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The Sleeping Giant Is Awake At Last

It was a Sunday morning. Just after dawn on December 7th, 1941, Japanese forces launched a sneak attack on the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor. American forces, most still in their beds, where taken almost completely by surprise. The U.S. pacific fleet, which lay at anchor in the harbor, was devastated. When word of the attack’s success reached the Japanese fleet, the sailors rejoiced, that is, all but one ‘“ Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. Tradition holds that instead of celebrating, Yamamoto, having fallen into a state of severe depression, said to his jubilant staff, ‘I fear all we have done is awaken the sleeping giant.’ Though that quote, one of the most famous of World War II, has never been verified, it is a known fact that Yamamoto held deep concerns regarding an attack on the United States. It is also a known fact that Yamamoto once said to several Japanese Cabinet members regarding war with the US, ‘I can run wild for six months, after that, I have no expectation of success.’ I recently attended a tea party (taxed enough already) in Barnesville during which a speaker mentioned the famous quote while reading a prepared statement. As a bit of an amateur historian, I appreciated the fact that the speaker was aware of, and made reference to, the historical quote. But what I appreciated even more was the fact that the speaker understood the relationship between that quote and America’s eventual triumph over the Japanese nearly seventy years ago and the current ground swell of grassroots resistance against what many consider Congress’ and the Administration’s misguided policies of today. At similar events all across the nation, Americans, concerned about the direction the country is headed, are coming out en mass to voice their dissent regarding various initiatives such as healthcare reform, cap and trade, and the failed stimulus plan. Not since the war protests of the Vietnam Era have so many Americans taken to the streets in defiance of the leadership in Washington. And their voices are finally being heard. Congress and the Administration have utilized various tactics in their efforts to pass these hugely unpopular initiatives. The plan to pass healthcare reform, which, in a short time, would have led to outright socialized medicine, called for ramming the legislation through Congress before most representatives and senators actually had a chance to determine what, exactly, was in the bill. As for cap and trade legislation, the plan was to keep things quiet in an effort to sneak it through to passage. Other unpopular proposals were or have been attached to larger bills, such as the Defense Authorization bill, in an effort to have them passed without being noticed. But Americans, average citizens from all walks of life, were watching. And they took notice. And then they took to the streets, in unprecedented numbers, to bring attention to Washington’s deceptions. In fact, the summer of 2009 could be referred to as the summer of America’s discontent with Washington ‘“ and Washington was watching. And it took notice. And then things began to change ‘“ slowly at first, but significantly. The Administration’s baby, its pride and joy, the healthcare reform bill, is now being reformed – so much so, in fact, that the left is now as angry with the president as is the right, if not more so. Then there’s the cap and trade legislation, which, at least for the moment, is going up in billowy clouds of carbon dioxide-laden smoke along with the global warming myth upon which the proposal is based. And what about cash for clunkers? Dead in the waters of the Potomac, as well it should be. In fact, the ‘cash for clunkers’ moniker of that absurdly misguided program aptly describes most all the major legislative proposals currently before Congress in as much as Washington takes our ‘cash’ and in return we receive legislative ‘clunkers’ such as healthcare reform (read: socialized medicine), cap and trade (read: GE cash cow), and the myriad other lobbyist-conceived, liberal media-supported, Washington-proposed scams currently being thrust upon the America populace. However, just as the average, down-to-earth, everyday folks that make up America’s conservative core rose like a sleeping giant to defeat the British in the Revolution, the Germans in World War I and the Japanese and Germans in World War II, so have they arisen to resist the socialist policies being advanced by Washington today. Many on the left said those kinds of Americans don’t exist anymore, that the movement would never take form, or that it was already dead. Those same Washington elites who’ve run ‘wild’ for several months now, however, are beginning to lose faith in their chances of succeeding at passing their unpopular agenda. That’s because they’ve finally come to realize that the sleeping giant is awake at last. To contact Spencer, read his blog, or review an archive of his columns, please visit

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