Usually, August offers the American people a much-needed break from Washington’s tax-and-spend shenanigans. Congress is out of session and many administration officials and government bureaucrats flee Washington’s humidity for the cool beach breezes up and down the East Coast. Washington is, quite simply, not the place to be in August.
In other words, August is a wonderful month to be an American.
However, this August was different. Congress met in an “emergency session” to pass a $26 billion jobs bill, which was actually nothing more than a $26 billion handout to the teachers’ unions. Even more troubling, constituents couldn’t find their members of Congress anywhere — not at rallies, town halls, or even on local media. Given this lack of access, it’s unsurprising that people are even more motivated than usual to hold their members of Congress accountable as they return from August recess, while also preparing for the upcoming November election.
As such, the American people are coming together this September for “Galvanizing Month.” The word “galvanize” is given two distinct but complimentary meanings by Webster’s Dictionary. The first is: “to stimulate as if by an electric shock.” The second: “to coat (iron or steal) with zinc,” that is, to strengthen and finish for action. The two definitions together describe a complete galvanization process as being one in which raw materials are prepared for hardship and then put into action.
In September, this is exactly what the American people will be doing: (1) holding their members of Congress accountable to the founders’ vision of limited, constitutional government; and (2) preparing their neighbors, friends, relatives, and community organizations for November, then jolt them into action to get out the vote. This is why September is Galvanizing Month.
In many ways, the American people want to recreate the ethos of our founding, instigating one another to become active and helping return our nation to its original principles. The story of our founding is peppered with examples of galvanization. At a time when most colonists resisted the notion of independence and many felt either helpless against or apathetic towards the abuses of the Crown, Samuel Adams founded the Sons of Liberty to resist the British and empower the people. The Sons of Liberty galvanized the colonial patriots, educating them for the cause of liberty. The Sons of Liberty was large enough in December of 1773 to stage the Boston Tea Party successfully, an event that further stimulated colonial interest in independence.
Only two years later, Thomas Paine published Common Sense, the monumentally-important document that not only paved the way for our founding, but also persuaded colonial America to demand freedom as a condition of reconciliation with Britain. The American people were now ready for change; they were galvanized at key junctures by a series of events that strengthened them and ultimately spurred them into action.
As the American people become galvanized for change today, we must realize a pivotal truth about these historic events: that they were all accomplished by ordinary people who put their talents to work in the face of hardship. Even though they seem like giants today, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and Thomas Paine considered themselves quite ordinary at the time.
Limited, constitutional government is within reach once again. Whether we walk neighborhoods to hand out get-out-the-vote information, sign petitions to support or oppose different pieces of legislation, or sign up to help our favorite candidates, it’s critical that we strengthen — galvanize — our efforts to return our country to its core principles.
To learn more about Galvanizing Month, visit www.libertycentral.org.
Sarah Field is the Chief Operating Officer of Liberty Central. Priscilla Racke is a recent Hillsdale College graduate and a state collaborator for Liberty Central for Arizona.