Original Essay

American Revolution II
A call to serve her before it’s too late…
by Matt Bonner

I settle back in my chair as the thunder begins to roll. I pause for a moment as I try to wrap up the day’s work.
Crack!
Boom!
The rain starts to fall outside my window as I ponder this critical time in our nation’s history. The reverberating
thunder reminds me of the countless battles fought – both on the field and within the hearts of men – by courageous
patriots long since past. Though their bodies are dust and their memories have faded, their commitment and sacrifice
remains steadfast, true, and fresh. Generations of American patriots have counted the cost of freedom and then paid it in
full. What of our generation of men? Where are the statesmen?
My soul longs for true servant leadership – both from within and without. I seek a leader who serves a higher cause
than himself without buckling to our innate tendency to serve ourselves with a sense of entitlement.
I’m very disturbed over the lack of authentic servant leaders in our political realm. We look to those leading our
country and find scarcely more than a shallow collection of ‘self-servants’ who argue and jockey for sound bites and
votes, but who lack the backbone to make a firm stand on important issues. Is it so hard to honor the plain language of
our Constitution, enforce the rule of law, and respect the long-valued institutions of our nation?
Even more troubling, though, is the realization that this absence of servant leadership is an outgrowth of the weed-
infested soil of our society that we, the American people, have been unwilling to properly tend and cultivate over the
past few decades.
Yet, most of us are entirely frustrated with the current state of our government, and are fed up with a
system and body politic that continuously fails us. America is not supposed to be a place where bridges collapse and
levees break. Our government has become so mired in bureaucracy that it now seems to take an act of God to get
anything done.
It’s time for the next American Revolution. But where must that revolution begin?

The status quo is broken
Scant few statesmen and servant leaders can be found in our nation’s capital where an inept congress continues to
gorge itself on self-adulation, false praise, and meaningless resolutions that skirt the major issues and critical challenges
we face. It is painfully obvious that, collectively, they can’t even fulfill their most basic duties.
A prime example of this incompetence is the recent failure of a legislative bill (defeated 71-29) that would have
established a one-year moratorium on earmark (pork barrel) spending. This practice of inserting unapproved special
interest projects to be passed along with other unrelated legislation continues to be a national disgrace. In its annual
“pig book,” the national watchdog group “Citizens Against Government Waste” recently identified 11,610 projects (the
second highest total ever) at a taxpayer cost of $17.2 billion in the 12 Appropriations Acts of Congress for fiscal 2008.
Aside from being unethical, earmarks represent a staggering amount of waste and inefficient use of our money.
The level of corruption is also frustrating. Twenty-one legislators from the 109th Congress (2005-2007) have been
investigated for corruption. According to the FBI, the number of their agents focusing on public corruption involving
public servants jumped by more than 56 percent in the past several years from 451 agents in fiscal 2001 to 705 in fiscal
2008 (Kiel – propublica.com). Is it any wonder that the approval rating of Congress has reached an all-time low of nine
percent?

Self-servants
Though their choice to serve the public is laudable, many of today’s “public servants” have disregarded the fact that
“We the People,” who put them in office, are the ones they are elected to serve – not the other way around. Instead, they
have elevated themselves above their constituents in status, class, pay, etc.
According to the National Taxpayers Union, for example, “Congressional pension benefits are 2-3 times more
generous than what a similarly-salaried executive could expect to receive upon retiring from the private sector” (See
ntu.org for a full explanation of Congressional retirement benefits).
Congress has also refused to enforce the “No Work No Pay” law which prevents them from getting paid for missed
days. An NTU study from January 2005 found that 25 lawmakers had 10 or more days of unexcused absences during
the 108th Congress, amounting to more than $500,000 in illegal salary payments. Seventeen of those 25 Senators
and Representatives were campaigning for higher office.
In the founding years of the Republic, members of Congress were paid only $6 (approximately $119 in current
dollars) for each day they were in session, plus a per diem to cover travel expenses. Today, members of congress
earn approximately $1,539 per day in session (110 days in 2008), due to an annual salary of $169,300. Who is to say
how appropriate this level of compensation is? In our free market system, salaries are based on a person’s skills and
abilities and the market value of the work they do. But members of Congress aren’t governed by free market principles
- they decide for themselves how much they get paid. When the average household income in America is approximately
$48k, this is worth pondering.
The epitome of this “self service,” however, is found in the lack of support our nation’s president receives from his
“colleagues” in Congress who should be working with him to boldly answer the challenges we face. No other president
in modern times has been so viciously attacked as President George W. Bush. The level of character assassination and
irrational hatred aimed at this man over the course of his presidency is staggering. Entitled to your opinion about the
job he’s done? Of course. Entitled to slander his character, bear false pretense, and re-write history? Absolutely not.
As leadership guru John Maxwell says, “A leader is only as successful as his people want him to be.” Think about
that for a moment. Do members of Congress and the people of our country want our president to be successful,
regardless of party affiliation and personal beliefs? Sadly, the answer is a resounding “no.” And let’s not mention the
damage done to our people, our laws, our freedoms, and the welfare of our armed forces serving bravely around the
world because of the prevailing attitude about this president.
It is painfully clear that the entire culture of our nation’s capital needs fundamental change. But how? We start by
electing citizen legislators who have impeccable character and integrity – people who are not looking to become career
politicians, but who simply have a staunch conviction in the original American ideal. We need servant leaders, not self-
servants.
For now, we must hold our representatives accountable by flooding their offices with phone calls and letters when
they fail to make good decisions. Remember, they work for us. Every voting citizen in this country ought to have his or
her representative’s contact information readily accessible. This of course implies that we must do our part, which is to
stay attuned to what’s really going on and be vocal about what is right for our families, our communities and ultimately,
our nation. I lament that many of our fellow countrymen, however, have become like dumb driven cattle, too lazy to
speak out or even care. More on this later…

A growing bureaucracy with no end in sight
Thomas Jefferson wrote that, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain.” Our
founders gave us a government with limited duties. They spelled it out plainly in Article 1, Section 8, of the
Constitution. Government should provide for the common defense, coin money, establish commerce, establish a post
office, postal roads, and the courts, and secure time-limited copyrights and patents. “For 150 years, that’s about all it
did,” writes John Stossel in Give Me a Break. “The focus was on guaranteeing individual liberty. FDR’s New Deal
changed all that by socializing a large portion of society – each administration since has expanded the New Deal’s
programs and started new ones.” He also notes that when our country began, government cost every citizen $20 (in
today’s money) per year. Now, the federal government costs every citizen an average of $10k per year.
With little to no accountability on the growth and competence of government, it now takes 23 years to add a fifth
runway to the Atlanta airport. Can anyone doubt that this bureaucracy has reached suffocating levels in all areas of
government? “Consider our education system,” writes Newt Gingrich in Winning the Future. “We now have curriculum
specialists who consult curriculum consultants who work with curriculum supervisors who manage curriculum
department heads who occasionally meet with teachers. The more money we spend on education, the less we spend on
inspiring and rewarding those doing the educating.”
We simply aren’t prepared to be successful today, or in the future. And this is an extraordinarily dangerous time
to be unprepared to overcome obstacles and achieve greatness. Our enemies essentially have us right where they
want us – lacking the speed and efficiency to properly address the challenges and dangers on our doorstep and in the
halls of power.

Rotting from within
But should all of this corruption and failure in our leadership be a surprise to us? Is it not a direct by-product of
our morally declining society? In other words, as the late preacher and author Harry Emerson Fosdick said,
“Government is much like a pump in a well – you can only bring out of the ground what is already there.” Running
with this idea, United Methodist Bishop Robert Spain recently said, “Government can only insure a solid, moral and
spiritual foundation for America when it can pull it out of the American people. Government cannot make us a moral
people – it can only structure the moral commitments that we allow to exist.” And he’s absolutely right. Over the past
50-60 years, we’ve allowed misguided special interest groups and radical individuals to push God out of the center of
public life in America where He had been since the pilgrims landed in 1620 with the motto, “In God we Trust, God
with us.” With God’s exit, or rather boot from center stage, we have replaced Him with the exaltation of man – and thus
the secularization of society. We’ve essentially attached ourselves to the vanities of life. What chance do we have for
integrity-based leaders to govern justly and ethically when “We the people” have allowed America to rot from
within?
Consider the sorry state of affairs that prompted the federal government to allot $1.5 billion dollars (of our money)
to provide two $40 coupons to each household so that we can purchase digital cable conversion boxes. The “nanny
state” wants to make sure none of us lose our “right” to go brain dead watching TV. What’s next, a coupon for each of
us to buy ice cream cones because of so-called “global warming?” Is it any wonder that we’ve sunk to this level of
vanity? We stay glued to our televisions watching “reality TV,” the now popular brand of programing that is ironically
void of any reality at all. We care more about who our next “American Idol” is than our eroding freedoms and the
alarming socialization of our government.
At the heart of this drastic decline in morals and values is the victim mentality of far too many Americans. Together,
with our leaders, we’ve cultivated an entitlement society in which it is estimated that between 40-50 percent of our
population is now dependent on our government in some form or fashion. At the root of this dangerous state of
dependence is a grossly confused understanding of rights and privileges – the former of which come from God, and the
latter from living in a free society based on the rule of law.
Memo to the American people: The water is getting hotter…

Preserving our heritage

Fortunately, our state of affairs hasn’t always been this vacuous and bleak. Our loss of identity as a nation built on
biblical principles, self reliance, innovation and limited government has taken place just over the past 60-70 years.
Consider, for example, a vastly different America during the 1930s and 40s. The Empire State Building took one
year, three months and nine days from groundbreaking to completion (January 22, 1930, to May 1, 1931). From
December 7, 1941 to August 14, 1945, we defeated Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and imperial Japan. Our “Greatest
Generation” built a two-ocean navy, put 15,500,000 men and women in uniform, produced over 50,000 aircraft a
year, built the B-29 and the atomic bomb – all in less than four years.
But there’s no doubt our founding fathers would be aghast at the state of affairs in our political system today. Their
vision of a limited government, which held a few key responsibilities, has been replaced with an alarming mess of
bureaucracy. They sacrificed too much for us to sit by and watch it all disappear.
We must therefore never forget the sacrifice it took to establish and preserve a nation built on the belief that our
rights come from God, not the state. For it was on that first American Independence Day that a band of brave men
“pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor” to the battle for human freedom. And it’s important to
remember that these were not poor men or wild-eyed pirates. They were men of means who enjoyed much ease and
luxury in their personal lives. Not hungry men, but prosperous and wealthy landowners who were well-respected in
their communities (DeMoss-15).
Upon the passage of that most cherished declaration, John Adams said to his wife, Abigail, “I am well aware of the
toil and blood and treasure that it will cost to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states; yet,
through all the gloom I can see the rays of light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means.” And
their leadership to see through those means was indeed noble and selfless. In a letter to a Ms. Catherine Graham dated
January 9, 1790, then-President George Washington wrote, “All see, and most admire, the glare which hovers round
the external trappings of elevated office. To me there is nothing in it, beyond the lustre which may be reflected from
its connection with a power of promoting human felicity.”
Have we any doubt then as to how we are to lead? Shall we not rekindle that kind of statesmanship for service to
the American public, and ultimately to our posterity? How could we allow ourselves to do any less?

Lighting the divine fire within us
“It does not take a majority to prevail…but rather an irate, tireless minority keen on setting brushfires of freedom in
the minds of men.” – Samuel Adams

As Mark Alexander of the Patriot Post so aptly writes, “Our system of government today is not so different from
the monarchy we escaped, except that a swarm of bureaucrats have taken up the throne. A necessity thus presents
itself to us as well: We must reconnect with the timeless principles that inspired our founding fathers; those same
principles that long ago gave birth to a good, great and God-blessed nation.” We must rise above our human
tendencies of self-service and entitlement.
“What do we mean by the American Revolution?” reflected John Adams. “Do we mean the American war? The
Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a
change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions,
sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”
Founder Patrick Henry wrote that, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often enough that this great
nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Upon
completion of our Constitution, James Madison, our fourth president and father of that sacred document wrote, “We
have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self government, upon the
capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the ten
commandments of God.” And founding father John Adams, our second president, said, “We have no government
armed with the power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion…Our
Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any
other.”
Ronald Reagan used to say that, “There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the
credit.” And that is how we must lead the next revolution. It must start from within. Every day we have the
opportunity to lead better lives, and in turn, to serve other people. We must look far and above ourselves to a
movement that will likely outlive our current generation. Could anything short of a full-blown revolution get us back
to where our founders intended us to be? How else can we return to a nation built on scripture and the 10
commandments of God, to a people centered on absolute truth, justice and the empowering truths of Christian
principles?
I heartily submit to you that we are long overdue the next great spiritual awakening and revolution in this
country. After all, it was the reformation movement that sparked the founding of America, and another great
religious revival in the 19th century that inspired the abolitionists’ campaign to end slavery.
Thus, we should never allow the cynics and those on the sidelines to cause us to doubt the greatness of America.
We have problems, but we aren’t THE problem. On the contrary, we are liberty’s best hope, and as George Washington
wrote in 1779, “Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” We simply cannot fail. If not us, then who? Who will
stop the tyrants? The evil dictators? Most importantly, who will stop the global Jihad that is waging against the free,
civilized people of the world?
Fellow citizens, let us cast our vision higher than ever before. We must answer this sacred call to serve our country
before it’s too late. Our founding principles call us to bravery and self-reliance – to achieve excellence beyond our
highest aspirations. Are we not to look heavenward?
In order to emulate the servant leaders of our past, we must be led by something much greater than our personal
interests. Our life purpose must transcend self – we must be willing to serve a greater cause than we can fully
comprehend or even grasp. This requires leaders of virtue and valor who are anchored in faith. We must fill the void of
statesmen with men of honor who have the conviction to level this mountain of difficulty.
Fellow patriots, America needs us now more than ever. Though our past has been noble and our accomplishments
many, our future as free Americans is in great peril. Will you join me in honoring our founders’ tireless devotion to
duty, honor and country? Will you serve something greater than yourself? Will you join the sacrifice of countless
patriots who have given us the greatness of America that we live today? If we don’t, then who will?
With a fervent spirit, I urge you to consider seriously the prospect of seeking public office on some level. What
better way to honor our cherished heritage than to step up and fill this vital need? You don’t have to be sapped in
political training, campaign experience, or legislative lingo. You must simply be plugged into the issues, have a
backbone, and do the right thing, all the time, not just when it’s convenient. The time is always right to defend the right.
In that spirit let us answer the call as people of virtue, integrity, and faith, honor bound and united in purpose. Let us
ring the bells of liberty, of justice, of divine providence, and rise to a new birth of statesmanship.
Let the next American Revolution begin.
Let the brushfires ignite within us.
The time is now…

Four ways to start answering the call TODAY:

  1. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude: Start by developing the knowledge and awareness of the price that’s been paid by countless patriots, civilian and military, who have labored and toiled to pass on this great land of liberty. Start by memorizing the “American’s Creed” authored by William Tyler Page in 1917. If we don’t fully grasp the “why” then we can never expect to have the necessary commitment, zeal and discipline to persevere in this endeavor.
  2. Know the truth and be willing to fight for it: Think critically about the issues – understand bothsides of the argument so you can form your own opinion. To do so, we must read and study withan insatiable appetite for knowledge and truth. Ignorance is our most expensive commodity. Whynot set a goal to read one book a month? Turn the TV off and discover your potential in theacquisition of knowledge, wisdom and truth. Once armed with the truth – make a firm stand topromote and defend it. You can also order a pocket sized booklet containing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution for your personal study. Go online to patriotshop.us, under“Founding Documents.”
  3. Be a positive force to reckon with in your sphere of influence: Though the greatest achievements are accomplished collectively, we must start by inspiring and influencing all of those in our own sphere of everyday living.
  4. Engage your civic duties: Participate in all local, state and federal elections by exercising your right to vote. Educate yourself on the issues and the candidates. Start making regular contact with your representatives on the issues. Speak out and hold them accountable.

SIDE BARS:
American Solutions for Winning the Future
American Solutions, a new non-partisan organization working to bring citizens and public servants
together, is laying the groundwork to bring about REAL change through real change. They propose a
dramatic, fundamental transformation from a “world that fails, to a world that works;” from a 1960’s paper-
based morass of bureaucracy, to a technology-driven, Fed-Ex type of system that is fast, efficient, and is
most importantly driven by the people, for the people. It is the type of change in our government and
political systems that Americans deserve if we are to adequately address the challenges of the 21st
century. To get involved, log onto AmericanSolutions.com!

The American’s Creed

“I believe in the United States of America as a Government of the people, by the people, for the people;
whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed, – a democracy in a republic, a sovereign
nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable, established upon those principles of
freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I
therefore believe it is my duty to my Country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to
respect its Flag; and to defend it against all enemies.” William Tyler Page -1917

RESOURCES:
“The Rebirth of America” – The Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation
The Heritage Foundation – heritage.org
The Patriot Post – patriotpost.us
“Give me a Break” – John Stossel
“Rediscovering God in America” – Newt Gingrich
“Winning the Future” – Newt Gingrich
“Dynamic Freedoms – Our Freedom Documents” – William G. Sizemore
“We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident” – audio CD- The Presidential Prayer Team

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Published in: | | on July 11th, 2009 | View Comments