How many thousands of Americans unknowingly carry an internal death sentence, maybe an aneurysm or cancer that is beyond treating? Only the tragic time and circumstances of demise await recording.
Is our nation in the same sick bed? Is Benjamin Franklin’s proud but precarious Republic, Madame, beyond saving? Grave concern is justified.
If our popular, reelected president thinks—and says out loud—that the Founders’ framework of divided powers, checks and balances, and limited, decentralized control is just a big drag on “progress,” and then, the nation doesn’t toss him out forthwith, is that a critical vital sign?
If our populace forgets--or never knew--the warning of America’s greatest president: “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence – it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and fearful master,” but instead, our people admire the cool incumbent who implores them to reject the voices that warn that big government leads to tyranny, then can we conclude the people have lost the energy and vigilance that history has always demanded of free people?
If the president’s implausible account of current scandals is true—
“I didn’t direct the IRS to stomp conservatives! That was low level scoundrels! There’s no plot to abuse the media…the Justice Department just kinda’ went rogue on the Associated Press! And my Brother Holder was recused, anyway! There’s no Benghazi cover-up! My administration simply laundered and sanitized the account of slaughtered American diplomats and protectors as part of a petty, bureaucratic spitting contest between CIA and State! My fingerprints are nowhere near the bloody scene! Hell! After I was briefed, I split to pack for Vegas; any questions about where I was are ‘offensive’, you racist!”
--Then does it reveal that, beyond this current maladministration, we suffer under the accumulated, metastasizing mass of an imperious, arbitrary bureaucracy? Do we live under Leviathan, that can, for its own self-serving reasons, ruin any one of us, if and when it chooses?
How, exactly, does a free people overthrow an abusive bureaucracy that, as David Axelrod asserts, is too vast for even the president to be aware of, let alone control?
And what are the people aware of? If our cherished free American press is so asleep at the switch—at best—or complicit in government designs—at worst--that 42% of Americans don’t even know Obamacare is the law of the land, let alone about its risks and failures, then does that mean that Jefferson’s vaunted check on our rulers--on those who would by divine right, ride mankind, booted and spurred--is more eager to pursue cozy interviews and cool photo ops than to tell the truth to Americans about their government?
Or, more distressing, does it mean that Americans who should care, and should monitor such things, don’t and aren’t? Instead they’re watching shows like The View or Late Night with Whoever, or listening to radio like Pimp With a Limp, venues where a charismatic, coachable hustler can be steered by a shrewd and ruthless consultant, funded by interests that are uninterested in the American dream, to swing a once great nation’s election by wooing ignorant and malleable masses to cast low information votes for the guy who will protect them from the Republicans who, as all cool people know, yearn to ban and steal the contraceptives right out of women’s purses?
And what if Americans can’t find jobs in a contracting workplace, but can find benefits in an expanding welfare apparatus? Will that satisfy them?
What if half our people pay no income taxes, so don’t much care what the IRS does or who it abuses, as long as the benefits keep flowing?
What if two or three—or four or five--generations of students have been formed in a school system that taught them government’s job is to make life fair and equal? What if they don’t have a clue about grappling in a competitive world for the fruits of their brain and labor?
What if they don’t understand that a free, competitive environment, for all its stresses, will bless them—has already blessed them—with fruits in the form of food, comfort, and gadgets far beyond the imagination of most of humanity that preceded them on this earth?
What if that same school system has taught them far more about their nation’s warts and offenses than about its astonishing, history changing advances in human well being?
What hope is there for a nation like that to find the roots of what made it the last, best hope on earth for freedom, and the blessings of peace and prosperity that freedom allows?
My wife just read this piece and says I’m an overwrought doomsayer. So let me add that Thatcher, Reagan, and others have confronted and won over nations in nosedives, and pulled them out of it. Maybe it will take a historically placed leader to remind Americans of their history and possibility. Please, Providence.