We must work together. Some of you may remember that I said that at the tax day tea party on April 15. I said it and then I did something about it. I contacted Jim Ostrowski, Rus Thompson, and Lenny Roberto, and got them to agree to join us here today. They all have their own unique contributions to bring, they all have their own talents, and they all have their own way of doing things. Naturally, some of you would choose to align yourselves with one or the other of them. Many of you are here because you were familiar with one or more of them or were on the mailing list of one or more of them – or even ReformNYS. There I have mentioned 4 entities, Jim Ostrowski. and Free New York, Lenny Roberto and Primary Challenge, Rus Thompson and Tea New York, and myself and ReformNYS. We have all had our events in the past and we have drawn varied amounts of attention but, look at us today. Look at what we have done today – together.
Look at what we have done together. Far more than any one of us could have done alone. Today is the first day of together. I would turn to Jim and Rus and Lenny and say, “Gentlemen, I hope that this will not be our last.” I hope that we have all now come to the conclusion that, if we are to succeed, we must work together.
Ben Franklin said “We must all hang together, or we most assuredly will all hang separately,” We all know that is true. Government does not like being challenged. It never has. We all know that if one becomes too loud and too demanding of government, government will strike back, and most unkindly. If you heard the Bauerle show on Thursday, you heard Lenny Roberto tell of being audited by an agency of government and having to spend $10,000 to hire lawyers to prove his innocence to them. Government does not like to be challenged. You know that Rus Thompson was the target of an out of control toll collector when Rus challenged the right of the government to continue collecting tolls and sending that money downstate long past the time when they were supposed to have stopped . Even after being caught, the toll collector was reinstated after a short suspension from duty. Government does not like being challenged. Assemblyman Mark Schroeder knows what it means to challenge government. He challenged the speaker of the NYS Assembly, and was treated in such a way that he very clearly got the message that it was unwise to act as he did. Government does not like to be challenged.
If you go to the National Tea party website and scroll to the NY State section and then to Buffalo, you will see my name. I have heard it said that I may have acted unwisely in exposing my name to those who would be our masters in Albany and Washington, DC. At least, one who is living comfortably and in blissful ignorance might think so. I am not comfortable, however, nor am I blissful. Although I do not claim any great awareness or any great accumulation of knowledge, I would also argue that I am not ignorant. So, I cannot say that I acted unwisely in exposing my name to the tyrants of the land. In actual fact, I had no choice. We all have our duties. We all have things that we must do. Like many, if not most of you, I can no longer abide these bullies, this arrogant political class, this den of thieves and liars who work so diligently to exercise more control over us, the people, with each and every day that passes. I had no choice but to expose my name to those tormenters of the people, to those who need to be put firmly in their place in the prisons and reform houses of this country, to those who would be our kings.
We learn and have our character shaped by our acquaintance with the heroes of history, with the stories of greatness of those who have gone before us. I think of the signers of the Declaration of Independence who knew that placing their names on that document could very well get them hanged. But we know that they went ahead and did it anyway because they knew that there was no other way. They did what they had to do. Following their brave example, I did what I had to do. I put my name up on a website which I knew would attract the attention of the federal government and the state of NY. I learned long ago how government operates. I fully expect to receive some attention from those entities. I fully expect them to invade my privacy in some outrageous way as that is what they know how to do. I am sure they know more about me now than they knew before I put my name on that website. I am sure that at some point in the perhaps not so distant future, I will hear from one of them around tax time, advising me that they would like me to come in and answer a few questions. And to bring my records for the past 7 years just to make sure that everything is in order. They probably won’t hang me. They will just squeeze me to death or subject me to the cruel and unusual punishment of their oppressive and destructive tax system. But, they definitely won’t hang me. After all, this is America.
Today we have US representatives and senators voting for bills which will steal away our liberties and containing trillions of dollars in spending which they have not read. We have a president who insists that things are so bad and there is such an emergency in this country that there is no time to read these bills, so just sign them quickly and without protest. We have a secretary of Homeland Security who proclaims veterans of foreign wars and tea party people as potential right wing terrorists. We have a government which continues to eat up more and more of the private sector while claiming all the while that they have no intentions of doing so. We have a senate in Albany which cannot even manage to agree long enough to open a session so that they can call each other names on the record. We have a world in which things we know to be good are called wrong and things which we know to be insane are quickly becoming the norm. This is the world in which we live and this is why I placed my name on the National Tea party website for all the world to see. And this is why we are all here – together.
Let me close with quotes from 2 great Americans. The first, Abigal Adams, the wife of the 2nd president of the United States, John Adams, wrote to her son, John Quincy Adams, who would become the 6th president of the US:
“These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.”
Thomas Paine knew this as well when he wrote in 1776, “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. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
We can see then, how our characters are formed in the crucible of difficulties and sufferings. We can see that the times are forming our characters and calling forth from within us the greatness which is our gift from our Creator in whose image we are made. It is given to each of us, to call forth at will. Should we but give the command and allow it to be born in the depths of our souls, it would be ours to further nurture and develop, to use henceforward in the service of humanity and all the kingdoms of God. This is our purpose and this is for what we have been created. We cannot then, curse the times in which we live, but instead, we must thank the forces of the Universe which have brought us here to this day and time, to do battle with an enemy without which we could never be great. Take a moment then to understand the enemy for whom and what it is, put on the armor of the knowledge that you can accomplish this, and begin the battle.
Dare to be great.
May God bless you.