By Tom DeWeese
How do we effectively fight to restore liberty in America? Most think that just getting a president elected is the answer, but what if we lose that race? Or, what if we win the Presidency but lose the House of Representatives and the Senate? What chance do we then have to make any progress in restoring liberty? We have to live in the days after an election. We have to make our way forward in our lives. So, do we simply surrender and accept our fate? Or do we create a new path to protect and promote the ideals of freedom?
The first step to answer that question is to stop depending on one person, one icon to lead us forward. We must take the responsibility ourselves to assure that government does not move forward unattended. We need to be directly involved at every level, especially on the local level. Change the debate to attack anti-freedom policies, expose non-governmental (NGO) carpetbaggers hiding in the shadows dictating policy, force elected officials to be personally responsible for their actions, and organize to assure the election of leaders who promote and defend the principles of freedom.
Picture how different our nation would be if we dug in to create a majority of governors across the nation who understood and operated under the Tenth Amendment which gives the States the power to stand against Federal overreach. What if you had a county commission that refused to participate in non-elected regional government? How would your life change if your city council was made up of individuals who guided your community under the three pillars of freedom, including protection of private property, encouragement and support for local businesses to operate and compete in free enterprise, and the lifting of rules and regulations that stifled personal choices in your individual life? How do we make all of that a reality? Set a goal to turn your local community into a Freedom Pod.
Simply focus on making these goals a reality in your community and, if successful, as prosperity spreads, the idea will certainly spread to a neighboring community, and then to the next. The challenge is to create a successful blueprint and a cadre of dedicated elected representatives that will begin to move into the state level of government. That will set the stage for effecting a federal government as conceived by our forefathers. The result will be the establishment of Freedom Pods across the nation.
For several decades the radical Left has been dedicated in its efforts to organize at every level of government while advocates of limited government failed to do the required “dirty work” of local organization and activism to protect our freedoms. We gave the Left a pretty clear playing field to organize and seize control, and now we are suffering under the result. For the dedicated Left, no position was too small. No appointed board was ignored. When was the last time local Conservative activists cared about positions like City Attorney? Yet these are the very officials who are enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown policies, dictated by governors and mayors. After witnessing this current election crisis, don’t you wish people with Conservative values had been interested in gaining positions on the local Board of Elections? Local government is now infested with Planners, NGOs, and federal agencies dictating policies. And the only reason they have power and influence now is because the Left fought to elect representatives who then gave it to them. So, if you want to transform your community into a Freedom Pod you must start from scratch.
How to Build a Freedom Pod in Your Community
Here is a brief outline on how you can get started building your community into a Freedom Pod. And remember, the first rule is to focus on the local level. The rest will follow.
- Start with Research: You need to know your enemy. Who are the players down at City Hall? Most of these planning groups and NGOs are operating in cities all over the nation. They have a history. What programs have they promoted, how are they funded, who are their leaders? In addition, look at your city’s comprehensive plan. What programs does it contain? Here’s a major hint to look for; Is there a specific part of the city that will be affected by the plan? Where is the money to come from for enactment of the plan? In any part of the comprehensive plan do the words “protection of property rights” appear?
- Build a Team: To begin to push back, every public movement needs a team. Your team should include 8 parts. 1. Research as described above. 2. The Watchers – this is a team of three or four who volunteer to attend every single public meeting, to record what is said and who said it, determine who are the main movers in the meetings – the leaders pushing the agenda. The Watchers will soon see how the NGOs and Planners operate and note the influence they wield. This is how you determine the players. 3. The Strategist. This will be the main leader for your efforts. The Strategist looks over the research, the comprehensive plan and the players and begins to develop your approach to fight. 4. The Agitators. These are the people who will be your spokesmen to address public meetings, and present your oppositions and your case. They will coordinate as a team to assure their position is presented in a powerful and effective manner. 5. The Victims. These are the people whom the promoters of these policies fear most. The people who will be most affected and perhaps damaged by those policies. Get them in front of elected officials with a compelling story or their plight. 6. The Media Team. Two or three people to stay in constant touch with your local news media. You must build a relationship with local reporters so that they will come to rely on your information for stories. Don’t fear the media. Talk openly with them. This can also include helping citizens to write effective letters to the editor. Make your side heard. 7. The Team of Activists. These are the people who will show up to do the grunt work, rally, carry signs, protest in front of City Hall or pack the Council Chamber when you need a show of support. 8. Social Media Team. If you’ve got some young people on your team this is right up their alley. Develop a website where you can get the word out. Start an online petition concerning a policy you are targeting. You may find that local officials are watching to see if it grows.
- Take Legal Action: The reason so many local officials ignore our position is because they receive no consequences for their actions. Even if a victim successfully sues the city over a damaging policy, your elected representatives pay no fines or, legal fees nor do they face jail time. But, if handled properly, they are not immune to being held personally responsible. One legal tool to this end is Section 1983 of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Planning meetings carried out in secret in backrooms of City Hall, often including non-elected NGOs that result in takings of private land, closing of businesses and enforcing arbitrary rules may violate your civil rights. And under that situation, the offending officials, who took an oath to defend the Constitution, may be held personally liable. Just the threat of filing such a suit could have incredible impact. Another possible tool is Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Research can lead you to the appropriate action. It is just important to know that these tools are there to help you wipe the smirk off the faces of arrogant officials who think they are above the law.
- Build a Campaign: The most effective way to take control of policy is to elect representatives who support your positions. Many times these people will be found in your organization – the ones who have become the most effective leaders or spokesmen for your cause. To assure you can run an effective campaign, the very first task required is to build an effective Precinct organization in every neighborhood. To begin, make a chart of every single elected position in your community, no matter how small. Begin to find candidates to run for every one of them. Appoint a Precinct Captain for every single precinct and assign them the task of getting to know all of their neighbors. List who is a likely supporter for your cause and make sure they are registered and will get out to vote. The Precinct Captain is like the trail boss getting the herd to market. Organize effectvely and candidates, even governors and presidential candidates, will seek you out to help them. You will affect the outcome.
- Build a Grading System to Reveal How Well Elected Officials Are Defending Liberty: It’s a scorecard. Select specific issues dealing with laws and regulations that have been passed or at least voted on in City Council. Set up the scorecard based on a 1 – 10 grade with 1 being the lowest score – or tyrannical. 10 is the highest – a Freedom’s Hero. How did these policies affect the three pillars of Freedom? Did they cause needless regulations on local enterprise? Did they take or control private property? How about controls on your energy use or travel restrictions? Put together a report, describing each bill or regulation and then give your local officials an individual grade for each one and then an overall grade. Praise the heroes and attack the tyrants. Send the scorecard to the news media and to social media. You will definitely get the officials attention and it will give you major influence in the community.
These are some very basic guidelines to help start your drive toward building a Freedom Pod in your community. There is obviously much more to be done to create a powerful organization, but these are the baby steps necessary to begin.
The main point is not to fear speaking out. Don’t wait for some iconic face to represent you. If they lose so will you. For too long that’s what we have done. Now it’s time for you to stand up, speak out, take the lead and others will join you. If you don’t take these steps then your government will be in someone else’s hands, controlling you just as the Left has already done.
Here is the end game for the forces of freedom. No matter who is president, we must take control of our cities, counties, state legislatures, and governors. Only then can we stand up the potential tyranny from Washington, DC. To live your life as YOU choose, start to grow your Freedom Pod today.
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