The video title says, “the surprising moral case…” and that is a sad commentary on the state of education. This stuff should not be at all surprising. This video will be, though, the best thing you’ll watch all day. Enjoy!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
— Marianne Williamson
from “A Return to Love”
Too many people live timidly, avoiding promises and trying to avoid the shame of being caught in transgression of their own professed standards. It is best, they believe, to proclaim no standard and project no values in order to keep their options open. So in an effort to fully indulge fetish and avoid episodes of momentary shame they instead become impervious to shame, oblivious to the fact that they lead entirely shameful lives.
A denial of morality and commitment is not the clever trick many believe it to be for obviating shame or building unassailable character. Indeed such denial reveals the utter absence of character for all to see. Without the bond of commitment nothing can be built and growth becomes impossible. By avoiding commitment you ensure that no one remains committed to you. A life of avoidance is a shrinking life.
Live a life of commitment. Project your values and proclaim your highest standards, then do your best to consistently meet them every day. Face down your fear and make your word your promise, then keep your promises. When you fail—and you will—acknowledge the shame you’ve earned and earnestly commit yourself to doing better and being better. That is how you grow, and only in this way may you grow.
Pastor C.L. Bryant does great service to Americans with this effort. Wake up and throw off the shackles of slavery to collectivism.
Of the two most prominent social ideologies in the United States of America, one is on the rise and one is doomed. Conservatism, which as its name suggests seeks to conserve the Constitution and the traditions and ideals upon which our nation was founded, will soon die because the term will lack meaning. There will in some short time be so little of these aforementioned things left in place that conservation will be purposeless, as well as a meaningless ideal. Conservatism, you see, does not add or invent. It merely conserves what yet exists.
By contrast, progressivism (modern liberalism), just like its cousins socialism, Marxism, and communism, seeks to sweep away society’s foundations and replace them with their antitheses. Yet for obvious reasons, progressivism neither does nor professes to do so overtly. Few would stand for or allow the destruction of rights, liberty, justice, equality, and morality. Progressive activists, however, need not remove them as ideals, but instead can simply and progressively change the meaning of these words so that they serve progressivism’s destructive, collectivist purpose.
Changing the definitions of words changes the ideas and ideals they represent. So changing their definitions results in and/or necessitates changing the meaning of the laws that use them. Thus little by little—progressively, in fact—a society is transformed into its antithesis. This is exactly what is happening in the United States of America. The transition is one from the world’s most successful, moral, and exceptional example toward a clichéd, historically failed example.
Why? Power inevitably preys on laziness, depravity, and complacency, that’s why.
Throughout human history, the collectivists have sought and often succeeded in redefining critical words that define the critical ideals. In every case the result has been a society destroyed, because this redefinition requires that the singular capacity for human survival—rationality—must also be destroyed. This is what progressivism seeks and is achieving in the USA. It seeks it because like every other collectivist system, progressivism is the quest to remove power from individuals and place it entirely in the hands of an elite group: government.
The critical terms and ideals that have in the United States of America been under assault for more than 50 years include, primarily, those mentioned before: rights, liberty, justice, equality, and morality. According to The Constitution and our founding ideals, those words have specific, rational, and consistent meanings. Under the antithetical morality of progressivism they have entirely different ones. The result of more than 50 years of constant assault on rationality is that we now have a nation that stands upon and functions primarily according to two gravely important new virtues: theft and slavery. Here is how progressive redefinition of critical words works.
A right is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. An actual right is one that places no obligation or limitation on anyone else’s rights. Yet according to progressivism, rights are indiscriminate with regard to how they obligate individuals to groups of individuals. A right to “affordable healthcare,” for instance, obligates some to provide services and material according to arbitrary mandate rather than voluntary agreements. It also requires members of one segment of society to give up their sovereign property to members of another segment of society. In other words, the “right” to affordable healthcare requires that some people be slaves to other peoples’ needs or sense of entitlement.
It is important to note that while our nation was founded upon and our Constitution refers only to individual rights, progressive ideology immorally and irrationally recognizes group rights at the expense of individual rights. It is also worth noting that the reason our nation was founded upon individual rights is because groups may be afforded rights only with the destruction of individual rights. Therefore, the progressive redefinition of foundational words and concepts must embody the rise of groups and the decline of the individual. The result and the ideal is collectivism.
With the establishment of group rights, society becomes cannibalistic. You see it already. Since group rights require the destruction of other rights, some groups feel harmed by other groups…and they are harmed by the irrational rights bestowed upon other groups. Constant destruction of rights will be required to fuel the ensuing spiral of entitlement. It is happening almost every day here in the US.
Liberty by the Constitutional American definition is individual; that of a man’s individual sovereignty (in his ideas, person, and property). According to progressivism, it means freedom from whatever responsibility enough people or certain elite people decide is untenable…without regard for how that decision imposes obligation on other people. In other words, the progressive definition of liberty means that some must be slaves so that others may enjoy their own definition of liberty.
Under the Constitution, the definition of justice has to do with equal justice (under the law). Progressive ideology ignores the idea of equal justice in favor of “social justice.” According to social justice, equal justice is only good so long as everyone “feels” they are equal. In the event that any group decides it is unfairly treated—or that its long-deceased members were wronged, in some distant past—equal justice is moot so that social justice may be achieved. Justice, in the progressive morality, is for groups and not individuals. Social justice is a mechanism primarily for achieving the progressive definition of equality.
Our Declaration of Independence observes that all men are created equal. According to this tenet we have crafted laws that ensure equality of opportunity, for this is the only equality that does not destroy individual liberty. This idea and these laws impose no tyranny upon individual sovereignty and, therefore, constitute actual rights. “Equal rights” according to progressive morality are concerned mainly with results. Our being created equal is not enough, it says, for progressivism demands that we all achieve equally as well. Therefore, progressivism requires that those who by their own efforts achieve more than others be obligated to share with those who by decision or circumstance achieve less. Indeed they must share; else their property will be seized and distributed according to the whim of those who rule. Thus, the idea of equality becomes nothing more than a weapon used by the politically powerful upon the successful, and theft becomes a societal virtue.
Theft and Slavery
Americans would never allow theft and slavery, according to their rational definitions, to become the fundamental pillars of our society. And yet the deed is almost accomplished. If not checked while we yet have a mildly functional Constitution, progress toward a wholly collectivist, progressive society will meet its conclusion. Once this happens, no degree of social outcry or civil action will be able to reverse it.
Social conflict over civil disagreements within a rational, moral society is appropriate and productive only when victory is defined by the preservation and perhaps affirmation (legal, etc.) of Constitutional, individual liberty and justice. In this way, ideological arguments must be resolved within the moral structure of society as defined by our founding principles and governing laws (which must be consistent with one another). With the redefinition of critical terms and the establishment of their antithetical ideals, however, this morally appropriate result is not possible.
Under progressivism, social groups vie and may even believe that a legal victory is theirs, but it never is. The nature of collectivism ensures that such victories only ever result in more power being ceded to the government. Mechanism will require that government invent or confiscate the power to bestow the new rights. Then, with all of society’s rights flowing from the government, citizens are left only with the power to ask—or beg—for whatever they desire or require. History is filled with examples of what this is like, if you care to look.
There will be consequences
For all the reasons cited here and many more besides, there should be no doubt in any rational man’s mind that an effort to reestablish our Constitution and reclaim our morality, rights, liberty, and justice in the United States of America would be impossible through civil means. All civil means presuppose actual morality, liberty, and justice as foundations.
With those foundations destroyed there will be only one way left for Americans to reclaim their nation from the progressives and their despotic government. And you know damn well what it is.
In the face of a growing collectivist mob, leftists who would deign to earn a profit from their trade have a singular grave responsibility. In order to remain in the favor of the collectivists and avoid inciting their tyranny, one must be sure to genuflect before the altar of altruism and atone for one’s capitalist sins. Much like the clever pro athlete who voluntarily imposes a two-game suspension upon himself after a flagrant ethics violation, the leftist artist of today imposes similar voluntary self sanctions after flagrant and inflammatory profit from his work. It’s just the smart thing to do in order to soothe the swelling ire of one’s overlords.
Here is one conspicuous example of proper self preservation that provides an excellent template for others to follow…
Recently the comedian Louis CK made a bold and profitable move by self publishing his latest comedy album and selling it exclusively on his own website. The price was apologetically low yet the great volume of sales quickly earned him more than $1 million. A genuine capitalist success! Louis CK is to be congratulated on his bold and successful effort here. Even so, and much to his credit, Louis CK’s first thought was of self-preservation: “Oh, dear God, no! How can I fix this!?”
Louis rightly realized that this unseemly profit was a gross affront to the collectivist mob and to its altruist morality. Consequences would be dire if he didn’t act quickly and publicly. In a fit of self preservation Louis did exactly that, according to collectivist canon, by publishing an apology for having earned so much profit, along with a detailed description of how little he would keep and how much of it he would dispense among associates and charities. As to that portion he brazenly kept for himself, he explained it “will pay my rent and will care for my childen. [sic]”
Even with this apologetic and detailed explanation of his altruistic aims, he rightly felt the need to make absolutely clear his allegiance to the ideals of the collectivist mob, lest they take offense at his having kept anything. He therefore ventured…
“I never viewed money as being ‘my money’ I always saw it as ‘The money’ It’s a resource. if it pools up around me then it needs to be flushed back out into the system. [sic]”
Smart man, that Louis CK. With that last bit he likely averted disaster and ensured and confirmed his further use to the collectivists. As their puppet. What you see here is a man filled with shame and who knows that he could never survive on his sovereign abilities without public sacrifice, given his allegiances. He knows that he is merely allowed to survive; allowed by the mob and their fickle interest in using him as a poster boy for their altruistic morality.
Had Louis CK merely produced and sold his product and dispensed with his profit as he saw fit—even exactly as he described—and yet not made a public—apologetic spectacle of it, he would be doomed. He’d soon find himself the target of the Occupy zealots, his comedy album panned, his name sullied in every industry publication…his career over. At least, this is precisely what Louis CK feared. Because that’s what they do. Live by the collectivists and you will die by the collectivists.
If you are not one of the leftist elite, this is what you have to do. The elites don’t worry about performing such debasements, but then they don’t have to. It is only those seeking a higher station among the altruist clergy who have to make ritual genuflections like this. Never doubt, though, that it is worth the sacrifice. Once you’ve gained tenure among the collectivists, any sin can be forgiven no matter its gravity. Rape, bribery, extortion, and murder are but trifles when committed by the collectivist elite. That sort of moral capital is priceless and worth every good leftist’s sacrifice.
The morality of altruism says that your life is not your own. You exist only to sacrifice yourself to others. Louis CK understands this and, as the good and rightly fearful leftist, he did what was required to ensure his own survival as he works to gain collectivist stature. His sacrifice will be hailed and honored among the collectivist elite and celebrated among the lesser peoples and further cogs of the collectivist machine; sacrifices all and fodder for the altar of altruism.
Be careful, little people, what you earn and how you explain it.
If you’re an American, remove the word “class,” as applied to social organization, from your vocabulary. Class is a Marxist term whose specific and exclusive purpose is and has only ever been division and conquest.
There are not now and never have been classes in the United States of America. Class is a societal fixture in virtually every nation on earth…except for the USA. The United States of America is exceptional in all the world in this and many other respects.
When you hear someone cite the middle class or the upper class when speaking of Americans you may know them to be either wholly ignorant of the United States of America or a standard bearer for socialism or Marxist ideals. Informed, moral Americans will never use this Marxist term.
Instead of classes, among the able we have responsible, energetic people and we have leeches. In the USA, unlike any other nation on earth, each individual decides his or her own station in life and is free to achieve—or not—whatever he or she imagines. Class never enters into it.
So when you hear someone cite the middle class or some other class, you may stop paying attention to that individual and go about your own business according to your own aspirations and effort.
I’m giving away 9 copies of “The Morality of Capitalism” to interested readers.
I put it to you that in order to fully understand capitalism, all that is necessary is that you read and digest my essay from earlier this year. However, the words and ideas from some really smart people have been collected in an excellent survey from the Atlas Network entitled “The Morality of Capitalism.”
“The Morality of Capitalism” is a collection of essays and interviews from a wonderful bunch of folks, including a Nobel Laureate in Literature, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, and the Co-Founder of Whole Foods Market. The book works to make the appropriate, accurate arguments as counters to the many false arguments and baseless accusations leveled at capitalism. In a time when our sovereign individual liberties are being assailed on many fronts as at no time in U.S. history, this book is desperately needed and this vital information needs dissemination.
I’m going to give away nine of my copies of the book to folks who are interested in the idea of capitalism, but who are somewhat skeptical or ignorant of its values and not fully informed on its components and mechanisms. If you enjoy reading and the preceding describes you, and you would like to receive a free copy, please with your name, mailing address, and your reason for wanting to read this book and I’ll select nine to whom I’ll mail a copy.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
I often hear, what to me sound like horror stories, of how unmanageable the email inboxes of some of my friends and acquaintances are. Folks describe the hundred or hundreds of emails they get each day or how they’ve got several hundred unread messages in their inbox. They mention the “achievement” of obtaining inbox zero. Once in a while. Occasionally.
Idiocy. I don’t understand these stories. I don’t understand these people.
This sort of thing is not okay, it’s a serious problem. Email is for efficient communication. It’s not efficient, it’s not communication, and it’s in no way effective when message influx is of such ridiculous proportions. It harms both the the one receiving the avalanche of emails and the ones sending the messages.
Responsible professionals don’t allow that sort of situation to develop. If you’ve allowed this to happen it means that you’re not planning your projects and your professional interactions properly. It indicates irresponsible voids in your process. It reflects poorly on your character, your wisdom, and your professionalism. Seriously; reflect on your life.
With the caveat that I am not some huge corporate mogul or social media agent, I can’t imagine allowing that many people to send me that many messages and take up that much of my time. It’s wrong. It’s irresponsible. I don’t care who you are; you cannot afford to even purchase that much of my time so I would never allow it.
My inbox is fully managed within an hour of starting my day. Every day. My inbox is zeroed about 3 or 4 times a day and it’s easy to manage because I work to ensure responsible limitations to who, how, and why others communicate with me via email.
If you suffer from inbox irresponsibility, fix it. For goodness sake, set some responsible boundaries. Good fences make good neighbors. That’s not just a quaint adage, it’s an expression of vital wisdom based on a fact of human interaction. Inbox responsibility starts with how you allow others to take up your time by sending you messages. But it is enforced by responsible process and project management.
The United States of America is currently in the throes of a civil war of sorts. There are facets and nuances to this war, but the fundamental conflict is between those fighting to preserve liberty and those fighting to expand the scope and reach of unmitigated tyranny. The list of imperiled liberties, ideas, definitions, obligations, industries, societal mechanisms, and constitutional foundations is long and growing almost daily, but there’s something more. There’s a growing threat to that which these precious and imperiled things comprise. At stake is nothing less than American exceptionalism.
NOTE: This article was originally published in Design View in April 2010. I’m republishing it here as the subject matter better fits with this blog than my design publication.
Sadly, some misunderstand this term or at least do not comprehend the fullness of what it means. Some mistake the word exceptionalism for greatness, but the one does not describe the other. Many nations are great, have been great, and will be great. Yet the United States of America is exceptional in the world. Too many people in the U.S. and elsewhere lack any tangible grasp of what American exceptionalism means and what it means to the world.
Here, I want to in some measure address this failing. For without American exceptionalism the world will become a comparatively dark place. Without American exceptionalism, human beings will be less than they are now and the world’s very definition of “hope” will change to mean less than it does now. Yes, American exceptionalism is an imperative responsibility we hold not just to ourselves, but to all peoples of the world.
The Exceptional Nation
The United States of America has since its founding been the exception in the world. Our nation stands alone in ways at which other nations can only marvel. Our society has long preserved individuals’ hope and opportunity to a degree that the rest of the world has never enjoyed. No nation on earth has at its core such righteous indignation and intolerance towards tyranny, combined with wise provisions for the preservation of individual liberty, as does the United States of America. Our Constitution recognizes and preserves individual liberty to a degree found nowhere else in human history, and in this respect our nation stands as the lone exception in the world.
This is American exceptionalism: the ways in which our nation represents the otherwise unthinkably just and moral exception to the examples set by other nations. The United States of America has long truly been that shining city on a hill—as described by Ronald Reagan, and John F. Kennedy before him, and John Winthrop before him (in 1630). Yes, we have aspired to create, as Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount described, “…the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house…”
The United States of America is the lone exception in countless ways—some perhaps trivial, others mind-boggling. For instance, no nation in the history of human existence has shed so much of its own sons’ and daughters’ blood fighting to preserve and defend the freedom of peoples of other nations. Throughout history, we have rightly recognized that it is our responsibility to defend liberty worldwide, for those who possess the means have a moral responsibility to act in the face of evil.
When wise and responsible individuals have occupied the leadership of our nation, we have righteously criticized the tyranny we recognize elsewhere in the world and have brought liberating force to bear. And the world is a better place for it. Our force for good in the world has liberated millions upon millions of people from the crushing weight of tyranny. In this and so many other ways, we are the light of liberty the world looks toward. It is no exaggeration to observe that but for The United States of America, terrible powers of evil and chaos would exercise their malevolent will throughout the world on a daily basis.
Our nation was founded wisely in the grave suspicion of power; especially the power wielded by a government; and as such ours is exceptional among nations of the world. Our founding documents recognize and explicitly reference the fact that the rights of men are inherent; flowing directly from God, not from governments or rulers of men. Our rights are above the purview of mortal men. Our nation’s founding ideals explicitly reference the fact that government, no matter how benevolent, can confer no rights upon men and can only deprive men of their inherent, sovereign liberty. By the degree to which our nation’s founding ideals and documents recognize and make reference to these facts, the U.S. is again exceptional in the world and in human history.
In order to defend our nation, our culture, and our interests, we must achieve victory over enemies who threaten us. But we wage war to remove threats, not to invoke punitive vendettas or conquer. When our military might is required to bring war to another nation and we, by grave necessity, remove a tyrannical government, we do not then conquer and collect that nation into an empire. Instead we work to preserve that nation’s culture, we guide that nation in the rebuilding of just governance of its own making, and we provide financial, military, and social assistance during its ensuing struggle to regain health and sovereign structure. Other nations now exhibit similar behaviors as a direct result of our example. Such is the influence of our exceptionalism and the righteous might that stands behind it.
For all of these reasons and more, the United States of America stands alone in the world—unique and exceptional. Yes, “best” in many respects, but gloriously exceptional in nearly every respect.
Now, imagine our world without all of this; without the shining light of our nation’s example. Such a possibility should chill you to your core. Sadly, such a world may not be left merely to our imaginations for much longer. Our ongoing civil war poses the very real possibility that these and other facets of American exceptionalism will vanish. They are, in fact, vanishing at this moment—falling like dominos as the forces of tyranny work to reshape our nation, deny its heritage, and destroy its foundations.
The Expanding Reach of Tyranny in America
As astounding as it sounds, the demise of American exceptionalism is being scripted and choreographed by none other than our nation’s own leadership. The current administration is deliberately and systematically working to destroy the clearly-defined and historic safeguards against tyranny in our nation. Indeed our own President has in years past said that the Constitution is problematic in how it constrains government, says what the government must not do, and how it does not describe “what the federal government must do on your behalf.”
Those paying attention to current events and familiar with history can easily recognize what is to come and know precisely what the end-game is. With a history and tradition like ours, however, it should seem a simple matter to circumvent the indicated result of this track. Surprisingly, however, tyranny is growing apace in our country; encountering impotent resistance and being only lightly encumbered in its progress.
One might ask how, if our nation’s own founding documents and laws provide protections against such things, tyranny could take hold in the United States of America. How is it that a people with such deeply ingrained intolerance for tyranny could allow the components of their own liberty to be snatched away one after another? One must, in fact, ask these questions because tyranny is taking hold and our liberties are being taken from us right now.
The fundamental reason for these seemingly unlikely events being allowed to occur is that now, as at no time in history, the citizens of the United States are poorly armed to understand that they are being harmed when, as at no time in history, our leaders are destroying liberty on so many fronts. Few among us have more than a vague understanding of the Constitution of the United States. The vast majority of U.S. citizens are, therefore, not equipped to recognize clear violations of our sovereign, individual liberty and ill prepared to challenge our leaders when they, lying and inept, assure us that their actions are both just and Constitutional.
Taking direct and easy advantage of this situation, the effort to destroy the limits on government overreach is being cleverly prosecuted. As astute students of history, those fighting to impose incremental tyranny are doing so according to a historically-successful script. It goes something like this:
In order to destroy someone or something great you must first destroy its name. If you fail to do so, your success at destruction would only create a martyr. As history clearly shows, martyrs are often more powerful than the original ideas or mortals they replace; and a martyr cannot be directly defeated. History therefore also shows that clever tyrants expend much energy in first soiling and destroying the good names of those whom they seek to vanquish. Such is the case with the forces of tyranny in the United States of America today.
You will never hear President Obama or his generals or lieutenants cite American exceptionalism, except in their repeated apologies for it or with an accompanying admonishment against it. Though ours is the greatest, most benevolent nation on earth, the current U.S. administration has undertaken a campaign to soil the name and great deeds of our nation, redefine ideas and obfuscate the foundations of our rights. At the same time senior members of the Obama administration, even President Obama himself, continually offer undue, immoral, and highly dangerous deference toward our enemies. And when these tyrants and terrorists perpetrate clear violations against their own people or the world, the Obama administration fails to demonstrate any measure of moral courage to righteously condemn those acts.
This, however, is what one must do in order to destroy something as great as American exceptionalism. One must turn reality on its head and prosecute a campaign to redefine history, events, ideals, and rights until those lies take hold and indelibly stain the fabric of society, at home and worldwide. However, to assist with its campaign of lies this administration has at its disposal a powerful weapon—one that cannot easily be countered. One with Constitutional protections.
The “Free Press”
Our free press has ever been a shining component of American exceptionalism, but this part of our exceptionalism is, sadly, already dead. We are no longer exceptional in the world by how our press defends American society and our nation. At present, the American free press defends nothing so fiercely as the increasingly powerful government. The American free press is the first true casualty of this civil war.
Today, the free press ensures that the forces for tyranny operate free from responsible examination and under the comfortable cover of a well-articulated and intricately-crafted fog of war. Yet, by working in this manner members of the so-called free press utterly fail their mandate as acknowledged in the U.S. Constitution. The press, which was the entirety of the media at the time our founding documents were written, is the only industry mentioned in and protected by the Constitution, and for a specific reason.
You see, ours is a country founded in defiance of tyranny. Ours is a country founded in the very clear distrust of government. Our government is composed in such a way as to inhibit tyranny, but no government can ever be free from the possible rise of tyranny. Our founders and the citizens of our nation back then knew this fact well. Therefore, the press was constitutionally proclaimed free in order to protect the liberty of the citizens by holding the government’s feet to the fire; to expose the inner workings and discourage the hidden growth of tyranny. Today, however, the press is complicit in the expanding establishment of tyranny, and in direct contravention of its historical and constitutional mandate.
Today the free press seldom if ever undertakes or publishes any critical examinations of unconstitutional policies. Instead, it concentrates on the purported paranoia and supposedly misguided nature of those who oppose those policies. In this regard, press coverage is entirely one-sided—as it has been in a directly opposite fashion whenever a Republican administration holds office. The free press is today shamelessly, openly biased and entirely failing its constitutionally-mandated responsibilities to the direct detriment of our society. The press willfully and gleefully repeats and supports every lie and distortion the current administration puts forth and entirely ignores and distorts even the most conscientious efforts to correct the record or demand accountability.
Whenever a formidable individual steps forward to expose the folly and danger in any of this administration’s policies, the press ignores the content of that person’s message and the facts that support it, opting instead to initiate a full-court-press effort to assassinate that individual’s character, and otherwise characterize the person as a buffoon, or worse. The more respected, powerful, or engaging the individual, the more nasty and concentrated is the effort put forth by the press to shut them down. In this regard and in many others, the press now operates almost exclusively as watchdogs for the state, rather than their constitutionally-mandated role as watchdogs over the state and for the people. Rather than shine a light on the issues and the facts surrounding them, the press now obfuscate the facts and inhibit responsible examination and discussion of them.
In order to have a free society, we must have a free press. The current version of that free press—one operating as if State-controlled—is a dagger through our nation’s heart. Every day our culture and our nation become weaker for the constant dose of poison flowing from our press. The press has turned the world upside down and our vertigo increases each day. The result of these effects is that soon we will be so intoxicated and so informationally-feeble a nation as to be incapable of fending off any threat, from within or without.
The free press is dead. Long live the American free press. The shining light of American exceptionalism is now somewhat dimmed in the world. Hope has diminished and the world is a darker place for it. Score one for the forces of tyranny.
The Engine of American Exceptionalism
The United States of America built the most exceptional society on earth because its people were allowed an unprecedented degree of individual liberty. Free from government interference, our people were free to work to realize any dream and achieve any level of success to which they aspired. Anyone, from any station in life, could aspire to and through hard work achieve any level of success imaginable. As a result, the idea of social class became meaningless in our nation. Lower class, middle class, upper class …these were terms useful only to politicians seeking to pit one segment of society against another. This, by no coincidence, is precisely what the Obama administration is doing today in its war to destroy American exceptionalism. And in large measure it is succeeding.
Individual liberty aside, the most powerful factor in our nation’s success is capitalist economics. Our economy became the most powerful economy on earth because capitalism was allowed an unprecedented degree of expression. Left to its own mechanisms, capitalism works with individual liberty to outpace every other economic model. Capitalism absolutely assures economic fairness, and though not immune to momentary exploitation, it repairs its own damage quickly when left alone. A capitalist society can achieve a level of health no other model can match under any circumstances. The rub is that it must be paired with a hands-off government and a free, willing, ambitious, and responsible society or it will sputter and misfire.
True, the capitalist system can eventuate grave corrections to great expansion, but the alternative is at best a constant level of economic mediocrity and misery. The historic and recent sustained problems with our nation’s economy have been, in every case, the direct result of government’s ill-conceived meddling or deliberate sabotage. Yet in each case, government demagogues blame specific industries or the entire capitalist system for the problems they themselves created. Also in every case, the proposed solutions bring institutionalized government intrusions into capitalist workings and place corruptive or destructive limitations on a system that cannot be both functional and shackled.
In these times of supposed crisis, accompanying the corruptive and destructive intrusions into our economic system are the same sorts of intrusions into individual liberty. In a professed effort to repair and safeguard economic health, our government implements a succession of soft tyrannies that take a bit more of our property, income, and individual liberty in exchange for the promise of safety; a safety that our government in its supposed benevolent wisdom will mete out according to its own choice. And so our individual sovereign liberty is taken from us bit by bit.
President Obama and his administration have set into motion every possible mechanism they can manage toward transforming our societal foundation from one that champions individual freedom and recognizes man’s inherent sovereign liberty and property into one that says all things should flow from the government to the people. Of course, in order for that model to function, the people must surrender their liberty, their property, and their choices to the government. And so liberty dies.
By the same token, the current administration has set into motion every possible mechanism they can manage toward transforming our economy from the proven success of the capitalist model into a socialist model. Even in the face of what built this great nation and allowed for it to thrive above all others up to this point, they work tirelessly to create the opposite; the model represented by some of the poorest, most hopeless, most inadequate economies on earth.
Our nation was founded in the ideals that protected us from government so that we, the citizens, could remain free to do for ourselves (or not, and live miserably by choice), make choices for ourselves (or not, and live miserably by choice), and create whatever we chose to create for ourselves (or not, by choice)—to pursue life, liberty, and happiness on our own terms and to live with the success or failure we ourselves created.
This is the American dream. But the American dream is dying. This tyrannical President is killing the American dream and working to institute his dream of an all-powerful government. He’s doing it in the name of compassion. He’s doing it, as have all socialist leaders from history, in the name of “the people,” “the workers (working families).” He’s doing it in purported opposition to “the rich”—the ones who employ us and risk all to create greatness that the rest of us benefit from.
In the philosophy of today’s Democrats and our Democrat President, success is the real tyranny. Success is not fair because, like all qualitative terms, it is relative and seems to contravene equality. Socialists equate fairness with equality, but fairness has no relationship with equality for fairness only describes the playing field and equality refers to the results. In a free society, there can never be equity of result. People must be free to fail as well as succeed or they are not truly free. Inequality of result is required, by definition, for exceptionalism to exist! Socialists throughout history have played this trick upon their people; harping on the supposed unfairness of liberty in an effort to engender outrage with the aim of pitting one segment of society upon the others.
This strategy of divide and conquer is precisely what the current administration is executing. Our leaders are artificially splitting our society into antagonistic sections and working to ensure that the largest section is on the government’s side. By transferring more and more of the tax burden away from the core of society and onto the small yet supposedly evil and selfish portion (the rich), government builds a democratically unapposable and desperately-dependent majority of citizens who, since they pay no federal taxes, will mandate increasingly higher taxes on others, demand the destruction of success and exceptionalism, and usher in a requirement that government provide everything for all, equally. This is textbook socialist strategy for achieving the death of exceptionalism.
The Demise of American Exceptionalism
In attacking success, one must attack all forms of greatness and all forms of exceptionalism, for these things conflict with absolute equality. Through the unquestioning consumption of our leaders’ socialist rhetoric, too many Americans now cast a jaundiced eye toward success. “American exceptionalism” is a term now found offensive by too many in our nation (indeed the world is turned on its head!). The logical requirement is that we destroy American exceptionalism. To do this, we must destroy our great economy and our great society. To do this we must destroy our own individual liberties and cede them to the government.
In the face of the fact that our exceptionalism contrasts so strongly with the rest of the world, the forces of tyranny see only one solution. Instead of suggesting that other nations aspire to our level, tyrannical socialism demands that we destroy our exceptionalism in order to achieve equality with our peer nations. The socialist ideal of equality is the circumstance in which all are equally miserable. You see, exceptionalism cannot be given to all; misery and mediocrity are the only commodities available in sufficient quantity for universal distribution by governments.
With the death of American exceptionalism, hope is diminished in the world. With the death of American exceptionalism, the definition of freedom will mean less than it should. The result will be a darker, less optimistic world. Without the example of true American exceptionalism, the relative definitions of evil, oppression, tyranny, and liberty, property and success will be less distinct. The lines between them will blur. And this is the explicit aim of the forces of tyranny; for when words lose their inherent meaning the government is left to define them according to its own purposes and whims.
This redefinition of vitally important words and ideas is rampant in our political and social discourse these days. A destruction of the idea of exceptionalism requires it. Each day brings us closer to the notions that success means tyranny, that tyranny means compassion, that exceptionalism should be reviled, and that a history of greatness, hope, and prosperity is instead a history of unfairness and inequality. We are being taught that a future of oppression and tyranny means, instead, hope and prosperity. We are being taught that WE THE PEOPLE are too irresponsible to make our own decisions and to craft our own destinies. The wise thing, we are now taught, is for us to ask our government to decide our level of success and make our decisions for us. Yet each time we allow these “lessons” to take hold we betray our nation, our founders, and our cultural responsibility.
The consequences of this sort of betrayal of our God-given responsibility to ourselves and the world were first described to the future Massachusetts Bay colonists in 1630 by John Winthrop, when in his sermon he warned:
“For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken… we shall be made a story and a by-word throughout the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God… We shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us til we be consumed out of the good land whither we are a-going.”
We must not allow this campaign of betrayal and tyranny to continue. We must not, by our failure, open the mouths of the enemies of liberty and by example give voice to their poisonous pronouncements. For if we allow our shining city on a hill—the beacon of liberty in the world—to be transformed into a sad cautionary tale we fail not just ourselves and our heritage, but the whole world. If we allow American exceptionalism to die, the idea and ideal of exceptionalism in the world will die with it.
We must stand up for our God-given liberty and our inherent rights. Our forefathers did as much and made possible our great American tradition. That restorative recognition and affirmation of our God-given rights was the greatest gift any mortal group on earth has bestowed upon another. Are you prepared to do the same in order to preserve it? You must or our nation will fall into the ranks of the unremarkable, clichéd, oppressed nations, where liberty is qualified, parceled-out according to whim, or simply erased from the record by tyrants and despots.