*In a fit of irascibility I wrote this in the vein of Johnathan Swift and one of my favorite literary pieces, A Modest Proposal.
The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.
(Enter Rod Sterling)
Imagine if you will…a group of steely-eyed men staring at the Constitution…contemplating the future of their families and how to keep Western legal traditions alive in their own small group…WHEN WE REWRITE IT LET’S PUT Y’ALL IN IT! THERE’S NOT ENOUGH Y’ALLS IN THE ORIGINAL ONE!!!!!…I don’t care who else joins the (redacted) the only people having a say in anything are the people at this table.
Now imagine it isn’t the Twilight Zone. It is all too real. The Truth Bat was used and now lay broken, splintered against unwaveringly confident ignorance shouting about purposefully using grammatical errors just for giggles, and stubborn pridefulness that insists neither historical precedent nor knowledge has any bearing on whether this special snowflake can finally do ‘laws for thee and not for me’ right for the first time in history. Reason, the Anti-Federalist Papers, thousands of years of government abuse, Lex Rex (You have read it, haven’t you?), John Locke and even appeals to basic fair dealing and natural rights could not hope to bulwark against the tsunami of just sheer stupidity. Like any reasonable person who finds himself hearing the snick of guillotines in the distant future, when presented with a situation such as this you need to heed the advice of Kenny Rodgers…’you gotta know when to walk away, and when to run.’ The takeaway here being you have three options when presented with a dysfunctional and toxic blend of leadership in whatever group you have thrown yourself in with: a) Reform b) Run c) Regicide. Ideally preferences will be in that order, and C is of course hyperbole and utterly hypothetical in nature, obviously.
In every group there is humanity writ small, whatever the goals, makeup or cultural segment it happens to be primarily composed of. Every group has a variance of personalities, even if it is only relative to the group itself. Personalities matter, particularly those in a leadership position within your group. These are the people who might very well be making sure people are pulling security while you are sleeping, keeping your loved ones safe while you are away and a myriad of other things. Do you know them? Maybe you know their name. Do you grok them? Have you seen them under stress? How do they relate to their wife and vice versa? What do they really believe? Everyone of those people mentioned in the preceding paragraph professed to be die hard III% patriots all about freedom and liberty for all. I suggest you take a good hard look at who you count as your allies. I don’t mean in a paranoid manner, but a little cynicism never hurt anyone.
I’m not sure I can do a whole lot for you if you don’t posses the wherewithal to observe whether you are in a toxic group of people or not. Individual members can be ushered out, and should be a rare thing if your vetting process works. What to do when you are the island of reason in a sea of stupidity? Well, look for other islands. Sit down and observe the group dynamic and figure out if the problem is endemic or isolated and what kind of social power those individuals wield. Are they essential? Is the ER surgeon with a mountain of medicine an archetype of his profession and a condescending prick? Does he lust for power or is he content to be lord of the medical tent? Make some notes on those who do lust for power and begin placing them on a virtual opportunity and ability matrix. Brush up on your Machiavelli and know the one person most dangerous to you, and secondarily the most dangerous person to the group. Under good leadership, it is they who will insulate the members against people seeking to sow discord. In the absence of that, under complacent or incompetent leadership, quite often the power vacuum created there will attract those looking for validation, a sense of empowerment or whatever motivates the cancer that is well-meaning tyranny. It is uncomfortable at times to go to this place in your head, but often through the veneer of civility we forget there are very, very few allies…only common interests.
Assuming you now pull your head out of your MkII evacuation hatch and realize you’re a minor character in Act III of multicam MacBeth, may I suggest three possible remedies. If a sufficient number of decent people are in the group, it’s entirely possible to reform the organization. Particularly if Col. MacBeth is the hub of all the people within the group. No one knows each other outside of the group, but everyone knows ‘the Colonel.’ More plausible the earlier you catch it, the less entrenched and slightly more reasonable the MacBeth is. Suppose for a moment your islands of reason make up about 30-40% of the group, not a majority but a sizable minority. The Macbeth’s have multiplied and now in some sort of insipid nepotism they occupy the majority of the leadership. The time has come to run away bravely. Channel your inner party whip and gather your little group of islands and leave, because an archipelago stands a better chance. Count your blessings and write stuff down, you now have excellent intel on at least one group of crazies in your AO. Also realize if the MacBeth’s are competent or maybe just lucky, much of your information is also known. Plan accordingly and do not be a Banquo. Lastly, you have failed in your reforms, you cannot, for reasons unknown, run and you are now stuck with your multicam MacBeth raging at empty chairs. Your final option is regicide, which unlike MacBeth does not usually result in you being crowned King of Scotland and carrying a head onto the stage. In fact, once you have gotten to Act V you have no good options left. I pray you do not have family and loved ones around to see the situation play out.
While this is obviously written tongue-in-cheek, it belies a serious problem many in the patriot movement have. The leadership of many groups/tribes/MAGs whatever hi-speed term you want to use, is too often woefully inadequate. Ineptness is dangerous, but can be remedied through study, repetition and a good work ethic. An insidious lust for power is a character flaw and breeds nothing but catastrophe and tyranny. I urge you to not trade in a tyranny 1,000 miles away for one at your doorstep. Good intentions are not enough for me to trust my loved ones too in the likely event of extreme stress, fatigue and hunger. If you would not trust your wives and daughters to the care of whatever group you are in should you pass away, then perhaps it is time to consider an alternative. This is not meant as a call for everyone to break apart into little atomistic fiefdoms where no one can get along and we cannot ever accomplish anything. Merely, it is a reminder to pick your friends carefully and realize exactly what you are getting into before there are no good options left to pick.