How America Became FUBAR

If there is one thing that Hollywood seems to like it is serial movies. By that I mean films that have the same leading character, or cast of leading characters, over and over again. For instance, how many Friday the 13th films did Hollywood churn out; ten or eleven? Then there were the Predator and Alien films, not to mention all the Star Wars movies that are always big box office draws. But all these have one thing in common; they are a continuation of a single storyline centering around one character or group of characters.

Another thing Hollywood seems to like doing is remakes. For instance Bruce Willis recently remade the Charles Bronson classic Death Wish. Then of course there was the remake of a Star is Born, this time starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga instead of Streisand and Kristofferson. Now Disney is in the process or remaking all their classic cartoon films with real life characters; such as the new Aladdin, Lion King and Mulan films.

But if I were to ask you which character has seen the most remakes, the most different interpretations, who do you think it would be? Why it’s Robin Hood, that classic story of the hero who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Just off the top of my head I know that Errol Flynn, Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, and now Taron Egerton have played the title role in remakes of the Robin Hood Story.

Now I don’t know if Robin Hood, or Robin of Loxley, ever existed, but the stories about him remain a fixture in British folklore. I do know that the Russell Crowe adaptation of the film is loosely based on historical truth. History is clear on the fact that there was a King John, and that at some point in his rein he was forced to agree to the Magna Carta to establish peace between the Crown and a group of rebel barons. So at least in the Russell Crowe version of Robin Hood there is some semblance of fact; even though in the film King John refuses to adopt the charter of rights and declares Robin of Loxley to be an outlaw, to be hunted until his body is carrion for foxes and crows.

But there is one scene in that particular version of the film that I would like to take a moment discussing. It comes when Robin Longstride assumes the identity of Robert Loxley and is told by Sir Walter Loxley a bit about his own past. During this conversation Sir Walter tells Robin that Kings have as much need for their subjects as the subjects have need of a King.

I never really gave that much thought, but for some reason, during the night while I slept, my mind must have recalled that particular scene and when I awoke this morning a whole new train of thought regarding it had developed. That symbiotic relationship between governed and those who govern is not isolated to the Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Robin Hood, it can also be found in the Hunger Games films when President Snow tells the people that they provide the necessary materials to make the country run, while the Capital provides the law and order that keeps the country stable; or words to that effect.

Now I have no idea whether or not this is a subtle attempt by Hollywood to imply that we need government in our lives, but it led me to ponder the following question; “Who needs who?” By that I mean, does government need us or do we need government?

If you were to actually think about it, there isn’t a thing that government provides you with that you are not capable of providing for yourself; at least as it concerns your daily lives and existence. On the other hand, we provide government with everything it needs to survive. Without us there would be no one to govern, no one to filch the wealth of to pay for the programs and wars it initiates. So when it all boils down to it, government needs us a whole lot more than we need it.

I don’t think people really understand how much power that gives them. Think about it, there are 2 positions in the Executive Branch; the President and Vice-President; there are 100 Senators, 435 members of the House, and 9 Supreme Court Justices; totaling 546 people. What is the current population of this country, somewhere in the vicinity of 320 million? We vastly outnumber them, and even if they have bigger guns than we do, what could they do if every single one of us simply refused to give our consent to their continued existence? What if every one of us stopped paying taxes to them; how long before they would starve and die?

You see, government does not produce anything, it only consumes. No matter what government hands out in the form of aid, benefits, grants, or charitable donations, it first has to take from the people through taxes. What do you think would happen to government if that river of money suddenly dried up? What do you think government could do if it passed a law telling us we must do something, and 327 million people turned around and told Uncle Sam…NO!

That’s the whole thing about government, even though there is always that threat of violence and force behind the laws they pass, the whole basis of our system of government supposedly rests upon the consent of the governed…meaning we the people. If we, in unison, revoked that consent, what the hell could they do about it? They could not kill or arrest us all; who would they govern and tax if they did?

This whole idea of consent of the governed rests upon government serving the purpose it was designed to serve. Now this leads to another aspect altogether; one which I don’t want to spend too much time addressing. That aspect is that, I believe, as do many others, that government IS serving the purpose it was designed to; that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the government we have today; it IS doing exactly what those who drafted the Constitution wanted government to do.

But, for the sake of this article, let’s assume that government is not adhering to the Constitution, that it is doing things that it was never intended it be allowed to do. Why do people consent to it if that is the case? I hear Republicans and Democrats alike decry the abuses of power by the other side, but when their side gets in control they go dead silent as to the same abuses of power by their people. Why is that?

What that tells me is that people are less concerned with the abuse of power; they are only concerned how that power is being used to benefit them, or do things they support. If that is the case, then there are no morals left in this country, no virtue, and we may as well sink into the cesspool of history as a nation that has failed to live up to its potential.

What do you think it was the Patriots of 1776 were fighting for; the chance to establish a powerful system of government? No, they were fighting to free themselves from a powerful system of government that had declared it had the ability to bind them in all cases whatsoever. They were fighting for liberty, the freedom from an obtrusive and oppressive government. And here we are bickering amongst ourselves over which political ideology gets to tyrannize and oppress the other. It makes me sick!

Those who risked their lives in the War for Independence did not fight for a system of government, they fought for the cause of liberty. They fought because they believed that all men were created equal with certain unalienable rights. They fought because they believed that any system of government should rest upon the consent of the governed. They fought because they believed government should exist not to subjugate and oppress them, but to better secure their unalienable rights. They fought because they felt that when a system of government no longer did the abovementioned things it was their right to shake off, alter, or abolish it.

I wish I could peer into the minds of people, I’d love to do so while I ask them to explain how they came about their particular political ideology; it would be fun to watch the synapses misfire and their thoughts become scrambled as they struggled to provide an answer to that question. You see, I don’t think most people even realize how or where they developed their particular belief systems regarding government – it certainly wasn’t from the thoughts of those who fought to establish America as a free and independent country, that’s for sure.

The thing is, at some point in people’s lives a seed must have been planted that grew to maturity, forming their current political beliefs; I just wonder what that seed was. I can’t make heads or tails out of what the Republicans stand for, except possibly for the fact that they claim to be the party of Lincoln, (not that this is a good thing mind you), and that they oppose everything the Democrats stand for. The Democrats, on the other hand, have a plethora of things from which they draw their ideology from. For instance, they utilize the methodology of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals in getting what they want, and they adhere to the tenets of Marx and Engels found in the Communist Manifesto.

I find it somewhat ironic though that the Republicans call themselves the Party of Lincoln, yet Karl Marx himself wrote a letter congratulating Lincoln on his re-election and his war for the working class people of America. Lincoln has been praised by other communist leaders as well; with Gorbachev invoking the name of Lincoln for his efforts in Russia and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang also telling President Obama that as one who lauded Lincoln he ought to be supportive of China’s opposition to the Dali Lama and Tibet’s quest for independence.

So here we have Communist leaders praising Lincoln, who in turn is heralded as the man who established Republican Party Principles, yet which party purportedly opposes the Socialist/Communist ideology of the Democratic Party. It’s a crazy world we live in, let me tell you.

It all boils down to one simple question; whose philosophy or ideology forms the basis for your own political beliefs? Do you follow the ideology of party members such as a Bush or an Obama, or do you follow the ideology of those who originally established America as an independent country?

People will tell you that they admire, respect and cherish our founding documents; but how many of those who say these things have actually taken the time to study those documents? People will tell you that they admire and honor those who established America as a free and independent country, yet how many of those same people have ever delved into what made men like Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, and Patrick Henry tick; what formed the basis of THEIR belief systems.

Thomas Jefferson, as the primary author of our Declaration of Independence, could very well be said to have laid the foundation upon which our system of government should have been built. It was he who laid out the principles which government should serve and the power held by the people. It was he who laid out the grievances against the government they were seeking independence from. It should make perfect sense then for those who wish to understand how and why our system got so FUBAR, (F*cked Up Beyond All Repair), that we look to Jefferson for an answer as to how things should have been.

The sum of Jefferson’s ideology can be found in something he said in his first Inaugural Address, “…a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”
Now tell me, does that even remotely resemble the government we live under today?

But Jefferson had an enemy in the government in the form of Alexander Hamilton; with Hamilton serving as George Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury while Jefferson served as Secretary of State. On one instance Hamilton and John Adams were called upon to dine at Monticello, (Jefferson’s home) at the behest of President Washington. During the evening Hamilton enquired of Jefferson whose portraits hung upon the wall. Jefferson replied to Hamilton that they were his trinity of the three greatest men the world had ever produced; Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Francis Bacon and John Locke. Hamilton then responded that the greatest man the world had ever produced was Julius Caesar; a dictator.

That story can be verified if you wish if you Google Jefferson’s letter to Benjamin Rush, dated January 16, 1811…not that I expect anyone to search that letter out; and maybe that’s part of why our country is so FUBAR right now; people simply refuse to seek out the past.

But that one instant in our past offers a glimpse into the crossroads our country was at in its earliest years under our newly ratified Constitution. We could have taken the Jeffersonian path of limited government and maximum liberty, or we could have taken the path offered by Hamilton, a path to an all powerful government designed to sustain, support, and benefit business and banking interests.

This is what Jefferson himself thought of Hamilton, taken from a letter Jefferson wrote to Albert Gallatin, “In order that he might have the entire government of his [political] machine, determined so to complicate it that neither the President nor Congress should be able to understand it or control him. He succeeded in doing this, not only beyond their reach, but so that at length he could not unravel it himself.

He gave to the debt in the first instance, in funding it, the most artificial and mysterious form he could devise. He then molded up his appropriations of a number of scraps and remnants, many of which are nothing at all, and applied them to different objects in reversion and remainder until the whole system was involved in impenetrable fog; and while he was giving himself the airs of providing for the payment of the debt, he left himself free to add to it continually, as he did, in fact, instead of paying it.” Jefferson then went on to say, “We can pay off his debts in 15 years but we can never get rid of his financial system.”

Sound familiar? The only difference between now and then is that Jefferson could have paid off Hamilton’s debt in 15 years; our debt is un-payable; sitting at an astronomical $22 TRILLION.

Political columnist George Will once wrote, “There is an elegant memorial in Washington to Jefferson, but none to Hamilton. However, if you seek Hamilton’s monument, look around. You are living in it. We honor Jefferson, but live in Hamilton’s country, a mighty industrial nation with a strong central government.”

Alexander Hamilton has been praised of late in a Broadway Play, there are many books written explaining how his genius helped America grow into the great industrial giant that it is, and how his vision was what made America great. Hamilton is praised by both Republicans and Democrats; similar to how Lincoln is praised by both sides as well.

I find it both sad and somewhat funny that the men who helped destroy what the patriots of 76 fought for are idolized by the people, while those who established the principles this country was supposed to stand for are relegated to ridiculous caricatures in ads designed to sell cars on July 4th.

People today have become interested in their family history, with websites like genealogy dot come and 23 and me offering services to help people connect with their past. Yet with all this interest in their past they show a serious lack of concern for the past of their country; how it became what it has become; the evolution from a country founded upon liberty to one which deprives the people of their liberty.

I wonder though, if people were to trace their political beliefs back to their origin, where would they end up? Would they find the father of their belief system to be Abraham Lincoln…Alexander Hamilton? Or, would they trace their beliefs back to Jefferson, and through him to men like Locke, Bacon, Newton, and possibly men like Rousseau; whose Social Contract is strikingly similar in nature to the writings of Locke.

All I know is that the belief system of 99.9% of the people in this country is nothing close to the belief systems held by men like Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams; for if it were they would not be voting; they’d be out in the streets with guns fighting against our current system of government.

And maybe that right there explains all you need to know about what is wrong with America today…

About Br'er Rabbit

I'm just one person out of millions of others. The only thing different about me is that I don't walk around with my head up my ass.
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