Rule of Law Restoration Efforts Suspended for Lack of Adequate Participation
The two-pronged idea was quite simple: Find candidates who would pledge to abide strictly by the rule of law while in office, and find voters who would vote only for such candidates. The first part was a surprising success in the 2010 election cycle, with 3,000 federal and state candidates invited and 71 taking the Candidate Pledge. The grand failure, however, came with the Voter’s Pledge efforts. Even though we served up somewhere around 19,000 pageloads at the ROLR website in 2010, only 24 voters signed the Voter’s Pledge. This number should have been in the thousands.
Why is ROLR failing?
Since we have not been able to fund widespread surveying, our evidence is only anecdotal. If our observations are accurate, however, the following represent various reasons that ROLR is failing to hook the voters:
- The public doesn’t understand the Rule of Law and why it is crucial in a constitutional republic.
- Voters have a hard time perceiving that there could be more power in not voting as than in voting for the lesser of two evils.
- There is so much propaganda about voting that many feel it is their consummate obligation and the greatest possible act of patriotism, with the possible exception of giving one’s life in the military. It is for many, however, a devotional or even semi-religious act, and not necessarily a rational one. For them to sit an election out for lack of a lawful candidate, therefore, borders on the unthinkable.
- Many voters are more focused on keeping certain candidates out of office than in putting certain types of candidates into office. They think that lesser-of-two-evils voting is a viable political strategy, even though the record proves otherwise.
- Voters do not understand that both major political parties are deeply and irreversibly corrupt and have been for well over a century. Therefore, they continue to hold out hope that somehow, their favorite party will get its act together and pull off some meaningful reform if they’ll just keep supporting it. That is, they hope that one of the two major parties will somehow act against its own character to bring about something substantial.
- Many voters still want to believe in Santa Claus, as it were. That is, they’re quick to believe a candidate who tells them that things are not so terribly bad, and that if they will only vote for them, we can turn things around. Therefore, ROLR is seen as unnecessary, and frankly, as scary.
- ROLR didn’t have the marketing funding required to reach enough people in order to develop the “critical mass” necessary to start a viable movement.
- ROLR didn’t have the funding necessary to continually document governmental violations of the Constitution, raising public awareness.
- ROLR didn’t have the funding necessary to continue developing reading material, games, and other items that could have assisted in “going viral”.
- Even though ROLR contacted mainstream media on many occasions, not once did any news agency run a story about it. (This fact is seen by ROLR founders as a good indication that we may actually be on the right track!)
- No famous candidates took the ROLR pledges. Even some major candidates whose typical rhetoric would appear to most to be quite in keeping with ROLR’s paradigms neglected to respond to our invitations. If they had signed the pledges, perhaps their supporters would have gotten more involved. (It is important to note that not once did any such candidate respond with criticisms or concerns about the pledge, or asking to learn more about us or our long-term intentions.)
To put it shortly, America has no serviceable grasp of the concept of the Rule of Law. They do not know what it is, and worse, they do not care to know what it is. Perhaps it is not surprising that several candidates stepped up to champion the cause by taking the pledges; candidates are typically of the leader type, after all. But we must face the practical fact that, without voters of character, a candidate of character is sadly worthless.
The decision of the hour, therefore, regards what is to be done about our sorry state. Would the nation have responded if only we had tweaked the ROLR message in some particular way? Would they have come around to the ROLR way of thinking if only we had held out for another election cycle? Or would it be necessary to launch a billion-dollar publicity campaign in order to get the attention necessary for ROLR to “go viral”? (After many months of analysis and consideration, I am inclined to believe the latter.)
ROLR is a good idea, right? So how can we just give up on it?
Well, we are not “giving up”, exactly. Rather, we are putting the website in mothballs until such a time as it seems worthwhile to proceed again. This wholly unfunded venture never received a dime in donations (even though we asked). Nor did it ever receive any more than the most trivial offers of volunteer help. Not one Meetup group was ever formed. Indeed, fewer than five notes of commendation were ever received by ROLR from the public at large. Though we hate to suspend our efforts, we simply cannot afford the time and money required to give it another go for the 2012 season. Rather than to destroy the website, however, we are leaving it up at our own expense in the hope that the right person or persons will stumble upon it and take a mind to get involved.
As for us, however, we are forced to “pick our battles”, and we cannot justify such a use of our time in what is proving to be a failing movement at present. We remain, however, completely convinced that the ROLR strategy is a viable one, provided that we could manage to change but one thing. That one thing, however, is colossal; it is the low character of the American people. In the aggregate, they are utterly duped into believing that their cyclical electoral activities are still worthwhile. Even if they were disappointed in the last election, they still answer the call to get excited about “getting behind” their favorite parties’ latest and greatest candidates for the next go-round. Never mind that each successive round of this “party game” puts us further and further from the Rule of Law, from a sound economy, and from freedom. It is as if they were the victims of a mass brainwashing exercise, faithfully carrying out the will of some evil master without a clue as to their role and responsibility in the whole ordeal.
Please think on this: If the people cannot change their characters–if they cannot exercise the most fundamental right of all (the right of control over one’s own mind)–and if they cannot exercise the most basic of human obligations (responsibility for one’s own actions), then is there really anything else in America worth fighting for? When the people are of such a low mental state, aren’t we completely defeated and undermined already?
Indeed, how can anyone justify boasting about America’s “greatness” when her people are generally so dull and distracted as to willingly collaborate with lawless politicians who routinely violate the very laws that established their offices? This behavior is anything but “great”. Yet the propaganda continues, and we are ever encouraged to believe the fallacious notion that America is somehow greater than the sum of her parts. The fact of the matter, however, is that we not only lack the sense to follow our own laws, but we don’t even understand why this is a problem. In light of this fact, how could any honest person endeavor to praise America’s aggregate character? Those who do are liars playing to the sentiments of the public—who themselves would rather hear reassuring lies than the troubling truth.
There is still hope for us, theoretically. It does not reside, however, in politics as usual. Nor does it reside in religion as usual. Rather, it resides in the possibility of a massive and short-term paradigm shift on the part of the public. Such massive and immediate shifts, however, are exactly the opposite of what typical politics and religion strive for. On the contrary, their typical mantra is something along the lines of “change takes time”. They generally persuade their members to put their hopes in the fallacious notion that substantial long-term success can somehow result from mere tiny and incremental “victories” at present. The memory of most is short, however, and they forget how many times they have been persuaded by such promises to plant seeds that would never bear fruit in season.
Interestingly, one never hears such incremental mantra as “change takes time” in the hospital Emergency Room. Instead, one hears orders given and carried out immediately—even radical orders, such as for chemical injections or for surgery. But Americans generally do not believe that any real state of emergency exists. Thus are radical treatments viewed as silly, alarmist, or even sinister.
After giving several years’ worth of contemplation to the question, I am now fully convinced that even if the entire federal government, along with each of the 50 state governments, were abducted by aliens and whisked away forever to some other planet, the citizens of America would not seize the opportunity to do anything differently. Instead, if their current and habitual behavior is any indication, they would simply pick more people quite like they ones who were abducted and send them to the seats of government to carry on business as usual.
To say that the public is uninformed about what ails us would be a colossal understatement. Not only could they not identify our fundamental issues, but they must first be disabused of the misinformation to which they currently cling. Before they will ever venture to sort out the facts, however, they must first come to care about such things.
It is quite difficult to reform a republic when the populace is disinterested and is itself in need of reform.
These three paradigms should be the goal of our societal reform:
- All rational, all the time.
- The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth—no matter where it may lead.
- Self correction is the rightful duty of mankind.
Kay and I will continue to pursue the promotion of these paradigms in the mean time. Until we get some indication that the public is ready for ROLR, or until we find some partners who have the “right stuff” to give ROLR the boost it needs, we’ll leave it parked here as an archive of the effort so far. We hope in the next few months to publish a book on how character is the fundamental American flaw, and thereafter, a website analyzing how various shortcomings in our Constitution have been exploited over the centuries–and what could be done about it if we all cared to fix anything!
With stubborn hope that a better day will soon dawn,
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