Within your earshot, there are squads of soldiers, armed with the modern, automatic weapons, possessing the latest intelligence on the enemy, conducting search and destroy missions, killing their enemies ruthlessly and efficiently, then returning to their well-defended base of operations to await further orders or to respond individually to provocations as they have been trained to do. Their campaign has been in progress for years, the territory they control constantly expanding and the local populace continues to live in terror and despair of rescue. Where are you? Iraq? Afghanistan? Syria? Somalia? The Congo? No. You’re in Chicago – USA – a war zone! That’s the truth and no one is telling you the facts.
But why is truth and fact so important? It is because the ways in which we use them define us as human. At some point in time the primates – who eventually became us – developed the ability to categorize sensory input and predict its accuracy or proximity as threat or not, as beneficial or harmful, as pleasant or painful, as good or bad. It was the interaction of input with outcome that developed the concept we know as truth – the input being the facts and the outcome being predictable and consistent meaning. See the lion, either climb the tree or be eaten. Coherent human responses to sensory input allowed physically limited homo-sapiens to survive, civilization to appear and freedom to eventually flourish.
Predictably, naturally creative and competitive humans learned that if the sensory input could be modified, other humans’ responses could be manipulated. For instance, wearing wildly decorated masks could scare an enemy in battle and magicians (wizards?) learned to be masters of the things people thought they saw. When writing was developed it became easy to produce something humans could see and react to that might not be factual and thereby influence them to act in a manner they would not otherwise. As civilization developed to the level of nation-states, this predilection developed into something more sinister, perhaps evil – propaganda – the scourge of modern America and the modern world.
What are the facts and truths we must know? They are the immutable principles of our constitutional republic. They are enumerated in the two enshrining documents of our founding – the consolidated wisdom of the Founders written down in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. These sacred words conveyed the meanings of the day and the ratification discussion led to the understanding, by the People who ratified the Constitution, of the meaning and context of the Framers’ words, not bastardized meanings created out of whole cloth that continually find their way into contemporary constitutional opinions.
The fatal error in this practice is that every one of the court opinions that breaks new legal ground or finds or creates a new right has been rendered to specifically benefit a special-interest group of one sort or another at the expense of other groups – defying the meaning and intent of the 14th Amendment – one of three amendments forged in the blood of hundreds of thousands of Union soldiers during the Civil War – that every citizen has a right to equal protection of their inalienable rights under the law – to religion, speech, press, assembly, petition, to keep and bear arms, to be secure in their persons and their homes and to vote – among many others.
Throughout the whole history of civilization, as governments developed, rose and fell, as benevolents and tyrants ruled, as congresses of the privileged came and went – there was one shining moment, as the song goes. That moment was not the legendary Camelot – it was at the founding of the United States of America where the most enlightened, educated, astute and dedicated group ever assembled, met to create a sovereign government that was as immune from the frailties and failures of history and humanity as human beings were capable of devising.
The Founders didn’t deal with convenient or inconvenient truths – they dealt with experienced truth that they had witnessed first-hand – facts about tyranny, facts about governments, facts about war, facts about citizens, facts about neighbors, facts about humanity, facts about human strengths and human weaknesses, facts about the evils, great and small, that men can inflict upon each other.
Their creation was then given to the People, in whom the ultimate human sovereignty resides, for their approval. The facts, the learned truths, the debates and discussions were laid out in public, by the likes of Jefferson, Hamilton and Jay in The Federalist, and other written publications and printings and the universal truths expressed in the Constitution were endorsed by intellectual and illiterate alike.
Recall that these People weren’t elitists. Most were illiterate. If they could read, it was from the Bible or church songbooks. But they had the experience of learning about the world from the best teacher of all – real life! As a group, they had been learning about and discussing liberty for almost one hundred and seventy years by the time they were asked to ratify their Constitution. Compared to today’s average citizen, they were learned indeed. They didn’t do too badly – they created the Bill of Rights.
So, before we are able to design the process necessary to restore the great principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which we have seen under attack for the last one hundred years, we must understand what went wrong with America in the last century. When we finally do meet in convention, like our forefathers, we’ll call our document the “Bill of Restoration”.
So, what the heck just happened (over the past 70 years)? Quite frankly, we lost faith – faith in the Almighty as our protector, faith in the Judeo-Christian ethic upon which this nation was founded, faith in the wisdom the Founders passed down to us in the Constitution (Drafters and Ratifiers alike), which encompassed all the wisdom gathered from the struggles and triumphs of Western Civilization, and faith in ourselves and each other. I call these the America’s Five Pillars of Freedom.
Loss of: Pillar:
Faith in the Almighty truth
Faith in our institutions universal education, government
Faith in ourselves American exceptionalism
Faith in the wisdom the Founders personal responsibility
Faith in our neighbors respect
With questions on original words, meanings, intentions, understandings, interpretations and implementation hanging in the air, and with Ragove’s recitation of the musings of Madison and Jefferson long after their service in the Founding – that it was then and shall forever be – the experience the nation has had with governing under the Judeo-Christian ethic – the lessons learned that when those in government do not recognize a higher power, the government becomes the ultimate authority – the triumphs and tragedies of the momentous Supreme Court decisions as well as the successes and failures of the great amendments and the contributions, great and small, good or bad, of those Americans called to service of the country – that must carry the weight in the debate on great issues and this entire prologue must animate us and motivate us when we ask the question at the quarter-millennium mark of our extraordinary and exceptional history –
What the Heck Just Happened?
My Auntie’s book depicts a dystopian America somewhere mid-20th Century wherein, upon seeing that “the greater the effort, the heavier the system bore down on their shoulders”, many of society’s most prominent and successful inventors, scientists, engineers, financiers and industrialists – those who knew how to make the entire capitalist system work – abandoned their careers, in many cases their fortunes and public life itself, in response to hostile, destructive, despotic, anti-capitalistic new federal government regulations, whereupon the nation’s vital industries collapse and the country descended into economic and social chaos – not unlike the Revolutionary generation, many of whom sacrificed their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for liberty.
It was intended “…to show how desperately the world needs prime movers and how viciously it treats them” and to portray “…what happens to a world without them”. “What if I went on strike? What if all the creative minds of the world went on strike?”, she asked.
The theme of the book is “the role that man’s mind plays in existence” – whether to accept things as they are or change the circumstances – and it expresses the advocacy of reason, individualism, capitalism and the predictable failures of governmental coercion. The book received largely negative reviews from the progressive liberals after its publication, but achieved enduring popularity and consistent sales in the following decades. But what is most remarkable – and frightening – about the book is that it was written as apocryphal fiction and now has become literal non-fiction.
Auntie’s book dealt mainly with captains-of-industry – the dreamers, the schemers and the job creators and was primarily a journey of the mind. She didn’t have a great familiarity with the working middle class – the heart and soul of America, the People, the builders, the movers, the “protect-and-servers” whose journey is one of blood, sweat and tears – with apologies to Winston Churchill. While in Auntie’s book, the capitalists left the scene of chaos, the People have no intention of going anywhere. Like Americans of all generations, they will stand and fight. They just need justification for their sacrifice. That justification is what this treatise is all about.
Even though Auntie’s book was conceived when the individual tax rate for America’s most successful capitalists – captains of industry, mass communication as well as entertainment – was 90%, the current state of taxation and regulation on capitalists – the people who actually create jobs (the engine of capitalism) – is again becoming intolerable.
Although Republican President Ronald Reagan lowered the individual rate to the low 30%’s in the 1980s, it has crept back up to where maximum federal, state and local taxes are approaching 75% – individual max = 56%; plus 12.4% for social security, 3.8% for Medicare and 4% for state and local taxes. Then there’s the corporate tax rate of 40%, one of the highest in the world.
These real-life capitalists haven’t gone on strike. In recent years, a number of significant and successful American companies (as many as 35 since 2009, while 43 companies did so in the previous 25 years) have simply relocated outside U.S. borders, usually through mergers with or purchases of a foreign company. One impact of changing their business addresses: They’re no longer subject to U.S. corporate taxes, and onerous, punitive and occasionally ridiculous government rules and regulations. It’s a process commonly known as a tax inversion.
Some successful capitalists have gone so far as to move to more tax friendly countries and renounce their American citizenship. There’s a vote of confidence for the PLDC!
So, the answer to the question posed above, as we have unambiguously shown, is that the privileged American Political Left happened – self-important theoreticians, lurking in the shadows as war ended, peculiarly enamored of Communism’s economic model, profoundly, willfully ignorant or stunningly, stubbornly stupid about the American Constitution and Main Street culture and with a perverse sense of superiority and entitlement – and then, for the next seventy years, creating social and cultural chaos at home and an absence of power and influence for good abroad! Their obvious aim was to change the American ethos from what developed over the millennia into Western Civilization as we know it. Somehow, to them, We, the People are wrong. So, that’s where we are and how we got here. It begs the obvious question.
What happened specifically? A grand failure in leadership from the progressive/liberal end of the political spectrum – to put it in plain English. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO, Carly Fiorina profoundly defines leadership as; “… not about power, [but] about unlocking the potential of others.” For one hundred years some Americans have been pursuing leadership positions for the power that conveys to them personally and not for the good they can do for the People. With power comes celebrity but, if conscience is lacking, chaos will follow because celebrity is ephemeral – empty.
The Romans knew this over two thousand years ago. Legendary World War II Army General and military historian George S. Patton tells us that when a victorious Roman general would return to the Capital to be feted for his triumphs, a slave would be assigned to his chariot as he was paraded through the streets to receive the cheers of the adoring crowd on his way to the Palatine to be celebrated by the Emperor. It was the duty of this slave to whisper continuously into the general’s ear to remind him that “All fame is fleeting.” And so it is but, what may be left behind is chaos, as the Romans also showed us – with Caligula and Nero as prime examples.
The People consented to be governed under the Constitution as it was written and understood – law was established by act of Congress, vetted for Constitutionality (if asked) by the Supreme Court and enforced consistently and uniformly by the Executive – not the abomination that it has become through Constitutional desecration by cynical politicians and a malleable and compliant federal court. The People gave their consent. It is time to take it back!
We began as religious and economic chartered colonies of Great Britain;
We became the united COLONIES to fight for our independence with Philadelphia, PA as our capital;
We established the united STATES of America after the Revolutionary War with New York, NY as our capital;
We became the UNITED STATES of America after the Civil War with Washington, DC as our capital;
We became the united states of America during the Wilson administration with WASHINGTON, DC as our capital.
Back when this sea-change occurred, we were a nation of anxious families who had listened to our fathers and grandfathers tell first-hand stories of the carnage of the Civil War as we waited for word from our loved ones overseas engaged in “the war to end all wars”. We then sprinted headlong into the “Roaring ‘20s”, perhaps the most optimistic decade in our history, where everything and anything was possible and life was lived to its fullest.
Of course, excess led to economic collapse and a “Great Depression”, only ending because of a second world war – after which another decade of cautious optimism and unlimited possibilities into which I was born – again to end in another depression – this one psychological – due to the death of an American icon, President John Kennedy, and then an unpopular war for which his successor had failed to prepare the American public – which was followed by a corrupt presidency and the truly depressing presidency of Jimmy Carter.
This depression only ended when we elected the supreme optimist, Ronald Reagan, as President in 1980 and the start of another period of possibilities reinforced when Reagan’s victory over the Soviet Union ended America’s longest war, the Cold War, which had been fought in the twilight of the nation’s consciousness for 45 years.
This dynamic period ended on September 11, 2001, when the permissiveness of President Bill Clinton – when it came to International Radical Islamic Terrorism during his administration – emboldened jihadists to attack the American homeland shortly after his successor, George W. Bush had taken office. Bush’s response, like Franklin Roosevelt’s after the Japanese attack on the homeland on December 7, 1941, was to launch unconditional warfare on the enemies’ “homeland” in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Lightning quick military victories were unfortunately followed by an ill-defined and poorly financed and executed effort to establish democracy in those previously despotic countries (as had successfully happened after World War II in Germany and Japan) – chiefly because the Bush White House was convinced that the State Department bureaucracy, which had not supported the military campaigns that freed almost 50 million people from murderous despots in both Iraq and Afghanistan, would not effectively support the nation-building effort that would be required and for which they would be responsible. With the resultant chaos in both countries requiring additional military operations, called “surges”, the two countries were finally stabilized by the end of the Bush presidency.
However, the chaos had enabled a new radical Islamist enemy to grow in the Middle East – ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – which is fighting all of Western Civilization in order to reestablish the Caliphate across the entire region – perhaps even the entire world.
Then came the over-inflated ego, under-inflated patriotism and abject apologetics, for America’s contribution to peace and freedom for the past century, of Barrack Obama, elected in 2008 after promising to end America’s involvement in both theaters. But, rather than victory (stable, secure, functioning elected governments and supportive nations), Obama opted for date-certain military withdrawals despite conditions on the ground, all the while bleating about “containment” and “bringing the perpetrators to justice”. This, of course, led to worldwide chaos and the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocents at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists – whom he refused to even acknowledge.
It would be more appropriate for Obama to have apologized for desecrating the sacrifices of more than 500,000 American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who died in defense of freedom for, literally, billions of people around the globe over the past 120 years.
So, just as Wilson was incapable of leading America by disarming after the holocaust of World War I and Franklin Roosevelt was incapable of leading America by rearming to prevent the holocaust of World War II and Truman was incapable of leading America by disarming America again after the holocaust of World War II and inviting Communist aggression in Korea and Johnson was incapable of leading America to avoid the holocaust of the Vietnam War and Carter proved incapable of preventing the scourge of Radical Islamic Terrorism from taking root and Clinton was incapable of leading America to confront worldwide radical Islamic jihad against Americans, thereby inviting 9/11, Obama was proven to be just as incapable of leading America by inviting a holocaust in the Middle East, unless one considers it “leadership” to unilaterally and precipitously withdraw from our preeminent position as the world’s only hope for stability, security and safety in a chaotic world.
What we have seen throughout the 20th Century and into the 21st is the same script with different actors, yet an expectation of different endings.
We need to return to being the UNITED STATES of America with Washington, DC as our capital and the People, again, in charge. In this way – and only in this way – can we end the era of federal insanity at home and worldwide chaos abroad.
So, once again inspired by the words of Lincoln:
“The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
Those “better angels” are still living amongst us and are fully capable of bringing our Union together again. Now begins our journey in rebuttal to the PLDC, Atlas Strikes.