May 16, 2010
Why Conservatives Love the FoundersBy James Lewis
A Salon writer wonders, "What's the conservative fetish with the Founding Fathers?"
It's because we read history, my sadly ignorant friend. So did the Founders.
History is full of Obamas, and the people who idolized such power-hungry, self-glorifying narcissists. The Founders understood human history in their very bones because they read history -- from the Bible to the Roman Empire to bloody and tyrannical Europe to the Americas themselves. If you want to understand Obama, just look at any idolized hero in Latin America: Chávez, Fidel, Bolivar, Juan Perón. Look at European monarchs. Look at Napoleon.
They are all the famous Man on Horseback, the hero of the hour who instantly turns into a tyrant. Even today Latin America is bedeviled by its own Obamas, who all demand to be idolized and worshiped. Obamas are a dime a dozen.
The Founders knew about abuse of power by arrogant and ignorant narcissists over and over again in human history. They read it in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. They read it in the Book of Kings, where you can find out all about Saddam Hussein, because the politics of the Middle East hasn't changed much. They saw it in the Middle East of their day, which was full of clan tyrannies and immense cruelty. Arab slavers were still raiding Britain when the Founders proclaimed the Declaration of Independence.
They read it in Plutarch's Lives of the Ceasars. They read it in the history of Athens, torn between bloody factions and constantly raising new Obamas to power.
You see, all you Salonistas, the Founders were profoundly educated people. They were passionate believers in the Enlightenment. They understood the role of free speech, free thought, free political debate, and free trade. They saw the benefits of freedom in their own lives.
The Founders knew about slavery in the South, and they were deeply ashamed of it. But unlike contemporary liberals, who are massively ignorant of everything but their navels, they also knew that slavery was the norm in the British Royal Navy, for example, which recruited its sailors by force, using press gangs in London and other port cities. The British Navy also kidnapped American sailors.
The Royal Navy abolished the African slave trade. But common British sailors were whipped to work every day. They slept in 28 inches of space, almost as bad as African slaves, kept in bondage (deserters were hanged) and drug-addicted on daily grog and beer. The Founders knew about slavery in Biblical times and among Russia's serfs. They knew about slavery in France and the German states, where violence was used routinely to keep peasants tied to the land. The Founders also knew about the mental slavery that comes from indoctrination, which is why they loved liberty, including liberty of faith.
The Founders understood that liberty had to come in stages. Only tyrants claim to create instant paradise. Practical statesmen work step by step. They created the intellectual and legal framework for the liberation of the slaves. When Abraham Lincoln came along, Americans were willing to fight a terrible war to free the slaves, even if more than half a million people had to die. Read the lyrics of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and you can see the real campaign for human liberty, not the fantasy version liberals entertain today. Liberty is bought very dearly, in blood and suffering. (And it was Christian Abolitionists who created the campaign to liberate the slaves.)
America's wars of liberation were real, not frauds like the Marxist ones. We brought liberty to Europe in World War I, in World War II, and in the Cold War. We brought liberty to American slaves in the Civil War. No other nation in history can claim anything close to that.
The Founders created the first land of liberty in human history. To be sure, they learned a great deal from British political thinkers like John Locke and Edmund Burke, and from the classical writers. They demanded for themselves the rights that were (theoretically) granted to Englishmen of their time. Meanwhile, the French Revolution led to massive bloodshed and twenty years of war to conquer Europe. Napoleon was another Obama idol.
Read your history, my friends...real history, not the Leftist propaganda version.
America gave the first great opportunity in human history to start afresh. The Founders used that opportunity to create the greatest political foundation in history -- because they understood that human nature hasn't changed, and that there would be those (like Obama) so power-oriented that they would try to lord it over all Americans. The Constitution was carefully designed to stop and balance human powermongers like Obama. It has done so for two hundred years, and today it is the Marxist Left that is mounting a great assault on the U.S. Constitution. But Marx never changed human nature.
The Left seems to believe that Karl Marx found a better way than the American Founders did. But look at the works of Marxism: the Soviets, Maoism, Pol Pot. One hundred million human beings killed by Marxist regimes in the 20th century alone. Look at North Korea, my sadly ignorant friends. Look at Robert Mugabe and his ilk. Look at the Nazis and their close affinity for Marxist totalitarians.
Karl Marx was just a throwback to all the slave-taking empires in history. Marx was born in Prussia, and he idolized the chief propaganda-philosopher of Prussia for his own "philosophy." (That was Friedrich Hegel.) Marx wanted a militaristic state run by an elite of Marx followers who would indoctrinate all the workers to march in lockstep to the Central Commander. Is that what you want? It's what Obama is creating for the United States today.
Read a little history, my poor friend, and you will see Obamas everywhere you look. Lenin was an Obama (and the Obama campaign deliberately used Lenin imagery for its propaganda). Stalin was an Obama. Mussolini was an Obama. Napoleon was an Obama. Putin is an Obama. Ahmadinejad is an Obama. Saddam was an Obama.
America never had a rock star president until the Obama campaign. George Washington made very sure no one would suspect him of being an Obama. Lincoln never claimed to be an Obama. None of our presidents have paraded themselves as Obamas -- not until Obama came along and brought the psychology of self-glorifying narcissism to these shores. And the Left snapped to and saluted Obama, worshiped at his feet of clay in that ancient and corrupt way that humans have known for millennia.
Are rock stars your idea of an American president? If so, please go back to school and read a little history.
Russian president Medvedev said this last week -- said it out loud, to the deaf, dumb and blind Leftists of the world:
Conservatives love the Founders because we read history. We know that you don't read history. Obama doesn't know history.
That's why you liberals scare us.