With a Smile on Your Face or Not at All

Posted on November 7, 2012 11:00 am

My philosophy is that anything beyond your daily bread is a luxury, and from that perspective we live a very rich and luxurious life here in the United States of America. Nothing guarantees that will continue, though, and no one owes it to us. I say this not because I think we will suffer great loss, but we often get so caught up in thinking of what we can lose that we don’t appreciate all the blessing we have. It is very easy to be a miserable billionaire. But that shouldn’t be us. We have so many luxuries, so many opportunities in this country, that we should always have a smile on our faces. If we keep perspective. And we need to hold tightest to the things that can never be taken away from us: Our principles.

Anyway, the election… it was disappointing. But one of the great foolishnesses the left believes and that the right needs to avoid is that you change the country at the ballot box. They think they can elect the right people and they’ll drag everyone to their view. That was the attempt with ObamaCare and other left-wing ideas forced on the country. We have to be smarter than that. This is a country where the government serves the people — not where it molds them. To effect change in government, we as a people must change first.

So how do we change the country? We have to forget about politics, because politics is small and insignificant and America needs to be a place of big ideas and grander things. One of the defining characteristics of a conservative is that we have many, many things in our lives much more important than politics. Family. Careers. Religion. Politics is but a bump in the road compared to those things.

So if we want a better government, we need to be a better people. And you don’t get to be a better people focusing on tiny things like politics. Instead, we need to build people on the important things and the politics will come naturally. I think a good example is Dave Ramsey. He’s on a crusade to get individuals out of debt and get them to rely on themselves and their own finances for retirement. He doesn’t talk politics, but when people have learned to rely on themselves and not government, do you think they’re going to vote for people asking to confiscate their wealth for empty promises of false security? As I’ve said, give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll stop voting Democrat.

We can’t be people who think conservatism is just a neat political idea; we have to be people who feel liberty is the true security down to the bone. And we have to build up others around us to feel that to. The culture is the battlefield, and actions speak much louder than any media can. That is where we must focus. If we want a better government, we all must be better people.

It won’t be an easy journey. It’s not like we lost our way just recently. It started in the beginning of last century when the federal government began to guarantee people’s individual security, i.e., making sweet promises it’s too inept to keep. How do we get away from that mentality? Who knows. It would be unprecedented, which is why I’ve always thought “classical liberal” is a better label for us than “conservative.” We’re supporting radical ideas of liberty that have never been achieved before. And they’re still scary to many people. Which is why we need to be a stronger people. Independent people who all truly believe they can best take care of themselves. And only then can we work together to achieve greatness like this world has never known.

So that’s what we’re working for. And if you can’t do it with a smile on your face, then I recommend giving up worrying about politics altogether, as it is not worth the aggravation. We have to continue forward with hope — not hope in some government or idiot bureaucrats, but hope in each other and our abilities.

So, in summary, I don’t do being all dour and sad. Many have worked hard and even died to give us all the opportunities and luxuries we have now. Let’s take advantage of them and not be a bunch of whiny sissies about all this.

We good? Let’s get to work.

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35 Responses to “With a Smile on Your Face or Not at All”

  1. og says:


  2. CrustyB says:

    I’m sincerely sorry that your daughter will never know what it’s like to live in a free country.

  3. Greg says:

    Thanks, Frank. Inspiring words for a dark time. Actually felt a little choked up reading your post. But remember, we don’t cry-we save that for the other guys.

  4. CCO says:

    Thanks, I needed that.

  5. Matt Musson says:

    The basic difference between a Liberal and a Conservative?

    A Liberal believes in government – and a Conservative is not so sure.

  6. Silverfiddle says:

    “So that’s what we’re working for. And if you can’t do it with a smile on your face, then I recommend giving up worrying about politics altogether as it is not worth the aggravation.”

    Amen, and beautifully said. I’ve been a fan of your twisted, off-the-chain humor for years, but this by far is your best piece ever. (Now please, get back to the funny stuff, perhaps some ribald stories involving Joe Biden?)

  7. CCO says:

    And Puerto Rico voted for statehood! I think that’s cool that they want to get in the pool and swim with the rest of us.

  8. gregg dourgarian says:

    great stuff Frank, tx

  9. tedwade73 says:

    Thanks for the optimism. I needed the reminder that the country is the people and not the government.

  10. Travis says:

    “THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”

    -Thomas Paine

  11. Cincimaddog says:

    Look at it this way: We have another 4 years to pick on Obama!

  12. Toadroller says:

    Nicely said.

    And yes, Dave Ramsey is one heck of an American, focused on responsibility, communication, and charity. He has said many times he hopes to create such a nation of givers that government has no-one left left to give to from an entitlements perspective.

    I’ll take today to mope a little while working, and then pick up, square the shoulders, set the jaw, and plow forward with family at the heart, raising the leaders (not rulers) of the future.

  13. Genghis Khen says:

    Thankfully my hope is in Jesus Christ, and not the government or even America. It is still depressing, however.
    On the bright side, this will hasten our decline so we reset this country sooner.

  14. t-dog says:

    Well said FrankJ. Well said.

  15. Rock Throwing Peasant says:

    You still think you can talk 50%+ of the voting public into becoming grown-ups. For the past 20+ years, they’ve been telling you that they don’t want to grow up.

    The margin will increase each year as more voters are infantilized (freed from full consequences of actions) until the balloon pops.

    So, yes, don’t go grumpy and dour. Keep a positive outlook. You will need it. Prepare, because when it pops, they will turn into locusts.

  16. Brutus says:

    Conservatism isn’t a neat idea? Now I have to believe in something, too? Jeez. This is getting hard.

    Seriously, I was talking to a moron last night who said, “I didn’t vote. The line was way too long and what’s going to be will be.” If he’d only had the strength of conviction. He believes in nothing. That’s worse than being a leftist, at least they feel that smoking dope and free contraception are worth voting for.

    My wife asked this morning, “What now?” I told her something like what Toadroller said in his last line. She asked how I planned to accomplish that while fighting the schools, media, etc… I told her what the Army range officers used to say at every station: At this station you will receive an instruction, a demonstration and a practical application using the ‘…..’. We will lead by example: teach, demonstrate and apply. Church and Christian values, work, saving, etc…

    Nice post.

  17. Harvey says:

    @15 – I’m going to set my DVR to record “Preppers”.


  18. Bunkerhillbilly says:

    Bravo, Frank, bravo.

    Way to tap into your inner Irish loquacity. Literary anodynes ahead of greater pains to come.

    …we have many many things in our lives much more important than politics. Family. Careers. Religion.

    Erm…The State IS your family now. Careers? In this economy? Who do you think you’re zooming? Religion? There will be no respecting of any theology haing a Judeo-Christian foundation…paganism comes up trumps. Muslim appeasement continues. “Fundamental transformation” just got four more years. Gay marriage, legal weed, and faith be damned as religion-based organizations are forced-by authority of law-to contravene their beliefs and dispense birth control.

    You talk of an individual’s work ethic? C’mon, Frank, the rugged individualists just got reamed. The boot sunk in from the back side larynx deep.

    Gimmies trump givers. Obama phones and foodstamps uber alles.

    Panem et circenses for Roman leaders and chaff to be offered to us proles.

    Optat supremo collocare Sisyphus in monte saxum

    Frank, wake up and smell the brimstone.

  19. Despiser25 says:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies

  20. Despiser25 says:

    This Govt does not have my consent.

  21. the witch says:

    I was so down and blue, but your excellent advice put things in perspective for me. Thank you.

  22. Jimmy says:

    “This Government does not have my consent.”

    Pass it on.

  23. Mrs. C says:

    Wow . . . there is a tear in my eye.

    Thank you Frank for reminding us what is important.

  24. Joe Schmo says:

    Amen, Frank.

  25. buckhorn_cortez says:

    I appreciate your jolly, optomistic outlook. Unfortunately, over 50% of the people don’t care if the government intrudes into their lives and will gladly trade freedom and self reliance for free stuff.

    Today, the GOP is irrelevant. They have no message and no cause that attracts or resonates with the majority of voters.

    The GOP has managed to set themselves back to the place they occupied from the 1930’s thru the 1960’s.

    They are the “Loyal Opposition” in name only, and functionally only useful to fill out guest lists for Washington cocktail parties to chum around with their Democratic counterparts.

    This has nothing to do with finding recriminations about who is at fault – Tea Party, RINO’s, Conservatives – it doesn’t matter.

    There is no identifiable GOP idea or product to sell that the general voting population is interested in buying.

    The Democrats have won and won big by proving that the size of government doesn’t matter. What does matter is what you’re promised to get from it.

    I have to go now – I’m going to start trying to find out what I can get for free.

  26. Brian The Adequate says:

    Well done Frank.

  27. Wyrmlaf says:

    Excellent response and it pairs well with Rush Limbaugh’s take as well – It’s hard to vote against Santa Claus. I was born in the mid 1960’s and was probably of the last group that actually got the “you can be anything you want to be or achieve what ever you want if you work hard enough for it” lessons. Now it all “the government will take care of you.” They don’t teach the Constitution enough in school or all schools. You’re right, we need to change people. Maybe in four years enough people will wake up but I wonder if it will be in time. I’m not giving up though. We still control the House and that stops a lot of stuff from happening otherwise.

    To all the guys who said they shed a tear or two while/after reading Franks posting remember (to quote a radio commercial): “Those aren’t tears. That’s just a little bit of awesome leaking out.”

    Keep up the good fight everyone.

  28. Tau Dades says:

    I live in a red state that told Obamacare to pound sand. why shouldn’t I be happy?

  29. Editor says:

    It’s sad, but I completely agree with buckhorn_cortez. You are penalized for not cheating. You are penalized for being responsible. You are penalized for being patient and tolerant. And most of all, you are penalized for working hard and sacrificing. I see no incentive to try anymore.

  30. Son of Bob says:

    “It is very easy to be a miserable billionaire.”

    Could you please forward me the steps to do this?

  31. 4of7 says:

    Courage Wolf says,
    “I didn’t say it would be easy, I said it would be worth it!”

  32. Fly says:

    LOL, SoB.

    Great attitude and advice, Frank. That’s what I like to see. But I don’t think our classically liberal views are that radical or unprecedented. They are “classical”, after all.

    Hey, Frank, what exactly makes you a conservative instead of a libertarian? Is it the crazies or some principles?

  33. Synchro says:

    This is exactly what I needed to hear right now, thanks!

  34. Monkey Faced Liberal says:

    Shorter FrankJ:

    The American people continue to reject all of our ideas at the ballot box, so lets give up on that. We will instead change the country by being “better people.” Also “Magic.”

    Hmmm. Good luck with that.

    Best Regards,

    Monkey Faced Liberal

  35. 4of7 says:

    “The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt. People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. it is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists.”
    ― G.K. Chesterton, Eugenics and Other Evils: An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized State

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