By Dan Shea
Here I sit, looking around with awe at what happened in the polls in early November. The media says it was a landslide, a public outcry against the mean spirited Republicans who were picking on poor Bill Clinton. They are saying that Americans really want Clinton’s agenda.
I have a somewhat different take on the situation. 36% of eligible voters chose to exercise their Constitutional Right to Vote, their obligation of citizenship. This is the lowest turnout since 1942. Rest assured that the Democratic Party had its usual tactics of bussing the welfare rolls to the polls and giving them lunch, “Vote Democrat to protect your way of life”. The vision of a populace voting itself more and more entitlements, and giving up more and more of its freedom is coming to fulfillment.
In 1992, Ross Perot brought us Bill Clinton as president, largely because of dissatisfaction with the Republican lack of vision. Not too much doubt about that. In the following two years of outrage, after the Clinton anti-gun agenda was exposed and was derailed at Waco, we stood tall. The Committee of 1776 sponsored a coalition of Second Amendment groups into putting 100,000 people on the streets in 26 states, then 15,000 of us gathered by the reflecting pool under the Washington Monument. Several weeks later, Handgun Control Inc, and the usual crowd, mustered their usual showing of about eighty people, and got a load of media coverage. Friends, our voices were heard. We had a big part in the so-called Republican “Revolution” that stunned the media pundits, and shook the established order right to its foundation. We were on a roll. New blood took over the Capitol, and they were full of ideas of down-sizing government, and returning to Constitutionality.
By 1996, our agendas had been watered down. Extremists and terrorists had been painted as our blood brothers, and that broad brush was used to denigrate us and minimize our voices. We lost heart, and our “Leaders”, lost their way.
In this most recent election, the Republicans gained their just desserts. Having watered down the agenda they were sent to DC to put forward, and compromising all the issues that the people who sent them there to deal with, no one bothered to support them. 36% of the eligible voters. I would say that this is a key, and it had better be looked at carefully by the Republicans if they expect to turn it around.
Bill Clinton is now free to use executive orders and his “Bully pulpit” to demonize firearms owners, and to harass us. He has already begun.
In the back rooms of power, the whispers are clearly heard- the Clinton’s are guilty of far more than a sex scandal and cover-up. People who do not normally subscribe to conspiracy theories speak of treason, extortion, and many other corrupt acts. Discussions are held about using these against the Democrats in the power play surrounding the year 2000 elections. The mistake in this 1998 election, was in not putting these on the table. If you have proof, then take this corrupt politician down. If not, then shut up about it, and get on with the work of governing the nation.
With all of the wondering “Why” the Republicans didn’t get their mandate, it is no surprise to me that they don’t ask us out here… they really don’t want to hear it.
What do we want? We want smaller government, less intrusive government, stricter punishment for real crimes, our Rights returned to us. We want our Freedom back- not subverted in bizarre legal language that punishes law abiding citizens and rewards criminal behavior.
Above all, we want leadership. Stand tall, say what needs to be said. Stop the loss of our Rights, and watch how many people follow. Think back to 1994…. When Republicans stood up against the Clinton machine, we voted them in, we were there backing them. I hope they hear that, remember that, and start working for us, instead of misreading the vote and thinking they are supposed to be more “Liberal”.
If they make that mistake, I will totally divorce myself from the Republican Party. So will just about all the firearms owners I know. The year 2000 will be the truly fertile hunting ground of a third party- Jesse Ventura for President? Hmmmm. Leadership comes from the top.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V2N4 (January 1999)