BETHLEHEM, PA – I attended several tea parties last week and one was a “post-tea party” held on Saturday. Around 300 people attended, and the concern of most was focused on over-taxation. There were several very motivational speakers and one of them was a homemaker with two children, who said she felt compelled to become politically active for the first time. Her theme was a return to the Constitution and rule of law to secure a free future for her children. As I strongly agree with these sentiments, there was only one part of her speech when I looked up quizzically. She had just said that she did not know why all of us had gathered on this day to defend freedom, that no one person had implored them to follow the Constitution. (photo)
But there is one person who has implored at least me, and who has gathered many others to the standard of peace, prosperity, and freedom.
His name is Ron Paul, and he is the Gray Champion.
Let me explain first who a Gray Champion is with this passage from The Fourth Turning written by generational psychologists William Strauss and Neil Howe in 1997 interspersed with some of the text from Nathaniel Hawthorne's Twice-Told Tales. [I have read Strauss and Howe's groundbreaking work, and its main theme is that the history of the res publica (the "public thing" or republic) moves in four stages, like the seasons or generations. I've included a reading list at the end to learn more.]
One afternoon in April 1689, as the American colonies boiled with rumors that King James II was about to strip them of their liberties, the king's hand-picked governor of New England, Sir Edmund Andros, marched his troops menacingly through Boston. His purpose was to crush any thought of self-rule. To everyone present, the future looked grim. (Hawthorne photo)
“The whole scene was a picture of the condition of New England, and its moral, the deformity of any government that does not grow out of the nature of things and the character of the people – on one side the religious multitude with their sad visages and dark attire, and on the other the group of despotic rulers with the high churchman in the midst and here and there a crucifix at their bosoms, all magnificently clad, flushed with wine, proud of unjust authority and scoffing at the universal groan. And the mercenary soldiers, waiting but the word to deluge the streets with blood showed the only means by which obedience could be secured.
“O Lord of hosts,” cried a voice among the crowd, “provide a champion for Thy people.”
“This ejaculation was loudly uttered and served as a herald's cry to introduce a remarkable personage. The crowd had rolled back, and were now huddled together nearly at the extremity of the street, while the soldiers had advanced no more than a third of its length. The intervening space was empty – a paved solitude between lofty edifices which threw almost a twilight shadow over it. Suddenly there was seen the figure of an ancient man who seemed to have emerged from among the people and was walking by himself along the center of the street to confront the armed band. He wore the old Puritan dress – a dark cloak and a steeple-crowned hat in the fashion of at least fifty years before, with a heavy sword upon his thigh, but a staff in his hand to assist the tremulous gait of age…
“As he drew near the advancing soldiers, and as the roll of their drum came full upon his ear, the old man raised himself to a loftier mien, while the decrepitude of age seemed to fall from his shoulders, leaving him in gray but unbroken dignity. Now he marched onward with a warrior's step, keeping time to the military music. Thus the aged form advanced on one side and the whole parade of soldiers and magistrates on the other, till, when scarcely twenty yards remained between, the old man grasped his staff by the middle and held it before him like a leader's truncheon.
“Stand!” cried he.
“The eye, the face, the attitude of command, the solemn, yet warlike peal of that voice, fit either to rule a host in the battlefield or to be raised to God in prayer, were irresistible. At the old man's word and outstretched arm, the roll of the drum was hushed at once, and the advancing line stood still.”
Inspired by this single act of defiance, the people of Boston roused their courage and acted. Within the day, Andros was deposed and jailed, the liberty of Boston saved…
“Who was this Gray Champion?” Nathaniel Hawthorne asked near the end of this story in his Twice-Told Tales. No one knew, except that he had been among the fire-hearted young Puritans who had first settled New England more than a half century earlier… Would the Gray Champion ever return? “I have heard,” added Hawthorne, “that whenever the descendants of the Puritans are to show the spirit of their sires, the old man appears again.”
Posterity had to wait a while before seeing him again – the length of an entire human life, in fact. “When eighty years has passed,” wrote Hawthorne, the Gray Champion reappeared. The occasion was the revolutionary summer of 1775 – when America's elders once again appealed to God, summoned the young to battle, and dared the hated enemy to fire. “When our fathers were toiling at the breastwork on Bunker's Hill,” Hawthorne continued, “all through that night the old warrior walked his rounds…”
“Long, long may it be ere he comes again!” Hawthorne prophesied. “His hour is one of darkness, and adversity, and peril. But should domestic tyranny oppress us, or the invaders' step pollute our soil, still may the Gray Champion come.”
Eighty years later, an unrepentant, elderly John Brown was hung on the gallows for practicing armed insurrection to arm slaves with federal weapons from Harper's Ferry arsenal. Brown was caught by the same Robert E. Lee who would lead the Confederacy against the Union. Diametrically opposed to Lee was the gaunt figure of Abraham Lincoln. (John Brown photo)
Another eighty years later, the old Gray Champions of WWII would lead America in its battle against the Axis powers. Think FDR, Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, MacArthur.
Fast forward another eighty years which brings us to our current times. While in 1776 we fought against a foreign enemy, in 1861 domestically against ourselves, in 1941 against foreign enemies, I argue that the pendulum has swung back, and our nemesis is domestic tyranny once more.
Who is today's Gray Champion? Is it Barack Obama? Despite the aura given him by our media and his ability to speak publicly with a rhythmic cadence, I do not think so, and not just due to his relative youth. The latest Congress-FED-Treasury bank bailouts do not sit well with the majority, and as a result the banking system is propped but still failing. The economy has only worsened, and the stimulus plans, no matter how large, will ultimately fail as I described here. Guantanamo is yet open, and federal lawyers still seek to make sure they gain no legal rights whatsoever. No action will be taken against Bush and his officials to place them on trial for war crimes and murder, a dignity and right they have denied to “enemy combatants.”
Former FED boss Geithner did not pay his taxes, and yet now the IRS reports to him. The chief economic advisor, Larry Summers, earned millions last year from the very hedge funds and Wall Street banks he now stalwartly defends. His Homeland Security (isn't that what the military is supposed to do?) boss Napolitano has publicly warned of right-wing political extremism and the dangers of returning war veterans joining these movements. While Gaza was bombed and bled, Obama stayed silent exposing an hypocrisy I described here.
No, the Gray Champion is NOT Barack Obama, as tidy and convenient as that would be.
I believe the Gray Champion is Ron Paul, the little-known Congressman from Texas who ran for President last year. Who else has stepped forward to say:
- End the War on Terror and end the Military Empire.
- Honor the Constitution and restore the rule of law. Might does not make Right.
- Restore Honest Money and abolish the Federal Reserve.
- End foreign aid and our foreign policy of endless intervention.
- End foreign debt, the purposeful enslavement of our nation to foreign powers.
- Instead of spending our treasure and dooming the future generations of our children to debt, make deep cuts to federal spending as is done to any bloated, ineffective business.
- Abolish the federal income tax.
- Bring light to the dark derivative market and toxic assets.
- Stop delaying and begin a national discourse to resolve the Social Security crisis so our elders do not suffer and the labor of our young people is not plundered from them – this is a generational division that does not need to occur and can yet be avoided.
- Restore a free market to We the People. Separate the Economy from the State.
Who else dares to stand with the Gray Champion? Are there any others who have the audacity not just to “hope,” but to actually restore the Republic? Will any more of my elders shuck the label “senior citizen” and speak out instead as a “citizen senior,” as a Gray Champion?
Decide for yourselves. As for me, I will peacefully rise to defend the freedom of the res publica against its true enemies domestic.
Jake Towne, the Champion of the Constitution
For Further Reading and Viewing
Bastiat, Frederic. 1848. “The Law.” Takes an hour to absorb, it is so key to understand his concept of how the government “legally plunders.” Bastiat describes why the force of the state used to rob or redistribute wealth from the populace is a major moral wrong. Bastiat wrote this in France as the socialists drove the country to ruin.
Casey, Doug. 2009. “Foundations of Crisis.” An excellent introduction to how the Fourth Turning is manifesting.
Paul, Ron. 2007. “A New Hope” 8 minute presidential campaign video.
Paul, Ron. 2009. “What If?” speech on the House floor.
Paul, Ron. 2008. The Revolution: A Manifesto.
THE RON PAUL FILE. All of his articles plus plenty of videos from lewrockwell.com.
Quinn, James. Apr 2009. “Know Your Enemy.” Also on the Fourth Turning.
Republicae. Aug 2008. “A Fabian Socialist Dream Come True”
Strauss, William and Neil Howe. 1997. The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy. Theory of generational psychology and 4 “archetypes” and its effect on the economy and human events.
Towne, Jake. Aug 2008. “Ron Paul and the Struggles of Attrition.”
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
As always, unlike the NFL, the author grants full permission to allow any accounts of, rebroadcasts, retransmissions, repostings in part or full of this article to your blog or anywhere else in order to promote the Restoration of our Republic.
Veritas numquam perit. Veritas odit moras. Veritas vincit. Truth never perishes. Truth hates delay. Truth conquers.
Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito. Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.
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