Reason to Fear

Discussion in 'Politics' started by PoliticalChic, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    What has happened to our republic?

    How is it that fully half of our citizenry is willing to sign on to a philosophy alien to that of the Founders?


    The following, a speech by the president of Hillsdale College, suggests the truth of James Madison’s statement, “Education is the true foundation of civil liberty.”

    1”[T]he Declaration of Independence as the greatest thing of its kind. The signers of the Declaration were risking their lives…the first 15 lines of the Declaration of Independence…[includes] the idea of human equality, the idea that it does not matter what race or what family you come from, it only matters what you do—which has been the source of our greatest struggles in an attempt to live up to it. "When in the course of human events"—that means not our time, but any time—"it becomes necessary for one people"—that means not our people, but any people—and then this sentence goes on to speak of the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," laws true always and everywhere.”


    2. “Understood comprehensively, the Declaration points us to an …[understanding]…that it is unjust for one human being to rule any other without his consent. And it is this same understanding of human nature on which Madison rests his case in Federalist 51, in explaining why government is both necessary and must be limited:
    . . . [W]hat is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”


    3. “[Political leaders] have been taught to understand government as a means by which they can do marvelous things, changing society for the better in countless and unlimited ways. And in this light, the old-fashioned idea of natural law—which, as we saw in the passage from Madison, leads to the idea of limited government—becomes simply an impediment to progress.
    President Obama is an impressive man, and there is much good to be said about him. But he falls firmly into this newer school of thought. Let me read you a passage from his book, The Audacity of Hope:
    Implicit in [the Constitution's] structure, in the very idea of ordered liberty, was a rejection of absolute truth, the infallibility of any idea or ideology or theology or "ism," any tyrannical consistency that might lock future generations into a single, unalterable course. . . .”


    4.” One can see immediately the practical results of this in the health care debate. …in most of the plans that have advanced in the Congress, people making in the range of $30,000 to $80,000 a year will be forced to pay health insurance costs—or fines of about the same amount—that come to between ten and 20 percent of their income. They will be compelled to buy plans that have certain specific features. There will be an allocation of health care resources as part of the plan. And it will not be legal to buy or sell a plan that does not fit the criteria. Compare the spirit of this legislation with the spirit of the Homestead Act. There is a bullying spirit behind it. And that bullying spirit is becoming ever more pervasive.”


    5.” The means are already in place for the federal government to control what people say in elections. As a recent example of how it tries this between elections, consider that Henry Waxman—a congressman of some power and influence—sent a letter in August to the CEOs of health care companies asking for schedules of all salaries above a certain amount, and of the conferences they had been to, and how much they cost, and who was there. Was it a coincidence that he wanted this information just as a health care debate was starting up? Could it be that he was trying to intimidate and silence potential opposition? One of the many "czars"—isn't that an ominous word?—in the Obama administration is Cass Sunstein, the czar of regulatory policy. Mr. Sunstein is a very smart man—a law professor, like the president—but he is on record saying that speech rights should be redistributed by government bureaucrats much as wealth is redistributed through post-New Deal tax and entitlement policy. This is not supposed to be a country where there are czars dealing with things like speech. But it is such a country right now.”


    6. “But the principles [of this administrations] … represent a return to the idea that the American Revolution repudiated—the idea that some are equipped by nature or training to manage the lives of others without their consent… I take the president at his word when he says that he has no desire to own the automobile companies. Instead, he wants to control them—and the rest of us as well—through a regulatory apparatus overseen by czars and bureaucrats. And again, his intentions are good. What is bad is the view underlying them of what human beings are. Rather than looking on us as equal beings with a set nature—such that none of us should rule another in the way … man rules beast—our political leaders today have been taught to see us as material to be shaped and perfected by experts who have the proper technical training.”


    7. “It has been close to 100 years now that the majority of people teaching in American colleges and universities have agreed with Woodrow Wilson, one of the founders of the Progressive movement and the first to write explicitly that the Declaration of Independence is obsolete, and that we need to liberate the Constitution from the Declaration's restraints. This liberation leads to the idea of a "living Constitution," characterized by constant change or progress. Absolute truth, to the extent that ordinary people still believe in it, obstructs change or progress—which is why President Obama refers to it, in the passage I read, as tyrannical. But if change or progress is the rule, who is to determine what version of change or progress is good? And the logical problem here—as any Hillsdale student could tell you—is that once you deny the existence of absolute truth, the definition of "good" becomes subjective and the only standard of behavior is what we want—"we," in the political sense, meaning the government or bureaucracy. It reduces politics not to right, but to force. That is why there is this bullying spirit about our government today, and why so many Americans are worried.”
    https://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis/archive/issue.asp?year=2009&month=12
     
  2. blastoff
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    blastoff Undocumented Reg. User

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    How? That's an easy one. The free stuff and lack of accountabilty and responsibility of the alien philosophy is quite appealing to such nimrods.
     
  3. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    First, welcome to the board- and Happy New Year.

    The 'how' part was purely rhetorical.

    My explanation is more along these lines:

    " When schools threw out the bourgeois values that had helped to sustain Weber’s “rational tempering” of the impulse to accumulate wealth, they removed the rationality in “rational self-interest,” or, as Tocqueville put it, “self-interest rightly understood.” The new “every child is special” curriculum prompted a sharp uptick in students’ self-absorption, according to psychologists Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell in The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement. What resulted was a series of increasingly self-centered generations of young people displaying progressively more narcissistic personality traits, including a growing obsession with “material wealth and physical appearance,” the authors observe. Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments, traces the evolution of ethics from man’s nature as a social being who feels shame if he does something that he believes a neutral observer would consider improper. Modern experiments in neuroscience have tended to confirm Smith’s notion that our virtues derive from our empathy for others, therefore being self-centered is the antithesis of a sense of shame. "
    From

    Whatever Happened to the Work Ethic? by Steven Malanga, City Journal Summer 2009
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  4. blastoff
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    blastoff Undocumented Reg. User

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    PoliticalChic...thanks and a Happy New Year to you also.
     

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