A few days ago, I was sitting in a radio station answering questions from callers. That is always an interesting experience. A caller asked me "What have you done in the last few years to save our country?" In a few minutes, I will tell you what I would say to him today. In the meantime, think about this question. 100 Years from now, what will historians say about our time? Will they say that a segment of the population stood up and educated the people and turned the tide of public opinion away from those who were willing to destroy the republic - or will they say that too many of us fiddled while Rome was burning and that as a result, we saw the end of the greatness and goodness of the United States?
In about 7 months, I think I may be able to give you a pretty good prediction, but what we do today and in the days to come may determine to an extent what that prediction will be. To start with, listen to this statement "The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are inspired documents and the source of the solutions to our nation's current problems!" If you believe that statement, please stand up.
Don't worry about who is or isn't standing. This is not for each of us to judge someone else. It is to evaluate ourselves.
If you are standing, you are at least on level 1 of a 5 point scale that may determine our future. All of you who are standing are awake. You realize that our country is in trouble. You know that our freedoms are being lost. You know that government is too intrusive in our lives, too expensive for us to sustain, too arrogant to respect our freedoms, our desires and our choices. It is a government that has forgotten that it is supposed to be "of the people, by the people and for the people." Sadly, many of our elected and appointed representatives have forgotten it as well. They seem to think that it should be government of the many by the few and for the few. That is a definition of tyranny. Hopefully, on the other side of things, it seems that, across this nation and here in Utah as well, people are starting to awaken, to get involved, to stop repeatedly voting for the same people and the same failed ideas that got us into this mess.
Levels 2 and 3 on this 5 point scale are qualified by the following. Have you read those founding documents. Do you understand them? Level 2 is for those who have read the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Level 3 is for those who have taken time to understand each of those documents and the unalienable and guaranteed rights that they promise to defend. We understand that these documents and the government they created do not provide these rights, but they promise to protect them and restrict the government and its employees from actions that would infringe on those rights. If level 2 or 3 describes you, please stay standing. The rest may sit down. No matter what level you are on, I challenge you to move up at least one level in the next couple of weeks. You on these levels are AWARE.
If you are aware, you know what has created the debt and the erosions of our freedoms. You know which laws and executive orders and judicial pronouncements have done this and how they did it. You know if those things that have been done were legal under the Constitution. You probably know how your representatives voted on critical issues of freedom. How did they vote on the Patriot Act? How did they vote on raising the debt limit? How did they vote on the National Defense Authorization Act? There are dozens more. I hope you know how they voted. Have they spoken out against the National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order? It's approximately EO# 13,600 - I'm not sure because they quit numbering them on the government website. These are edicts that carry the force of law and our current president is using them to circumvent congress - effectively legislating from the executive branch with no check and balance. That's not how it's supposed to work. Congress could challenge and stop them from taking effect. Senators can challenge them. Are they doing so? No they are not but I will! And yes, Mr. Obama, the Supreme Court can rule on the constitutionality of laws. In fact, it is their job.
Those who are aware understand that, if a government can give you the right to do something, they can also take it away. Do you understand that unalienable rights mean that those rights exist regardless of what government is in power and that our responsibility is to see that our government fulfills its proper role? Do you understand that the proper role of government is to protect and defend those rights?
OK, you can sit down now, and thank you for helping me with that. The final levels, 4 and 5 are for those who are engaged in doing something. Are you actively engaged? You are here today. That tells me that you care enough to try to do something. I honor you for showing up - for showing up at your caucus meeting or your county convention, for taking the time, effort and money it took to be here today. For showing up at the polls in November. The question that I have to ask you is this. What are you going to do tomorrow? What are you going to do next week, or next month? Are you going to speak or will you hold your tongue so that people will not be offended or disagree with you? Will they stay uninformed because you weren't willing to speak? If you are speaking up, you are on level 4.
Many of us are peacemakers by nature. We like to calm the troubled waters. We like to make everybody feel good, even when they shouldn't. Our tendency is to compromise or agree with people to whatever extent we can because we hate conflict. I often feel that way. But let me tell you what I hate more than conflict. I hate that those we have entrusted with the defense of our liberties by and large do not even know or care that our freedoms are being quietly stolen away. I hate that a government that thinks it can tell us that we must purchase health insurance will soon think it can tell us what to eat or what to drive or where we can go or who we can worship or if we can defend ourselves. Oh wait! There are those in our government that already think that. Their numbers are growing and their bureaucracies are gaining more and more power. How can we combat all of this? Is just voting individually going to do it? What percentage of people in this country do you think are even awake to the problems? How many are aware? If that number is 10%, can they elect the people who will change things? How about 15 or 20%? No? Then how are we going to save our republic?
I have some suggestions for you no matter what level you are at today.
Get a copy of the US Constitution. Read it. Write it down in your own words. Then you will understand it. My children are in a class where they are asked to do that.
Get a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Do the same thing.
Get a copy of the Bill of Rights. Follow the same process. Then you will understand them.
All of those are available on my website along with an incredibly prophetic pamphlet published clear back in 1968 by Ezra Taft Benson entitled "The Proper Role of Government". There are also a number of other good resources.
Next, find out what the government is doing. Subscribe to a good newsletter or two that focus on that topic. Choose who you listen to or read carefully. Even some so-called conservatives still think that more government is the answer to most problems. It's even good to listen to those you disagree with occasionally so you can understand how they think.
Then, tell your representatives what matters to you by any means possible. If 60% of the people think that a law is bad but only 1% say anything, there is no incentive for our representatives to listen. If 60% of the people say something, I can guarantee you they will listen. They may not choose to follow, if they are arrogant or have their own agenda, but they will hear and they will bear responsibility if they do not act.
Next, take a class on the Constitution and why it is important. Hillsdale College has a free online course that you can take or share with your neighbors, family and friends. The Leadership Education Mentoring Institute (known as LEMI) is educating hundreds, if not thousands of young people in the principles of statesmanship and Constitutional government. My wife and I teach at one of their Commonwealth schools as volunteers. It has been a great experience and these are incredible young people, some of them are already doing amazing things in carrying forth the cause of freedom. They also have a program for adults and everyone is welcome to attend. It is called the Freedom Project. It not only helps you to understand these principles, but how to share that understanding with others.
Read! If you have read what Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison and others that contributed to the creation of our nation wrote and said, you will understand how to write and say what needs to be heard today. If you read Scott Bradley's book "To Preserve the Nation", Ezra Taft Benson's pamphlet "The Proper Role of Government", Skousen's "5000 Year Leap" and even recent best-sellers like "Liberty and Tyranny" by Mark Levin, it will give you the knowledge to converse or write intelligently on topics that people really need to know about. Once you have done that, find others who have also read them and discuss what you have learned.
That is level 4. To be on level 5, you need to find a way to teach people. It is the greatest need of our republic right now. Teach your children or get them in classes where they can learn. Share your ideas with your family, your friends and your neighbors. Yes, they may disagree with you or think you are crazy in some cases. They may even call you names. Most will respect you for standing for something. You may lose influence with others. But what good is that influence if you don't use it to make a difference?
Now, I want to thank all of you for standing up for our country. I want to spend just a moment on the current election. Mr. Hatch has made it a big issue to make sure everyone knows how much power and influence he will have if re-elected. Now, I don't know if he is a good guy or not. I don't know if he believes what he says or not. I do know, that on the important issues of personal liberty, reducing the size of the Federal Government and protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States, he does not have a very good voting record. I know he has done some good things and I thank him for that. He has also done a lot of things that are not so good and it seems to me to be getting worse. It seems to me that he still thinks that government is the solution instead of the problem. Why should we believe that giving him another 6 years will make him do anything different than what he has done for the last 36 years. Do we really want someone with his voting record to have that much power? I repeat, what good is power and influence if you don't use it to uphold the truth and defend liberty?
I am doing all I can to be a level 5 defender of freedom and the Constitution. It is why I am running even though I don't have money or fame or movie star looks or Super-PACs that will attack all my opponents. I am running to be a teacher, to teach principles of truth and the connection between following the US Constitution and freedom, goodness, greatness, prosperity and a brighter future for America. I am running to be a voice, a voice for what is true and right - a voice that won't compromise on the core values that create prosperity, liberty and moral character.
I am simply asking you - each of you - to move up at least one level, make a difference, find a way to affect the process. I would love it if everyone here could be on level 5 - the informed teacher. Don't look at the people around you - look at yourself. You are the one that controls what you do. If you don't have time, give money. If you don't have money, give some time. If you don't have either - find someone who does and convince them to help. I need your help - we all need your help. It matters. You matter. The future of our country matters. Find a way to do something that will make a difference.
Remember that radio caller? My answer to him is that I have learned, I have written or called my representatives, I have written editorials and responses to editorials, I have engaged in facebook debates. I have created websites. I have taught my children and volunteered at a school where I have taught other people's children, I have challenged or taught my family and friends. I even talk politics with my customers which probably costs me occasionally. And now, I am challenging a sitting Senator that has $15 million dollars to spend on defeating me and I'm crazy enough to think I might win if enough other people stand up and teach their neighbors, family and friends what we here already understand. I want all of us here to be noticed by those historians 100 years from now. I want them to say that we made a difference. A lot of candidates finish their speeches by saying something like "I am so-and-so and I'm asking for your support." Well, I am Shaun McCausland, and your country needs your support. Thank you.