Friday, July 18, 2014

On Knowing Your Enemies

Facts that are not frankly faced have a habit of stabbing us in the back. – Sir Harold Bowden

Let's face the facts:

  1. The country is going to Hell.
  2. So is the world beyond our shores.
  3. The Left's divide et impera tactics have succeeded brilliantly.
  4. So has its use of the country’s educational and entertainment systems.
  5. Many persons in federal office are dedicated to nullifying the Constitution.
  6. That includes the great majority of those who stridently claim to be "on our side."

There's a civil war in progress. To evade that conclusion and its logical implications takes a degree of willful blindness akin to that required to maintain -- as a number of Japanese will tell you to this day -- that Japan defeated the U.S. in World War II.

What's less clear are the battle lines and what groups are on which side.

Before we proceed into the analytics most Liberty's Torch readers come here for, allow me to ask you a question: Which side are you on, Gentle Reader? Are you quite sure? For that matter, are you quite sure "your side" really exists, in a coherent and persistent sense?

I'd bet a dollar to a doughnut that you haven't asked yourself that question in a long time, if ever. You have a powerful sense for where you stand, even if you've never fully articulated it. Your moral conscience -- your sense for what's intrinsically right and intrinsically wrong -- is well developed and has served you faithfully over the years. Your positions on various issues flow from those things, so why imagine even for a moment that you wouldn't "know your side," or that you wouldn't be able to tell those who stand with you apart from those who stand against you?

Perhaps you're right. Perhaps your political vision is as clear and accurate as your moral conscience. Trouble is, we keep putting the levers of power into the hands of our enemies. Given that the electorate has several times elected nominally conservative executive administrations and legislative majorities, and that poll after poll has declared Americans to be fundamentally conservative, that demands an explanation.

Since the New Deal, regardless of which party has held federal hegemony, the federal government has grown monotonically larger, more intrusive, and more expensive. Republican "wave" elections have made no difference. Neither did the much-hyped Reagan Administration, despite the desire of so many conservatives to believe otherwise.

Allow me a quote from a favorite novel:

    "What of this one, this Louis Wu?"
    "For us there has been much profitable cooperation with men. Naturally we choose at least one human. Louis Gridley Wu is a proven survival type, in his casual, reckless way."
    "Casual he is, and reckless. He challenged me to single combat."
    "Would you have accepted, had not Hroth been present? Would you have harmed him?"
    "To be sent home in disgrace, having caused a major interspecies incident? But that is not the point," the kzin insisted. "Is it?"
    "Perhaps it is. Louis is alive. You are now aware that you cannot dominate him through fear. Do you believe in results?"

[Larry Niven, Ringworld]

Well, do you, Gentle Reader?

David Limbaugh's column of today sidles up to the problem but refuses to confront it squarely:

I have long contended that the differences between tea party conservatives and the so-called establishment are far deeper than "tactics"; they also involve policy disagreements....

Let's say Republicans then win the presidency and retain control of Congress in 2016. Then what?

I would wager that many of my establishment friends will continue to advise restraint, urging us not to drastically roll back Obama's liberal policies, either because they'll be horrified about the next election or because they have really, in the end, lost their stomach for political battle and their taste for free market principles.

So far, so good, but wait: there's more!

I suspect that many of them have come to accept a large, "energetic" federal government and believe that Republicans should just accept it and instead devise original and creative yet "conservative" policy solutions within the big-government framework. In other words, we should throw in the towel on our founding principles, accept the liberal narrative that Reagan conservatism is extremism, and do the best we can within the new paradigm....

Will Republicans, if they regain power of both political branches, have the political will to begin to unravel the nightmares caused by an abandonment of our founding principles, or will they just nibble around the edges with insignificant modifications because they no longer believe in either conservative principles or their ability to convince the people that our ideas are still superior?

Limbaugh displays a remarkable resistance to the evidence in the above passage. The question isn't "Will they?" It's "How could we possibly believe that they will, given what we've seen from them up to this point?"

Republican politicians' credibility, and our credulity, should both be zeroed out.

Americans might be more conservative than not, but when election time rolls around our behavior is much like that of rats that have been forced to run the same maze ten thousand times without respite. We continue to support persons whose conduct when in power diverges dramatically from their rhetoric. They prattle about "limited government" yet allow government to grow without limit. They orate about "Constitutional restraints," and do nothing to enforce them. Should we attend to their words, or carefully note the vectors established by their deeds?

When a more principled, more courageous individual pokes his head up above the general mass of mediocrities, the Establishment does its best to cut it off. Note the hatchet jobs that have been done to Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and most recently Chris McDaniel...all with GOP Establishment connivance and material support. Is that any way to respect Reagan's Eleventh Commandment? Doesn't it suggest that the Establishment is covertly in league with its supposed adversaries?

Even generally intelligent persons have failed to grasp this principle. Hugh Hewitt's book If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat, while it does contain some points of value, harps relentlessly on the notion that "Only majorities matter," by which Hewitt plainly means partisan majorities. But what good to freedom lovers is a GOP majority made up of the likes of Thad Cochran and John McCain? What could we expect from such a caucus other than what we've already seen: continuing collaboration with the Democrats in expanding federal power over us?

Think it over.

The Republican Party will not act to rescue Constitutional government. It hasn't done anything about it for eighty years; why expect it to start now? Therefore, electoral politics, conveniently rigged by law and the collusion of the major media to permit only Democrats and Republicans to bid successfully for high office, is no longer of use to us. Indeed, it has become our enemies' principal tool for keeping us in subjection.

The implication should be clear. As unpleasant as it sounds, only if decent Americans tired of deceit and oppression were to boycott electoral politics completely, thus reducing national vote totals to unprecedentedly low levels, could we emphasize that the political elite has lost all mandate to govern us.

There would be consequences, of course:

  1. Government worshippers would elect ever greater majorities of Democrats.
  2. Those majorities would go on expanding the power, intrusiveness and expense of the federal leviathan.
  3. It would become ever more important for individuals to adopt defensive tactics, whether one merely opts to reduce one's visible profile, chooses to "go Galt," or selects any alternative between the two.

If Americans devoted to freedom were to adopt this approach in sufficient numbers, Washington would be progressively enfeebled despite the Left's apparently overwhelming grip on power. But will it happen? Doubtful. Remember the rats, the maze, and the ten thousand uninterrupted repetitions. We're conditioned to believe that the system can be cleansed by the electoral mechanism. Acting against that conditioning would require more will than most persons possess.

But at the very least we can know our enemies. We can give true coloration to their statements and their deeds when given power. We can cease to deceive ourselves about who's really "on our side."

Given all the above, and all the history on which it's founded, that doesn't seem likely either. But I retain my hope. I must; we who understand and love freedom have little else.

Have a nice day.


Anonymous said...

If the suggestion is to abstain from the political process in order to "make a point", this would be a huge mistake in my opinion. Politically, we are damned to choose between the lesser of two evils, this is the nature of politics, as no two people agree 100% on anything.

Having said this, I do agree that most Republicans for the last, oh, 50 years or so have been feeble excuses for conservatives, but when it comes down to it, I'm not going to vote, either actively or through abstinence, for a Democrat. (this is how "Harmless Barry" worked his way to the WH in record time...apathy) Does voting for a liberal Republican help our cause? No. Does more of the same whatever-you-want-to-call-it between the Democrats and Republicans help our cause? No. It's Kabuki theater. But I'm still not going to essentially give up and abstain. Sorry, wrong answer.

The Democrats in particular, and the liberals of both parties in general, have been doing an admirable job of running the country into the ground without my implicit help. I'll continue to vote, because it's my right, for whatever that's worth, and I'll continue to vote for the lesser of two evils. Of course, meanwhile, I prepare to actively participate in whatever events unfold that allow my contribution to better serve the vision of the founding fathers, but in the meantime, I continue to go through the motions of doing my part within the framework of our existing system to do the least harm to our country.


Anonymous said...

History is made by interested minorities, and our enemies battle is not and never has been with us. Its with reality. We fought them because we didn't want to be dragged down with them when Reality came calling. There is no stopping that now. Economic collapse is not inevitable and can't be rolled back. We may not know if it will be fast or slow, but it will occur and it will occur in our lifetimes. The Fed can't do anything without money, and because "They believe" ( its the leftist reason for everything) in Fairies doesn't mean Tinkerbell will come back to life. All we have to do ( or can do) is get out of the way and grin as the "Bad Luck" they sowed comes by to reap them as its harvest. There are no political solutions, just the long haul and daily survival and our enemies are prepared for neither. They may decide to come for the guns and then a hot civil war starts in earnest. Or they may simply kick the can till they can't anymore and then lay down in their beds to die. Probably a bit of both. And still, those "fearful" reality based individuals will remain, and eventually prosper once the parasites die from lack of a host.
And good riddance to them.

William Stout said...

I have long been a Goldwater conservative. My thoughts run in the same vein as yours and I wonder about the fate of my homeland. Reagan and other conservatives like Bill Buckley were articulate about conservative values. They explained them with the patience of a schoolmaster. In short, they taught the American people why these principles were of value to them.

Somewhere along the line, we stopped speaking about what we believe and more importantly, why we believe it to be right. Part of the reason for losing that perspective comes from the left, who long ago stopped meeting us in the arena of ideas. Part of it was fatigue from having to explain over and over again. Part of it was that we believed that we had described our philosophy of government enough times that it ought to stick, but it did not. But the American people need our conservative message now, more than they ever have before.

I believe that America hangs on a precipice. Move just a little the wrong way and she will fall. Our enemy considers Obamacare to be a masterstroke, not because they believe that it will help people. But because it was intended as a fait accompli that produced benefits that the American people will never relinquish. As such, it is a firm step toward a socialist state. While the public is less than enamored of it presently, they remain committed to getting something for nothing.

Allow me to quote one of my favorite authors, TANSTAAFL. In short, there is no such thing as a free lunch. One way or another, you will pay for it. Try to remove the perceived freebie and the public will fight like the Greeks did when faced with austerity, even if it means placing the financial burden on their own offspring. An act once called a sin by Jefferson. By repeatedly taking these steps, the left hopes to convert America into their socialist utopia by slow progression. The trouble with the Republican Party as I see it is this: they no longer hold conservative values as their core principles.

When your choice is between Karl Marx and Karl Marx junior, is there any real difference? As has been the choice of the electorate of late, we have been forced to vote for the lesser of two evils. I believe that it is high time to launch a third party that is dedicated to our values. Such a party would be a foil for both the Democrats and Republicans, and would remain true to our founder's values. Unless we proceed down that road, we will be forever locked into selecting the lesser of the evils.

Anonymous said...

You lost me when you said there are Japanese who claim they defeated America in ww2.

Japanese do not driink Kool Aid. That's for Americans.

Francis W. Porretto said...

I never make a factual claim that I have not verified, Anon. That's one you can look up for yourself.

Ronald Barbour said...

Never forget that it was the REPUBLICANS who created the Progressive big government movement under Teddy Roosevelt in the early 1900s - and that the first full bore Progressive political party was the "Bull Moose" led by the same T.R. to defeat the conservative GOP of Taft in 1912.

The only difference between Progressive Republicans and Progressive Democrats is over foreign policy - the Progressive Republicans want America to be the world policeman and export "democracy" - whereas, the Progressive Democrats do not favor foreign adventures.

Other than foreign policy the two wings of the Progressive movement disagree on little, for instance, the Democrats had no problem with Common (Communist)Core Education, which was a Progressive GOP idea.

I call the two major American political parties, "The New Tories" and like the old Tories of the American Revolution they are totally loyal to the king-emperor.

DAN III said...

So, this essay concludes, in a nutshell, better to vote for the lessor of two evils. Problem with that is it is still evil.

Francis W. Porretto said...

I can't imagine how you got that out of what I wrote, Dan.