The Positive Power of “No”

As the Republican minority in Congress refuses to cooperate with just about anything the Democrats put forward which involves expanding government programs and spending money which we don't have, they make themselves targets for the criticism that they are "the party of no" and that they have no positive policies and only want to block everything so that the Obama administration will look ineffective and the great spending machine will grind to a halt and nothing will get done.

Yet when what the government is doing is incredibly harmful and destructive and the only proposals which the majority allows to reach the floor for a vote mean more deficit spending and more expansion of government power, when everything the majority is doing is so negative and puts our future in peril, then standing up and shouting "no" is a very positive act. In fact, the history of some of our greatest accomplishments as a nation is the history of people of principle saying "no" to the status quo, to abusive policies and to the excesses of government in the hands of people of bad intent.

The struggle for liberty is the story of brave people saying "no."

It is the barons at Runnymede saying "no" to rule by royal decree.

It is the Puritans saying "no" to a corrupt and oppressive church.

It is the Sons of Liberty saying "no" to taxation without representation.

It is William Lloyd Garrison and Abraham Lincoln saying "no" to slavery.

It is Teddy Roosevelt saying "no" to child labor.

It is Churchill saying "no" to the Nazis.

It is Rosa Parks saying "no" to moving to the back of the bus.

It is Reagan saying "no" to Soviet expansionism.

It is the moment when people of courage declare that they will no longer compromise and will no longer accept excuses and will no longer let liberty be bargained away and destroyed by inches. Saying "no" is declaring that you will no longer be moved and are ready to push back.

When the alternative is saying "yes" to the same old bad ideas, suddenly "no" becomes a very positive concept. Day after day the forces of oppression expect us to say "yes" as they waste our money, take away our rights, and imperil the futures of our children. The Kings of Congress and their media lackeys will talk about the "spirit of bipartisanship" and how progress demands that we cooperate to get things done and fix the nation's problems. But this is all just hogwash, because the things they want to do are just more of the same things which created those problems in the first place — more spending, more bureaucracy, more deficits, more waste, more cronyism, more ideological nonsense, more war, more internal security — none of it good for us as individuals or as a nation, so why should we say "yes"? Why would it ever be a good thing to say "yes" and just acquiesce to the rape of our nation?

What we need is more people saying "no" and saying it more loudly. Reject the hype and the fear mongering and the false promises. Saying "no" to government is one of the most positive things you can do. It gives you back control of your life and announces that you are willing to take responsibility for your own destiny. It's powerful and remarkably effective and it's the best weapon we have as individuals and as a people against the forces of tyranny including the tyranny of the status quo.

And maybe, if you keep saying “no” long enough they’ll start saying something you want to hear and can say “yes” to.


About Dave 536 Articles
Dave Nalle has worked as a magazine editor, a freelance writer, a capitol hill staffer, a game designer and taught college history for many years. He now designs fonts for a living and lives with his family in a small town just outside Austin where he is ex-president of the local Lions Club. He is on the board of the Republican Liberty Caucus and Politics Editor of Blogcritics Magazine. You can find his writings about fonts, art and graphic design at The Scriptorium. He also runs a conspiracy debunking site at

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