Monday, November 22, 2010

Wait

"Bombing the railway lines to Auschwitz and other camps would only have achieved a temporary respite for the Jews, and distracted attention and resources from the larger purpose of overthrowing the regime that was killing them."
--Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich at War (New York: Penguin Press, 2009), p. 560
Ah, yes. Of course, we saw the point: Larger purposes for a greater good.

We understand.

We agree those “larger purposes” meant attempts to secure justice for the Jews had to be delayed. God forbid we got distracted by the immediacy of saving of innocent lives. After all, we had something bigger in mind.

Of course the Jews had to wait. Wait until they died.

How many times have the voiceless and oppressed heard similar arguments?

Frederick Douglass was told by Lincoln that political exigencies were of more importance than the immediate freeing of slaves. Lincoln was concerned about border states loyalty and feared his higher goal of saving the union would be jeopardized if he freed the slaves at the outset of the Civil War. He later capitulated to Douglass’ and other abolitionists demands, but not until he had reasonable hope of victory. Doubtless the ethics of his decision will be debated for decades to come.

Regardless, slaves had to wait for their freedom.

In a similar manner, women were told for decade after decade their quest for eaulity would have to wait until circumstances were more favorable. Voices of caution counseled incremental and timely steps. Susan B. Anthony heard such voices and drily noted, “Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations…can never effect a reform.”

In the meantime, however, caution and care were thrown to the wind when other priorities dear to the hearts of those cautious about women’s rights were emphasized. There was infrastructure to be attended to-- railroads that needed to be built to grow the burgeoning economy. Reconstruction demanded the attention of the government. The growth of the United States as an economic power dictated attention to the military. In these matters, all of which generated money and poltical power, caution need not apply.

Butthe enfranchisement of women had to wait.

Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his famous letter from a Birmingham jail, and included it in his book Why We Can’t Wait. Told by authorities that other matters were more important than ridding the US of the glaring injustice of apartheid; told that interminable, fruitless negotiations should continue, he wrote:

“For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied...We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights. “

Precisely.

How many times during our nation’s history have the disenfranchised, the politically impotent been told to wait until more important matters are addressed? How often have “priorities” left the voiceless at the bottom of the pile of more “pressing” concerns? How many times have those at the bottom of the totem pole been told, “We will address your concerns as soon as we”—(fill in the blank.)

For the pragmatists, the long time politicos, those caged in economic apartheid, the utopian idealists who look to the “larger vision,” no time is now or ever will be right for protection of the unborn. After all, the little ones have no votes. They have no voice at all except those who would speak for them. They are helpless.

Fiscal conservatives tell us that until economic matters are addressed and solved, abortion must be placed on the back burner. And what happened during the last forty years since Roe vs. Wade when times of prosperity returned after recession?

Still the issue of abortion had to wait.
P
ragmatists, politicos and utopians all have their reasons for delay as well. They have been busied themselves with more important matters.

In the meantime, over 50 million lives have been lost and still the carnage continues

Still the answer is, “wait.”

The September 5th discovery of 35 late term infants who were aborted by a doctor at an Elkton clinic and thrown in a freezer has provoked little sustained outrage.

“Wait,” some counsel. This matter can be addressed later. We need to deal with the foundational reasons for abortion first. We need to look at the larger picture.

In a similar manner, the grainy photos of Jews being shot and dumped unceremoniously into a ditch were disregarded for the sake of more pressing military and political concerns.

“Wait,” was the counsel. There’s a war to be won first. There are broader issues at stake.

The time for waiting is over. There is a war going on against the unborn.

Our nation is in the midst of a war for the definition of our culture at large, a war that crosses many fronts. As that cultural war is fought for the survival of our nation, it must be also be fought on many fronts, not the least of which is moral and ethical. In fact, it is not too much to state that unless the gross moral distortions of the national character are not addressed with immediacy, the rest of the national health—including economic health--is vitiated beyond restoration, for the health of a nation depends on its attitudes toward the helpless, the innocent, the victims—those regarded as sheer refuse of society.

As people like Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Martin Luther King, among thousands of other less noted voices, some now silent and others now just being heard, when a nation loses its moral compass, and that compass is not readjusted to the due North of life, liberty and justice for all, then that nation is on its way to disintegration.

Those who seek to refocus and to change the direction of our country should recognize the necessity of fighting on many fronts, including justice for the unborn, in order to achieve restoration and vitality to our beloved nation.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Unity

Members of both political parties love the idea of unity, but find it elusive, even within membership ranks. Personality differences, ideological tension, sense of priorities create dissension most often resolved by the application of power and money, the application of which is most often expressed as “pragmatism.”

But power and money, always chief armaments of any political party, ultimately fail to achieve unity. That is because a unified party can only be established among people of identical or nearly identical beliefs.

Whether the unity based on ideals holds individuals’ loyalty and attention depends on the comprehensiveness and depth of the party’s foundational bases.

Over the last ten decades or so, the cultural hegemony of the Judeo/Christian ethic was gradually eroded by the progressive vision birthed during the nineteenth century. The erosion of the former cultural hegemony has meant the major institutions of the West, including those within the US, have been absorbed by progressivism.

The process of absorption by progressive thought has affected political parties, dividing camps of thought into two major and conflicting political philosophies: progressive and conservative. While the Democratic Party has been taken over almost without exception by leftist progressivism, particularly as regards the current administration, the Republican Party is in the midst of a titanic struggle for its ideological soul.

Progressives and conservatives are fighting for the ideological/philosophical heart of the Party.
Generally speaking, however, the fight is not defined as a battle between progressivism and conservatism. It is most often defined by the terms “moderate” and “conservative.” “Moderates,” who are actually progressives at heart, proclaim themselves reasonable pragmatists who are interested only in fiscal conservatism.

Conservatives, on the other hand, do not see the ideological pie as easily sliced and are interested in a broader agenda which addresses the marked deterioration of Western culture, including but not confined to the political culture.

In addition to their concerns over government’s fiscal responsibility, conservatives are pro-life, strict interpreters and upholders of the constitution, interested in retaining national identity and sovereignty, anti-statist and strong advocates for individual freedoms.

In other words, conservatives are interested in the reform of the entire culture; and for Republican conservatives, that reform starts with the political culture.

Particularly germane to this essay, conservatives do not see economics as divisible from other issues. However, moderates/progressives do see economics/fiscal conservatism as divisible from what are broadly (and I believe mistakenly termed) “social” issues.

How did economic issues become conceived as separable from the cloth of culture at large? What is the reasoning behind the idea that fiscal conservatism is separable from the rest of conservative beliefs?

I believe fiscal conservatives have at the heart of their beliefs in the separateness of economics from the rest of culture an irrational belief that economics is an objective science based on mathematics and statistics and therefore not subject to value judgments. For them, the measure of society and mankind is material.

Therefore, the reasoning goes, it is possible to apply objectively the science of economics to politics without concern for the value judgments and the moral freight “social” issues inevitably bring with them. As we shall see in another essay regarding the test case of public education, such an assumption is wrong.

But first, what is the reasoning behind the idea that fiscal conservatism is separable from social/cultural issues?

Those who follow the philosophy of science will know that the effort to find a formula to reconcile the seemingly contradictory theories of quantum mechanics and general relativity has at the heart of the efforts to reconcile, a Theory of Everything; that is, a formula the explicates and links together all known physical phenomena. The formula is then supposed to have predictive power to explain any particular phenomenon.

Forgotten in the impulse to explicate the entirety of the universe in mathematical terms is Kant’s admonition in his Third Critique that higher (“pure”) mathematics, while capable of much seduction, elegance and beauty, may not bear any particular resemblance to reality.

In brief, there are many other facets to be considered in the interpretation of the complexities and meaning of the universe. A mathematical formula may not contain the universe nor serve as a total explicatory device.

What does the above mean concerning for “fiscal conservatism?”

It means, among other things, that the mathematics and statistics attendant to economics do not define or “objectify” economics; which, after all, is a human activity and which is fraught with moral judgments.

It means that the economic measure of humanity (economics being defined as an “objective” science with universal applicability to human history and culture) is an insufficient and truncated means of measure.

It also means that the mere material, economic measure of humanity, when applied universally, creates destruction of society, as has often been noted by historians who have observed the results of communism, which used as its measure the sole factors of economics; that is, humans as purely material being measured by economics. Thus, each person is assigned a particular economic value, which in progressive/socialist/communist terms means equal distribution of wealth since equality is defined as equal material possessions.

But the presumed objectivity and certainty of economics gives, as it has given to socialists and communists, a wedge whereby value judgments contrary to political conservatism may be inserted into the political structure. In other words, supposedly objective economic issues become the proverbial nose of the camel in the tent. The real but most often unstated purpose of “fiscal conservatives” is to get the whole camel in the tent in order to obtain control of the rest of the conservative agenda, substituting progressive values for conservative values.

The above is the reason why conservatives must resist the idea that economics is a thread separable from the rest of the societal fabric; that it alone is the objectifying measure of humankind and human culture. On the contrary, every economic decision, every facet of fiscal responsibility carries with it a value judgment. The only question remaining, then, is whose value judgment will infrom economic policy; whose value judgment will prevail?

For the conservative, the value judgments undergirding economic policies are the same value judgments which are the foundational beliefs of conservatives, most of whom believe those values were most ably articulated by the founders of this nation.

Part II: Delaware’s Public Schools as a case example of the impossibility of separating out fiscal conservatism and value judgments based on conservative political philosophy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Carnage

There is one chief reason behind the stunning losses of GOP candidates for offices in Delaware: The GOP establishment.

For years the moderate/liberal leaders of the party have welcomed money and votes from conservatives, asking them to hold their noses and vote for the party’s anointed candidates while promising conservatives their time would come if they were just patient and went along with the plan.

That time came.

But when the party leadership was called on to support conservatives, with a few notable exceptions such as Governor Pete DuPont, the moderate/liberal establishment made deliberate choices to sit out the election, go over to the Democrats’ camp, or actively sabotage the campaigns of the conservatives running for national and state offices.

Whether it was Tom Ross actively excoriating Christine O’Donnell as not being worthy of the office of dog catcher or whether it was the passive aggression of quietly withdrawing support from Glen Urquhart and other conservative candidates, the message was the same:

“We’d rather go down with the Titanic than send out life boats to save conservatives. Let them swim in the icy waters by themselves.”

Conservatives will wait until doomsday before they stop hearing the excuses of why the establishment wouldn’t support them--the candidates were personally flawed, they were inexperienced, they didn’t have the knowledge of how things really work, they were na├»ve, they were rash, they said silly things—and on and on.

But every Republican candidate would have been flawed. Human weaknesses and failures had little or nothing to do with the rejection of the GOP slate of candidates by party leaders and hangers on.

The main reason the slate of conservative candidates were not supported was that they were, well, conservative.

For decades Republican leadership has had a chummy relationship with the Democrats that has gone beyond mere collegiality and “reaching across the aisles." The reasons for the intense cooperation have most often been presented in terms of pragmatism and “reality;” but the truth of the matter is that by and large, Delaware Republican leadership has bought into liberal ideology, carving out only one consequential conservative domain: fiscal conservatism. Social issues have been and are still regarded as entirely superfluous. Reduction of the size of government, tackling the teacher's union and other important issues were not meaningfully addressed.

The result, as we have seen, has been absolute carnage.

The Republican Party in Delaware is now destroyed, mainly because the establishment
refused to embrace the conservative movement as exemplified by Tea Party movement and its legitimate concerns. Those who thought they held the reins of power entirely missed the conservative tide that swept through nearly every other state in the union.

Going forward, things look grim for the Delaware GOP, as conservatives have learned a bitter lesson and probably will move on without the party. They might well choose to leave the Republican establishment in their chosen seats—the deck chairs on the Titanic.

The Delaware GOP has been sunk because of its leadership’s pride and false sense of power, its delusional belief in its effectiveness. To use another historical metaphor, the current leaders have become like China’s last emperor—ruler of Forbidden City, surrounded by a sycophantic retinue and deluded as to the revolution going outside their walled compound.

As for the conservatives of Delaware? The Tea Partiers, the 9/12 patriots, the Rail Splitters, devout Catholics and evangelicals and other reformers who want a return to small government and constitutional principles—they will move on regardless, for their passion for reform of our great nation remains.

Delaware's conservatives will regroup and continue their efforts, looking toward the election of 2012.

For as these 2010 elections have shown, the blue tide is turning red.

Monday, November 1, 2010

2010: What's at stake

While the economy, taxes and other economic issues justifiably occupy the minds of all Americans going to the voters’ booth tomorrow, there is much more at stake than those immediate and legitimate concerns.

The truth of the matter is that the character; indeed, the very existence of our nation is at stake.

If the Left prevails, it will not be just socialism that prevails. The continued dismantling of American defense and her sovereign status as a nation and super power will relentlessly proceed. America will be in danger of disappearing.

Why?

America is in danger because the Left is committed to the leveling of American hegemony and the forced rehabilitation of her nature.

In foreign affairs, the US is to be consigned to a “one among many” status in a global governmental system dominated by world organizations such as the UN, the IMF, and the World Court.

America is to be humbled, her sovereignty taken away and her affairs conducted by global deliberative bodies intent on redistributing her great wealth. At one time such a plan was called the International Communist movement, but nowadays, the plan goes by softer appellations such as establishing a “global village.” Nonetheless, the intent is the same.

Domestically, the plan is to complete the dismantling of the federal system, making the states mere provincial appendages dependent on and administering the will of an all powerful federal government run by an elite cabal. Federal, state and legislative bodies will continue to be relegated to futility as an ever increasing bureaucracy will accomplish through myriad decrees and regulations what elected officials once were responsible for.

We get more than a hint of what an unelected bureaucracy can accomplish without being responsible to the American public by the ways in which it already advances the Left’s agenda, be it through the 159 new agencies established by Obamacare or by carbon emissions regulations imposed by the EPA.

This is to say nothing of the countless directives, rules and regulations directed against personal freedoms.

The point is that unless action is taken now, both state and federal elective bodies will become even more irrelevant because of an all powerful and all pervasive bureaucracy, possibly even attaining the status of the Roman senate under Caligula.

While the progressives plan to “radically transform” (destroy) America probably will not be entirely vitiated, the 2010 election offers voters a last chance to say “Stop!” It offers the opportunity to stem the tide, build the dam against the flood and to gather forces to reverse the flow starting in 2010 and moving forward in 2012.

What must happen nationally must also happen state by state. The issues of national and state sovereignty are inextricably intertwined and are as serious on the state level as they are on the national level. For in all cases, personal freedom, true representative government, and the existence of government as defined and limited by constitutional principles is at stake.

This election, every American interested in the return of America to its roots must get out and vote as if their lives depend on it.

Because they do.