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:
- 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.
- 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.
- There is a clear distinction between those who favor strong national security vs. those who want a borderless, global government.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.