The 2010 election cycle promises to be one of the most significant in decades. There are several reasons. First, political polarization has reached a crescendo. Second, the mounting, but as yet unquantifiable, level of public outrage at the current leadership makes for a truly unpredictable outcome. And third: a century of collectivist cultural influence has successfully debilitated the general acuity with which most people think about politics.
As to political polarization, it is less likely to appear along distinct party lines, despite efforts to make it so. The reason is that the increasingly blurry distinction between Republicans and Democrats makes them seem more like two factions of the same party rather than distinct political entities.
This being the case, it seems that the true conservatives of the nation were forced to make an intolerable choice in 2008, between the Republican offering of a morally compromised, aging turncoat and his vacuous running mate; and a morally compromised adolescent socialist and his vacuous running mate. When left with such choices, the illusion of party distinction was maintained in the public conscience out of panic rather than measurable differentiation.
Such a choice reminds one of the words of the great H.L. Mencken. "As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron." Mencken wrote this, not to belittle the character of the American people, but rather to illustrate the debilitating effects of democracy.
Over the past year, the growth of political activism among the formerly “silent majority” has tested the prowess of liberal media apparatchiks like Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann. Even their most cynical and derogatory condescension has done nothing to demoralize the fervor of righteous indignation expressed by millions of angry patriots. As Republicans wallow in disarray, a few attentive members of the party have recognized the advantage that such grass roots enthusiasm can yield. Still, the party leadership seems ignorant of the ready source of support for a true Republican revival, by repeatedly dismissing Ron Paul and the “libertarian radicals” of the Party.
Meanwhile, organizations like Freedomworks, Patriotic Resistance, the 9/12 Coalition, the Tea Party Patriots and the We the People Foundation build a new framework for real political activism from the smoldering ruins of a Party that has long forsaken its moral and popular mandate.
In the current cultural malaise, Republicanism has lost its meaning. Returning to the simple principles upon which this great nation was founded is the only hope for Republicans and the Republic. Those are:
• A public moral consensus to do no harm to harmless citizens, by restricting all demands for government action to those directly required to preserve, protect and defend the letter and spirit of the Constitution of the United States.
• A political consensus to restrict government policies and actions to the enumerated powers specifically defined in the Constitution; leaving all other needs, desires and wishes to be fulfilled through voluntary cooperation between private citizens.
• A general ideological consensus to join together in the restoration of the American Ideal to be the “City on a Hill,” with Lady Liberty bringing the healing and enlivening light of reason, morality and equal justice to the darkest corners of the globe – not through force, but by being an example of liberty, justice and prosperity; through unallied conditional friendship and through mutually beneficial commerce.
If America can live up to the ideal established by the founding fathers, we needn’t worry over economic crises, poverty, injustice, terrorism or crime, either domestically or internationally. For when we honor the constitutional dictates of our system of government and the individual responsibilities of sovereign citizenship, we may rise to any challenge without abandoning our principles.
Our current woes originate, not from innate flaws of human nature; nor the failings of liberty; and certainly not in any intrinsic defect in Capitalism or Republicanism; but only in our failure to fervently embrace the opportunities offered by the visionaries who pioneered our noble purpose.
Benjamin Franklin, upon exiting the Constitutional convention, was asked by a woman, “Mr. Franklin, what have you given us?” His response was, “A Republic, ma’am, if you can keep it.”
Posted by Stan Transue