Friday, July 15, 2011

Speaking of Freedom: Mr. Potter or George Bailey. Which'll it be?

Hey, Patriots, recognize this guy?

Yep, it's the amicable George Bailey, the lovable small town guy in Frank Capra's classic 1946 film, "It's A Wonderful Life". All George wanted in life was to "see the world" but, as it turned out, he was never to get out of the "crumby little town" of Bedford Falls. George's life didn't go the way he had planned. Even so, his was a wonderful life. So what does this have to do with Macon County Patriots? I'm glad you asked.

I recently began reading Ann Coulter’s new book, “Demonic”, which is a study of mob mentality. Based on a sociologist’s research on the topic, she explains that mobs are unruly, unreasonable and, perhaps most importantly, that individuals caught up in a mob will do things, sometimes terrible things, that they otherwise would not do. As I was reading I was reminded of George Bailey.

In the aforementioned film, Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey, the owner/operator of a small town building and loan who in one scene finds himself confronted with a potential mob. We could take some pointers from the way he dealt with the situation. Below is a link you can go to to view this scene.

First though, for those who may not be familiar with the movie, here's the set up. Greedy Mr. Potter wants to see the Bailey Brothers Building and Loan go under because they are his competition. The news of the stock market crash of 1929 is reaching the people and, out in the streets, peaceful Bedford Falls is showing signs that the mob mentality is beginning to set in. Mr. Potter wastes no time springing into action to try and exploit the situation. The only thing standing between him and achieving his goal is George Bailey. (Please click on this link to watch the run on the bank scene before continuing to read. The clip runs 7 minutes.)

Here are a few observations and comparisons to Bedford Falls circa 1929 and what we see happening in America today.

One thing we can see is that there are many "Potters" today in Washington, in the liberal media, in academia, etc... who regularly gin up and/or exploit a sense of urgency which enables them to enact some terrible legislation, (i.e., the Stimulus Plan and Obama Care), and/or further their own agenda, whatever that might be.

Another case in point is the recent turmoil in Wisconsin, which might well be seen as a dress rehearsal for how the "mobsters" intend to prevail in the 2012 election cycle and beyond. Even though in the Wisconsin case the governor and legislature ultimately stood their ground, don't be surprised to see a lot more of such mobs in the near future as economic uncertainty continues to increase.

It's just a fact of life that when things get really bad, people are susceptible to the influence of people like Mr. Potter who would exploit the situation. The thing I want us to learn from George Bailey, the thing that made the difference and saved the building and loan and all those people’s investments, was that George kept his head in the midst of the crisis. He was able to see the situation for what it was. And in so doing he was able to calm the people and allay their fears.

In the times to come, if there are no George Baileys, the "mobsters" will almost certainly prevail. But where will they come from? Not from Washington! They will have to come from the grassroots. That's us. I believe we must be the real-life George Baileys.

George never wanted the crisis he found himself embroiled in. None of us wants the one that is coming our way today. Nevertheless, it is our lot, the calling of our time. In my view, the greatest potential fruit that our group and our preparations can yield is that we will have the opportunity to be the voices of reason, the George Baileys that will be so desperately needed. I say "potential" because we must seize the opportunities as they arise. And I'm pretty sure that if we don’t do it, it won't get done.

Don't worry. Because of what we have learned together, I believe we are up to the challenge. In the end, if we keep preparing, praying and trusting in God as we do, we too will have wonderful lives. And our beloved country will be restored in the process. May He bless, encourage and strengthen us each and all, day by day, as we prepare for what lies ahead.

Richard Cochran, President

Macon County Patriots

July 27, 2011

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