The attacks by MSNBC’s extremist Rachel Maddow on Rand Paul clarify a good deal for me. Ms. Maddow’s position is based on a sort of warmed over version of the 1920s’ Bloomsbury ideology: effete, secular, socialist, pacifistic, elitist, and libertine. The ideology is shared by her fellow MSNBC extremists Olberman and Matthews and by Mr. Obama and his acolytes. Anyone disagreeing with her and them is not just wrong but perverse, racist, badly educated, antiquarian, and could only come from the scum of the earth. What passes for political thought and philosophy among MSNBC’s neo-Bloomsbury extremists and team Obama reminds one of cheeses and flowers — those that stink the most, last the longest.
But, to be honest, MSNBC’s extremists and the Obamaites are not much different from Republicans in being arrogant elitists who regard Americans as ignorant rubes who are unaware of what is best for themselves and their country. What do we hear from the Republicans: they talk anti-abortion, do-nothing; talk controlling borders, do nothing; talk debt reduction, spend more; talk energy self-sufficiency, kiss the Saudis’ butt; talk support for the troops, get more killed in useless wars; talk about America’s independence, and lap up humiliation from Israel and Mexico.
Ms. Maddow-of-Bloomsbury, then, represents both parties in the sense that they both are telling Americans: “Trust us. We know what is best for you. Vote for us, shut up, and go home and watch television.”
Maddow’s assault on Rand Paul also cleared my mind in regard to the First Lady. For more than two years, Mrs. Obama’s claim that she was first “proud of America” when her husband was elected an Illinois senator has been in my mind. Her meaning was not clear at the time, and, of course, most media rushed to her defense and stopped follow-up discussion. But now, on the basis of observing the Obama administration’s first 16 moths, those who are the president’s closest advisers, and the behavior of its media shills like Ms. Maddow, I think I know what Mrs. Obama meant.
Mrs. Obama’s words had nothing to do with race, spousal love, political affiliation, or populism; her words had to do with elitism.
What Mrs. Obama meant, I believe, was that Illinois voters had at last recognized their betters; namely, those individuals of all races who attend Ivy League and other “prestigious” universities. At the schools, these men and women learn that a powerful, pervasive, and coercive central government — that they run — is the best regime for Americans. They also learn that once they gain power, they must make into law the centralizing dogma they were taught, while finding ways — using the fawning media — to placate or mislead the commoners they despise; those who, as Mr. Obama said in his campaign, bitterly cling to religion and the 2nd Amendment.
If I am right about Mrs. Obama’s words, the much-touted “hope” her husband campaigned to encourage is the hope that he and his fellow elitists, to paraphrase Edmund Burke, would be able to destroy the traditional edifice of the American society they loathe, and replace it with the coercive federal power they worship and lust to apply. It is not, I think, a coincidence that Obama’s senior lieutenants are called “Czars.”
For the rest of us riff-raff, however, the victory of Mr. Obama’s “hope and change” crusade means our own “hopes” for America probably are not attainable in the federal political system as it stands. What Obama-ism appears to mean is that Americans with one, two, or all of the following political, economic, or religious beliefs cannot expect redress for their grievances; indeed, they seem to have no recourse to effective political means for changing how they are governed no matter which party holds power.
Non-interventionists: Mr. Obama and his crew are as interventionist as their predecessors in both parties. Since taking office, Mr. Obama has sent more troops to the undeclared, already lost Afghan war; has started a new, undeclared war in Pakistan; is running ordnance to his proxies in Somalia and Yemen; is spending hundreds of millions to make Washington a central player in Mexico’s narco-war; continues to intervene in a Muslim-Israel war that is irrelevant to U.S. interests.; and is following Israel’s lead to war with Iran. These actions will yield more wars for America, and they will be fought by the children of non-interventionists because those of Mr. Obama and his followers seldom deign to risk their lives for their country. And to helpfully underline this point, Obama, on 22 May 2010, told West Point’s graduates — as did George W. Bush — that they would be fighting and dying needlessly for his elitist, mindless, Wilsonian quest to shape a “new international order.”
Sovereigntists: I use this non-word to describe those who know and support the absolute requirement that a sovereign nation must control its borders. Surely, it is already clear to U.S. citizens in the southwestern states that Obama intends to do what Bush, Clinton, and Bush did about open borders — absolutely nothing. Americans whose lives, property, and peace-of-mind are threatened or destroyed by illegal aliens can expect no help from Washington, but they can expect to be prosecuted more harshly by federal lawyers if they defend themselves, families, and property against attack and pillage. Still, the first natural right is self-defense, and it would be a tragedy — but sadly an increasingly likely one — if Americans must arm themselves to protect their kith and kin against the brigands flowing across the southern border and the federal officials eager to prosecute U.S. citizens and defend the brigands.
Pro-Lifers: One of Obama’s first presidential actions was to restore U.S.-taxpayer funding for abortions overseas. At some point, the Democrats will move “The Freedom of Choice Act” in Congress, federal legislation to compel doctors opposed to abortions to perform them. Whatever position one takes on abortion, it is well to keep focused on the durable and mounting rage of tens of millions of citizens who think abortion is murder. These Americans, like the antebellum abolitionists, are ignored or ridiculed by the media; the murderous and unaccountable Supreme Court; and most leaders in both parties. They are, however, determined to alter a situation in which they believe members of the American Medical Association have, since 1973, murdered for profit 47-plus million unborn Americans.
Low-tax Advocates: Obama seems to intend to force federal tax rates to soar by using the supine Congress and the collectivist U.S. media to mandate obscene levels of federal spending on health care, education, stimulus programs, foreign aid ($28 billion last year), and undeclared wars. Perhaps none of Obama’s actions show more disdain for ordinary Americans than his spendthrift ways. Most Americans care deeply — as did the Founding Fathers — about the kind of country and economy they leave to their posterity; few are eager to be recalled as the bankrupters of the Founders’ republican system. Obama and our bipartisan elite, on the other hand, live for today; for the applause of Hollywood, Europe, and the media; and, most of all, for permanently fixing extortionate tax rates that will impose on Americans and their posterity a paternalistic socialist state that will order their lives as the elite deems proper.
2nd Amendment Defenders: Secretary of State Clinton subtly declared war on 2nd Amendment rights when she said the narco-terror war in Mexico is mostly due to the availability of weapons in the United States. There is no reason to doubt that Attorney General Holder is drafting legislation and preparing federal law-enforcement agencies to assault gun owners, gun-and-ammunition dealers, ordnance manufacturers, and other 2nd Amendment proponents in the name of helping Mexico defeat narco-terror gangs. For the media, the academy, and many politicians this deceitful federal gambit would be welcome and acceptable. Such an anti-2nd Amendment attack would sound, and could be marketed as a measure to “protect” Americans from drug violence in Mexico, rather than for what it would be — the tyrannical negation of an unquestionable constitutional right and an attempt to put control over all tools of violence in the federal government’s hands to use for whatever ends it deems necessary.
American parents: While rightly proud of their soldier-children, American parents have seen the past four administrations waste their kids’ lives by committing them to combat hamstrung with rules of engagement that make our soldiers and Marines more targets than killers. The United States has fought necessary and unnecessary wars in the past 35 years, but all have two common denominators: (a) we lost each time we fought and (b) the Republican and Democratic leaders who sent U.S. troops to war preferred to see many die rather than seek victory and thereby risk hysterical criticism from the media, the academy, Europe, and Hollywood because of the high casualties attendant to a strategy of destroying America’s enemies and their supporters. How long will American parents tolerate the waste of their children by our political leaders’ tender concern for those who, at best, contribute nothing to America’s defense and, at worst, seek to undermine it? Perhaps we will soon see. The U.S. commanding general in Afghanistan has made rules of engagement more restrictive — to protect our enemies’ and their civilian supporters — and so is knowingly getting more U.S. troops killed and maimed. Obama supports this, and this weekend at West Point promised more wars to make the world more like him and his elite colleagues.
Now, none of these groups, by itself, is a majority. Neither do the groups agree with each other on all things; for example, some low-tax advocates do not oppose open borders, and some non-interventionists are pro-abortion. But all share one fundamental motivation that could promote unity among their considerable numbers. That is the desire to stop and reverse the growth of Washington’s coercive political, social, and economic power that has occurred over the last four administrations. Opponents of this growth had “hoped” to use the political process to stop it and restore the constitution. But since Mr. Obama’s election, that hope amounts to what Patrick Henry called the proper definition of “hope” — a “phantom illusion.”
So what can Americans do when words, appeals, patience, demonstrations, elections, and petitions have long lacked impact; have no current impact; and appear to have no chance of future impact? That question is yet to be decided. But in thinking about such things, one can fruitfully turn to the Founders. In the great stock of wise guidance they left for posterity, for example, one finds powerful and sobering words written by John Dickinson and Thomas Jefferson in 1775. After describing Britain’s flagrant violation of the colonists’ rights, and recounting the King’s refusal to hear and rectify the colonists’ repeated and peacefully presented grievances, Dickinson and Jefferson wrote a paper that, in part, said:
“We are reduced to the alternative of choosing an unconditional submission to the tyranny of [the king’s] irritated ministers, or resistance by force. The latter is our choice. We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery. Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we have received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness that inevitably awaits them, if we basely entail hereditary bondage upon them …
With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, [and] the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ [them] for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die Free-men rather than live Slaves.”
As Americans move forward, then, their heritage as free men; the responsibilities imposed by their duty to posterity and the Declaration of Independence (1776); and the Founders’ wisdom together constitute a formidable arsenal for fueling a campaign that seeks peaceful political change by any and all possible means, or — as a very last resort — armed redress of grievances. It also is an arsenal that is timeless and indestructible; it cannot be invalidated by the words or actions of our coercive political elites and their media and academic apologists. Whether and when Americans draw on this repository of sanity, self-reliance, courage, and liberty to restore the constitution is up to them.
And, by the way, Dickinson and Jefferson entitled their paper “A Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms.” And far from being the conclusion of just the two men, the paper was published by the Continental Congress on 6 July 1775 — in the name of all Americans.