The Rising Fever of Despotism

Andrew McCarthy commands a well-deserved respect for his insightful and thought provoking discourse on American conservatism. And Saturday's' NRO column clearly delineates what many conservatives think about the despotic nature of this Administration. The sharply focused conclusion, that tyranny's deadly embrace has ensnared our nation, should set painfully on the shoulders of all Americans.

Here are the opening and ending paragraphs:

The thing to understand about the Department of Health and Human Services' birth-control mandate, and the last, is that it is an assault on both faithful Christians and the Constitution by leftists who consider themselves at "war" -- their word -- with bourgeois America. It has nothing to do with guaranteeing access to contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacients. [...]

There would not be a United States without the Bill of Rights -- absent the understanding that a Bill of Rights would soon be added, the states would not have ratified the Constitution. There would not be a Bill of Rights without the guarantees of free speech and religious liberty enshrined in the very first amendment. This is the irreducible core of the social contract: Government may not compel an American to parrot the policy preferences of the executive branch, nor may it force an American to engage in or directly abet practices that are repellent to Christian doctrine.

The Obama Left is well aware of these things, for these things are basic. The president does not care. His doctrine, hard-Left doctrine, is government promotion of contraception and abortion on demand. On these tenets, he brooks no dissent. Regardless of what the Constitution says, you are commanded to obey. He has started the war against our liberties not because of any crisis, but because he can. That is tyranny. It is a rupturing of the American conception of sovereignty, in which the president is our servant, not our ruler. It cannot stand.

"That is tyranny." For a rational intelligent citizen who loves this country and who appreciates the founding principles enshrined in the Declaration of the Independence, that phrase invokes a profound detestation of the moral and authoritarian schisms, purposefully rendered by this Administration, dividing our nation.

Two hundred and thirty-six years after it's signing, the Declaration of Independence shines forth as one of mankind's greatest intellectual achievements. Radical then as now, the Declaration upended the relationship between a monarchial government and the people. So profound are the principles and moral beliefs laid out by Jefferson in 1776, that they still continue to enrage our 21st century's dictators and despots.

How radical is the Declaration of Independence?  Here are the epochal ideas that Jefferson postulated. The Creator endows men, not governments, with certain unalienable rights: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. These rights exist independent of government. So even when a government fails to uphold these rights, the rights endure because they are preexistent to the government.

From the website, by Jacob G. Homberger:

Where then do government's powers come from? The powers come from the people because it is the people who bring government into existence. Government does not preexist the citizenry (and their rights); instead, the government exists by favor of the citizenry. Thus, whenever the people wish to dismantle or abolish government, it is their right to do so, since the existence of government depends on the will of those who bring it into existence -- that is, the people.

As a tyrant becomes increasingly and unceasingly abusive of our rights, at what point should the people abolish the government anew?  The Declaration of Independence answers this question with exquisite eloquence.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. 

Certainly political theory does not get any more radical, or rational, than that.

The United States now suffers the fever of despotism, in great part, because Congress has relentlessly abrogated its sworn Constitutional duty. Article One, Section One of the Constitution informs us:

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Nowhere in the Constitution do we find that Executive branch appointees, such as those comfortably ensconced at HHS, EPA, or Treasury may write laws that the people are expected to obey. Congress and her law-writing committees were once responsible for actually writing all the Federal laws and regulations, down to the smallest detail. Now Congress passes two thousand pages of overview legislation that specifically permits the unelected, unappointed, and unconfirmed bureaucrats to add cauldrons full of the devil brew to the details of new legislation. The Founders of this country would be aghast at the powers so easily forfeited by Congress and hoarded by the Executive branch.

Congress has also allowed a non-Constitutional plague of mutant appointees: Obama's czars. These goose-stepping Marxist termites gnaw at our Constitutional foundation of checks and balances.  Here is an excerpt from a Judicial Watch report on the forty-five czars deeply imbedded in the Executive agencies. Read the entire report here, a terrifying piece of investigative reporting.

President Barack Obama has installed personal advisors in czar positions in the White House and has created new czar positions elsewhere in the Executive Branch. As of the date of this report, the number of czars that have been appointed by the President, or by others in his administration, appears to total 45. In addition, there are as many as 18 other unfilled or planned czar positions.

"Many of these 'czars' are unconfirmed by the Senate and are largely unaccountable to Congress. Further, their activities are often outside the reach of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), creating a veil of secrecy about their precise role in the administration.

Czars appointees have seized unprecedented control over major aspects of government policy and programs.

In some instances, unconfirmed czars have authority, in seeming violation of the U.S. Constitution, over certain Senate-confirmed officers.

A number of the czars have been linked to scandals, thefts and kickbacks, flagrant and offensive statements, conflicts of interest, and radical leftist political ideologies and policies.

Barack Obama's unconstitutional use of czars to help run his administration is at odds with republican, limited, and accountable government. Obama has simply installed his radical leftist allies in various positions of power while thumbing his nose at Congress and the American people. As we document in this report, too many of these czars have proven to be corrupt or radicals (or sometimes both). No wonder the Obama administration fights tooth and nail to allow these czars to operate in secret.

Thomas Jefferson reaches out over the centuries to counsel us that,  "Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes." The requirement for such forceful change will results from a cascade of bitter failures within our social and governmental institutions. We are not at that fork of history. However, thoughtful conservatives must look toward some uncomfortable duties, a start of redress, to stem our current slide into tyranny.

That initial redress starts today when each one of us begins to reach out, one on one, to our liberal neighbors, co-workers, friends and family. We must patiently discuss today's headlines within the context of the Declaration of Independence. By educating and reminding them of America's self-evident truths, unalienable rights, and that our government derives its powers from the consent of the governed, we open minds and give substance to the looming icebergs of tyranny, dead ahead.

Redress also means that Congress must start doing its job. Congress should follow the Constitution by actually writing the laws in public view, rather than fob them off on the Executive agencies. And Congress must de-fund and forever decertify the existence of the czars. Or else we must vote these damn Congressional monarchists out of power. These ideas are less radical then those written in the Declaration. To believe otherwise renders us all silent passengers on that "long train of abuses and usurpations."

Americans, Lincoln and Jefferson's people, may have but a single Constitutionally mandated opportunity to avoid a further "rupturing of the American conception of sovereignty, in which the president is our servant, not our ruler." November 6th, 2012 will become a crucial day of national reckoning, not unlike that warm July day in Philadelphia, two hundred and thirty-six years ago.

 "Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." -Thomas Jefferson