Guest Submission by Moira Crooks
Waiting for my five-year-old son to emerge from his elementary school classroom one day last week I took notice of some butterflies. These Monarch beauties were floating delicately along each wispy, warm September breeze. The fanciful, quiet, effortless flight of these orange and black beauties brought to mind a book that I was given to review last year: The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews.
In this beautifully illustrated text, Andy Andrews introduces us to the chaos theory first presented in 1963 by Edward Lorenz: A butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air – eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet.
Seemingly far-fetched, no? People thought it was so preposterous Lorenz was literally laughed out of the conference where he had proposed his idea. It was dismissed and treated as charming, but absurd – the stuff of myth and legend presented in bad sci-fi flicks. But a funny thing happened. Fast-forward 30 years after the butterfly effect was first introduced, and you find physics professors coming to the conclusion that the butterfly effect was authentic, accurate, and viable.
But there is something more. The butterfly effect as science has shown engages with the first movement of any form of matter, including people. A great human example of the butterfly effect in action from Andrews’ book is the true story of Civil War hero, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. He is one man who made one move whose effects still are felt through our lives today.
Chamberlain was a rhetoric professor from Maine turned Union Army Colonel. He and his men were placed at the end of the line of some 80,000 men at Gettysburg with the instruction – “Whatever you do, you can’t let them come through here.” Chamberlain knew that no matter what he could not withdraw his troops. He writes “I knew I may die, but I also knew I would not die with a bullet in my back. I would not die in retreat, I am, at least, like the apostle Paul who wrote, ‘This one thing I do. I press onward toward the mark.'” At that time, battles were face-to-face close affairs. The Confederates charged Chamberlain’s part of the line not once; not twice, not three times but six times in total. After the fifth time, when they were facing a reinforced group of Confederates with less than half of their men still standing and not enough amunnition, Chamberlain gave the order to charge. With in a matter of minutes, the group of eighty men under Chamberlain’s command without any ammunition captured over four hundred enemy soldiers. Historians have said that had Chamberlain not charged that last time, the rebels would have won at Gettysburg and had the Confederate Army won there, the South would have won the war. One could argue that the United States of America exists as it does because of a single man and one move he made more than a century ago.
Gov. Palin is a living, breathing example of the butterfly effect in action. She is an American hockey mom turned servant-leader. From her days on City Council, to that of Wasilla Mayor, to Governor of Alaska – she took on the establishment, championed reform, and has been successful in showing us all how we can make a difference. Despite all odds, low poll numbers, or the blistering attacks from the establishment, the media, and the pundits, Gov. Palin has consistently stood up for Constitutional Conservatism. She has held the line and endeavored to make America great again. She is in fact that force of nature that too presses onward towards the mark, emboldening her supporters and creating a butterfly effect that is producing the perfect storm rumbling across the American political landscape today.
Palin’s efforts to restore America are changing us too. As Conservatives 4 Palin, Organize 4 Palin team members, and Palinistas , we are taking flight and affecting change nationwide. We are Americans who believe in restoring our country by supporting the leadership of Gov. Sarah Palin and the values she embraces. Like Chamberlain, whether we realize it or not, we are making authentic, viable strides to return our country to traditional values. Each one of us matters. Everything we do matters. Every move, every action – they all matter. Every person we make a relationship with in hopes they too will share our vision of a renewed America, every O4P shirt we wear, every palm card we pass out, every person we show The Undefeated to, every personal letter we send explaining Gov. Palin’s record in Alaska, every little thing matters. We saw evidence of this at the Restoring America Event. Did you see all those O4P shirts at that event? Did you see the numbers of people signing up to get involved? Like the torrential downpour in that central Iowa field last weekend, we are creating a storm by the subtle, quiet flight we are each making. Whether our boots are on the ground or our fingers on the keyboard, future Americans’ lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves we make and the actions we take. Think to Gov. Sarah Palin’s words spoken in her September 3 speech here in Iowa:
Real hope comes from realizing that we the people can make the difference. And you don’t need a title to make a difference. We can get this country back on the right track. We can do it by empowering the people and realizing that God has richly blessed this most exceptional nation, and then we do something about that realization.
Like Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain we face seemingly insurmountable odds in the form of the established, ruling poltical class and the cocktail party punditry who want us to give in and give up and let them overtake us. Like Chamberlain, we may seem from an emeny’s perspective to be greatly outnumbered and inadequately equipped to fend off their attacks. But also like the professor turned unlikely war hero, we too know that we cannot withdraw no matter what. We must press forward despite the odds because we were created to make a difference. With have the power within us to return America to greatness. As Gov. Palin so poignantly puts it, ” We will not squander what we have been given! We will fight for freedom. We will fight for America. We are at the tipping point. United we must stand. And we shall nobly save, not meanly lose, this last best hope on earth.”
Continue to burst forth from your cocoons, spread your wings and take flight for lasting reform in America knowing that what you are doing matters. Continue the good “flight” my friends.