March 4, 2008
Hero vs. Army
By James Wilson
Quote of the Day:

It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important . . . You may never know what results come from your action.  But if you do nothing, there will be no result."
-- Gandhi

Subject: Hero vs. Army

The stories we love tell us how we think. We love the theme of the single hero triumphing over great evil: David vs. Goliath, Knight vs. Dragon, Superhero vs. Super-villain . . . and the Great Political Leader vs. the Great Social Problem.

Our love of such tales makes it hard to ignore candidates who claim they will save us.

Successful politicians tell us stories that resonate. They claim we are threatened by unique dangers that only they can solve. They depict their struggle in epic terms. The politician becomes a knight, the problem a dragon, and elections a sword.

Will the knight prevail? Or will we live with the menace for four more years?

Rest assured. The four years will pass. And the monsters that haunt us will survive, thrive, and multiply. Must we then hope for a new knight to do what the previous hero could not? is about NOT waiting. It's about NOT staking our hopes on any one person.

We don't believe in the solo hero in single, face-to-face combat. Our heroes will be plural, not singular.

We're building an army that's not attached to any candidate or party, because most problems are solved NOT by one person doing one big thing, but by a lot of people doing a lot of little things.

But where we fight the battle and how we fight it matters.

Now, if I were to pick a favorite heroic story, it would be David and Goliath. And I believe it can teach us something about defeating seemingly invulnerable -- gigantic -- opponents.

David refused to take up a sword and fight the giant in face-to-face combat. He almost certainly would've been slaughtered.

Instead, David used an unlikely, seemingly puny, weapon -- a slingshot and a stone -- to kill the mighty giant.

And only after felling the giant did he use the giant's own sword to decapitate him.

For us, the unlikely weapon is our education and lobbying system. That system is enabling us to build an army of people with seemingly puny slingshots and stones -- with mere messages and micro-pledges. As that army grows, we'll use our new resources to spread our Downsize DC message to everyone, everywhere, every day.

We'll change the national dialogue -- the political environment. We'll apply relentless pressure. And we'll cut the Political Giants of DC down-to-size.

After that happens there will be lots of solo heroes and knights popping up all over the place. These candidates will use the sword of elections to cut the titles of "Representative" and "Senator" off of the once fearsome, seemingly invulnerable Political Giants. 

What we're doing here might seem backwards. But we insist that trying to elect candidates before you have an army is a mythic tale, not sober reality. So here are the army-building tasks we have before us in the month of March . . .

  • Last month we recruited 1,160 new Downsizers. This month, let's do more.
  • Last month we sent 51,390 messages to Congress. This month, let's do more.

The place we'll start is with Ron Paul's excellent American Freedom Agenda Act.

This bill would . . .

  • Repeal the “Military Commissions Act of 2007” and thereby restore the ancient right of habeas corpus and end legally sanctioned torture by U.S. government agents
  • Give Congress standing in court to challenge the President's use of "signing statements" as a means to avoid executing the nation's laws
  • Make it illegal for government agents to kidnap people and send them abroad to be tortured by foreign governments
  • Provide legal protection to journalists who expose wrong-doing by the Federal government
  • Prohibit the use of secret evidence to label groups or individuals as terrorists for the purpose of criminal or civil sanctions
This is a powerful bill. But remember, Ron Paul is just one person, so any bill he proposes will need the support of lots of people doing lots of little things. You can do your part by . . .

  • Asking others to do the same thing using our Tell-a-friend system after your send your message to Congress

Thank you. You are our hero.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.
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