The Risk of Post-Election Republican Betrayal

Luckily, unlike the typical corporate setting, as a voter you don't have to passively accept it. You're the boss. You set the rules your employees -- your representatives -- have to work by, on pain of terminating their contracts. But like a good supervisor, you have to stay vigilant lest their temptation to slack off becomes overwhelming. That means continuing to blog, comment, talk to friends, stay active in local and state politics ... all the things you're doing now.

Few can afford the time, even when they have the interest, to make it a full-time avocation. But for some time to come, a heightened awareness and a degree of active participation is a must. We won't be off the knife edge for at least two-and-a-half years. Even ten years from now, if everything goes well (and it won't always), we'll still be far from restoring to America the freedoms enjoyed by our great-grandparents.

Beyond staying informed and pushing for freedom, Constitutional limits, and fiscal sanity, it'll be important to increase our own level of education.

Here, "education" means learning more -- and teaching others more -- about American and world history, about real-world capitalist economics, about political philosophy and related subjects. It's worse than useless to pay attention, stay informed, and urge liberty if you don't know how to defend your rights.

Progressives will likely suffer electoral defeat this November and in 2012, but they're not about to give up and go away. They'll still be a serious influence in education, media, and think tanks. George Soros, Pinch Sulzberger, and fifty more like them could disappear tomorrow and there will be a hundred standing in line to advocate statism for another generation.

The only way to keep them in check, and ultimately reduce their influence back to the tiny street corner crowds where they belong, is to keep proving them wrong to "the man in the street." That requires having solid, sensible answers in the face of Progressive arguments cleverly designed to appear reasonable. Honing one's knowledge on the topics above is a lifelong process and crucially important for having those answers at your fingertips whenever needed.

Two examples: everyone would profit from reading Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson (or Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics) and Burton Folsom's The Myth of the Robber Barons. Absorbing just those two books would arm free market advocates against the most popular Progressive distortions of history and economics.

The final suggestion here is the hardest to implement over the long haul: keep your spirits high. This struggle is bound to wear on the strongest of constitutions, but the alternative is apathy, pessimism, or cynicism -- all of which destroy the country and the soul.

Said Thomas Paine in The Crisis:

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ... Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.