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Showing posts with label U.S. Constitution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label U.S. Constitution. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Little Rebellion

From Chronicles Magazine
By Clyde N. Wilson

Scandalously, Thomas Jefferson once wrote to James Madison, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and is as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”

In the same year, 1787, in regard to what is known as Shays’ Rebellion, he wrote another friend, “God forbid that we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion.” A lack of rebelliousness among the people would demonstrate “a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. . . . And what country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance?”

The “rebellion” in Massachusetts had alarmed many, especially the masters of that commonwealth, who were imbued with a Puritan longing for regulated behavior and saw the tax revolt of Capt. Daniel Shays and his farmers as a threat to their control. In Jefferson’s perspective, the “rebels” were merely adhering to good American practice. What, indeed, had the recent War of Independence amounted to but resistance to heavy-handed government? And such rebellions against unsatisfactory government officials and policies had been a regular occurrence during the long colonial history of the Americans, especially in the Southern colonies.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Opportunity Presented by Catastrophe

In 1975 Ronald Reagan addressed CPAC, the annual conference for conservative activists. His speech followed the Watergate scandal, President Nixon’s resignation, President Ford’s highly unpopular pardon of the former President, and the resulting disastrous Congressional elections of 1974. In those elections Republicans lost 49 seats in the House of Representatives, giving Democrats more than two-thirds of all seats. In the Senate, Republicans lost four seats, giving Democrats a 61 to 38 margin. It was, like our own day, a dark hour for the Republican Party. But the advice President Reagan gave was the key to his own triumph and a conservative resurgence.

I don‘t know about you, but I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, “We must broaden the base of our party”—when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.

Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?

President Reagan understood that when the Republican Party runs a Democrat-Lite candidate, promising less of the same, against a Democrat, the Democrat invariably wins. In a dangerous era, where the Constitution, individual liberty, and free enterprise will be challenged as never before, Republicans can champion the highest ideals of our republic and her people, not by offering less of the wrong prescription, but by rejecting it outright.

If we are to defend the principles and institutions of our republic, Republicans need to understand what it means to be a conservative Republican. We need to find leaders who have read Burke, Kirk, de Tocqueville and Hayek, who have thought deeply about the great philosophical issues of our time. We need to return to the true, Republican ideals of strict Constitutionalism and the conservative nationalism of leaders like Senator Robert Taft. We need leaders who have read the farewell addresses of Presidents Washington and Eisenhower and who understand the dangers of ever growing international entanglements and the threat of the military industrial complex.

We need to find leaders who, like President Reagan, not only believe with all their heart that conservative principles are the greatest guarantee to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but who can also communicate those sublime ideals in powerful, positive and winning ways.

We have endured catastrophe at the hands of a leader who pretended to be a conservative, while growing the size of the federal government by 60%, who believes that American exceptionalism means preemptive war and attempting to democratize Mesopotamia, who involved the federal government in areas such as education, expressly reserved by our Constitution to the states, who has nationalized banks, left our economy in shambles, and left the nation with the largest deficits in our history. Is it any wonder that Americans have rejected such “conservatism?”

Americans have consistently rejected moderate Republicans promising less of the same. They rejected President Ford, they rejected President George H. W. Bush after he squandered all that President Reagan had built, they rejected Bob Dole, and now they have rejected the Republican most inclined to “reach across the aisle” to cosponsor some of the most wrong-headed legislation with the Senate’s leading liberals.

The establishment Republicans who opposed President Reagan and are now attempting to destroy Governor Palin, will not go quietly. But one thing we can do to ensure no more Democrat-Lite presidential nominees, is to change party rules to allow only enrolled Republicans to vote in Republican primaries. Senator McCain would not have been the Republican nominee without winning the crucial South Carolina primary. But it was Democrat votes that provided his margin of victory. Governor Huckabee was the choice of Republican voters.

The years ahead should give Republicans an extraordinary opportunity to rediscover forgotten principles and to clarify what our party truly stands for. The differences are stark and fundamental. Do we preserve the old republic and its constitution, or yield to those who believe it is “defective?” Do we stand for individual liberty and free enterprise, or differ on the details of a new, socialist model? Do we stand boldly for life, from conception to natural death, or accommodate those who would even let those babies surviving abortion die? Do we uphold God’s natural law regarding marriage, or allow it to be “redefined?” Do we fight for the free speech of talk radio, or allow it to be silenced?

If Republicans reject the “pastel colors” and fight for the Constitution and the old republic, the heavy keel of public opinion will guide our way and ensure our ultimate victory.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pat Buchanan: An American Prophet

A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house.

I am convinced that in fifty years Americans will look back on Pat Buchanan as a prophetic voice and patriot who could have saved America had we the wisdom to listen to him -- that is, if those dedicated to the U.S. Constitution are still in a position to write our history.

The Scramble for America

By Patrick J. Buchanan

What is it that distinguishes Bush Republicanism from the Coolidge, Taft, Eisenhower and Reagan varieties? Four major issues come to mind.

Bush is a "Big Government conservative" who repudiated the "government is the problem" philosophy of Reagan. His No Child Left Behind program, doubling the size of the Department of Education, and his vast expansion of Medicare to cover prescription drugs so testify.

Second, Bush believes in Wilsonian interventionism, including the use of military force, to advance a "global democratic revolution" and "end tyranny on earth."

Third, Bush believes in open borders, amnesty and "a path to citizenship" for 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens, and smoothing the way for untold millions more to come and "do the work Americans will not do."

Fourth, Bush is a NAFTA-CAFTA man who believes in throwing America's doors open to goods from all over the world, regardless of the protectionist practices of our trade partners. To Bush, free trade is an article of faith and faithful observance its own reward.

For seven years now, consistent with these beliefs, Bush has crafted national policy to conform to his convictions. Thus, any verdict on the Bush presidency must also render judgment upon his philosophy.

With his own and his party's approval at the lowest levels since Watergate, one may conclude then that America is not only rejecting Bush the man and his record, but the philosophy behind both.

This should be a matter of grave concern to a Republican Party that has lately embraced all four pillars of the Bush-Republican philosophy.

For consider the fruits.

Interventionism gave us Iraq, the worst strategic blunder in U.S. history. Big Government conservatism wiped out the surplus, fattened the federal bureaucracy and enlarged its share of GDP, and destroyed the Republican reputation as America's bastion of fiscal prudence.

The Bush immigration philosophy was repudiated by Middle America, which rose in righteous wrath against his amnesty plan and demanded he enforce the law and secure the border. Americans are unreconciled to the idea that the America they grew up in will be morphed into some mammoth multicultural Mall of Mankind.

Now, the returns have come in from the Bush policy of free-trade globalism. According to a lead story in The Wall Street Journal -- whose editorial page still champions Iraq, the Bush Doctrine, open borders, NAFTA-CAFTA and the WTO --- Republicans, by two to one, believe free trade has done more harm than good to America.

"With voters provoked for years by such figures as Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot," writes the Journal's John Harwood, citing Romney adviser and former Rep. Vin Weber, "there's been a steady erosion in Republican support for free trade."

While one appreciates Harwood's compliment, it is undeserved. What killed the free-trade consensus in the GOP was not provocateurs, but proven failure.

Since 2002, America has run five consecutive world record trade deficits. Three million manufacturing jobs have disappeared. The euro has almost doubled in value against the dollar. The Canadian dollar has reached parity. Plants have been shutting down across this country for years. The wages of Middle Americans have stagnated. The trade deficit with China last year reached $233 billion, a world record between any two nations.

Where Alexander Hamilton's economic patriotism, pursued by Washington, Madison, Clay, Jackson, Lincoln, McKinley, T.R. and Coolidge, created the greatest manufacturing power the world had ever seen, producing 42 percent of all of the world's goods when Silent Cal went home, America's industrial plant has been ravaged by free trade.

And we are only beginning to see the damage done by the "trade-deficits-don't-matter!" Republicans.

The trade deficits America has run up in recent decades have helped give rival nations $5 trillion in cash reserves. They have now begun to transfer this enormous cash hoard into sovereign wealth funds -- to buy up America.

China, with currency reserves estimated at $1.3 trillion, used petty cash -- one-fourth of 1 percent of its cash pile in May -- to buy a 10 percent interest in Blackstone, America's second largest private equity firm.

Huawei Technologies, a firm linked to the Chinese military, now seeks a merger with 3Com, a company that provides the Pentagon and U.S. Army with intrusion detection equipment to keep hackers out. In July, Chinese military hackers were discovered trying to break into a computer system close to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Treasury should veto Huawei's bid, even if Goldman Sachs, which claims one alumnus as treasury secretary and another as White House chief of staff, has been greasing the deal.

Yet this is not the end -- this is only the first of the foreign raids on vital U.S. assets.

At the 1884 Congress of Berlin that carved up the continent, "The Scramble for Africa" began. The Scramble for America, thanks to our trillions in borrowing to finance consumption of foreign goods, is about to begin. Because of the free-trade folly of this generation, foreigners, not all of them friendly, are about to buy up our inheritance.

They are about to buy up America.

Mr. Buchanan is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of "The Death of the West," "The Great Betrayal," "A Republic, Not an Empire" and "Where the Right Went Wrong."