America’s slide from the forefront of freedom to the swamp of collectivist social engineering didn’t start with the current manager of our decline and his Cavalcade of Czars. It didn’t start with President Obama’s favorite foil and arch-nemesis the man the Corporations-Once-Known-as-the Mainstream-Media love to hate, George Bush, the Younger. It didn’t start with the Bush-Clinton decade + 2 of continuous government growth, its thousand points of light or its thousand points of light or its Hillarycare.
Even Ronaldus Magnus, the last good President left Washington bigger than he found it.
Jimmy Carter not only walked in the Inaugural Parade he walked us into the grip of a Department of Energy that works tirelessly to limit our energy production and a Department of Education that presides over the greatest decline in education in world History. He chastised us in his malaise speech about our crisis of confidence never realizing it was our confidence in him not our country that was hobbling America. And what was his advice? Should we work harder, invent more, or launch out in bold new ways? No he suggested we wear sweaters and turn the heat down. Managing the decline has long been the theme song of those who see America’s glory days in the rearview mirror instead of in the headlights as we travel towards the future.
What about Nixon? Forget about it! He gave us price controls, OSHA, and the EPA. He took us off the gold standard and left us at the mercy of the Federal Reserve, all this from the conservative wing of the Dualocracy which is the bi-polar Party of Power.
Lyndon Johnson and his Great Society, Medicare, Medicaid, and Food Stamp revolution created the entitlement monsters which are poised to devour the budget.
Though he cut taxes to spur the economy, Kennedy with his phony missile gap and foreign policy blunders did little besides set the stage for Johnson.
Eisenhower spent eight years guiding the construction of the Military Industrial Complex he warned us about as he left the stage.
The Fair Deal was merely Truman’s election driven attempt to increase the size, scope, and power of FDR’s New Deal which was a massive and unprecedented intrusion of the central government into the economic and social life of America.
FDR was the 20th century poster boy when it comes to stretching the size of government and putting the stamp of entitlement as the cause on liberty’s death certificate.
Hoover, contrary to FDR’s story line and the accepted version of America’s History, responded to the stock market crash with a massive extension of government and its programs. The Great Engineer, as he was known before his name became a household word for failed presidency, was a champion of government intervention, and though today his devotion to the tenets of laissez-faire are blamed for the depression when it was instead his federal interference that provided a deep recession for FDR to turn into the Great Depression.
Silent Cal Coolidge was America’s last limited President. He limited himself and stayed with the confines of the Constitution.
Harding tried but died.
Wilson used the War he bragged of keeping us out of as the excuse to arrest and detain citizens, seize control of the economy, foster segregation and racism, and generally slap the cuffs of a greatly expanded central government on America’s wrists.
Taft was Teddy Roosevelt’s handpicked successor. And although he continued the Progressive agenda of attacking business and expanding government he didn’t do enough. So Roosevelt broke him and his presidency running against him splitting the Republican vote and opening the door for the Progressive Democrat Wilson.
Teddy was the grandfather of them all. His trust busting interventionism was Progressivism personified.
Though this may be the litany of the current gang of statists who are poised to smother freedom, the struggle to keep constitutionally limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom alive has been one long series of attack defenses declines and rebirths.
The second President, John Adams, was a man who helped write the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He was a man who worked tirelessly for the ratification of the Constitution, and passed and signed the Alien and Sedition Acts under which he arrested people who criticized him, his administration or his policies. From there it goes on and on.
Jefferson compromised his beliefs about the limited power of the central government and purchased Louisiana without Constitutional authority, a good deal but a bad precedent. Monroe committed America to defending the entire Western Hemisphere. Polk sent American troops into territory internationally recognized as part of Mexico and then asked for a declaration of war when Mexican troops fired on those troops. Lincoln suspended the right of habeas corpus whenever he needed to in order to maintain the Union though the Constitution does not grant that power to the Federal Government. The 10th Amendment strictly prohibits the Federal Government from having any powers not expressly delegated to it, and at least one state, Virginia, in their ratification convention expressly considered the Union voluntary and reserved the right to secede.
From one battle to another America’s freedom fighters have stood before the Leviathan of Central Government and clung relentlessly to the promises first set forth in the founding document of the United States of America, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Considering that these uplifting and timeless words of human liberty were penned by a slaveholder and that it took four score and nine years for this stain to be removed from our nation we can see that our road away from serfdom has always been one of fits and starts.
Today we face the next great challenge. Progressivism, America’s current variation on the age-old theme of government knows best is poised to break the bounds of limited government, regiment the people, and smother the economy. After more than one hundred years of incremental growth in just three years the promises of hope and change have broken the bank and mortgaged the future. One more term of this profligate spending and oppressive regulations and they will kill the golden goose.
The forces of freedom cannot afford to lose this next election to the purveyors of class warfare and division. If we do this great experiment in limited government, personal liberty and economic liberty will have progressed from a new country on the margins of civilization to the greatest power the world has ever known, to just another socially engineered centrally planned economically shackled democracy voting itself benefits it can’t afford.
Our adversaries believe they have stacked the deck by taking control of both major political parties which operate as two wings on the same bird of prey. They hope by nominating a Progressive in both parties there will be no way for the forces of freedom to prevail.
Our ranks are filled with those who have been in the trenches for a lifetime and are weary of the fight. They have been joined by the recently awakened who know little of the history and less of the tactics. Our opposition is comprised of the slickest, best funded, and most corrupt professional politicians, labor barons, and crony capitalists the world has ever seen with thousands of Occupy storm troopers thrown in for good measure. The odds are against us. The smart money is betting on the victory of the all-powerful government, lining up to get their deals and haul away the loot.
The odds have always been against us. We fought the greatest empire in the world to gain our freedom. We have persevered and prevailed against plot after plot to extinguish the light of liberty and in this battle too we must remember that the one we should never be forgotten told us long ago, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Yes, the blood of more than 54,000,000 innocent lives cry out for justice, yes we as a people have legalized what should be unlawful and condoned what should be condemned. Yes, we have fallen from the high road and are weakened by an entitlement mentality and an addiction to entertainment. But we are the American people. We are, “We the People” and if we will but turn and acknowledge the one who has given us everything we have a chance.
The time is now. The place is here. We are the people we have been waiting for. We must rise to the occasion. We must win this battle because if we don’t win we lose.
Keep the faith. Keep the peace. We shall overcome.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens [email protected] Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens