I recall watching, with a smidgeon of disgust I might add, the throngs of people who went to those Obama campaign speeches; gazing up at him with tears in their eyes as if he were the Messiah himself. It reminded me of the throngs of adoring fans that showed up whenever the Beatles made an appearance after making their debut on the Ed Sullivan Show back in 1964.
I recall having numerous arguments with people about Obama because I refused to support him for President. I was told I was racist, that I wasn’t giving him a chance because he hadn’t even been elected yet. I could not convince people that the skin color of Barack Obama made no difference in my decision not to support him; that my decision was based upon what he stood for, not the level of pigmentation in his skin.
Although the race card hasn’t come into play this time around, I am getting the same argument from those on the political right because of my steadfast refusal to throw my lot into the Make America Great Train driven by Donald Trump.
I also recall the hostility from the left on day one of Trump’s presidency; how protestors gave speeches near the inauguration ceremony; lambasting the President-elect; saying he wasn’t their president. I recall the hostility towards anyone who wore Trump of MAGA attire which often led to physical attacks against Trump Supporters. Although I can’t recall who said it, I clearly remember hearing that there will be payback for electing Trump from the left once they gain control of the Oval Office again.
Although most of the unabashed hatred is coming from the left towards any candidate that opposes their agenda, I can foresee a time when the mainstream political right in this country becomes fed up with all the hostility directed towards them and begins fighting back. Should that ever happen I believe it will make the localized rioting we have seen in the past look like a Love-Fest in comparison.
I wonder, have any of you ever split firewood by using a maul? A maul is a wedged shaped chunk of metal that is driven down into the wood which eventually splits it into pieces. I see the same principle being applied in American politics today with external beliefs and ideologies driving Americans further and further apart.
Similar events transpired in America’s history between the years 1830-1860; ultimately leading to what you call the Civil War but in reality was one segment of the country seeking independence from a government that was oppressing them. While you may believe that the Civil War was fought solely over slavery, I’d be willing to bet that you haven’t researched the period of American History known as the Nullification Crisis; when high tariffs imposed upon the South almost led to South Carolina seceding from the Union…and this was in the 1830’s; three decades BEFORE the Civil War.
I can see the same thing happening now; only this time it won’t be one portion of the country fighting against the other, it will be friends and family, neighbors and co-workers fighting each other along political and ideological lines that have ripped this country asunder into tiny warring factions. Should that time ever come I fear the only thing that could restore peace in this country is for the government to institute martial law and place troops in the cities to maintain order; which is something I believe to be their end game anyway as it would deprive us of what little freedom we have left after years, if not decades, attacks against our unalienable rights.
If I were to ask you what country you live in, how would you respond? I’m certain some of you would say the United States of America, or USA. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what the word united means? Googling the word united I find that the definition is: joined together politically, for a common purpose, or by common feelings. If that is the case, then how can anyone say that America is still united when we are always at odd with each other over a myriad list of political beliefs and ideologies?
But the word united could mean something else; something people haven’t given much thought to. In times of old when the ancient empires sought to dominate the world as they knew it, they sought to impose their vision of how people should live upon those they conquered. The Romans imposed Roman Law upon their conquered territories, as did the Turks, the Persians, and all those who sought to conquer and rule over others. Could, therefore, the word united also imply a people living under the rule of a government without the ability to live according to the dictates of their hearts?
Isn’t that what liberty is all about; living your life as you see fit without undue and unjust control over your actions? Yet today America is divided along political and ideological lines; hardly united if you ask me. People do not care about liberty as much as they care about whether their party is in control of the entity known as government; which only seeks to impose its version of tyranny upon the people it governs.
Does it really matter if we are tyrannized to support and benefit big business and Wall Street or if we are tyrannized to benefit small special interest groups like those supporting immigration reform or gay rights? Tyranny is tyranny; it does not matter if it comes dressed in blue or red, or under the guise of Republican or Democratic leadership.
Anytime anyone; be it an individual or a group, seeks to impose their views upon others tyranny exists. It doesn’t matter if you claim the moral high ground when you impose your views upon others, it is still depriving others of the freedom of choice. That’s the one thing people on both sides of the political spectrum seem unable to grasp. For instance, I don’t care if you are taking my tax dollars and sending it overseas in the form of foreign aid, if you are using it to bail out Wall Street Bankers, or if you are using it to fund programs to subsidize those in need; you are depriving me of the right to fully enjoy the fruits of my labor. It doesn’t matter if you believe that the deprivation of a constitutionally protected right benefits the overall public safety, you are still in violation of the fundamental rights of those who have done nothing wrong other than to be on the wrong side of an ideological war.
When our Constitution was being argued over in the various States Assemblies there were a series of articles published in the New York newspapers in support of its ratification. These articles came to be known as the Federalist Papers. In Federalist 2, written by John Jay, we read, “With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people–a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence.”
That is my definition of united; a people fighting side by side, with common beliefs regarding liberty and independence. There were those living at the time who argued strenuously against the ratification of the Constitution; fearing that it would lead to a consolidation of the States into a single entity under a centralized form of government thereby depriving the States, and the people, of the liberty they had so recently obtained.
These opponents to the Constitution, known as anti-Federalists, warned of the dangers to liberty that this proposed system of government would pose. Those on the other side, the Federalists, promised that liberty would remain intact under this new system of government. I wonder, which side of the argument would you say has proven to be more valid?
Patrick Henry warned his fellow Virginians that, “You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured; for liberty ought to be the direct end of your Government.”
He then went on to say, “Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings-give us that precious jewel, and you may take every thing else: But I am fearful I have lived long enough to become an fellow: Perhaps an invincible attachment to the dearest rights of man, may, in these refined, enlightened days, be deemed old fashioned: If so, I am contented to be so: I say, the time has been when every pore of my heart beat for American liberty, and which, I believe, had a counterpart in the breast of every true American.”
If Henry said that about his fellow countrymen in 1788 I wonder what he would say about the people living in America in 2016 as it pertains to their love of liberty? Did you know that John Adams, in a letter to his wife Abigail, gave posterity a warning regarding his valiant efforts to achieve independence for the Colonies, “Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.”
Although Adams, as President, sought to undermine that freedom by signing the Alien and Sedition Acts, I am willing to bet that he has long since kept his promise to repent his efforts to obtain freedom for us; I’m just wondering when he did it. You see, from the moment our government went into operation it began the process of consolidation; seeking first to undermine State authority, then going after the liberty of the people government was supposed to protect.
Alexander Hamilton, and his cronies, played a large role in instituting the belief of implied powers in our Constitution. Instead of a document laying out the specific and limited powers as explained by James Madison in Federalist 45, Hamilton believed that there were hidden and implied powers hinted at within that document, and that for our government to serve its true purpose those hidden and implied powers must be exploited to the fullest extent.
That was the beginning of the end for America and for liberty; and it has only gotten worse as time has passed. Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Nathaniel Macon bemoaned the progression he saw occurring, “Our government is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit, by consolidation first, and then corruption…”
Many of our Founders warned us of the dangers of political parties, or factions as they often called them. In his Farewell Address George Washington stated, “Let me … warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party.”
John Adams, in a letter to Jonathan Jackson, wrote, “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”
Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Francis Hopkinson wrote, “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.”
And in Federalist 14 James Madison warned of the dangers should Americans succumb to the evils of political parties, “Hearken not to the unnatural voice which tells you that the people of America, knit together as they are by so many cords of affection, can no longer live together as members of the same family; can no longer continue the mutual guardians of their mutual happiness…. No, my countrymen, shut your ears against this unhallowed language. Shut your hearts against the poison which it conveys; the kindred blood which flows in the veins of American citizens, the mingled blood which they have shed in defense of their sacred rights, consecrate their Union, and excite horror at the idea of their becoming aliens, rivals, enemies.”
Yet try telling anyone today who is politically active that their party’s ideology goes against all that America was founded upon and you will be called all manner of names; and this is equally true whether you oppose the Republicans or the Democrats. Defending the Constitution, as it was originally promised to operate and defending the Bill of Rights as inviolate are now considered to be out of date, old fashioned, and even treasonous.
No, America is no longer the UNITED States of America, we are petty little squabbling fools who argue over the smallest of issues while disregarding the purpose for which our government was instituted to serve; the preservation of our liberty.
It is my fear that the lines of division in this country cannot be repaired, that liberty can once again be the uniting common denominator in all political discussions. Today people are aligned on sides; each seeking to use the coercive power of government to push their particular agendas at the cost of the freedom government was supposed to secure for all.
The anger and animosity that I see whenever people discuss politics only seeks to reinforce my belief that another civil war is on the horizon. The last civil war we had saw the destruction of States rights with the States becoming mere appendages to the federal government. I fear the next one will see the people become absolute slaves to their government; that is if there is anything left of this country after it is over.
I hate to sound gloomy and be a doomsayer, but that is the cost America is going to pay for decades, if not centuries of ignorance and apathy towards the limited power and purpose for which our system of government was established. Maybe Tytler was right, maybe “Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.”
If so, then maybe my words are not meant to be read by those living today. Maybe the things I am saying are meant to be a warning should the pendulum ever swing back from bondage to freedom. In that case, I wish those in the future the best of luck, and do not repeat the errors made by your ancestors…