“Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville
The election is over and the Constitution lost. 100 years of progressivism culminated in the reelection of Barack Obama to four more years as our chief executive officer. He was not elected on due to his management of our economy or adherence to the principles of our Declaration or Constitution — a Constitution he distains for its lack of so called “positive rights.”
We have become a nation of those who make and those who take, or as Bastiat said;” "The mission of law is not to oppress persons and plunder them of their property, even though the law may be acting in a philanthropic spirit. Its mission is to protect property."
In the City of Man the ruling class (defined as the complex of government, the mainstream media, most of the academy, much of our senior military class and industrial and public sector unions that are tied to government power) are the experts and masterminds that want to control the resources between the haves and have-nots and as John Dewey stated provide the mental equipment (education) that will bring the citizens into the progressive fold and away from our founding principle, which he called “negative freedoms.”
Today’s Progressives have two basic core beliefs — the collective (group rights and a victim class) and corporatism. They believe in a system of government that is powerful and has the power of science behind it. It was born in the academy among leading academics and what they say is that experts have to decide expert things and that most things are like that including health care, environmental regulations, who you may associate with, and how you should raise your family and educate your children. To accomplish this you must have government with a multitude of complex rules.
On the other hand those who want to adhere to the principles of the Declaration and Constitution believe it is incumbent on our government to render itself into simplicity so that one can understand it. The rule of law requires that we are able to read the laws. This requires a citizenry educated in the principles of our Founders.
Today we live in an administrative state where Congress’ primary function is constituent services. Our representatives pass broad conceptual laws and then leave the interpretation and enforcement to the experts and masterminds of the administrative state. These bureaucratic experts outlive Congresses and Presidents and are the real power in the United States.
The father of today’s progressivism, Woodrow Wilson, while a fan of Thomas Jefferson, did not believe that the United States could survive in the new industrial world by adhering to the outdated model of the Constitution. He believed we needed a new system of leadership where the executive was the political leader of the nation and we needed a cadre of experts to run his new administrative state. This was to be the model for the progressive liberalism’s transformation of America’s political institutions from Madison’s constitutional republic, where laws were made by the legislature, to an administrative state where laws and regulations came down from the executive branch through the hands of commissions of experts and masterminds.
In Federalist 49 James Madison wrote:
“The executive power might be in the hands of a peculiar favorite of the people. In such a posture of things, the public decision might be less swayed by prepossessions in favor of the legislative party. But still it could never be expected to turn on the true merits of the question. It would inevitably be connected with the spirit of pre-existing parties, or of parties springing out of the question itself. It would be connected with persons of distinguished character and extensive influence in the community. It would be pronounced by the very men who had been agents in, or opponents of, the measures to which the decision would relate. The PASSIONS, therefore, not the REASON, of the public would sit in judgment. But it is the reason, alone, of the public, that ought to control and regulate the government. The passions ought to be controlled and regulated by the government”
On November 6, 2012 the majority of the voters of the United States exercised their passions and voted for the most progressive liberal politician in our history when they voted for Barack Obama, the ultimate mastermind who in his election night victory speech proclaimed; “Thank you so much. Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny to perfect our union moves forward."
The preamble of our Constitution states:
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
To our Founders the words “more perfect union” did not mean a perfection of the people or laws regulating the path to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It meant bringing the states together from a loose confederation into a federalist system of government where the federal government would have certain powers and all powers not enumerated in the Constitution would belong to the states and the people.
To Barack Obama and his progressive cohorts “perfect” means more positive rights, social justice, and allegiance to the collective comprised of group rights, the victim class, a the redistribution of resources. This is what 52% of the voters wanted on November 6, 2012.
The Past Century has witnessed a transformation in the understanding of the purposes of American government. The political, academic, and media consensus today upholds the necessity and legitimacy of the Progressive project, making a return to the principles of the Founders appear difficult, if not impossible. However, the resonance among voters of appeals made to the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution by Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan highlights the enduring character of those self-evident truths upon which the Founders built the American political order.
From the time of Woodrow Wilson’s presidency to that of Barack Obama, Progressives have systematically derided the principles of the American Founding as inapplicable to the complexities of contemporary politics. The strength and vigor with which the administrative state today is promoted and defended seems to mirror the support which limited government principles received in the century following the American Revolution. However, neither bureaucratic nor limited government is inevitable: each is the product of human choice shaped by a particular education and expressed through the voting process.
Two presidents have responded to the Progressive claims for the administrative state—Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan. Coolidge used the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence to reaffirm that the American political order was founded on truths rooted in “Nature and Nature’s God.” These truths still applied, despite technological and economic changes. He argued that the Progressive claim that individuals are shaped by their economic conditions and material circumstances is a denial of the innate freedom of the human person. The Founders championed this freedom and protected it with their system of limited government by consent.
On July 5, 1926 President Coolidge delivered his speech, “The Inspiration of the Declaration” on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Rejecting Progressivism root and branch, he defended America’s founding principles when he stated:
“About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction cannot lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers
In the development of its institutions America can fairly claim that it has remained true to the principles which were declared 150 years ago. In all the essentials we have achieved an equality which was never possessed by any other people. Even in the less important matter of material possessions we have secured a wider and wider distribution of wealth. The rights of the individual are held sacred and protected by constitutional guarantees, which even the Government itself, is bound not to violate. If there is any one thing among us that is established beyond question, it is self-government—the right of the people to rule. If there is any failure in respect to any of these principles, it is because there is a failure on the part of individuals to observe them. We hold that the duly authorized expression of the will of the people has a divine sanction. But even in that we come back to the theory of John Wise that “Democracy is Christ’s government.” The ultimate sanction of law rests on the righteous authority of the Almighty.”
Ronald Reagan also captured the essential differences between the Progressive view and that of the Founders, which he stated clearly in his First Inaugural Address when he stated:
“From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.
We hear much of special interest groups. Our concern must be for a special interest group that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and our factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we are sick—professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truck drivers. They are, in short, "We the people," this breed called Americans.
Well, this administration’s objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides equal opportunity for all Americans, with no barriers born of bigotry or discrimination. Putting America back to work means putting all Americans back to work. Ending inflation means freeing all Americans from the terror of runaway living costs. All must share in the productive work of this "new beginning" and all must share in the bounty of a revived economy. With the idealism and fair play which are the core of our system and our strength, we can have a strong and prosperous America at peace with itself and the world.
So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our Government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.”
Reagan established a link between the principles and actions of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, and those of the soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery and of his fellow citizens. He argued that the limited government of the Constitution depends on, and enables, the self-government of each citizen. The principles and institutions of government established by the Founders are thus the best guarantee for the equal protection of the lives and liberties of all American citizens.
One of the greatest political speeches of our time was made by Ronald Reagan in 1964. In this nationally televised speech, entitled “A Time for Choosing”, in support of Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican Party presidential candidate, Reagan challenges the Progressive principles behind President Johnson’s Great Society. The speech propelled Reagan to national prominence. In his speech Reagan stated with the clarity and eloquence that only he could deliver:
“In this vote-harvesting time, they use terms like the "Great Society," or as we were told a few days ago by the President, we must accept a "greater government activity in the affairs of the people." But they have been a little more explicit in the past and among themselves—and all of the things that I now will quote have appeared in print. These are not Republican accusations. For example, they have voices that say "the cold war will end through acceptance of a not undemocratic socialism." Another voice says that the profit motive has become outmoded, it must be replaced by the incentives of the welfare state; or our traditional system of individual freedom is incapable of solving the complex problems of the 20th century. Senator Fullbright has said at Stanford University that the Constitution is outmoded. He referred to the president as our moral teacher and our leader, and he said he is hobbled in his task by the restrictions in power imposed on him by this antiquated document. He must be freed so that he can do for us what he knows is best. And Senator Clark of Pennsylvania, another articulate spokesman, defines liberalism as "meeting the material needs of the masses through the full power of centralized government." Well, I for one resent it when a representative of the people refers to you and me—the free man and woman of this country—as "the masses." This is a term we haven't applied to ourselves in America. But beyond that, "the full power of centralized government"—this was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don't control things. A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. They also knew, those Founding Fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.”
In reading and listening to Reagan’s speech you can see what Mitt Romney should have said the American People instead of his pabulum-laced quasi-progressive, play it safe dribble he advocated. Perhaps had he been as Bill O’Reilly said be “bold and fresh” Romney chose to be more of an economic technocrat than a leader conversant with the conservative principles of our founders. Progressivism is based, as Calvin Coolidge stated, on materialism while conservatism is based on our founding principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is why today’s Progressives are so entrenched in buy votes by offering the people more free stuff.
James Madison wrote in his Essay on Property:
“In the former sense, a man's land, or merchandize, or money is called his property. In the latter sense, a man has property in his opinions and the free communication of them. He has a property of peculiar value in his religious opinions, and in the profession and practice dictated by them.
He has a property very dear to him in the safety and liberty of his person. He has an equal property in the free use of his faculties and free choice of the objects on which to employ them.
In a word, as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions. Where there is an excess of liberty, the effect is the same, tho' from an opposite cause.
Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his.”
Why Romney did not take the course of one of the successful politicians of the twentieth century is beyond me. His timid approach the protecting our liberty and our constitutional rights brought him close to winning, but close only counts in the game of horseshoes.
Wayne Allyn Root for wrote for Personal Liberty an article that I totally agree with. While a Libertarian and former Vice-Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party Root’s comments ring true to my ears:
“What a stunning and miserable day. Ronald Reagan gave us “Morning in America” — as in a new sunny morning. I feel like I just woke up in “Mourning in America” — as in mourning for the loss of this great country. And it’s all because, in politics, “nice” doesn’t work. Mitt Romney is a nice guy, a gentleman. But in politics, nice guys often finish last.
To win the election, and beat a sitting President, Romney needed to do more than nicely debate Barack Obama.
He needed to indict Obama.
Here is the speech that Romney should have given. Had he given this speech, we’d all be waking up to “Morning in America” — as in a bright, sunny day filled with opportunity:
“Let me start by stressing that President Obama may be a nice man. He may be a good husband and father. He may love this country. He may think he is doing what is right. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Nice or not, Barack Obama believes government has the answer to every problem. He believes in punishment of the successful. He believes in income redistribution. He believes in massive spending and debt. He believes in so many rules, regulations and mandates that no one can open a lemonade stand anymore without permission from government.
Those beliefs destroy economies and kill jobs everywhere they’ve ever been tried. The U.S. economy under Obama is in crisis and free fall. You don’t need to look far to prove Obama’s policies are dangerous and deadly. Europe has been following Obama’s plan for decades: big government, big unions, big spending, big taxes, big entitlements, big pensions, free healthcare, too many government employees and unlimited spending on green energy and high speed rail. The result? Economic disaster on a grand scale. Greece, Italy and Spain are enduring a tragedy few can comprehend. France is next. Someday, we will read about this in history books.
America, under Barack Obama, is following the exact same path.
This is the state of the U.S. economy under Obama. Judge for yourselves:
As of Election Day, unemployment is officially listed at 7.9 percent, the highest for any incumbent since FDR.
More importantly, the real unemployment rate (including the under-employed and those who have given up looking) is in the range of 15 percent — higher than in most years of the Great Depression.
Unemployment in the black community is 14.3 percent.
Unemployment and under-employment for college graduates is a staggering 53 percent.
The Labor Force Participation Rate among men is the lowest since 1948.
Food stamp growth is 75 percent greater than job growth under Obama. Forty-six million Americans are now on food stamps.
The record 11 million Americans on disability is larger than the population of a majority of U.S. States.
Over 100 million Americans get entitlement checks.
One-sixth of all personal income in the United States is now provided by government.
The housing collapse is now deeper than at the peak of the Great Depression.
The net worth of the average American is down 40 percent.
New business startups are at the lowest level in 30 years.
The U.S. credit rating has been downgraded for first time in history.
We are experiencing unimaginable economic wreckage, crisis and collapse from coast to coast.
None of this is a coincidence.
With 60,000 new rules, regulations and mandates in only three years, Obama has turned the entire U.S. economy into a “hostile work environment”:
With Obama demonizing the wealthy and taunting entrepreneurs and financial risk-takers with “You didn’t build that.”
With the Environmental Protection Agency attempting to put the coal industry completely out of business and end oil drilling.
With thousands of new Internal Revenue Service agents hired to harass and intimidate business owners.
With massive new tax increases looming.
With 3,000 pages of ObamaCare, containing 23 new taxes.
With 2,000 pages of Dodd-Frank, making it much harder for banks to lend or for businessmen to raise money.
With $115 trillion in debt and unfunded liabilities at the Federal level.
With States, counties and cities even more broke and insolvent than the Federal government. The debt in Cook County, Illinois (Obama’s Chicago), is now an unimaginable $108 billion.
You have to question if this is incompetence or a purposeful plan to overwhelm the system with debt and entitlements, to collapse the U.S. economy and weaken faith in capitalism, to turn America into a European social state.
Obama tells us that he “saved” the auto industry. It’s his one and only accomplishment, so he repeats it 100 times a day. The reality is that he merely stole $25 billion from you and me (the taxpayers) to protect the pensions of auto union members who contributed tens of millions of dollars to his election. Now your children owe that $25 billion, plus interest – and you don’t even get a car! But Obama allowed private sector autoworkers to lose their pensions (because they didn’t contribute to him), while closing only auto dealerships owned by Republican contributors. This is all immoral, if not criminal.
Ladies and gentleman, we have to change direction:
Before we have no country left to defend.
Before we have no economy left to rebuild.
Before unions strangle the life out of the private sector.
Before taxpayers are sucked dry to pay for a food stamp and unemployment benefits economy.
Before “free” healthcare adds trillions of dollars in debt to our children’s burden.
Before Obama’s extreme views on energy leave us all dependent on nations that hate America and support terrorism.
Before Obama uses executive orders to render Congress and the Constitution meaningless.
Before every terrorist attack is given a politically correct name.
Before more victims are blamed when Islamic radicals slaughter them over a cartoon, book or film.
Before every Bible is permanently removed from our military bases and hospitals.
Before all religious celebrations, except Ramadan, are permanently removed from our White House.
Or before 6 million Israelis are wiped out in a second holocaust due to a foreign policy of apology, appeasement and indifference.
This is our last stand. For capitalism. For small business. For the American Dream. For our Judeo-Christian values. For our small businesses. For our children and grandchildren’s future. For the survival of the American Dream. And yes, for our guns and Bibles.
When you walk into that polling place to vote, remember that Osama bin Laden is dead. And so is a U.S. border agent who died in the Fast and Furious scandal. And so is our Ambassador and three heroes abandoned and left to die at our Libyan embassy. And so is the U.S. economy.
Remember that even at this moment, as broke as America is, Obama is giving $450 million of your taxpayer money to the radical Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt.
Remember Obama denigrates those who cling to old-fashioned ideas: God, country, faith, family, capitalism and our American exceptionalism.
Remember Obama presided over a Democratic convention that booed God three times.
Forgive, but never forget. Now, let’s go out and reclaim our country. God Bless America.”
That was the speech Romney should have given. The American people needed to hear the raw, unvarnished truth without sugar-coating.
The key to Romney’s election as President wasn’t to debate Obama. It was to indict Obama. Being “nice” and refusing to offend anyone just re-elected Obama. It may lead to the end of America as we know it.
Well, I’m not Romney. I’m not waving any white flags. I’m a Tea Party conservative. I’m going to fight hard and aggressively. And I’m going to help take back our country. This battle has only just begun.
There is no permanence in politics. All is fleeting. All is cyclical. We find comfort in our cycle and distress when others rise to the top.
Right now, conservatives are bitterly disappointed. Some choose to check out mentally. Some have decided to throw in the towel. A few blame the American People. Many think the gig is up, the show is over, and destiny is undone.
Demography is not destiny and neither is the ever growing leviathan of the federal government. Many think so now, but they forget the ebbs and flows of the tide of history. Conservatism is not done. The message of freedom and opportunity is not done.
No immigrant comes to the United States wanting to be on welfare. They come for a better life of hard work and success. What conservatives forget is that people forget.
And conservatives have done a terrible job reminding people.
Since Ronald Reagan rose from the ashes of the Goldwater movement, Republicans have articulated a message of freedom and opportunity — a rugged individualism that says if you work hard you can be what you want and do what you want. But people forget.
In the last decade or so, Republicans began to assume everyone just naturally agreed. They stopped explaining. They stopped being evangelists for the conservative principles of our Founders. Worse, conservatism morphed into Republicanism and instead of being about ideas, both became about the acquisition of power for the sake of power. Republicans no longer articulated a core set of principles through policy, but policies designed solely to keep them in power. The party leaders and many of its candidates began to do the same — freedom became a platitude, not a policy. Was Abraham Lincoln, the father of the Republican Party more concerned over being elected than ridding the nation from the scourge of slavery and keeping the Union together — I think not.
During Barack Obama’s tenure, Republicans tried to blur every line, make every compromise, and often surrendered before a weapon was even pointed at them. They did not articulate a positive conservative vision, but a defensive position that Obama was bad and they were good with little to show for it. They cut deals that sold out their core to preserve their power. They do so even today.
Republicans assumed Americans got it. They assumed Americans and Republicans were still speaking the same language. But they weren’t.
Politics is cyclical and Americans are forgetful. Republicans forgot that. They failed to keep advancing. They failed to keep explaining. They relied on on the tried and true that became the tired and stale.
Moving forward, the conservative movement from within the GOP needs to advance new ideas, not just dust off and repackage old ideas. The principles remain the same. The principles are fixed. But the ideas that advance those principles must fit into the twenty-first century.
The GOP should start with education reform. They should tackle tax reform. They should work the break up big banks by forcing big banks to capitalize further. They should not shy away from tackling social security and Medicare reform — ideas that did not hurt them with senior citizens and will ultimately help them with younger voters. They should still fight to repeal ObamaCare and explain to the American people why it is sucking the life out of the economy.
But more importantly, conservatives must be able to show Americans in this age of a stagnant economy that conservatism has ideas not just to make one prosperous, but also to help the poor and needy. There are those who do depend on and deserve a helping hand. If the GOP cannot show how small government lifts people up and provides for those who cannot, the GOP will fail.
Republicans should not be afraid to be obstructionist, but must be willing to explain that the obstruction prevents the passage of ideas that history once discarded before we all forgot.
These are exciting times for the conservative movement. But the conservative movement must get up and lead now — lead with conservative ideas for the GOP, not a Republican agenda packaged as conservative. We must begin again anew talking conservatism as evangelists, not fellow travelers. We must remember we are not in a permanent decline, but a cycle of politics that is only permanent if we let it be.
Our think tanks must stop producing white papers designed to woo donors and must produce ideas designed to persuade voters to limited government.
I like being free. I love it. I love that I can point out that the leader of the country is a profligate liar without being shot, beaten or sent to the gulag for it. I love that I can discuss the crimes he has committed and will commit in his insatiable quest for power without black helicopters descending on my house. I even enjoy the fact that Democratic sock puppets can party themselves into an even deeper stupor than usual after their icon’s victory, despite the fact that they’ve sold their country into slavery in doing so. And if I have to pay for creature comforts with my own cash, then so be it. It sure beats living in one of those sad, gray little dictatorships like North Korea.
And I’m not fleeing the country. I’m not one of those uber-wealthy Hollywood clowns who promises emigration to the nearest convenient tax shelter in the Caribbean every time my guy takes one on the chin. Even if I end up being the last man standing in a country overrun by liberal filth and their idiot minions, I’ll be damned if they’re going to run me off. I survived eight years of Bill Clinton’s dough-faced dishonesty; I can survive eight years of Obama’s mealy-mouthed mendacity.
Clinton was a liar and a reprobate, but at least he was fun about it. I never got the sense from Clinton that he hated me (though I did from his wife). Obama hates me. He also hates most of you. Close to 50 percent of the Nation voted NO to Obama and his policies, and he despises them for it. He despises their God and their guns. He reviles their refusal to knuckle under to socialist nightmares like ObamaCare. Clinton may have been a screwball, but at least you knew he could hold his liquor and might be fun to party with. Obama is a living, breathing archetype of the effete elite mastermind that has turned the Democratic Party into the national disgrace it has become. Democrats aren’t better than we are, but they think they are and they act accordingly. Witness Obama’s casual mendacity on Benghazi, Libya, and Operation Fast and Furious. Furthermore, witness his comfort in skirting the law with “executive orders.” He rules by fiat — like some kind of sideshow emperor.
Obama’s re-election is bad news for America. But we’ve received bad news before, and we will again. As the returns rolled toward Obama last night, I comforted a pal by suggesting that while Obama’s re-election may be a hurricane of horror for liberty, the storm surge might help to wash the shore clean for 2014’s House and Senate elections. We made it to 2012; we can survive to 2016. If you believe I am attempting to put lipstick on the proverbial pig I offered another outcome:
It’s 2012. If the Mayans were right, then none of this matters much.
Our Constitution cannot be restored unless it is the wish of the American People and that wish must be a sustained wish. This will require more than statesmanship — it requires education and learning. It is not about winning elections— it’s about saving the Republic.