An Apology to the RNL

[For Kells, and my buddy, Bill: both of whom have tried to make this stiff-necked individual a better person — in spite of himself.  Kells, Bill, I hope this reads the way it sounds in my head.]

I want to apologize to the readers of the RNL, and more so, to Utah.  The exchange between us this past week and a half has been misunderstood, and that is my fault.  I have always said that, if the reader does not understand what you write, you are primarily at fault, and I readily accept the blame for this dispute.  I want all of you to know that I am not Utah’s enemy, nor am I nor will I ever be an enemy of Natural Law and Natural Rights.  Unfortunately, I realized too late that what everyone has been seeking is beyond my talent and ability to provide.  I was too blind to see that this made me part of the problem, not the solution.

As Utah correctly explained, Jefferson was an ideas guy.  Madison was the guy who figured out how to put those ideas into action and, if you read the history, you’ll find that Madison had the help of men like John Adams who made them happen.  I have always thought we all have a role to play and should serve in the function where our talents lie.  Sadly, mine lie with ideas.  I have always said that Utah is one of those who make things happen and expressed my admiration of his accomplishments and envy of that ability.  But the ability Utah has is beyond me and always will be.  All I have to offer is the knowledge and understanding I have accumulated over 48 years of reading history and philosophy.  I do not know how to affect the changes so many here seem to be seeking.  I’m sorry.  I wish I did.  I only wish I could convey the intensity of the frustration I feel, born of the helplessness I feel at not being able to serve this nation again by providing some of those answers.

And now,… now I see that I have come off as an insufferable ass.  Where I was begging and pleading with Utah in my mind when I wrote the majority of the posts in this recent exchange, I see now that they did come off as arrogant, preachy and lecturing.  It no longer matters that this was not my intention, nor what I felt, the damage is done.  Again, that is my fault, as well.  I am a social misfit: I do not know how to sugar coat the truth.  It has always been what it is to me, thus, never an excuse for hard feelings.  I mean, how does one get upset over someone telling them the sky is blue, grass is green and water is wet?  But they do, and I can never see how I always end up doing this before I do it.  Add that to the list of my many faults.

But there is one thing I can tell you; something that I know to be true because history tells us it is true.  If we want to save individual rights and liberty, self-government and the rule of law, we must be very careful about seeking political solutions.  I have tried to use the example of Christ to make my point, and I will return to it now – only I will try to be as clear as I can as to what I am trying to illustrate.  If you know the Biblical story, then you understand that one of the major reasons the Jews did not recognize Christ as the Messiah is because they were looking for a political savior, not a spiritual one.  But liberty is not in the realm of politics, it is in the heart and soul of the people.  This is one of the most important lessons our founders tried to explain to us – so we would not forget and, if we did, we would know where to focus our efforts to correct our mistakes.  Please consider these words:

 “The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations … This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.”

–John Adams

If the people are morally sound, they need no more law than the Ten Commandments.  They will do the right thing because they are moral, not because man’s law tells them they must.  At the same time, we must guard ourselves – all of us, myself included – against falling into the temptation to “do something.”  Demanding action without thought leads to all manner of results, but seldom to the preservation of history.  Again, we need but look to history to find history’s warnings:

Democracy is talking itself to death. The people do not know what they want; they do not know what is the best for them. There is too much foolishness, too much lost motion. I have stopped the talk and the nonsense. I am a man of action. Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. You in America will see that some day.

–Benito Mussolini

And do I need to remind any of you of how often Obama and those in his Party have suggested he “just do it” because they were tired of the “bipartisanship?”  This is why I try so hard to get people to look to history: because what we are doing is not new.  This has all been done before, and we can learn from the mistakes others made, but only if we want to do so.

 These are really the only two choices man has for governing society: the conscience of the individual citizen, or the will of whatever government reigns over him.  So, when I ask you to consider the foundations of this nation, the principles and ideals which were guiding Jefferson when he wrote the Declaration of Independence, I am begging you to make sure you understand the choice we must make.  Once again, I do not know how to explain that choice any better than this:

“Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”

— Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House

Now, because I sincerely do not like to tell people what to do, all I can do is leave you to figure out what this means to you and how you can use it to further the cause of liberty.

12 thoughts on “An Apology to the RNL

  1. You mean the RNL engages in censorship, after both Joe and Utah have criticized me because my site automatically holds first-time comments in case they’re spam or profane? Tsk, tsk. 😉

    In truth, I can see how that might be justified, and it sounds like Joe made an appropriate call. I just find it ironic, especially considering that so far I’ve never felt the need to censor anyone’s comments.

    • See what happens when people do not understand the English language? Here, a “professor” has mistaken the enforcement of a stated rules policy as “censorship.” Next thing you know, the “professor” — through “interpretation” — will equate the enforcement of stated rules as a propaganda campaign designed to malign the character of those who break the rules.

      Then note how he justifies REAL censorship: the holding of ALL posts until HE “approves” them. That means you can never know whether the “professor” — here, a self-professed arbiter of “better” — actually conducts censorship or not because he decides whose posts get to be read in secret.

      And there you have it: the 180 degree rule in action — and from one of the self-appointed elite, no less. How privileged we are to have his counsel.

      • “the enforcement of a stated rules policy ”

        Maybe–assuming the rules policy was clear. But it seems that you guys decide which “profanity” is too much (always from people who disagree with you), while letting others go. So how about some clarity, Joe, on what’s “too profane”? I wouldn’t want to accidently break any “rules.”

        And let’s see, if “real censorship,” is the holding of posts, you’ve also engaged in that here several times. Some of my posts (especially early on) never went through, others after they’d been held. But surely we can trust that you weren’t conducting censorship, right?

        “How privileged we are to have his counsel.”

        You finally got something right. 😉

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