“…But the Chief Justice says, ‘There must be an ultimate arbiter somewhere.’ True, there must; but does that prove it is either party? The ultimate arbiter is the people of the Union, assembled by their deputies in convention, at the call of Congress or of two-thirds of the States. Let them decide to which they mean to give an authority claimed by two of their organs. And it has been the peculiar wisdom and felicity of our Constitution, to have provided this peaceable appeal, where that of other nations is at once to force.”
~ Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Justice William Johnson Monticello (June 12, 1823)
It is foolish to think the reaction of the politically progressive left to Trump is limited to Trump himself. It is the same reaction to any force that is non-progressive. EVERYBODY they don’t like is Hitler. Only they are pure of motive and spirit. Only they deserve to rule because they KNOW all that is right and good and know that people can’t be trusted to know those things for themselves – they must be told.
This is the crux of the issue…and it is not new. America fought a war of necessity to liberate its people from the remote monarchical, autocratic rule of King George III. A ruler sitting in an insular court in London, 3700 miles away from American shores. Now we fight a government every bit as monarchical, autocratic and insular. Physical distance has simply been replaced with ideological, philosophical and intellectual separation.
The issue is that Washington, the major metropolitan areas and the concordant “deep state” bureaucracies they breed and support treats the several states (particularly the flyover states) as colonies. In fact, there are so few factual differences between the “…history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States” Jefferson so eloquently expressed in the Declaration of Independence regarding the crimes of King George and the actions of today’s government as to render them indistinguishable from each other.
I pulled three tweets together from a twitter rant by the inimitable Iowahawk (David Burge) to crystallize this notion:
“People in SF don’t want to be ruled by stump-toothed hillbillies, and people in Kentucky don’t want to be ruled by bathhouse pervs. Okay. Right now, both of them feel threatened by a sinister distant colonial force they can’t comprehend. The answer to all this is not a perpetual conflict on who gets control over the levers of colonial power.
The answer, oddly enough, comes from the original intent of the founders – state-level self determination. If California or Oregon wants to have legalized weed and high-speed rail, then bully for them. It’s none of Alabama’s business.”
THIS is the issue…and it has been since the Federalists and Anti-Federalists sparred over the proper role of a central government. It has been since the Marshall Court gave sole power of constitutional interpretation to itself in Marbury v. Madison [5 U.S. 137 (1803)].
The theme of government as expressed by the American political progressive left today is nothing new. It is Alexander Hamilton juiced up with Marx. It presupposes that the majority of society has a savage, unlearned nature and the ability to democratically rule themselves is absent. This is a theory developed in Plato’s Republic, Leviathan written by Thomas Hobbes and Utopia by Sir Thomas More – these three theses resulted in two basic propositions:
First, the public at large must be ruled by a small and elite group trusted to rule justly. In the case of Plato, it was the Guardians, with Hobbes, it was a Sovereign and More’s ideal society had a Prince. Secondly, the people had little say in the role they played in the daily life of the society and all was planned in excruciatingly painful detail and their responsibility was but to execute that plan.
Stripped to the lowest common denominator, this is still the theme song that is being played over and over in the actions of the Obama administration. It is no secret that it is also a tune danced to by “progressives” on both sides of the aisle – just look at how power continues to be concentrated in Washington, how many programs are “centrally planned” by some federal agency and how much of our “governance” is executed by some federal employee or appointee.
As Lenin reportedly questioned, “Who, Whom?” As in who plans for whom, who decides for whom, and ultimately, who rules whom? I the American experiment in liberty, the original answer to that question was “the individual” but the rise of progressivism and communism changed all that. Now we have raised to dominance the equivalent of Plato’s Council of Guardians, a distant and isolated government with the same plenary power as any king.
This, more than any other, is the issue. I do not want to rule or be ruled. I do not want to be “ruled by stump-toothed hillbillies” or “bathhouse pervs”. This is the superior argument, the superior condition. This is what America was designed to be.