"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."~ Ronald Reagan, from his first inaugural speech as governor of California, January 5, 1967
Last November, Republicans were granted an unparalleled political mandate for the specific purpose of taking dead aim at the socialist and regulatory state. Yet, as the dust settles from their much acclaimed budget bill last week, it appears that only dust was pruned from the Federal government monstrosity. This was not the brave defense of freedom which Reagan dramatically predicted would be necessary to combat the truculence of tyrannical government.
Over the past few days, anywhere from 40-100 GOP House members voted to defeat nearly two dozen amendments that would have vitiated useless programs and agencies from a variety of government departments that shouldn’t exist in the first place. The most egregious defection came Friday afternoon, when 92 Republicans helped defeat an amendment sponsored by the RSC that would have cut an additional $22 billion in non-defense discretionary spending. Evidently, $61 billion is all they can extirpate from the $3.7 trillion dollar beast.
President Reagan’s premonition was not of a precipitous violent takeover, rather of a steady, yet enduring acquiescence to tyranny from within the existing political structure. He sagaciously observed the inherent staying power of institutional tyranny and the tenuous fragile nature of freedom. Reagan feared that even in a democracy, or more poignantly, specifically in a democracy, a tyrannical government could successfully manipulate the system to entice the masses into abjuring their liberties for their own sake and for the ‘well-being of their fellow citizens’. His prescience was well conceived.
There is an imbalance of power in the political system of any democracy, in that the forces of tyranny have an innate advantage over the defenders of freedom. It takes but one legislative or administrative victory for statism to succeed in guiding society on an indelible path towards socialism. Therefore, the advocates of freedom must be impeccable and intrepid in their opposition to every initial proposal of a tyrannical government. If we succumb to complacency even once, and the policy is implemented, the political class will cynically exploit the special interest handouts with demagoguery. This is why almost every entitlement program has never been countermanded.
What other recourse is at the disposal of the peaceful, freedom-loving patriot? After all, civil society will not employ violence to overthrow the tyrannical regime, and will therefore, be forced to fight a reactionary battle against the inexorable onslaught of tyranny. Barring any drastic counteraction on the part of freedom-loving patriots, the policies of the statists will self-perpetuate perennially.
Reagan observed a half-century worth of impervious socialism and understood that unless conservatives become more pugnacious in the defense of freedom, the policies of the statists were destined to achieve immutability. The reality was, and continues to show, that the statists acknowledge and exploit the lack of tenacity among Republicans. Last year, much to the surprise of political pundits, the democrats engaged in political suicide and sanguinely passed a socialist health care takeover. Many were befuddled by their audacity, and seeming political tone-deafness, as public sentiment was decisively against their insidious plans for our health care system. However, they were counting on the fact that once it would be implemented, the Republicans would lack the moxie to consummately repeal the legislation. Then, as the benefits for the masses would begin to accrue, the left would reap a degree of perennial political power that would dwarf that of their sacrosanct New Deal coalition. And history was on their side.
Ever since the 1930’s, or perhaps the times of Woodrow Wilson and the progressives, the left has devised socialist programs with the belief that their opponents would not have the courage to reverse them.
They implemented policies to empower their political foot soldiers, most prominently union bosses, to promulgate public funds across the spectrum of American workers so that their opponents would never be so intransigent as to revoke those entitlements.
The statists insidiously propagated odious regulations with the implicit intent of creating chaos in any given facet of the private sector. They assured themselves that their adversaries would never have the petulance to oppose the “imperative” measures that would be needed to help those who had been impoverished from the original regulatory regime. After all, who would remember why there were no jobs in a specific industry? Or why the cost of a product or service was so gratuitously unaffordable?
The globalist statists worked stealthily for decades to ensure that millions of illegal aliens would migrate over our borders and leech off the robust welfare state. They firmly and correctly opined that their opponents would not be so cruel as to deny “new Americans” their “birthright”.
In all the aforementioned instances, the forces of tyranny accurately predicted that once their policies were achieved, they would never be abrogated. President Reagan brought about a decade of unprecedented reduction in the growth of statist power, but there was a limit to what one individual could do to reverse the existing power. Hence, Reagan’s warning that freedom can never perpetuate itself, but tyranny, even if assailed, will ultimately succeed after incessant attempts at obtaining power.
Thirty years later, as our national receipt of socialism has increased our debt six-fold, we are facing bankruptcy, permanent unemployment, and inflation on all vital needs. We might say that the chickens of 80 years of socialism have ‘come home to roost’. The situation has deteriorated to the unprecedented degree that most Americans are supporting massive reductions of the welfare state, and they want them now. An astounding 71% oppose raising the debt ceiling. They want to lower the spending floor. Presumably, that would even include those who are benefiting from many of the programs. Yet, Republicans are using their historic mandate to push incrementalism.
The Republicans naively believe that if they cut 1.6% of the annual budget, they will eventually achieve budget solvency. But, history has shown that if Republicans lack the temerity to implement meaningful repudiations of past policies at the most opportune time, those arcane socialist programs will be codified forever. The only reason why there is any serious talk of repealing ObamaCare is due to the extraordinary mobilization of the tea party and the assiduous efforts of inimitable state governors and Attorneys General to recant the law in the courts. GOP leaders continue to imply their intent of incremental reform. Last week’s fiasco with Steve King’s repeal amendment only affirms the allegation.
We will undoubtedly be admonished for our dissent over the budget bill and be told to remain patient. We will be advised the same thing in the coming weeks when they vote to raise the debt ceiling. However, here is something for our Republican leadership friends to cogitate.
As 80 years of socialism continues to foreclose on our future, we must view ourselves as a losing sports team towards the end of the game. We are in the ninth inning and we are down $14 trillion to $61 billion. For the first time ever, we enjoy an overwhelming majority of support to ‘go for the big plays’. If we don’t go for the ‘game changer’ now, when else will we find the courage? Forgive me for the Reagan nostalgia, GOP leadership, but "if not us, then who? And if not now, when?"
Red Meat Conservative (cross-posted)