The Culture of Surrender

Are We Tom Paine's "Summer Soldiers?"

One of the more disheartening things I encounter on a day-to-day basis is the increasing number of Americans who have simply given up.  They view the political divide in this country as insurmountable, and they see themselves as fighting their way to an inevitable defeat.  Demographers might support their conclusion too, as in so many ways, the culture that had built America is slowly being stolen from us.  Illegal immigration and the welfare state are two particular aspects of statist America that seem to guarantee that there will be no reversal within our lifetimes, if ever.  One entire party, and the elite minority of the other are apparently committed to reducing the United States to just one more failed historical civilization.  Some of them, particularly the left, wants the  country to fall, as we have known it, and the elites in the GOP seem quite satisfied to let it happen, merely slowing the collapse to prevent a revolutionary uprising.  Many ordinary Americans have simply quit on America, and they’ve gone off in search of whatever temporary relief they can find from the mounting failures that now characterize our culture.  The simple truth is this:  We are slowly submitting to a culture of surrender.

“I can’t do anything about it, anyway,” is the common refrain.  “Why pay attention to politics? They’re all crooks, and none of them care for the interests of the people…”   This sentiment is now so widely held that it spreads as a contagion, not merely among ordinary citizens, but also among those who have extraordinary talents for leading.  With the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and the New Year approaching, many seek refuge in the momentary pleasures of these traditions, and the family-centered comfort they offer.  It’s not an ordinary year, and none should let their attention on our nation’s condition be diminished.  This isn’t 1995, or 1983, but as I’ve explained before, it’s 1859.  We linger on the brink of a civil war that will cast this nation into chaos for generations, and few seem willing to notice.  It’s not that the evidence is unclear, and it’s not that people don’t know it, but that they have made the conscious decision to ignore it.

“Maybe it will go away,” or maybe “it will work itself out,” are common too. “It’s too big and too complex,” is among my favorites, precisely because it is the size and complexity of the machine that leverage in favor of reform.  In our point-and-click, plug-and-play world, many have lost the patience and self-discipline to see things through.  It isn’t easy maintaining one’s focus against the tide of media outlets, and popular culture, all of which offer that siren’s song of avoidance.  It’s a real problem we conservatives face, because too often, we see the most stunning developments in our political world, and look around us to realize that only a relative handful have noticed. Dis-spirited and demoralized, it’s little wonder the American people look for distractions, but the sad truth is that we permit it.

People fall prey to this constantly, good and decent people who share our conservative values, but they’re mostly detached from the world of politics.  They’re very much engrossed in their day-to-day lives, and with the current prevailing economic conditions, they’re struggling to make ends meet, raise their kids, and keep a roof over their heads.  I was down at the local gun store the other day, buying some shells, and got into a little talk with the owner and two others who were just talking over issues.  One complained: “This darn school district is raising taxes again.”  The others grumbled in agreement.  “Why don’t we just elect somebody else,” I offered.  One nodded agreement, but another said something much more telling: “What’s the use?  They get into office, and ten minutes later, they all think they’re King George III… No sir, it will collapse eventually.”

I’m guilty of this thinking from time to time myself, if guilt there is, but to tell you the truth, I don’t think we can just wait it out.  The way things are going, if this all collapses, it’s likely to come down on our heads.  I’m not finished yet, and I know many who aren’t, so while it’s frustrating and maddening, we really must become more involved.  In the end, we really may have no recourse, but I think that so long as we do, we must fight for our values, and that we must continue to spread the word on the events of the day.  Like so many of you, I don’t miss the opportunity to speak out very often, but the problem is that much of our intended audience has tuned out.  It’s as though the nation is waiting for that collapse, but seldom do nations simply fall.  Corruption in governments goes on with or without the consent of the governed, and whether or not people are willing to notice.  They continue to gather more power, more authority, and more control until there is nothing but government.  Our founders warned us against failing in vigilance, because they knew all too well the predatory reflexes of those who would rule over us.

Statists come in various forms, and on the basis of varying excuses, but they all share the same underlying belief:  It is theirs to rule, and yours to serve the interests of the state, which always really means them.  They claim the interests of the public are met by fulfillment of the interests of the state.  This is the reason they can take multi-million dollar vacations, with you picking up the tab.  The interests of the public are served, they say, because in carting Michelle Obama all over the globe with her platoon of friends, the interests of the US are advanced in the name of its prestige, and as a matter of good will.  I think I’ll try that on my boss next time I want a pay raise:  “Boss, it’s in the interests of this organization to pay me better so that I will be a happier and thus more effective ambassador for the organization.”  My bet is that if he didn’t fire me on the spot, he’d probably call paramedics, certain that I had flipped my lid.

This is the problem with our government, and it’s not going to vanish by pretending it away.  No growing tyranny ever does, because in truth, the kinds of people who seek to rule are also the sort of people who are always looking for “one more postponement,” as Ayn Rand once noted.  Isn’t it true?  Look at the budget, the debt ceiling, and the intransigence of both parties in tackling this issue.  Their answer is to create a super-committee, that will effectively do nothing of consequence except perhaps to increase the misery of every working American.  look at the impending meltdown of Europe.  It’s born of the same thing: Juggle things as long as possible, and once it collapses, blame somebody else for the problem.  In this context, it’s easy to understand why the American people are demoralized.

Consider the case of the Tea Party:  Here had been a real grass-roots movement, but from the outset, they were treated as pariahs, their motives were impugned, they were falsely and repeatedly called racists and terrorists, but with millions having attended various Tea Party events, none of the were arrested, there were no acts of violence(except against them,) and they left every venue cleaner than they had found it.  They observed local ordinances, filed for and received permits, and observed the rule of law they said they cherished.

Contrast this with the bizarre and chaotic spectacle of the Occupy protests.  The media actually sympathized with them, and even that was not enough to conceal the illegal behavior, the unbelievable messes they’ve made, and the crime that has accompanied virtually every one of their major assemblies.  Combine this with violence, the expressions of antisemitism, and all of the focused hate they have spewed for two solid months, and what you realize is that the American people ought to be a bit dis-spirited.  They have watched the mobs of ne’er-do-wells make a mockery of the notion of peaceful, law-abiding protests, and yet they have only lately begun to garner some negative attention in the mainstream media.

This has been done with precisely this end in mind:  Tell the Tea Party “you’re irrelevant,” and with any luck, the Tea Party will believe it.  I’m here to tell you that there’s no reason to surrender, and that we cannot yield only because the media tells us to do so.  We cannot avert our eyes from the crimes being committed openly by this government, or the criminal intent of those running it.  We cannot pretend that these things are not happening, nor should we seek a momentary escape from this battle.  It’s our battle precisely because it is our country.  It’s our fight because we know what is being lost.  It’s our engagement because we know the virtues this nation must practice to prosper and thrive, because after all, by and large, we exercise them in our own lives.

Clear the cobwebs.  The season of family and friendship is upon us, and we mustn’t neglect the opportunity that offers.  On average, you will see more of friends and family, and more of your congregations than you see throughout the rest of the year.  You’ll share their company.  Share what you’re feeling.  Share what you’ve seen.  Tell them that for the next 12 months, it’s okay to focus on damned little else, because that is what you’re going to do, in the name of your country, and all that you love.  No retreat.  No stalemate.  No surrender.

“These are the times that try mens souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”  Thomas Paine – The Crisis No. I

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26 Responses to The Culture of Surrender

  1. I just read and agree wholeheartedly about a culture of surrender, and am in a family of deniers, rejected completely from being in the presence of my mother, sisters, and friends all because they think I'm chicken little running around saying the sky is falling! I am still going to talk about what I know to be true, because I do my own homework, and am becoming more involved every day. However, this will be the third Thanksgiving and Christmas I will spend with my 19 year old son only, (thanking God right now I have him) My mom tried to get me to have an abortion when I became pregnant with Sean, while going through a divorce, and so did my younger sister. I'm glad they don't want me around, because they tried to make me kill my best friend. I'm sorry, I don't know why that came out, but my point is, I am prepared to be a full time Patriot, and joined the Tea Party when it began. I love this country, and I am willing to lose my life to save hers! God bless America!

    • MarkAmerica says:

      Cynthia, Thank you! I'm sorry to read about the situation you describe, but when the same people who now call you chicken little gave you their advice those years ago, you chose what you believed to be right. The situation you describe is not uncommon. Thank you, as I'm sure your son does, for not surrendering, then or now. -Mark

    • Anne says:

      God Bless you, Cynthia Klahn.

      Thank you Mark, it's heading out in the email!

  2. Hank says:

    Ayn Rand was so right.

  3. Tracy says:

    Another fantastic and true article.

    I know for sure that we have become the country of surrender. My husband and I have tried to express our opinions at family gatherings and have been shouted down and ridiculed. I refuse anymore to try to speak the truth to these people. We must realize that when the truth falls on deaf ears it is time to move on.
    We talk and talk to no avail. We read and express ourselves through sites such as yours but nothing is ever accomplished. We have written, emailed and phoned until we are blue in the face. For three years now. When do WE finally realize the usual ways no longer work in this extremely corrupt time we live in.

    I do not believe in violence of any kind. I pray every day that we do not have to resort to that. But that being said, the Revolutionary War was not won by protests and marches. Sometimes freedom has to be fought for with blood. I think that most convervatives will not speak of this because we truly hate the thought. Take a good hard look at the state of our country. Has anything we've done changed anything for the better? It has not. In fact while we have been reading and writing things have gotten much worse with no letup in sight. People talk about voting them out in 2012. These comments frustrate me to no end. The 2012 election is not a given. Do we really think that this administration is going to give up easily? They have come too far in their plan of destruction to do that. The corruption will be astounding. How can we not see this and learned from this in the past 3 years? Our own stupidity is even more astounding!!!

    I have not given up but let me be honest. It is becoming harder and harder every day to not just go into duck and cover mode and survive as best as I can. The problem is there is no one to fight alongside me. No one I know is willing to make the sacrifice to do what we need to do to win this battle. Our true fight right now is to get people to fight with us. From my standpoint this is an almost impossible task.

    Sorry for the ramble.

    • MarkAmerica says:

      Tracy, I understand completely. We can all become disheartened from time to time. The difficulty lies in re-engaging. There are days I think about closing down this blog and just saying "to heck with it."

      • Tracy says:

        I'm sure you do. And with the Net Neutrality taking effect on Sunday that might be sooner than you think.

    • joe says:

      From what I read….you are not alone with relatives that do not agree with you. You CAN opt to keep your mouth shut… which means you are surrounding just to keep peace within the family. OR you can strike out on your own by finding people who do agree with you….or at least will listen to you. Use your computer to find places to speak out… e-mails can be one platform. There are many additional places where you can use the computer to be read.

      • Tracy says:

        Hi Joe.
        Did you mean surrendering just to keep peace? If so I don't see it that way. There is a point where one must quit wasting precious breath and move on.
        As for finding others I do have others in my life that have the same mindset. My point was I feel that the time for talking and reading has passed and we all must move on to the next step.

        Do you not agree?

        • MarkAmerica says:

          Tracy, If I may ask, what do you see as the next step?

          • joe says:

            Hi Mark,

            I've been following you for a few months. I forwarded a few of your articles/columns to some friends.

            Got a shocking negative response. They questioned your 'credentials'. My initial attempt to defend you was to try and Google your name. Nothing came up…. so much for that avenue.

            Saying you were a veteran, a Texan and passionate about America…although true…were only words…. and wouldn't pass the 'credential test'.

            So… after a few more e-mails with your articles….and the continued negative feedback….. I simply stopped sending your articles to them.

            And so it goes…..

            • MarkAmerica says:

              What credentials does one need to make an argument? I have a Bachelors of Science. What's the point? What are Obama's credentials? Has anybody seen them?

        • joe says:

          You and I are on the same page…. Of course I agree with you.

          However, to explain myself, I have decided to simply smile and say nothing to folks with closed minds…. Usually those same folks have a habit of not listening to anyone who doesn't already agree with them

          I'm glad you have moved on… I have moved on too….however my circle is very small.

    • Dave Pavano says:

      First off, Mark, Cynthia, and Tracy…
      Never give up the fight. Everything I know and understand about history, government and what I see going on today reading between the lines, Mark so eloquently writes in his blogs. I never listened to Glenn Beck until I was accused of being a loyal fan of his. Six weeks before he went off the air my curiosity caused me to finally check him out and I discovered he too was saying everything I was arguing with my friends.

      Joe, it wouldn't do much good to only talk to like minded people although you can learn a lot from others as long as we keep spreading the word. If we don't we would be like farmers knowing everything about how to grow good crops but never planting the seeds. Sorta like many church people I've known… A farmer also knows that he has limitations. He can plant seeds on acres of land but can not will them to grow. Obviously they need to be watered. However if the farmer never plants the seeds, only weeds will grow or he could plant bad seeds and again weeds will grow or bad crops.

      The communist socialists marxist liberal mindset has been planting bad seeds for decades, actually since the end of WWII. Senator Joe McCarthy was one of the first politicians to start the war on the influx of communism, but his fight was eventually labeled a witch hunt. JFK and RFK recognized the Mob/communist connection and were both assassinated for going to war against it and that was the end of any political interference with the exception of J Edgar Hoover who kept the fight going silently, and then silenced. These Four men and everyone who backed them recognized the need to to pull out the weeds and bad crops and replace them with good seeds. But who is left to do this?

      What does it say at the very top of the page?
      " Winning Hearts, Changing Minds,
      One American at a Time"

      We are but a handful of true American patriots who still believe in God and Country, and that the two go hand in hand together with the forming of The Constitution of These United States of America. We The People, We ARE The People and I for one have a propose and a mission in life to win the hearts and minds of every wayward American in this country by continuing to educate myself more and more about our history, the Constitution, and with current events and using facts to weed out the bad crops and weeds and replacing them by planting good seeds, and realizing the dangers of over watering them to the point of drowning out relationships but letting the nature of the mind's curiosity do the nurturing.

      Plants do not grow overnight. They need sunlight (enlightenment) water and warmth (patience) and nurturing(love and kindness). Sometimes all we need to do is plant the seed and eventually someone or something else will do the rest. This liberal mind set was not built overnight, don't expect it to change overnight.

      Remember, it was only a handful of people that comprised the French Underground to be a major part of defeating the Nazi occupation of France in WWII.

      Thank you Mark for all your hard work a diligence in continuing the fight against tyranny and eventual destruction of our nation! And to all of you, Let not your hearts be troubled…


      • MarkAmerica says:

        Dave, Thank you! I realize what you've said is true, but like anybody else, I face moments of discouragement.

        Problem is that I don't think a liberal mind is built at all. I consider it the default setting, like a feral cat, or a pack of dogs gone wild. Leftists are what becomes of developmentally stunted minds.

        That puts me in the mind to write about something I've addressed before, but I think must be touched upon from time to time.



      • Tracy says:

        Dave. Very thoughtful post. I agree with you on most of what you said. However I have learned to read people quite efficiently and I know when I am not getting through and will never get through. Moving on does not mean giving up on new people but we do have to realize when we are preaching to people who absolutely refuse to see the truth. The most common response I hear is "that will never happen here" or "your exaggerating" or my favorite "I'm worried about you." They are worried about me? I always laugh and say they had better be worried about themselves. So that is the time I move on and never bring it up again. I don't have the time nor the patience and especially do not have the will to keep talking to ignorant people. Too bad so sad for them.
        Anyway I keep trying and it helps to have intelligent and gracious people for a change on a website to spur me on to keep going. Thanks to all.

  4. Tracy says:

    Mark, if you read my original post you will see what the next step will probably have to be. I referenced the Revolutionary War. I know you will find fault with it but if anyone can find another way I'm all for it. If not we have no other option. These people will not be replaced easily. If we all really looked at the truth of this we would all probably agree. I think none of us really want to face the writing on the wall but hiding from it will not change a thing.

    • MarkAmerica says:

      Tracy, it may surprise you, but I thought that's what you meant, and sadly, I believe you may be right. I've believed for some time that may wind up having been the only recourse.

      • Tracy says:

        I have to say that your response has completely surprised me. I am so used to everyone saying that we don't have to resort to what I have said that I couldn't believe what I was reading. I was waiting for a lecture. Everyone says that we have to do it a certain way and only that way. Well, we have to remember that we are working with a whole different crowd. This has been the most corrupt administration in history and we had better learn how to fight this and we had better learn it very quickly.

        Again, thank you for a wonderful site. I have not felt this energized in a long time. Somebody actually agreeing with me about which direction we may have to choose is a boost to a flagging spirit.

        • MarkAmerica says:

          Tracy, I am a realist. If Democracy is as I and others contend, "two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for supper," then I must admit that the sheep must at some point be prepared to defend themselves.

  5. Tracy says:

    Hey Joe. That's exactly what I do. There is nothing else to be done with people who don't have their eyes open. My circle is very small also which can be quite frustrating. I live in very progressive Minnesota with a family of mostly liberals. How sad that I just found out my cousin is a conservative because he refuses to discuss anything with my family. Now we have been at many family gatherings together and I had absolutely no idea. I was ecstatic that my husband and I were not the only ones. Still, it's not enough to save the country now is it?

    I apologize if I misread your response. It's so hard sometimes to get across what we want to say without it sounding critical. It's something I work at everyday. Also, sometimes my hackles go up. I'm sure you feel the same way when there is always some kind of attack coming from every direction.

    • MarkAmerica says:

      Tracy, you're right, it's tough out there. The problem is that frequently, we conservatives are too much the peace-makers during episodes of family discontent. I adopted a different position some years ago and decided that I would have nothing further to do with the radical libs in my family. Now, I talk only to those worth my breath.

      • Tracy says:

        Mark. You have gone a step further than I have had to take. We are very firm with my family that since they cannot speak to us without attacking then we will not speak to them at all if they continue. No politics are brought up but one family member has to dig at us a little blaming the TeaParty for everything. My husband then has to put her in her place. They are very intimidated by my husband and he and I have a good laugh over it later. Sometimes even a little humor from even this is a good thing. Sorry to hear you're estranged from some of your family members but that's just the way it goes.

        • MarkAmerica says:

          Tracy, I don't let it get me down. Part of it is that I live 1100 miles from most of them, so it's not difficult to avoid them. It's amazing how much clarity one can get in such a matter when one reduces it to the basic question: Why does [person x] wish me to live as his/her slave? After that, it's not so difficult.

  6. joe says:

    To Tracy and Dave….

    First of all, Mark responded to me. I am more than impressed with his professionalism and background and passion for America.

    Now, regarding my 'stance' of smiling and no longer trying to persuade people…, like Tracy, I happen to be surrounded in a closed community of Senior Citizens who have closed minds and just want to be left alone. It's a "Winter Visitor" retirement community where folks just want to come and enjoy and play. So.. now I am exploring outside this closed environment.

    That addresses Dave's point that it is important to be able to listen to more than one point of view in order to expand choices and learn.

    Thanks for sharing….

  7. mimsborne says:

    Although I'm a bit depressed at the Left's ability to knock down Tea Party movement candidates (e.g. Bachman & Cain, & Palin before those), I stay engaged in the battle through Facebook & blogs. At work, I'm known for having bumper stickers on my car that people feel compelled to ask me about. That's when I get to make a statement (nothing harsh, just one prompting them to think). And, I support conservatives that I run into, helping them to feel like they are part of a larger conspiracy of freedom. The Tea Party's greatest contribution to Freedom was giving lonely conservatives and libertarians the hope that they were part of a larger group of similar-thinking citizens, one with voting-block power. We proved that in 2010, and will again in 2012. Mark, it is people like you who are holding the movement together. Thanks for your contribution to my family's freedom.