Budget Control Act didn’t go far enough.  Washington sneered at them, and Speaker Boehner told Republicans to “get your ass in line.”   President Obama, for his part, continues to mouth aimless, meandering platitudes.  His Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, promised repeatedly that this would not happen.  Happen, it has, and now America can count on even worse economic news. It’s going to take real, solid, unwavering leadership to restore all that has been broken in the last three years, and more.

America is not dead, but the policies of Barack Obama, combined with the moral diminution of our nation, have taken her down to her knees.  Appropriately, many Americans have noted our position and prayed.  I know faithful conservatives who prayed daily for the President and the Congress to find the courage to do what was necessary and proper to safeguard the fiscal and financial state of our Union.  As in all things, such prayers may not be answered on a schedule most convenient to mankind, but this doesn’t mean Americans should despair and surrender their country.  At least three years of mostly Keynesian solutions combined with innumerable reflexive statist proposals have brought us to this.  The shocking truth is this: Barack Obama is not fit for the presidency, and neither are any who timidly sided with the Budget Control Act and its additional blank checks for Obama.

On Thursday, when the Dow slid over 500 points, the chattering class told you this was about Italy, and Europe generally.  While there is no denying that these had an effect on the markets, what’s inescapable now is the conclusion I offered you on Friday morning:  The market is revolting against three years of an impossible policy of borrow-and-spend and its immediate implications for our own economic future.  It also signifies the bankruptcy of a philosophy rooted in early 20th century progressivism. Last night, as the S&P downgraded our credit rating, the truth became apparent.  What we witnessed on Thursday was the movement of smart money in response to an impending threat.  All day Friday, the White House worked to stave off this downgrade until the markets had closed, hoping to take advantage of the cooling of passions weekends often provide to nervous markets.  They succeeded in large measure, and it was not until after the last echos of the closing bell had faded into memory when the first tremors from Washington began to move the earth beneath our feet.

This isn’t an ordinary event, yet in the hours leading up to its final exclamation point, the narrative from Washington had already begun to work its way into the media at large: “This is no big deal. There’s no crisis. There’s no reason for panic. It won’t mean higher interest rates.”  Any who have been deceived by past admonitions to abstain from worries should now carefully consider the sources of those remarks.  All needn’t be lost, but we, the American people, must resolve and plan to repair this, and it will take a coalition-building servant of tremendous dedication to lead us in bringing this economy hard-about.

We shall see up and downs; rises and falls, but we must measure the course ahead with care, and not turn to panic or despair.  We will have a chance to begin setting this right when the elections come mercifully upon us in November of 2012.  It is for this coming political season that you must preserve your devotion, energy, and passion.  Any silly liberal can(and will) run screaming into the night in fear and trepidation.  We must be what we are:  The solid foundation upon which this nation still rests.  We must have steel spines and strong constitutions.  Each of us.

To restore what has been wrecked by the ultimate drunken-drivers, we’ll be faced with challenges as few of us will have known.  That doesn’t mean certain failure, but instead only that we must give it our all.  Given the character of my audience, as I have been so fortunate to come to know it, I am well-versed in their capacity to do what is right, rather than what is easy.  We’re coming to that crossroad at which we will now be compelled to choose what sort of nation we will be.  Will we accept endlessly-mounting debt, at each increment yielding a bit more liberty and a good deal more of the futures of our children?

I am reminded of Patrick Henry’s famous speech, and encouragement may yet be found in the fact that our situation is not yet nearly so dire as the one he described.  We are not imminently at the point of arms, and there’s no reason we need ever be if only we will make full use of our power in the political battles before us.  Substituting political decisions in place of that context, let us remind ourselves of his staggering admonition:

“They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.”

We needn’t go further than to admit that our situation is not nearly so desperate.  We have no need of arms, but instead we have a desperate need of people to rise and challenge our adversaries in politics.  Our adversaries names are not only Obama and Reid and Boehner, but also John Doe and Joe Sixpack. We must look to our own homes and hearths and know what is in and amongst us.  We must mend the fences between neighbors. Go out this day and find one honest person, and tell them what you propose.  For my part, I will do so also, and this is what I shall say:

There is no avoiding the truth any longer.  We must reform all that is broken with the people in Washington, and if it means replacing them all, every one, then we must do so, as many as we can, in the coming elections.  We must find diligent and honest servants, and we must advocate their cause in our own names.  We must seek out such leaders as we’ll need, starting most immediately amongst ourselves.  We can choose leaders to help guide us at the top, but no leader can carry on her back the combined weight of the world’s problems.  A leader must find equally firm character in those who will be led, or their purpose is in vain. Where shall we start?  Where have we Americans always started?  In our families, among our neighbors, in our churches, and in the town square are the first steps Americans have always taken toward reform, because we know that for reformation and restoration, this healing tide must flow from within us.

Be of good cheer, despite the screaming headlines. Be solid for those who will need your resolve. Be mindful that when you advocate on behalf of a candidate, or an issue, those who are truly undecided will be watching not only for the logic of your argument, but also for the manner in which you make it.  They who have sat too long straddling the fence, half in terror and half in comfort at the prospect of dismounting their perch will need to know they’re stepping onto solid ground. We must be that solid ground.

What must be recognized is that this downgrade isn’t a cause, but an effect.  We must see even the debt that has brought us to this debacle also as an effect.  The cause at the root of our troubles doesn’t lie with the various issues we see emerging in our time, but with something fundamentally broken in what we’ve allowed our country to become.  There are great dangers ahead, but none of them need destroy us.  None of them ought to be the cause of our demise.  They will mostly be mere effects of what actually threatens our republic.

Glenn Beck had it right in his 8-28 project of 2010, when he said that we must restore our honor.  The “fundamental transformation” we must find cannot originate in Washington.  I’ve been interested to watch, as the new campaign season approaches, who is and who isn’t taking firm and public stands on these arguments in Washington, or elsewhere.  I’ve been watching for signals that an honorable and courageous candidate for President will emerge, and while there have been some hopeful signs from a few of those who have announced, I believe the best is yet to come.  Who shall lead us?  You’ve already had a hint.  On the 28th of August, 2010, before a multitude assembled, she spoke not of politics but on the real meaning of American honor:

Who Shall Lead?

“We will always come through. We will never give up, and we shall endure because we live by that moral strength that we call grace. Because though we’ve often skirted a precipice, a providential hand has always guided us to a better future.

And I know that many of us today, we are worried about what we face. Sometimes our challenges, they just seem insurmountable.

But, here, together, at the crossroads of our history, may this day be the change point!

Look around you. You’re not alone. You are Americans!

You have the same steel spine and the moral courage of Washington and Lincoln and Martin Luther King. It is in you. It will sustain you as it sustained them.

So with pride in the red, white, and blue; with gratitude to our men and women in uniform; let’s stand together! Let’s stand with honor! Let’s restore America!”

Many will have failed to notice that Governor Palin had been telling us this all along.  Some will pretend not to have heard it, not wishing to confront that which they know lies within them.  The Obama disaster isn’t the cause of our troubles, but instead has merely exposed the source of our disease.  Ridding ourselves of his disastrous economic and social policies will not, by itself, repair what is broken.  As Sarah Palin pointed out to the assembled hearing of a multitude, “It is in [us].”  We must repair ourselves from the inside, first, and that means honor and integrity in all we do; in our families, among our neighbors, in our churches and our workplaces we must become as honorable as the names of our cherished beliefs demand.  At every junction, at every intersection in which one must choose between what is comfortable and easy, or that which is more difficult but right, we must be the people who will choose the latter.

It’s your country.  You choose.  I’ve asked what sort of freedom it is that you seek.  Did others think that by avoiding the choice, they would avoid the consequences of not choosing?  Surely not.  What your comments and emails reveal is that my readers and millions more have chosen, and I thank you, but there is much work to be done.  Let each of us go to it.