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October 22, 2013

Have Americans Accepted Perpetual Tyranny?

As I sit before my keyboard this morning, mulling over the events of recent months and what they portend for America’s future, I find myself fighting a wave of discouragement. The foundation of what is good and great about America is not only being eroded, but is actively under attack. After a two week long fight in which they were excoriated by Obama, Democrats, and their obedient lapdogs in the press as “hostage-takers”, “legislative arsonists”, and “terrorists” who negotiate “with a bomb strapped to their chests”, Republicans surrendered and agreed to a deal in which they got nothing they asked for, and gave Obama another trillion dollars in borrowing power, unimpeded implementation of Obamacare (including keeping in place an exemption from Obamacare for Obama himself, members of Congress and their staff, and special exemptions for the labor unions which have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Democrats in recent elections).

It makes me weary to think about the suffering this nation faces now because of the decision to hand the reins of power to a man who despises the Constitution, who declared his intent to “fundamentally transform” our beloved America. It makes me wearier still to contemplate the increasing suffering we face with each passing day that we indulge our collective ignorance and apathy. Do we truly think we can borrow a trillion dollars per year indefinitely? That we can allow a president to paint his political opponents as not just wrong on the issues, but as racist, hateful, and evil, and that it will not lead to levels of animosity that will incite violence? What kind of president declares half the citizens of his country to be evil? How can he possibly think he can make such blatant character assassinations and still be able to unite the people of this country?

The answer is…he doesn’t. Obama is a poor leader, but a masterful politician. He knows that he has been an utter failure from a policy perspective (at least, based on what the average American would consider success); but he also knows that if he can stoke the fires of hatred and resentment towards a common enemy then he can deflect blame onto his political enemies for his myriad failures. It is a classic political technique used most effectively by tyrants.

Hitler blamed the Jews for all of the Germans’ woes, and the mad mullahs in Iran and the Islamic terrorist factions like Al Qaeda have Israel and America to blame for their ills. Chairman Mao had the intelligentsia, Josef Stalin the evil capitalists. In each case, persecution of a common enemy escalated to violence, the citizens temporarily sated by hatred of the common enemy; but eventually the common enemy is defeated or subjugated, and can no longer be used to explain the abject poverty and suffering of the masses. Obama has the TEA Party, Republicans, and conservatives, and he has stoked hatred for these groups since he first took office.

Obama blamed Republicans for the government shutdown, despite the fact that they passed the appropriations bills and continuing resolutions that would have funded the government. Senate Democrats refused to vote on them because it would have forced Congress to live under the same Obamacare rules as the rest of us. Obama blames Republicans for the massive and growing debt, arguing that the economy is stalling because greedy Republicans refuse to give in to demands for higher taxes. Of course, that claim is completely undermined by economic history, which has shown time after time that tax cuts lead to more gross revenues, but Obama also realizes that between a compliant press and an economically illiterate electorate, he will never be called on his lie.

So what is the end game? Why would Obama keep driving policies he knows to be disastrous for the economy, for health care, for immigration, for the rule of law? Easy…because he knows that the more that individual liberty is usurped, the more that families are broken apart (or never formed in the first place), the more jobs that are lost, the more homes that go into foreclosure, the more crime that takes place, the more these problems can be used as a pretense for government to step in and “fix” the problems (even though many of these problems are caused by government).

Yet what is the track record of government fixing problems? We’ve spent trillions of dollars in the War on Poverty, yet have more poor than ever before (although the “poor” in America live quite well compared to the poor anywhere else in the world). We’ve spent hundreds of billions in the War on Drugs, and have more drugs than ever, plus the highest incarceration rate in the world; and this war has been used as a pretense to destroy constitutional rights. Government power has been invoked to “fix” the problems with our health care system, yet premiums under Obamacare are skyrocketing, accessibility to doctors is shrinking, and for millions of Americans being dropped from their current coverage, Obama’s promise that if we “liked our insurance/doctor we could keep them” has been exposed as a lie.

“Some things are apparent. Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible.”

Does that sound like America today? Those words were written by California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, who was at the center of a battle to get Bush nominees confirmed to federal appeals courts. She was finally confirmed as part of a deal brokered by the “Gang of 14”, but her nomination was vigorously protested by the NAACP,  the Feminist Majority Foundation, People For the American Way, the National Council of Jewish Women, and the National Organization for Women, who questioned her competence and called her “extreme right wing” in her views. Like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, world-renowned surgeon Ben Carson, and countless others, the political left simply can not allow minorities to disparage the idea that we can not only live, but thrive, without Big Government, which crushes freedom and wealth for the individual.

Janice Rogers-Brown grew up in the deep South, the daughter of Alabama sharecroppers, living in a state where Democrats were still clinging determinedly to racist policies of segregation. By her own admission, she was a staunch liberal in her youth, but as with so many who gain wisdom that comes from experience, in her adulthood she became an unapologetic conservative, seeing with her own eyes the destruction wrought by these liberal policies on her family, her community, and her country.

So as I sit and contemplate these things, my heart is just not in it, at least for today. I will never give up the fight, but some days I am just weary in my soul at the thought of what level of suffering we will have to descend into before we wake up and wage war to restore our freedoms. Every time I think about giving up there are two images that come into my mind that drive me on…the thought of my children growing up in a country that knows no freedom, and the thought of George Washington and his weary soldiers marching on Trenton in the dead of winter, many without shoes, a trail of blood flowing behind as many walked, without shoes, on jagged ice, the flesh ripped from their feet with every step…yet never giving up. That is what drives me on. So today I will hold my children, bask in their hugs, their laughter, and their love; but tomorrow, I’ll be back in the fray.

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