Progressivism Is a Long-Term Threat to the Rule of Law

Many know how much I dislike Donald Trump. It predates the 2016 campaign. He strikes me as an opportunist who plays the system, without ethics, or morals, and as a blowhard, with very few redeeming social qualities. I wouldn’t care to even have a beer with him, let alone any closer association.

Nevertheless, I may find myself voting for him. Why? Because Hillary is far worse. Let John O McGinnis explain.

Many people are concerned about Donald Trump’s commitment to the rule of law, a concern I share. But the other choice in this election is a Progressive one, and Progressivism by its nature lacks that commitment. Moreover, its history shows that it permanently damages the constitutional foundations of the United States. And the United States suffers from the fevers of progressivism more than any time since the 1960s.  Thus, this election pits a candidate lawless by virtue of temperament against one lawless by virtue of ideology and emboldened by the spirit of the times.  The rule of law is under threat, whoever wins.

Progressivism has proved a greater long-term danger than any single individual, because it is born in part out of systematic rather than personal hostility to the Constitution. Federalism and separation of powers are obstacles to the social engineering at the heart of progressivism, and thus progressivism has tried to eviscerate these restraints. Packed with FDR appointees in the 1930s, the Supreme Court gutted the enumerated powers. The administrative state has eroded the separation of powers, making the executive ever more powerful in domestic affairs. The theory used to justify these departures from the original constitution, living constitutionalism, is itself a threat to the rule of law, because it devalues the formal rules laid down by the Constitution.

via Progressivism Is a Long-Term Threat to the Rule of Law – Online Library of Law & Liberty

I’m not a fan by any means of voting for the least evil, over the years, I’ve often abstained, and in fact, may do so this year. But what I claim as an act of conscience, is, at least in part, “Screw you, a plague on all your houses.” Childish and petty it may well be, but it is my right to withhold my approval for any candidate. Whether I do so depends on the situation.

One reason that I can do that is simply that I live in the 3d Nebraska Congressional district, Trump will win whether I vote, don’t vote, or set fire to my polling place. I’ll likely vote because there are down ticket races I care about, and I have the illusion that my wishes might matter there.

This is not ideal, except for Republicans seeking office, just as for Democrats in the big cities, it often leads to temptation, and to corruption. As we keep saying, a loyal opposition is necessary to the proper operation of the government. It doesn’t matter what party or group is alone in charge, it tends to forget its mission and start granting favors. I think it’s simply human nature.

This is why, I think that the Founders, especially Washington, were so opposed to faction, what they really desired was each man striving openly for his own ideals. Frankly, Washington was much too good a man to be a political theorist or a politician; most men lust after power and money and always remember that one can be exchanged for the other. Trump and Clinton definitely included.

So something to think about as we watch the politicians make fools of themselves in Cleveland this week, how do we fix, really fix our broken system?

Advertisements

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

27 Responses to Progressivism Is a Long-Term Threat to the Rule of Law

  1. TheEnglishMajor says:

    I don’t know if there is any fixing it.

    Personally, I will either abstain from voting, vote third party, or “give my vote away.” I haven’t decided yet. I live in TX District 31, so I think my vote will matter. In the 2012 election, 57.6% went to Romney, 41.2% to Obama. I believe that’s fairly close. Texas will more than likely go to Trump. We have so many disenfranchised immigrants and minorities for it not to. Because of that fact, I’m considering giving my vote away to someone who does not have that right. For the most part, however, my generation is so completely disillusioned with the political process, or they don’t understand it all, that I don’t think many of us will bother. We give up too easily, I think. But that is because it is easier.
    I read an interesting article by Benjamin Corey the other day. If you don’t know, he is an Anabaptist, and quite an outspoken author and blogger. He wrote this thoughtful piece, and of course it stirred up some anger for some of his readers. I think he has a point: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/im-a-privileged-white-guy-so-im-giving-away-my-vote-this-election/

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Not sure there is, either. Then again, not to try is to surely fail. I never tell people what to do but, ‘giving your vote away’ strikes me as both immoral and illegal, although the morality of it is perhaps open to question. Actually, we misspeak when we call it a right, it is closer to a privilege, in other words, we can lose it, as one does when one is convicted of a felony. It is a privilege earned for us, by us or by our ancestors who came here, and should be honored, not many in history had it. Somebody who comes here, legally, can earn that privilege, it is not proper for us to subvert the proper system. Abstaining is something else, and in truth, I’ll like as not vote for Johnson. I haven’t decided yet, of course. There’s a long time to go till November.

      Yes, I sense that amongst young people, not only in the US, but also in at least Britain. I think you give up too easily, as well. You were all raised by people who wanted it to be easier than it was for us (Yes, so were we!). That doesn’t necessarily mean that it is easier, just that we wanted it to be. Self-government is hard work, always has been, always will be. Think about what those 57 guys that signed the Declaration went through, and they knew it going in. In fact, they got lucky, they literally risked hanging.

      Interesting article, I can’t say I agree with hardly any of it, but that happens. But you likely knew that going in, Lutherans and Anabaptists have always had trouble finding common ground, beyond Christ crucified and risen. Still, he makes his case quite well, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

      • TheEnglishMajor says:

        I have to run an errand for my boss; I will respond fully in perhaps an hour!

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Great, I’ll look forward to it! 🙂

          Like

        • TheEnglishMajor says:

          My errand ended up being postponed!

          I perhaps spoke too soon when I said I was considering giving my vote away. When it comes down to it, I am not as charitable as Mr. Corey may be. If, for example, someone asked me to vote for Trump, I would find myself very unwilling. That defeats the whole spirit of Mr. Corey’s suggestion. I will more likely either abstain, or vote for Johnson as I did in 2012. It really remains to be seen, because, as you said, November is a way away yet.

          I don’t think the concept of voting someone else’s conscience is immoral. It possibly being illegal is something that I haven’t thought of. You are correct, it’s a privilege. It’s a privilege extended to those who have, well, privilege. And the founders of our country were quite concerned with keeping that privilege among the elite, propertied males (who, let’s be honest, were primarily white and at least marginally educated). When the government affects us all, yet only some of us are franchised to vote, it naturally creates an environment where the wishes of the privileged elite overwhelm those of the poorer and disenfranchised. We don’t want to give up our privilege, and we are fearful of those who want a more equal society. Enter, Trump. He feeds on our fear of losing our position… just musing here.

          I figured you’d disagree with the article, but thank you for reading it anyway. 🙂 Mr. Corey is rather fringe, and sometimes he can come across as a blusterer. Some of his more polarizing ideas, even when they have merit, get lost within emotion and frustration in his writing. But he has brought some great things to light for me. I don’t always agree with him, but he always provokes my thoughts and challenges any remaining vestiges of my former fundamentalism. He and I grew up very similarly, so I identify with him.

          If I were to identify with a strain of Protestantism, I would more than likely head over to the Anabaptist camp. The more I see of this world, the more I believe that a stature of nonviolence, creation care, and peace-building is the higher state our souls are called to. The Hindu and Buddhists call it “ahimsa.” Christ called it turning the other cheek and loving our enemies. Most Christians I know in my personal do not take this view on the world. Honestly, I don’t think they even consider it. It isn’t very societally acceptable to be ahimsa, which is an interesting problem. It would be more societally acceptable for me to live with a stature of conflict rather than peace. But I am trying. And that’s all we can really do, yeah?

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          That’s the thing, we’ve plenty of time to make up our minds 🙂

          There’s that as well, if you’re not willing for them to vote as they wish, you’re not really giving away your vote, you’re attempting to control them, so to speak.

          Trump feeds on a lot of fears, it’s his main appeal. Doesn’t work for me. It’s a strange elite, that probably 90%+ of the citizenry belong to, but in a sense, it is one, but it is one that nearly anybody can join if they are willing to follow the rules. That doesn’t seem all that unfair to me. Historically, yes you are correct, the franchise was restricted by property, and sex, although rarely (except in the south) by race. Nobody with sense ever said America sprang forth fully formed, with all the liberties that anyone would want, in 1789. We’re still experimenting, and improving, and we always will. I hope and pray so anyway.

          I can, and do, honor that stature of nonviolence, as a personal choice. I cannot agree with it, either personally, or as a nation. My case is also biblical, citing just a few NT sources:

          Luke 11:21 – When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

          1 Timothy 5:8 – But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

          Luke 22:36 – Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take [it], and likewise [his] scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

          I would also remind you that St.Peter himself carried a sword, and knew how to use it (although not always appropriately) and it was in the upper room at the last supper. We are not of this world, as we both know, but we are in it, and not defending oneself, and one’s family comes very near (in my mind) to suicide.

          And that appropriateness was spelled out very well, by St. Thomas Aquinas, and the School of Salamanca, in the Just War Doctrine, although precursors go back to the Indian epic Mahabharata. We have, of course violated that, as has everybody else, so we should try harder. But in fine, there is no Christian doctrine (in my mind, anyway) that rules out legitimate self-defense, either personally or as a nation under natural law.

          And just let me add this, I love your comments, because you often disagree with me, but do it with facts, and rationally. Many could learn from you, and I am one of them, because you challange me, and make me think.

          Liked by 1 person

        • TheEnglishMajor says:

          You are correct about the control aspect. That completely goes against the spirit of what I would want to stand for. But alas, I am a selfish human being. I’ll be honest about it. No giving away my vote for me 😉

          Is the 90%+ you refer to “franchised voters?”
          I hate following the rules… But I do, out of a sense of self-preservation. I see how those who go against the grain are marginalized and silenced. I go along, for now. I also go along, because I have something great to lose: my privilege. I talk a big inclusive game, but at the end of the day, I’m just as fearful as the next person of privilege with something to lose… I dislike that about myself, but it does no good to ignore it and pretend I’m perfect.

          The interesting thing I find about the Bible and other religious texts is that it is rarely clear cut on anything if you take the writing as a whole. Which is why I can find sacred scriptural support for my beliefs if I choose, and you can also find it for yours.
          Thank you for the respect. I also honor and respect the side that you represent. I understand it, definitely from a biological and sociological point of view. It is part of our genetic and social makeup to protect ourselves and those close to us from any harm. A posture of complete nonviolence, at least in terms of self-defense, goes against our nature.

          I suppose I should mention, when I think of taking a posture of nonviolence, or working toward ahimsa, I mean working towards building a peaceable society where violence becomes unnecessary. A pipe dream, maybe, but the end goal. I don’t mean a posture of being a doormat and letting someone kill me, my family, or destroy my home, land, or property, or take away my freedom or country. As I have said before, my husband owns guns and would not hesitate to attack an intruder if our lives were threatened. I honestly support self-defense and our right to protect ourselves. I do not support things like the death penalty or acts of war (except under the most extreme of circumstances; WWII comes to mind). I will hold my opinion on gun control since that’s a hot topic and incredibly complex, and I find myself wavering on the topic daily the more information I learn.
          Sometimes I feel like I toe the line a lot, walking both sides of the issue, never really committing, avoiding extremes, taking the middle way. How very Buddhist of me, honestly. 🙂

          And thank you for saying that! It’s nice to have an intelligent conversation even if we disagree on a few things. I learn a lot from you, as well.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Lot’s of truth here! Yes, many of these things we have to decide for ourselves. I can (and do) tell you what I have decided, but I’ve been think all my life, and you are too, but I’ve got about a forty year head start on you. I envy you that! We all talk a better game than we act. I get growly too when it my ox getting gored.

          That’s why I like “Just War Doctrine”. Yes, one must adapt it to fit the times and the circumstances, but it gives a clear guide to our thinking, even on a personal level. Morality in action, perhaps.

          I do it too, as I have said, age teaches you that black and white are really only shades of grey, we must always use judgement, and even though I mostly write as an ideologue, when we get down to individual cases, I often (although not always) gravitate towards the center.

          That is the important thing, really, learning new things, or seeing another point of view. Thank you as well. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        • TheEnglishMajor says:

          I will have to read “Just War Doctrine.” Thanks for putting me on to it. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Unusually, Wikipedia is pretty good on it, other than that the catholic sites are the best, in my opinion. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • TheEnglishMajor says:

          Here a good explanation that helps me understand nonviolence:

          “Here are the two different meanings of nonviolence.

          Nonviolence is the life decision to live in harmony with the order of creation by giving up the domination of other people or the planet. Today, when put into community practice, this life decision is called culture of peace or peacebuilding.
          Nonviolence is the method of pursuing necessary social change by relying upon the real long-term spiritual power of justice rather than the apparent short-term political power of injustice. Today, when put into community practice, this method is called unarmed struggle.”

          I was more referring to the first definition, if that helps explain at all 🙂

          Link to full article, in interest of full disclosure, http://forusa.org/fellowship/2010/spring/islamic-nonviolence/11639. I’m currently reading the full article; the definitions were in the intro.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          I like that, at least to a point, and will read the the article. Sometimes I have to work too!

          Liked by 1 person

        • I am something of the odd man out here, being both a conservative Christian and a retired military guy (RMC, Royal Marine)! With not a wit of apology for being either! So no Buddhism for me, especially theologically! But, we must allow for people’s freedom of choice, and this of course I have fought for, as my youngest son is also ready to do! 🙂

          But yes, old Luther, as Calvin, I am convinced would hold NO stock, at least biblically and theologically here with the Anabaptists! (Btw just a note, but Calvin’s dear wife, came from out of the Anabaptists, and he loved her dearly!) But she died even before him (after 9 years of marriage? And from after which he never married again! Calvin died at 56.)

          But yes, let us who name the name of Christ be centred in Christ ‘Crucified & Risen’! And be about “Christ in you, the hope of glory (glorification).” (Col. 1: 27) Note, 2 Cor. 4: 7!

          Liked by 1 person

        • TheEnglishMajor says:

          No expectations for an apology from me! I thank you for your service and for fighting for the freedom to choose. Your son, as well 🙂
          I am not a Buddhist, however I fully appreciate those who follow The Middle Path. The idea of being free of theology and simply living a moral life rather appeals to me.
          I can’t say I will agree with you on any type of reformed Calvinistic theology. At all, really. But the good thing about the different denominations in Christendom (if there is one?) is that almost everyone can find a place that they can agree on open-handed theological concepts. The close-handed, that of Christ and him crucified and risen, that is the point of agreement that matters.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Indeed I would disagree with most of the theology of the Anabaptist’s, both now especially, but also historically! I am an Evangelical Anglican Irish Brit, and of the flavor of being Reformed and Calvinist (though somewhat Neo-Calvinist) now living in the USA. And I too don’t care much for Trump, but any conservative ideology is always much better than the liberal mindset! I have really come to see for myself that the American version of liberal is Anathema! And no doubt much worse than even those generally in Britain, (my opinion anyway). The only thing that holds America, is their Constitution… when they lose this, they will lose everything, but of course this is my opinion. And as to Christianity, let’s not forget that much of the Evangelical renewal and revival came from both the British, and the best of the biblical and theological continental Europeans! Though sadly now this is mostly just history, with the great Gentile Apostasy that we see today in the West.

    In the end, freedom and Christianity must return to its Judeo roots, i.e. Law & Gospel! I will myself always maintain that Saul-Paul, was as a Roman citizen, a great Jewish Hellenist and leader (Apostle) of the Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian Gospel! Noting Paul’s great Epistle and Letter to the Galatians, etc.! Here Paul is the great forerunner of modern conservatism, and the Good News of the so-called Reformation! My sentiments and convictions anyway! Rock On!

    *See btw, David Wenham’s nice book: Paul, Follower of Jesus or Founder of Christianity? (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1995) Simply a classic Pauline Book, and as E. Earle Ellis (RIP) wrote: “More comprehensive than the title suggests, this volume is a virtual theology of Christ and of his apostle. . . . A ground-breaking study that offers an important foundation for the future theologies of the New Testament.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheEnglishMajor says:

      That’s cool with me. Everyone’s opinion and/or belief is valid. Personally, I dislike attaching labels to myself, and hesitate even to call myself a “Christian,” as I am very unorthodox both in beliefs and practice. I prefer to avoid any type of extremism, both liberal and conservative, because I have found that both “sides” have valid things to add to the conversation. I might be your worst nightmare, Fr. Robert. But I hope we can learn from one another, just the same. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • TEM: You are far Sir from my worst nightmare! I am 66, 67 in Oct, so I learn everyday! I still do some/almost daily hospital chaplain work, but I am ALWAYS a “confessing” Christian, and theological! But yes, we are poles apart! I will die under the Lordship and Saviorhood of Jesus/Yeshua the Christ, and the Messiah…Lord of Lord and King of Kings! Acts 4: 10 thru 13 – Oh to BE close with Jesus! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • TheEnglishMajor says:

          Well that is good. I don’t mind disagreeing with people but I never want to foster enmity needlessly.
          I’m glad you are strong in your faith. That’s a rare sight these days. 🙂

          Like

        • NEO says:

          It’s fun watching you guys get to know each other. I like it a lot when my friends interact with my friends! 🙂

          Just a quick note to Fr. Robert: TEM is anther one of those brilliant, young, and beautiful women, sort of like Jessica, that it pleases me so much to see here! 🙂

          So it should probably be ‘ma’am’ for the likes of us old grizzled types!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Btw, I am also something of a Zionist Christian, i.e. pro-Israel! And I surely believe we are standing at the eschatological doors, during this Time of the End! Yes, Jesus Is Coming Soon! (Rev. 22) And I feel now that part of my so-called ministry is as something of a “Watchman” (Isa. 62: 6-7)… soli Deo gloria!

          Like

        • Well NEO, YOU know I like beautiful and smart women! I married One! And btw, I had me son’s in my 40’s (40 and 46 to be exact), so this keeps me young! Minded at least. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

        • NEO says:

          Yep, having Jess around does that for me as well! We find the help we need, where we can, and hold them close! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • Indeed once this Irishman fell in love, that was it! But it took me awhile… we met when I was 37 as I remember? Watch out when a woman gets your heart, your done with any others! But then I am old school obviously.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Btw we are a family of like minded conservatives! Quite amazing, and I give God all the glory! Conservative, but NOT “fundamentalist”, at least overtly. And both our son’s voted Brexit! And it should again be noted my first degree was a BA in Catholic or Western Philosophy.

          *I can’t help but be happy for Trump and family, they appear to be close, though one of his other daughters is somewhat off the standard mark? And I don’t think this is something that just money can buy!

          Like

        • My point about Donald Trump’s family is that they all appear to be normal, though of course rich. I can remember the Kennedy family here also, who were in the same kind of place. But Trump’s sons also appear especially motivated and follow their father in positive ways!

          Like

        • And who could not be impressed with the presence and beauty of Melania Trump… period! Again, my point is fairness in this whole American political process.

          Like

        • And finally, I must say that though I am not personally a Trump fan, I do support his Law and Order position, having myself family and persons who are cops in the UK. And one thing is certain, we won’t hear this kind of support for the police in the Democratic Convention!

          Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s