09.24.2013 28

Republican leaders need to watch Braveheart

RepublicanScottishNoblesBy Rick Manning

The movie Braveheart stands as one of the classics of all time.  Embodying the courage of William Wallace in his fight to overturn English rule over Scotland, the movie is a testimony to the power of an individual who is willing to risk it all for freedom.

In honor of those like Representative Tom Graves (R-Ga.), and Senators Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), who are battling both their own leaders (the Scottish noblemen) who fear for their position, as well as Obama and Harry Reid (the English), a few of the key lines from brilliantly written Braveheart are published below.  Note while William Wallace was a historic figure, the lines come from the brilliant mind of screenwriter, Randall Wallace.

The first rule of the “noblemen” is explained in brutal honesty – survival.  Never pick a fight where the battle must be joined with winners and losers, but instead find the middle where you can benefit the most.

Robert the Bruce’s Father: [the elder man stops laughing] It is time… to *survive*. You’re the seventeenth Robert Bruce. The sixteen before you passed you land and title because they *didn’t* charge in. Call a meeting of the nobles.

Robert the Bruce: But, they do nothing but talk.                                         

Robert’s Father: Rightly so. They’re as rich in English titles and lands as they are in Scottish, just as we are. You admire this man, this William Wallace. Uncompromising men are easy to admire. He has courage; so does a dog. But it is exactly the ability to *compromise* that makes a man noble. And understand this: Edward Longshanks is the most ruthless king ever to sit on the throne of England. And none of us, and nothing of Scotland will remain, unless *we* are as ruthless. Give ear to our nobles. Knowing their minds is the key to the throne.

Mel Gibson’s William Wallace succinctly defines the difference between the nobles and those who are willing to fight.

William Wallace to the nobles: There’s a difference between us. You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it.

The nobles discover that their army/grassroots is unwilling to fight for them any longer.

William Wallace to the nobles: And if this is your army, why does it go?

Veteran: We didn’t come here to fight for them!

Also, William Wallace explains the place of the nobles to Robert the Bruce who he admires.

Robert the Bruce: I’m not a coward. I want what you want, but we need the nobles.

William Wallace: We need them?

Robert the Bruce: Aye.

William Wallace: Nobles.

William Wallace: Now tell me, what does that mean to be noble? Your title gives you claim to the throne of our country, but men don’t follow titles, they follow courage. Now our people know you. Noble, and common, they respect you. And if you would just lead them to freedom, they’d follow you. And so would I.

William Wallace seeks to encourage Robert the Bruce to join the fight even though the odds against winning seem overwhelming.

Robert the Bruce: Now, you’ve achieved more than anyone ever dreamed. But, fighting these odds, it looks like rage, not courage.

William Wallace: It’s well beyond rage. Help me. In the name of Christ, help yourselves. Now is our chance. Now. If we join, we can win. If we win, well then we’ll have what none of us has ever had before: a country of our own.

Looking into the face of a well-armed enemy, who they have been told cannot be beaten, the grassroots begin to become faint of heart.

Young Soldier: Home! The English are too many!

…William Wallace: I *am* William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. You’ve come to fight as free men… and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?

Veteran: Fight? Against that? No! We will run. And we will live.

William Wallace: Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!

I bet you thought this speech delivered riding on horseback back and forth in front of the army was longer.

Robert the Bruce ends up betraying William Wallace and all he stood for, but in his overwhelming regret he seeks redemption.

Robert the Bruce: I have nothing. Men fight for me because if they do not, I throw them off my land and I starve their wives and children. Those men who bled the ground red at Falkirk fought for William Wallace. He fights for something that I never had. And I took it from him when I betrayed him. I saw it in his face on the battlefield and it’s tearing me apart.

Robert’s Father: All men betray. All lose heart.

Robert the Bruce: I don’t want to lose heart! I want to believe as he does… I will never be on the wrong side again.

There is a nobility in fighting the impossible battle, and sometimes you even win.  History is replete with heroes who risked everything to lead their people to freedom.  Some names, like William Wallace and George Washington, we know.  Most history has forgotten.

But the most important point for those who are fighting this political battle over Obamacare and the direction of our nation need to remember is that no one remembers the names of the nobles who compromise freedom for their own little piece of grass.

No one respects the ‘leader’ who declares the battle lost before a single person has seen the field.

And no one follows the self-important who have forgotten the very trust that they were given and the people who provided it.

William Wallace was turned over to King Edward Longshanks and tortured in the hope he would disavow the rebellion.  With his last breath yelling “FREEDOM” for all to hear – a truly noble man.

Hollywood’s heroes, like William Wallace, resonate because deep down people want leaders who fearlessly strive for what they believe, and not noblemen who are noble in name only.  The people want larger than life figures who will fight for them.  And ultimately, they want leaders they can trust so they can live their lives, raise their children and enjoy their limited time on this green earth free from worry about an avaricious government.

Today’s noblemen of D.C. face choices in these upcoming weeks that will stay with them for a lifetime.  Obamacare will either be implemented or it will be gutted.

While some may take the Braveheart analogy as too simplistic, it will be impossible to explain the nuances of the day to someone a few years from now unable to access health care because of the Obamacare doctor shortage.

Now is when the decision is made and there will be no turning back.  It is time for Republicans to choose whether they will claim their historic legacy as our nation’s freedom party, or if they will recede into the history books replaced by those who are willing to take the mantle of freedom fighter from them.

I pray for courage for them, so they don’t run from this historic battle for our nation’s future.

Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the Vice President of Public Policy and Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

  • Phillip_in_TX

    It is time for those in Washington D.C. to do what is RIGHT for the country. However, the majority will probably cave in, while the few brave will stand their ground.

    We had people at my work thinking “Obamacare” was the greatest thing since sliced bread. A lot of people are now singing a different tune.

    When will we be rid of this?

  • regulus30

    there ARE TWO AMERICAS [john edwards] was kind of right; there is the greedy power hungry elite DC politicians and the working [supplying our money] for them to blow on bullshi666t Americans;; time for federalism, break down DC ; honor “states rights”.

  • pduffy

    Why all of this trouble? The authority that God gave to man in the beginning gives the answer: Genesis 1:26:

    “Let Us make man in Our
    image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish
    of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then
    God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill
    the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over
    the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the

    Notice what is NOT given to man? The authority to rule over OTHER MEN! Nowhere did God say to Adam, “have dominion over your neighbor and tax him to get power”. This is the root of the evil of man’s kingdoms and his fake dominion. God never granted this power for one group of men to lord it over others to enrich themselves or ‘purchase votes’ with stolen money. All the governments of men have led to death and destruction because of the DESIRE TO RULE OTHER MEN! This comes from LUCIFER, the dark angel who rebelled against God and said, “I will ascend above the stars of God, I will be like the most high”.

    Get the picture? William Wallace was just rebelling against the satanic human rulers of his age that were also followers of Lucifer.

  • pduffy

    When will we be rid of this? When Christ rules the earth, and not until. The problem is not men, but Lucifer the dark angel, the real ruler of this age. It’s not done yet, but it’s close.

  • LennieM

    This is an exquisite, inspirational piece, based on my all-time favorite movie. Sadly, I fear that the political elites have become too cynical, jaded and pragmatic to be moved by noble ideas and people. There is no longer anything noble about our “nobles.” Too many of us have forgotten — or never experienced — the incomparable, nearly indescribable happiness that follows from the commitment to and achievement of individual liberty. For over 200 years, the protection of individual liberty has distinguished America and her people from every other nation and peoples of the world. How could anyone so easily surrender our single, highest value — the very value that made and kept America and Americans exceptional?

  • jwatersphd

    What a bunch of crap. Cruz is on his quest for stardom and the ACA has nothing to do with tyranny. The reality is there’s nothing he can do to derail much needed changes in our health care system and I’m grateful for that. Instead of trying to bring on chaos, he ought to be proposing changes and revisions, which I don’t think anybody in their right mind, including Obama, denies are needed. You say it’ll be gutted or implemented. No, it will be implemented and the problems worked out, just like with Social Security and Medicare. We’re already in a situation in which people are denied health care and bankrupted, and I can’t believe you haven’t noticed that. Our system sucks. To imperil the entire economic recovery and spread chaos has nothing to do with freedom – it’s just the anarchist’s bomb, terrorism. His tantrum is pure destruction, when we really need to put our heads together to solve problems. Believe it or not, this is a big country and most of what we get is going to involve some kind of compromise. To recognize there are people who don’t believe as you do or don’t share your position is necessary in politics. Government is not an epic poem and it’s not a do-or-die battle, at least in this case. We are one country. Thank goodness a lot of people are dumping on him. He deserves it. And your attempt to glorify him as some heroic leader completely misses the point of what his responsibility is. If he doesn’t like the heat, he can get out of the kitchen, rather than claiming it as his and blowing it up when he’s told to get real. Yeah, I know you’re paid to charge up the right wing fringe, so you don’t deserve dumping on, but, nevertheless, this is fatuous nonsense.

  • Mark

    Talk about a bunch of crap. You talk of compromise. Is that what you call Obamacare? A fluke 2 year large majority taken advantage of to shove through a health care bill that not a single Republican voted for and didn’t have the support of the American people. That 2 year majority was lost as soon as people were able to vote, showing their displeasure with the process. And the opposition is supposed to work with the same crowd that used this tactic? Obama has said repeatedly he will not negotiate. He means over the CR, but he doesn’t negotiate on anything. It’s his way or nothing, and his henchman Reid follows dutifully along. Obama will happily negotiate with Tehran, but not the other side of the aisle. You spout fatuous nonsense. Endlessly.

  • Mark

    Perhaps Mr. Cruz needs to have movie night with his fellow Senators.

  • jwatersphd

    Yes, this is compromise. He tried to negotiate for several years with the Republicans; they just took that as weakness and moved the goal posts. So he wised up. The Republicans are “my way or the high way,” which is what’s happening here. Just look at the record. Of course he’s not going to negotiate stopping the whole thing. But no one thinks it’s written in stone for all time; it can be modified. He already modified part of it. As for ACA, all the parts have the support of a majority, it’s just the whole idea that is slightly negative. Wait to see. It will be just like social security and medicare which were also supposed to be catastrophic. Besides, your right wing supreme court could have deep sixed it – they didn’t. You really think this is “Braveheart?” Yes, that’s fatuous nonsense. We are talking about governing a real nation, not epic heroics by the radical right. I still have not heard ONE tea party plan for dealing with the health care problem, just nonsense like, “abolish all laws governing health care,” or “the emergency room is health care.” How about you? Got any real ideas? Or just a lot of bluster?

  • jwatersphd

    Our current health care system is what you call “liberty?” Ever tried to deal with an insurance company? And they all collude. Does Blue Cross make your heart sing? Is it “noble” to make the emergency room the place for health care, where you get a band aid until you eventually die? Yeah, great movie; nothing to do with the real world.

  • al003

    The Federal Government has outgrown its boundaries and now is making itself over as FDR hoped for in his Communist lifetime.
    It is time to take this Nation back to the Constitution, where all persons are the owners of their own talent and their own creations and property. The Government does not have the power to take from he who makes it or earns it by his own labor and give it to him who does nothing to sustain himself…. Wake up, this is exactly what was done in the days of slavery. God created all men equal and from that position all men are free to do as they please with what God has given them.
    We can pursue any endeavor we choose or we can choose to do nothing and have nothing. We are all free to follow our own star and perish or gain, it is our free choice.
    Obama has changed the equation for us all and we are supposed to accept what Obama has decided for us…. I think the Liberal Progressive fools are still fools and one day soon all of this redistribution cr#p will hit the fan and trouble will be in our face, I welcome the occasion……
    It is time for a Constitutional Convention where we clarify those parts of our Constitution where we once again force the Federal Government back in the box where it is supposed to reside…. Term limits on all public offices will keep us free and safe from predatory politicians…

  • Mark

    Compromise. Sure it is. You keep calling it what you want. It’s tyranny, plain and simple. As for alternatives, it’s pathetic that you turn to something as bloated, wasteful and corrupt as the federal government for something as vital as health care. Wake up, man! Health savings accounts are the best solution I’ve heard. Any time the patient deals directly with the doctor, and pays the doctor directly, prices come down dramatically. Look into it, unless you really don’t care about a solution. This is all just a game, your team against the other team. Guys like Thomas Sowell have written eloquently on health care solutions. The problems existing today, before Obamacare, are because of the government meddling, creating problems. We have fantastic doctors and hospitals and ways to pay for them without getting the massive federal bureaucracy involved. And Braveheart is appropriate because some politicians need some inspiration. You certainly aren’t inspiring. And a right wing Supreme Court? You’re so ridiculous. Tell me all those women on the court are right wing. If this is how you’re going to debate I don’t have time for your foolishness. If you’d like to continue you’ll have to be less silly.

  • jwatersphd

    Not right now, I don’t.

  • Mark

    Don’t bother. Please. I have better things to do than educate you all the time. I have better things to do than worry about the next incursion by the government into my freedoms. The government should be like a well umpired baseball game. You barely know the umps are there, the game is settled on the field. The occasional kerfuffel is settled and we move on. But no, leftist statists are working 24/7 to figure ways to centralize their power, circumvent the Constitution and remove the will of the people. They see us as cattle to be herded not as servants of the people. The fact that you defend that is sad. But then, maybe freedom isn’t for you. It’s not for everybody, sadly. Watch Braveheart, you’ll see good examples of such.

  • jwatersphd

    Leave it alone, buddy.

  • Mark

    It’s a deal. And I won’t see you defiling this comment board anymore, right? Leave it alone, bud.

  • Brabado

    I have never seen, in my life, such an assemby of Cowards, Spineless, Gutless. scare bunchof Republicans than in the 65th.Congress…
    Obama keeps calling the shots, leading them by the nose, while they cry – Boehner on the lead – because “accodring to Socioalist Lesftist Democrats made up stories, Republicans will be blamed for everything and anything that happens in Washington and, “the American Public” will blame them for shutting down the Government…
    RINO’S, wake up and smell the flowers… Whatever you do, you will be blamed for it so, get off your knees, clean your underware, stand tall, and have the courage to begin to fight back, with a passion…
    Know you are not used to it – you rather run away but – your country NEEDS YOU KNOW…

  • jwatersphd

    Who the hell do you think you are? I don’t feel like responding to you on the issue at hand at this time, and also didn’t, when I said that 2 hours ago. Then you asked me not to “bother,” even though I said I wasn’t interested, and started your gratuitous condescending rant about educating me, etc. So I asked you to leave it alone, again, and now you’re assuming you’re in a position to run me off. You seem to think I post here at your indulgence and with your supervision. I’ll make comments as I see fit, despite the fact that I’ve signed off on this ACA shtick. You’re free to “see (me)” doing that or not; suit yourself. It’s an open forum. So long.

  • Brabado

    Have never, ever seen a group of so many spinless, Republicans, always in fear to fight Democratas, than in the 113 U.S. Congress… Always afraid of “not been liked” when in reality, “they are never liked because they never do anything for our Nation”>
    It is pitiful, these old bags are still in Washington DC carrying Obama’s water!
    Why don’t they all resign, and go home… The can not buy COURAGE, in the local Drug Store…. America is ashame of themselves.

  • Mark

    Oh, getting a bit huffy there, eh waterspout? Do us all a favor and leave it alone. Permanently. You comments are useless. No doubt, Ill be seeing you again.

  • jwatersphd

    I suppose you were a bully in kindergarten, too. Probably a terror on the playground. It was never true you were no good no matter how often they said it. So, it’s time to grow up, Mark. It’s all water under the bridge. Take care.

  • Mark

    I’m the furthest thing from a bully. If you knew me you’d know that. But I have absolutely no patience for your ilk that choose to bring your contrarian baloney to this site, day after day. We come here to get away from opinions like yours. If we wanted them we’d watch the main stream media or visit Politico or other leftist sites. We come here to discuss issues among like-minded people. But it’s lefties like you that think you have to hound us every where we go, every day. Just like the federal government. Go away.

  • jwatersphd

    Mark, if you’d just get a grip on your insecurity, this would all be easy for you. You’d find that even when you’re not surrounded only by people who pose no challenges, except maybe which former Tea Party messiah is now an apostate, you’d be able to think straight, and not confuse abuse and name calling with dialogue and argumentation. As it is, you resort to being dismissive, and, yes, a bully, and then you don’t have to think, except for what would be a new cute insult. But since it’s mutual mental self-pleasuring you want, Mark, just skip over the troublesome parts and bask in the adulation of those who are giving you a hand. Feel the warm embrace, hear the amen chorus, and pretty soon you’ll feel that glow of certainty. Yet, every so often, you can give vent to your righteous indignation, really dump all that crap you’ve been carrying around on someone else, and enjoy the feeling that you’ve put those who disagree in their place. Of course you’re not a bully when no one challenges you. So you can see that even I have a place in this little board that you think of as home. Mark, I’m glad to serve as a receptacle for your hatred. I’m just tired of talking about the ACA. Your exposition was brilliant and informative. I’ll check out Sowell. It’s really all ok. Yes, I’ll be here to help you focus your anger when it gets out of hand again. Until then, just ignore me. Think of it as training in coping. You’ll get through this. When you need to feel in charge and brave, just dump your load of crap my way. Have a nice day.

  • Mark

    Oh goody. More of your 2 bit psychology. You can spin it any way you want, but you’re the basket case that feels the need to intrude on others where you’re not wanted. That’s a disorder of it’s own. Perhaps you can direct some of your brilliant psychoanalysis inwards and figure out why you feel the need to inflict yourself on others. Have a nice day. Just have it at Politico.

  • jwatersphd

    Mark, resistance is normal. There’s no shame involved. This is good for you. In time, your resentment will dissipate. It’s not a need, it’s a mission of mercy. Noblesse oblige. They used to call it the White Man’s Burden, but I never did, and that hardly makes sense here, obviously.

    But I can see you’ve regained your equilibrium. Nice recovery! Only minimal bullying now. See, it’s working. And you don’t even owe 25¢, and it’s not a government program. Think of it as your destiny.

    Sorry, I don’t know what Politico is. I need more education. Do they need enlightenment there, too?

    As Roy used to say, “Happy trails to you, until we meet again.”♬, etc

  • Mark

    Politico is a website that leans in your direction. Try it out, feel free to post there, exclusively. And be sure, I’ll answer your liberal, statist, big government horse hockey pucks whenever I spot it. Carry on Don Quixote. You can joust windmills all day long. Rest assured your opinions are falling on deaf ears.

  • the_uglydog

    They should watch it…….but, I doubt many of them would understand it!

  • David Webb

    One of the primary lessons of Braveheart that you may have missed (or just not had the room to cover) is to NOT trust the Nobles. You cannot align with the corrupt. Fewer numbers, if they are all trustworthy, is a stronger “army” than having aligned with those who are likely to betray you.

    We cannot trust the Republican “leadership”. We must defeat them when we have the opportunity. And while we may have to work with them to some time, we should never make plans that can be defeated by their betrayal, because they will betray us.

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