In a letter to James Madison written from Paris, on January 30th, 1787, Thomas Jefferson had this to say:
“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical ... It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.”
This statement is just as applicable today as it was in the aftermath of Shay’s Rebellion, which Jefferson was addressing. A rebellion by the voters is what we need today and a rebellion by the voters is well underway.
The rebellion has been underway for some time now with brief periods of conflict that were most often put down by the power of the federal government. But a year ago, it broke out with strength. Voters were tired of their voices being ignored. On the right, they were angry about candidates who campaign as conservatives, then govern from the center-left. When John McCain was nominated, they saw him as being at best a moderate, and expressed their displeasure by staying home in 2008. On the left, voters were tired of leaders who campaigned as liberals then govern from the center-right. Obama campaigned center-left, but the radicals were convinced that his rhetoric was a political necessity and once in office he would push the nation to the far left. They were partly right.
A number of Republican legislators ran into the same problem. The result was a Democratic sweep. And a government that, while not pushing as hard as the radical left wishes, is still trying to change our nation into a socialist Mecca.
The conservative gamble may be paying off. Obama’s rush to the left is leaving a large majority of voters out in the cold. They are turning to the more conservative voices for guidance. They are launching street demonstrations featuring thousands of people who were never before active in political matters. And in Virginia and New Jersey, they threw out the ruling Democrats for conservative republicans. This was a great surprise in heavily democratic New Jersey.
In upstate New York, a liberal Republican was pressured so strongly by a third party conservative, that she withdrew and threw her support to the liberal Democrat. This move managed to hold the seat for the left, but just barely.
This whole experience has left voters in all states and at all levels in an angry mood. They are not overly interested in supporting candidates, as they are kicking out the current offices holders for new blood. That happened a year ago in Madison County when the two key elected officials, Chairman of the Board, and Sheriff, were replaced by new faces. Then just this month, voters removed two of our county’s mayors by two to one votes.
As Jefferson said, a little rebellion can be a good thing. In the current political climate it is essential if we are to preserve our individual liberty.
For those of you who would like to see the Jefferson quote in context. I am posting the complete letter on my web page at http://frankgillispie.com.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His website can be accessed at http://www.frankgillispie.com/gillispieonline.