I was reading on Powerline today about Harold Koh's new vision for American foreign policy. This says something about the Obama Administration's general philosophy about our country and in politics generally.
Honest people can disagree about things, but there is a real disconnect here that I find very troubling: I believe that we live in a beautiful and wonderful country that has provided bounty and goodness around the globe like no other in the history of mankind. Now the Obama folks seem to disagree with this basic assumption. The evidence seems to suggest that they look at this country and see only the injustice and discord and not much of the good. They take issue with inequality of results, no matter what the cause and don't seem to have a love of individual liberty in a true political sense. Their version of liberty only involves the libertine aspects of society. In other words, people are free to act in grotesque personal behavior, but somehow private property rights and keeping the fruits of one's own labor and luck is suspect and in some circles, criminally so.
Not only do they disagree with the American idea as founded, but they detest the fact that I have the beliefs that I do and will force their will on me if given the chance through any back-door means they can fabricate. I don't want this Administration "...to press our own government to avoid the most negative and damaging features of American exceptionalism". I want them to defend and support those wonderful things about American exceptionalism and if teapot dicators, and culturally suicidal European socialists have a problem with it, then those people need to deal with it. Now I don't know exactly what Mr. Koh finds 'negative' and/or 'damaging' about our exceptionalism, but I have a feeling that I would find his concerns neither negative nor damaging, unless I was more concerned about what evil men thought than the liberty of my own people.
The problem that the current Administration's philosophy has is that America is a better place, it is a better country than all the rest, it is in our interests to keep it that way and the American people, by and large know this in their core. In fact, it is in everyone's interest around the planet to preserve our peculiar and precious form of government. No other political experiment has born so much good fruit, and nothing that we have in the offing today promises more for the future. The alternative forms of government fill the ashheaps of history's failures and changing the name of it with slick new marketing doesn't change the nature of it, nor will it avert the inevitable outcome of collectivist government control of a country's resources and people.
The political operators are getting to critical mass on being able to support themselves in spite of the will of the people. Their attempts to usurp the will of The People of the United States must fail or we will suffer grave consequences down the road. Just read some history.
I have been reading a lot about the 1930's here and abroad lately and the parallels are frightening. Things will not go down the same way, they never do, but there are patterns here that will be repeated, not like a Xerox machine, but like chaotic attractor - like an insect's orbit about a back porch light on a warm summer night. We have seen the end of this movie before.
Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini (Cole Porter's song with the line "you're the top, you're Mussolini"), were lauded and revered by the American Left early in their careers. If not for the sick predeliction for ethnic cleansing and invading other countries, they would still be looked upon with a favorable eye by our current political left. It is unfortunate that we are not allowed to examine the early careers of these men in polite political discourse because of the latter part of their careers, because we would all find it illuminating. Not being bound by political correctness, I will note the similarities as I find them.
I think what media types in the mainstream miss, due to ideology, or simply a lack of education or interest in history is that the political spectrum that most people understand is wrong. Glenn Beck illustrated this by making the point that there is totalitarian governments on one side and anarchy on the other side of the grand spectrum and the US is as close as humanly possible to the anarchy side when it was founded and now we find ourselves deeply under the shadow of the totalitarian side and the difference between the R and D isn't significant when compared to how far we have come away from the tremendous liberty that we had at the country's founding. I would further refine this to say that there is a free society, exhibited by the United States of Amercia on one side of the spectrum and literally EVERYTHING else on the other side. Monarchy, Oligarchy, Plutarchy, Socialism, Communism, Islamic Sharia rule, and anything else are simply different forms of one, small group of powerful people, dictating their wishes upon the rest. I would also throw in there that trusting your fellow countryman to his own devices is a uniquely Christian concept and could not have occured without a Christian culture that this country was immersed in and birthed into.
The nature of political collectivism is that the belief that a small group of smart people can control and take care of everyone else doesn't work, and when they try, they automatically must grab more and more power to control more and more variables in the systems that they are trying to control. Since these systems are organic, they cannot be controlled from a central location and attempts to do so inevitably fail miserably and ususally tragically. You see, the small group of smart guys eventually give in to their human natures and the sin of pride. They begin to have a certain disdain and later outright contempt for the common citizen that they claim to care so much about. Their frustration with these 'stupid' masses, enable them to rationalize all sorts of horrible behavior because it's "for their own good". Suddenly, without warning, putting the bootheel on the neck of people that disagree with them seems to be justifiable and reasonable. Look at the instincts of this Administration already, and here, and here.
To close out, I would add a quote that seemed appropo:
"These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civil instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety." - Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address.
I would suggest strongly that we have wandered for nearly 100 years of "error and alarm" and we now, more than ever, and more fervently and more completely than ever need to "retrace our steps". Let us hope that Our Lord does not remove His lampstand out of its place in our nation. I believe embracing exceptionalism that we all know in our core is true and right and good will sustain us and restore us for generations to come and that surrendering our sovereignty and the very notion of American exceptionalism would be tremendous step in the opposite direction.