Is It Too Late to Save the Constitutional Republic?
The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll has some alarming news. It appears that the more the American public finds out about the Tea Party, the more they dislike it.
The immediate question that comes to mind is, "what is to dislike about smaller, more responsible central government that is guided by our founding principles"? I am afraid that the answer to that question is one many of us constitutional conservatives do not want to face.
There are only three possible reasons for the poll results:
- The poll results are skewed on purpose in an election-year attempt by partisan hacks to affect the results in their favor;
- Reaction to the infighting that has taken over the Tea Party movement between the factions that want to stay above politics and those who want the movement to be more activist in nature; and
- Reflection of societal transformation as a result of another three years of policies to promote ever-increasing government dependence.
I am afraid that the answer may not be as comforting as the first two possibilities.
Benjamin Franklin astutely observed that "[o]nce the people find out they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the Republic." Thus goes the history of the greatest, most successful constitutional republic the world has witnessed.
Actually, Franklin was off in his prediction by only about a hundred years; we did not start our journey down the slippery slope of socialism until the turn of the 20th century -- the period known as the Progressive Era. The history of progressive largesse can be traced back to that great Republican -- Theodore Roosevelt -- who in the grand Northeastern Republican fashion believed in government action to mitigate social ills at any cost, as encapsulated in his Square Deal program, and in the courts to yield to the executive branch on anti-trust matters.
T.R. was the father of American progressivism, but he was by no means the only personification of the great progressive tradition that has come to undermine our constitutional republic. With the exceptions of Presidents Coolidge and, to a lesser extent, Reagan, all American presidents in the modern era have carried the water of progressivism, with the worst offenders being Wilson, FDR, LBJ, and the current resident of the White House.
Be it the New Deal, the War on Poverty, or many other ill-advised pieces of legislation passed by progressives from both parties, the great American experiment in self-governance may have finally borne its bitter fruit in conformance with human nature, which seeks security at any cost. The ultimate cost of dependence on the state, in terms of losing one's liberties, is lost on all but the few who have had the benefit of developing critical thinking skills, which our educational system has purposefully neglected thanks to the systematic implementation of cultural Marxism in schools since the 1950s. Progressive politicians realize and capitalize on this fact with policies that increase dependency on the state, thus robbing any trace of individuality left in an ever-increasing segment of the society. All the while, progressives elsewhere -- most notably in education, culture, and courts -- have been steadily eroding the traditional value system of society, which must be gradually replaced with a modern, utilitarian progressive outlook if the transformation to utopian collectivism is to be successfully implemented.
This utopian collectivist vision of what America should look like is all but reality in the eyes of the fifth column. The question is, have we really reached that critical tipping point, where welfare mentality is more prevalent than rugged individualism? Maybe, maybe not. One thing is for sure, though: constitutional conservatives have to come to the sobering realization that reversing this destructive trend toward the ever-present state in our lives will take great dedication and patience -- the type progressives have shown for over a century now. If not to Franklin and our other founding fathers, we certainly owe it to our children.
Kerem Oner blogs at http://defendourconstitution.blogspot.com.