Christians and others are doing important work to develop the ideas we explore here and on AM 1240 Hot News Talk Radio on the David Tulis program. Among those to provide a detailed blueprint about how reformation takes place is Joel McDurmon of American Vision near Atlanta. Here in a 2012 essay, he tells about his book, Restoring America One County at a Time. — DJT
Here at American Vision we get a steady stream of comments and questions. After our conferences, speeches, articles, the number-one question we always get is this: “What Can We Do?” In response to that, we produced Restoring America One County at a Time. This project provides practical answers to that question in at least ten major areas of life. The steps are not easy, but if we’re truly serious about a free society, this project will help you make a beginning.
By Joel McDurmon / American Vision
In this introduction to the project, I want to discuss briefly its nature and scope.
First, this is a practical project. It focuses on things that can be done and done now. In most of these areas, there are things we can do immediately to have an impact. Many people are already doing them with considerable success. In other areas, the practical steps involve larger social changes and thus will be things to file away for a little later (but in the mean time, planning and working to be in a position to serve and lead when opportunities arise).
But the more we concentrate on the things we must do—and which we can do now—to restore a free society, the more we will open up the possibility of the larger changes. We have to rebuild the foundational matters first in order to have something lasting on which to build the rest of society. And so, I’ve made an attempt to prioritize the topics of this course according to their Practicality for the average individual now. We’ll talk about the ten topics in a minute.
Local economy & free markets
Second, this project focuses on localism, not Nationalism or national politics, or even so much States rights (although States rights will play an important role). Patriotism is primarily a love of one’s homeland, their roots, not their Nation-State (that was a later perversion of patriotism). And historically, the County was the fundamental unit of government—people rarely had contact or obligation to any government official beyond that. This should become an ideal once again for today, and it can. Focusing on localism—County Rights—we can make very practical and meaningful steps toward saving this country from all forms of tyranny. If we don’t have the vision, and the integrity, and the willingness to sacrifice to take back freedom in our homes, neighborhoods, towns, and counties in areas of life where we can now, then the dream of taking back America is a delusion. So, here we’ll have an emphasis on restoring America county by county, YOUR COUNTY, one county at a time. And the overall goal is to inspire individuals and cell groups in each of America’s 3000+ counties, to implement the vision we will discuss.
Third, this is a project only for people serious about Freedom. What I mean to say is that there are very real sacrifices that you will have make in your personal lifestyle, especially in the areas of personal finances, time management, self-improvement, and family education. It is simply going to take a commitment of time and money and discipline toward a better future. I will frankly, honestly, openly address the issue of sacrifices; we will talk about the stumbling-blocks and psychological hurdles we’ll have to get over to restore America to the freedom it once had. As part of this we will address how we have grown accustomed to living off government “benefits” at all levels of government, and what it will mean to live in a world where you personally refuse to accept those benefits (while they still exist right in front of your face, ripe for the taking), and eventually a world where those benefits no longer exist as a function of State coercion. If you want to escape the trap of tyranny, you have to have to have the mentality of the wise mouse who said, “To heck with the cheese; let’s get out of this trap.” And so this is for serious lovers of freedom only—those willing to change their lifestyle, to sacrifice, in order to recover individual and social integrity.
Finally for now, this is a long-term project. I am planning and working in order to make a better life for my children—but even more importantly, for my grandchildren, and their children. You will not take back America overnight no matter how you go about it, and anyone—especially a politician—who promises you that you can is lying to get your vote. But, you will never take America back without starting and implementing lasting changes, and this requires a multi-generational vision. Involved in this mentality is one of the sacrifices I just mentioned—that is, we are probably not going to reap all the benefits of a free society for ourselves in our immediate lifetimes. But if we don’t work toward that goal doing the things we can do now, then our future generations will have to start from scratch in an even more degraded society. So, we’ll focus on commitment to steady, slow yet meaningful progress toward a much larger, long-term vision of a free society.
This is the nature of our project: 1) practical efforts, 2) locally focused, 3) personal sacrifice, with 4) a long-term vision.
We can summarize these with the following ideas: 1) Things to be done, 2) County-by-County, 3) Don’t take the cheese, 4) Plan for your grandkids.
These are not only aspects of a truly free society, they are all biblical Christian concepts; and we’ll discuss that some in each of the topics we cover.
With this vision and a commitment to it, we can begin, truly, to Take Back America. This is not only the way, but also I believe it is the only way.
Let me tell you also about the structure of this project. I will cover each of the topics in three brief segments, each available online in video and print format, as well as for sale eventually in DVD and book format. Whatever the topic is, I will cover first, How it was once free; Second, How that freedom was lost; and Third, the steps to get it back. So in the end we should have a total of about thirty to thirty-five brief articles and videos. From there we hope to open web forums for local groups to have discussions, and I will add supplementary informative videos as we see helpful.
So with this vision of locally-focused practicality in mind, let’s briefly introduce the ten topics. Here I plan to introduce these in very a brief summary of each. In subsequent posts, over time, we will break down each topic individually in greater detail. This is a basic introduction to each general topic—and some of these may morph, change, or expand into more than one, or we may add others depending on how things work out.
A hard-core, 10-step training course
It will not do to content ourselves with lip service to patriotism, faith, and freedom. We must have real, substantial plans and real, practical action items. These must be clear and they must be broad, addressing every area of life in which freedom must be restored. Keeping in mind the four principles outlined above, we need practical, local, selfless, and visionary plans to restore America if we are ever to make real progress toward the type of freedom we once had. There are at least ten areas in which concerned American Christians can and must act, locally, practically, seriously, now:
The first and foremost is education. Education is one area in which you can still have almost complete control. And I’m not just talking about educating yourself; I’m talking about your children. Education in a free society can only be private, never government-run at any level. Whether you choose to employ a private school or to home-school, government-operated, tax-funded schools cannot be an option for a free society. Taking control for yourself here requires no change in existing laws, only your lifestyle. In the case of many people, this could be implemented tomorrow, if not in few months.
It’s only a test of desire—Do you really want a free society? There are economic and psychological hurdles here, and we will address those in the detailed presentation. For now, government schools are the heart of the problem of government-dominated society. You can change this personally now, and you should. All that is stopping us is the perceived benefit of free schooling and childcare during the day. This is the cheese. Don’t take the cheese. Do you really want a free society, or do you depend on tax-funded benefits like the liberals and socialists you criticize? This is priority number one. If we are serious about freedom, we have to start with education. If you can’t do this one, forget the rest! Nothing about truly restoring America will be easier and more readily obtainable than taking free control over your family’s education. There’s nothing stopping you here.
2. End dependence on welfare state
Social security is a problem, but it doesn’t have to be a trap. This means we need to learn and plan for our own financial futures, privately, while we phase out of social security over time. The issue here is that welfare of all forms should be a privately funded and insured affair, not supported through taxation. Family and charity can replace the Welfare State. Again we must refuse the benefit. Don’t take the cheese. Of course, this will certainly means personal sacrifices. Again, we will outline the personal impediments in the more detailed talk, and speak frankly about how to overcome them and what the costs will be.
We will give a more detailed discussion of what we call “County Rights.” The real practical solution to big-government intrusion in our lives is not so much states’ rights, but county rights. This brings government and community home to a more grass-roots level where it ought to be. “Support your local sheriff,” is a good way to remember this.
We will emphasize a truly local vision, and focus on smaller practical things we can impact now. In this process, we expose the areas where the sovereignty of local communities is compromised by receiving federal and state funding for perceived benefits. We will emphasize learning about, monitoring, and interacting with local authorities, and we will emphasize local applications of “Don’t take the cheese.”
4. National vs. state sovereignty (banks, interstate commerce, taxation)
We will discuss the history of the Nationalist takeover in this country which began immediately after the Constitution. We will discuss the agenda of big banks, the military-industrial complex, and national taxation, as well as the politicians who engineered the plan and why. From this we will be in a position to recommend ways of living that minimize our personal involvement in this tyranny, and discuss the role of nullification and interposition which are becoming more popular today. While we are emphasizing County Rights primarily, States Rights are important also as a buffer, and as part of a truly federal system of government.
Taxation must be returned to only a local level, the way this country was founded and designed to be run. We’ll cover the Income Tax amendment and the drastic change in American society it represents. We will discuss the nature and scope of taxation in a truly federal society; we will see why the power to tax is the power to destroy; and we will discuss the role of taxation—if any—in a truly free local society.
6. Money (breaking the Federal Reserve System)
We’ll review the question, “What has government done with our money?” We will discuss money and currency in American history, particularly the several instances of failed paper currency. We will discuss the role of government coercion in banking and debt: counterfeiting laws, war, welfare, restrictions on states, etc. and why these laws exist. We will discuss who profited (and still does) from these arrangements, and what happened to real wealth in each case. We will discuss alternative currencies, banking, the benefits and sacrifices of freedom in money, and also how to protect your personal wealth from a devalued paper/digital currency. Gold is wealth, why is it not money? What’s the government got against gold?
7. We must return to truly free markets
The sanctity of private property, the enforcement of contracts, and the right not to engage in contracts. We will discuss the role government coercion and manipulation in money has played in business and the economy: inflation, legal tender laws, the business cycle, government corporatism (essentially fascism here in America), etc. Why did one American statesman once complain that debtors were chasing down their creditors and “paying them without mercy”?
8. Judicial tyranny
We’ll see how the Constitution centralized power over the various local courts in this land, and how this was immediately exploited to favor big-government agendas. We’ll trace subsequent expansions of government based on that early precedent. The remedy to recover freedom is decentralization of courts, local and separate jurisdictions, and even private courts (perhaps especially), all with only local law enforcement. We’ll see one check and balance against the Court in the Constitution most people don’t even know exists, and yet it’s been used to protect mainly big-government interests so far—even recently. The key to the abortion issue, family protections, and much more lies in the issue of decentralizing the judiciary. Believe it or not, there are actually practical steps you can take here as well.
9. The military
One of the most important areas—and perhaps that in which Christians are most deceived—is to reclaim the Military. We must support and demand a decentralized defense system instead of the national empire we’ve witnessed for over a century. We’ll give a close look at biblical rules for the military and war. Patriotism does not mean Militarism. Patriotism does not mean Empire. Being patriotic and conservative does not mean always supporting everything the military does.
Anti-war is not Anti-American. We will discuss how the military was originally decentralized and promised to be called up only for defense, but was changed to become a powerful centralized force designed to serve the interests of the central government, and later for prolonged international conflict. We will show how and why this was done in American history, and who profited from it at the expense of millions of lives and trillions of dollars. We will propose practical steps that you personally can take now at least to gain the moral high ground in the process of returning from offensive corporate-state militarism to true armed patriotism.
10. Treaties & executive orders
We have to a look at Inter- and IntraNational Tyranny: Treaties and Executive Orders. How do they work? What safeguards do we have against them if necessary? Why are we vulnerable to international organizations because of them? And how can we best work to protect ourselves from them?
These are the ten basic topics; some of them may sound large and intimidating, and that’s because some of them are. But keep in mind, we’re going to focus on accomplishing a long-term vision by small practical changes—through personal sacrifice and local service. None of this will change overnight, but if we don’t lay the necessary foundations for freedom, it will never change (and in fact, it will get worse). So if you’re serious about freedom, please invest the time to read these lessons, watch the video versions online, and teach them to your children. Then pass them on to your friends, family, pastors, and while you’re at it, pass it on to your in-laws, ex’s, and enemies, too. We all need Christ, faith, family, and freedom.
Unless we invest the time and sweat to get these things back, we have no one to blame for society’s erosion but ourselves. And of course, all the books in the world won’t help you restore America — even if the authors decide to wake up and finally tell you how to do it. So, by all means, read this. Then go out and get things done.