AMERICA: THE ONCE-WAS AND THE NOW

29 12 2013

Authored by William Robert Barber

In 1835 Alexis De Tocqueville recorded his impressions of America.  Within the contextual of ‘Democracy in America’ he devoted the merits and meaningfulness of Americanism and specifically applauded the citizens’ relationship with the federal government as one where the individual is preeminent. The Frenchman noted that in America the ideal of freedom and individual liberty was prized, as Samuel Adams expressed, “above the tranquility of servitude.” It was his observation that to cleave a country out of the wilderness bequeathed upon these initiators an unyielding belief in individual liberty and freedom.

I feel that this American disposition of individual sovereignty was initiated upon leaving the motherland, enduring three months of tumultuous sailing across a vast ocean, and when the vessels unloaded their passengers the ship’s company uploaded all one could forage and sailed away. The settlers were stranded in an ambivalent land; their circumstance clearly defined a new reality: build, create, farm, and scavenge or perish. King and parliament were thousands of miles to the east. This ‘new world’ situation crafted an American brand of fortitude, a mindset of independent resolve, and a love if not passion of liberty. Scores of generations later these settlers, these English people, long before they considered themselves Americans, developed an Americanized spirit, a socio-economic Yankee inclination, a brashness, and as a result a heretofore deeply held sense of exceptionalism that ultimately overcame the allegiance to King George and England.

Dogged determination and a belief in the sensibility of the common became an American legacy. These early Americans — without even understanding its meaning (to the fullest) — were possibly the original practitioners of the philosophical thesis of individualism; these principles of individualism prompted the Declaration of Independence and were a preamble of conciseness in the initial drafting of the finalized 1789 constitution.

But much has changed; the transformation of America since the De Tocqueville analysis is profound. By every measure the politically attuned America is no longer the nation of 1835; today’s America has in most instances become the opposite of what De Tocqueville lauded. We are no longer a prideful self-reliant people. The American people have traded their traditional belief in liberty for a dependence on government guarantees, promises, and assurances of future services. The political class (Republican as well as Democratic) has been permitted to reinterpret, dismiss, and generally manipulate the nation’s constitutional tenets to serve interest other than the original interpretive of what was considered “in the common good.” But the most profoundly egregious sin perpetrated upon the ideal of Americanism was and is for the American people to ignore the financially unsustainable government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Additional concerns are the national debt, unfunded federal/state pension obligations, (I could go on and on) and, as consequence of such disregard, the people, as if hooked on heroin, willfully bless with their vote the continuance of the very same political policies and social programs they ignore. 

“Top down” management has no operative status in a democratic republic; indeed, “top down” approach to governing is exemplified and practiced in totalitarian regimes wherein the economic model is a perverse schism of socialism and crony privatization by executive edict.  Presently in America the “top down” model’s best exemplar is represented by the ideology of liberal progressivism.   

The ultimate goal of liberal progressivism is to undermine, denigrate, reinterpret, and eventually altogether abrogate the heretofore traditional custom of American’s governing principles. The progressives’ want to obliterate any and all vestiges of a limited, grassroots bottom-up approach to governing; they also intend to initially distort then wholly dismiss the ideals of individualism as radical and extreme. In its finality the eventual of progressivism is determined to transform the rugged individualist into the grasps of nanny-state dependence on a government of wonks and elites.

In that regard, I think the progressives have made great if not spectacular gains in every measurable sector of American society.

ObamaCare will either wholly convert the populous to the president’s progressive vision or ObamaCare will drive a stake into the heart of liberal progressivism. Socialism continues its acceptance or is rejected as un-American. In 2014 the Republicans will capture the Senate and ultimately the White House or the progressives will dominate and eliminate once and for all even the pretense of a democratic republic America.

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YOU’RE JUST NOT CONSERVATIVE ENOUGH

16 12 2013

Authored by William Robert Barber

The straight line of reason is the most efficient means to traverse through the chaos! Or maybe not!?

The traffic of politically incompatible ideas will never be managed — much less converted — by the persuasion of the counter-party. That is not to suggest one should abate one’s sense of ideological righteousness or retrograde to the expedient acceptance of wholesale compromise. The issues that divide one political belief from another are meaningful and therefore well-worth fighting for.

Nevertheless, speaking for the conservative cause, an accurate analysis of reality must antecede the advance of any plan designed to achieve one’s ultimate political goal. This is where the “TEA” party elected representatives’ strategy of self-defeating frontal attack serves only to enhance the Democrats’ wholly erroneous charge of “too radical” to govern. 

Presently, government is divided. In order to stymie the president’s progressive agenda the republicans must earn a majority in the Senate and hold voting control on the House. Divisiveness is the constant of differing political ideology; respective of which party represents the majority there will always be divisiveness.  If conservative values are to be implemented, the Republican Party must at a minimum attain a majority vote in congress and at a maximum win the presidency. Such an election victory is highly improbable unless the republicans unite as one voice.

The conservatives will never convert a liberal progressive to adopt conservative principles. Instead, via the rule of law, republican leadership must compel and mandate policies that are innately conservative and distinctively constitutional. This is an achievement permissioned only by decisively winning a national election. A Republican Party arguing over the tactics but agreeing in the principle will only serve to elect a progressive. Remembering that elections are held every two and four years, this is the time for political parties to express their opinions, engage in the counter argument of how they would do it, and answer the questions of various what-ifs.  

Persuasion is the means and consensus the goal. For conservatives to win (a national election), office-seekers must encourage and interest the indifferent and disinterested. The independent-minded and female voter specifically, the young, the disadvantaged, and the minorities within our society require attention as well as personal consultation. It is these constituents (at least 33%) that must embrace the possibility of voting for a conservative government.

Righteousness is a valorous trait. But in itself, without a majority of votes in congress and with Obama as chief executive, righteousness is an ill-afforded vanity. The idea of not being conservative enough is a schism the liberal progress can heartily endorse.





IS THERE SUCH A FACT AS AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM?

13 12 2013

Authored by William Robert Barber

The apologue of exceptionalism… as I envision. Note, I have no empirical evidence that my interpretive was the actual so perhaps I should confess that the following is my penny’s worth of what I’d wish and probably not exactly what it was…

The ethos of American exceptionalism was created in 1776 and took substantive form in 1789; the government was founded on the a priori belief that individual liberty is the optimal reality of man’s inalienable right to live free. It was also understood, as expressed in the spirit and explicitness of subsequent documents that the ceding of individual freedoms is tolerable but only if deemed in the interest of thwarting a physical threat or if congress, after acknowledging in good faith the concerns of the minority, procedurally agrees that such ceding of freedoms is necessitous.

The ceding of individual freedoms to government authority was considered a solemn act. Therefore, in unison with ceding these freedoms, was an automated caveat: Less a declared war, regardless of the particular necessity, individual liberty may not be trumped, disregarded, or denigrated. Before the concept or ideal of “exceptionalism” was defined as a sense of being qualitatively different from other nations, Americanism obliged the measures of their government to be limited and targeted in scope, spirit, and means; otherwise, thought the descendants of Washington, the tenaciousness of freedom would be at risk of perverse revision or outright rescission.

Well, so much for my vision of the improbable… in fact:

Contrary to constitutional intent the three branches of government (since the election of 1800) have consistently acted to enrich and empower the domination of the federal government while cavalierly diminishing the veracity of individual liberty. Indisputably, the federal government has proven to be limitless in scope and insatiable in appetite — withstanding this blatant truism — the electorate have (by voting or not) endorsed legislation to enhance the coercive latitude and longitude of centralized authority. I do believe that individual liberty has been consistently traded for the deceptive perception of economic security, the comfort of disengagement from civic responsibility, and the myth that democracy is self-sustaining.  

Although my vision of American exceptionalism is far more wish then reality, “hope runs eternal;” but, hope is hopelessly besieged by the common-to-human forces of self-interest, greed, and compulsory behavioral disorders. If that is not sufficient there is the legacy of presidents’ Wilson, FDR, Eisenhower, Nixon, Johnson, Bush, and the frothy overzealous current administration of President Obama wherein his liberal progressive compatriots are fixated and insistent on instituting the statist-tenets of progressivisms. There is the ordinary politically inspirational theme that tunes to every (withstanding political allegiance) administration; all and sundry juxtapose fairness, ever encroaching collectivism, and justice for all as the equivalency of liberty. The republic has, in the interest of winning the chariot race,  given way to the placation of the voting constituency for favors and promises; fraudulent inducement (i.e. the ACA) has passed for policy; distortions of fact, for a politician, is considered the acceptable norm.    

For purely political incentives laws of the land is rendered “at the discretion of the executive branch; the capricious, contrarian, and political correctness have deleted the traditional values akin to American sensibility. Governing under the character of prudence and due diligence is considered outrageous possibly racist. For the Obama progressives winning an election is the predominate goal; therefore, (as exampled by specific union demands) facilitating the needs of a particular special interest is justified because for President Obama the means are always subordinate to the attainment of the ideological result.

Liberal progressives via the outsmarting of Republicans on talking points, tactics of economic-class divisiveness, advantaging the rules of the Senate, have convinced the media to prism their reporting from a liberal-biased visual. Finally, in a manner Machiavelli could have designed, no one, it is humanly impossible for anyone, to understand the laws of the land. Interestingly, such ambiguity facilitates the providence of the regulators and certainly allows the president to suggest that insurance is complicated, the bureaucracy is unyieldingly dense, and the process of implementation is difficult.

Our country for reasons digested as necessary America has abandoned the idea that the a priori of a righteous government is individual liberty. That without a policy of stringent adherence to the vales of individual liberty the viability of freedom is at risk of expulsion. In my view American exceptionalism, like King Arthur, Roland, and all of the heroic dragon slayers is a myth. As Benjamin Franklin was credited with saying to a passerby when questioned, “What kind of government do we have?” Franklin responded, “A republic, madam — if you can keep it.”

We have lost our republic. We only have vestiges of what once was…





THE OBAMA LEGACY

4 12 2013

Authored by William Robert Barber

The policy actions enacted by those of the progressive political persuasion since 2008 are a perfect example of C. S. Lewis’ (1948) “God in the Dock;” wherein he states that a tyranny, sincerely exercised for the good of its victims, may be the most oppressive.

It much easier for me to sensibly “pass through” the ill effects of the political, financial, economic, and social implications of the ObamaCare law by yielding to the president and his allies their ‘sincerity of the theoretical;’ in other words, they actually thought that legislatively creating an upheaval of the nation’s healthcare system was in the nation’s best interest. But then I think sincerity for these progressives was more a peripheral: their mainstay was to transform an ideological belief into law. Withstanding, or should I conclude, because of their zealous aspiration to legislate a law founded on a longstanding liberal-progressive theoretical ideal (affordable healthcare for all), the administration focused on ‘securing the votes’ by whatever means available. In doing so, the president and his Democratic cohorts initiated three gargantuan mistakes: the first, passing the Affordable Care Act without Republican support; the second, creating a monstrosity of a law that no one understood nor could interpret into function; and thirdly, allowing the unfiltered, live, and unedited dissemination of governmental incompetence a forum for national exhibition.  

The president, a man revered as a highly intelligent politician, an achiever extraordinaire, a man of respect and uncanny political insight — this is the very man that knowingly lied to the American people in order to achieve his healthcare legislation. He purposefully spouted an array of falsities, all designed specifically to fraudulently induce his fellow democrats and the American people to endorse ObamaCare.  

Well, that’s old news… but coming into form are the results of the Affordable Care Act’s enactment. With the law’s gradual implementation, the theoretical is briskly moving into the actual. Consequently, the fog of the theoretical is advancing into the visually penetrable and the heretofore indistinguishable is taking form. It is now understood that the real intent of President Obama and his liberal-progressives was not to simply upend the present of healthcare in America but to utilize the law as cutlery for the redistribution of wealth as well as a means to enhance the power of the federal government.

Since 1913 proponents of utilizing taxation as a means to achieve an ideological end have strived to embed principles of justification for steadfastly taking (via taxation) more and even more of an individual’s earned income. The growing encroachment of government power coincided with the largeness of government and the increased percentage of variable government imposed taxes and fees. The liberal progressives consider taxation as a means of alleviating any and all social or economic evils; the president is the 100 year reincarnation of President Wilson. He is the lead dog in this socialistic endeavor. Wealth redistribution via the utilization of aggressive taxation coupled with excessive though (at the president’s behest) discretionary regulatory interpretation of statutory laws are the means employed to optimize a political ideological end.

For the president thus far lies, distortion of facts, exaggerations of impediments, and the overt displacement of reality has won him two elections… of course there is the challenge of the 2014 midterms.