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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Has Barack Obama’s Regime Caused Progressivism To Decline?

"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain." — Frédéric Bastiat (The Law).

According to a 2010 poll by the Gallup Polling Organization there are more conservatives and independents (moderates) than liberals or progressives. Conservatives have maintained their leading position among U.S. ideological groups in the first half of 2010. Gallup finds 42% of Americans describing themselves as either very conservative or conservative. This is up slightly from the 40% seen for all of 2009 and contrasts with the 20% calling themselves liberal or very liberal. The Gallup Report states:

“The 2010 results are based on eight Gallup and USA Today/Gallup surveys conducted from January through June, encompassing interviews with more than 8,000 U.S. adults. The 42% identifying as conservative represents a continuation of the slight but statistically significant edge conservatives achieved over moderates in 2009. Should that figure hold for all of 2010, it would represent the highest annual percentage identifying as conservative in Gallup's history of measuring ideology with this wording, dating to 1992.

The recent rise in conservatism's fortunes follows a decline seen after 2003; liberalism has experienced the opposite pattern. From 1993 to 2002, the ideological trend had been fairly stable, with roughly 40% identifying as moderate, 38% as conservative, and 19% as liberal. Before that, the presidential bid of independent candidate Ross Perot may have contributed to a heightened proportion of Americans (43%) calling themselves moderate in 1992.

The ideological orientation of Americans seen thus far in 2010 would represent a record-high level of conservatism (since at least 1992) if it is maintained for the full year. This follows an increase in the percentage of conservatives in 2009 that was fueled by heightened conservatism among independents, a pattern that continues today.”

I believe that this rise in conservatism and conservative thinking by so-called moderates is fueled by three factors: 1.) the increasing popularity of conservative talk radio, 2.) the Tea Party’s influence on American politics, and 3.) the overbearing government regulations and sky rocking national debt under the Obama regime. If you are unsure of where you stand on political spectrum click here to view a good description of what liberals and conservatives believe.

According to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, more people than ever before are reading the Constitution. Heritage is one of many organizations that offer copies of the Constitution for the asking at a mere $1.00 per copy.

The people of a nation that has experienced unprecedented peace and prosperity for an extended period of time are often lulled to sleep, believing there will never be an end to their good fortune. Many powerful countries throughout history have floundered and decayed as they gradually descended into chaos, not realizing the ultimate fate that awaited them. However, the United States has been granted an opportunity to escape this fate through what appears to be a long-term disaster potentially turning out to be its long-term salvation. That event is the election of Barack Obama as president.

Mark Levine wrote in his bestselling book Ameritopia:

“Plato’s Republic, More’s Utopia, Hobbes’s Leviathan, and Marx’s workers’ paradise are utopias that are anti-individual and anti-individualism. For the utopians, modern and olden, the individual is one-dimensional—selfish. On his own, he has little moral value. Contrarily, authoritarianism is defended as altruistic and masterminds as socially conscious. Thus endless interventions in the individual’s life and manipulation of his conditions are justified as not only necessary and desirable but noble governmental pursuits. This false dialectic is at the heart of the problem we face today.

In truth, man is naturally independent and self-reliant, which are attributes that contribute to his own well-being and survival, and the well-being and survival of a civil society. He is also a social being who is charitable and compassionate. History abounds with examples, as do the daily lives of individuals. To condemn individualism as the utopians do is to condemn the very foundation of the civil society and the American founding and endorse, wittingly or unwittingly, oppression. Karl Popper saw it as an attack on Western civilization. “The emancipation of the individual was indeed the great spiritual revolution which had led to the breakdown of tribalism and to the rise of democracy.” Moreover, Judaism and Christianity, among other religions, teach the altruism of the individual.

Of course, this is not to defend anarchy. Quite the opposite. It is to endorse the magnificence of the American founding. The American founding was an exceptional exercise in collective human virtue and wisdom—a culmination of thousands of years of experience, knowledge, reason, and faith. The Declaration of Independence is a remarkable societal proclamation of human rights, brilliant in its insight, clarity, and conciseness. The Constitution of the United States is an extraordinary matrix of governmental limits, checks, balances, and divisions, intended to secure for posterity the individual’s sovereignty as proclaimed in the Declaration.

This is the grand heritage to which every American citizen is born. It has been characterized as “the American Dream,” “the American experiment,” and “American exceptionalism.” The country has been called “the Land of Opportunity,” “the Land of Milk and Honey,” and “a Shining City on a Hill.” It seems unimaginable that a people so endowed by Providence, and the beneficiaries of such unparalleled human excellence, would choose or tolerate a course that ensures their own decline and enslavement, for a government unleashed on the civil society is a government that destroys the nature of man.

On September 17, 1787, at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Delegate James Wilson, on behalf of his ailing colleague from Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin, read aloud Franklin’s speech to the convention in favor of adopting the Constitution. Among other things, Franklin said that the Constitution “is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become corrupt as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

Over the past fifty years, regardless of who was in the White House or in charge of Congress, no one has been able to halt the incessant spread of left-wing radicalism in the nation's institutions, as well as the exponential growth of a federal government with its tentacles increasingly intertwined in the day-to-day lives of all Americans. As long as the people remained largely disengaged, the potential damage to society as a whole and to the financial health of the country was unknown to the vast majority of the population.

Over the past three years, this indifference has begun to change as the reality of the nation's future and the motives and tactics of those on the left have come into focus. But that reality has come to the fore solely as the result of the aggressive implementation of left-wing policies by the current administration combined with a two-year Democrat supermajority in Congress which allowed the progressives to pursue their vision of America unopposed and unencumbered.

During this two-year period, ObamaCare was passed using unprecedented legislative trickery and political bribery. An extraordinary number of "czars" were appointed to enact policy in the dark of night and avoid oversight by Congress. A litany of grants and loans were given to political cronies ostensibly to develop green energy companies — many of whom have now declared bankruptcy.

Additionally, the regulatory agencies, such as the EPA, have issued a tidal wave of regulations geared to strangle the free market and centralize economic control in Washington. Three failed stimulus packages were passed, none of which came remotely close to creating the jobs promised. Since 2008, over $5 trillion in national debt has been accumulated with no end in sight, and financial insolvency a real possibility in the not too distant future.

The unplanned circumstance of a Democrat supermajority in Congress and a leftist president came about decades before the strategy of gradualism, begun in the 1930s, would have more easily achieved the same objectives. The primary aspect of this strategy was straight out of the socialist/progressive handbook. That is to create a demand for subsistence and dependence on a powerful central government under the mantra that a country so wealthy and prosperous owes its citizenry an ever-expanding social safety net, all the while subtly altering the historic relationship between the people and the government, as a greater percentage of the population would become dependent on the largess of those in control of government.

Additionally, beginning in the late 1960s, the left began to aggressively infiltrate the media, the entertainment complex, the education establishment, and government bureaucracies. The ultimate prize was the control of a major political party while indoctrinating the populace with anti-American and pro-socialist dogma. By the mid-1980s, they succeeded in dominating these sectors of the American ruling establishment, and as of 2008, they achieved control of the Democratic Party.

However, they have had less than thirty years, and only one generation to program with their failed and self-serving philosophy. That is why over 40% of the electorate still identifies as conservative while only 21% self-identify as liberal (moderates make up 35%). In fact, since 1992, conservative identification has increased from 35 % to 40%, while the liberal identification has increased only from 18% to 21%. Assuming that half of those who consider themselves moderates lean conservative, then conservative leaning moderates and conservatives combined would account for 58%-59% of the population, confirming that the United States is a right-of-center country. While these numbers may be encouraging to conservatives we must not overlook the fact that the 21% controls most of the media, academia, and the entertainment industry — this is the problem we face.

The basic character and beliefs of the majority of the American people have not been significantly altered. While the timing may have been in place to have Barack Obama elected president while pretending to be moderate, the timing to turn the United States into a bastion of socialism was not. The infiltration of the various institutions by the left and the creation of a preponderant dependent class have not been underway long enough to change the character of the majority of the population.

In essence, Barack Obama's presidency coupled with the left-wing dominance of the Democratic Party with a congressional supermajority occurred too early in the history of the nation for the left to achieve their objectives.

Yet the overreaching by the Obama administration has continued even aftertimthumb.php the resounding defeat in 2010, when the Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives, as Barack Obama is now governing by use of executive orders and recess appointments in contravention of the Constitution. Obama's and the Democrats' indifference to the rule of law and the future of the country has not only awakened the people, but also placed the fate of the American left in jeopardy.

Thus, panic has begun to set, as it is now dawning on the American left that there is a very real possibility that Barack Obama will be defeated in November; the Republicans may well control both houses of Congress by a significant margin; and the odds that the Supreme Court could declare their landmark accomplishment, ObamaCare, unconstitutional have risen dramatically. If Obama loses and the Republicans control Congress, then the last chance for the progressives to achieve their socialist utopian dream will be gone forever. They are now retreating to the only political strategy they know: fear and intimidation.

The digital storm troopers of the left, Media Matters and among others, have been dispatched to shut down the alternative media by any means possible. They harbor a particular animus against talk radio, as chronicled by Jeffrey Lord in the American Spectator. The effort to incite societal upheaval through racial intimidation has been and will be further escalated. Class warfare and its attendant demonstrations, rallies, and riots will be pushed to a level never experienced in the United States. There will be no moral or ethical limits to the lies, vitriol, and demagoguery the nation will be put through over the next seven months.

The late Austrian free-market economist Ludwig von Mises described the leftist method of operation as "fanatical and intolerant." It works, he said, this way:

“Socialism works on the emotions o stifle the voice of reason by awakening primitive instincts.”

Bastiat expressed similar views over 100 years ago when he stated:

"These socialist writers look upon people in the same manner that the gardener views his trees. Just as the gardener capriciously shapes the trees into pyramids, parasols, cubes, vases, fans, and other forms, just so does the socialist writer whimsically shape human beings into groups, series, centers, sub-centers, honeycombs, labor-corps, and other variations. And just as the gardener needs axes, pruning hooks, saws, and shears to shape his trees, just so does the socialist writer need the force that he can find only in law to shape human beings. For this purpose, he devises tariff laws, relief laws, and school laws."

Bastiat went on to state in his essay The Law:

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."

The hallmark of the conservative and Republican opposition over the past fifty years has been passivity with an over-emphasis on civility. The left is counting on the same in this election cycle, as they intend to overwhelm and intimidate not only their Republican opponents, but the Tea Party movement and the populace as a whole.

While those in the conservative movement and the Republican Party cannot stoop to the level of the Democrats, Barack Obama, and the left, they must stand up and go toe-to-toe with their adversaries and understand that the vast majority of the American people are not sympathetic to the end-product of progressive policies. However, if the Republican Party campaigns as it has over the past five decades, Barack Obama could win an unnecessarily close election despite all the factors arrayed against him.

Therefore, every political accusation has to be answered with a forceful rebuttal; every lie told must be called a lie, and not some polite euphemism; everyone who tells a falsehood or fabricates an anecdote out of whole cloth must be called a liar. There must be a constant drumbeat of focused talking points used by all candidates for public office and their supporters reminding the electorate of the failures of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party as well as the long-term impact of these fiascos. Charges of racism, homophobia, misogyny, et al. should be dismissed with Ronald Reagan's famous line — "There they go again" — and then ignored, as this tactic is now threadbare from overuse.

Whoever wins the Republican presidential nomination and those running for the House of Representatives, the Senate, and governorships must be determined to win their elections at any cost and without reservation or so-called "civility."

The citizens of the United States have been granted an unprecedented window on a future as envisioned by the American left. That prospect must be rejected by soundly defeating Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in November thus ending the progressive era in America.

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