I saw this article a little while ago but before getting to it, a bit of commenting as it speaks to the battle of philosophy and ideals that we are all in
- giving in Socialism – bowing to Collectivism, the Great Centralized State
- Fighting for the Founders’ Vision – of individual Freedom and Liberties
What’s the trade-off (after all, life is nothing but a series of trade-offs and the values therein):
- The first is so easy – just let someone else make all the decisions for your and your family – and if the claims are to be believed, I can have everything (right now, the claim is healthcare) at (as the scooter commercial keeps telling me) "little cost to me"! But do I have a say in things?
- The latter depends on hard work, self-responsibility, and the ability to achieve on my own – yikes, work!?!?!?! But I get to make the decisions.
So, what’s at stake?
- Security vs Freedom
- Ease of Life vs Determining one’s Life
- Having most of what one earns taken for "the common good" vs the right to determine how one’s earnings are to be allocated
The Progressives, via their words and deeds, believe that their philosophy is the natural one – and that they and their policies will take care of you (yet, they cannot point to a single society in history where their Utopia has actually worked for any amount of time). Ask them, wrapped within their overbearing Government, where is your freedom (hint – keep asking, like the CarFax commercial).
To the article: the story from Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (emphasis mine):
Liberty. Equality. Natural rights. Consent of the governed. Religious freedom. Private property. The rule of law. Constitutionalism. Self-governance. Independence.
Despite a decades-long onslaught, these are the truths that an upbeat Matthew Spalding fervently believes we as a society continue to hold dear.
But as the dust jacket of his new book, "We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles," reminds, "Before we can rededicate our country to the core principles that made America the most prosperous, the strongest and the freest nation in history, we must rediscover them ourselves.
"They must become again, as Thomas Jefferson said, ‘an expression of the American mind.’"
First, however, it’s important to learn how America began to lose its mind and lose touch with its Founding 10 truths.
And Mr. Spalding, who directs the American studies program at The Heritage Foundation, lays the blame squarely on the Progressives’ assault of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
"After the Civil War, a lot of these intellectuals did what intellectuals normally do — they went to Europe to try to find better ideas about how to govern ourselves and they studied with the Fabian socialists (in Britain) and the Germans," Spalding said in a telephone interview Wednesday last.
"They learned all these ideas about centralization and bureaucracy and they learned relativism — there is no truth."
Returning to America’s shores and building Progressivism around those ideas, they took as one of their core objectives the undermining of America’s Founding.
"It was very overt. They were very clear about it," Spalding stressed. "They believed that America was ill founded and that (the Founders’ and Framers’ precepts) might have been good 18th-century ideas but, for the sake of ‘progress,’ we needed to get around the Constitution and undermine the idea that there are permanent, self-evident truths."
Most Conservatives that love the Founding Fathers vision oft times feel that the whole world is spinning upside down, right side out, and that every traditional value is under attack and is of "no account". The Progressives, as we see, have decided to use "the Big Lie" to make their case that any one can have it all with no work (someone else will pay) without regard to morality (except that which adheres to their Political Correctness – which does not include traditional Christian values) and quaint notions of "right and wrong". Everyone is absolutely equal, except for those that are a member of a protected PC class and those defending that PC class.
Just as in Animal House and other Socialist societies where the elites (who are "more refined" than the rest of us") should naturally rule.
But I digress – back to the article:
It’s European socialism writ large. And it’s insidious, as American history shows. The Progressives were followed by the New Dealers, the purveyors of the Great Society and today’s pimps for the "new progressivism."
So, are we so far down the path of collectivism that we cannot return to our Founding roots, as many fear as they throw up their hands in disgust and despair?
"No," Spalding says emphatically.
Yes, our media, politics and the academy are packed with the liberal mind-set, those somehow believing that liberalism is ideologically neutral. But the conservative movement has been very effective over the years in countering this cyclical slide to the left, Spalding says.
"The constitutional argument now is (again) a serious, legitimate argument in law schools, in politics and among the American people generally.
"The American people still hold to these truths — though perhaps very confused about them. And we’re seeing that come out in the tea parties, the town hall meetings, the (gubernatorial) elections in Virginia and New Jersey.
"People now are actually seeing what this transformation to European Socialism means and they actually object to it," he says.
Which means America is in a proverbial "teaching moment."
"It’s a great moment," Spalding says. "The best moments of the conservative movement are its coming back after great waves of liberalism," post-early Progressives, post-FDR, post-LBJ, post-Jimmy Carter and, one can only hope, post-Barack Obama.
"I think we are on the brink of a revival of conservatism in a very serious way," Spalding says, noting polls that show 40 percent of the U.S. populace identifies itself as conservative.
Thus, the left’s "victory" is neither total nor permanent. Yet.
"The debate that’s going on now is one between progressive liberals and the principles of the Founders. Once we step back and realize that and revive that debate — as opposed to a debate about a particular policy — I think that’s the way to go and people actually get that."
Spalding concludes in his book that while "we have wandered far for many years," our principles always are ripe for rediscovery "because the immutable truths of liberty are eternally etched on the human soul."
And in this America, in this troubling Obama era, it’s time for some serious soul-searching.
It will be about this:
Will Americans fall for the socialist siren song of ease, accepting a much lower standard of living in doing so, or will the DNA that is innate to most of us rise to the call issued by the Scot called William Wallace:
Will we stand up for our Rights – or lay down without even a simpering whimper?