Video Tuesday

Go Air Force

And Ben Franklin

Conservatism in real life. From The Federalist

Eliminate the politics and nearly everyone of any partisan stripe idealizes conservative principles without realizing it.

How? Consider the world of sport and fitness. It’s nearly always a fantastic encouragement of individual expression and ability while also promoting a positive community at large. Those hard working, disciplined, don’t-give-up mantras have become more prominent in the last few years as America’s athletic personality has swelled with amateurs.

Mentally tough and intuitively conservative-minded concepts of hard work and personal responsibility accompany these ventures.

Continue reading What Fitness Tells Us About Conservatism’s Appeal

A civilized society, not

This one is serious, because we do seem to be going there. If you work in law enforcement, you must (actually you should have always) think about this, because she is exactly right.

Because remember, you took an oath, not to obey the President, the Governor, the Mayor or any other man, but to defend the Constitution, from all enemies. We count on you to do the right thing. Just before crossing the Delaware 237 years ago this month, General Washington said this to the Continental Army

The time is now near at hand which will probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves, whether they are to have any property they can call their own, or whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed and they consigned to a state of wretchedness from which they cannot be delivered. Our cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance or the most abject submission.

We are not yet at that point, and God willing we will never be. But that is sometimes what liberty demands. Do not let us down.

And Bill Whittle

Or the rest of us, for that matter.

 

America’s Army

English: United States Military Academy Coat O...

English: United States Military Academy Coat Of Arms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Something you may not know is that Jess gets precious little guidance here, if she wants to write about the London fashion scene for 14-year-old girls, nobody is going to stop her, although I’d probably raise an eyebrow. I mention that because I specifically asked her to write Thin Red Line of Heroes. Because we forget, how strained the relationship often is between military and civilian.

 

Something else to note here is that the United Colonies during and after the Revolution absolutely hated the idea of a standing army, the British experience had taught them that soldiers were always a severe threat to liberty, not to mention good order.

 

To me, that sounds extremely quaint in a country that has come to see it’s military as the most trustworthy of servants, far better than any elective or appointed officer of government.

 

Part of the reason that Kipling’s Tommy rings false in American ears (although not always) is that America has pretty much always been a citizen army, granting that lots of Irishmen and Germans learned about America in her army. It reconstructed a lot of Southerners too. But you know, it wasn’t accidental.

 

As with so much in America, it goes back to George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. And yes we are going to speak of West Point. The Continental army occupied it in 1778 and it has been a US Military post ever since. It is the oldest continuously occupied post, in fact.

 

But in 1802 Congress chartered (and funded) it as the United States Military Academy, and so it has been since. It’s first few years were pretty chaotic and the results in the War of 1812 reflected this. But after that war, in  1817, Colonel Sylvanus Thayer was appointed Superintendent. He established the curriculum still used today. Thayer instilled strict disciplinary standards, set a standard course of academic study, and emphasized honorable conduct.

 

By contrast for many years, until well past our Civil War, the British Army was a dumping ground for the younger sons of the nobility, buy them a commission, occasionally and forget about them. In case you’ve forgotten, that’s how Winston Churchill got his start. He did do better than most, however!

 

But Colonel Thayer figured out something else. He figured out how to train officers for a democratic army. The regulars in America epitomized what Jess said earlier even more than the British Army

 

Although the analogy with Monks might raise an eyebrow or two, there is a parallel (no, not that one).  Soldiers live a life apart. They are trained to do things which ordinary people don’t do, and probably don’t want to do.There has to be a high level of commitment, and at times the dedication to duty means that a soldier puts everything else to one side.

 

But the American regular army has always been a combination constabulary for the territories and a cadre for vast expansions of the army if we got into a war. We managed to do that in the Mexican war, and in every subsequent war. And the thing is, the officers trained at West Point have always known how to make American civilians into effective soldiers. Often they wouldn’t have impressed anybody on the march, whether in Mexico, Georgia, Pennsylvania, France or finally Germany but , they always manged to get into the battle and fight effectively. But like Billy Yank before him, GI Joe wasn’t particularly interested in the niceties of showing officers respect.

 

And so America’s Army has always reflected America, loose-jointed, casual, intelligently lazy, goal oriented and not deterred by much of anything.

 

But Jess speaks of the British authorities recommending the troops wear civilian clothing off post. I can remember a time when the American army ordered it, and further when junior officers sometimes went armed to the barracks. In the early 70s the American forces were broken, especially the army, ill-disciplined, ragged, riddled with drugs, and anything but combat ready. But the officer corps, men like Schwarzkopf, Powell, Starry, and thousands of others didn’t despair, got down to work, raised the standards, worked, [wash, rinse, repeat]. What emerged is the superlative force we have today

 

But, it seems to me, the other thing we learned from Vietnam is this; We no longer fight with our professional, regular army. The way we’ve structured it now, the army can’t fight without the reserve forces and almost always with the National Guard as well. This has put the local back into American war making, not many out here missed it when a truck convoy of the Nebraska Guard was rescued from an ambush in Iraq by the cavalry from the Kentucky Guard. These “Weekend Warriors” as we call them are normally amongst us as civilians except for about 2 weeks a year and a weekend a month. They more than any soldiers in history are direct representatives of our communities for good and bad.

 

And this, I think, is one of the secrets of how to keep your army dear to the hearts of your population, it has to represent your population. Jess knows more about how we do this than she lets on, because she reads so many of us, and she has mentioned occasionally what seems to her as incredible support for the troops. But, of course, British troops wouldn’t respond to that, or would they?

 

 

Those Anglians look pretty happy to me :-)

 

Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

 

Somehow this seems like a good place for the infantry motto

 

Follow Me

 

 

Duty, Honor, and Personal Responsibility

ACTION ITEM! Obama Admin may court-martial those who share Christian Faith… including chaplains! | Fr. Z's Blog (olim: What Does The Prayer Really Say?)I’m going to start this morning with a couple of paragraphs from Jessica’s last two posts because they are exactly on point to where we are going today. This was not what I was going to write here, maybe later, I have elected to supersede that article because of events and knowledge we have gained lately. Here’s Jess from yesterday:

If you hadn’t noticed, I am an Americanophile.  I was brought up not to forget one thing – that the freedom that I enjoyed had been won by the blood of others; and that key to that blood not being spilled in vain was the courage, the sacrifice and the money of the United States of America. It also dawned on me as soon as I started studying history that those things had continued to be gifted to us after the Second World War; Communism had no enemy fiercer than the United States. I lived in Missouri for a year when I was a child, and I learned then how much Americans loved their country; that seemed, and seems, admirable to me.

[...]

It won’t do to pretend that the Roman Republic was a democracy, it wasn’t, but it was a place where to be a Roman citizen was the greatest honour possible, and service to the citizens in the Senate was a duty which a man took seriously. Few left office richer than they entered it, because service was costly; but it was considered the duty owed by a man to the Republic. Service in the army was onerous, but again, it was something a man did in the name of honour.

And from today

One of the Republican (as in Roman Republic) virtues which the US has exemplified is independence of spirit.  Men took responsibility for their actions; it was not unknown for senators to fall on their swords if they dishonoured their office. The ideal of the Roman world was Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (519 BC – 430 BC) (and the answer to the question is yes, it was named after him). When his son was convicted of a crime and absconded, Cincinnatus had to pay a huge fine and retired to his small farm. But when the State was threatened by the Volsci, the Senate called upon him to lead the State. He laid down his plough and returned to high office, which he discharged with great distinction; after victory was assured, he returned to his farm. In later life he returned once more and did great service; once again, he retired into private life. He became the beau ideal of the Patrician Roman. A man to whom service to the Res Publica – the common weal – was all.

Your American history has many such men, from the great George Washington, through Jefferson and Lincoln and into more modern times, a man like Eisenhower or Truman. These were men of almost Cincinnatan virtue. They were men who gave to the State and asked for little and ended by being loved by the people.

If he had one at all, Cincinnatus was Washington’s role model, all he ever wanted to do was farm Mount Vernon and be with his beloved Martha. It showed too. When he retired after his two terms as President, George the III of England asked the American Minister to England what he would do, the Minister replied ” He will return to his farm”. King George replied of his former enemy “Then he shall be the greatest man in the world.” This is what the American Presidency once was. Add to that the association of former Officers of the Continental Army was The Society of the Cincinnati.

Cincinnatus has also left us a quote, or you could even call it a motto:

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.

And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Yes, I know, you thought it came from a much more recent figure, one whom the press has done an outstanding job of demonizing. You’re not wrong, exactly, Senator Goldwater did quote it in his acceptance speech at the 1964 convention. But it wasn’t original with him.

What are the three things that run through what Jess has written (much of what I write as well) and what Cincinnatus and Washington both lived?

Duty, Honor, and Personal Responsibility

Both were plain men doing their best for their country when it called, yes Washington was well off, he was a good planter, and lived fairly well. But as he said at Newburgh  he grew gray and almost blind in our service.

Over the years guided by men like these we have become what has been called “The Indispensable Nation” because of our physical power, as we have become the leader of the free world, which in truth is exactly synonymous with Western Civilization because of our moral power, as well as because we are the last major power who is overtly Christian, the leader of what used to be called Christendom. It’s a very awesome status, which we have borne quite well and humbly as well, not least because of our history, and the men who founded and led what my British friends tend to refer to as The Great Republic, but as Jess asked us this morning,  “Has there been one such since Ike?  And if not, is that not a sign of something?” My answer is, “Yes, it is”. I believe we have lost our way, and we have devolved as the Romans before us did, into a group of grasping vain men and women struggling for power and wealth without thought for duty and honor. If they even know what the word mean.

This morning another British female published an article (I don’t know what’s in the water over there, that these women drink but, I think they need to share!), Melanie Phillips who I started the week by talking about. Here is a bit from her blog.

Fort Hood, Benghazi, the Boston bombings, Iran/Syria, Israel. The pattern is unmistakeable; the danger to America is exponentially increasing; the scandal is deepening into something nearer to a national crisis.

The Obama administration is playing down the Islamist threat to the US and the free world, empowering Islamists at home and abroad, endangering America and betraying its allies — and covering up its egregious failure to protect the homeland as a result of all the above, while instead blaming America for its own victimisation.

What is coming out in the Benghazi hearings would be jaw-dropping if it had not been apparent from the get-go that the administration failed to protect its own people in the beseiged American mission where Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his staff were murdered in 2012, then lied about the fact that this was an Islamist attack, and then covered up both its failure and its lie. (Apparent, that is, to some — but not to the American media, most of which gave the Obama administration a free pass on the scandal in order to ensure the smooth re-election of The One).

But the administration has form on this — serious, continuing form. After the Fort Hood massacre in 2009, in which an Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan shot and killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas shouting ‘Allahu akhbar’, not only was it revealed that his radicalisation and extremist links had been ignored but the Department of Defense and federal law enforcement agencies classified the shootings merely as an act of ‘workplace violence’.

Weeks after the Boston marathon terrorist atrocity, there is still no explanation of why the FBI did not act against the Tsarnaev brothers, despite having had one of them on their books as a dangerous Islamic radical after a warning from Russian intelligence; and why, as the House Homeland Security Committee heard yesterday, the FBI didn’t pass on their suspicions about the brothers to the Boston police.

Even now, the US authorities are playing down or even dismissing  Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s extremist Islamic views. Whether or not the brothers had links to foreign extremists is still unclear. But what is bizarre is the authorities’ belief that if they did not have any such links, they cannot have had any religious motive.

 You need to go read the rest Obamastan | Melanie Phillips. I’ll wait for you.

Now, I don’t have an instant solution, you and I both know that someplace in this cesspool there is an impeachable (and maybe criminal as well) offense, and maybe the House could bring in a bill of impeachment, but what are the odds of the Senate convicting? And if they did, does anybody really think Joe Biden would be any better? We’re pretty much stuck trying to do the best we can for now.

But we had best get to work on finding some real American leaders by the next election. From Samuel Adams:

The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil constitution, are worth defending against all hazards:

And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.

Regroup, Reload, and Resume the Advance

Depiction by John Trumbull of Washington resig...

Depiction by John Trumbull of Washington resigning his commission and position as commander-in-chief (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK, my last post  Recessional was our time to cry in our beer. I needed it, and I suspect many of you did as well.

But, what’s different today, not much, really, except that Obama got reelected. But think about this a little. He got reelected by the thinnest of margins. He did this by trying to demonize a good man with the help of all the trappings of the Presidency, and with the nearly undivided and vocal support of the so-called news media. We fought that juggernaut to a standstill.

My favorite comment this morning came from Rebecca Hamilton. A staunch and Godly Woman of Valor, a State Legislator and a Democrat. “Don’t be defeated. The fight has just begun.” She’s right. In times like this, I like to turn to Tom Paine, especially this.

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. [...]

I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent. Neither have I so much of the infidel in me, as to suppose that He has relinquished the government of the world, and given us up to the care of devils; and as I do not, I cannot see on what grounds the king of Britain can look up to heaven for help against us: a common murderer, a highwayman, or a house-breaker, has as good a pretence as he.

I think you know that there have been two great conservative revolutions in world history, one is the American Revolution, which has transformed the world, including Great Britain who fought against their own principles in it. The other, of course, was the Reformation, which transformed the church, including the Roman church, into the great spiritual engine it is today. Both were forced on the rebels.

Both owed their existence to something else, the American Revolution was the final flowering of the Enlightenment as we have said but, the enlightenment itself, like the Reformation owed its existence to the Renaissance, that great out break of learning that ended the Middle Ages and so opened many roads.

And that my friends, is what we have to do. We must educate the young. We have become complacent and let the government take over education and as a result we are graduating people with BA degrees that would not have graduated eighth grade a century ago. We must fix education to ensure our legacy. In addition we have much work to do as Christians, we are the last country of the west with a real Christian heritage, and that is what has formed the backbone of the United States, again we must restore the Christianity of our forbearers, the stern Christianity of the God of Justice.

We tried the quick fix, changing it back in two election cycles, it didn’t work. In truth it was unlikely to. It was certainly worth a try, and we managed a drawn battle. Stasis continues in Washington. We are awake and aware and we shall return. Stasis will also continue in the economy, which will improve only slightly with the policies of the government, and that mediocre at best economy will help us. It is certainly not what we wished, for we wish all people to have good jobs with living wages but facts are facts.

So the short-term outlook is bleak but, if we do the necessary things, longer term we will perhaps triumph, if we keep the faith, both in America, and in God. And if we don’t, like King Arthur and Camelot, we will become the subject of legend, sagamen (and women) for the ages, for the dream of freedom never dies.

We have allies that we must reach out to. My friend Sherry, last night posted a video of the Broke party, in Chicago, here  is the link. They are our friends, make sure they know it, help them. So are the Hispanics, although they have been propagandized. If you get to know hem, you will find that they (for the most part, legal, and illegal) came here for the same reason our ancestors did, to make a better life for their families. Again for the most part, they are both conservative and Catholic, as well as good hard-working people, sure they speak Spanish, so what, a hundred years ago my people spoke Norwegian. Reach out to them.

We have fought a drawn battle, we have not lost the war. General Greene said it best in the Revolution, “We fight, get beat, retreat, rise, and fight again.” And remember General Washington, himself, won very few battles, and the Continental Army paraded naked through Philadelphia on their way to Yorktown.

What are we willing to do for freedom?

 

Regroup, reload, and resume the advance, of civilization, itself

We Fight, Get Beat, Rise, and Fight Again

 

 

The motto above is from General Green, who wore down the British forces in the Southern campaign of the Revolutionary war. Eventually, with the help of General Washington‘s Continental Army, the Comte Rochambeau’s French Army, and the French fleet under de Grasse, Lord Cornwallis was pinned in at Yorktown, and finally the band played The World Turned Upside Down, I suspect you know the rest.

Why am I writing about this? Because it’s a very good comparison to the war we conservative are waging against the statists.

Daren Jonescu posted an article at American Thinker the other day that delineates and summarizes many of the things we are seeing from the left recently. [Contrary to my usual practice I'm going to print the entire article.]

Conservatives Have a Secret

Can conservatives be revolutionaries?  Given the level of crisis into which civilization has fallen, and that the unfolding disaster is the result of what is now called “liberalism,” it behooves us to ask whether the only serious countervailing force, “conservatism,” is up to the task of radical change.

At face value, conservatism would seem to be a position of reserve, caution, and resistance to change.  How, then, can conservatives — anti-radicals by nature — turn back the tide of political and moral devolution that has led the once-free world to the brink of economic collapse and tyranny?

Just a note here, The American Revolution was essentially a conservative revolution too. It started trying to retain our rights as English freeman.

I believe that the answer, paradoxically, is that they can turn it back by failing to turn it back.  To see how this makes sense, a little context is necessary.

Despite all of Barack Obama’s hoopla about “fundamentally transforming” America, the truth of the matter is even scarier than Obama’s threatening promise: the fundamental transformation has, to a large extent, already happened.  Contemporary society has been gradually undermined, in the strict sense of having had its terrain booby-trapped with moral explosives, over many decades.  Obama’s promised transformation is merely the paperwork, writing into law what has already been accomplished in culture.

In short, Western society has essentially ceased to be the glorious crown of humanity that it once was.  The wellspring of ethical individualism has regressed into a fear-addled horde of collectivists.

The philosophical birthplace of the individuated soul with its higher callings — philosophy, art, faith — has devolved into an orgy of mindless pleasure pursued at the expense of any concern for, or belief in, the difference between scratching an itch and contemplating the divine.

And the civilization that, through its dual focus on human reason and the individual soul, planted the seed of that political liberty which is literally inconceivable in any other historical context has allowed itself to recede into an increasingly unvarnished mob of angry, frightened children clamoring for their “fair share,” for what they are “entitled to” — for a ruler to take care of them, freedom be damned.

The West’s economic insolvency is merely a practical manifestation of moral bankruptcy.  America’s irreversible prison sentence of debt stretching for generations into the future is only a foreshadowing of the more explicit form of bondage that takes hold of societies after they disintegrate into practical despair and irrationality.

Sound pretty familiar doesn’t it?

No doubt some readers, at this point, are thinking, “That may be the path some people are on, but there are millions of us who will refuse to let it happen.”  And it is quite true that conservative resistance to the scenario I have described is substantial, and has been so for decades.  That is precisely the point: the resistance has always been there, and yet the devolution continues, slowed but ultimately unabated.

It is true that there has always, particularly in America, been a strong conservative minority to say “no” to each new infringement on reason, decency, and liberty.  Nevertheless, the “yes” side usually wins, eventually if not immediately.  In boxing terms, you cannot win going backwards.  Even the most talented defender must finally step forward and throw punches.  But in politics and culture, “forward,” as we know, is the method and slogan of the left, and not the natural instinct of conservatives.

Thus, the traditional question becomes more pressing every day: what are conservatives trying to “conserve” at this point?  In other words, hasn’t mere resistance proven futile?

Painfully disappointing, yes — but futile, no.  The difference between the way America and the rest of the West have reached their respective tipping points gives us a clue to the long-term value of short term failure.

Most of Europe, for example, has drifted sleepily into socialism.  The conservative resistance, such as it was, remained much smaller and milder, and, for the most part, it lacked a clear set of principles to guide its efforts.  That is why Europe has made leftward “progress” far faster than America.

Each European nation undergoes brief spasms of dissatisfaction with the inefficiencies of socialism, and hence reintroduces a few carefully regulated “market elements” to stabilize its labor force, its health care system, etc.  Through it all, however, sovereign nations have dissolved into an supranational socialist “union”; work — in the old-fashioned sense of productive effort you must make to support yourself — is generally regarded as gauche and distasteful, and when Europeans are surprised by a financial doomsday they never saw coming, they take to the streets — not to demand the changes needed to avert catastrophe, but to demand that doomsday be canceled because it is interrupting their lifelong state-subsidized vacation.

America, while following the same pattern of leftward drift, has done so kicking and screaming.  The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are simply too clear and stately to admit of being tossed into the fire.  Or rather, there are many who would happily do exactly that, but the documents remain cherished fundamentals to so many Americans that progressives have been forced to try to finesse their way around founding principles that are far too clear to be fudged.

The Founding Documents, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and the Federalist papers, which explain it all, makes all the difference. We have a blueprint, ink on parchment, to tell us how it’s supposed to be.

Hence, with each “forward” step, the left exposes itself further as essentially opposed to those founding principles — i.e., as essentially un-American.  This reveals the precise advantage American conservatives have over their brethren in other nations.  If conservatism is at its core a philosophy of resistance to change, then conservatives are lost if they cannot isolate the point from which the change they are resisting began.  In other words, once again, they must have a clear understanding of what they are trying to “conserve.”

How can the conservatives of other nations define their cause?  What are they seeking to preserve, or to return to?  They and their position are too easily reducible to a combination of nostalgia and stodginess.  They are embarrassed by the perception, promoted by liberals, that they are merely old fogeys who fear the new.  This is why the supposed elected representatives of conservatism are so quick to adopt or accommodate “progressive” policy ideas.  They cannot even explain to themselves why they are resisting.

American conservatives, by contrast, know exactly what they are seeking to conserve, and why.  They have the special advantage of having been bequeathed a precise theoretical explanation of their nation and its system of government, one which is impervious to changing practical circumstances and speaks to the primary needs of humanity — self-preservation, freedom from coercion, and the opportunity to develop oneself through one’s own efforts.

And yet, despite the powerful constitutional shield and all the will in the world, American conservatives have thus far failed to turn back the progressive tide.  They have, however, done what committed conservatives can do — namely, challenge “progress” at every turn, keep every counterargument to leftism floating through the public consciousness, and frustrate the left’s propaganda methods by exposing them to the light of common sense.

The net result, inevitably, has not been “success,” inasmuch as the authoritarian left has not been stymied outright.  Conservatives have, however, by their continued resistance, forced the liberals into assuming increasingly aggressive postures in order to achieve their goals.  In other words, the smooth transition into collectivist authoritarianism has not happened in America as it happened, or is currently happening, everywhere else, because conservatives have not let it happen.

The “democratic” left has had to work harder in America than anywhere else — and, consequently, has had to show its teeth more plainly in America than anywhere else.  And this, I suspect, demonstrates how conservatives, if they have staying power through the very hard years ahead, can win.

Friedrich Nietzsche, in his final sane months, produced this bracing analysis of the West’s future (our present) as he saw it:

Whispered into the ear of the conservative. — What was not known formerly, what is known, or might be known today: a reversion, a return in any sense or degree is simply not possible.  We physiologists know that.  Yet all priests and moralists have believed the opposite — they wanted to take mankind back, to screw it back, to a former measure of virtue….  Even the politicians have aped the preachers of virtue at this point: today too there are still parties whose dream it is that all things might walk backwards like crabs.  But no one is free to be a crab.  Nothing avails: one must go forward — step by step further into decadence (that is my definition of modern “progress”).  One can check this development and thus dam up degeneration, gather it and make it more vehement and sudden: more than this one cannot do. (Twilight of the Idols, §43, emphasis added.)

The final sentence of this passage, overwhelming with a stroke of irony worthy of Socrates, explains the means to conservative victory.  Damming up the degeneration — in this case, the century-old wave of cultural and political progressivism — is dangerous, as it serves to “gather” the force of the wave, adding to its power and “vehemence.”  Yet this dangerous process of thwarting the left until it becomes outraged and angry serves a purpose worthy of the risk.  We are seeing this scenario played out before us today.

The modern left has won most of the West by presenting itself as the voice of “the people,” even as it gently fastens its shackles on the ankles of mankind.  This is why the rest of the world finds Americans unfathomable for resisting these restraints applied in the name of “security” and “equality.”  Practical difficulties notwithstanding, Europe never doubted the left’s intentions.  Thus, for sixty years, the drowning waters have flowed evenly and soothingly through the Western world — except in America.

America resisted.  She refused to be ashamed of her growing isolation.  The left co-opted the education system, the judicial system, the bureaucracy, the press, and the arts.  And yet genuine conservatives refused to be mollified, or embarrassed into acquiescing.  They have watched dam after dam get blown away by leftist encroachments.  But they rebuild the dams.

The result of this resistance, increasingly apparent for decades, has become palpable: whereas the European left presents itself, and even sees itself, as a friend of Europe, the American left has been antagonized into presenting itself more and more openly as the enemy of America.

As many have noted, the declared goal of “fundamentally transforming” America clearly implies a basic distaste for America and Americans.  Obama’s “You didn’t build that” is an open spit in the face to the most time-honored notion of national self-identity, the American Dream; Nancy Pelosi’s “Are you serious?” when asked where Congress gets the constitutional authority to force citizens to purchase health insurance displays an open disregard for the principle of limited government; the media’s knee-jerk search for law-abiding Tea Partiers behind every act of mass murder reveals the left’s hatred of people who care about their freedom.

These revelations — the progressives showing their true colors — are the direct result of decades of conservative resistance.  The statist left, having won the day everywhere else, has become flustered and furious at its inability to seal the deal in America.  Thanks to conservative dams, the progressive current has, as Nietzsche whispered, gathered strength and become more “vehement.”  This strength and this vehemence have manifested themselves in angry, careless lurches, wild punches that expose progressives and their real agenda more fully than they would ever have wished to expose themselves.

And their open aggression has, as it were, awakened a sleeping giant.  The Tea Party is the direct product of progressivism’s excessive “vehemence.”  And the Tea Party’s effect, in turn, has been to stoke the left’s ire that much further.  Even President Obama, who was intended to be the European-style kinder, gentler face of socialism, has become angry at this resistance and has dropped the veneer.

The entire Democratic Party, from the top down, now looks like Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright.  The hatred of America is open.  The desire to undo American constitutionalism is explicit.  And this exposure will only accelerate in the coming months and years, as the left realizes ever more acutely that its days as an accepted political faction are numbered, and it is forced to take increasingly drastic and sudden measures to achieve its brutal aims before the clock runs out.

The days lying ahead of America will often be treacherous and sad.  They will require nerves of steel from those who would resist progressivism’s desperate last stand.  It has become patently clear that the present Republican Party establishment is not up for this fight.  Constitutional conservatives must do it themselves, using the GOP apparatus as just one tool.  They must remain cool and workmanlike, rebuilding dams faster than the leftist waves can knock them down.

This is the means to conservative victory.  One cannot merely “go back” to a better time.  Societal decay cannot simply be undone.  One must allow — even encourage — the progressive degeneration to play itself out, fighting it at every turn until the leftists, seething with an increasingly open hatred of America, overplay their hand and self-destruct.  Finally, thanks to steadfast conservative resistance, “progressivism” will be fully exposed for the empty, anti-human power lust that it truly is.

Power-lust masked as “caring government” — the entitlement society — can still win support, unfortunately.  By gradually forcing progressives out from behind the mask, however, conservatives can at last destroy the illusion that is leftism, leading not to a “reversal” or a “return,” but rather to renewal.  This is conservatism’s well-kept secret — the secret hidden in its very nature: from a long series of hard-fought failures can come sudden victory.

Conservatives Have a Secret – John Malcolm.

Do you see why I use the example of General Gates? It’s going to be that kind of war. Victory, while possible, will be very hard and drawn out. No guarantees, either. But this fits the facts as I know them to be.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Patrick Henry March 23, 1775.

 

From My Cold, Dead Hands

Gonzales Flag

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

US Constitution, 2d Amendment. Commonly called the “Bill of Rights”

We’ve discussed this before but, with rumors of the prospective signing of the UN arms control treaty running rampant, maybe we should again.

The point of the Amendment isn’t to allow you to go hunting, not that it stops you.

Nor is it really there to allow you to protect yourself from criminals, although again, that is clearly within its purview, and a very valuable feature.

The point of the amendment is the very final check on tyranny. At the time of the Founders, the militia was defined as all able-bodied men older than 18 (usually there was a commonsense upper limit).

The founders had just fought a Revolution and intended for this country to remain free. We formed a regular army (The Continental Army) but standing military forces were widely distrusted (quite a difference from now when the US military is by far the most trusted institution in the country). There were organized state militias but, in the last resort, it was up to the people.

The founders worked very hard to separate the powers of government among the states, the Congress, the President and the courts but, I think they knew that a cabal could, over time, subvert the whole system. So again they adapted from the past. From Wikipedia:

Whereas the late King James the Second by the Assistance of diverse evill Councellors Judges and Ministers imployed by him did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant Religion and the Lawes and Liberties of this Kingdome (list of grievances including) … by causing severall good Subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when Papists were both Armed and Imployed contrary to Law, (Recital regarding the change of monarch) … thereupon the said Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons pursuant to their respective Letters and Elections being now assembled in a full and free Representative of this Nation takeing into their most serious Consideration the best meanes for attaining the Ends aforesaid Doe in the first place (as their Auncestors in like Case have usually done) for the Vindicating and Asserting their ancient Rights and Liberties, Declare (list of rights including) … That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.

The historical link between the English Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment, which both codify an existing right and do not create a new one, has been acknowledged by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the last analysis, the freedom of America is in the hands of the American People.

Or as we commonly say, “The Second defends the Rest“.

This is the right that would be tyrants want to remove above all others, the reason is obvious, an armed citizenry is not easily cowed. In fact, we remember, in 1940, there were drives here in America for extra sporting arms, to arm the British in case of invasion, They went pretty well.

One of the strongest proponents of our gun right was the late actor Charlton Heston. Here are a couple of videos he made on the subject.

 

and

 

hattip to Blogsense by Barbs’ From My Cold, Dead Hands.

Defending Freedom; for an American it is not only your right, it is also your duty.

%d bloggers like this: