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Today’s Must Read: Is US Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?

Thomas Sowell, one of our time’s great political thinkers, has a chilling piece up today

When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics.

Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler’s rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

“Useful idiots” was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.

Put differently, a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive.

In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.

The president’s poll numbers are going down because increasing numbers of people disagree with particular policies of his, but the damage being done to the fundamental structure of this nation goes far beyond particular counterproductive policies.

With vastly expanded powers of government available at the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats, private individuals and organizations can be forced into accepting the imposition of powers that were never granted to the government by the Constitution.

If you believe that the end justifies the means, then you don’t believe in constitutional government.

That last bolded statement is so simple and true.

When it comes to Sowell’s question though, I believe the answer to it is: “We are already there.”  I think the next few weeks, especially events toward the end of the year, will show if Americans want to give up 200 years of our Constititutional experiment and drift into a dark age of tyranny.

Last summer I asked readers “Is The US In A Low Grade Civil War?”   I stated seven reasons why I thought so:

  1. There is a clear distinction between those who want a more authoritarian/socialist nation versus those who want to preserve the capitalist/democratic America we live in.
  2. There is a clear distinction between those who understand the principles and guidance and importance of the representative legislative process versus those who hide behind the Constitution as an excuse to create laws from the bench.
  3. There is a clear distinction between those who favor strong national security vs. those who want a borderless, global government.
  4. There is a clear distinction between those who hold US Constitutional principles dear (1st, 2nd, 10th Amendments in particular) and those who are ignorant or want to subvert those principles.
  5. There is a clear distinction between those who want to maintain a sensible fiscal policy versus those statists in Washington who spend our tax money with reckless abandon.
  6. There is a clear distinction between those who see themselves as Americans first versus those who want to segregate themselves into communities and ignore the national identity.
  7. Despite his promises, surveys show that Americans have elected one of the most divisive Presidents [Obama] since Richard Nixon.

These factors have gotten worse, not better in the course of the year.  You know it when you talk to friends and relatives.  I can feel the tension everywhere: airports, supermarkets, office complexes.  Those who don’t are Unicornists or aren’t paying attention.

I pray I am wrong and that the resolution to these severe conflicts happens in November at the ballot box.  I don’t think it will.  This will be a long hot summer for the United States of America and future generations will mark the year 2010 for its historical inflection point.  For that, I have no doubt.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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41 Comments

  1. An educated and engaged citizenry is crucial to a thriving and open society. When we refuse to acknowledge what is staring us in the face we only have ourselves to blame. When you allow an elected official to step outside his responsibilities and to bully and intimidate the other branches of government and citizens. When you allow one man and his followers to overrule hundreds of years of established law to do the politically popular (GM, Chrysler, etc…) you wind up inevitably on the path to a totalitarian state.

    Barry Goldwater – “Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.”

    I hear a lot of folks on the left suggest that their intentions are pure and they can NEVER lead to such a bad place. I’m still waiting for those same enlightened ones to show me a time where one man rule has EVER lead to a good place for all the people. The old saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” has NEVER seemed more true.

    Comment by Delusional Bill — June 22, 2010 @ 9:19 am - June 22, 2010

  2. You’re not wrong. While the twitterverse and the blogosphere are all agog about McChrystal (an important story, to be sure), this is a much more important one, and will remain so every single day until Obama is out of office and his administration’s dangerous violations of liberties are reversed.

    Obama may not be the world’s next Lenin or Stalin, but he is certainly paving the way for one.

    In the case of Hitler, Germans, too, believed it could never happen to them, until it did.

    Coincidentally, I just wrote a (admittedly quite long) piece on my blog about the one day I spent behind the Iron Curtain, and why it was enough for me to know that Communism was a VERY BAD IDEA.

    It leads to some of the same conclusions arrived at by Sowell and by yourself, though by a slightly different path.

    (If you’re interested, you can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/2cyugl2)

    The big difference between the time of Hitler and now is the new media. Today, we the people have the literal power to inform ourselves via the Internet and grass roots journalism.

    Is it any wonder that is one of the places the attack on liberty begins?

    Comment by ChrisIsRIGHT — June 22, 2010 @ 9:34 am - June 22, 2010

  3. You want an educated society, but your points are too simplistic. Those who want the government to be a buffer between corporations and citizens are not authoritarian socialists. People who support guest worker passes for undocumented workers do not want a borderless, global government. Those who want taxes to be spent on universal health care, food inspection, education, interstates, national parks, etc. instead of pointless wars are not for spending with reckless abandon. Those who “legislate from the bench” have ended slavery, given women the right to vote, ended child labor laws, and all that which never would have happened if it were left to the majority.

    And it is difficult to see yourself as an American First if you don’t have all the rights Americans are supposed to have. After all, the First Americans had their land stolen from them. And the first European settlers spoke Spanish, so, to be American first, we should be “Spanish-only.”

    Your points are pseudo-conservative. It’s possible to have a more nuanced understanding of these issues and not be a radical, liberal. I cite Thomas Paine as my example.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — June 22, 2010 @ 9:53 am - June 22, 2010

  4. We walked away from the ACORN shenanigans in 2008. The forces behind ACORN will have plenty of stimulus money for November. The Democrats are counting on getting the illegal alien vote. It is very difficult to fight that fire with fire.

    However, I am gratified to see Steve Forbes join forces with Glenn Beck in taking a nationwide effort to identify and back candidates in every corner of the nation. They have totally by-passed the Republican National Committee and the Senate and House Republican organizations. They know that Republican politicians in office are as corrupted by power and as immobilized by the fear of losing their gigs as any Democrat.

    If you are not aware of Freedomworks, at least look it over: http://www.freedomworks.org/

    I am sending my small contributions directly to the candidates. The RNC and the Senate and House phony polling solicitations are going straight to the shredder.

    Comment by heliotrope — June 22, 2010 @ 9:59 am - June 22, 2010

  5. Sorry Ash but to paraphrase Mr. Goldwater again. Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. When you go down the road of allowing one freedom to be curtailed the way is open to curtailing ALL liberty. Your comments regarding needing a more nuanced approach reminds me of the guy asking to have sex for a million dollars only to be told not for THAT amount. Now that we are agreed on what you are we only negotiate the price from there. The funny thing about tired old cliches is that they become cliche when people forget the fundamental truth behind them. They are repeated and folks take for granted what they say. I’m left to wonder if you want your freedoms taken one brick at a time or in large chunks?

    Comment by Delusional Bill — June 22, 2010 @ 10:13 am - June 22, 2010

  6. Oh gods, where to begin with Ash’s ignorance…

    People who support guest worker passes for undocumented workers do not want a borderless, global government.

    They just want to ignore the laws they don’t like. Why bother to pass legislation when we can just ignore it?

    Those who want taxes to be spent on universal health care, food inspection, education, interstates, national parks, etc. instead of pointless wars are not for spending with reckless abandon.

    Yes, because those people who want to kill us would much rather just come across the border legally. Also, Ash again you fail ‘defined powers’ again.

    Those who “legislate from the bench” have ended slavery, given women the right to vote, ended child labor laws, and all that which never would have happened if it were left to the majority.

    You fail history, forever. See the 14-17th ammendments, 19th ammendment (which was a follow up to state laws allowing sufferage) and the industrial revolution. Those came from the people, not the courts.

    In fact, Jim Crow Laws were just that Laws. It wasn’t private business saying “Hey, lets deny a potential market access, or spend extra money to have two tier access.” It was the Government making them.

    Actually Ash is a perfect example of what Dr. Sowell is speaking of. Grabbing power ‘for the greater good’ in contravention of established law is what he speaks of. It’s what Ash encourages.

    Intimidate BP into giving 20B? Why that’s alright, since we’ll use it only for the greater good.

    take from my paycheck to give Ash healthcare? Why it’s for the greater good! Who cares if we don’t have the legal authority to do it?

    Price fixing for Healthcare? It’s for your own good, Doctor, to tell you what you can and can’t charge. It’s not slavery… we’re paying you something after all. It won’t have any impact on the quality of care.

    Comment by The_Livewire — June 22, 2010 @ 10:14 am - June 22, 2010

  7. A great political thinker who violates Godwin’s Law within the first three words of his op-ed.

    This is a debate that was over before it started.

    Comment by Serenity — June 22, 2010 @ 10:20 am - June 22, 2010

  8. #7 to English. Help! Dr Sowell is using big words and I can’t refute his points!

    Comment by The_Livewire — June 22, 2010 @ 10:36 am - June 22, 2010

  9. You want an educated society, but your points are too simplistic.

    Talk about simplistic! We don’t want a society “educated” in holistic, moral relavancy voo doo and claptrap. We want a society educated to understand the basic precepts of the Constitution, limited government, rights and responsibilities, no free lunch, an honest days work, effort and achievement and earned self esteem, the basic truths of free market capitalism and a grounding in the institutions of law that have arisen from English common law and the Judeo-Christian ethic.

    Those who want the government to be a buffer between corporations and citizens are not authoritarian socialists.

    It depends entirely on the scope of “buffer” in your meaning. To say that free market capitalists do not see the need for limited government intervention is equally “simplistic.”

    People who support guest worker passes for undocumented workers do not want a borderless, global government.

    Good gosh this is a breathtaking statement. A “guest worker” is hardly “undocumented” by definition of the tradition of “guest worker.” Do you know what a “green card is?” And no true American would sacrifice the Constitution for a borderless, global government. Have you really come here to discuss a borderless, global government?

    Those who want taxes to be spent on universal health care, food inspection, education, interstates, national parks, etc. instead of pointless wars are not for spending with reckless abandon.

    Let’s break this down, shall we? Show us the “cost” of “universal” health care and show us the place where it exists. Show us where the greatest health care for the greatest number is achieved. Shall we have “universal” food inspection so that each grape on the bunch is individually certified? Shall we educate every individual at no cost to the individual until his brain is jam crammed full? Shall we build interstates that do not faiil? Can we banish traffic jams? Let there be no pot holes and all trucks must stay in a separate line. As you pull up behind a car, you can force it to speed up until you are satisfied. How I love National Parks. Please make them pristine. No highways and interchanges and other people or nasty hikes over uneven trails to picturesque spots. In fact, most of them were stolen from the Indians. Give them back. But let me visit.

    Those who “legislate from the bench” have ended slavery, given women the right to vote, ended child labor laws, and all that which never would have happened if it were left to the majority.

    Oops, you need to read the amendments to the Constitution. None of these were “legislated” from the bench. The restrictions child labor laws are embedded in the 13th and 14th amendments. Female suffrage has an amendment to itself. You could stand to become a part of an educated society.

    And it is difficult to see yourself as an American First if you don’t have all the rights Americans are supposed to have.

    See the 14th amendment. Name any group of citizens who do not have equal rights. (Any Indian can chuck the reservation and be a full blooded American citizen and equal contender. If he prefers to suck up shabby Indian welfare instead, that is his problem)

    After all, the First Americans had their land stolen from them. And the first European settlers spoke Spanish, so, to be American first, we should be “Spanish-only.”

    OK Einstein, the “First Americans” were Indians who spent countless years battling each other and getting pretty much nowhere. The “white man” came and gave them exotic diseases and moved in on them with a force superior to the neighboring tribes they were used to fending off. They lost. They lost. They lost. History of the ages, pal. Ask the Huns, the Greeks, the Romans, the Norse, the Muslims, etc. The “First Americans” spoke cumquat and rigamarole. Why not use that language.

    Your screed is baseline pathetic. You lack an essential elementary understanding of history.

    Comment by heliotrope — June 22, 2010 @ 10:42 am - June 22, 2010

  10. A great political thinker who violates Godwin’s Law within the first three words of his op-ed.

    A commenter who raises a progressive bandwagon solipsism as the coup d’grace.

    Pick your nose in public much?

    By the way, Serenity, what other great and timeless aphorisms has Godwin given us? Perhaps Godwin was a victim of the Peter Principle and as dead wood, he floated to the top when her was first to plunge over the falls. Pity.

    Comment by heliotrope — June 22, 2010 @ 10:48 am - June 22, 2010

  11. The “First Americans” had no concept of owning the land. What one doesn’t own, can’t be stolen.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 22, 2010 @ 11:01 am - June 22, 2010

  12. Those who want the government to be a buffer between corporations and citizens are not authoritarian socialists.

    Because you are here to tell us that? Or do you have some actual reason?

    Actually, yes: Those who want the government to seize control of intereactions between corporations and citizens (which you euphemize as “buffering”), are indeed authoritarian socialists.

    People who support guest worker passes for undocumented workers do not want a borderless, global government.

    You mean, people like me who support legal immigration? Quite true.

    But, Ash, people like you who knock people like me and instead support *illegal immigration* do, in effect, want a borderless global government. You’re just not admitting it.

    Those who want taxes to be spent on universal health care… are not for spending with reckless abandon.

    Yes they are. “Universal health care” – What is that? It is, in its essence, *unending* spending on health care. It is also redistributionism: stealing from the productive, effectively enslaving them. Way to uphold slavery, Ash. It’s beyond reckless; it’s immoral.

    Those who “legislate from the bench” have ended slavery, given women the right to vote, ended child labor laws, and all that which never would have happened if it were left to the majority.

    Slavery was ended by Court decisions? Not by the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment? Women weren’t guaranteed the vote by the 19th Amendment? My, the things I learn from you Ash. Such wondrous information.

    If you want to ascribe the end of slavery to larger causes, it was actually ended by capitalism. Capitalism, in order to work, needs individual freedom, i.e. self-ownership. And it pulls societies in that direction. Same with child labor. Pre-capitalist societies rely on child labor. Child labor was >90% ended in the United States, BEFORE the first law was passed against it.

    By the way, the medieval-socialist type of Christianity that you have seemed to like, does neither of those things. Medieval-socialist Christianity often treats slavery as a positive or at least acceptable. And it forced (or forces, where it is still applied) people to live at a subsistence level, where child labor is a necessity.

    Please initiate a lawsuit immediately against your high school and college teachers. They did not educate you, they ripped you off.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 22, 2010 @ 11:19 am - June 22, 2010

  13. ILC, WITH RESPECT, I BELIEVE YOU WILL FIND THE CREEKS DID INDEED HAVE A SENSE OF OWNERSHIP OF PROPERTY IN MISSISSIPPI AND ALABAMA.
    NOW TO THE THREAD, BEFORE LAST WEEK I WAS OPTIMISTIC THAT OBAMA WOULD BE A ONE-TERM PRESIDENT. NOW HOWEVER, WE ARE HEARING RUMORS THAT AFTER THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS, BIDEN WILL BE ASKED TO RESIGN AND HILLARY WILL BE INSTALLED AS VICE PRESIDENT. THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE A GAME CHANGER. I UNDERSTAND MANY GAYS LOVE HER, BUT WE SHOULDN’T DELUDE OURSELVES; SHE’S AT LEAST AS LIBERAL AS OBAMA. ANYONE HERE BELIEVE SHE’S A CONSTITUTIONALIST?

    Comment by Man — June 22, 2010 @ 12:25 pm - June 22, 2010

  14. I have long believed that the 17th Amendment is one of the major reasons for the mess we find ourselves in, and I’m not just taking about the current President and the Democratically controlled Senate and House.

    The Connecticut Compromise (conceived by R. Sherman) insured that Federalism and Freedom would prevail by giving the states the ability to reign in the Federal government through the Senate.

    The only short term remedy is for the Republicans to gain control of the House and stop Obama by whatever legitimate means, but they have never demonstrated the competence, desire, and skill to play hard ball. Just look at the leadership reaction to Rep Barton’s comments. Being from Chicago, the recent shakedown of BP by Obama and Holder did not surprise me at all, it’s Chicago thug politics and business as usual (I’m no fan of BP, but it was a shakedown and it was wrong). But no Republican leader has the stones to take a principled stand against the current administration.

    Comment by Roger Sherman — June 22, 2010 @ 12:28 pm - June 22, 2010

  15. But hasn’t the trend of consolidating power in the federal executive branch been a trend that both parties have carried since FDR? It has been more pushed by Democratic presidents as they see it as a way to better enact the changes they want but Republican Presidents haven’t reversed it either.

    Saying that, the article did have some good points that I hadn’t thought of before in the previous series of comments. The Government shouldn’t be able to extort money from a company without some kind of trial. I just believe this fund is something BP and the Administration agreed to do and it isn’t the Government telling BP what to do.

    Comment by darkeyedresolve — June 22, 2010 @ 12:28 pm - June 22, 2010

  16. You may be concerned about the tyranny of an Obama administration but the opposite concern is one of a coup d eta. McCrystals voiced criticisms of civilian leadership is stunning in it’s clarity and directness. A uniformed hero who considers his President and surrounding jesters….clowns. Unqualified clowns.
    As ex Army I’m appalled at a uniformed soldier voicing publically his own thoughts on Presidential leadership.
    HOWEVER if a General feels his men and women are hung out to dry by a disinterested, unfocused, listless leader….what in the world are your choices? McCrystal has forgone now any chance at another star….all to protect his fighting soldiers. Is he a hero or a traitor?

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — June 22, 2010 @ 12:36 pm - June 22, 2010

  17. Bruce,

    You are right, we´re already there. Just look at this current legislative session. We saws massive bailouts that allowed the government to take control of the the automotive and banking industries. Government dictating executive salaries. Joe ¨the plumber,¨had it right Obama was advocating redistribution of the wealth. Reid and Pelosi rammed Obamacare through their respective legislatures and jammed it down our throats in spite of the fact the majority of Americans were opposed to their idea of healthcare reform. Waiting in the wings are Cap and Trade, control of the internet, and Hillary has signed on to the U.N. Treaty to control (confiscate) small arms, violating our Second Amendment rights. Obama would like to appoint justices to SCOTUS who would be willing to allow foreign law precedence over the U.S.Constitution. Obama has done in one year what Hugo Chavez has done in ten.

    We are now at the crossroads. This November´s election will determine if, We the People. can take back our country by electing candidates who believe in a democracy as contained in our Constitution or if the useful idiots will return those usurpers who will use their power to allow our rights and the Constitution to sink in the quicksand of tyranny. Freedom and liberty are at stake in the next election. The words of Ben Franklin ring true; ¨Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature,¨
    ¨Those who ¨would bive up an essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

    Comment by Roberto — June 22, 2010 @ 12:37 pm - June 22, 2010

  18. Add to the list of American Indians’ ownership of land — the Hopis in their Arizona sky-cities are the longest continually-occupied settlements in North America. Likewise the Pueblos of the southwest.
    Since the founding of our country, there has been a tension between the powers of the executive and legislative. That’s not a bad thing. Now we are seeing across America a backlash, and it’s likely this November will result is diminished executive powers. Although the case can be made that the combined Obama/Pelosi/Reid triumverate has concentrated power not in one branch but in three persons.
    Hamilton and Madison argued for a strong executive. LBJ argued for a strong legislative, until he became president, then quickly changed his opinion.

    Comment by Man — June 22, 2010 @ 12:39 pm - June 22, 2010

  19. Man: Watch the Caps Lock key 😉 Thanks, yes I accept that there were exceptions to the sweeping generalization I gave. And I don’t claim that the European settlers were perfect. Mainly I think it’s a silly question, unworthy of further discussion. We are here. America happened. I am as much a native-born American as any other ethnicity. I am fair to others regardless of ethnicity, native-born or immigrant. If one were to follow the “but we ‘stole’ the land!” logic to its conclusion, we should abolish the United States immediately. But that would be nuts and wrong. It’s basic anti-Americanism. Anti-Americanism starts at home, you could say. America is (or should be) a place for productive immigrants, that is why I support legal immigration. It’s sad that some American ethnic groups suffered from disease and broken treaties, just like it’s sad that some suffered from slavery. And it happens that I oppose disease, broken treaties and slavery – all forms of slavery, even modern left-liberal forms – as I am sure you do, also.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 22, 2010 @ 12:46 pm - June 22, 2010

  20. But hasn’t the trend of consolidating power in the federal executive branch been a trend that both parties have carried since FDR?

    Meaning what? It doesn’t make unconstitutional things right. From what I can tell (and Dan has told me explicitly), GayPatriot and the libertarian-conservative movement are about small-government ideas, not party. Republicans who violate the ideas take a lot of stick on this blog. I say that with approval, as I am one of those who will give it to them.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 22, 2010 @ 12:54 pm - June 22, 2010

  21. The screaming, tantrum-throwing hysteria of the “compassionate people” of the Left on immigration is very revealing. You ask them “What would you do instead?” and they say…nothing.

    That’s because what they would do instead is throw the border wide open and let all the Democratic Party ballot-box fodder in. They are toadies for the Dems. What they seek is naked power.

    I even disagree with the Libertarian Party on this one, because I actually live in Arizona and I see what’s happening here. No nation that cannot set standards for citizenship will long survive.

    That’s the point. Very soon we won’t have a nation anymore. There will still be a government entity of some kind, and the thieves will have the power (as well as everyone’s money). That is what this is all about.

    Comment by Lori Heine — June 22, 2010 @ 12:59 pm - June 22, 2010

  22. There is not going to be a civil war. You and yours don’t like having Democrats in charge. There were just as many people unhappy with Bush and his policies and the same claims of fascism and you know what we’re all still here one big multi-ethnic dysfunctional family. Let the food fight continue but this idea that we are going to break down into another civil war is lunacy. If you don’t like the current policies then find candidates who are electable who agree with your point of view but projecting some sort of totalitarian aspirations on to Obama. Just like with the Bush critics, you can’t seem to decide if he’s an incompetent bumbler or an all-powerful mastermind. I think it just shows that you’ll take any criticism that seems available at the moment which is just what the left did during the Bush years and it was just as ridiculous as you sound now.

    Comment by Houndentenor — June 22, 2010 @ 2:41 pm - June 22, 2010

  23. Lorie, rather it should be said that no nation which cheapens its standards for citizenship will long survive. Look at ancient Rome. It cheapened its standards for citizenship (among other things) granting it to barbarians who ultimately sacked and pillaged the city and plunged the western part of the empire into the dark ages. Pat Buchanan might be right in his book State of Emergency. We may very well be seeing the the third world invasion and conquest of America.

    Comment by Roberto — June 22, 2010 @ 2:49 pm - June 22, 2010

  24. There were just as many people unhappy with Bush and his policies and the same claims of fascism

    I’m sorry. How many states did Bush declare war on? How many private companies and industries did he take over? How many allies did he throw under the bus while siding with tyrant dictators and terrorists? How many world leaders did he bow to and present shitty gifts to? How many gulf coastal jobs did he try to destroy? How many disasters did he ignore to go play golf or bypass to go to fundraisers, vacations, concerts, WH dinner parties etc.?

    Please let me know because I’m really curious.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — June 22, 2010 @ 3:24 pm - June 22, 2010

  25. And how many foreign dignitaries trashed America on our soil while Bush and Republicans applauded? How many “America Sucks Ass” speeches did Bush give?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — June 22, 2010 @ 3:25 pm - June 22, 2010

  26. And Bush never complained when attacked. He manned up and took it. Obamaphiles and their champion are wusses and children.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — June 22, 2010 @ 3:36 pm - June 22, 2010

  27. My political thought is based on Catholic Social Teaching. The Roman Catholic Church is seen as conservative, and I think these principles are the basis of a truly conservative politics:

    http://www.osjspm.org/files/officeforsocialjustice/files/Catholic%20Social%20Teachings%201%20page.pdf

    I don’t think these principles are radically authoritarian.

    And, yes, I do have a solution to the immigration crisis. Give people guest worker status. Simple. Makes the illegal legal and gives us a way to know where people are.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — June 22, 2010 @ 4:58 pm - June 22, 2010

  28. My political thought is based on Catholic Social Teaching

    …or as I characterized it, a medieval-socialist form of Christianity. (There are other forms; I was not criticizing Christianity per se.)

    I don’t think these principles are radically authoritarian.

    So what? Some of them still are.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 22, 2010 @ 5:24 pm - June 22, 2010

  29. To say it another way: The Pope would not approve of the America we had in 1925, 1965 or even 1985. And my answer to that is: Popes have been on the wrong side of a great many issues involving human freedom throughout history. I couldn’t care less what the Pope thinks. It does not impress me.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 22, 2010 @ 6:37 pm - June 22, 2010

  30. (Further: To justify political positions by appealing to authority X having taught it, is the “argument from authority”, in itself a confession of authoritarian tendencies. Notice how I never say things like, “I support/oppose X because I think Bible/Rand/Washington/Marx said we should.” If someone wants reasons for position X, I’m prepared to give reasons – in words that I have made my own.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 22, 2010 @ 6:48 pm - June 22, 2010

  31. I’m thinking more of a Czechoslovakian “Velvet Divorce” scenario where the blue states and the red states just divide into separate countries and we all go our separate ways. They can have gay marriage, universal health care, open borders, judicial tyranny, and Barbra Streisand. We’ll have freedom, low taxes, no “Press 1 for English” and NASCAR.

    Comment by V the K — June 22, 2010 @ 7:20 pm - June 22, 2010

  32. ILC, Lori, Roberto . . . . great well-reasoned comments!
    Hound, still bashing Bush?
    Ash, the RC is conservative of its own tenets. Medieval Roman Catholic Christianity . . . . such as enforced serfdom, enforced illiteracy, political manipulation? Is that what you are suggesting?

    Comment by Man — June 22, 2010 @ 7:25 pm - June 22, 2010

  33. #31 Damn V the K great idea! Can we please work hard to keep FLA red though!
    And btw who the hell is gonna bail out CA ILL MI and NY?

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — June 22, 2010 @ 8:37 pm - June 22, 2010

  34. No, I’m suggesting there is a way to approach government in a common sense conservative way which just happens to be well thought-out by the Catholic Church. It could just as easily been another group–the point is that the Social Teaching ideas are based on solid principles. It’s not an argument from authority–it’s simply pointing to something which spells things out, like one might point to the Federalist Papers for an understanding of the thinking that went into American government.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — June 22, 2010 @ 10:12 pm - June 22, 2010

  35. No, I’m suggesting there is a way to approach government in a common sense conservative way which just happens to be well thought-out by the Catholic Church.

    Um, no.

    What the Catholic Church wants in that case is for someone else to take their responsibility, just as the priest and the Levite did in the story of the Good Samaritan.

    Jesus did not say to raise taxes on the rich. He said the rich themselves were responsible for wisely giving to the community. The Lord loves a cheerful giver, not a compelled one — and the Catholic Church has had a hard time giving up the mandatory tithes, etc.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — June 22, 2010 @ 11:27 pm - June 22, 2010

  36. Ash,

    The RC Church is conservative only on sexual matters, namely artificial birth control, abortion, gay/lesbian sex, anything that prevents more Catholics from being born. They justify their position on papal infalibility and the Bible. The RCC is anti-capital punishment, and war. On these matters they´ve taken a turn to the left and ignore the Bible. The practice cafeteria christianity just like any other denomination.

    Comment by Roberto — June 22, 2010 @ 11:28 pm - June 22, 2010

  37. FWIW — I think VtheK has a very probable scenario. It is the same scenario predicted by Russian intelligence last year. Breakup of the USA into multiple smaller nations.

    That by definition would require a “civil war”.

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — June 23, 2010 @ 12:42 am - June 23, 2010

  38. Ashpenaz blames his loopy babble on the Catholic Church. Great. Ashpenaz is not responsible for his moonbat claptrap, the Catholics made him do it.

    Maybe, just maybe, Ashpenaz is no more clear about Catholicism than he is about the Constitution. Maybe, just maybe, Ashpenaz shoots from the lip and then says he is speaking in tongues. Ashpenaz and Nancy Pelosi are both smitten with “the word” when they need to appear sanctimonious in public. It is always useful to take the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus out of the closet and shake them at the muttering crowd when you have backed your inane self into a corner.

    Pathetic and a colossal waste of time.

    Comment by heliotrope — June 23, 2010 @ 8:51 am - June 23, 2010

  39. Authoritarian socialism (a redundancy, but bear with me) is morally wrong and hateful… whether or not its propents try to dress it up as “conservative”, “christian” or “Catholic”.

    Just like putting lipstick on a pig, does not make it not-a-pig.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — June 23, 2010 @ 10:35 am - June 23, 2010

  40. These factors have gotten worse, not better in the course of the year. You know it when you talk to friends and relatives. I can feel the tension everywhere: airports, supermarkets, office complexes.

    I find this comment interesting in the context of the immediate next headline on the blog claiming that 3 duly-appointed Justices of the Supreme Court are “insane”.

    I’m not taking issue with your opinions, Bruce, rather noting that I find it to be somewhat ironic on a political blog. I think there is a case to be made that part of the reason those factors have gotten worse and there is all this tension is because of blogs, talk radio, and the fake news channels on TV (all of them). We’ve become all-politics-all-the-time because we’re giving every gasbag with an opinion an outlet. And for most people, it’s become far easier to only read those sites or listen to those in the media one already agrees with, and completely tune out anyone who disagrees. We don’t have an informed debate going on anymore; we have a national shouting match.

    The problem is not that useful idiots are being courted. The problem is that useful idiots are the ones doing most of the talking.

    (Bloggers here excepted, of course. 🙂 )

    Comment by Neptune — June 23, 2010 @ 1:27 pm - June 23, 2010

  41. I feel the tension everyday. I get so angry, I feel like I won’t be able to accomplish my goals. We are being overrun by incompetents, who only care about power. But we all have to look in the mirror. The American people are responsible for where we are today. There are segments of the population who want government to be their mother, father, sister, brother, employer, psychologists. This is statism and with it comes tyranny.

    I almost wish something would happen. Does anyone give a damn?!?!?

    Comment by Scherie — June 23, 2010 @ 10:17 pm - June 23, 2010

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