On World Freedomist, we look at the unfolding dynamic in Syria, including the Russian-Iranian alliance and the stepped up efforts by both countries to intervene in Syria in support of the embattled President, Assad:Read More
Tag: freedom news
If you follow the link below to watch Carly Fiorina face off against a hostile media operative, you will notice some key techniques in good Freedom Apologetics. In this video, the questioner is Jake Tapper, who, I must confess, is not as partisan as most media operatives, but it is clear in this exchange that Tapper is doing the bidding of the pro-abortion progressives.
Fiorina is on this show to ostensibly talk about HER campaign, but Tapper asks her about a tweet the Hillary sent out calling Walker an extremist for signing a late-term abortion ban law that did not allow for exceptions for rape or incest.
Gov. Walker signed dangerous abortion restrictions into law in WI – without exceptions for rape or incest. Extreme and unacceptable. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 21, 2015
Everyone knows Hillary is putting the word extremist in close proximity to ‘abortion restrictions.’ These restrictions involve not allowing a licensed doctor of the state to enter into a woman’s body and hack to death, poison, suction, or stab in the heart an unborn child past the 20 week mark of pregnancy.
The tiny ground of morality progressives still have left on abortions is in the often-quoted, and incredibly rare, circumstances of rape and incest triggering a woman’s desire to have a late term abortion. No one, of course, wants to ask how a woman has managed to go 20 weeks with a baby and can’t make it for the final 16 weeks, but I digress, and, like Carly, I want to stay on the solid moral ground that people of pro-life have, the fact that babies aborted after 20 weeks are brutally murdered in ways that no one, if they are fully aware of what such abortions entail, could defend them.
What Jake Tapper attempts to do is to offer Carly a very small piece of ground to stand on, to defend Walker’s signing of a piece of legislation that doesn’t allow for the exception of rape or incest. Tapper’s quote of Hillary’s tweet, repeating the tag “extremist”, is a nice attempt to subliminally let the listener know that being pro-life makes you an extremist, that Walker is an extremist, that Fiorina, unless she condemns Walker, is an extremist.
Carly does not accept the battlefield conditions. Like a good general, SHE chooses the battlefield and forces Tapper to defend the undefendable, the hacking of unborn babies, a procedure vigorously supported by Clinton and her pro-murder supporters. She turns the tables on Tapper, making this extremist label about Hillary and her support of an organization that, we are learning through undercover videos, is actually SELLING the hacked remains of babies.
What is more extreme, signing a bill that does not allow for the EXTREMELY rare cases of rape and incest triggering an abortion AFTER the 20th week of pregnancy, or supporting the hacking to death of unborn children so that Planned Parenthood can sell their brains and livers to scientists? This technique should simply be referred to as “define YOUR battlefield.” This is exactly what Fiorina did, she defined the battlefield, a battlefield where her ideas, her positions crush the opposition, and where Tapper ends up coming across a partisan hack desperately trying to score points against the political opponents of his handlers.
Watch the video for yourself:Read More
Managed economies are always more damaging to small business than big business. The more an economy is managed, the bigger the businesses, the lesser the small.
Progressivism is good for the billionaires, but not the millionaire. This is why so many billionaires are bankrolling this movement.
They’re more wealthy now than they were in 2008, while most everyone else is poorer.
Yes, the progressive way is the billionaire’s way. Worth the extra taxes, big time.
I have nothing whatsoever against people who do not support Trump, who think he’s not a real conservative, who thinks he’s bad for the GOP, who thinks a Trump nomination will guarantee a loss in 2016.
I myself am absolutely not a Trump supporter. I believe that Donald Trump will not deliver on the promises he is making, that he is actually making unrealistic promises. I believe that he, at least for me, doesn’t go nearly far enough in challenging the power of the Federal government, that a Trump presidency might very well see an increase in Federal power, not a decrease, and I am concerned that his foreign policy might be extremely nationalistic and get us involved in wars which could directly threaten the lives of my family and friends at fighting age.
I do not, however, believe the supporters of Trump are idiots, are undesirables, are part of a conservative coalition that everyone in that coalition would be better off not having in the coalition. These folks are not crazy, they are not uninformed, they are not un-serious.
I take them very seriously and I recognize that if conservatives wish to win in 2016, they will need ALL HANDS ON DECK to have a chance to stop a candidate that, in my opinion, is far more dangerous than Trump, than even Bush. Perhaps only Lindsey Graham might fairly give Hillary a run for her money in the dangerous department.
Mind you, for military folks and for the nations of the world, Trump might actually be more dangerous than Hillary, but he’s far more interested in the world’s stuff than he is in our stuff.
Do you recall the way many conservatives embraced Vladimir Putin when he began to butt heads with Obama, especially in the Syria chemical weapons debacle? Facebook was filled with Putin is awesome memes, contrasting Obama, the girls’ bicycle rider, with Putin, the T-rex ridin’, no shirt wearin’ tough guy.
Putin is not afraid of the PC crowd, not afraid of Obama, not afraid of zombies even. Putin is unapologetically pro-Russia. On the world stage, he cares little for niceties, he fights for Mother Russia. He will crush states for the sake of Mother Russia.
Think of the GOP Presidents we have had since Bush I. Tepid, apologetic, UN-approval seeking, refusing to even battle the progressives squarely, ruthlessly, without mercy. The progressives have in Obama a strongman, a leader who will do whatever it takes, who will lie, cheat, steal, crush ANYONE who stands between him and his Mother Russia, the progressive party. On the world stage, even, he serves Mother Progressive over Mother America, and decisively so.
Of all the GOP contenders, who among them is willing to look a progressive in the eye and say, “You’re a murderer, you’re an evil person who should have no place in the public square.” Now, I’m not saying they SHOULD say that, but I will tell you there is a significant portion of folks in the conservative coalition who are desperate for someone to say such things.
Do they want this because they are stupid or bad people? No, they want this because, like many of us, they feel beaten, worn down, always defeated, betrayed by their own leaders. They want their own Obama, or, more accurately, their own Putin. Donald Trump is the GOP’s Putin.
They don’t care about the test for conservative purity. They don’t give two plug nickels for what Trump did or said in the past. They don’t even care if he insulted McCain and POWs. Those days are done for them. There have been far too many equivocators, soft negotiators telling them they need to get along to go along to get along, only to watch progressives win battle after battle with the HELP of their own party leaders.
They only care that here and now he is actually doing something NO GOP LEADER has done since Reagan, defiantly and unapolgetically standing up against the enemy. This is not to suggest that Trump is Reagan. No, unlike Trump, Reagan could essentially call you a thief and an adulterer and have you walk away still liking him. Trump does not have the gifts of Reagan, but he does have Reagan’s passion and unflinching resoluteness.
Like many of you, I too hope to see Donald Trump go the way of the Dodo bird, metaphorically, but I believe that there is a much smarter way to bring about that reality, and it’s not by using Alinksy-like tactics against Trump or by constantly eviscerating his supporters, or by seizing on his every gaff, or by digging up all the dirt you can about his ‘draft dodging’ past (I think that’s the latest Alinsky tactic being deployed by conservatives against Trump).
If I am right, none of these tactics will do anything but solidify his hard-core supporters and ensure that, come the summer of 2016, those Trump supporters, if their guy is not in it, won’t be knocking on doors, sending in money, and, in November, might not even show up to vote.
One well-respected conservative writer (whose name will be withheld) even stated he wanted to destroy Trump AND his supporters. That’s right, conservatives out there want to hack off a significant part of the coalition because they hate Trump and they can’t imagine how everyone else doesn’t hate him as well.
For this next part, I will be borrowing heavily from Felecia Cravens’ excellent article that appeared on Liberty Juice.
Felecia really captures what I have been saying for some time now, as this Trump feud has gotten nastier and nastier:
“The real question then is how to make that an easier decision for those supporters of the losing candidates when the time comes. That actually means planning far in advance of the primary result, strategically preparing the ground for the unity and cooperation you want to see. That means fostering the conditions that will make it more than possible; that will make it INEVITABLE.”
If Trump does, in fact, actually lose (and I am inclined still to believe he will), you should be prepared, well in advance, for how you welcome back those family members you may have been in disagreement with earlier. If the fights get to be too nasty (I’ve seen conservatives block each other on Facebook over Trump), you may not have a family member at all when the dust settles.
Felecia goes on to outline some clear steps we should take when advocating for our candidate and challenging supporters of another candidate.
1.) Pitch Your Guy – We don’t respond well to the people who try to build themselves up by tearing others down in our personal lives, and any candidate making that a primary tactic will ultimately turn people off. Sure, the other candidates have failings – some too numerous to mention – but your first job as a supporter of your candidate is to SELL THAT CANDIDATE…..
2.) Target the Real Enemy – The GOP primary is a horserace, sure. But it’s actually just Phase I in a two-part job interview. Phase II is all about winning the general election; convincing the apolitical, the independents, the casual voters that both your team (GOP) and your candidate (who just won the primary, of course) are better for the country than the person the Democrats field…..
Keep an eye open for opportunities to attack Democrat policies that are hurting the country. Draw strong contrasts between those policies and the ones your candidate will be running on. Connect the dots for people so that they see your candidate has better policies and actual solutions for problems we face…..
3.) Be Gracious – …..Sure, there’s going to be some blood drawn in the coming months, but at the same time, conservative values and issues are going to be front and center in a way they haven’t in a long time. The more we focus on articulating those issues and promoting them, the less opportunity the media will have to make the conversation about infighting, personalities, and candidate conflicts…..
4.) Think ‘Family’ – Andy Peth of The Party of Choice draws a great contrast between the Left and our coalition on the right. “Collectives control people; we free them. Collectives thrive on conformity; we thrive on challenge. Thus, while control rallies the Left, it only splinters the Right. To defeat the Collective, we must unify as something empowering to individuals: We must be a family.”
I highly recommend you read this whole article by going here.
I want to end my article, adding to what Felecia said above, by calling on some basic biblical standards. You don’t have to be a Christian to use these standards, so, if you are not a Christian, bear with me while I quote bible verses.
First, this is from 1st Corinthians 13-
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
The people who support Trump ARE part of your conservative family. You will desperately need them. You need to practice these standards of love when you approach them. Yes, love rejoices with the truth, but it is also PATIENT, kind. As Felicia said, you don’t need to invalidate people to make the case for your candidate, or (and I’ll add this) AGAINST their candidate.
Lastly, I want to share 1st peter 3-
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
The key phrase in this passage is this, “do this with gentleness and respect.” This is a basic tenet of good apologetics. If your words are invalidating, if they are being used to demean your opponent, then your effectiveness at actually sharing truth ends. You will drive them further away and closer to what you think is not the truth.
Author George MacDonald once said, “To give truth to him who loves it not is only to give him more plentiful reasons for misinterpretation.”
Theodore Roosevelt said, “‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’ If you want to have standing to speak to people about why you think Trump is not the right choice, why your candidate of choice is a better one, you better not start off the conversation by saying, “Trump is an idiot and anyone who follows him is nuts.” More often than not, all you’ve done is permanently shut a door and created an even more committed Trump supporter.
Whether you stick with Trump or not, I will continue to welcome you and accept you as a member of the coalition to stop the progressive party from controlling the White House and the Executive branch for another four years, of stopping a progressive, a hard-core progressive, from having the chance to replace moderate and/or conservative Judges on the Supreme Court.
It is time to act like officers in an army and not high school kids in the cafeteria. It is time to think, right now, about November 2016.Read More
I am no fan of Donald Trump. As a matter of fact, none of the candidates, on the left
or the right, offer any real solutions to rolling back the tide on the progressive
take-over of most of America’s major institutions. But I digress.
What I really mean to say is, as far as the Presidential race is concerned, I don’t
have a dog in this fight. From a pragmatic perspective, however, having a
republican as President as opposed to a democrat (I would argue they’re all
progressives now) would at least buy me more time to prepare for the eventual
collapse of a system that cannot sustain itself.
Why, then, do I get so upset at the attacks on Donald Trump and his supporters? Why do I spend so much time going after the leaders in the conservative coalition who are spending so much time going after Trump and his supporters?
The latest anti-Trump assault is coming in the form of his comments, recently, about John McCain. Having listened to the now legendary comments Trump made in Ames, Iowa last week, I can say that when Trump said that he likes his heroes not to be captured that no rational person could not understand how those who have been captured could take serious umbrage with that comment.
For many other candidates, the smart thing for Trump to do would be to quickly apologize. But Trump’s very brand as a Presidential contender is that he won’t apologize. His appeal is just that, he won’t apologize. A significant portion of people in the conservative coalition are fed up with apologizing, equivocating leaders who seem more concerned with upsetting and offending progressives than actually standing up for them. A Trump apology would truly mark the end of his campaign.
If you listen to the full clip, Trump seemed to go out of his way to clarify that McCain was, in fact, a war hero. It is also clear, at least to me, that Trump made an aggressive swipe at McCain, a snark, if you will. He was obviously highly agitated at McCain’s labelling of his supports as being all ‘crazies.’
The response from many conservative leaders, however, is far worse than the inappropriate snark Trump threw at McCain. If you change some of the names, you would think you were listening to progressives ruthlessly pouncing on the smallest misstep their political opponents take.
Trump’s ill-conceived snipe at McCain is no worse than the missteps taken by all of the other GOP contenders. I won’t compile that list in this article, but if you google any GOP name and add the phrase “backlash”, you will find more than enough on your own.
Why do these conservative leaders not pounce so aggressively on other GOP candidates who made similar missteps on the campaign trail? Why are the conservative blogs and conservative news outlets not writing article after article declaring their candidacy over?
This is where I find my agitation coming into sharp focus, the WAY so many in this conservative movement are choosing to attack Donald Trump. They are acting Trump exactly like the progressives would. They are attempting to invalidate the man rather than challenge his ideas. But they are going far beyond merely taking the low road to challenge a contender, the Alinsky road, they are also applying Alinsky-like tactics to going after his supporters.
This last part is incredibly befuddling to me. I’ve gotten in dust-ups with some of these Molotov-throwing conservative leaders over this very point, with many of them expressing this sentiment, “good riddance to the Trump supporters.”
These Trump supporters aren’t democrats. They are mostly registered republicans. Some of them are registered independent. If you take a peek at the electoral map, the progressives START with a huge electoral advantage thanks to their control of a few very large ‘blue’ states. The republicans, if they are going to win in 2016, need EVERY voter they can muster to win just about every swing state if they are going to just EEK out a victory.
I am betting that these conservative leaders are banking on amnesia to keep the Trump supporters in the family come the summer of 2016. I’m betting that’s what Romney was counting on when he so aggressively alienated Sarah Palin and her supporters at the republican convention in 2012. It didn’t work out for Romney then, and I doubt it will work out for this conservative coalition in 2016.
These conservative leaders are continuing their slash and burn campaign against Donald Trump and his supporters. I see regular calls from these leaders for Trump to withdraw from the race and for his supporters to just shut up and go away. Even Rick Perry, who isn’t even polling high enough to get on the debate stage, is calling for Trump to immediately withdraw from the race.
Rick Perry is currently under indictment while he’s running for office. Yes, it is a political witch hunt, but, he should mind applying purist standards to candidates when he himself fails to meet those purist standards. Let’s not go back and revisit his epic fails from the 2012 season.
This ruthlessness aimed at Trump, and especially at his supporters, is simply bad strategy. The leaders in this movement who are partaking in this tactic are disqualifying themselves from leadership. They have allowed themselves to be swept by their emotions, leading many others down the emotional path of self-destruction, rather than thinking like generals trying to win a war.
They are willing to destroy everyone and everything within this coalition to win this battle, a battle being fought not with progressives, but with the coalition. They may yet win this battle, they may destroy Trump and pave the way for their candidate of choice to win the nomination, but they will lose the war.
Looking back at this period of time, the children of these leaders will ask their parents, “What did you do to stop the progressives from destroying the republic?” Their only answer can be, I helped destroy the coalition that could resist them.
ADDENDUM: My next article will be about how to challenge Trump without destroying the coalition. I also want to add that while the actions of these conservative leaders right now invalidate them, all can be quickly forgiven if they turn away from this self-defeating tactic and go back to being real generals of a coalition and not clique warriors defending their personal turf.Read More
There is nothing a politician fears more than a well-armed, well-trained citizenry. This is much more intimidating than a vote. They can manipulate voters. They have. They use party primaries and election laws that favor those parties. They use vulgarly drawn district maps to create safe seats for their party-chosen candidate.
Elections mean Nothing! Laws are ghosts on paper made to be violated, loopholed. The only reality that scares a politician is the day you wake up and realize you have the POWER to end what they have taken centuries to carefully craft, a protection from liberty so that they and their progeny might continue to proper from plunder.
Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice. Society is a living organism and must obey the laws of life, not of mechanics; it must develop. All the progressives ask or desire is permission—in an era when “development,” “evolution,” is the scientific word—to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle….:
Woodrow Wilson – the architect of modern progressivism.
What Is Progress?”
1912 campaign speech published in 1913 as chapter 2 of The New Freedom
In that sage and veracious chronicle, “Alice Through the Looking-Glass,” it is recounted how, on a noteworthy occasion, the little heroine is seized by the Red Chess Queen, who races her off at a terrific pace. They run until both of them are out of breath; then they stop, and Alice looks around her and says, “Why, we are just where we were when we started!” “Oh, yes,” says the Red Queen; “you have to run twice as fast as that to get anywhere else.”
That is a parable of progress. The laws of this country have not kept up with the change of economic circumstances in this country; they have not kept up with the change of political circumstances; and, therefore, we are not even where we were when we started. We shall have to run, not until we are out of breath, but until we have caught up with our own conditions, before we shall be where we were when we started; when we started this great experiment which has been the hope and the beacon of the world. And we should have to run twice as fast as any rational program I have seen in order to get anywhere else.
I am, therefore, forced to be a progressive, if for no other reason, because we have not kept up with our changes of conditions, either in the economic field or in the political field. We have not kept up as well as other nations have. We have not kept our practices adjusted to the facts of the case, and until we do, and unless we do, the facts of the case will always have the better of the argument; because if you do not adjust your laws to the facts, so much the worse for the laws, not for the facts, because law trails along after the facts. Only that law is unsafe which runs ahead of the facts and beckons to it and makes it follow the will-o’-the-wisps of imaginative projects.
Business is in a situation in America which it was never in before; it is in a situation to which we have not adjusted our laws. Our laws are still meant for business done by individuals; they have not been satisfactorily adjusted to business done by great combinations, and we have got to adjust them. I do not say we may or may not; I say we must; there is no choice. If your laws do not fit your facts, the facts are not injured, the law is damaged; because the law, unless I have studied it amiss, is the expression of the facts in legal relationships. Laws have never altered the facts; laws have always necessarily expressed the facts; adjusted interests as they have arisen and have changed toward one another.
Politics in America is in a case which sadly requires attention. The system set up by our law and our usage doesn’t work,—or at least it can’t be depended on; it is made to work only by a most unreasonable expenditure of labor and pains. The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.
There are serious things to do. Does any man doubt the great discontent in this country? Does any man doubt that there are grounds and justifications for discontent? Do we dare stand still? Within the past few months we have witnessed (along with other strange political phenomena, eloquently significant of popular uneasiness) on one side a doubling of the Socialist vote and on the other the posting on dead walls and hoardings all over the country of certain very attractive and diverting bills warning citizens that it was “better to be safe than sorry” and advising them to “let well enough alone.” Apparently a good many citizens doubted whether the situation they were advised to let alone was really well enough, and concluded that they would take a chance of being sorry. To me, these counsels of do-nothingism, these counsels of sitting still for fear something would happen, these counsels addressed to the hopeful, energetic people of the United States, telling them that they are not wise enough to touch their own affairs without marring them, constitute the most extraordinary argument of fatuous ignorance I ever heard. Americans are not yet cowards. True, their self-reliance has been sapped by years of submission to the doctrine that prosperity is something that benevolent magnates provide for them with the aid of the government; their self-reliance has been weakened, but not so utterly destroyed that you can twit them about it. The American people are not naturally stand-patters. Progress is the word that charms their ears and stirs their hearts.
There are, of course, Americans who have not yet heard that anything is going on. The circus might come to town, have the big parade and go, without their catching a sight of the camels or a note of the calliope. There are people, even Americans, who never move themselves or know that anything else is moving.
A friend of mine who had heard of the Florida “cracker,” as they call a certain ne’er-do-well portion of the population down there, when passing through the State in a train, asked some one to point out a “cracker” to him. The man asked replied, “Well, if you see something off in the woods that looks brown, like a stump, you will know it is either a stump or a cracker; if it moves, it is a stump.”
Now, movement has no virtue in itself. Change is not worth while for its own sake. I am not one of those who love variety for its own sake. If a thing is good today, I should like to have it stay that way tomorrow. Most of our calculations in life are dependent upon things staying the way they are. For example, if, when you got up this morning, you had forgotten how to dress, if you had forgotten all about those ordinary things which you do almost automatically, which you can almost do half awake, you would have to find out what you did yesterday. I am told by the psychologists that if I did not remember who I was yesterday, I should not know who I am today, and that, therefore, my very identity depends upon my being able to tally today with yesterday. If they do not tally, then I am confused; I do not know who I am, and I have to go around and ask somebody to tell me my name and where I came from.
I am not one of those who wish to break connection with the past; I am not one of those who wish to change for the mere sake of variety. The only men who do that are the men who want to forget something, the men who filled yesterday with something they would rather not recollect today, and so go about seeking diversion, seeking abstraction in something that will blot out recollection, or seeking to put something into them which will blot out all recollection. Change is not worth while unless it is improvement. If I move out of my present house because I do not like it, then I have got to choose a better house, or build a better house, to justify the change.
It would seem a waste of time to point out that ancient distinction—between mere change and improvement. Yet there is a class of mind that is prone to confuse them. We have had political leaders whose conception of greatness was to be forever frantically doing something—it mattered little what; restless, vociferous men, without sense of the energy of concentration, knowing only the energy of succession. Now, life does not consist of eternally running to a fire. There is no virtue in going anywhere unless you will gain something by being there. The direction is just as important as the impetus of motion.
All progress depends on how fast you are going, and where you are going, and I fear there has been too much of this thing of knowing neither how fast we were going or where we were going. I have my private belief that we have been doing most of our progressiveness after the fashion of those things that in my boyhood days we called “treadmills,” a treadmill being a moving platform, with cleats on it, on which some poor devil of a mule was forced to walk forever without getting anywhere. Elephants and even other animals have been known to turn treadmills, making a good deal of noise, and causing certain wheels to go round, and I daresay grinding out some sort of product for somebody, but without achieving much progress. Lately, in an effort to persuade the elephant to move, really, his friends tried dynamite. It moved—in separate and scattered parts, but it moved.
A cynical but witty Englishman said, in a book, not long ago, that it was a mistake to say of a conspicuously successful man, eminent in his line of business, that you could not bribe a man like that, because, he said, the point about such men is that they have been bribed—not in the ordinary meaning of that word, not in any gross, corrupt sense, but they have achieved their great success by means of the existing order of things and therefore they have been put under bonds to see that that existing order of things is not changed; they are bribed to maintain the status quo.
It was for that reason that I used to say, when I had to do with the administration of an educational institution, that I should like to make the young gentlemen of the rising generation as unlike their fathers as possible. Not because their fathers lacked character or intelligence or knowledge or patriotism, but because their fathers, by reason of their advancing years and their established position in society, had lost touch with the processes of life; they had forgotten what it was to begin; they had forgotten what it was to rise; they had forgotten what it was to be dominated by the circumstances of their life on their way up from the bottom to the top, and, therefore, they were out of sympathy with the creative, formative and progressive forces of society.
Progress! Did you ever reflect that that word is almost a new one? No word comes more often or more naturally to the lips of modern man, as if the thing it stands for were almost synonymous with life itself, and yet men through many thousand years never talked or thought of progress. They thought in the other direction. Their stories of heroisms and glory were tales of the past. The ancestor wore the heavier armor and carried the larger spear. “There were giants in those days.” Now all that has altered. We think of the future, not the past, as the more glorious time in comparison with which the present is nothing. Progress, development—those are modern words. The modern idea is to leave the past and press onward to something new.
But what is progress going to do with the past, and with the present? How is it going to treat them? With ignominy, or respect? Should it break with them altogether, or rise out of them, with its roots still deep in the older time? What attitude shall progressives take toward the existing order, toward those institutions of conservatism, the Constitution, the laws, and the courts?
Are those thoughtful men who fear that we are now about to disturb the ancient foundations of our institutions justified in their fear? If they are, we ought to go very slowly about the processes of change. If it is indeed true that we have grown tired of the institutions which we have so carefully and sedulously built up, then we ought to go very slowly and very carefully about the very dangerous task of altering them. We ought, therefore, to ask ourselves, first of all, whether thought in this country is tending to do anything by which we shall retrace our steps, or by which we shall change the whole direction of our development?
I believe, for one, that you cannot tear up ancient rootages and safely plant the tree of liberty in soil which is not native to it. I believe that the ancient traditions of a people are its ballast; you cannot make a tabula rasa upon which to write a political program. You cannot take a new sheet of paper and determine what your life shall be tomorrow. You must knit the new into the old. You cannot put a new patch on an old garment without ruining it; it must be not a patch, but something woven into the old fabric, of practically the same pattern, of the same texture and intention. If I did not believe that to be progressive was to preserve the essentials of our institutions, I for one could not be a progressive.
One of the chief benefits I used to derive from being president of a university was that I had the pleasure of entertaining thoughtful men from all over the world. I cannot tell you how much has dropped into my granary by their presence. I had been casting around in my mind for something by which to draw several parts of my political thought together when it was my good fortune to entertain a very interesting Scotsman who had been devoting himself to the philosophical thought of the seventeenth century. His talk was so engaging that it was delightful to hear him speak of anything, and presently there came out of the unexpected region of his thought the thing I had been waiting for. He called my attention to the fact that in every generation all sorts of speculation and thinking tend to fall under the formula of the dominant thought of the age. For example, after the Newtonian Theory of the universe had been developed, almost all thinking tended to express itself in the analogies of the Newtonian Theory, and since the Darwinian Theory has reigned amongst us, everybody is likely to express whatever he wishes to expound in terms of development and accommodation to environment.
Now, it came to me, as this interesting man talked, that the Constitution of the United States had been made under the dominion of the Newtonian Theory. You have only to read the papers of The Federalist to see that fact written on every page. They speak of the “checks and balances” of the Constitution, and use to express their idea the simile of the organization of the universe, and particularly of the solar system,—how by the attraction of gravitation the various parts are held in their orbits; and then they proceed to represent Congress, the Judiciary, and the President as a sort of imitation of the solar system.
They were only following the English Whigs, who gave Great Britain its modern constitution. Not that those Englishmen analyzed the matter, or had any theory about it; Englishmen care little for theories. It was a Frenchman, Montesquieu, who pointed out to them how faithfully they had copied Newton’s description of the mechanism of the heavens.
The makers of our Federal Constitution read Montesquieu with true scientific enthusiasm. They were scientists in their way—the best way of their age—those fathers of the nation. Jefferson wrote of “the laws of Nature”—and then by way of afterthought—“and of Nature’s God.” And they constructed a government as they would have constructed an orrery—to display the laws of nature. Politics in their thought was a variety of mechanics. The Constitution was founded on the law of gravitation. The government was to exist and move by virtue of the efficacy of “checks and balances.”
The trouble with the theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. No living thing can have its organs offset against each other, as checks, and live. On the contrary, its life is dependent upon their quick co-operation, their ready response to the commands of instinct or intelligence, their amicable community of purpose. Government is not a body of blind forces; it is a body of men, with highly differentiated functions, no doubt, in our modern day, of specialization, with a common task and purpose. Their co-operation is indispensable, their warfare fatal. There can be no successful government without the intimate, instinctive co-ordination of the organs of life and action. This is not theory, but fact, and displays its force as fact, whatever theories may be thrown across its track. Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice. Society is a living organism and must obey the laws of life, not of mechanics; it must develop.
All that progressives ask or desire is permission—in an era when “development,” “evolution,” is the scientific word—to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine.
Some citizens of this country have never got beyond the Declaration of Independence, signed in Philadelphia, July 4th, 1776. Their bosoms swell against George III, but they have no consciousness of the war for freedom that is going on today.
The Declaration of Independence did not mention the questions of our day. It is of no consequence to us unless we can translate its general terms into examples of the present day and substitute them in some vital way for the examples it itself gives, so concrete, so intimately involved in the circumstances of the day in which it was conceived and written. It is an eminently practical document, meant for the use of practical men; not a thesis for philosophers, but a whip for tyrants; not a theory of government, but a program of action. Unless we can translate it into the questions of our own day, we are not worthy of it, we are not the sons of the sires who acted in response to its challenge.
What form does the contest between tyranny and freedom take today? What is the special form of tyranny we now fight? How does it endanger the rights of the people, and what do we mean to do in order to make our contest against it effectual? What are to be the items of our new declaration of independence?
By tyranny, as we now fight it, we mean control of the law, of legislation and adjudication, by organizations which do not represent the people, by means which are private and selfish. We mean, specifically, the conduct of our affairs and the shaping of our legislation in the interest of special bodies of capital and those who organize their use. We mean the alliance, for this purpose, of political machines with selfish business. We mean the exploitation of the people by legal and political means. We have seen many of our governments under these influences cease to be representative governments, cease to be governments representative of the people, and become governments representative of special interests, controlled by machines, which in their turn are not controlled by the people.
Sometimes, when I think of the growth of our economic system, it seems to me as if, leaving our law just about where it was before any of the modern inventions or developments took place, we had simply at haphazard extended the family residence, added an office here and a workroom there, and a new set of sleeping rooms there, built up higher on our foundations, and put out little lean-tos on the side, until we have a structure that has no character whatever. Now, the problem is to continue to live in the house and yet change it.
Well, we are architects in our time, and our architects are also engineers. We don’t have to stop using a railroad terminal because a new station is being built. We don’t have to stop any of the processes of our lives because we are rearranging the structures in which we conduct those processes. What we have to undertake is to systematize the foundations of the house, then to thread all the old parts of the structure with the steel which will be laced together in modern fashion, accommodated to all the modern knowledge of structural strength and elasticity, and then slowly change the partitions, relay the walls, let in the light through new apertures, improve the ventilation; until finally, a generation or two from now, the scaffolding will be taken away, and there will be the family in a great building whose noble architecture will at last be disclosed, where men can live as a single community, co-operative as in a perfected, co-ordinated beehive, not afraid of any storm of nature, not afraid of any artificial storm, any imitation of thunder and lightning, knowing that the foundations go down to the bedrock of principle, and knowing that whenever they please they can change that plan again and accommodate it as they please to the altering necessities of their lives.
But there are a great many men who don’t like the idea. Some wit recently said, in view of the fact that most of our American architects are trained in a certain École in Paris, that all American architecture in recent years was either bizarre or “Beaux Arts.” I think that our economic architecture is decidedly bizarre; and I am afraid that there is a good deal to learn about matters other than architecture from the same source from which our architects have learned a great many things. I don’t mean the School of Fine Arts at Paris, but the experience of France; for from the other side of the water, men can now hold up against us the reproach that we have not adjusted our lives to modern conditions to the same extent that they have adjusted theirs. I was very much interested in some of the reasons given by our friends across the Canadian border for being very shy about the reciprocity arrangements. They said: “We are not sure whither these arrangements will lead, and we don’t care to associate too closely with the economic conditions of the United States until those conditions are as modern as ours.” And when I resented it, and asked for particulars, I had, in regard to many matters, to retire from the debate. Because I found that they had adjusted their regulations of economic development to conditions we had not yet found a way to meet in the United States.
Well, we have started now at all events. The procession is under way. The stand-patter doesn’t know there is a procession. He is asleep in the back part of his house. He doesn’t know that the road is resounding with the tramp of men going to the front. And when he wakes up, the country will be empty. He will be deserted, and he will wonder what has happened. Nothing has happened. The world has been going on. The world has a habit of going on. The world has a habit of leaving those behind who won’t go with it. The world has always neglected stand-patters. And, therefore, the stand-patter does not excite my indignation; he excites my sympathy. He is going to be so lonely before it is all over. And we are good fellows, we are good company; why doesn’t he come along? We are not going to do him any harm. We are going to show him a good time. We are going to climb the slow road until it reaches some upland where the air is fresher, where the whole talk of mere politicians is stilled, where men can look in each other’s faces and see that there is nothing to conceal, that all they have to talk about they are willing to talk about in the open and talk about with each other; and whence, looking back over the road, we shall see at last that we have fulfilled our promise to mankind. We had said to all the world, “America was created to break every kind of monopoly, and to set men free, upon a footing of equality, upon a footing of opportunity, to match their brains and their energies.” And now we have proved that we meant it.Read More
The Rule of Law is pure power. Have at it folks. Thank you progressives for all that you have done to take our gloves off for us.
The language of the progressive is power. There is no other foundation of truth for the progressive. You must meet the progressive in this language and this language alone in the field of
‘law.’ The only standard is this- who holds the power?
It is time to make the empire of death shake.
The only candidate that understands and has demonstrated power is Scott Walker. No one else is even close. They all have warts, including Walker, but no one ever proved they were not afraid to use power in the face of the full force of the WHOLE progressive machine like Walker has.
He gutted them. Like a fish. In a purple state.
I don’t care about rhetoric, pretty hair, family lineage, Walker IS power.
I do not care for Donald Trump. I understand his appeal. He is, to America, what Putin is to Russia, a guy who will totally represent for America’s interests.
If you recall, when Putin first started butting heads with Obama, he was practically a hero to the right.
I confess to feeling that seductive pull myself.. Finally, someone who defied the King.
Trump is tapping into an authentic rage in America, for good or for ill.
The fact that he is now in a plural tie with Bush is an indication that no candidate has galvanized a broad base of support.
No candidate, before Trump, has tapped into that fed up crowd that just wants to see a victory, both at the polls and on the world stage.
We should be careful not to slash and burn those Trump supporters. We can talk about why Trump is not, should not be their guy, without unnecessarily trashing either Trump or, more importantly, his supporters.
How did the Republic die and how do we restore it? The story of the 16th and 17th Amendments and the rise of the Mobocracy.Read More
The ideology of Homo economicus behind the architect of President Obama’s fundamental transformation of America, Cass SunsteinRead More