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December 25, 2009

Time to Fight

Quote of the Day: “Politics is war by other means” — Carl von Clausewitz

Subject: Don’t Despair, Renew Your Resolve to Fight

On Christmas Eve, the cynical Scrooge’s of the United States Senate voted to expand the size of government, as well as its power and reach into the medical system.

Even thought it’s a chilly Christmas, I’m here to tell you, the battle is NOT over.

On a freezing December day, Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller, USMC, during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, told his men,

“We’ve been looking for the enemy for some time now. We’ve finally found him. We’re surrounded. That simplifies things.”

I’ve spoken to and corresponded with DC Downsizers this week who were tempted to despair. They rightly recognize this bill as a dangerous blow, to our healthcare, to our economy, and to our liberty. They saw yesterday’s vote coming, and they see defeat, and worse, the destruction to follow with this tremendously unconstitutional bill.

But I want you to know, “We’ve found the enemy. We’re surrounded. That simplifies things.”

Your enemies are the Democrats who supported this bill. And your enemies are the Republicans, who didn’t bother to fight until Americans showed up at Town Hall Meetings and vented their anger.

Yes, your enemies include the very same Republicans who pushed through a bailout bill, now a little more than a year ago. And, if history is any guide, they will be your enemies when they return to power and refuse to do anything to repeal this so-called healthcare reform . . .

. . . that is, unless you continue to fight, and resolve that you will indeed win.

Back in August, I wrote to you about Admiral James Stockdale, a seven year Prisoner of War (POW) in Vietnam . . .  

Author Jim Collins once asked Stockdale, “Who didn’t survive the camps?”

Stockdale replied, “Oh that’s easy. It was the POWs who thought they’d be home by Christmas.”

Those who thought they’d be home by a certain date tended to despair and perish when they still found themselves in captivity after their expected freedom-date came and went. By contrast . . .

Admiral Stockdale survived caustic captivity for 7 years by accepting the brutal reality of his situation, and being confident of eventual release. This belief kept him going.

But he did NOT believe freedom would come by any specific date, or in any special way. This is what saved him from despair and death.

Collins, in his excellent book, “Good to Great,” labeled these seemingly opposed ways of thinking the “Stockdale Paradox.”

The Stockdale Paradox is…

       Recognizing and owning the brutal facts, while holding the determination that you’re going to win, no matter how long it takes.

It’s not positive thinking. It’s not fantasizing about how great things will be when everything goes your way, by the next election.
We must think as Stockdale thought. Victory will come at some point, if we keep fighting.

All the greatest soldiers understand the Stockdale Paradox. General George Washington and his men were camped in Valley Forge during Christmas, 1777. It was bitter cold, and there was a shortage of food and a lack of supplies — including socks and boots. Washington noted, “…you might have tracked the army from White Marsh to Valley Forge by the blood of their feet.”

Despite the bleak conditions, men were given furloughs to return home and recruit more men to return with them for the Summer 1778 campaign.

And it was at this time that Baron Von Steuben arrived and took over the training of the men, making them a more effective fighting force.

This defeat is an opportunity to test our mettle — to better organize, and even expand our ranks.

Chesty Puller played a major role, even leading the rear guard, as his surrounded forces broke out of the noose. The enemy at Chosin suffered incredibly heavy casualties in comparison.

Admiral Stockdale returned home to his family, and took one more turn on the national stage as Ross Perot’s Vice Presidential candidate. Perot-Stockdale received 19% of the vote, and sparked a movement that made federal deficits a political hot potato.

General George Washington accepted the British surrender in 1781, and went on to become the first President of the United States.

And you? What will become of you, fighting American?

The fight ends when we say it ends! Repeat that to yourself. Tell your friends. Then…

Take your members of Congress to task. No one is blameless here. No politicians in Washington is innocent of this travesty unless and until they’ve proven their resolve to fight with every bit of procedural impediment available to them, and demonstrated their clear intent to bring about Consumer-centered Healthcare, with positive, free market intiatives. will give you the tools, and will muster soldiers to fight along side of you. The fight resumes Monday. We appreciate your support and wish you a . . .

Merry Christmas,

Jim Babka, President, Inc.

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