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RightNation.US: Rebels and Radicals: The New American Revolution - RightNation.US

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Click here to listen to the podcast, which includes my reaction to the Van Jones resignation. Alternately, here is the transcript of my core message, inspired by David Horowitz's August deconstruction of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals:

Nature and Nature's God

I seek truth. That does not make me unique. Many people seek truth in many different ways. People seek scientific truth, religious truth, philosophical truth, legal findings of fact and so forth. I believe truth to be comprehensive, encompassing all of the above. I agree with William Wulf, professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia, who wrote, “There is only one nature - the division into science and engineering is a human imposition, not a natural one. Indeed, the division is a human failure; it reflects our limited capacity to comprehend the whole.” I have no idea if Wulf intended what I take away from his comment; but, it is my belief the compartmentalization of thought into the religious and the scientific, the corporeal and the spiritual, is a retarding tendency which limits us from pursuing the whole truth. I believe, if you want to understand one aspect of the world you live in, you must consider the context of all other aspects. This is the fundamental flaw of science which makes it incapable of providing meaningful explanations for the natural world. Science can explain much of the how, the what, perhaps the where and when. But it is inadequate to comment on the question that matters most – why? Why is the world the way it is? Why do things work the way they do? Why are we here? Why? These are not factual questions with clean academic answers. These are philosophical questions, spiritual pursuits, matters which touch upon that aspect of reality which virtually all humans recognize in spite of being unable to physically observe it. Secular humanists, like the evangelical atheist Richard Dawkins, would have us believe all forms of spirituality are delusion. His is a minority view which, ironically, has no substantial support of its own and requires a kind of faith to maintain. It is true one cannot prove God exists. It is also true one cannot disprove God. To believe one way or the other requires faith.

Belief is a condition common to all humanity. We each acknowledge reality outside our immediate experience based on evidence and the testimony of others. Whether there is a place called China is not a controversial question, in spite of the fact many of us have never actually been there. One would think it odd to encounter someone who doubted whether China existed. Most of us likewise believe in something greater than ourselves, greater than this physical reality, something meaningful and as real as that we observe directly. I rely heavily on my sense of this greater reality to arrive at my conclusions regarding the world I live in. Call it what you want – collective consciousness, the Holy Spirit, intuition, some kind of sixth sense we all share to varying degrees – I believe there are certain things that ring true in our hearts and minds even though we might struggle to deny them. For instance, I believe everyone is an intrinsic theist, even Richard Dawkins. I believe everyone instinctively knows there is a god of some sort. I believe this because the universal reflexive reaction to tragedy is petitioning the expanse of heaven to ask, Why, God? Why? We need to know. It is our nature to ask. It drives us to extremes, motivates enormous risks to explore dangerous and uncharted environments, and to do so with a seemingly irrational sense that the answer to what lies beyond is somehow worth it. We know, in our core, it is somehow worth risking all to discover why. Where could such a sense come from? What process of random evolutionary development accounts for curiosity overriding self-preservation? What unspoken rationale do we rely on when venturing forth into the void? Few if any thought it crazy to go to the moon. In fact, there was a race to do so, to plant the flag, to be the first. Why? For bragging rights? Maybe. But wasn’t it much more than that? Wasn’t there something meaningful just outside the scope of language? I submit, like salmon swimming upstream to reach the place they were born, we are each driven by our nature to seek our Source. We know it is there, though we have never seen it. It exists in our memory, so instinctual and autonomic we may not consider it consciously, just as we rarely think about breathing. But it is real. It is there. And it is universal. We admire our explorers and justify their risk and celebrate their discoveries because we intrinsically know, with each step they take to expand our understanding, we get closer to that from which we sprang.

Why do I bring this up? Why do I speak of abstract truths and spirituality and God in what is primarily a political statement? I do so because the objective of politics, which is to find a way to live which works best, is also the objective of religion. I believe one’s political ideology is inextricably linked to their spirituality. I have found over years of debate with people of various political stripes that the position one takes on a political issue is motivated, at its root, by their spiritual perspective. Even if one claims atheism, that is a spiritual stance, a position on the nature of reality beyond the observable. One’s spiritual positions, particularly regarding the nature of man, form the foundation of their entire paradigm. To opine on politics then, one must begin as our American founders did, at nature and nature’s god.

Let us revisit those timeless words, enshrined in the Declaration of Independence:

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When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands 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.

A plain reading of these words indicates that the author, revisers, and signatories of the Declaration understood the comprehensive nature of reality, that there is more to life than what we see, hear, taste, touch, and smell, and the way we conduct our lives must be guided by an acknowledgement of an essentially spiritual principle. Unalienable rights, god-given rights, not privileges, are recognized by the state, not granted. This was, and in many corners of the Earth remains, a radical idea. It is the basis of our American system of government, and the basis of my personal politics.

The Value of Freedom

Radicalism and rebellion can be vilified or canonized without much thought. In the context of the American Revolution, we view the radicalism and rebellion of our founding fathers as good, even sacred. Yet we often use the terms radical and rebel as pejoratives in a modern context. Why is that? Radicalism and rebellion are healthy when the system rebelled against acts to deprive free men of their natural rights. But radicalism and rebellion can also be used against a system which recognizes and preserves those rights. This is the situation we find ourselves in today, with radicals rebelling against the American system in the name of progress and social justice. This New Revolution is distinct from the First American Revolution in that the so-called rights being fought for are not rights at all, but entitlements. Understanding the difference between the two is essential. Rights are like fences. They erect boundaries which others cannot cross. Entitlements have the opposite effect, tearing down boundaries, eliminating individual distinctions, and granting ownership of all to the collective. Today’s radicals wish to erect a society of entitlement, and thereby necessarily deprive free men of their rights. This effort could rightly be called the Anti-American Revolution, as its goal is precisely the opposite of the First American Revolution.

What’s so great about America anyway? Why shouldn’t it be overthrown? Why shouldn’t we have the fundamental change our so-called progressive leaders would impose upon us? Why should we care about liberty? Why is it more important for men to be free than fed? If curtailing freedom and eroding rights and expanding entitlement result in the hungry getting fed, or the sick being cared for, or the cold being sheltered, isn’t that a good thing? Wouldn’t we be good people for sacrificing our freedom to serve those ends? Isn’t it self-indulgent to cherish one’s personal freedom at the expense of providing for those less fortunate? Did not Jesus Christ himself compel us to give to the poor? Is charity not a virtue?

These are all excellent questions which underscore a pivotal point which often goes unarticulated in political debate because it straddles a spiritual reality. We do not value freedom for freedom’s sake. Freedom is a means, not an end. The end is actually servitude. What men fight and bleed and die for is the freedom to choose who and what to serve. Absolute freedom would be anarchy. Few crave that. Conversely, the most efficient and effective form of government would be a dictatorship were the will of every subject was perfectly aligned with that of the leader. I submit this is, in fact, the ultimate goal of every religion and political ideology. All wish to be The One, The Way, the Alpha and Omega. Muslims desire a world converted, as do communists, as do Christians and capitalists. The difference between them is the means of conversion – force versus reason, compulsion versus choice. Ultimately, all see a world where everyone else falls in line. Even so-called tolerance, as defined by so-called progressives, is an ideology on the march to convert or destroy. It is not a solution to conflict, simply another faction. To say all paths lead to heaven damns those who claim otherwise. There is no way for all to win.

I wish to make this point perfectly clear. The value of freedom is in its surrender. Charity is a virtue; what makes it so is the free will to give or deny. When the choice is removed, gone too is the virtue. Christian theology teaches that God began history under a dictatorship were the will of every subject was perfectly aligned with His own. It was a dictatorship that worked, because the dictator was God. The first rebel, the first radical, was Lucifer, described as an angel of light, a beautiful creation, a servant of God who became covetous of power and invented the lie to subvert the ruling system. Lucifer’s goal was liberty. What then distinguishes us from Lucifer? What distinguishes the American reverence and pursuit of freedom from the Devil’s? It is only this; to Lucifer, liberty was the end. To us, it is the means. Liberty is the means by which we choose who and what to serve.

I wish to make this point again in another way, because it is crucial and potentially difficult to grasp. America was founded as a Christian nation. A peculiar aspect of Christianity is the desire of its adherents to submit them selves to a dictatorship. Christians want to be ruled by God, to have their will aligned perfectly with His in the most efficient and effective form of governance possible. Yet the Christian founders of America created a secular democratic republic to govern their new country. Why? It is because the state is an instrument of compulsion. The state has the capacity to impose on individuals with impunity, to override their free will. That free will is a necessary component of the Christian God’s dictatorship. The state of heaven is not compulsory. The state of heaven works whether its subjects participate or not. God, in His infinite wisdom, has in heaven a governmental entity that could never exist among men, a voluntary dictatorship. A plank of Christian thought is that you choose whether to align yourself with this kingdom or remain outside it. Christian theocracy is fundamentally impossible. To join the state of heaven, man must enter freely. This is why there is what Jefferson referred to as a separation between church and state, not to protect the state from religion, but to protect religion from the state, to preserve the ability of free men to choose who and what to serve. The religious ends of Christianity necessitate a secular means. It can seem paradoxical, has spawned no end of confusion, and has enabled tremendous obfuscation by radicals willing to lie to subvert the ruling system.

The Nature of Man

Let me now reach out to those who are not Jews or Christians, or who otherwise doubt the existence of sin. Sin is a foundational component of my personal politics. Earlier I said that where people align themselves on the nature of man largely determines their political orientation. I believe the nature of man to be a state of sin. In practical secular terms, that means man’s capacity for perfection is retarded. There is a limit to our capacity for good beyond which we cannot achieve. We are not evolving toward some ideal. We are not progressing. We are floundering about in the mud, tending to give ourselves far too much credit for occasionally wiping some of it off.

I can make this argument no better than C.S. Lewis so artfully did in his classic apologetic compilation Mere Christianity:

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I am not preaching, and Heaven knows I do not pretend to be better than anyone else. I am only trying to call attention to a fact; the fact that this year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practise ourselves the kind of behaviour we expect from other people. There may be all sorts of excuses for us. That time you were so unfair to the children was when you were very tired. That slightly shady business about the money-the one you have almost forgotten-came when you were very hard up. And what you promised to do for old So-and-so and have never done-well, you never would have promised if you had known how frightfully busy you were going to be. And as for your behaviour to your wife (or husband) or sister (or brother) if I knew how irritating they could be, I would not wonder at it-and who the dickens am I, anyway? I am just the same. That is to say, I do not succeed in keeping the Law of Nature very well, and the moment anyone tells me I am not keeping it, there starts up in my mind a string of excuses as long as your arm. The question at the moment is not whether they are good excuses. The point is that they are one more proof of how deeply, whether we like it or not, we believe in the Law of Nature. If we do not believe in decent behaviour, why should we be so anxious to make excuses for not having behaved decently? The truth is, we believe in decency so much-we feel the Rule or Law pressing on us so- that we cannot bear to face the fact that we are breaking it, and consequently we try to shift the responsibility. For you notice that it is only for our bad behaviour that we find all these explanations. It is only our bad temper that we put down to being tired or worried or hungry; we put our good temper down to ourselves.

These, then, are the two points I wanted to make. First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.

I submit to you that the most disparaged and degraded segment of humanity, the most vilified political minority of all, are actually the overwhelming numerical majority. They are those who came before us, our forbearers, our ancestors. They have no one to speak for them, no one to defend them, no one to correct the record in their favor. And so we vilify them relentlessly, believing ourselves to be better than them, believing ourselves to have evolved past them, believing ourselves smarter, greater, more advanced. This is a post-modern tendency which our ancestors did not share. In many societies, certainly the more civilized ones, those who came before were revered, regarded as wise, even worshipped in some cases. Reverence for elders is the mark of wisdom among the young. It demonstrates an awareness of the essential fact that we are not better than those who came before. We have not advanced. We have not become smarter, greater, or more evolved. Our technology has become more impressive. But we have remained the same.

Technology is the idol which has replaced tradition. Science is the new religion. Science discards the past to embrace the future, looking down its nose at former ignorance. Scientific discovery fuels technological evolution which creates the illusion of societal evolution. But society does not evolve in tandem with technology. Society is a product of human nature. Technology does not change the way nature works. It mimics and exploits it. A dam does not change how water flows. It mimics nature to control the flow. If the dam breaks, the water will behave as if the dam were not there. Likewise, all our scientific knowledge and technological applications cannot change who we are, how we work, and what we are fundamentally capable of. Man will still murder on the moon.

The nature of man is a state of sin. This is one half of the reason human dictatorship does not work and must be rejected. Dictatorship is the most efficient and effective means of governance. If we could appoint for ourselves a benevolent, wise, all-knowing sovereign, and if we could align our will with his, utopia would be realized. But the nature of man is a state of sin. Therefore we have no such candidate this side of eternity. Any man given absolute power will inevitably abuse it. Even the greatest, wisest, most benevolent of human kings throughout history, men such as David of Israel and his son Solomon, abused their power to infringe upon the rights of others. The cliché is true; power corrupts. This, along with the necessity of secular means to achieve Christian ends, is the reason our founding fathers were drawn to a constitutional democratic republic with separation of powers and checks and balances. It was not about efficiency. It was not about effectiveness. It was not about positive outcomes. It was about principle. It was about liberty as a means to an end. The essential point is this; the pursuit of efficiency and effectiveness and positive outcomes can work against the maintenance of our constitutional system.

Enemies Domestic

Who would want to subvert our constitution? Who would want to undermine liberty? Who might be the “enemies domestic” our military and elected officials are oath-bound to defend against? We have a tendency, in our post-modern world, to believe no one really wishes us harm. If they do, some of us reason it must be because we somehow wronged them. Some of us believe, if we could only find out how we offended and apologize, or if we could sit down with our antagonists and talk it out, we would surely defuse tensions and avoid conflict. This is an utterly ridiculous idea which I believe contradicts every human being’s personal life experience.

Let me take you back to the playground when you were a kid. Did you ever encounter a bully? Were you ever teased? Did anyone ever take your lunch money? If so, what did you do to provoke such behavior? Were you not able to talk your assailant down, reason with him or her, come to some amiable agreement as to how to resolve the conflict? I am not a violent person. In fact, this commentary is a huge step for me, because it invites attack. I abhor conflict. I have always been the negotiator among my friends. I have gone to great lengths to keep people happy rather than assert myself. This is a tendency I retained from childhood. There have been moments, however, when I have been forced to draw a line in the sand. In particular I recall a moment on the playground, surrounded by assailants who were intent on proving their might by ganging up on the big quiet kid. They knew that any one of them would be powerless against me one on one. But, together, they found strength. My only provocation was my presence. I never spoke to them. I never took from them. I kept entirely to myself. But I was there, and I was bigger than them, and I was meek, and that made me a target for asserting their dominance. I stood among them, pushed by one, then shoved by another, unable to respond to the last before succumbing to the next. Instinctively, without any instruction or prodding from an adult, I knew my only option was my own display of force. They had mitigated that risk with their numbers. I could not beat them all off. But I could beat one. I selected my target, leveled a finger at him, and announced my intention. “You. You’re the one I’m going after.” It was the only thing I had to say. The others continued to push and shove, but I did not let them distract me from my advance on this one, the one who would pay for the sins of the rest. Oddly, his reaction was to immediately call off his friends, try to talk me down, and quickly retreat. I suppose you could say I negotiated an end to the conflict. This story is emblematic of countless others, no doubt similar to something each of you has experienced. It speaks to two truths. The first is that weakness is its own provocation. The second is that strength and the displayed will to use it is the only sure deterrent to attack.

You can not reason with unreasonable people. So-called progressives, soft-hearted liberals, and religiously convicted pacifists canonize non-violent protest and diplomacy as effective tools which negate the need for saber-rattling. The two greatest heroes they point to as examples of effective non-violence are Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Indeed, both men non-violently affected remarkable change in their societies. But it was not ultimately due to them and their non-violence. Their success was ultimately due to the fact they petitioned societies that were composed of, and controlled by, fundamentally decent people. The British people saw Gandhi’s struggle and reacted from their own moral conviction. The American people listened to King’s arguments and found them reasonable and worthy of action. Decency appeals to decent people. To the indecent, it appears only as weakness. How would Hitler react to a Gandhi or a King? How would Stalin treat them? What would Mao or Castro or Hussein or Ahmadinejad do? I think we all know the answer.

It is natural to want to excuse bullies, to offer concession to avoid conflict. It is natural to project one’s own decency upon an indecent opponent in the hope they can be reasoned with. History shows it to be folly however. You cannot appease those whose objective is your destruction. We must get it out of our heads that the world is full of decent people who just want to talk and listen to us apologize and share a reasonable amount of our wealth. I challenge anyone to sincerely examine their personal experience and not find an adversary who wished them harm simply for the sport of it. People are evil. The nature of man is a state of sin.

Peace is therefore an illusion. Mankind has never existed in a state of peace, not ever, not at any point in history anywhere in the globe, not unless he stood alone. Wherever there are two people coexisting, there is a state of war. There may be extended periods of ceasefire. But the conflict remains ever-present. There will always be someone, multiple people, entire movements, who will be out to infringe upon you and yours. That is why it is said that freedom is not free, that we must remain ever vigilant and guard our liberties from enemies foreign and domestic.

I can make this argument no better than David Horowitz, who wrote the following in a recent blog:

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For [Saul] Alinsky and his Machiavellian radicals, politics is war. No matter what they say publicly or pretend to be, they are at war. They are at war even though no other factions in the political arena are at war, because everyone else embraces the System which commits all parties to compromise and peaceful resolutions of conflicts. For tactical reasons, the radicals will also make compromises, but their entire mentality and approach to politics is based on their dedication to conducting a war against the System itself…

Because radicals see politics as a war, they perceive opponents of their causes as enemies on a battlefield and set out to destroy them by demonizing and discrediting them. Personally. Particularly dangerous in their eyes are opponents who are wise to their deceptions and realize what their agendas are; who understand that they are not the innocents they pretend to be but are actors whose reality is masked...

A war by definition is a fight to the finish. It is waged against enemies who can’t be negotiated with but must be eliminated — either totally defeated or effectively destroyed. Conservatives don’t really have such an enemy and therefore are not mentally in the war at all, which is why they often seem so defenseless or willing to throw their fellow conservatives over the side when they are attacked.

The war Alinsky’s radicals conduct is for tactical reasons a guerilla war, as his manual [Rules for Radicals] is designed to explain. Conservatives are not at war with the system, but are determined to defend it, including its rules of fairness and inclusion, which provide a protective shield for cynical enemies willing to exploit them. Conservatives embrace the system and believe in the constitutional framework which guarantees opponents the right to declare war not only against them but against the system itself. Consequently, there is no real parallelism in this conflict. One side is fighting with a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners battle plan against the system, while the other is trying [to] enforce its rules of fairness and pluralism…

What makes a war a war, is the existence of an enemy who cannot be negotiated with but has to be driven out of existence.

The implication of Horowitz’s analysis is that those of us who wish to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, be we Republican, Democrat, or otherwise, conservative or liberal, religious or not, politically active or up to now largely disengaged, must shift into a mindset of war. We cannot face those who would destroy that which we hold dear and wish away their intent, particularly when they now wield the bulk of government power and strive each day to increase it exponentially. We cannot engage them as civil participants in a debate between parties who seek the same ends and disagree as to the means. Today’s American radicals do not seek our ends. They seek to destroy our system and rebuild it in their own image, to “fundamentally transform America.” The sitting President of the United States of America has openly disparaged the very constitution he is sworn to defend, saying in a 2001 interview with Chicago-based National Public Radio:

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If you look at the victories and failures of the Civil Rights movement, and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples. So, I would now have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at a lunch counter and, as long as I could pay for it, I would be okay. But the Supreme Court never ventured into issues of redistribution of wealth, and more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. To that extent I think, as radical as people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it has been interpreted. And the Warren Court interpreted it in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you. But it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. That hasn't shifted. One of, I think, the tragedies of the Civil Rights movement was, because the Civil Rights movement became so court-focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways, we still suffer from that.

Obama maligns the constitution as “a charter of negative liberties.” Again, rights are fences, they are boundaries, rights are the negative liberties Obama speaks against. The positive liberties he intends, the things the government should do for you, those are entitlements. Again, entitlements are the opposite of rights. They encroach, they impose, they steal and, as Obama here explicitly states, redistribute. Forgetting for a moment that no one has the right to steal to feed themselves, what reason to we have to believe that the state’s redistributive justice will result in the utopia these progressives promise, in the hungry being fed and the sick being cared for and the cold being sheltered? Where has consolidation of power ever eliminated want?

In his blog series regarding Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, David Horowitz discusses the curious fact that Alinsky dedicated the book to the first radical - Lucifer. Horowitz highlights that Lucifer has many names – Belial, Beelzebub, Apollyon, Leviathan, Mephistopheles. Horowitz states, “The many names of Satan are also a model for radicals who camouflage their agendas by alternatively calling themselves Communists, socialists, new leftists, liberals and most consistently progressives.” I would add to that list Nazis, facists, Islamists, and any group throughout history that has sought to impose the will of its elite upon free men. I believe our mortality often bars us from recognizing the pattern of history. Perhaps if we had lived through the collapse of Rome, perhaps if we had lived in the Wiemar Republic and seen the rise of Hitler, we might now recognize the tell tale signs of the Beast.

Don't Tread On Me

For those of us that do, those of us who know a new revolutionary war is upon us, what do we do? How do we fight? What can we do? The answer is quite simple. The myth of the vampire stands as an effective model for what we are up against, a demonic creature that feeds upon the living, stalking about in darkness, relying upon misdirection, disguise, and seduction. Of the weapons used to defeat the creature, none are more effective and final than the light of day. Once illuminated, the creature bursts into a harmless pile of dust. What we need to do is shine the light of day on the radicals who would destroy us. Take Van Jones as a recent example. Glenn Beck was his Van Helsing, casting the light of scrutiny on his person and history. That light destroyed him. It will destroy them all. But it is up to us to shed it, to be bearers of light in dark times. We do that by finding diverse and trustworthy sources of real news, becoming our own private news desk, reading history, strengthening ourselves spiritually in whatever way we know how, sharing what we learn with our friends and family, demanding answers and accountability from our public officials, and sticking to our guns in the face of ridicule, ad hominem attack, and attempts at character assassination. We need not answer charges of Nazism, racism, fear-mongering and the like. Those who believe such nonsense about conservatives and conservatism will believe it regardless. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes.” We need not convince the whole world. The people we have to reach are those who remain asleep, like we once were, going about their lives as though they live in peaceful times with their liberties secure. Lethargic and complacent we may tend to be; but, once stirred, there is no greater force for good in this world than an American fighting for liberty.

I leave you with an often cited quote whose original author remains unverified, but whose truth seems self-evident:

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A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.

We hit apathy a long time ago. Let’s see if we can’t skip a step, shall we? Let us follow this Jeffersonian charge: “As our enemies have found, we can reason like men. So now let us show them we can fight like men also.”
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Wish or not, war is upon us.
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I was quite tempted to use that quote. But I already had one fantasy allusion with the vampires. All things in moderation.
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