If you’re like me, you’re tired of watching America head downhill, especially when it means the erosion of our culture, wealth, faith, and the steamrolling of our rights and liberties. And if you’re like me, you want to do something about it as soon as possible.
But you also probably know better than to believe that the problems thrust upon us will be fixed by a change of administrator in Washington, though many seem to be falling for this illusion. These days, altering the seating arrangement in Congress every so many years is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. We’ve seen the great Pennsylvania Avenue parade before, dozens of times, and each time the wars continue, the welfare increases, government balloons in size, and debt goes through the roof (until they raise the ceiling again, of course). Isn’t it time we focused on something besides the same old failed “solution”?
We need solutions that work, and it’s time to get serious, even if it means starting small, planning long, and making sacrifices.
You’re probably talking to all kinds of people—regular folks, as well as pastors, teachers, politicians, and many other leaders in society—often asking the question, “What can we do?” I have heard that question myself many times, especially in response to the worldview taught here at American Vision. Sounds great, but what is to be done? It was my goal, therefore, to sit down and begin a training project, privately funded, to be promoted and given away free online, that provides simple and clear answers to that question. My project, called “Restoring America One County at a Time,” is that attempt.
We cover ten major topics, beginning with education, welfare, and local government. We emphasize the things we can do right now; and these are the things that must be done first if we are to make any further progress in this battle. This is the heart and soul of the project: recovering local sovereignty and local freedom. Everything else that follows in restoring America is either based on the same principles already covered, or they require much more progress to be made before they become viable to accomplish.
So, since what we covered first is so fundamental, vital, and so ready for the taking, I want to provide it as an overview of the big picture for you. Here’s a “2-minute” version below. (If you wish to move on to the detailed look already, visit my Restoring America master page.
First, education is the easiest thing to recover, and the most vital. Anyone who actually cares that their children be taught Christian faith and liberty, who cares about the foundations and principles of liberty, and/or who decries the principles of socialism (taxing some people to pay for services to others), among other things, is under a moral obligation to provide for their children’s education privately. You’ve got to pull your kids out of public schools. This is how American was originally founded, operated, and it is part of what made America great to begin with. It is time to recover this vision and discipline.
This is quick and easy to do in most states; but it is able to be done in all. In fact, there are no laws in any state mandating that you subject your children to public schooling. This is purely a personal decision—a willing subjugation on the part of the parent—with only economic and lifestyle motivations involved. Every Christian, especially, should pull their children out immediately. Christian children need Christian education. Every church should support homeschooling parents, help with materials and supplemental instruction, and open its own school as well, especially for poorer members. Morally and biblically speaking, there’s really no good reason not to do these things. Only if you let convenience and money trump morality would you continue to support public schooling.
There are still goals to be worked for after making this initial momentous step. We must have in view a world in which tax-funded schooling does not exist, and we must plan and work toward that vision. We should hope to get the State (civil government) out of education entirely. We should at the very least work for tax-exemptions for those who educate at home or otherwise privately. This is only just.
If every professed Bible-believing Christian 1) took responsibility for their own children, and 2) then organized to demand an end to school taxes, the public school system could be defunct within a matter of weeks, and certainly would be within a year. But then again, who cares if they exist in general or not, as long as we obtain the right to opt-out of all taxation that funds the system.
How people react to this first topic of the project to make America great again will show how willing they are to work and sacrifice for freedom in general. If we won’t take back that freedom which lies right in front of us, if we refuse to sacrifice where it’s easiest (although still a sacrifice), then we’re saying on a personal and local level at least, “I want my socialism.” Balking at this point is an admission of complicity in the plunder, or complacency in general. Both reasons would indicate that people are not yet ready to be free. At this point, we’ll see whether the TEA-party is really ready for a party.
Welfare and Social Security
Secondly, centralized State welfare is a failure. In fact, it is a scheme designed to redistribute wealth and enslave us as beggars to the central powers. The answer is individually-funded “retirement” and insurance, family-based welfare for old age, and church or voluntary community solutions for the truly poor and for those few instances which exceed individual or family capacity (true charity cases). A free society will also include at least an option to abstain from the State-run system.
Every church, instead of spending 80% of its income on new building programs and pastor’s salaries, should have a large fund designated for the care of members who are truly biblical widows and orphans. Voluntary communities could do the same, but these would essentially operate as small, private insurance groups (although, don’t dare call it “insurance” or the government and a tribe of lawyers and lobbyists will slaughter you to the gods of the insurance industry in a court of admiralty).
There are some private solutions already successfully at work in this regard. Classically, the Amish and some Mennonite communities have maintained exemption from the Social Security system since they had a private system in place and had religious convictions against it. The same is true of more recent health-care sharing programs like Samaritan Ministries, which obtained exemption from teh central government’s healthcare tyranny for the same reasons.
There is nothing, ultimately, that should limit exemptions to just those groups. Anyone with a religious or any other conviction against it should be free to leave the system. You shouldn’t have to live an Amish lifestyle (though, the country life is a good life!), and you shouldn’t have to prove anything to the government, in order to be free from its ridiculous tyrannies.
The main things we can do here are, first, to create and implement a personal plan in which you provide for yourself and your family first. This means saving at least 25% of your income from as early as possible. If this is currently impossible, then you need to make cuts in your budget until it is. Maintaining a high level of consumption while not saving money, and meanwhile depending on future government taxation of others so that you can quit working at 65, is immoral. For those who profess to believe in freedom, dependence on such coercion-based handouts is self-contradictory. By rather positioning yourself to fund yourself in old age and emergency, you do many great things: 1) you recover individual responsibility, 2) exemplify it for others, 3) you further delegitimize the government system, and 4) you expose the government scheme as unnecessary, and in fact, counterproductive.
There are yet further goals at which to aim. Even while you position yourself as responsible and self-sufficient, the government is still taxing you for Social Security benefits. The goal is to stop this coercive redistribution of wealth entirely, or at least provide an opt-out. The first step is to become self-funded despite the taxation. The second step is to organize a demand for exemption for those who desire it. Obtain this, and you will have freedom from the system, and it will soon disappear altogether. Even if it does not, if it is not allowed to tax (or is prevented by state and local governments) for this purpose, then the option of freedom is on the table for all who would choose it (and of course, who would thereby be agreeing to live with the consequences of freedom as well).
Third, we have got to refocus our political efforts locally. We need much less attention on national elections which tend only to give new rascals the old jobs, and the old rascals huge pensions. We need to plan locally, take back control locally, reject handouts and grants from above, and reject the interference and regulation from higher governments (which often comes attached to the handouts). We need to clean up the socialism and corruption in our own backyards before we pretend to save anything at the national level.
In fact, it can’t happen the other way around. The system itself has grown into a tyrannical bureaucracy. It is theoretically and practically impossible to restore freedom by simply replacing the President and his bureaucrats. The only way to restore freedom is to dismantle the machine, delegitimize it, and/or remove yourself from its path. It is highly unlikely that the vast machine will be dismantled, for the people most in position to do so are also the ones most self-interested in maintaining it. The only way to restore freedom today is to reassert local sovereignty, and this begins with establishing local integrity and freedom, and then moving on to relearn what American local resistance is all about.
For starters, we need to learn about local politics: the people, places, systems, etc. We are way too familiar with national figures, and way too ignorant of locals. Learn about them: names, backgrounds, beliefs, public salaries and pensions, everything. Then, especially, delve into the public finances of your town or county. This knowledge is public, and the financial officer of your locality can provide it for you. Find out how much is taxed, borrowed, paid, on whose authority, and why. You can then better inform and organize for local elections and much more.
Then, start a website documenting everything you’ve learned. Make everything plain and public—very plain, and very public. Find a list of local business owners and make them aware of your work. They are the people who pay the lion’s share of property taxes; they will be happy to see someone tracking it for them, especially if there is corruption or waste. Make everything public. It is not even out of the question to film or otherwise record public meetings, and make that available online also.
Much more. . . .
There is much, much more to cover. We talk about markets, courts, defense, money, and more. We also discuss the need to restore the pulpits of America to positions of prominence, knowledge, and leadership in local political ethics and law—the way the American pulpits used to be! The positions covered are bold, but they represent the way America used to be, and especially the way God’s Word directs us to live. If we want the type of freedom America once had—indeed, even greater freedom—then we have to be honest about things: state it plainly, set goals, and work toward them, even when it seems difficult, uphill, and unpopular. Freedom can be restored in America, one county at a time. If you really want to make America great again, then direct your attention to the hard truths of how it used to be, what the Bible says, how we really lost it, and the hard truth of what it will really take to get it back—sacrifice on our part, and a multi-generation vision of family and church responsibility.