Green Room

Do not despair

posted at 2:49 pm on June 29, 2012 by

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

- Thomas Paine, 1776

I have two items for the conservative movement, today. The first is a poem that I’m sure many here are familiar with. Nevertheless, it contains within it a message for the ages; a noble command that every patriotic American cannot ignore. The second is a video, made several years ago, as a mash-up of various political figures of the 1960s. It includes within it various excerpts of their speeches, given at a time when the nation was going through intense turmoil, not wholly unlike what we are experiencing now. I have often found the quotes of Ronald Reagan and Martin Luther King, Jr., in particular, to be truly timeless and eternally applicable to the struggles all people face when their freedom is threatened.

I implore all of you to take a few minutes, read the poem, and listen the words of these charismatic leaders(eh, RFK maybe not so much), and then take another minute to let the messages sink in. I direct this especially to those of you who, understandably, find yourselves shaken…disillusioned…perhaps even awash in despair or abdication. No promises are made here that our future will be as bright as we may hope. It may be darker than we ever imagined…but imagine the darkness if we refuse to fight the forces that seek to enslave us.

Remember that the enemies we face believe us to be weak, and stupid, and unable to do anything for ourselves. They expect us to lay down. They expect us to break. I refuse. I will not surrender. I will never back down. To all of you who feel fear, know that you are not alone. All around you are those who love liberty and freedom, and many of them look to the future with uncertainty, as you do. If we can all find the will to stand with each other, shoulder to shoulder, tyranny can be defeated.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

- Dylan Thomas

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Amen, shipmate. Light always wins out against darkness. It always has before. It will again. The controlling factor will be whether we Americans who are today’s adults stick with it and don’t give up, or decide to go down without a fight.

That one factor, right there — just that one — will determine whether it has to be decades or centuries before the light dawns again for the earth, or whether the light will cast a glow on our old age and the futures of our children.

This is our time. This is not a task to leave to the next generations. This one is up to us.

J.E. Dyer on June 29, 2012 at 3:09 PM

Let’s roll.

magicbeans on June 29, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Amen

txmomof6 on June 29, 2012 at 3:56 PM

I am trying with everything in me to pray enough American’s will go out vote, get those two in the wh out and get the senate to try to undo this horror that has happen in less than four years.

We Amerian’s are not use to having what has happened since last election happening. We have had bad, worse, more than worse presidents and congress, BUT never this bad IMO!

If the Good Lord is willing, our Republic will survive! But it is up to US the citizens to do what your feel is correct in your mind come Nov.! We survive or not?
L

letget on June 29, 2012 at 4:00 PM

The truly radical achievement of the United States was to proclaim the sacredness of the rights of men (the Declaration) as the basis of government, and then to establish firm limits on government to secure those rights (the state constitutions and the national Constitution).

We will preserve it.

AshleyTKing on June 29, 2012 at 4:55 PM

!

Jeddite on June 29, 2012 at 5:12 PM

The Dylan Thomas poem always reminds me of my dad’s last days… Dementia, sundowners, sepsis and a weird trip back to WWII. He held off the nurses with a scanner. He always did fight the good fight.

Fallon on June 29, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Wow. Thank you.

thebrokenrattle on June 29, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Thanks, for this. My tax attorney buddy is aghast at the ruling. Neither one of us can figure out how Roberts really got there, but I guess that’s part of the point. Well, scr*w these jackwagons. I’m not going quietly. Can someone here bail me out when they cart me off to jail for not paying my “fineax”?

totherightofthem on June 29, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Thanks for sharing, MadCon. We need inspiration like this, and lots of it.

This, the last best hope of man on Earth.

Even more true now than when the line was first spoken. Back in the Cold War, as awful as things were with commies running half the world, there were still countries other than the US (I’m thinking Britain in particular and Western Europe in general) that could be called a hope for man on Earth, even if they weren’t quite as powerful as our own nation.

But now… even the most advanced countries of Europe are going under. Greece imploding, Spain heading in that direction, France electing socialists… and of course the former communist countries haven’t gotten much better in the past decades. A while back, I did a little thought experiment; I asked myself, “if things actually got so bad in the US that I had to leave the country, where would I go?” I couldn’t think of an answer.

Mr. Prodigy on June 29, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Thank you.

SailorMark on June 29, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Grit those teeth.

ZK on June 29, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Whatever…bring out your dead…bring out your dead.

tomas on June 29, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.

Let Freedom Ring!

That gave me goosebumps…

Ace ODale on June 29, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Some further words of inspiration for my fellow conservatives and TEA Party patriots…

Out of the darkness that covers us,
Black as the Pit, from Pole to Poles,
Let us thank Almighty God and trust
In our unconquerable souls.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
We shall not wince nor cry aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of Chance,
Our heads are bloody but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade.
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find us, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the Scrolls.
We are the masters of our fate.
We are the Captains of our souls.

~ with grateful apologies to Wm. E. Henley

“Our freedom is not for sale, and we reserve the right to defend it from theft.” ~ Doctor Zero

“Ask not what your TEA Party can do for you…” ~ DeepWheat

And one more, for our adversaries of the Left-o-Sphere:
“All we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” ~ Admiral Isoroku Yamamotu

To those of our neighbors who oppose us in this fight, I say, “Be afraid. Be very afraid, for your days are numbered… This far, but no further shall you pass.”

DeepWheat on June 29, 2012 at 8:18 PM

“The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

mittens on June 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

In the end, The Shadow is but a passing thing…
–Lord of The Rings

squint on June 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Terrific post, MadCon. Thanks for the reminder on the quotes too.

inviolet on June 29, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Amen, shipmate. Light always wins out against darkness. It always has before. It will again. The controlling factor will be whether we Americans who are today’s adults stick with it and don’t give up, or decide to go down without a fight.

On this world, light never wins. Light follows dark, and dark follows light. Our greatest fault is that we want to declare the war won, the darkness banished, and a the land of milk and honey just around the corner.

God’s providence may allow the lion to lay down with the lamb in His domain, but in out world the lions must be subdued, the shadows monitored, and the darkness confronted to allow civilization to thrive. Our battle is never won – the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, both against the tyranny of evil and the tyranny of good intentions. One way or the other, people will re-learn these lessons of the past.

alchemist17 on June 29, 2012 at 10:35 PM

DeepWheat on June 29, 2012 at 8:18 PM

I’m curious about where you found the version of Henley’s “Invictus” you quote. I have never seen it framed in the first person plural. I’m fairly confident that Henley wrote in the singular: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/invictus/

Howard Portnoy on June 29, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Sgt. Barnes: Shut up! Shut up and take the pain! Take the pain!

tomas on June 29, 2012 at 10:45 PM

And if we are to succeed in this endeavor, we must stop voting for Democrats, who are at least honest about their statism, and Republicans, who are not.

SJoel on June 29, 2012 at 10:52 PM

The guy who, up until a short time ago, was endorsing SMoD, is now telling us not to despair? Really, Maddy? Why the change of heart now?

gryphon202 on June 29, 2012 at 10:54 PM

gryphon202 on June 29, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Not so much a change of heart. Nothing in my post mentions Romney. This was solely intended to jerk up the morose by the collar and remind them that this is but one lost battle in a war that is always ongoing, and that we must never stop fighting.

MadisonConservative on June 29, 2012 at 11:41 PM

@ Howard Portnoy — Good catch, sir!

In point of fact, *I* made those edits, as they seemed apropos for our troubled times… Hence the “grateful apologies” tag at the end…

“Cogito, ergo TEA Party!” ~ DeepWheat

DeepWheat on June 30, 2012 at 12:27 AM

Not so much a change of heart. Nothing in my post mentions Romney. This was solely intended to jerk up the morose by the collar and remind them that this is but one lost battle in a war that is always ongoing, and that we must never stop fighting.

MadisonConservative on June 29, 2012 at 11:41 PM

I didn’t mention Romney either. If SMoD is not emblematic of all-engulfing despair, I don’t know what else your endorsement could have possibly meant. But in fairness to you, Maddy, I think you’re slowly coming around to my way of thinking on this matter — that is if your exhortation to keep on fighting means anything practical. I don’t believe we’re ready for SMoD quite yet, though I do reserve the right to change my mind. ;-)

gryphon202 on June 30, 2012 at 12:36 AM

I didn’t mention Romney either. If SMoD is not emblematic of all-engulfing despair, I don’t know what else your endorsement could have possibly meant. But in fairness to you, Maddy, I think you’re slowly coming around to my way of thinking on this matter — that is if your exhortation to keep on fighting means anything practical. I don’t believe we’re ready for SMoD quite yet, though I do reserve the right to change my mind. ;-)

gryphon202 on June 30, 2012 at 12:36 AM

This primary drained my soul of any positive energy I had, so I was pretty much there, myself…and nothing was really showing me that this election mattered. Walker’s victory gave me hope, and the SCOTUS ruling gave me invigoration. Then, seeing fellow conservatives declaring the fight to be over gave me initiative.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2012 at 12:53 AM

Who is SMoD?

hawkdriver on June 30, 2012 at 8:26 AM

I’ll thank the HA staff and crew to stop posting *any* further quotes from the Founding Fathers – UNLESS you post it *all*, including their calls to arms, their open declarations of war because they’ve already tried everything else and been left with no recourse, exclamation that said course of action was warranted and righteous *then* and would be *again*, and describing precisely the circumstances under which it would be warranted.

Why is it you find *some* of what the Founding Fathers to be relevant to our current situation, but pale at their prescription to remedy it? If the prescription isn’t appropriate, than neither are their lamentations about why it was needed.

One. Or. The. Other.

Elsewise, you might consider holding off on warning/banning people that *do* consider *all* of what the Founding Fathers had to say to be relevant.

Midas on June 30, 2012 at 8:34 AM

I was so disheartened after the decision and angry that I considered not participating in our little town’s 4th of July parade. Since I have calmed down a bit, I will join our group and march. It may be our last and I don’t want to miss it. We need to rally for the country and may it begin next week.

Kissmygrits on June 30, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Please keep this link up forever. There will be times when our resolve will falter, and we will need these quotes to remind us of the reasons we fight.

itsspideyman on June 30, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Words just words. You quote the founders and remind us of the importance of “fighting tyranny” yet you still plan on sitting out the election and not voting because your favorite choice chose not to run. Forgive me for putting you in the “sunshine patriot” category.

Buy Danish on June 30, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Oh, and as for Dylan Thomas, I quoted him here in a 2009 post about the horrors of National Healthcare. Sorry, but sitting out is not an option when the future of our Republic is at state.

Buy Danish on June 30, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Who is SMoD?

hawkdriver on June 30, 2012 at 8:26 AM

Sweet Meteor of Death. Another AoSHQ thing. Impending doom and all that.

BillH on June 30, 2012 at 10:29 AM

Words just words. You quote the founders and remind us of the importance of “fighting tyranny” yet you still plan on sitting out the election and not voting because your favorite choice chose not to run. Forgive me for putting you in the “sunshine patriot” category.

Buy Danish on June 30, 2012 at 10:15 AM

First, words are never just words. Words are thoughts that bring action. Words build and tear down. Words can light blazing fires that change the world. The Declaration of Independence, after all, were “just words”.

Second, read what MadCon said upthread.

Grace_is_sufficient on June 30, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Midas on June 30, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Hi. No thanks needed. We’ll post any quotes we please. Have a nice day.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Buy Danish on June 30, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Given that you’ve actually spent time on this website defending Romney’s version of what the court just held was lawful under the taxing power, your words are as hollow as any.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2012 at 10:40 AM

On this world, light never wins.

alchemist17 on June 29, 2012 at 10:35 PM

I’m afraid that’s not true, alchemist17. Has light won in your heart? It has in mine. Right here on this earth.

It is so wrong to interpret history as a constant reappearance of darkness. Over the march of our history on earth, the quality of light has changed. The quality of darkness never does. Darkness is always the exact same thing, but light expands and becomes more luminous with the passing of centuries.

Are we as a race worse, and worse off now, than we were 300 years ago? 1000? Or, that freighted number, 2000?

We lived in relatively unrelieved darkness for a very long time: millennia, in fact. The darkness was relieved by the giving of the Law and the designation of the Hebrews as God’s people. And now — and it appears you believe this too — the Holy Spirit of God dwells with men. The light has kept expanding since He came. It has grown more luminous, and is now seen over almost all of the earth. Tiny children in parts of the earth no even imagined when Jesus walked the hills of Galilee sing praises to him. The means to carry his message has expanded exponentially. The means to show compassion and heal in his name has expanded tremendously.

The amazing idea that a relationship with God is an individual thing — one of the chief transformations that came with Jesus — has permeated the earth. People can choose to believe in God or not; the armed authorities, king, emperor, or elected chief, are not to enforce or require piety. Every one of them did – every single one – until Jesus came, and the new idea began to take root. Many continued to enforce piety on their people afterward, but were gradually beaten back by the tide of liberty of conscience. We did not come to this idea because we rejected God; we came to it because Jesus empowered the individual. That, incidentally, is an exact statement of the premise underlying our Founders’ philosophy.

Today, religious ideas that involve armed authorities levying requirements on us are fighting a rearguard action; they are on the losing side, and in this age, when God lives in the hearts of men, they will lose.

God is after our hearts. That is His objective. By changing our hearts, He increases the light shining on men on earth. If light did not win out over darkness, the church could not have survived the centuries-long assaults of temporal corruption; knowledge would not have increased; slavery would still rule four-fifths of humanity; every great catastrophe or plague would have killed the light entirely; the use of science would have slain us all centuries ago instead of making our lives longer, easier, and more interesting; and there would never have been a United States of America, because no one would have conceived of one.

Everything that brings light can be turned to darkness. But that doesn’t mean the darkness is winning. It means we have a choice. In spite of the odds against it, which always seem prohibitive and frightening, people have made choices over the last 34 centuries that have lit more and more candles for those to come. Objectively, the light continues to win. We have the choice to continue on that path. We will make the choice, as those before us have done.

J.E. Dyer on June 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM

If I may take semantic issue with your headline; there are some things for which Despair is rational.

I despair of the Constitution being still a protector of Liberty and a shield for free men; for it has been perverted into a weapon of oppression to enable attacks on us. Until it is either restored at whatever cost, or replaced by a new version enacted by the American people with stronger safeguards against the Left; it is a waste of breath to declaim the next atrocity as “unconstitutional”. It is just another oppression to be fought and avenged.

I despair of the protection of the Rule of Law, for the law is now merely a tool of the government, to enable it to enforce its will. Until the Enemy is defeated and crushed, an appeal to the law is fruitless, and another waste of breath.

I am at the edge of despair that there can be a non-warlike resolution of the irreconcilable differences between ourselves and those who are no longer our countrymen. But the knowledge that the Enemy has removed the Constitution and the Law as factors means we can meet them with their own tactics, and there are more of us, and in the end we are more determined.

And any appeal by the Enemy to the Law and Constitution now has the same worth as ours. I think the shock when they find out that they cannot attack us and claim sanctuary anymore will be …. sweet. The realization that what they do to us, can be done to them will be the ultimate reality therapy.

We are in a political war for our lives and our children’s freedom and future.

Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln.

The Constitution and the Rule of Law are the domestic equivalent of the Geneva and Hague Conventions in international warfare. Our enemies overseas ignore the Conventions, and legally are no longer under their protection. Why should it be different at home?

But Despair does not mean fear. It can be the discarding of illusions and acceptance of reality. It can be the dawn of understanding, as Americans in the 1770′s found, that no compromise is possible. There are but two choices, and one is submission and death. Granting of quarter to the Enemy is choosing that path.

I am not Christian. But I remember John Paul II in Eastern Europe under the Communists. From the moment he called out “Be Not Afraid”, the Soviet Empire was doomed.

“Do not be Afraid”! The worst that the Left can do is kill us. And like all Leftist regimes, that is the end goal anyway. Be Thou then firmly Resolved; that Duty is as heavy as a Mountain, and Death is as light as a feather.

“Do not be Afraid”! For the Left fights to enslave, and to gain power. We fight because of our Duty to our children and to protect ourselves. We fight because of our hope for the future. They fight for nothing that can sustain them.

Subotai Bahadur

Subotai Bahadur on June 30, 2012 at 1:45 PM

I certainly appreciated this. Being fully aware of our circumstances is what we need, but despairing is dangerous. I read this last night but didn’t comment. I thought it would get promoted. I had forgotten what King said made us already dead inside. As I listened I could help but remember Churchill’s “we shall not flag nor fail” speech. Thanks again for the encouragement to press on.

jazzuscounty on June 30, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Midas on June 30, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Hi. No thanks needed. We’ll post any quotes we please. Have a nice day.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2012 at 10:39 AM

*shrug*

Cool. Just continue doing so knowing that every similar post couldn’t possibly be more hollow and meaningless. Rage away at unjust power, and when the time comes, be sure to write another sternly worded letter of profound disappointment. That’ll do the trick.

Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, et al would not be proud of you lot.

Midas on June 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM

First, words are never just words. Words are thoughts that bring action. Words build and tear down. Words can light blazing fires that change the world. The Declaration of Independence, after all, were “just words”.

Second, read what MadCon said upthread.

Grace_is_sufficient on June 30, 2012 at 10:37 AM

They are just words when it comes to MadCon who refuses to take action and actually vote. As for what he said upthread, I see no expression of a change of heart about voting, just a change of mood.

Given that you’ve actually spent time on this website defending Romney’s version of what the court just held was lawful under the taxing power, your words are as hollow as any.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2012 at 10:40 AM

I defended the right of states to set up their own healthcare systems. You know, the 10th Amendment, Federalism and all that. That is entirely different from the rights of the federal government, of Congress, the White House and the courts in every respect.

Roberts made his decision up out of whole cloth, essentially rewriting the law instead of ruling on the legislation as written. Nothing like this happened in Massachusetts.

The consequences of ObamaCare present a clear and present danger to the Republic. One cannot say the same about the state of Massachusetts. It would matter not a whit to our survival if it remained in place, was reformed, or was repealed because its citizens decided they didn’t like it at some point. Its detrimental aspects and/or benefits are limited to the state.

Buy Danish on June 30, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Thank you for this, MadCon. Also thanks to J.E. Dyer and Subotai Bahadur for their additional encouraging thoughts.

PatriotGal2257 on June 30, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Do not despair… tyranny can be defeated.

We are getting very tired of fighting not only the Democrats in all their guises, progressives, liberals, socialists, communists, totalitarians, but also having to fight and drag along the entrenched Republicans as well is very troubling and soul crushing.

I fear it may be time to part ways with the useless Republican Party. It may be that we need to take two steps back, removing ourselves from the Republican hierarchy that we may run forward into the fight.

I know Republicans are talking about repealing ObamaCare, but if they can’t even repeal a stupid light bulb ban, how are they going to gather themselves to repeal the left’s wet dream of government healthcare?

RJL on June 30, 2012 at 7:41 PM

They can’t repeal a lightbulb ban with a Senate and W.H. controlled by the Dems. This idiotic ban is one thing I’m mad at W for (although I’m not prepared to go all Glenn Beck on him).

Buy Danish on June 30, 2012 at 9:45 PM

This idiotic ban is one thing I’m mad at W for (although I’m not prepared to go all Glenn Beck on him).

Buy Danish on June 30, 2012 at 9:45 PM

On that, Buy Danish, I agree with you wholeheartedly.

J.E. Dyer on June 30, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Who is SMoD?
hawkdriver on June 30, 2012 at 8:26 AM

Sweet Meteor of Death.

Buy Danish on June 30, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Hear!..Hear!..Excellent!.. :cool:

Dire Straits on July 5, 2012 at 10:19 PM

I fear it may be time to part ways with the useless Republican Party.

RJL on June 30, 2012 at 7:41 PM

so we can join with the useless Libertarian party, or the useless Conservative Party? OR create another useless party?

A party is a vehicle. Yes, you can walk ten miles, but you’re going to get a lot farther a lot faster by riding. The Tea Party had a lot of influence on the GOP in 2010 and we won big. The Tea Party had little influence on the GOP in 2012 and we lost big. That tells me that the Tea Party is more in sync with what America wants and needs. 2014 is going to be a huge battle within the GOP and I don’t think its too early to start strategizing and recruiting.

alwaysfiredup on November 7, 2012 at 2:32 PM