Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Distinguishing the American Left

Whether this (Independence) will prove a blessing or a curse, will depend upon the use our people will make of the blessings which a gracious God hath bestowed on us. If they are wise, they will be great and happy. If they are of a contrary character, they will be miserable. Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation. Reader! Whoever thou art, remember this: and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others”

1Patrick Henry – written in his will

In this blog I have often used the term progressive liberal to reference the radical liberal political philosophy of today. But this article by Dennis Prager, “Leftism Is Not Liberalism”, (printed excerpts below) best defines my stand and why. I have normally distinguished my anti liberal view as progressive liberals because though I don't agree with the liberals of my generation, today's version is much more radical. This piece helps me leave my well-meaning (but misguided) true liberal friends to their ideas, so I may debate the real problem with the "Leftists" who want to destroy America as we true Americans and our founders expect it to be.


Here is Dennis Prager.
2”What is the difference between a leftist and a liberal? 

Answering this question is vital to understanding the crisis facing America and the West today. Yet few seem able to do it. I offer the following as a guide. 

Here's the first thing to know: The two have almost nothing in common. 

On the contrary, liberalism has far more in common with conservatism than it does with leftism. The left has appropriated the word "liberal" so effectively that almost everyone -- liberals, leftists and conservatives -- thinks they are synonymous.

But they aren't. Let's look at some important examples.

Race: This is perhaps the most obvious of the many moral differences between liberalism and leftism. The essence of the liberal position on race was that the color of one's skin is insignificant. To liberals of a generation ago, only racists believed that race is intrinsically significant. However, to the left, the notion that race is insignificant is itself racist. Thus, the University of California officially regards the statement "There is only one race, the human race" as racist. For that reason, liberals were passionately committed to racial integration. Liberals should be sickened by the existence of black dormitories and separate black graduations on university campuses.

Capitalism: Liberals have always been pro capitalism, recognizing it for what it is: the only economic means of lifting great numbers out of poverty. Liberals did often view government as able to play a bigger role in lifting people out of poverty than conservatives, but they were never opposed to capitalism, and they were never for socialism.

Nationalism: Liberals deeply believed in the nation-state, whether their nation was the United States, Great Britain or France. The left has always opposed nationalism because leftism is rooted in class solidarity, not national solidarity. The left has contempt for nationalism, seeing in it intellectual and moral primitivism at best, and the road to fascism at worst. Liberals always wanted to protect American sovereignty and borders.

View of America: Liberals venerated America. Watch American films from the 1930s through the 1950s and you will be watching overtly patriotic, America-celebrating films -- virtually all produced, directed and acted in by liberals. Liberals well understand that America is imperfect, but they agree with a liberal icon named Abraham Lincoln that America is "the last best hope of earth."

To the left, America is essentially a racist, sexist, violent, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic country. The left around the world loathe America, and it is hard to imagine why the American left would differ in this one way from fellow leftists around the world. The left's view of America was encapsulated in then-presidential candidate Barack Obama's statement in 2008. "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America," he said. Now, if you were to meet a man who said that he wanted to fundamentally transform his wife, or a woman who said that about her husband, would you assume that either loved their spouse? Of course not.

Free speech: The difference between the left and liberals regarding free speech is as dramatic as the difference regarding race. No one was more committed than American liberals to the famous statement "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Liberals still are. But the left is leading the first nationwide suppression of free speech in American history -- from the universities to Google to almost every other institution and place of work. It claims to only oppose hate speech. But protecting the right of person A to say what person B deems objectionable is the entire point of free speech.

Western civilization: Liberals have a deep love of Western civilization. They taught it at virtually every university and celebrated its unique moral, ethical, philosophical, artistic, musical and literary achievements. No liberal would have joined the leftist Rev. Jesse Jackson in chanting at Stanford University: "Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Western civ has got to go." The most revered liberal in American history is probably former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who frequently cited the need to protect not just Western civilization but Christian civilization.

Judaism and Christianity: Liberals knew and appreciated the Judeo-Christian roots of American civilization. They themselves went to church or synagogue, or at the very least appreciated that most of their fellow Americans did. The contempt that the left has -- and has always had -- for religion (except for Islam today) is not something with which a liberal would ever have identified.

If the left is not defeated, American and Western civilization will not survive. But the left will not be defeated until good liberals understand this and join the fight. Dear liberals: Conservatives are not your enemy. The left is. (Emphasis mine).”


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Not ObamaCare, Not TrumpCare, But AmeriCare

"We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel."
Benjamin Franklin

I’ve seen it in the news, but it was a social media discussion that caused me to reflect, once again, upon what the American experience is supposed to be. There are many who worry about what the Trump administration, and those who support him, means by repeal and replace of ObamaCare. Already we have seen the phrase coined, TrumpCare to reflect what that could mean. ObamaCare is a disaster based on government control, which many people dislike and disagree with. But what happens when the government attempts to fix an ill thought through socialist program that people have come to depend on and expect to take care of them? You might rename it with the opposing parties’ idea of that government repair and it might possibly improve. But a wound inflicted by team aggression is not effectively tended to by the other team, no matter the good intentions, while still playing the game.

So what do I mean by AmeriCare? It’s a philosophical concept based on the foundations that America was originally built on. It shouldn’t take a lot to explain but the concept has been distorted, displaced and damaged by ignorance, ill will (often based in ignorance) and path detours devised by those who don’t agree with the American experiment. It’s probable that Donald Trump has become president because of this AmeriCare attitude. We can hope it’s not only by Trumps strong character. This AmeriCare thinking can be found in the study of our founding fathers.

Everyone should start with getting a grasp of GeorgeWashington’s Farewell Address of 1796. This is the first of many presidential speeches but most accurately reflects the intentions and original path for America. Washington was the first to apply all that the new republic had set up, only nine years earlier.

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports."
George Washington

Our republic (not to be confused with a democracy) works best when executed under the faith our country was built on. This does not mean you need to be a Christian to live here (there was a very diverse degree of faith in our founders). But all our laws, declarations, cultural standards, relationships and civil discourse are guided by principals of Christianity. This alone makes it possible for people of all faiths, belief systems or viewpoints to succeed if its basic moral principles are followed.

Thus, AmeriCare. We have many issues to resolve in our nation, healthcare being just one. Government instituted Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) was destined to fail because it didn’t follow the republic model, as Abraham Lincoln warned.

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
Abraham Lincoln

Under our republic it takes a while for the will of the people to settle out in accordance with the ethics of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. It takes longer when an uninformed people of a republic begins to realize that it’s loosing freedoms only achieved and maintained by its principles.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Ronald Reagan

Our stumble, to this point in time, is the result of lost focus, incorrect understanding and lack of training about what America is. Maybe people are waking up; learning what is needed to keep our country on course and turn to our foundation. We can hope Thomas Jefferson’s wisdom is ours.

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never can be.”
Thomas Jefferson

ObamaCare cannot work, TrumpCare (if you wish to call it that) will not, alone, fix it. But AmeriCare, using our founding ideologies along with the many who have great ideas for healthcare, unyoked from an aggressive government, can move us in the right direction, if given time and the focus to apply our nation’s philosophy.

A great resource to learn about our republic is Hillsdale College

“Hence it is that democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths … A republic, by which I mean a government in which a scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking.”
James Madison, Federalist Papers No. 10.