Last week in Our Best Days Are Behind Us, Patrice Lewis (whom I generally admire) wrote:
Individual liberty corrected many of our nation’s wrongs over the subsequent century.
So here’s a question – what changed? Why should America’s best days be behind it?
…Today we’ve reversed our good-to-bad ratio. Many of the things that were very bad (slavery, etc.) have been corrected. Many of the things that were very good are being crushed.
Belief in, and reliance upon, God has dropped precipitously. Government interference in our personal lives is high. Morals and responsibility are low. Illegitimacy has skyrocketed. Men make babies and walk away. Women have turned to government handouts to support those babies, or have government-funded abortions to kill them. Thrift and self-sufficiency are distant memories. Handouts are now multi-generational legacies.
The trouble is that progressives have taken over. They’ve gone far beyond the notion of correcting legitimate grievances to the creation of a fake “utopia” based on goals that can only be achieved through coercive force […] Our nation will continue its decline unless its people recapture the qualities our Founding Fathers envisioned: minimal government, a balanced budget, maximum personal responsibility, thrift, strong families, hard work and an unshakeable faith in God.
I suppose this is all cyclical. After all, the famous quote attributed (probably incorrectly) to Alexander Fraser Tytler remains eerily prescient for America:
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.
I admire Mrs. Lewis’ homesteading skills and enjoy her social commentary, and she comes so close to getting it, understanding that liberalism is the crux of the problem, but then she just couldn’t connect the dots that the Founding Fathers were the original American liberals. I think of this blind faith as Founding Father Worship.
The disconnect is so odd because it’s like saying, “Hey this democracy train is actually heading straight for Tyranny-ville and I’ve got the Tytler Train Schedule right here telling me that’s where this train is bound for, but if we can just somehow throw the democracy train in reverse for a spell, surely we will somehow get to some other destination instead, as opposed to just taking longer to getting to Tyranny-ville!”
Trying to back up the democracy train, which is what the most conservativey conservatives want (as opposed to plain ole’ conservatives who just want to slow it down a little), is kind of like the Ferris Beuller kids trying to turn back the odometer on Dad’s Ferrari by setting its wheels up on blocks, throwing it into reverse, and putting a brick on the accelerator:
Which, as you know, worked oh so well:
Odometers by their nature go forward. It’s what they do.
But people just can’t seem to let go of the idea that democracy itself would be an awesome form of government if only it didn’t keep doing what democracies by their very nature must always do – collapse into tyranny.
But point out that there are other forms of government – such as monarchy, for instance -and even the most conservative folks look at you with bafflement and even horror:
“B-but what if the king is a tyrant?!”