America is going to hell in a hand basket. Maybe its already too far gone, but I don’t think so. Most people don’t know just how many their freedoms they’ve forfeited because it has been a slow bleed of liberty. Successive generations have been pushed, nudged just a little, away from America’s founding principles.
Think of this for a moment. Kids graduating high school this year were born in 1999. They have no living memory of 9/11. The only president, until recently, they have ever known is Barack Obama. That is their normal. Transgenderism, moral relativism, Black Lives Matter, Obamacare, everybody winning a trophy, Common Core and Safe Spaces are as normal to them as BB guns, Saturdays spent fishing, playing cops and robbers and Bugs Bunny were to earlier generations of Americans.
Ronald Reagan’s famous quote comes to mind: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
We may already be past that point. Ron must be rolling in his grave. I say that because Americans today are quickly losing the memory of even what the United States looked like when men were free. Try explaining to anyone born after 1980 or so why Obamacare is unconstitutional, or how the EPA shouldn’t control mud puddles or drainage ditches. Watch the confused and disbelieving looks staring back at you. Even with the election of Donald Trump. He still reflects and personifies all that has gone wrong in this country. Even if President Trump can reverse some or even most of the unconstitutional predecessors, he still represents a president, one man, who can with the stroke of a pen shape the lives of every family in America. Just what has happened to us?
To make matters worse, basic life skills that everyone just knew when I was growing up, are quickly disappearing. By and large, kids really don’t do chores any more or earn an allowance. Family time around the dinner table has been traded for microwaves and pizza deliveries. The basic building blocks of our entire society have been under constant attack for decades. Religion, Christianity in particular, the sanctity of life, the sense of an immovable and objective right, wrong, good and evil and even the family itself are all targets.
How would Americans today cope if a disaster were to occur? Would they pull together as a community or rip each other apart?
The Patriot Institute was started by Joe Gilbert. In 2003 Joe was the commander of C Company (Recon), 203rd Military Intelligence Battalion, coincidentally nick named “The Scavengers.” After crisscrossing that war ravaged country, and watching the Iraqi people trying to cope and rebuild their lives, he decided that he never wanted the American people to go through anything like it.
After two more Iraqi tours, Joe’s last job in the Army was as a emergency preparedness and crisis response officer attached to FEMA. In that role, he deployed to many disasters including hurricanes, wild fires, ice storms and oil spills. The one consistent theme for each of these disasters was that people just weren’t ready and couldn’t care for themselves, even in the short term.
When he retired from the Army, he decided to do something about it. By then the national debt was at an already unsustainable level and government was taking an ever increasing role in people’s lives. From welfare, unemployment, social security, to educating our children, the federal government was taking center stage. What if government stopped functioning? What if the very things people relied on were no longer available?
Can’t happen in America? That’s what people used to think in Venezuela. There, government took over more and more private industry from the oil companies to the supermarkets. What happened? It all collapsed. In a former prosperous country, people can no longer even find basic foodstuffs and staples. They’re gone. Hyperinflation has made even the most basic items like flour, rice, oil and even toilet paper disappear from the market. It was cheaper to wrap street food in money than to buy napkins.
Food riots ensued. A huge black market in basic foodstuffs began with neighboring countries, but with a catch. Even the black marketeers wouldn’t accept Venezuelan currency. It had no value. Then the animals disappeared out of the zoo. People ate them. The citizens are now eating stray dogs and cats off the street. Pigeons are disappearing out of the parks as people become more and more desperate to feed their families.
Have you ever seen the Television series “The Walking Dead?” In it, a virus that causes people to turn into zombies sweeps across the world. The zombie apocalypse finally happens. The characters in the show take years to figure out how to provide food, shelter, basic medical care and defend themselves. They lost many a friend along the way. They had to figure out the hard way what each of their party’s strengths and weaknesses were and what skills they each brought to the table. Just when they think they got it, someone else suffers a gruesome death or they are driven from their refuge and they start over.
What if they somehow knew it was coming? What would they have done differently? They probably would have taken the time to learn the skills they would need to get by. They probably would have networked with others in their community to cooperate and become self sufficient now before the disaster strikes. They would learn what they needed to do to not become victims.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Welcome to The Patriot Institute.
The Patriot Institute is dedicated to creating a stronger, more resilient and self-reliant America. This comes from confidence. Confidence comes with training and knowledge. That is what the Patriot Institute is all about. “Here we focus on what we call core competencies” Gilbert continued. “That includes such things as just taking care of yourself and your family.” So far the Patriot Institute has held classes on Home Canning and Food Preservation, Basic Leadership, Ham Radio Operation and FCC Licensing and just graduated its first class on ammunition reloading. “This summer we are launching our full-time martial arts, women’s self defense and tactical pistol course too.”
But it is so much more too. “It isn’t enough just to know how to feed yourself,” Joe explains. “It also means having a firm grounding in the principles, values and convictions upon which this great country was founded.” The Patriot Institute has partnered with Hillsdale College to provide hundreds of free online classes on topics ranging from Economics, Great Literature to the US Constitution. Those and much more are found in the Patriot Academy.
If civil society breaks down, we will need a sense of who we are, one shared set of principles upon which we can rebuild. Most people don’t realize that America was built from the bottom up. There is such a focus, and a concentration of power at the federal level today. In contrast, America started as small towns and communities that governed themselves. It was later, much later, that this country grew first into thirteen separate and independent colonies. Each of these communities had to sustain themselves, educate their children and even police and defend themselves. It was only very reluctantly that these colonies then created a federal government. Fearful of this new federal government becoming too powerful, our Framers then wrote the Constitution to confine its power to a very specific and limited role in our lives. Our Constitution is largely ignored now.
It isn’t just about preparing for the next disaster, although that certainly is part of it. It is more about returning to what America once was. There was never supposed to be such a focus on the omnipotent national government. Today, Washington controls just about every facet of our daily lives. What our kids learn in school, if and when our roads are fixed, the content of our food, even the drainage ditches at the farm are all now tightly regulated by the federal government. This country can be great again. Overall, America is still good. The necessary and long-overdue transformation to refocus our lives back to our homes, our families, our communities starts here.
Learn. Connect. Teach. Grow. Here we become more independent, self-reliant, self-sufficient and stronger individually, as a family, community and as a nation.
We are the Patriot Institute.