The View From 1776
Friday, July 04, 2008
Senator Obama’s campaign is based upon a fantasy: his claimed ability to transcend politics-as-usual and thereby to unite the nation for a common purpose.
It isn’t just that Senator Obama lacks his claimed power. It’s that the secular religion he represents is entirely antithetical to everything that led to the foundation of the United States. The very existence of liberal-progressivism is divisive.
We Constitutional traditionalists were here first. It is the liberal-progressives who are an invading army of conquest, marching under the banner of an alien, Continental European philosophy of atheistic socialism.
To be a liberal-progressive is to view people as members of social, ethnic, and economic classes, most of them, if we are to believe Democrat/Socialist Party leaders, belonging to Karl Marx’s lumpen proletariat of unemployed, deprived, depressed, and oppressed. It is to believe that only government can improve people’s lives, because individuals are powerless in confrontation with the monopolistic, capitalist establishment.
The solution, in liberal-progressive doctrine, is to restructure society, redistributing income as evenly as possible. With the original doctrine of private property ownership removed from society, people will no longer be envious of each other, but will live harmoniously. Crime will disappear, because everyone will have his basic needs satisfied by collectivist government. We will become one, big, happy commune.
This is the essence of Senator Obama’s change that will bring us together by transcending the old politics.
It is hardly surprising, therefore, that leaders of the Democrat-Socialist party, joined by mainstream media editorialists and so-called news reporters, continually decry objections from Constitutional traditionalists as divisive. For liberal-progressives, to oppose the transition to socialism is to stand in the path of scientific progress, to thwart the inevitable course of history.
Let’s remember on this Fourth of July, 2008, that the colonists in 1776 fought for something diametrically different from the liberal-progressive vision of salvation through the collectivized political state.
Most people have seen only the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence. The following lines are the meat of it.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.
He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.
He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:
For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing taxes on us without our consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:
For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:
For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:
For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”
All of this boils down to one basic affront: the British government of George III and Parliament had consistently and repeatedly exercised arbitrary power to compel the colonies against their own interests.
Our nation was composed of independent and individualistic colonies that became the original states, with greatly differing geographical, agricultural, and commercial interests. They were united by a common heritage of Protestant Christianity and the rights of Englishmen, evidenced in the common law and the principle established in 1689 that even the king is subject to the laws of the land and to the higher power of God-given morality and justice.
Two years of intense public debate, from 1787 to 1789, were needed to secure ratification of the Constitution. The great fear was that it might grant too much arbitrary power to the government.
The fears of 1787-89 unfortunately have been realized, as the Federal government again and again overrides states’ powers guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights, and as the Federal judiciary arbitrarily creates and imposes law in opposition to the expressed will of citizens within the states.
The liberal-progressive ideal of a rabble-led democracy of the sort that emerged in the French Revolution the year of Constitutional ratification was emphatically rejected by the framers of the Constitution. James Madison, in the Federalist Papers, observed that, historically, pure democracies had been the worst and shortest-lived form of government. Pure democracies repeatedly dissolved into tyrannies when silver-tongued orators appealed to the masses with promises of welfare-state benefits in return for grants of more power to the orator.
The Constitution was, instead, intended to form a federal republic (not a European-style monolithic sovereignty), in which states retained most of the police powers to regulate the everyday life of their citizens.
Senator Obama represents the antithetical thrust of liberal-progressivism to collectivize power at the national level, reducing states to hat-in-hand sycophancy, and to revoke the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of private property rights.
Only by conquest through cultural civil war can Senator Obama and his liberal-progressive minions bring us together. It is they who are the divisive element in American politics, education, and business.