Amanda Barber

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Sinking Sands--A Three Part Series Part 3: Now This

14 January 2021

For those who have never visited my blog before, welcome! I am Amanda (Barber) Hill. I am married to Representative Jonathon Hill of the South Carolina House of Representatives. I don’t state this to brag or name drop, simply to certify that I have been working in the political sphere alongside my husband for the past five years and that I have gained a lot of experience to back up the political advice I will be sharing in these three posts.

Now that you have pulled yourself together…okay, let’s be real. The act of pulling oneself together, or better yet, letting Jesus pull you together, is the work of a lifetime of spiritual growth. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait until spiritual perfection in order to do good and be useful. I can guarantee you, though, that if you don’t keep the first things on constant review all of your days, every day, and for the rest of your life, you will burn out trying to do what is needful. So, keep first things first. Now, onto the nitty gritty.

Five steps towards more effective political involvement:

  • Get ready for hard times
  • Turn local
  • Pay attention
  • Get training
  • Fight smart

Get ready for hard times

Lose your thin skin

If you are the sort that is easily offended and put off by the sins, quirks, and idiosyncrasies of your fellow human beings, start working on that now. This quality will make it impossible for you to work with anyone when it most counts. The easily offended will end up alone, and those that live alone will perish alone. Very few things are viable Matthew 18 offenses. You do not need to challenge people on everything they do wrong or that you happen to disagree with. When someone does wrong outside of your family, zip your lips, pray for them, and deal with it. I realize this is a somewhat complicated topic, but I have a lot of material to cover, so an in-depth treatise will have to wait. In general, though, if you find that people are constantly offending you, the common denominator is usually the person staring back at you in the mirror. It frequently involves projecting all of your issues on other people so you can conveniently fail to deal with them.

Improve your health

Work on improving your diet and stop being a picky eater. If you are constantly saying “ew” about food you’ve never tried, you will not be prepared for the time that will come when you’ll have to make do on what’s available versus what you prefer. Seriously, grow up! Along this vein, lose weight if you need to. All the feel-good, body-positive messages aside—being obese is not healthy, no matter what Cosmopolitan magazine says. Of course you’re beautiful at any weight because you are precious in God’s eyes. But if you’re obese, all that beauty isn’t going to keep you from keeling over of a heart attack. Exercise–not to look like a super model, but so you can run up the stairs when you need to without feeling like your lungs are going to burst out of your chest. Identify root causes to health conditions and work to fix those if you can. Trust me, I know how difficult this one is, because I have been working on that for the last two years. (You can read about my health situation here and here and here.) My goal is to fix my root causes so that I can ween myself off the three prescription medications I’m on, and hopefully, the massive drawer of herbal and nutritional supplements I have to take every day just to be functional. When the poop hits the fan (I will be using the words poop, manure, dung, etc… because I don’t say “shit” because I don’t believe in swearing), prescription meds are going to go bye-bye really fast.

Develop and improve your analog skills

When the dung hits the fan, a lot of things we count on and take for granted are going to become scarce. You are going to need people skills and other skills of the past to make it through. Here is a list of some of them. Try not to get overwhelmed. Just find one that looks within reach and start working on that. Add more as you can. As my husband told me the other day, the time to begin preparing was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.

Stop throwing away your books unless your books are cheap, romance novels. (Marie Kondo don’t know nothin.’ We won’t always have Google, Wikipedia and Kindle. Also, you could keep the cheap, romance novels around as a toilet paper substitute.)

Get to know your neighbors. This is huge. You need to know who they are and what sort of people they are. Find out who the Karens are and avoid them. They’re usually on Nextdoor complaining about everything. Meet nice people who mind their own business and enjoy being helpful. If you are aware of your inner Karen, stop it. Don’t bother your neighbors unless they are hurting people or you wish to befriend them and become helpful. (Messy yards and barking dogs do not count as “hurting people.”) When the manure hits the fan, you are going to need reliable people that you know to cooperate with.

Learn to grow food! If you have land, perfect. If not, gradually turn your yard into a beautiful foodscape. If the HOA you live in gives you fits about that, go to war against them or move.

Buy non-perishable food items when they go on sale.

Learn some animal husbandry.

Learn to sew.

Learn to make soap.

Learn candle making.

Upcycle everything you can think of!

  • Unravel old sweaters for yarn
  • Turn plastic bags into “plarn” and make useful things out of it.
  • Save all glass food containers with lids and reuse as food storage, etc…

Go without one creature comfort once a week. When the excrement hits the fan, you’ll need to do without. Or you’ll need to come up with alternatives. Going without some of these things will help you find your own vulnerabilities, and then you’ll clearly see where you might need to make some changes to your lifestyle, the location of your home, etc:

  • Coffee
  • Makeup (Seriously, ladies. Don’t be a slave to makeup. It’s fun, but you’re just fine without it—acne, dark circles, fine lines and all. Yes, you have pores. Thank God. Your skin needs them.)
  • Hot showers
  • Cigarettes (or just quit in the vein of improving health)
  • Alcohol
  • Hair products
  • Food (Obviously, this is a necessity and not a comfort. But fasting will allow you to find your physical limitations.)
  • Netflix and Prime video (Or after recent events, maybe just delete them altogether.)
  • Electricity (Invest in a generator.)
  • Toilet paper (How about those cheap romance novels, eh?)
  • Heat
  • Air conditioning and fans simultaneously
  • Sun screen
  • Lotion

Turn local!

Ditch federal level political activism. I cannot stress this enough. There are some rare exceptions to this, but I do not have time to elaborate here. But in general, the federal government is a lost cause. Positive political change will not happen top down. It can happen bottom up. Pay close attention to the following questions.

  • Do you know who your Governor is?
  • Do you know who your State Superintendent of Education is?
  • Do you know who your State Rep and State Senator are?
  • Do you know who your County Council members are?
  • Do you know who your Town Council members are?
  • Do you know who your Sheriff is?
  • Do you know who your local solicitor is?
  • Do you know who your Mayor is?
  • Do you know who your School Board members are?
  • If you are in charge of voting for judges in your state, do you know who they are?

If you don’t know who these people are, you need to find out, pronto. They effect your life far more than President Trump ever did and President Biden ever will.

Pay attention

Once you’ve found out, start watching to see what they’re getting up to. I can guarantee, that out of all of them, precious few will be getting up to anything good. Even in Republican dominated states! Especially in Republican dominated states! (Who was in charge of obtaining the Dominion voting machines in Georgia? The Republican-dominated executive branch and legislative branch.) You will see heinous abuses of power, downright illegal activity, unconstitutional mandates, and more problems than you ever imagined possible. You will try to communicate with them, and they will give you lines, lie to you, obfuscate, ignore you and marginalize you. And then you will realize that you have 1,001 problems, none of which, is the federal government. Your local governments are there to protect you from the federal government, and nine times out of ten, they will refuse to do so if push comes to shove. (The shove is usually the feds threatening them about withdrawing federal money.) Then you’ll wonder how on earth to change the problems at home. You’ll try to educate them and ask them nicely to do the right thing and they won’t. And then you’ll freak out. Please don’t. Instead…

Get training

Read the book Confrontational Politics by H. L. Richardson. It will show you how to make bad or mediocre politicians to do the right thing even when they don’t want to, and even how to get them unelected if they still refuse to do the right thing as the boneheads are wont to do.

Attend a class with the Foundation for Applied Conservative Leadership. If you request a class in your area and can scrounge up fifteen of your like-minded friends and neighbors to attend and find a venue, the foundation will coordinate everything and send you an instructor to teach the material. (Depending on where your governor falls on the tyrant scale from Kristi Noem to Cuomo and Kim Jong Un, you may need to have it in the privacy of your home.)

Call me! If any of this political advocacy stuff or Foundation training stuff sounds confusing, I would love to answer your questions and encourage you. I will include my contact info at the bottom of this post.

Fight smart

Once you’ve been trained, you can get to work with one exception: You’re going to have to leave lost-cause states or count the cost and decide to stay as a humanitarian mission. Some of these states include California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, New York, Illinois, and New Jersey. At this point, they are so over-run by far-left, self-destructive policies, that they are set on a course to self-destruct. I have family in Colorado and this reality makes me sad. But there it is. I also have family in Michigan, and I have yet to determine whether MI is a lost-cause state. I don’t think it is quite yet.

Use what you learn

So many people I know will sit through hours of excellent training and refuse to put it into practice. Instead, they want to continue to “educate” the politicians and basically repeat everything they have already done which has led to zero or minimal results and is why our country is where it’s at right now. Politicians do not need “education” anymore. They’ve been educated enough. They know the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. They don’t care. They continue to infringe away. They know people have the right to bodily autonomy, and thus, the right to say no to any vaccine. They want to force you to vaccinate anyway. They know you don’t want anymore tax raises. They continue to raise taxes anyway. What they need is to be beaten over the head (Politically speaking, only! No, I’m not advocating violence.) until they do the right thing. If they still won’t do the right thing after a beating, they need to lose their re-elections because they don’t deserve the supreme honor and privilege of representing you. Until you internalize this paragraph, you will beat your head against the wall repeatedly and accomplish very little.

Disobey unjust laws

You are not obligated to obey laws that are illegal and/or immoral. But…make sure you count the cost. You could face serious repercussions for disobeying bad laws. Know what you’re getting into and what could happen to you and your family if you do. I hold myself to a higher standard on this one. I have much less to lose because I don’t have children. I very much want children, but have been unable to conceive them. In some ways, this mentally frees Jonathon and I to go after bad politicians because we don’t have as many things they can leverage against us. They can’t go after our kids by calling child protective services on us if we haven’t got any. (And yes, that has happened to many activists.)

Civil disobedience example: One thing I have been doing lately is refusing to wear a mask when I go to any business in the nearest town. They have a mask ordinance in place. It’s a bad, unconstitutional ordinance, and every last one of the council members who voted for that should face opposition when they’re up for re-election. One of these days, I may get the police called on me, or beat up by a mad citizen, or ticketed and fined. I’ve looked squarely at potential consequences and have determined that I’m willing to risk them. You have to make that decision for yourself. And I do understand that mask wearing is highly controversial. I am unconvinced that they are effective. (China is currently locking down 22 million of its citizens due to a virus spike. You cannot tell me that mask compliance isn’t high in communist China. If masks aren’t working in a totalitarian state, they won’t work here, either.) Some of my Christian brothers and sisters believe I am being selfish for my stance. I love you all, but I don’t care about your opinion of me. I just want to be under God’s smile.

Above all, tend to your family and your faith. If you want to raise good little leftists, you’ll keep your kids in public school and fail to watch what they’re being taught. You need to do one of three things: Keep them there, read their textbooks and assignments religiously, and undermine everything false they’re being taught at every opportunity. Or take them out of public school and put them in a private and/or Christian school. Or take them out of school and homeschool them. What is not optional is to assume that public school is the same as it was when you were there, 15, 20, 30 years ago. It’s not, and you ignore this fact at your kids’ peril. You must train them in your faith, or they won’t have one when they reach adulthood. This may be the only thing you can do to effect political change because it’s intensive, thankless, exhausting and all-consuming. But it is the most important thing you can do.

If your marriage is suffering, tend to it. Get counseling. You cannot let your marriage fall apart. You and your kids and your grandkids will pay the price if you do. Strong families who obey Jesus lead to a growing body of citizens intent on doing the right thing no matter the cost.

This was long, I know. I still feel as though I only skimmed the surface, though. I hope some of these practical things give you some sense of mission and purpose. Again, just start where you are and work on one thing. In the meantime, remember:

On Christ the solid Rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand.

Read Part 1

Read Part 2


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