Yet another lazy re-post from February 18, 2012:
One of our co-bloggers, hockeydad, asked Black3 how we get to something that is “conservative” and good for the country – what do we do?
I think that there is a general consensus that none of us on the right are truly satisfied with the crop of candidates this time – they all have significant flaws and are perfect examples of why this time I am settling for the ABO strategy.
So what do we do?
I’ve long proposed that any sustained political change must start at the cultural level. My belief that political change comes from cultural change is still strong and I have seen nothing to alter that belief. I have changed my opinion about one thing – and that is salvaging the Republican Party. I have come to believe that Black3 was right all along, there is no salvaging the Republican Party as a home for classical liberals (the artists formerly known as conservatives). I’m still not all that jazzed about a third party in the short term because of the lack of resources that a third party has to compete on a national level and the contemporary history of failure of such efforts – but the position that the Republican establishment has put us in is not a good place to be.
It is clear to me that if I have to support a Republican candidate because of his supposed “electability” as the primary driver; I’m not going to be very happy with the eventual result.
Here’s what we face.
Classical liberals do not:
- Have a voice in either major party
- Have support in the media (the mainstream media doesn’t even understand liberty)
- Have any meaningful organizational structure
What we do have is the Constitution, and in my mind this is a pretty significant tool.
The revolution we seek cannot be fought on a battlefield that is owned by our enemies and we have to find one where we have at least an equal chance. This will not be easy because the “progressives”/statists/secular humanists have infiltrated every area of American life. In fact, my friends, the communists that were fought and pushed back in the 50’s and 60’s have today almost won their greatest prize – America.
The “progressive” agenda has been institutionalized in the:
- Schools – from kindergarten to graduate school, the government is there in funding, defining curriculum, setting standards, forcing the teaching of a “progressive”/secular humanist agenda – at the college level, colleges and universities are suckling at the teat of federal student loans,
- Local governments – that beg at the federal altar for funds that have been taken from other communities
- State governments – again that beg at the federal altar for funds that have been taken from other communities
- Federal government – reaching into every aspect of contemporary life via a myriad of agencies, commissions, courts and legislative and executive process – there isn’t a single thing that you can touch from the time that you awake until you go to sleep that hasn’t been regulated, certified, taxed or labeled by some agency or by a private firm as a government requirement – there is a government mandate for the fluorescent light bulb you switch on in the morning to the mandated warning label on the mattress you go to sleep on – probably is one on your pillow, too.
- Judiciary – activist judges abound, looking to foreign law for support for their “progressive” desires, one, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who doesn’t even believe the Constitution she is sworn to uphold is worth emulating
- Political parties – the two major parties are “progressive” at their core. Republicans are pulled to the right by movements like the Tea Party, the Democrats go left and embrace the communists and collectivists like the OWS “movement”, International ANSWER, the unions and the Communist Party USA
- Media – “progressive” bias abounds in the major outlets
- Churches – “progressive” orthodoxy has largely replaced the Word of God in many of the most liberal denominations and these congregations have allowed God to be replaced by the government as a spiritual authority.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are grossly outnumbered. There is a lot of inertia behind the cycle of dependence that this “progressive” agenda has created.
We are in a pattern where the government is responsible for a crisis or an unintended consequence and instead of stopping the practice that caused it, they create another program or policy to mitigate it (but they never mitigate it completely and it never goes away) and by doing so insinuate even more government presence than before. Then it becomes ingrained into our psyche and we accept more government as “normal”. Ace at AOSHQ, had a brilliant post about this syndrome last week, an example of his personal acceptance of this type of passive aggressive government integration:
I grew up on the East Coast. For a while, I lived in California.
I was blown away to learn that people could just start bonfires on the beach, whenever they liked.
Now, to be honest, I learned on this when the government was trying to crack down on the practice, but I was blown away at the idea that a private citizen could, in this country, previous to changes in this law at least, simply create a bonfire on the beach and enjoy it. Just because he wanted to.
Then I started to think like this: What kind of a mind-screw did they do on me when I should be surprised that people would be allowed to do this?
You see what I mean? My default mental state, thanks to the more statist area I grew up in (at least as far as bonfires) was that of course I wasn’t permitted by The State to build a bonfire and enjoy it.
I internalized that. My default belief, absent any external stimulus, was that of course that would be an Illegal Act, and of course I should not Break the Law.
And this is where I begin to get angry:
How much of each of our current mental landscapes are shaped by government such that we internalize the idea that the basic right to be left alone (presuming you’re not destroying other’s property) doesn’t exist?
How much of we come to accept such restrictions as “just normal”?
If you try to open a shop, how many licenses and inspections and certificates do you need?
And we all of course accept that. Of course we cannot perform a lawful trade without first securing the go-ahead of a half-dozen bureaucratic agencies.
I mean, that’s just normal, right? That’s just how it is, right?
Sixty years ago, would we have thought that was normal?
Or would we have said, “I’m sorry, are you attempting to tell me I cannot pursue a lawful trade without your… permission that I do so?!”
To what extent have we internalized that the “normal” situation of our life is to be unfree, to the extent that a simple pleasure, like building a bonfire on a beach and (get this!) drinking wine while watching it burn, seems like a bizarre indulgence of a malfunctioning anarchy?
I’m angry that someone put into my head the reflexive thought: Of course you mustn’t do that; you aren’t Allowed.
And once you’ve accepted that basic regime of requiring permission and licensing to do most everything in your life– that makes it quite easy for the state to simply begin forbidding you to do whole categories of things altogether.
After all, you’ve accepted you need a license to do this or that, and that license can only come from the government. And if the government then refuses– well, it’s up them, isn’t it? They have the right to deny you, right?
But did they?
When did they accumulate this power?
Just over the course of long decades, as a result of a thousand laws passed For the Public Good, and millions of decisions that it just wasn’t worth fighting over.
If you think about it, even the college loan example is a fitting picture how this cycle gets activated, how we just are sleepwalking into a form of slavery – Marxism – because it has become “normal”.
President Obama just said last week that “everybody should have a chance go to college” – but let’s look at how this gets accomplished. What happens is that from the first day of kindergarten, every – and I mean every – student, regardless of desire, skill or educational ability is told that in order to be successful, they must go to college. For the larger population of students, our preparatory schools are dumbed down by federal guidelines and waste time teaching things like “diversity” because the “progressives” in the education establishment also see the schools having another mission, an agent of “progressive” social change and a vehicle for social engineering. This confused mission churns out students who are grossly unprepared to progress to higher education, so much so that remedial classes and “how to study” courses are taught to a significant percentage of incoming freshmen at our institutional of higher learning.
Pardon my harshness – but if a kid has just graduated after 12 years in school and they have to be re-taught to read, do math, write coherently or be taught effective study skills, perhaps the 12 years were more about babysitting and “social change” than true learning.
So now we have kids who are not qualified for college but a society that says that the must go – no credentials and no money – no problem! Crazy Barry’s Payday Student Loans Company is here to help! Universities suck up the student loans, drawing in massive amounts of money and in many cases imparting little of value to the student -leaving them with a crippling debt and no marketable skills to earn enough money to pay the loan back and – boom! Higher education bubble, here we come! The Fannie/Freddie/Community Reinvestment Act/Dodd/Frank created home mortgage bubble worked so well as a social engineering policy, why not do it again with education, right?
Students leave high school and college unprepared for work, college students loaded with debt (the colleges are the ones who benefitted from the sweet federally guaranteed loan cash), and are underemployed or unemployable – “boom!” again – food stamps, rent assistance, unemployment insurance, federal jobs training programs, welfare, Earned Income Tax Credits, Medicare, Obamacare, etc. Welcome to government dependency – and we aren’t even talking about the welfare queens and their baby daddies here – most of these kids are from middle class homes…
We have to understand the cycle to break it – the “progressive” agenda is more than theoretical and ideological today, it has grown into a functioning leviathan that is grinding the soul of America in the cogs of a massive “Brave New World” machine, belching the combusted freedom and liberty out its exhaust pipe like diesel smoke.
That being said, there is still hope. Like Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) in the Terminator movies said, “There is no fate but what we make”. The weak point in the “progressive” plan, the chink in the armor is not the schools, the media, the churches or the political or government structure – those are lost to us. These are too far gone, too impenetrable, too steeped in the “post-modernist” relativist logic to be redeemed.
The key to the revolution is the family.
This is the one area that the “progressives” have not gained complete control over. We still can separate our families from the outside world long enough to get their attention and teach our children about the America of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, we can still teach them about God and how we owe our natural rights to our Creator. We can still teach them self-respect, loyalty, honor, right from wrong and help them to build a conscience. We can still teach them the evils of Marxism and the benefits of self-reliance and independence. We can teach them how to manage to a budget and the satisfaction of a day’s work well done. We can teach them the TINSTAAFL Principle (there is no such thing as a free lunch).
We can teach them about philosophy, truth, logic and critical thinking – but mostly we can provide them core principles and a solid basis them to think for themselves. We have the tools – the Holy Bible, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, Locke, Montesquieu, de Tocqueville, Hobbes, Rousseau, Plato, and Socrates.
We aren’t going to be able to do this without our kids. Our job is to hold the line until they can come along and clean up the mess that we and the Baby Boomers have made.
It is up to us.