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Outreach: The perfect moment

Funny, Karen Kwiatkowski’s “Perfect President” post hitting the ‘Net this morning. Similar thoughts were trying to form in my mind over the weekend.

Some related observations:

Kwiatkowski is absolutely correct that the big-government left created Trump, not only by the immediate cause of alienating so many ordinary Americans, but by gleefully establishing the “stroke of the pen, law of the land” machinery he’s now using to terrify them.

But will they understand that? Will they ever get how naive and wrong they were with their “this is a democracy; you’re just being paranoid to worry about tyranny” attitude? Or will they continue to believe that putting such power into the hands of the “right” leader is all that’s needed?

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Funny, too, to hear the left screeching about the Constitution when, under their latest Big-Gov administration, talking “too much” about that would get you branded a domestic terrorist — and I never heard a one of them saying the label was undeserved.

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Kwiatkowski also cautions against giving any of these people in the elite (or the currently panicking classes) too much of our valuable attention.

And where have you heard that before? I regularly preach that very message to the choir — and regularly go out and commit the selfsame sin of paying too much heed. But then, I’m an addict and I admit that. Been mainlining politics since my mother turned me into a junkie when I was a mere stripling of 11 or 12. And there’s no 12-step program for people like me.

But as Karen and I both admit, it’s necessary to observe the political scene to a certain extent. And that right there is a sign of the incipient tyranny we’re living in. In a tyranny, everything becomes political. You can’t get a job or start a business or apply for a scholarship or plant a crop or burn trash or carry a self-defense weapon or put a culvert at the bottom of your own driveway without having to worry about politics, bureaucracy, regulations, taxes, and potential prison sentences. So we can’t not keep an eye on politics. And once you’ve got one eye on it, it’s nearly impossible not to get your whole brain sucked in.

This is a dilemma that has no ideal solution. All you can do is make sure you have a real life, determine to live it, and forcefully declare parts of it off-limit to political vermin and their destructive works. I used to say “kill your TV,” and that did (and does) help avoid the worst of the worst. But the Internet is far more pervasive and because it has a real value that TV never did, it’s not so easy to kill. We just have to make sure to put boundaries on it. And live. Always, really, truly live.

Which brings us to the final and most important point.

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Unfortunately (though understandably) Kwiatkowsky relegated the most important part of her message to an inspirational, non-specific concluding statement:

Our energies should be spent on living freely, prospering and helping others to do so. We should pay attention to the teeth-gnashing of the ruling, chattering and echo-chamber classes only so far as it informs us on potential vulnerabilities of the state that we may use practically, and as teachable moments.

There’s the real-deal: living free, prospering (which does not just mean money), and helping others do the same.

We here and at Claire’s Cabal strive to live free, and a lot of us do an amazingly good job at it. Some of us prosper financially; others of us are content to prosper creatively, spiritually or in some other way. Some of us also help others toward freedom, be it through teaching jury rights or shooting skills or just trading and establishing connections with neighbors.

But we’re approaching a time when freedom outreach is both more needed and (potentially) more possible than ever. And are we taking advantage of this perfect moment?

One other person and I have raised this subject at the Cabal and gotten a less-than-satisfying response. Some people say they’re already doing as much outreach as they can; others say they’ve tried and failed; still others don’t engage in the discussion.

Ouch. But of course, that may be because “outreach” is a fuzzy-wuzzy term. It doesn’t even hint at specifics, let alone give people a solid subject or plan to chew on.

“Outreach” sounds like work, too. And vaguely lefty work, at that. Do I have to go out with my copy of Alinsky in my back pocket if I want to do “outreach”? Heaven forbid.

But outreach is many different things. Writing is outreach — if you either reach beyond the choir or offer the choir some useful information for freedom. Skill training is outreach. The firearms classes LarryA and Mama Liberty give are outreach. So is the training Kit Perez offers via The Order of the White Rose. Merely taking freedom-building classes may be outreach, too. So could joining an existing non-political organization. Friends of the Library, anybody? Habitat for Humanity?

Getting together with neighbors and establishing a community garden, a food-coop, or even a monthly run to the dump is outreach if it establishes and cements connections between independent people. Forming a ladies sewing circle or a book club is outreach if you use the opportunity to discuss the philosophy or reality of living free. Heck, just chatting over the backyard fence is outreach — if we use it as such.

Of course, outreach can also take some unusual (and unintended) forms. You could say that the regimes of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and the mere threat of a Hillary Clinton administration constituted the greatest-ever “outreach” for gun rights. And now Trump (who hasn’t yet threatened gun rights, but who eventually will) is performing “outreach” to the left by reminding them that “it” can happen here, and they’d better be ready to protect themselves.

Yet another sign of interesting times.

Reality: This time of turmoil, rage, and strife is also a time of opportunity. The ways we might reach out are as varied as our individuality. But when we’re tempted to think of it as just too much work and bother, we should remember that in the looming dark times, everybody we can bring to our side is one more person on our side. Everybody with whom we can teach, learn, or build skills may be a skilled ally.

10 Comments

  1. Comrade X
    Comrade X January 30, 2017 1:36 pm

    Now a days outreach to me is all about locale first, closest neighbor who I would trust on my six, nearest doctor &/or nurse, nearest neighbor who is into shortwave, where the closest green thumb lives (but I do live with one of those), knowing where’s bacon comes from and where it can be found, etc etc but always remember; two is one and one is none however I like to multiply that equation by a factor of 10 to 15, which to me is an easier number to manage than 20.

    Making sure that you have something to bring to the table your self helps when outreaching to those of like mind too. To borrow from someone smarter than I “He who knows more is worth more”.

  2. larryarnold
    larryarnold January 30, 2017 10:21 pm

    Thanks for the Honorable Mention. In truth, teaching isn’t a chore, as I enjoy it more than shooting. And perhaps that’s a key. Find the freedomista task that’s fun for you.

    And you don’t have to go it alone. Want to teach almost anything? Check with your local community education organization. We have a guy who teaches flint-knapping, and a bit of history on the side.

    BTW, and it may be my Internet Explorer on Windows 10 setup, but on the Blog page this post displays as a single stacked line of type. Once you get to this page, it’s fine.

  3. Pat
    Pat January 30, 2017 10:51 pm

    “BTW, and it may be my Internet Explorer on Windows 10 setup, but on the Blog page this post displays as a single stacked line of type. Once you get to this page, it’s fine.”

    Not just Windows – my Linux Mint shows the same. But I’m having some problems with Opera; I thought it was that.

  4. Claire
    Claire January 31, 2017 3:31 am

    Yikes. I’m seeing the same thing. The post itself looks fine, but the post summary on the main blog page is just a black line. I can’t see what’s wrong, either. I’ll ask HWFIW if he has any idea!

  5. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty January 31, 2017 4:48 am

    larryarnold, I offered to teach “basic pistol,” hand gun safety and handling, at our local adult education outfit. Oh, my! The horror!! NO NO NO, and not even a single no thanks. Of course, I can teach that almost anywhere else, and do… The NRA recently tried to make even that far more difficult and costly… thankfully the dumb plan was rescinded recently.

    I can just see the local WyU collage outpost accepting a course based on defiance of face recognition, other Simon Jester type things. But if you are willing to teach wedgie weaving or PC stuff, no problem.

    They actually had a series of classes announced recently for things like canning and baking bread… canceled for lack of interest. As one lady in town put it, “we grew up knowing that stuff.” And those who could actually benefit from it are too busy tweeting – and protesting something or other.

    So what to offer might be a bit of a challenge, especially in a small rural community. 🙂

  6. Pat
    Pat January 31, 2017 5:20 am

    The post summary is cleared up now, it can be read on my computer.

  7. Claire
    Claire January 31, 2017 6:16 am

    HWFIW fixed it, bless him. It appears to have been caused by a conflict between the WordPress version I was running and the version of the WordPress theme the site uses. You might think that WP versions and WP themes would be updated together and/or checked for compatibility issues. But the theme is actually purchased from a vendor and when something updates, it may cause a disturbance in The Force.

  8. Desertrat
    Desertrat January 31, 2017 8:41 am

    The arrogance of the Elites was shown by such appellations as “Clutchers” and “Deplorables”. I imagine that a lot of people resented being thought of as living in “flyover country”, as well.

    Even patient and tolerant people resent being insulted, year after year. Then cometh the Internet, where realistic numbers show the reality of economic problems instead of government lies.

    Add it up and guess what? The Trumpster, for good or ill.

    Trump’n’guns: Last summer, he told a US Senator that if the Hearing Protection Act passes Congress, he’d sign it. Many BATFE people are in favor of it as it would allow focus on more important matters and speed up the paperwork on Class III guns. You can thank his sons for turning him around on 2A issues.

  9. larryarnold
    larryarnold January 31, 2017 11:37 am

    Perhaps I was overconfident, ML.

    I live where hunting leases and summer camps count as major industries. There are no elected Democrats in our county, and none holding statewide elected office.

    Still, back in 1995 when Texas concealed carry was new, they turned me down for that particular class. About 2002 they reconsidered, and came to me to ask if I would teach it. At the time Club Ed was organized under our local independent school district. Now it’s umbrellaed at a senior center. That seemed to change some attitudes.

    I do love it here.

  10. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty January 31, 2017 11:44 am

    Hard to say, Larry… But given the gun free zone thing in most schools, and that is a fact in Wyoming, no actual guns would be permitted in the class even if I was allowed to teach it there. Rather counterproductive. But it doesn’t matter as long as I can teach the real thing pretty much anywhere else.

    Funny thing… the “senior center” here is the ONLY place in town with a “no guns” sign on the door. I don’t go in there, obviously. 🙂

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