Thirty-two years ago this month, the modern conservative movement was born.
The movement began with a local issue in a single state. Howard Jarvis of California succeeded in rolling back that state’s property taxes. Voters ignored Governor Jerry Brown’s apocalyptic predictions and captured the imaginations of a nation. After decades of government growth, the people of America’s largest state said, “Enough!”
As economist Stephen Moore wrote on cato.org a dozen years ago:
Proposition 13 was a political earthquake whose jolt was felt not just in Sacramento but all across the nation, including Washington, D.C. Jarvis’s initiative to cut California’s notoriously high property taxes by 30 percent and then cap the rate of increase in the future was the prelude to the Reagan income tax cuts in 1981. It also incited a nationwide tax revolt at the state and local levels. Within five years of Proposition 13’s passage, nearly half the states strapped a similar straitjacket on politicians’ tax-raising capabilities. Almost all of those tax limitation measures remain the law of the land today.
In 2010, Missouri voters have the chance to become the epicenter of the next conservative wave. On August 3, Missouri holds the nation’s first binding referendum on ObamaCare. How we vote, what we say to the nation, will help determine whether the government in Washington continues to swallow up human freedom in America, or whether we move into the future that was promised by our founding.
Let’s leap ahead to the day after the August 3 primary. I see the Drudge headline now:
Show Me State Has Seen Enough: Rejects ObamaCare.
And the left weighs in:
The New York Times: Missouri voters set dangerous precedence with angry vote.
Frank Rich: Missouri Secedes from the Union.
Washington Post: White House Downplays Missouri Vote.
Huffington Post: Was Serena Wearing Panties, or Not?
Across the country, proponents of similar state measures—either legislation or Constitutional amendments—seize the moment to hold press conferences extolling our courage and tenacity. Arizona, Texas, South Carolina . . . all states eager to officially reject Washington’s illegal power grab.
To make that vision a reality, though, we have work to do. If you want to ruin Frank Rich’s day on August 3, here’s a 4-step plan to victory:
1. Are you registered to vote? If not, do it now. The deadline to register for August 3 primary is less than four weeks away. You have no time to waste.
2. Is everyone in your family registered? Make them. Go to them personally, with a registration form in hand, and ask them to register for you.
3. Have you talked to all of your friends, family, neighbors, fishing buddies, golf partners, softball team mates, and book club members? Have you told them, “This issue is really, really important to me, and I want you to vote for the Healthcare Freedom Act on August 3. If you won’t do it for yourself and your kids, please do it for me.”
4. Have you formed Buddy Teams for all of your friends? This means every person you know will take responsibility for getting one other person to the polls on August 3. Just as a buddy helps you quit smoking or makes sure you get to the gym, the buddy system makes sure nothing stops any of us from voting. John Burns is my buddy. Who’s yours?
This is old fashioned, retail politics. It’s community building, not mere organizing. It’s a foundation for a better human network to replace the failing federal government. It’s also the basis of our Block Captain program.
In the coming days, we’ll provide more information on the HCFA and ways you can help bring about a big victory for freedom and federalism on August 3.