Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Secession Is A Radical Solution That Sadly Doesn’t Seem So Radical Any More

Some things in life are constant. My entire life America has been one of those things.  Despite Vietnam, Watergate, Iran Contra, the Dot Com bubble, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Great Recession and more, the United States has been constant.  America, rife with internal conflicts, differing opinions and more than a few lying politicians was always the land of freedom, the land of opportunity, and the land of endless possibilities.  America and freedom were like the earth below us and the sun and the stars above… constants.    

But constant is relative…  Wait long enough and the earth will be gone. Wait long enough and the sun and the stars will be gone. So too with nations. Ronald Reagan knew this.  He said:  Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  That generation is upon us and we are most certainly watching in real time as American freedom is extinguished, and with it America.

America was fundamentally built on freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution.  Freedom of speech, religion, the right to peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government.  But it’s not just the Constitution itself that makes America.  It’s ideas that flow from it and our history.  Free markets, private property, entrepreneurship, 4th of July, baseball, high school debate team, cars, suburbs, bake sales, Thanksgiving dinner, spelling bees, Pledge of Allegiance, Christmas antlers,  the National Anthem and more.    

All of that, both the actual rights and the ideas beyond them all are under attack in America of 2021.  Whether petty tyrants using the Covid hysteria to eviscerate our freedoms of religion and assembly and to crush our businesses or social media oligarchs shutting down debate in the 21st century town square or education departments causing Martin Luther King to spin in his grave as they abandon his dream, the America of Norman Rockwell paintings is being torn apart idea by idea by idea.

This past summer Americans were helpless as cities from coast to coast burned in response to the killing of George Floyd and they were told the violence was understandable and “mostly peaceful protests”.  This past year many Americans saw their lives upended as their jobs or businesses were destroyed, their families turned into strangers and churches and schools turned into ghost towns as a result of a disease with a 99.99% survival rate, but we were told that America was facing the gravest public health threat in history.  Now we’re watching as children are taught that math is racist, that hard work is racist, and there is no difference between boys and girls and we’re told that all of this is healthy and reasonable.

At the same time, we’ve watched our history upended as we see monuments to our heroes, from Columbus to Washington to Grant and Lincoln to Booker T. Washington to Reagan toppled in the name of racism!  We’ve watched the indoctrination of grievance as the defining characteristic of American life.  We’ve witnessed the politicization of every single aspect of American society, where everything from sitcoms to sports to sex no longer have intrinsic value on their own, but rather have become mere Rorschach tests for measuring one’s degree of submission to the new normal. 

America has become a nation where objective reality no longer matters, where the free exchange of ideas is no longer allowed and where the exercise of an individual’s rights are tolerated only to the degree that they do not hurt the feelings of some aggrieved victim class.  America has become a bizzarro world where everything from science to math and history to law are no longer constants upon which society rests but rather malleable frameworks for the destruction of everything that does not comport with todays’ woke mores. 

And so it is thorough this looking glass one wonders what is the solution?  In 2016 Americans went to the ballot box and said they’d had enough of the perversion of everything ostensibly American into a cancer on the history of the world and elected a leader who was unabashedly patriotic.  After four years of constant, relentless lies about said leader they returned to the ballot box and reelected the man who was seeking to upend the demonization of America, only to have the election stolen under the cover of the night.  That theft was enabled by the fiction of an existential threat to life on earth posed by a novel virus. Americans went to the ballot box and their will was thwarted.

Rather than set the nation afire, jilted voters looked to the courts for a Constitutional remedy.  A split Supreme Court had demurred from solving the problem before the election but after the election had the opportunity to revisit the question before the votes were certified.  Again they demurred. Once the fraudulent administration was in place the Court had one last opportunity to address the fraud once and for all, and again chose not to act.

So we have a circumstance where citizens go to the polls only to watch those votes stolen.  They then petition the nation’s highest court for redress and are rebuffed.  As they watch the cabal who perpetrated the theft work to institutionalize the very tools with which they purloined the election in the first place, what are citizens who revere the Constitution and love liberty supposed to do?

Do they stand by and watch as what’s left of their country is taken over by those for whom freedom and rule of law are simply obstacles to the permanent domination over the nation?  Become slaves on a modern day plantation where Silicon Valley, Wall Street and Washington are the masters and the woke anarchists are the overseers who keep everyone in line?  Riot in the streets like BLM and Antifa have done so often?

Or they could pursue secession, where the woke are welcome to the coasts while the heartland and the south choose freedom and the Constitution…  It is indeed a radical notion, but the constant of the free America most of us knew is gone so perhaps the time has come...  When all conventional Constitutional avenues have been impeded, when opponents seek to eliminate citizens’ Constitutional rights and thwart the language of the document itself, what other choice is left?  We can accept the slow death of the Republic as the gangrene of wokness starves the body politic of the blood of freedom, or amputate the cancerous limbs and allow freedom to flow once again through the veins of a nation defined by liberty.  The left has made the radical normal.  Secession is a radical solution that sadly doesn’t seem so radical any more.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Donald Trump: Not Exactly A Presidential President

American Presidents are supposed to be well spoken, articulate, magnanimous and carry themselves with a grace that makes them look natural on the cover of TIME magazine or standing next to the Queen of England.  They’re supposed to get along with the Washington press corps, titans of industry and play their role in the Kabuki theater of Washington DC power where Congress, the Executive Branch and the bureaucracy play their assigned roles and business continues largely unchanged from one administration to the next.

None of that applies to Donald Trump. He’s brash.  He’s arrogant.  He’s a narcissist.  He’s petty.  He’s vindictive.  He makes rash decisions and somehow is never responsible for stumbles that land at his doorstep, even when he’s the guy in charge… Donald Trump is practically no one’s idea of what Americans would traditionally call “Presidential”. 

Barack Obama on the other hand was the consummate “Presidential” president.  He was well spoken, genial, and got along well with the media, bureaucrats and foreign leaders.  Barack Obama, by all accounts carried the imprimatur “Presidential” quite well.  It was the actual presidenting that he was so bad at, which demonstrates with crystal clarity that the perception of one’s abilities and one’s actual abilities are not the same thing…

Donald Trump was a bull in a china shop of a President.  Or at least that’s the way the media, Democrats, academia, Hollywood and establishment Republicans painted him.  And that’s the key to understanding Donald Trump... knowing him through his enemies.  Voltaire said:  I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it." That prayer very much applies to Donald Trump.  His enemies are ridiculous.  They are failures at virtually everything they touch.  From destroying American schools and cities and the military, Democrats have made themselves beyond ridiculous in the eyes of anyone other than their fellow travelers.  Journalists have destroyed journalism as the majority of the media in the United States today is nothing more than a mouthpiece for Democrat talking points.  And higher education has become a cartoon into itself, with its focus on safe spaces for sparing the feelings of little snowflake rather than preparing young adults for the real world that exists beyond their ivory towers.  

And the mortar that keeps all of that ridiculousness and more together is the regulatory state.  The regulatory state is the font from which most power in the United States flows.  The power to regulate gives politicians the power to print money… both for themselves and their friends.  There’s a reason 7 of the 10 richest counties in America – out of over 3,100 counties – are located in the DC metro area.  From cushy government jobs to high paying lobbying gigs to flashy TV news hosting positions to bylines at self important newspapers, wielding power or influencing it or reporting on it is what makes Washington so desirable.  A perfect example of that was on display when hundreds of USDA employees decided to quit their jobs in DC rather than move out into the heartland when the Trump administration decided to place offices where regulators and researchers would be closer to the farms and farmers within their purview. They quit because they knew that Washington is where the power is, where the money is, where the influence is and where the prestige is. 

President Trump knew that that regulatory state was a rope around the neck of freedom, prosperity and America.  That’s why he needed to be vilified, attacked and eventually stopped.  Many people ask how some Republicans could stand by and watch as the president from their own party was attacked and disparaged as Donald Trump was. The answer is simple, establishment Republicans don’t really care about party, don’t care about effective government, and don’t care about their constituent's rights.  No, they care about only one thing:  Power.  If they could be out of office and watch government spending and influence slashed vs. be in office and watch government power grow, they would choose the latter every single time.  Go along with Democrats and they get to keep their invitations to Georgetown parties, their sponsored junkets to exotic and sophisticated locales, their regular Sunday morning talk show slots, cushy jobs for their families and of course the promise of a lucrative parachute if they ever find themselves defeated. Rein in government?  "No chance!"

It was into this well oiled machine of money, power and favors that Donald Trump sought to throw a wrench.  It was this “You scratch my back I scratch yours” Rube Goldberg government contraption that Donald Trump sought to overturn.  It was this "Go along to get along" understanding where Washington thrives by stealing citizen’s money and freedom that Donald Trump sought to expose.  And that is why he had to go.

Donald Trump opened up a schism in the United States unlike anything we’ve seen in 150 years.  He didn't do it by demonizing black people or brown people or Muslims or gays or soldiers or any of the other things the cabal of Democrats, media, and Never Trumper Republicans said.  In reality, Donald created a schism by reminding Americans that the nation is indeed blessed, that while flawed, America is the greatest nation in history and that fundamentally, Americans and America are good.  Donald Trump put the spotlight on working Americans… on factory workers and entrepreneurs and problem solvers rather than on the self important politicians and media personalities. This schism is based on power, not race.  

In four years Donald Trump did for America what he did forWollman Rink 30 years before.  After years of failure and millions of dollars wasted by the city government on the Central Park skating rink, Donald Trump renovated and opened the rink in a matter of months and under budget. In a similar way, after years of disparagement, Donald Trump made America great again. He showed that Americans that they could get back to work. That they could grow jobs and drive prosperity.  That they could lead on the world stage by embracing, not apologizing for, American values.  In other words, Donald Trump showed America that Americans can still accomplish great things, drove home the idea that it was the American people that made the country great, it was the ideas the Founding Fathers left us that made America great and it was our freedom and opportunity that made America great.  But most dangerously of all, Donald Trump reminded Americans that America’s greatness and prosperity do not come from government, they exist despite government.  And that could simply not be tolerated by the swamp, hence the four years of roadblocks, vilification and eventually a stolen election.  

Is Donald Trump a politically dead canary at the bottom of the American mineshaft of freedom or is he a phoenix ready to soar once again and lead the nation to even further greatness?  Who knows? Even today, after Trump emerged from his second impeachment victory his ridiculous enemies are seeking to bar him from Arlington, ban his name from schools and post offices and demonize, stigmatize and marginalize his supporters.  

Whatever Donald Trump’s future, one thing is for certain, his legacy is alive and well in the hearts of the 75 million American voters who remember a time when patriotism was a virtue, who understand that it’s possible for a nation to be flawed but fundamentally good, and perhaps most of all, recognize that America is the land of opportunity for every single person.  He may not be what the elite consider a very Presidential President, but he reminded us that it’s our people who make America great, our Constitution that makes her great and our freedoms that make her great despite the swamp's assertion to the contrary. He stood up and unabashedly proclaimed that America was and is a good nation, a great nation, and a force for good... and we believed him.  Whatever he chooses to do, we proudly carry the American flag and enthusiastically support his MAGA agenda... and we're not going anywhere.  

Monday, February 8, 2021

Book Burning, Sticks & Stones and the Democrats' Praetorian Guard

Back in 2008 when Barack Obama was running for the presidency I was virulently opposed to his candidacy. I was not a huge fan of John McCain, but given the two I voted for McCain. McCain was a war hero by any stretch. Not only did he fight for his country and survive five long years in the Hanoi Hilton, but when given the opportunity to leave before others who’d been there longer because the North Vietnamese wanted to curry favor with his father, he refused. I disagreed with much of what McCain did as a Senator, but I knew he had America’s best interests at heart, something I never felt Barack Obama did. When Romney ran my reservations about him were similar to those about McCain, but once again I voted GOP.

I disagreed with Barack Obama on almost everything over the course of his eight years. From Obamacare to DACA to GM to DADT to virtually everything having to do with race relations. I disagreed with his trading for Beau Burgdahl, his pardon of Chelsea Manning and his commutation of the sentence of FLAN terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera. I disagreed with his signing the Paris Climate Agreement, the Iran deal and his servile posture towards China for their designs on the South China Sea, among other things. I disagreed with his policies on housing, on education and on energy. Essentially, there was nothing I agreed with Barack Obama on. He could have been Chinese or Italian or Jewish or Klingon… I didn’t care, I thought everything he was doing was simply wrong.

But a funny thing happened on the way to Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2008… I apparently had magically transformed into a racist. Who knew? With the rise of the Tea Party movement, I, along with anyone who disagreed with the first black President of the United States was branded a racist. Somehow, because Barack Obama was black, my fundamental differences with “mainstream” Democrat policies made me a racist. Nevermind that I would have disagreed with the exact same policies had they been proffered by Joe Biden or John Kerry or Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton or anyone else. No, suddenly it’s wasn’t my opinions or my actions that made me a racist, but simply the fact that I opposed the policies of a black president. Unimportant is the fact that I believe the smartest man in America and one of the most admirable human beings I’m familiar with is Thomas Sowell, a black man. Unimportant is the fact that I think Justice Thomas is easily one of the most brilliant men ever to sit on the Supreme Court. Unimportant is the fact that one of the most respected men in my life personally was a black man. I disagreed with Barack Obama’s policies and therefore I was a racist…

If that sounds strange, it should. Because words actually mean things. When they stop meaning things then we lose our foundation for a coherent society. And that is exactly what is going on today with the Democrat party. Disagree on policy? You’re a racist. Support Donald Trump? You’re a cultist. Assert election fraud? Suddenly you’re a terrorist.

Democrats have taken to defining their political opponents not only as the enemy, but they are using the English language as a tool to literally destroy the United States. Racist actually means something. According to Webster, it means this: A belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. That is a pretty specific definition, and it’s one that likely very few Americans actually believe and act on. There are indeed racists among us, but until 2008 racism was a tiny problem in America. Hate crimes had plummeted over the 20th century to become almost nonexistent by the dawn of the new millennia. Then came 2008, 2016 and finally 2020.

From “The police acted stupidly” to Kaepernick to Ferguson, America took a giant step backward in race relations during the presidency of Barack Obama… but the worst was yet to come. Donald Trump added an entirely different element to the storm. He’s a guy who seems to have no filter and often insulted delicate snowflakes with language that often sounded more like what you’d hear in a locker room or on the factory floor of a steel mill rather than on a dais at the UN. But more than his words, it was his ideas that were abhorrent to Democrats and establishment Republicans alike: Get the government out of people’s lives. Reduce government power! Allow citizens to be free and keep more of their own money. Stop endless wars. Those words are Kryptonite to career government apparatchiks, contractors and the universe of sycophantic lobbyist and media pilot fish that swim around them and feast on their scraps.

And so today we find that Democrats, having fraudulently eliminated the single biggest threat to the leviathan of government power in a century, have decided to eliminate all potential for a resurrection of any such threats. Not only is the left seeking to bar Donald Trump from ever running again, they are seeking to demonize and ostracize his supporters… fully half the population of the United States. How? Language. You’re labeled a racist or a terrorist or a fascist on social media, where friends, friends of friends and potential employers can see. (That should help you getting your next job.) Most pernicious of all is the assertion that Trump supporters are “terrorists”. The terrorist designation used to be reserved for people who blow up planes, kill innocent people in discos or set fire to churches or synagogues. Today however that is no longer the case. Simply stating that you believe the Democrats stole the 2020 election is sufficient to get you labeled as such. Stating you support Donald Trump is sufficient. And voicing support for Congress to investigate anomalies in the election is apparently sufficient.

This wouldn’t be a catastrophic problem if it was limited to social media because you can always leave the platforms or try and build another… but, being designated a terrorist and landing on a government watchlist has enormous consequences for actual people, from the inability to fly to risking the custody of your children to your ability to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights.

Make no mistake, that is exactly where we are headed and exactly what they want. Democrats discussed throwing out of Congress members who supported the president in his calls for a review of the election. They’ve talked about making lists of his supporters and even “reprogramming” white supremacists, which is what all Trump supporters apparently are. And based on this fiction of widespread “white supremacism” the Biden administration is “standing down” the American military in order for commanders to address “extremism” in its ranks… So essentially one political party is seeking to eliminate all supporters of their opposition from within the ranks of the military – despite soldiers taking an oath to uphold the Constitution, not a man or party – so that should they call on the military to support their purges, they will face less resistance from soldiers who understand the Posse Comitatus Act and who might be adverse to raising their weapons against law abiding American citizens. The Democrats are essentially using the fiction of Trump supporters being terrorists to craft the military into a Praetorian Guard for use against the American people when and if necessary. Anyone with a familiarity with the Roman Empire understands why that might not be conducive to a free society.

Supplementing all of the machinations within the government is the takeover of the town square, Vis-à-vis the blocking of Trump and his supporters from social media platforms, banking or even being tracked.  And with the cancel culture seeking to keep Trump supporters out of colleges, jobs, and the quashing of publishing contracts you have the modern equivalent of book burning. What’s more, the authors, readers and supporters of such unapproved content will be figuratively stoned in the public square until they surrender their minds to the majority.

And so here we are, in February 2021, two weeks after Joe Biden and the Democrats took total control of Washington and on the eve of an Impeachment trial so unconstitutional it would be laughable if it were not so indicative of what it foretells for freedom. The goal of the Democrats is to eviscerate any opposition and that starts with the man who inspired 75 million Americans to seek to Make America Great Again.

Regardless of the outcome of the Impeachment trial, the die has been cast, and it is indeed dark. The Democrats seek complete control of the American government, unlimited authority over every aspect of American life and most of all, total domination of the American people. They will of course use their traditional tools of regulation and taxation, but it’s not enough. They have new tools: name calling, book burning, intellectual fascism and focusing of the military on domestic enemies. Those policies didn’t end particularly well in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, and I wouldn’t expect them to end well here either.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Before It's Too Late: The Public Square Must Be Saved From Twitter & Facebook

Last week Twitter & Facebook decided they would stifle the speech of the leader of the nation that gave them birth and allowed their owners to become billionaires many times over. We’re not of course talking about the oppressive China and Chairman Xi… No, we’re talking about the United States and President Trump. Think about that. The duly elected president of the United States is no longer able to communicate to supporters and opponents alike via the biggest microphones on the planet because of the decision of two unelected billionaires, Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg.

This is a watershed moment in modern American history. As a virulent capitalist I believe that private businesses should be allowed to do what they want, and that includes Twitter and Facebook and Apple and Google et. al. As long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others. This is particularly true as it relates to the 1st Amendment. The Amendments limit the actions of government, not private industry. As such, they should be exempt…

Except, however, when they shouldn’t be. In 1996 Congress passed the Communications Decency Act which included this language in Section 230: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." Publishers exercise editorial control over what they publish, which is why if the New York Times printed “John Smith is a bank robber” John Smith could sue for defamation, and if he proved the statement was false, he could be awarded damages. Indeed, 230 was written specifically to give Internet firms protection from such circumstances. It was the result of an early ISP, Prodigy, being sued for defamation by Jordan Balfor – the guy Leo DeCaprio made famous in “The Wolf of Wall Street” – after someone on a Prodigy-run message board had accused Stratton Oakmont of fraud.

The author of the legislation, then Washington Rep. Ron Wyden, was concerned that if Internet companies were treated as publishers they would be sued into oblivion, killing the baby of the Internet in its crib. If a tech company was financially liable every time an Internet troll called someone a liar or a Nazi or claimed Jim Jones was cheating on his wife we’d never have Facebook or Twitter or YouTube or Yelp or customer reviews on Amazon or doctor reviews on Healthgrades.com or memes on Instagram or virtually anything involving user input.

But we do have Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and Amazon and Apple. Using the shield of 230 these companies grew not only to become the biggest and most valuable companies on the planet, but they also became the most powerful companies in the everyday lives of Americans as it relates to free speech and the exchange of ideas. Americans barely read newspapers anymore. In 1995 the year before 230 was written, 23% of Americans read a newspaper on a daily basis. Today that number stands at 8.3%. In 1995 0% of Americans used Facebook or YouTube or Twitter on a daily basis… because they didn’t exist. Today 74% of Americans use Facebook every day, 51% use YouTube and 42% use Twitter. Overall in 2019 Americans spent an average of 395 minutes on the Internet verses 11 minutes reading newspapers. They are no longer “as the publisher” they are publishers.

Essentially, social media has become the de jure American town square of the 21st century. That is where we get our information, where we exchange ideas and where we interact with one another. And they became that because of 230, based on the premise that they did not exercise editorial control.

But now today, when they have become the modern equivalent of the town square they’ve decided they do indeed have editorial control over their platforms. They most certainly have that right, but their choosing to do so should remove from them the shield of 230.

Of course all of this comes down to the 1st Amendment and the right of Americans to speak out without censorship or coercion by the government. But Twitter and Facebook aren’t the government you say. That’s true. But they have become so ubiquitous, so dominating, so central to an American’s freedom of speech that they are actually more powerful than the government. Not sure about that? Take a look at Knight First Amendment Institute v. Trump where President Trump tried to block from following him on Twitter accounts with whom he disagreed. In forcing Trump to unblock the unwanted followers the court said Trump’s account bears “all the trappings of an official, state-run account” and is “one of the White House’s main vehicles for conducting official business.”

So, if these social media giants have become the modern town square for the exchange of American ideas, if they are violating the spirit of the law that provided them with the ability to successfully become such, and if a federal appeals court agrees that their platform is “one of the White House’s main vehicles for conducting official business.” they should no longer the protections 230 accorded. They should be treated as the publishers they have willingly become and should be at risk for all the liabilities, financial and otherwise that come with that.  

That does not necessarily mean that 230 should be eliminated. On the contrary. Its protections can and do function as intended, allowing small online firms to give users platforms to exchange ideas without fear of being financially ruined because of a content that someone doesn’t agree with.

But for those tech companies who violate the premise of lack of control of editorial content 230 should no longer apply. They could of course step back and adhere to the idea of not exercising editorial control, but they won’t. It’s no longer about building a successful company or getting rich for Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg. They both have that in spades. No, now it’s about power, and their power to remake America (for now) into what they think it should look like. They want Donald Trump on their platforms not because of what he says or who he is. They want Donald Trump off their platforms because his words resonate with so many regular, blue collar Americans, because he inspires patriotism in America and because he wants Americans to be free of the yoke of government control over virtually every aspect of their lives.

At the end of the day, it’s not Donald Trump they fear. It’s freedom of thought. It’s freedom of expression. It’s ideas they can’t control that they fear. And most of all, it’s you and your desire to live your life as you see fit. In a free market they’re welcome to go out and build any kind of platform they want and use editorial control to stifle as much speech on it as they wish. But they can’t do that behind a government provided shield of protection. It’s one or the other. They can’t have it both ways.

We've already seen the kind of damage such information control can do to our social cohesion and our political process.  Do we need to wait until America is plunged into a full scale civil war before we realize that allowing a tiny minority of tech oligarchs to control our speech forums is probably not conducive to a free society?  

Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Day Freedom Died: The Republic of the United States: June 21, 1788 – January 6, 2021

My earliest memory of being an American was when I played Abraham Lincoln in the bicentennial play at Braddock Elementary School in Annandale, VA. I don’t remember much other than my fake beard and the top hat and everyone in the school had matching red, white and blue bicentennial tee shirts. I didn’t exactly understand the concept of nation, but I understood that I was somehow connected to Lincoln and the Founding Fathers on that stage.

From there I went on to spend the formative years of my life living in the American base at Guantanamo Bay Cuba. It was as close to Americana as you could get… this was back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Our 4th of July parades were spectacular. They involved everything from tanks to horses to 57 Chevy convertibles with pretty girls waving. The parades were followed by a day of adventure on the midway with cotton candy, motocross races and karate tournaments, all topped off with a concert and fireworks. You couldn’t help but feel like you bled red, white and blue there.

After college I enlisted in the Army for two years and served in West Germany as a company clerk and Battalion Commander’s driver. While there I was part of the honor guard who would bury American soldiers who died there, almost all of whom were WW II veterans who had married German women. It was always heartbreaking when you would hand that folded triangle of the flag to the family…

But despite all of that, the sad truth is, for the first three decades of my life I knew I was an American but never had to think about it and what it meant. I didn’t really understand it. I’d been taught American history, particularly as a Political Science undergrad, but I had studied to pass the test rather than actually learn the information. It was only after September 11th that I began to focus on that identity, that history and began to understand what it really meant.

I discovered for the first time exactly how courageous men like John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were. I discovered for the first time exactly how groundbreaking the American Constitution really was. For the first time I really appreciated the fundamental difference between a Republic and a Democracy, between a nation of laws vs. a nation of men. Perhaps most of all, I stopped taking for granted the freedoms we have, the Constitution itself and finally began to understand exactly how fortunate Americans are in an extraordinarily flawed world. For the first time I recognized that the ideas in the Declaration of Independence were not natural to man, that the rights articulated (and implied) in the Bill of Rights were not present everywhere at all times, like gravity… Intellectually I’d known all this, but in my heart I’d never really felt it.  It’s funny… freedom and liberty turn out to be like so much else in life, we often don’t recognize their value, their importance until we are faced with losing them.

While September 11th slowly faded into the shadows over the last two decades my new found appreciation for freedom never waned and indeed my reverence for the font of our liberty, the Constitution, grew day after day. But I was still blind. Not to the gifts fortune had bestowed on America and Americans, but rather to the ignorance of a growing number of Americans about those gifts and what goes into keeping them. My guess is it has to do with war… As the generations of soldiers and citizens who fought in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and lived through the Cold War age and die, what’s left are Americans who’ve only really known mostly peace and prosperity and have only the vaguest of ideas where it comes from and how to protect it.

Yes, there was September 11th, but it turned out to be but a moment in time, and other than a couple of months of heightened cable news coverage, it touched relatively few lives. During the four years of World War II 16 million Americans wore the uniform (out of a population of 132 million – 12%) and virtually everyone else was involved in supporting the war effort. By contrast, during the 18 or so years Americans were fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan a total of 2.4 million soldiers served (out of a population of over 300 million – under 1%) while the rest of the population focused on learning how to shop on Amazon, do practically anything on their iPhones, harass people on Facebook and share far too much information on countless apps.

My blindness left me sanguine that somehow Americans were different and would withstand the nature of man which tends to have people choose security over risk, comfort over work and most of all, rule of man (or mob) over rule of law. Despite all evidence to the contrary over the last 30 years, I believed that Americans were indeed a sufficiently unique breed as to understand their special place and would vote to continue to bend the ark of history upward as they inspired the world with the relentless pursuit of freedom and prosperity, with Donald Trump leading the way.

They did, but by a sufficiently narrow margin that fraud in half a dozen counties around the country could steal their victory. Yesterday the GOP failed to live up to its Constitutional duty and allowed the theft to succeed. And because of their abdication of their duty, the Republic ended yesterday. Going forward elections will be fiction, courts will become legislatures unto themselves and the regulatory state will become a boa constrictor around the neck of liberty and prosperity. Freedom will become that rapidly shrinking landmark in the rear view mirror of history. That landmark is a headstone which reads: RIP:  The Republic of the United States: June 21, 1788 – January 6, 2021.

What dystopia lies ahead? Who knows. But author G. Michael Hopf distilled it down to near perfection in Those Who Remain: “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” Hold on for some hard times…

Saturday, January 2, 2021

A New Declaration for American Citizens Empowered by an Old Constitution

In America, January 2nd, 2021

In this, the Declaration of the seventy five million Americans who sought to have their votes count, who sought to be governed by the United States Constitution, who sought to live free in a nation of laws, we borrow from the words from our Founding Fathers:  When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Citizens; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present Government of the United States is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over American Citizens.

To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Certain members of the United States Congress, current and former members of the Executive Branch and sympathetic members of various agencies of the United States Government did impede the good working order of the United States government and undermine the respect of law among American Citizens by spending years and precious resources proffering a known fiction of treason against the American President and in doing so inhibiting his ability to govern the Nation in good order.

Government officials from across the United States have exaggerated and exploited the threat of a virus to eviscerate the natural right of American Citizens to live their lives as free men and women and pursue the ability to provide for their families and serve their communities.

The American Government has expanded its control over American Citizens far beyond anything for which it was rightly empowered in the Constitution of the United States.  By establishing an ever growing unaccountable bureaucratic leviathan which seeks to control the lives of Citizens the Government has eliminated the accountability which is inherent in a Government that derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.

And most destructively of all, enemies of freedom, along with their Press brethren and tyrannical Social Media enablers did conspire to deprive the American Citizens of their right to keep their government accountable by thwarting the honest and fair election for the President of the United States of America, thereby rendering all future elections moot, rendering toothless all procedures for limiting Government, rendering the Constitution of the United States to the dustbin of History. 

A government no longer accountable to those whom it governs has become by definition a tyranny. 

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by ridicule, repression and indifference unworthy of a government empowered by its citizens. 

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Government overseers.  We have warned them from time to time of their attempts to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of the Rights and Freedoms enumerated in the Constitution of the United States.  We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the freedom revering Citizens of the United States of America, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do solemnly publish and declare, That a Government of the United States headed by an interloper is not representative of the will of the People, is illegal and against the Constitution of the United States and therefore all political connection between them and the free citizens of the United States ought to be totally dissolved. 

We beg that this dissolution be remedied before it ever comes to fruition by an honest accounting of the most recent Election for President of the United States of America by the Congress and the inauguration of the rightful victor as the next President of the United States. Senators and Representatives swear an oath that begins:  "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;” They have sworn to defend the Constitution and the Republic from enemies who would usurp the power of consent of the Citizens of these United States. 

We Respectfully beg they do that which they have sworn and remedy this usurpation before calamity befalls the Nation and the Freedoms endowed by the Creator and guaranteed by the Constitution become mere historical anomalies in the long march of Human Civilization.