On February 7, 2009, just a few weeks after Barack Obama's inauguration, Newsweek Magazine's cover proclaimed, "We Are All Socialists Now." The headline heralded the new trajectory of the nation, foretelling the passage of massive spending bills, titanic government growth, and most importantly, legislation intended to re-engineer American society.
In the beginning, there was TARP (the type of bipartisan effort that is always wildly acclaimed by the media), enacted in the waning days of the Bush Administration. Then: The stimulus package, Obamacare, auto company bailouts, quantitative easing, cap and trade, card check, Dodd-Frank -- these represent major efforts of the Obama Administration, working in conjunction with the Democrat-dominated 111th Congress. Some became law; others mercifully died before reaching 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
When Tea Party sentiment sent a tidal wave of fiscally conservative legislators to Capitol Hill in 2010, the White House changed its tack, and began its work of reshaping society through executive fiat.
Sweeping transformation -- which had been promised in 2008 amid a profusion of Greek columns and Stars and Stripes, evoking an aura of democracy -- was now being accomplished behind closed doors, circumventing the People's House.
The Executive Branch launched a massive expansion of EPA regulations, condemning reliable American energy sources and jobs while promoting pie in the sky green energy and jobs in their stead. And a year ago, when Health and Human Services announced the contraceptive mandate as part of Obamacare, it was clear to many that this was a shot across the bow at religious liberty, the very bedrock of the American Idea.
This type of raw power exercised by the Executive Branch has felt oddly foreign, if not dictatorial. And now, elected for a second term, the hubris of the President is returning, demonstrated very clearly in his non-negotiations regarding the fiscal cliff.
A sinking feeling has settled in the gut of many Americans: We again have made an enormous electoral mistake, and only We the People, not our log-jammed Congress or even the Supreme Court, as demonstrated in its Affordable Health Care Act ruling, can set us right again.
According to a recent Rasmussen Poll, just five percent (5%) of Likely U.S. Voters now rate Congress' performance as good or excellent. While the President's favorability rating remains over fifty percent (50%), it's highly likely it will soon plummet. After all, that's precisely why so much of Obamcare's implementation was deferred until after the November 2012 election.
Now, a full year after the contraceptive/abortifacient mandate was announced, the White House hasn't softened its stance. Why would it? The Administration doesn't care about its unconstitutional infringement on religious liberty. Religious liberty, like economic and personal freedom, has always proven to be a nuisance when it comes to the advancement of tyrannies, whether soft or hard.
A couple of years ago, it was only Tea Partiers -- those who had become cognizant of Washington's fiscal irresponsibility and unchecked growth -- who felt threatened enough to take a stand and work for change. Now, Catholics, Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, among others, are beginning to sense the imminent threat against daily living out of their faith.
Were we all to coalesce in the name of freedom, in the name of the very idea of America, we could see Main Street triumph over the statists' ugly, misguided dreams for our nation.
We stand at a crossroads: Either we collectively raise a white flag and passively yield a greater share of our personal, economic and religious liberty to the monstrous Washington Leviathan, or we stand our ground and resist.
It's time to face facts, to roll up our sleeves, to make difficult decisions and choose to sacrifice for the common good of this nation. What else can we do? Will our children and grandchildren forgive us our selfishness in loading them with backbreaking, heartbreaking debt? Can we really justify continuing on as smug, entitled adults, ignoring the disaster our current trajectory guarantees?
Like the greatest generation which preceeded us, and the generations before them which fought world, civil and revolutionary wars to advance and protect the idea of America and the American experience, it is time for our generation to stop taking her for granted and work hard to protect the freedoms and prosperity of our progeny.
From here on through to the foreseeable future, it's Main Street versus Washington's ruling class; It's grassroots and common sense versus the machine of the statists, who, whether Republican or Democrat, share in common their contempt and disregard for those who elected them to power.
We are all Patriot Pragmatists Now. Not by choice, but by absolute necessity.