We normally use the term “appeasement” to describe the sort of weakness in the face of despotic aggression that crosses a line separating mere ineptitude from the kind of eager passivity that is tantamount to surrender. Today’s Republican Party establishment, including its elected leadership and its well-placed Washington advisers and media figures, is defining a path of domestic appeasement as dangerous and as foolhardy as any ever pursued on the world stage.
To identify behavior as an act of full-scale appeasement, we must satisfy two conditions: (1) we must perceive a clear threat of despotic aggression, and (2) we must be able to isolate in the alleged appeaser’s response a position likely to encourage and enable that aggression, rather than thwart it.
Let us begin with condition 1. Barack Obama was raised by communists, has surrounded himself with radical leftists throughout his adult life, and has been spiritedly endorsed and supported by the Communist Party USA. His entire policy agenda is demonstrably anti-American, in the literal, practical sense of violating the letter and spirit of the Constitution he swore an oath to uphold. He made this explicit before his first election, promising a “fundamental transformation” of America; to transform the foundations of a nation means to replace its form of government with something new.
Obama has proceeded to pursue exactly this. He and his congressional supporters produced a health care law that directly violates the principle of individual sovereignty, as well as the Declaration’s right to life (self-preservation). He began a process of assuming control of industries and financial market functions in the name of “saving” them, and has frequently promised to broaden this practice during his second term. He has loudly proclaimed his disdain for individualism, for self-made men, for the free market, and for wealth “distribution” based on private ownership, i.e., property rights.
His administration has willingly run up hitherto unthinkable deficits, producing a national debt that can never be paid down. As Mark Steyn has detailed, and as Michele Bachmann and others have emphasized in public debate, the entire Chinese military budget is covered by American interest payments on the portion of the U.S. debt owned by the Chinese Communist Party.
Obama’s first great foreign policy act was to travel to Egypt, where he decried America’s “negative stereotyping” of Islam, and promised that he would defend Islam against alleged American injustice rooted in “fear and anger.” Throughout his first term, following through on that promise, he has praised and facilitated the Arab Spring, which has been thoroughly exposed as a euphemistic cover for the takeover of the Middle East by America’s, the West’s, and freedom’s enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood.
When heavily armed Ansar al-Sharia terrorists staged a planned assault on a U.S. consulate over the course of seven hours, Obama’s administration, knowing exactly what was happening, actively chose not to respond to the urgent pleas for help, and, presumably, the various suggested courses of action offered up by military commanders, instead willingly allowing an ambassador and three other Americans to be killed. To cover these horrifying tracks, Obama and his team fabricated a story about an out of control video protest, though they knew full well that there had been no protest whatsoever in Libya that day. In addition to the treachery of leaving the consulate unarmed and unsupported while Americans were being slowly burned out and killed, and lying about the causes of the attack in order to hide that treachery, the story they chose to fabricate, and the manner in which it was promulgated – featuring that “offensive,” “outrageous” anti-Muhammad video – actually stoked and provoked angry protests throughout the Middle East. Obama went to the Rose Garden, to the TV cameras, and to the UN, to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Many people died during the subsequent protests.
In March of this year, Obama went to Seoul, where he was infamously caught on tape pleading with Dmitri Medvedev to ask the mutual boss whom they were both pretending to outrank, Vladimir Putin, to give him wiggle room until after his “last election,” at which time he would have more “flexibility” to serve Putin’s interests regarding missile defense and other, undefined, “issues.” This, of course, is in addition to the “flexibility” he had already demonstrated for Putin early in his first term, when he abandoned missile defense agreements with Poland and the Czech Republic.
In sum, the Obama presidency is dedicated to sealing all the cracks in the leftist authoritarian regulatory state, and to demoting America internationally to the status of just another vote at the UN, so that no future election may have any substantial effect on either the post-Marxist superstructure or the foreign policy relevance of the United States. Put another way, Obama seeks to reduce America’s autonomy and self-determination in a manner analogous to that in which the federal regulatory regime has already diminished states’ rights and individual liberty.
America, having been presented with all of this, gave Obama a second term. Even if fraud is finally found to have played a decisive role in this electoral triumph, the left’s broader cultural victory is far more chilling in the long run: the number of people who voted against the most overtly anti-American administration imaginable is dwarfed by the number of eligible voters who did not bother to vote at all.
The enemy of liberty in this case is not merely a corrupt president, administration, government, or even Washington establishment. The only nation on Earth that had a well-defined set of legal principles to prevent its governing hierarchy from devolving into a vessel of mob rule has finally abandoned those principles, and embraced the ugly reality of the rest of the West. Democracy without inviolable limits on government action is entirely dependent on the rectitude and self-restraint of its population. Once the citizenry has lost its virtue, along with any sense of responsibility for the maintenance of liberty, democracy quickly becomes a hateful, envy-driven collective chant of “gimme-gimme,” in support of a cynical game of king of the hill among the entrenched factions of the governing establishment. Demagoguery, tyranny’s fertilizer, supplants statesmanship as the essence of political discourse.
As I have argued, modern civilization died on November 6. The only question left is who will ultimately determine what comes next. Despotism, dissolution, and international socialism are on the march within America, and ballot box solutions have been rendered infeasible in the short term.
And in the face of all of this, the endangered freedom-loving minority, trying to determine a course of action that might at least initiate the long, difficult task of renewing a defunct civilization, is represented on the Washington scene by self-immolators who say things like this: “I think that the election changes that. It’s pretty clear that the president was re-elected; ObamaCare is the law of the land.” (John Boehner)
And this: “It won’t kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires.” (Bill Kristol)
And this: “It’s the way of politics that you’re going to have some good years, and you’re going to have some bad years.” (Karl Rove)
And of course this: “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” (John Roberts)
And on and on, as one establishmentarian after another tries to absolve himself of any responsibility for the collapse of America by claiming that this is just one of those inevitable “bad years” in politics as usual, in which everyone has to accept quietly that the systematic annihilation of the right to life, freedom of religion, and the right to the use and disposal of one’s freely earned property is “the law of the land” now, and that, after all, dissolving the constitutional republic “won’t kill the country.”
I guess it depends what you mean by “the country.” If you mean the piece of land upon which certain people live who happen to be called “Americans,” then yes, of course the country will still technically exist even after it has become a rudderless banana republic ruled by the whims of whichever corrupt faction happens to have won this year’s mock, fraud-infested election. On this standard, the mullahs haven’t “killed” Iran, and Hugo Chavez isn’t “killing” Venezuela.
“ObamaCare is the law of the land,” says the highest ranking elected Republican in Washington. No, the U.S. Constitution is (or was) the law of the land. ObamaCare, should it be allowed to stand, as Boehner says it must, directly contradicts and violates the Constitution on various fronts. If it is the law of the land, then the Constitution is not. One cannot have both. To defer to the one is to reject the other. In the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest-ranking Republican appointee, the chief justice, has already certified Boehner’s judgment.
In 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain proudly declared “peace for our time,” while holding up a copy of the Munich Agreement he had just co-signed with Hitler. Chamberlain’s name has come to be almost synonymous with the word “appeasement,” and his declaration of peace an infamous laughing stock.
Not to be neglected, however, is just what Chamberlain’s act of foolishness and cowardice consisted of. The Munich Agreement handed key Czechoslovakian territory to Hitler, without the Czechs even having been invited to attend the summit. They were deliberately excluded from the meeting at which their nation was delivered to a tyrant in the name of keeping the peace in Europe.
Something disturbingly similar is afoot in America today, except that in this case, the appeasers are not handing over someone else’s nation, but rather their own. As in Munich, however, the handover is being undertaken without the most interested party – that is, the party with the most at stake – having been invited. Conservatives or constitutionalists, meaning those Americans who believe the Founders’ designs should be honored, have no place at the table, as the GOP establishment openly questions their seriousness, dismisses their grumblings, and blames its electoral failure on their “immoderate” influence.
Upon the announcement of the Munich Agreement, Winston Churchill delivered this assessment:
We have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road…. [W]e have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged, and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies:
“Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.”
And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.
Change “Europe” to “Western civilization,” and truer words could not be said of today’s predicament, in the aftermath of the re-election of Obama, as the leading opposition voices trip over one another to show their willingness to work with the president, to accommodate the president, to concede defeat to the president – and to shun from their ranks that annoying faction of decent, temperate, respectful human beings who wish to restore and enjoy the freedom God and Nature bestowed upon them.
A civilizational war is different from a geopolitical war, in that the parties are not primarily nations, but rather factions of human aspiration. That faction which favors individualism, liberty, virtue, and mutual respect is at present the minority voice, which the power players of all sides would like to silence permanently. In this modern Munich Agreement, conservatives are Czechoslovakia.
A final, not insignificant point: Churchill’s devastating critique of Chamberlain’s appeasement did not prevent him from eventually making Chamberlain a member of his own war cabinet. Chamberlain played the fool, and his sell-out of Czechoslovakia was a shameful act of cowardice. He was also, however, a man with useful expertise and some influence within the British parliament, who, when forced at last to concede Hitler’s true nature, finally came around to assuming a harder, more dignified stand against the enemy. Having belatedly realized the danger of appeasement, he at least sought to help his betters and his country to defeat tyranny.
Will today’s GOP establishment appeasers ultimately seek to redeem themselves in a similar fashion? History will reserve a chapter for this question. For the time being, they are busy signing the Czechs over to despotism, again and again.
(This article originally appeared at American Thinker.)
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