Op-Ed: The dangers of political showmanship

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“If we really want to know who is responsible for the mess we’re in, all we have to do is look in the mirror. You and I own this country and we are responsible for what happens to it.”

– Ross Perot

Hyde Park in London is located near the entrance to Buckingham Palace. It’s been hosting free concerts, festivals, fairs, noble duals, and events since the 1500s. During the 19th century when Europeans were passionate about social and political change, people from all over Europe fled to Hyde Park to share their grievances. Today, activists from around the globe flock to Hyde Park to voice their views about anything and everything freely. It has been dubbed the free speech zone for “bewailing.” On any given day, there is enough hot air generated to launch the Goodyear Blimp.

America has been a free speech zone since our founding. Free speech led to The Revolutionary War. It fought wars. It stopped bad wars and ended slavery. It provided equal opportunity. Activists didn’t just talk the talk but walked the walk and made social and political history in America. Their voices were the call to action. Their battle cries were not criticisms for self-enamoration, but for a cause greater than they were. They finished what they started. They weren’t like some activists today that fill social media with so much hot air that climate changers accuse them of global warming.

One of the virtues for those seeking political and social asylum in the New World was freedom of speech and assemblage. America was founded on activism by men of honor whose actions spoke louder than their words. Thomas Paine, our forgotten founder, walked from township to township to motivate passive colonialists to revolt for freedom. During the Revolution, he inspired our soldiers to keep fighting when defeat was on the horizon. If it wasn’t for Paine’s activism, we’d still be subjects instead of citizens.

“A man’s actions say much more than his most noble words.”

– Thomas Paine

Throughout our modern history, the activism of true leaders has made our nation stronger and far better than it would have been without them. Dynamic speakers like Ronald Reagan and Dr. Martin Luther King inspired the actions of others to bring about social and political change that made America a better place for everyone. Real leaders create more leaders than they have followers because:

“There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

– Ronald Reagan

American activists responded to abuse of power by politicians like Huey Long, Franklin Roosevelt, Barack Obama and others. Activist legislators in FDR’s party revolted against his attempt to stack the court with hand-picked justices. Obama, who pledged to unite our nation, divided it soon after he took office. When he laid…

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