Abraham Lincoln and Relocating Our Founding Principles
The anniversary of President Lincoln's address to the Young Men's Lyceum is January 27. It's fascinating to see that his words still ring true today.
Lincoln tells us that as a nation, we become less sensitive to the reasons for our nation's birth and the Founding Principles that undergird it as we get farther in time from the events that spawned them and that therein lies the true risk to the Republic. The truth in this is manifest as we've seen our nation's founding principles slowly and steadily eroded over the past 245 years. As a result, we now have weakened states' rights, with a Legislative Branch that seems to believe that its purpose is to expand the size of government and a vast and grossly overbearing Executive Branch that has birthed an intractable administrative state that is not accountable to the American citizen.
Listening to the voices of the Digressive Left (I can't call them "Progressive," as they seem to be anything but that), it is easy to conclude that they no longer believe in the founding principles espoused in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and its first ten amendments known as the Bill of Rights. Believe them when they tell us from the White House; local, state, and federal legislatures; the media; and popular culture that they don't believe in freedom of religion, speech, the right to bear arms, the right to privacy, or equal protection, among many others that our Founders felt were our rights because we are humans created in the image of God. They may not say those things as directly, but their words and actions make their intentions self-evident.
It's important to understand that not just one election or even two elections in which the Democrats are not in power is sufficient to return the nation to one that embraces the founding principles. As we look to the 2022 midterm elections and the subsequent 2024 presidential election, Republicans see an opportunity to stop the Digressive left's push toward tyranny and socialism. While there is hope that Republicans can take back control of the House of Representatives and make gains in the Senate establishing their majority with the eventual election of a Republican president in 2024, Republicans at the national, state, and local levels need to be prepared to act upon such an eventuality.
The types of changes that are needed at the national level must start in 2022. Even if the Republicans gain control of the House and Senate with clear majorities, President Biden will still effectively use his veto power for anything that runs counter to the Digressive left's agenda. Republicans need to spend their time getting ready for when a Republican president returns to the White House. Republican leadership needs to begin documenting and generating support among the people for a whole series of laws and initiatives that describe changes that must occur if we are to return the government to performing its true functions through the consent of the governed.
Where to start? I really liked Nikki Haley's latest book and the policy ideas and perspectives espoused there. However, there are some fundamentals beyond the policy topics covered in Governor Haley's book that I want to address. These are all hard to accomplish because many of them go to the heart of powers and authorities both parties have used when having majorities. What follows is an abbreviated list that is not intended to be comprehensive or exhaustive in explanation, but you should get the idea.
The federal government has grown far too large and too intrusive in our daily lives and is unaccountable to the people. Among other things, the Legislative Branch needs to re-establish its budgetary authority, crafting clear laws that limit the president's use of executive orders to allocate and spend money. Further, the Legislative Branch needs to reassert its authority as the source of laws and temper the Executive Branch's ability to regulate with the power of law.
To further address the intractability of the unaccountable Executive Branch, laws need to be established to allow for the removal of federal employees. Every organization that employs people must have the ability to remove employees who behave in a manner contrary to that organization's core beliefs, policies, and goals. Presently, it is nearly impossible to fire a federal employee as President Trump discovered. Further, federal employees should be evaluated on their ability to execute their duties in a non-partisan fashion committing principally to upholding the Constitution and the principles upon which it was founded.
Deficit spending must be curtailed or stopped, and decisions must be made about limiting the size of government. This requires laws that place restrictions on spending and penalties to lawmakers that imperil the nation's ability to conduct its business. Servicing the interest on our debt will consume more and more of the budget soon, and if we don't start taking some actions now, future Americans will be forced to respond to an economic calamity with far fewer options. Entitlement reform must be tackled now and needs to be supported by a communication campaign of epic proportions.
The Citizens United decision opened the floodgates to nearly unlimited dark-money spending by Democrats, who seem to always have far more money for their initiatives than Republicans. While the Supreme Court's logic in promoting free speech is understandable, the reality is that the amount of money going to campaigns is staggering. One only needs to look at how George Soros's money has upended the justice system in American cities by electing district attorneys whose views and policies are antithetical to societal norms and the law. The last ten years since Citizens United have shown that spending on elections is neither transparent nor immune to corruption, and reform is needed here. Further, the ability of large companies with near infinite dollars to influence elections needs to end. The recent expenditure of $400 million by Mark Zuckerberg to enhance the fairness of elections seems to have had a decidedly lopsided effect, which was its intention all along. Restricting the ability to pay for local election officials needs to be a priority.
You may agree with all, some, or none of this list. But what cannot be denied is that the Republicans need a plan, and it needs to be coordinated at the national, state, and local levels. We cannot afford to be disorganized as we approach what we all hope is the beginning of the limitation of tyrannical federal power being pushed by the Digressive left and its allies in the Democrat party, the media, Big Tech, and academia. We have precious little time to start the process and need to be prepared with a communication blitz to counter the hysterical wailing and dissembling not only from the Digressive left, but also from Democrats who long ago abandoned the principles of our Republic.
Lincoln warned us 184 years ago of what would come and asked us to commit to the founding principles as a "political religion." His prescience should astound us all.
Robert LaBella is a retired corporate executive of the small business he founded serving the DoD and Intelligence Community and is passionate about America's founding principles. You can find him on GETTR.
Image via Max Pixel.