Without freedom, only willing slaves and their masters can be “happy.”
Here is an excellent article by Daniel Greenfield reprinted at PA Pundits – International. He contends,
What made the American Revolution unique was that its cause was not the mere transfer of power from one ruler to another, or one system to another, but a fundamental transformation of the nature of rule. Every revolution claims to be carried out in the name of the people, but it’s never the people who end up running things. [Emphasis added.]
Now, the people no longer run things in the United States. Whether we will end up doing so is solely up to us and to our successors.
The Declaration of Independence did more than talk about the rights of the people. It placed the people at the center of the nation and its government, not as an undifferentiated mass to be harnessed for whatever propaganda purposes they might be good for, but as individuals with hopes and dreams. [Emphasis added.]
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
That is not merely some bland reference to a mass of people. There is no collective here, only the individual. The greater good of independence is not some system that will meet with the approval of the mass, but that will make it possible for the individual, each individual, to live a free life, not a life lived purely for the good of the mass, but for his own sake. [Emphasis added.]
There has been much change since the American Revolution and now “our” Government has become a major enemy of our freedom. We were told by former Speaker Pelosi to celebrate ObamaCare on the Fourth of July.
“As we observe the Fourth of July, [we remember that] our Founders talked about the Declaration of Independence guaranteeing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—that is what this is all about,” she said.
In reality, Pelosi could not be more wrong about what the Founders meant by “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Brave San Fran Nan, by offering her Orwellian — but increasingly common from the governing classes — characterization of independence tells us that we, childish creatures that we are and must remain,
shall will be happy to eat the spinach for which we (or others) are required to pay regardless of our (or their) desires. How could we know what we want and need? That’s up to the other, smarter, people selected to govern us.
Ms. Pelosi’s attitude parallels what Victor Davis Hanson refers to as elite liberal apartheid. Aside from my preference in such contexts for the descriptor “librul” to “liberal,” I agree with him. Here are the first and last paragraphs of his article. Much excellent thought resides between the two.
One of the strangest things about the modern progression in liberal thought is its increasing comfort with elitism and high style. Over the last 30 years, the enjoyment of refined tastes, both material and psychological, has become a hallmark of liberalism — hand in glove with the art of professional altruism, so necessary to the guilt-free enjoyment of the good life. Take most any contemporary issue, and the theme of elite progressivism predominates. [Emphasis added.]
. . . .
Modern liberalism, among other things, is a psychological state, in which very-well-off Americans find ways through their income and privilege to be exempt from the ramifications of their own ideologies, while adopting causes and pets that exempt them from guilt over their own status and limitless opportunities. Judging by their concrete actions, they are indifferent to the poor whom they romanticize at a safe distance. In short, voting for larger government and subsidies is seen as a necessary cost of being a reactionary, liberal elite. [Emphasis added]
Please read VDH’s article. It deals at length with the problem emphasized above.
It seems likely that substantially less than a majority of “we the people” of the United States are pleased with the prescriptions for “independence” of San Fran Nan and the “elite liberal apartheid” group which she represents. According to last week’s Rasmussen polls,
Eighty-one percent (81%) believe “all men are created equal.” Ninety-two percent (92%) agree that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Seventy-two percent (72%) believe “governments derive their only just powers from the consent of the governed.”
But just 25% of voters think the federal government today has that consent. [Emphasis added.]
More Americans than ever (63%) think a government that is too powerful is a bigger danger in the world today than one that is not powerful enough.
Thirty-eight percent (38%) believe the U.S. Constitution doesn’t put enough restrictions on what government can do. Still, 56% think the foundational document shouldn’t be tampered with, and another 33% believe it needs only minor changing.
The Constitution does put ample “restrictions on what government” is authorized to do. However, what Government can do and what it does are different matters, as we have seen increasingly. No Constitution — regardless of how well written — can make Government abide by it; it cannot be self-enforcing. In the final analysis, enforcement is the responsibility of the voters.
To the degree that “we the people” are apathetic the situation will continue to deteriorate, perhaps irreparably. In 2012 many who could have helped the nation to avoid another four years of President Obama didn’t. Although a good guy who would probably be a desirable neighbor, Governor Romney was in other respects a greatly flawed candidate. I wrote about some of his flaws here and asked whether he was an Edsel candidate here. Aside from never having been or ever claimed to be an automobile, he was in many respects an Edsel.
The Edsel was introduced amid considerable publicity on “E Day”—September 4, 1957. It was also promoted by a top-rated television special, The Edsel Show, on October 13, but the promotional effort was not enough to counter the adverse initial public reaction to the car’s styling and conventional build. For months, Ford had been telling the industry press that it “knew” (through its market research) that there would be great demand for the vehicle. Ford also insisted that, in the Edsel, it had built exactly the “entirely new kind of car” that Ford had been leading the buying public to expect through its pre-introduction publicity campaign for the car. In reality, however, the Edsel shared its engineering and bodywork with other Ford models, and the apparent similarities were glaring from the perspective of a new car buyer from the moment he (or more rarely, she) viewed the vehicle in person and up close in a new car showroom. [Emphasis added.]
Half a century later, in 2007, the Edsel was proclaimed the twelfth worst car in American history.
That’s why we’re all here, right? To celebrate E Day, the date 50 years ago when Ford took one of the autodom’s most hilarious pratfalls. But why? It really wasn’t that bad a car. True, the car was kind of homely, fuel thirsty and too expensive, particularly at the outset of the late ’50s recession. But what else? It was the first victim of Madison Avenue hyper-hype. Ford’s marketing mavens had led the public to expect some plutonium-powered, pancake-making wondercar; what they got was a Mercury. Cultural critics speculated that the car was a flop because the vertical grill looked like a vagina. Maybe. America in the ’50s was certainly phobic about the female business. How did the Edsel come to be synonymous with failure? All of the above, consolidated into an irrational groupthink and pressurized by a joyously catty media.
It did not take losing candidate Romney even close to that long to achieve similar recognition.
Once he became the Republican nominee, and the only other option was the reelection of President Obama, I voted for Governor Romney with no enthusiasm whatever, agreeing with his bumper sticker:
That Governor Romney, with all of his flaws, would have been a far better President than The Won
for whom we had been waiting with whom we are now stuck apparently was not sufficient to convince enough to vote against President Obama. Next time — and there may be few “next times” for the nation to recover — we need a much better candidate. Who that might be? I don’t know yet. Maybe Dr. Carson would be our best choice, maybe someone else would be even better.
We should remember and adopt the Buckley Rule — “nominate the most conservative candidate who is electable” — and then work like demons whose tails are afire to get him elected. Unlikely to carry heavily librul districts, with determined conservative support it will not be necessary to do so. Under President Obama, and any likely Democrat Party candidate (Mrs. Clinton, for example) our nation will continue to decline economically, to become increasingly racist and in other respects more divided at home while she declines militarily and in every other respect abroad. Those trends have to be taken into account in selecting a conservative candidate who can make the most of them while campaigning and then be effective in changing course for the better when elected. Whether that happens is, and has to be, up to us.
I posted the article at Free Republic, and this excellent comment there by Defiant is reprinted here with his permission.
What made the American Revolution unique was that its cause was not the mere transfer of power from one ruler to another, or one system to another, but a fundamental transformation of the nature of rule. Every revolution claims to be carried out in the name of the people, but it’s never the people who end up running things.
Very true. In the entirety of human history, the only people who were ever truly free were those who had that condition naturally. They were people who lived as hunter gatherers, who learned agriculture and then gathered in small bands and formed into clans and then into tribes, and had numbered, at the most, in the tens of thousands before some asswipe with a control complex decided that he wanted to be in charge of everyone’s lives. And so men took up arms and fought to defend their freedom to live their own lives in their own village and region, and sometimes kept it for a few centuries, as in Northern Europe when faced with Roman might. But when they lost, or when they organized into larger entities in order to defeat a common foe, they became a subject of someone else. And it was never the same again, ever.
Until 1776. Then, a people who had become accustomed to the natural state of freedom, being an ocean away from their leaders, and more or less on their own, chafed at the notion of being brought back into line, becoming a tightly controlled outpost of a distant king. They had had a taste of what it felt like to keep governance local, to be free to live your own life and not have to be a subject of any man or so-called king. And they liked it, they did not want it to change.
The Greeks didn’t get to go back to their nation states and democratic Athens. The Celts and Germanic tribes never had a chance to splinter into tiny, small tribes free from suzerainty. The Persians, Arabs, Berbers and Egyptians probably barely remembered what it was to be free, having been part of this or that empire for so many millenia. But the Americans fleeing Europe for its freedom and its opportunities, got the chance to experience it. Combined with their advanced technology and a strong moral code, they made the land prosper, and only needed themselves and their neighbors to take care of matters of governance. They didn’t need the king to tell them how to defend themselves, to build roads to lay out towns, how to appoint their leaders. They came together and did it themselves.
The Revolution was ultimately a statement that those people liked how they were running things, and wanted to keep things as they were. They didn’t mind being part of the British Empire, if the British Empire would stay out of their affairs, But it refused to do that, and so they fought, to leave a Kings grasp and deliver themselves to their own care. It had never happened before, and so, we, 237 years later, have no experience with how it feels when it ends. But history has seen it happen many times, from the Greeks and the end of their city states, to the Romans and the end of their republic, the Anglo Saxon kings and their conquest by foreign kings, to the Weimar Republic of more recent history. History has far fewer instances of a free people regaining their freedom after losing it. The only ones that come to mind are those that became free in the wake of the American revolution, through its example or by force of its arms. Europe in the 19th century, parts of the third world after WW2, the Soviet bloc after the cold war. Many of those are backsliding.
The tyrant who would subjugate a free and proud people will have to be more evil and vicious than the one who would rule a cowed and submissive class of serfs. It will take the most vicious of persons to complete the job against the most proud of free men. Obama is up to the task.