This is the beginning of Part Three from my book, Discovering Possibility: A Common Sense Conservative Manifesto (For Classical Liberals Too). Since I published the book in 2011, I have tried to remain true to my word. The activism has taken an emotional toll, because the ideas are not popular with everyone, but I believe we are making progress. I’ll be taking some down time soon in order to think and write in a peaceful part of the world. Stay with it folks. It is indeed hard work, but it is necessary.
The Hard Work of Restoring the American Community
My belief that we have entered a restorative phase in our American existence, comes from the awareness that the larger civilization is in crisis, which places civilization at the apex of opportunity. I believe the world has entered a new axial phase, a second great enlightenment period, which will lead to massive social change in a short time period. Thus, I believe we are living in consequential times that will provide fertile ground for the rediscovery of the enlightened American notions I have been talking about in this book.
Conservatives are not typically community organizers so this battleground is foreign to most of the people to whom my message is intended. Community agitation and change has typically been the purview of people on the left. Since I do have a background in community mobilizing and culture change, I am trying to bring my expertise as an agent of change in many settings to the American Restoration Movement. This is not a political campaign. It is a community renewal social movement. Consequently, we must approach change as social entrepreneurs and community mobilizers if we are to have a lasting effect.
My way of looking at community organizing is that it is a democratic process that attempts to build leaders who work through one relationship at a time to change a dominant narrative. Relationships can be either face to face, or virtually, through citizen blogging and Internet social networking. All communication mediums are vehicles for messaging. As the dominant narrative changes, the power centers that rely on the old narrative for legitimacy are deconstructed. Bubble-up local community organizing interacts with top-down and other media generated organizing in a dynamic, values-driven change process. The goal is to create sustained momentum around common sense conservative ideas in such a way that those ideas eventually become the preferred narrative. That is how a culture changes.
Social entrepreneurs use the principles of social marketing to foster ideas rather than products or services. The goal of the American Restoration Movement is to use social marketing to foster the principles of classical liberalism, which I have delineated succinctly in this book as represented by the fundamental values: freedom, personal responsibility, neighborliness, and thrift. If classical liberalism can become the dominant socio-political narrative, it has the potential to overwhelm twentieth century Progressivism. This is our epic challenge and opportunity, and is the hard work of restoring the American community.
In the following sections, I will write about how I believe America is on the verge of a massive radical deconstruction and restoration. I will outline how I see the revival occurring and what steps we should take to solidify and accelerate the process.
Free Spirits for Truth and Common Sense
How do we, Common Sense Conservatives contribute to the grass roots citizen movement to restore the American community? Our tactic is using evangelism for Truth. We want to be both well differentiated and respectful and we especially want to reach people that are not often exposed to our message. This is what the American Restoration Movement is all about and there are many of us out here in the trenches fighting for Truth, and each doing what we can in our own spheres of influence to be carriers of that change energy. We are fighting some powerful and equally committed forces like the political Progressives, the social justice warriors, the gender feminists, the Marxists, the globalists, the cultural and moral relativists, the European Socialists, and many others who do not believe in Classical Liberalism. However, our numbers are growing and we believe we have the truth on our side. Therefore, we will stay the course until the restoration is complete, and the American community is restored to the original intention of the Founders. We see the process unfolding as below.
The Unfolding Process
I have written about how I believe individuals will be happier if they embrace freedom, personal responsibility, neighborliness, and thrift. More importantly, I believe our American communities will begin to prosper again when these principles return to the forefront of American life. In this chapter, I want to talk about ways that more people can rediscover these notions and how the community would organize itself differently to create more opportunities for the actualization of these values. As these values are embraced by more and more people, and particularly by people who have not previously been exposed to our American tradition, or previously had not seen themselves as connected to that tradition, I believe there will be a dramatic cultural shift in America. My hope is this book and our corresponding advocacy will inspire Common Sense Conservatives to continue to move forward with a tangible action plan in this important moment of opportunity. I also hope to convert others to join the growing Movement.