Monday, October 01, 2018

Will the silent majority please speak up

“A silent majority and government by the people is incompatible.”
– Activist politician Tom Hayden

Although Bruce Barton (Photo-Left) served in Congress from 1937 to 1940, he is esteemed for his literary works. He had a wide range of interests that included literature, politics and religion. 

As owner of his own advertising agency, he knew the public’s Achilles heal. “One needs to arouse desires and stimulate wants. Convince people they are dissatisfied with the old so they buy the new.”

While working on Calvin Coolidge's campaign, he wrote: "It seems as if this great silent majority has no spokesman. But Coolidge belongs with that crowd: he lives like them; works like them, and understands.” Those that sit silently in protest as others speak out finally assumed a relevant name: “the silent majority.”

Throughout our history, management of our government has suffered from one missing ingredient; too many people are “AOL.” 

Our founders gave us a union of states that assured the colonies they would run it. It would not run them. But the colonies did not trust government or themselves. Many were content with independence alone. 

They had the loose Articles of Confederation, so why change what worked? 

In 1787, once the doors of Convention Hall were locked our framers knew selling this theory of government run by the people would be onerous.

It took over a year to get these skeptical colonies to sign on the dotted line.

“Action can cure fear and hesitation and doubt.”
– Lewis Howes

Political theorists have defined the silent majority as the largest unspecified group of people in our country. They do not express their opinions publicly.

These are Americans who do not join in any demonstrations against anything, nor belong to a counterculture. They don’t participate in public discourse. This group is overshadowed in the media by every more vocal minority. 

Although many are discontent, they never speak up publicly. They hide out on Facebook knowing it is a safe place to wine and whimper. 

They never speak up in support of the vocal minority who tenaciously defend their rights and liberty.

“When the silent majority opens its mouth, it is usually to yawn.”
– Gerd de Ley

The silent majority exists in middle-class America. Its members lean both left and right, but in the last decade it’s over-run with self-anointed independents. They’ve always been right of center in their beliefs, but it has taken a major act of vexation to bring them out of their cocoons to make a statement. 

In his 1969 election campaign, Richard Nixon asked the silent majority for their support, promising to end the unpopular Vietnam War. The day after, his numbers soared to 77 percent in Gallup Poll surveys. Supportive telegrams and letters streamed in to the White House.

“For democracy to work, we must heed the views of all, even the silent majority that never speaks."
– Ivana Fredrick

It was the post-election narrative that Barack Obama was elected twice because black voters turned out in greater proportion than whites for the first time in history. But this is only a convenient story that obscures the awkward truth. Both times he ran, the silent majority stayed home because his challengers didn’t inspire them. 

But during the election of 2010 after the passage of Obamacare, Democrats suffered their worst Congressional defeat. They paid a hefty price for solidarity to pass a bill that robbed America of their private health care. And the silent majority fought back. 

But their enthusiasm turned to apathy the next election. Obamacare failed, and we had economic stagnation yet they stayed home again.

“Silence is a fragile thing. One loud noise, and it’s gone.”
– Alan Moore

Last presidential election, pundits and polls predicted Hillary Clinton would become the first woman president of our country. Clinton’s campaign slogan declared “Love Trumps Hate." 

But voters were ready to embrace that fear. 

There were thousands of silent, secret “Trumpeters” who misled media and the pollsters. 

The aftermath of a decade of progressive leadership woke up the sleeping giant again. 

While media focused on Clinton’s base, a wave of unassertive voters deserted their security of anonymity and did what media claimed was impossible – they elected Trump. 

Voters who were unwilling to publicly admit they supported Trump turned down the ballot box privacy curtain to have their voices heard.

“A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used.”
– Margaret Atwood

Last election, the silent voters slipped by unnoticed until Election Day. 

Donald Trump was the anti-establishment option whom silent majority voters force-fed to the GOP.

But the accepted wisdom that Trump succeeded in awakening a popular movement of anger and frustration among those who were embittered with progressives kicking dirt on their free market liberty would prove temporary.

Within months after the election, they squirmed back into the security of obscure self-sequestration and have not been heard from since. 

Each passing day as the media and progressive left publicly bare false witness against Trump, their voices are “MIA” again. 

Why elect a president if you won’t openly support him?

“Words mean more than what is set down on paper.”
– Maya Angelou

Since our founding, the silent majority has only risen to the occasion when they had little choice but to defend their turf or lose it. 

During the two great wars, the silent majority came forward to stop the spread of fascism, and communism that threatened their liberty. 

After the terrorists murdered 2,996 Americans, they appeared again to support the war on terror with a vengeance. 

But unfortunately the patriotism of the silent majority is only at their convenience. 

Once a tragedy has ended and the threat is over, they cannot be found until a “scud missile” falls on top of them.

“Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.”
– Pope Saint John Paul II

Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai told us, “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” Our country was founded by “a vocal minority” of impassioned men who knew America deserved better than the hand the king dealt them. They stood tall when America needed leadership.

Thomas Paine, labeled a misfit, woke up the silent majority with his pamphlet “Common Sense.” 

Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry, Ben Franklin, James Madison and George Washington were key players in creating the United States and mothering its incubation. They risked their lives every day for America. 

There were no wimps among our founders.

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
– Warren Bennis

General George Patton told us: “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” 

Since our founding, the vocal minority has led in protecting liberty and freedom while the silent majority thrives behind their obscurity. 

But we need both active leaders and followers. 

And the silent majority has demonstrated they are willing to step up when they are needed. 

And more than ever America needs them to step forward now. 

Our nation needs us all to support the rebuilding of our free markets and our belief in the American Dream that was rekindled last election. The vocal minority needs help from the silent majority ASAP!

“Leadership is a choice you make, not a position you have taken.”
– Ingrid Claus

We need to pull the plug on the demagoguery and turmoil of the far left’s drama and get involved with healthy debate and decision-making. 

The silent majority can no longer ignore they have a duty to take an active part in the running of their government. 

It also belongs to them, not just the vocal minority. 

Remember, he who controls government in 2020 has control for a decade.

”Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.”
– Pericles

Contributing Columnist William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13.