For generations after the Moses-Joshua era, the Israelites had been ruled by nobody. They had been governed by God's law handed down to Moses, guided loosely by citizen judges under the watchful eye of the Lord Almighty. Other nations were ruled by kings, and at long last the foolish and shortsighted Israelites were no longer content to be God's chosen people, operating under His providence:
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel, and said to him, "Make us a king to judge us like all the nations."
And the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them."
So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people: "This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day."
Nevertheless the people said, "No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles."
So the LORD said to Samuel,"Heed their voice, and make them a king." (excerpts of I Samuel 8:4-22, KJV)
The good old days, when oppressive governments only took 10%...
Fast forward to 1787.
But first..... a minor detour to 1775, then 1783. Read this with 2010 in mind. That's where we're headed.
The Revolution was not formative; it was restorative
When the Founding Fathers met in 1787, a perfect storm had gathered in Philadelphia. American thinkers like Madison, Adams, Henry, Jefferson, and Payne had the benefit not only of thinkers like Hume, Locke, and Burke, but a century of British experimentation with representative government. They also had the events and behavior of the British that led to the American Revolution.
You see, the Revolution was much less a revolution than it was a restoration of the rights American colonists had once enjoyed. The Revolution, unusual in history, was fomented and conducted not by a disaffected underclass or leftist zealots, but by the colonial establishment. By the intellectuals, landowners, pundits, and elected government officials.
Without reliving the whole thing, let's just say that the British government, first by increments but finally by naked, unrestrained arrogance , imposed their will on unwilling subjects. The Boston Tea Party in 1773 was a relatively innocent escapade, but it carried an ominous, brooding message : "no more". It was unheeded by King George and the British, and you know the rest. It was fought for the most part by people who loved the Crown, but who loved freedom and justice more. It was fought to preserve, to restore, and to free; not to destroy order and build some kind of new reality.
The first Constitution was a failure
The colonists had long railed simply to live lives unfettered by government interference, and for representation near to the people. When they succeeded in casting off British rule in 1783, they had a pretty good idea what they wanted. The Articles of Confederation was their first agreement. Truthfully they got many things right, but in their fear of exchanging one harsh master for another they made central government weak; so weak, in fact, the states were in chaos and at odds, and the collection of states was unable to defend itself or to advance American interests on the world stage.
The Constitution was God's providential gift to mankind
And now, 1787 in Philadelphia, in what became known to history as the Constitutional Convention. Ostensibly they met to improve the existing Articles, but from the beginning, Washington, Madison, Hamilton, and others had already decided on a completely new government. It was a perfect storm. They had the advantage of:
- Experienced and able leaders and businessmen. If any effete parlor would-be intellectuals were among them, they were overshadowed by resolute men whose ideas were forged in the fire of hard reality.
- 100 years of British parliamentary government, which had shown both the wisdom and pitfalls of representative government.
- The writings and thinking of Hume, Locke, and Burke, who had studied representative government and had their ideas about how to make it better.
- Recent experience with an oppressive, arrogant, unresponsive government.
- Recent experience with a loose confederation.
Madison was the primary architect, but many points in the final product were the result of heated negotiations between men representing states with competing interests. The tri-part central government deliberately had separation of powers, carefully balanced to keep tyranny at bay. The Senate and House (and that whole Electoral College thing) were designed to balance the needs of larger and smaller states. It was clearly designed to minimize the effects of temporary winds of fashion and narrow majorities on the long-term rule of law. The central government was given substantial, but limited and enumerated powers. Last but not least, the Constitution was ratified with the understanding that a Bill of Rights was soon to follow, modeled on that of George Mason and Virginia. The Bill of Rights cemented individual freedoms and a certain level of autonomy for the states. Nothing about the Constitution was rash or ill-considered.
Let 220 years of history speak to the astounding and enduring wisdom of the Constitution. Now let us return to the here and now of 2010
Democrats foolishly clamor for a king
I don't mean a king, literally, and I don't mean that putz Bambi. I mean they want an over-arching nanny state that controls and regulates all the joy out of life. By Democrats, I mean all of them. Those who hold power, like those in elective office or the bureaucracy, or ambulance-chasing lawyers and leaders of unions -- want the nanny state for the power, to steal and pilfer, or to use the power of government to cheat others or impose their will on the majority. Democrat voters, at the end of the day, would rather be taken care of than fend for themselves.
Democrat leadership wants the very opposite of freedom and self-determination. It's not just obvious. It is astoundingly obvious. No average-IQ American can have missed the slimy, cheating, deal-cutting shenanigans Dems have tried to get their health care takeover passed over the loud objections of the populace. But the bill itself is extremely offensive to the very idea of freedom -- the very idea of government taking over a huge sector of the economy, and running it into the ground. How indescribably noxious.
And that's just the health care takeover. Add to that Cap-and-Tax, auto maker and bank takeovers, the way Dems stoke racism and class envy at every turn, they way they deny Exceptionalist America, the way they worship the obviously failed European socialist democracy model, the way the leftist media tilt coverage constantly to protect them. The worst affront of all is the haughty, arrogant way these Democrat leaders and elitist media shmucks claim that they know better than George Washington, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, and Patrick Henry.
For those who are stupid enough to vote for Democrats, I can only say that a kind person would just horsewhip the stupid out of them. I'm not that person. Selling your freedom for comfort is fine, but selling MY freedom for your comfort is contemptible. I won't lift a finger; I'll just let you die stupid.
Conservatives will fight for freedom
The colonists were pushed, pushed further, did a little push back with the Tea Party, and were finally shoved against the wall. After loudly and often calling for the oppressors to be reasonable, after several more tangible and ominous warnings, finally the fun and games were over, and the colonists went to a war they would have preferred not to fight, in order to free themselves from the shackles of an unresponsive, irresponsible, tyrannical master.
And so it is today. For decades we've suffered at the hands of a growing, regulation-happy bureaucracy that has now crept into every corner of life. We've seen freedoms taken away by the courts (and given to criminals and terrorists). We've seen a leftist party and a leftist majority media take away from Americans and lavish money and favors on their cronies. We've seen the Democrats steal elections. And ever, always and ever, less freedom than the generation before.
Finally, 53% of America elected a smooth-talking effete radical leftist idealist with no executive experience except for rabble-rousing, an Alinsky disciple, with 60% majorities in both houses of congress. He has filled his cabinet and a horde of "czars" who are avowed communists, racists, tax cheaters, criminals, terrorist-lovers, America-haters, fans of Mao, Marx, Che, Castro, and their ilk. He's snubbed our most faithful allies (Britain and Israel) while bowing to despicable dictators and apologizing for America to any tin-pot dictator that would listen. He and his Congress have gone on a spectacular campaign of excess, ruination, and government oppression.
And finally, finally, rank and file Americans have had enough. You didn't just awaken the bear; you hit him with rocks. Foolhardy tyrants and thieves, you shall have the reckoning you have so richly earned. We want the Constitution. We want the country for which Nathan Hale said: I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.
And we shall have it.
No. We will have NO king over us.
cross-posted at The Minority Report