Can there be anger and apathy at the same time? If you had asked me this a month ago 1 would have told you no, that anger is born of concern. Common sense would have told me that if a person cares enough to get angry about something then they care enough to look into it and try and change it. However, after talking to hundreds of people that live in this community I have unfortunately come to the conclusion that the concept of America as our founding fathers knew it is lost to us. It is not lost because people agree with the direction the country is going. It is not lost because the majority of Americans have suddenly become fans of big government or higher taxes. They are mad about it and really wish ‘’someone: would “do something.” If however, getting “someone” in a position where they can “do something” entails any effort on most people’s part I have found that the anger doesn’t overcome the apathy. The following is a list of observations that I have made over the last two months as I have attempted to bring awareness to my neighbors of the political process and the candidates that are running for office. After reading these observations please tell me where I am wrong.

1.   85% of the people I have spoken with are unaware of when the primary vote will take place, or even what the purpose for it is!

2.    When I explain the process I am told many times. ‘Tm not really that into politics.”

3.   75% of the people I speak with that do feel like they are involved in the political process think so because they vote in November. Their biggest complaint about the November election is that they usually don’t like anyone running!

4.   When I explain to them that this is the entire reason for the primary they look as if that had never occurred to them!

5.    When I explain that it is vitally important to get involved and learn about the candidates that are currently running I am assured that they will. I am not at all assured.

6.   On May 10th Nikki Haley came to speak to our community. 98% of people I spoke with did not know who she is and that she is running to be our state’s governor. You would assume that a large crowd would show up to listen to what she had to say and ask questions if they were in fact as concerned as they say they are. Right? Wrong, aside from my family, one couple from my church, a couple from Spartanburg and three others the restaurant was empty. I handed out over 400 invitations and put up 20 posters to advertise this event. Out of the 60 or more people that I spent Saturday and all of Mothers Day talking to, people that assured me they wanted to know more about her and would come. 6 people aside from family members actually attended. Everyone has to eat dinner so common sense would tell you that with all this advertisement a good crowd would be inevitable. One would think people would appreciate the opportunity to talk to and evaluate this remarkable woman who may be our governor during a period in which states rights issues are going to play a huge role.

When crowds no larger than this show up, can you tell me what the incentive is for a restaurant owner to open his establishment on a day he is normally closed? You may wonder why this is important, please allow me to explain. If the candidates can’t get venues to speak at, what are their chances of getting elected? Churches will not allow political speech because of the concern over losing their tax exempt status. We will save the discussion of Rev. Wright for another time. The library charges for a meeting room that is of any size. If a candidate is running on a shoestring budget then restaurants become their main venue. It is important that the community, when one of these businesses opens their doors to a candidate we respond by coming out and supporting them. The meal is the way the restaurant owner pays for the cost of making the facility available without charging the campaign. Since the party, democrat or republican, does not have money set aside for a candidate until he has won the nomination, it is very difficult to overcome the war chest that an incumbent comes to the table with. The ability of a challenger to win in a primary is one of the few weapons we have as the public to keep the members of our own party in check. Without that possibility we would send people to Washington and never see them again. The corruption, bad as it is now, would be even worse! It is only that small, nagging concern that the possibility does exist that an incumbent could get sent packing if the right challenger presents himself. An incumbent knows that once in office the possibility of being voted out in the general election is very remote if he is a republican in a conservative district or a democrat in a liberal district. The primary for these incumbents is their real race. They know if they can just spin their voting record a certain way and pray the public stays apathetic enough to not look into it too much, a win in November is almost assured.

If you see a candidate in a restaurant doing a meet and greet please tell the business owner that you appreciate his courage - then buy a meal! Fear of losing business because you allowed a candidate to speak is very real and it is just one of the many ways our freedom of speech is eroded. All we have to do is look to Arizona as the example of how an entity, be it state or business, can be dealt with if the opposing side chooses to do so. Even if you don’t like the candidate and he is not from your parly, please appreciate the fact that the business owner showed courage and that by doing so freedom scored a victory.

With a public that is supposed to be this angry and this ready to ‘“throw the bums out” North Carolina only got a 12% turnout in their primary. I may inhabit the body of a 40 something soccer mom but in my soul I am warrior. I am ready to fight for my freedom and not go gently into that good night -- but I can’t even get people to come have dinner and learn about a candidate who may be our governor. The level of ignorance and apathy I have seen even amid the assault on freedom that we are currently experiencing, the democrats and RINOS are correct. They can do anything they want without fear of repercussions.

Our ancestors put it all on the line to get to this country, and once here many of them fought and died for it. Have we now descended into a group of people who, even when angry, will not put themselves out enough to get off the couch and learn who the candidates are - and the stances that the incumbents have taken over their period of time in office? Simply going to their website is not enough. Do you really think a republican’s website is going to say that he agrees with the idea of cap and trade? Do you really think that it would tell you that if he could figure out a way to sell it to his constituents he would be on board with single payer health care? No, at the website it is going to look like he is a true blue conservative. Unless you keep up with statements that were made as events unfolded it is very hard to follow the trail after the fact. Incumbents count on the fact that you won’t remember the details sharply enough so that they can spin any issue any way they want to.

The democrats and RINOS are right I am sorry to say. They can do whatever they want and it will have no impact. There are so few of us who actually are outraged enough to put down the potato chips, get off the couch and get involved that they can say anything, do anything, take anything they want. As long as the cable TV is on, they have a job or at least a government check, no one cares. They continue to march us  to whatever cliff they are leading us off of and we go with them, happily sucking down a Pepsi and watching American Idol.

This insanity has gone so far that they feel comfortable enough to try and stop people in nursing homes from praying over their meal because it is partially funded by government. They can suspend kids from school because they wore a tee shirt with an American flag on it. Teachers are allowed to make derogatory comments to a student about artwork that had the audacity to contain an American flag with the words “God Bless America.” They do all of this because they count on our apathy to lull us back to sleep after our initial outrage is over. Like a barn full of hens when the door opens and the eggs get taken the hens flap their wings and make a ruckus, but as soon as the farmer gets out of their immediate eyesight (and chickens have very poor vision) they settle back down and lay some more eggs.

Does anyone realize that these are the tactics used by an occupying force when it controls a conquered nation? The first thing that is done in order to demoralize the population is to remove religion and religious symbols. The next thing done is the removal of any symbols that stir up a feeling of national pride. Our own country’s government agencies are doing these things. Is it so outrageous to speculate that we are being taken over from within? Were we not warned that this nation would fall without a single shot being fired?

Training camps are being formed in our own back yard whose sole purpose is to put down civil unrest. These camps are for returning vets - not for ones going to the Middle East - these troops are being trained to deal with us, the ones who won’t go gentle into that good night.

Prove me wrong - please prove me wrong. Show me that the fact that we live in one of the most conservative areas in the country actually means something. Show me that you aren’t too apathetic to get involved. Prove to yourself and everyone else that even though you are busy you will make time to do some research and go vote.   Show yourselves and your children that simply complaining is not civic involvement. Listening to and calling WORD is wonderful but it doesn’t bring about change unless it translates into some type of boots on the ground action! There is a very short amount of time left before the election and I urge you to put yourself out to go and meet these candidates in person. Engage them, ask questions until you feel comfortable that this person can and will represent your values and concerns. Once you have done that, call the campaigns of the people you support and find out what they need. Use the social networking sites for more than simple social networking. Post information about the candidates you like and why you like them. Make sure everyone knows that it is important to vote on June 8th if they have done their homework. If they haven’t, then tell them to stay home. We are living with the damage an uninformed vote can do! Show by your actions that you are worthy of the gift our ancestors gave you and work to pass it on to your heirs.

 

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Mike Scruggs