Welcome (Foreword)

We have it in our power to begin the world over again.
~Thomas Paine [i]

Every once in a while, an idea comes along just in time for a society that is sorely in need of it.  It doesn’t matter whether the idea is new, or whether it dates back to the first brilliant moments in the annals of humankind; what matters is merely that it is the right idea at the right time.  Once it has taken hold, the society is free to be transformed to a higher level.

This book is about just such an idea.  This idea is neither “left” or “right”, for it goes far deeper than that tired old paradigm.  The idea is that the best way to change a government and the society it governs is to change what’s going on in the hearts and minds of the people that make up that society.  It all hinges, therefore, upon whether a core group of rational, honest, and responsible thinkers will find enough promise in the idea that they’ll volunteer for the task of taking that idea to the masses—starting with their friends and neighbors and families.

This , therefore, is no ordinary book, and it’s not for just any reader.  This is a book for that first tier of America’s citizens:  those who are already thinking more deeply and honestly and most, and who, if they can be convinced by the arguments I pose herein, are the type who can and will deliberately influence the thinking of those around them.

I’m writing to the deeper thinkers first because the “cognitive misers” will too quickly write this book off as “radical”.  They would rather continue to suffer in the current quagmire, finding hope wherever than can pretend it to be, than they would to set out on the mission of duly analyzing and then fixing things.   While it is fashionable today merely to complain,  I actually intend to fix things in America—to leave it better than I found it.

Can a purer and more responsible political idea be found today?

Indeed, it is this very idea that I expect will utterly inspire a few, pique a casual intrigue in a few more, bore the disinterested masses, and simply terrify the rest. So I begin with those whom I hope to inspire, in hopes that we may work together to take America by the lapels and to talk some sense into it.  Many will claim this is impossible, but we can freely observe that it is not.  Indeed, if you can change, and if I can change, then can’t everybody?

As you will hear me repeat throughout this book, reality-based (rational) thinking does not depend on intelligence (IQ), but upon character.  Our hope, therefore, is not in puffed-up intellectualism, but in wisdom; not in erudite theory, but in observable fact; not in talent, but in diligence; not in entitled indulgence, but in responsible austerity; not in selfish ambition, but in caring to do what is right and just and fair and sustainable.

Our country began with the voicing of principles so patently just and lofty as to represent an improvement over any country that had existed in modern history.  Sadly, however, the very public that agreed to those principles at first failed to maintain them through that first generation.  Almost before the ink our our ratified Constitution was dried, the people sat back and watched the First Congress violate it.  This sorry cycle continues to this very day, with each generation of Americans handing the country off to their children in worse shape than they inherited it themselves.

I believe, however, that we are free to change if we so please.  In spite of whatever failures our country has suffered, we threw off a king, we threw off slavery, and we threw off institutionalized racism,  to name a few of our more important accomplishments.  Are we now suddenly unable to improve ourselves further?  Surely not!

I propose, therefore, that we end this careless cycle of poor self governance in our present generation and that we teach our children how to manage the next.  If you think me a fool for believing that such a thing could happen, then I ask how you know this to be true, and I challenge you to prove to me that it is. In a short time, anyone attempting such a proof by honest means would be forced to admit that it simply comes down to the will of the people of any given generation.

So here we are—in our own generation and on our own watch.  It falls to us, therefore, to decide whether we will begin our world over again, or whether we will waste away in passive resignation.

Now before we get into the text of this book, I have one unpleasant matter of business to discuss.  In all my study and observations, I have come to believe that perhaps the greatest single woe that besets us is our natural human tendency to overestimate our own strengths.  It is quite natural, when reading an author expounding upon the deficits in our aggregate societal character, to turn our attention toward those whom we know to be misinformed, negligent, and irrational.  We can easily cultivate an us-versus-them mentality, and even some level of animus for such people.  But here’s where the irony kicks in; we are such people ourselves!

While many Americans claim ignorance in political matters, not even realizing the shame of such an admission, the greater threat to our collective progress are those who falsely claim enlightenment.  Far too many are influenced by the various “talking heads” in our marketplace to believe that they, more or less, have things figured out and know what needs to happen next.  I submit that these are the folks, and not those claiming ignorance, who impede America’s progress the most.  These are the ones standing in the way of meaningful reform to the founding principles.  And the chances are pretty strong that you, dear reader, are one of these.

My appeal, therefore, is not to those negligent masses, but to you.  I hope that you are open to having your ideas challenged as you read and that you will prove to be a pioneer in the greatest frontier of all: your own mind.  If you are like me, many of the facts and principles I discovered when writing this book will differ from what you’ve traditionally believed, defended, and argued.  They will reveal that, like me, you, too, have been somewhat misinformed and even disinformed by the massive political establishment that runs things here.  That establishment holds sway over the news and entertainment media and even over which books our school children read.  What they cannot control, however, is the mind of the sovereign citizen who thinks for himself or herself.

The battle, therefore, is for the minds in America.  The one side would have us all think like faithful consumers, believing whatever is put forth for us to believe, and operating reliably as one massive herd of sheep.  The alternative I have in mind to this is not to start a new group, vying for the loyalty of the “sheep”, but to help as many as possible to become independent and sovereign thinkers who make up their own minds—like mature humans, and not like sheep at all.  Indeed, I’d much rather entrust our political future to a society of independent and reality-based minds—Realitans, I call them—than to the slippery slope upon which we currently operate under the rule of the establishment.

This book is about breaking free; it is about discovering and promoting the facts while putting away the non-facts.  It is about becoming a deliberate and sovereign people.  It is about leaving America better than we found it, and handing off to our children something of which to be rightfully proud.

Life is short.  Why not do something extraordinary while we are here?

[i] Source: THOMAS PAINE, Common Sense, conclusion, The Complete Writings of Thomas Paine, ed. Philip S. Foner, vol. 1, p. 45 . Originally published in 1776.

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