Saturday, March 28, 2009

Calibrating our Collective Moral Compass

Ben Franklin's Woodcut: America's First Political Cartoon. (left) New Version at very end of post. Read on!

Okay, so I ended my "Cup of Tea, Anyone?" entry with this:

“The root of this problem is the pervasive lack of morals and ethics in our society.”

And I'd like to expand on that a bit.

We tend to follow laws and portrayal of public opinion instead of making up our own minds... We never want to infringe on others’ freedom and in the process we impinge our own. It’s time to re-center on our core beliefs. I for one am quite sick and tired of biting my tongue because someone else may think it 'inappropriate.' Political Correctness is going to tear us apart.

It doesn't change the heart of people, it just makes them clam up. I for one would rather know the heart and sort of man or woman who I'm speaking to and make up my own mind about whether I agree with him or her. But PC-speak makes it all fake, all contrived. It makes people all hesitant to talk about real opinions, real feelings, real issues because we all dance around the real discussions. Well I say no more. We need to have a way to identify others of similar beliefs as ourselves.

Then there are really those persons amongst us who don't hold any of our same values and beliefs. You know the types when you meet them. When you have a run-in with one, or hear about one indicted in some scandal you think, "goodness, how do they look at themselves in the mirror every day?" And you find yourself astonished that they really *can* look themselves in the mirror without any trouble.

But here's the good news: There's a lot fewer of these guys than there are of us. Generally speaking, the American people have a lot more good people than weasels. At least this is how it is in the 'flyover states' in the middle. The coasts... well... I've spent time in Washington and in Philly. I was glad to move to the Midwest and leave a lot of the high-weasel-density areas behind.

But here's the thing: our country is changing. It is in trouble, deep poop to be sure. We're in for a really tough time. And people all over our country are angry, scared, and confused. They're getting financially pinched, laid off, and they're seeing the changes and the US Constitution getting trampled on a daily basis from Washington. And they're really upset. There's significant financial turbulence ahead, folks. So we better buckle up and get serious about keeping ourselves pointed in the right direction in this storm or we're going to end up smashed on a rocky shore somewhere.

So how do we keep ourselves going in the right direction? How does one know what is the right thing to do now? Everything is so strange, so unprecedented, happening so fast. The politicians are doing so many things it's hard to keep up and it's hard to know what to even think about all that's happening. How do we know Up from Down and Right from Wrong?

First, forget politics. Forget parties. It's not about R and D. It's about Right and Wrong.

Unfortunately, right and wrong are so difficult to know when making decisions that will mean the salvation or destruction of our country. So we are left with our inner compasses because we all know that, frankly, the weasels in Washington cannot tell right from wrong in their own political decisions. So how can we possibly have faith that they will know right and wrong and choose the right choices? This is even less likely to happen if the right thing is going to be bad for them politically, or financially. I just don't have any faith anymore that they really know what real working shlubs and regular people go through every day. And I know there are a few good guys and gals there but generally speaking don't we all know that politicians are different degrees- greater and lessser- evils? Aren't they all slimeballs who with a wink and a nod line their own pockets?

This is why WE need to know where WE stand. And we need to be stronger than they are. And we need to stand up to them and remind them when they have made a decision or are considering something that is just WRONG. But how do we know? We need to look inside ourselves. Look to our beliefs, our values. Because without these beliefs, with all the changes that are coming from Washington, we will be adrift without a compass in this storm.

So now let’s look at some Principles and Values.

9 Principles

1. America is good.

2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.

3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.

4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one (not a public official, church leader, celebrity, or any ordinary citizen) is above it.

6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.

7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. The Government cannot force me to be charitable.

8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

Do you believe in 7 of these 9? Athiests: Perhaps you believe in 8 of these 9? If so, great. We can unite. Remember, Thomas Paine was an athiest and one of the greatest patriots this country has ever had.

Are you still with me so far? Okay... let's continue shall we?

Here are 12 Values:

* Honesty
* Reverence
* Hope
* Thrift
* Humility
* Charity
* Sincerity
* Moderation
* Hard Work
* Courage
* Personal Responsibility
* Friendship

If we can agree on these principles and values, we can conquer anything as a country. But we must place the proper importance on holding ourselves to these values and principles.

Make your decisions based on values and principles. Not on emotion and feeling of that particular situation. (Moral relativism’s slippery slope) In this way, we will stay true and straight through this storm. Our children must know these values and principles. Share them, teach them, let them see you living them. They will grow to be strong, good, kind hard-working men and women who live productive and honest lives.

If you believe in the things you’ve read on this page, there’s somewhere for you to go. There are millions of others just like yourself, and they’re starting to connect and discover each other. They're finding that there’s more people who believe the stuff above than don’t. It’s a bit different than a tea party, but the concept is similar. They’re people united not under the banner of resistance but unity in principles and values. It’s called "The 912 Project."

People who have joined this online community call themselves "912ers".
It's about how America was on 9/12. It's about the 9 principles listed above. It's about the 12 values listed above. It's about people who are upset about what's happening in this country and want to set this great country straight again. It's about finding others like yourself who believe as you do. The people who took action on 9/11 are the ones who got out of the buildings. They were the ones who instinctively knew that what happened on 9/11 was *not* a drill. They were the ones who took charge and led thousands of others to safety. Months ago, Captain Sully and the flight crew displayed that same levelheadedness and leadership when their plane went down in the Hudson in NYC. Their leadership saved every single person on board. If you're reading this post right now you know that there is something wrong in this country, something is definitely not right, and you feel it in your gut. You can feel it and even though other people are behaving like ostriches you know that this is NOT a drill. If this is you, and you agree with just 7 of the 9 principles and agree with the list of virtues as being things that you believe are so important and you strive for in your life, then you are a 912er.

Join us. -->

As of the writing of this little column, there are more than 250,000 members and growing, starting from scratch, back on March 13th. Keep the torch lit, brothers and sisters. Be well, be strong, you are not alone. Not at all, not ever.

UPDATE: As of April 14, 2009 the 912 project has 541,301 members and growing..

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