Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

As we get ready for a weekend of fireworks and barbecues I just wanted to offer a few passing thoughts. If you are a liberty loving, founding principles advocate you have been under a barrage of bad news the last six months or so. I mean where do you start? Obamacare? Net-Neutrality? Cap and Tax? Hard to say, the large hand of government is encroaching itself ever more into our fabric of society. Who can we look to as the root, and then solution of this problem? Do we attach it to the electorate, who clearly thought they were voting on American Idol when they swept Barry in. The answer lies in ourselves and our wonderful system. John Podhoretz in a great Op-Ed in the NY Post this morning put it thusly:
The American political system presents two choices to the American people -- Republicans or Democrats. After preferring Republicans for a few election cycles in the early years of the first decade of this century and not liking the result, the electorate decided to go for Democrats for a few election cycles. It now appears they don't like this result either -- and will now go back to the Republicans and give them another chance.

The body politic is not panicking, even though the news is dire -- because it knows, somehow, that this too shall pass. America has faced worse times and weathered them. Even within our memory, it has had other leaders who also misunderstood their mandates and offered solutions to the nation's problems that only exacerbated them.

The body politic learns from its mistakes and uses its power to correct them. Taken as a whole, this bunch of rubes and dupes and boobs shows a remarkably commonsensical approach to these things by saying, in essence:

Nothing is irreversible. Change is possible.

So to steal our President's mantra..."Yes We Can". It is a simplified look at it (the bouncing back and forth of party) because as I have said before, and trends match it, this country as a core believes in liberty and small government. Ideas associated with Conservatism and Libertarianism. When either party veers away from those central ideas, or does not articulate those ideals it gets punished. Republicans in 2006 and 2008, Democrats in 1994 and just about every other election since Jimmy Carter. Bill Clinton being the exception because let's face it he never ran as a Progressive and certainly didn't govern like one (most of the time). Just ask any hardcore leftist their feelings on Clinton's presidency...usually the word that comes to mind is 'disappointing'.

With all of that in mind and our great nation's birthday on the horizon I am reminded of Calvin Coolidge's great remarks in 1926, the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. We should heed his words as they are no less truer now than they were eighty-four years ago:

It was not because it was proposed to establish a new nation, but because it was proposed to establish a nation on new principles, that July 4, 1776, has come to be regarded as one of the greatest days in history. Great ideas do not burst upon the world unannounced. They are reached by a gradual development over a length of time usually proportionate to their importance. This is especially true of the principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence. Three very definite propositions were set out in its preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.

If no one is to be accounted as born into a superior station, if there is to be no ruling class, and if all possess rights which can neither be bartered away nor taken from them by any earthly power, it follows as a matter of course that the practical authority of the Government has to rest on the consent of the governed. While these principles were not altogether new in political action, and were very far from new in political speculation, they had never been assembled before and declared in such a combination. But remarkable as this may be, it is not the chief distinction of the Declaration of Independence. The importance of political speculation is not to be under-estimated, as I shall presently disclose. Until the idea is developed and the plan made there can be no action.

Hope you take some time to read the whole speech since it is, outside of Lincoln's remarkably concise Gettysburg Address, some of the more eloquent words spoken about our founding and the principles that drove it. Thanks for always taking some time to read my thoughts here and hope that everyone enjoys a safe and fun holiday.

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