November 25, 2012
conservatism, Democratic Party, Mitt Romney, Obama Administration, Pat Buchanan, Republican Party, Ron Paul, United States of America Democratic, Democratic Party, Dewey Defeats Truman, Karl Rove, Mitt Romney, Republican, Republican Leadership, Republican National Committee, Republican Party, Romney, Ron Paul, Rush Limbaugh 3 Comments
The reaction of mainstream Republicans to Mr. Romney‘s claim that Mr. Obama’s campaign was based on promises of gifts to people by the government may as well have been the reaction of Democrats. Mr. Romney, as well as Rush Limbaugh who referred to “Obama Claus,” were roundly condemned by the majority of Republicans who spoke up. Mr. Limbaugh is correct when he says that the Republicans are trying to get a piece of the vote of those people dependent on the government. As he recognizes, this is a pipe dream.
Republicans have degenerated into the party that says, “We’ll keep the programs the Democratic Party offers, but we will cut funds programs so they will financially survive in the future.” Americans tend not to think about the future. The typical young American today looks at the present and how to gain as much pleasure in life with the least effort possible. If that means not getting a job and living off government welfare, so be it. Beneficiaries of federal welfare programs want their money and food stamps now, and they want as much money as possible now. The hell with future generations. These individuals live for today. Like the corrupt emperors of the later Roman Empire, Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party keep their power by giving the people “bread and circuses.” The Republicans are kidding themselves if they think that offering fewer bread and circuses for the good of abstract “future generations” will move the self-centered contemporary government dependent person one bit. Those Republicans who condemned Mr. Romney, such as Karl Rove and his fellow consultants, do not deserve to keep their jobs–there predictions of the outcome of the general election were among the most inaccurate since the “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline in 1948. After Mr. Jindal condemned Mr. Romney, I will not support him if he runs for the Republican nomination. If the Republican Party turns to the left on welfare, immigration, and social issues, I–and many other conservatives–will vote for a third party. Personally I am sick and tired of cowardly Republicans, some of which are not sincere about their alleged conservatism on social issues, giving ground on economic issues and immigration as well. Mr. Ron Paul was one example of a man of integrity who refused to compromise his convictions for the favor of liberals, the press, or Hollywood. Yet he only received a small percentage of the Republican vote in the primaries, and the Republican National Committee treated his delegates with disrespect, refusing to seat some of them at the Republican National Convention. Now some want to eliminate the Iowa Straw Poll because of the influence of Paul supporters. Keep up the good work, Republicans, and see how many conservatives vote Libertarian or Constitution Party next election–or just stay home.
Conservatives (and I am not talking about “Neoconservatives” who are, in effect, Neoliberals”) need to get their message across in the political realm while still realizing that politics is not the means to salvation. We must work to change people’s hearts–one person at a time. Needless to say, that means we should set a good example in our own lives. If one person, one family, one community at a time we can influence people to see the harm that liberalism does, we may make progress. Conservatives within the Republican Party should hold the line as much as possible, but if they are driven out, a viable third party coalition should be considered. Forget the Neocons and the Rockefeller “Country Club Republicans.” A coalition of social conservatives, traditional conservatives in the Russell Kirk vein, and some libertarians that are not mere libertines might be workable. Ron Paul reached out to different groups outside how own libertarian standpoint, especially on opposition to the American Empire–and this is a position to which American Conservatism should return. The Republicans are the party of empire, and the Democrats, being mainly Wilsonian, are the same. Surely some viable group of people willing to bring about real change can end a situation in which one party is only a pale shadow of the other. If the Republican Party wants to survive as a viable force in American life, it must get new leadership–conservative leadership and not wimps who back down from every attack from the predominately leftist press. The current Republican leadership deserves only contempt.
November 20, 2012
A colleague of mine compared secessionists to the people in Germany who supported the rise of Hitler into power. Despite the obvious oddity of a group in favor of decentralization of government being linked with a group in Germany who were for more centralized government, the claim remains absurd for other reasons. A number of people in more conservative states feel disenfranchised by the recent re-election of Mr. Obama. Older members of this group are frightened as a man who hates their vision of America is confirmed in power. Now Mr. Obama clearly won the election–even if accusations of voter fraud in Pennsylvania and other places were valid, Mr. Obama still had the numbers to win. Yet if one examines a map of the vote for Mr. Obama, a few densely populated urban areas, especially in the northeast, along with the usual “left-coast” voting, determined the outcome of the election. Small town voters, rural voters–most voted for Mr. Romney. A map of the United States showing counties won by Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney reveals a sea of red surrounded by a few urban pockets of blue. Urban tax consumers can now routinely outvote rural and small town taxpayers. In addition, the values that many Americans hold dear–moral and religious values–are increasingly under attack by a more aggressive federal government. The “contraceptive mandate” is the most egregious threat to religious freedom in recent years, yet it slides through court challenges as if the constitution no longer means anything–which is de facto what has happened. The succession movement is symbolic–no person who signed the petitions thinks that the federal government would allow a state to succeed. The petitions are expressions of frustration, a way of “letting off steam.” Now I have always believed that the states are sovereign units, that any unit that voted to join the United States should not be forced to stay within the United States. This was the general viewpoint before 1861, and Mr. Lincoln went against established law in trying to force the Southern states back into the Union. With the illegal passage of the 14th Amendment, the domination of the states by the federal government became enshrined in law. Although I believe succession to be legal under the original Constitution, it would be practically impossible to pull it off today. Now if in the future a massive economic collapse occurs and a country of this size becomes ungovernable, then succession may become a realistic possibility. Given the diversity of populations within the individual states, I doubt that even a nonbinding resolution for succession would pass. The recent petitions, however, reveal the complete frustration of people who have seen the world in which they were reared turned upside down by the forces of radical leftists. Mr. Obama does not govern as an economic socialist; however, his background is Marxist and I doubt that he has fundamentally changed his earlier philosophical stance. Conservatives realize that Mr. Obama supervises, albeit indirectly, a vast federal bureaucracy which is already dominated by leftist thinkers. They also realize that it will be further radicalized by the Obama Administration appointments, especially at the middle management level, and that such bureaucrats write federal regulations. The regulations coming down on the states are growing exponentially. How long will it be before such regulations wrest control of education from the states? How long will it be before abortion is rammed down the throats of religious organizations or else–excuse me, that has already happened. Conservatives would like to be free from such overarching control, and they resent the fact that the difference in the election was the votes of people dependent on the federal government (this is not to deny that many working people also voted for Mr. Obama, but to point out one of the key voter blocks supporting Mr. Obama). They want real independence from the overarching tyranny of the federal government and see no way out. Thus they sign (foolishly, I think since they have to give their names on a federal government site) petitions for succession to assuage their emotions. This is the opposite of a Fascist move to force their views down others’ throats–if anything, it is the most peaceful form of protest in which people can engage–in signing a petition. At least the left should stop making ignorant comparisons between groups, especially if they do not understand one of the groups they are insulting. Such behavior is all too typical of the political left.
- Secede, Or Don’t: The Beginning Of The End Of The Federal Monopoly On Power (personalliberty.com)
- Citizens from 19 mostly Southern states file petition to secede from US (deathandtaxesmag.com)
- Petitions to secede are filed for 23 states since election (washingtontimes.com)
- Ron Paul: ‘Secession is a deeply American principle’… (politico.com)
- Ron Paul: Petitions on secession raise ‘worthwhile questions’ (thehill.com)
November 7, 2012
abortion, conservatism, liberalism, Manichaenism, moral relativism, politics, Republican Party, same-sex marriage, Traditional Values, United States of America Left-Wing, liberalism, Niezsche, Obama Worship, Right-Wing, Ronald Reagan, Transvaluation of Values 11 Comments
Mr. Romney lost the 2012 presidential election for multiple reasons, not just one. The rapid secularization of the United States is one reason, in which the 19% of the population that consider themselves secular vote overwhelmingly Democratic. They also populate the media and Hollywood, institutions that have an exaggerated effect on American thoughts and opinions. The same media adoration of Obama as a god continued during this election cycle. The leftward trend of Americans educated by liberal college and university faculty has accelerated. Even Evangelical Christians have sharply moved to the political left over the past ten years.
The government as an open source of welfare benefits helps a growing number of citizens and immigrants, both legal and illegal. U. S. demographics reveal an increasing minority population dependent on federal benefits rather than doing productive work in order to survive. Such minorities vote overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party candidates. Now when I turned 18 and voted for the first time, I knew that a vote for Mr. Reagan would mean a reduction in student Pell Grants and students loans, which would hurt the chances of me getting loans or grants. I voted for Ronald Reagan because I believed him to be better for the country if worse for me. Most people are not that way, and if they are welfare-dependent tax consumers, they are more likely to vote for whom they believe will continue or increase their welfare income.As Hayek stated, a socialistic system will inevitably run the characters of people who are under it. Federal entitlements have ruined the character of the American people, and other than older people (over 65) who supported Mr. Romney +11, most people on entitlements voted what was good for them. They do not give a d..m about what is best for the United States of America.
Moral relativism is another reason Mr. Romney lost. Many Americans do not believe in moral absolutes and support unlimited abortion, physician-assisted suicide, active euthanasia, aggressive wars against nations that have not attacked nor harmed the United States, and homosexual marriage. Such a “transvaluation of values,” to use Nietzsche’s term, is more compatible with Mr. Obama rather than with Mr. Romney.
Race-based politics, in which minorities vote for other minorities (at least when such minorities are politically liberal) remains a problem due to the poison of identity politics that college and university professors as well as the NAACP buy into. Obama easily swept up the minority vote.
Changing demographics make it highly unlikely that any Republican candidate will be able to defeat a Democratic candidate, at least for the foreseeable future.
The cultural divide between rural/suburban and urban was clear from the county maps of the votes. Since many more people live in cities, and these inner city voters have been effectively mobilized by the Democratic Party, states with large urban centers are more likely to vote Democratic.
If the culture war is a popularity contest, the Right has lost. Its lingering influence may be seen in a Republican House of Representatives for a few more Congresses, but such a situation is not likely to continue long-term. The economic battles is also lost since Mr. Obama exploits class divisions effectively for his benefit.
I do not find hope for the United States to remain a major world leader in the future. Its course is downward, toward a third-world status. Even if defense suffers large-scale cuts, entitlements will continue to cost more than the country can afford. Defaulting on Chinese loans would be disastrous for the economy. Obama Care will create another massive federal bureaucracy that will further increase the deficit. I know doctors and PAs who are serious about moving to anther country if Obama Care continues—thus weakening an already downsized system overloaded with patients.
The Obama Cult is the final reason I will mention for people voting for Mr. Obama. That cult has gone to nauseating heights–from children signing a “hymn” to Mr. Obama in schools . Obama has replaced MLK as the Great Neo-God of America. The situation is as disturbing at Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book and the hymns Chinese schoolchildren sang to honor him. People who worship like this will vote for him.
Mr. Romney ran a good campaign. It was not enough to stop many converging factors that any Republican will have to overcome to win the White House. I do not see how these factors can be overcome by a future GOP candidate.
February 27, 2012
academia, Academic Freedom, Colleges and Universities, conservatism, Freedom of Religion, politics, religion Barack Obama, BarackObama, Gender, liberalism, Marxism, Obama, political correctness, politics, President of the United States, Race-Ethnic-Religious Relations, Racism, Sensitivity, Sensitivity Training, Tom Tancredo, United States 12 Comments
I am utterly sick of sensitive people–not those “sensitive” in a good way, but those people who are professionals at being offended in order to get their way or get money. Those after money are only different in degree than someone who points a gun at someone and says, “Hand over your money.” Discussing certain issues is taboo at many colleges and universities due to the intimidation and (sometimes) violence of the left. Consider what has happened to conservative speakers who come to college and university campuses. While some are treated with respect, others have been shouted down or threatened physically (as Tom Tancredo was treated a few years ago at UNC-Chapel Hill, when a brick was thrown through a window by a thuggish group and
his talk was cancelled for the sake of everyone’s safety). In other cases, academics have lost their jobs when they criticized the politically correct mainstream–I know one personally. Most of them have either gotten their jobs back or been given a settlement since, thus far, the courts have respected freedom of speech. That could change in the future as Mr. Obama‘s appointments pile up in the federal judiciary.
Stifling discussion of controversial issues or only allowing one side to express itself does not allow room for learning and discussion. Some of the most productive class discussions I have experienced are when I bring up controversial topics or express “non-politically correct” positions. For example, I am morally opposed to abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Usually I am the only person in class holding that positions, and students are free to argue with me (and they do–vehemently). I learn something from their arguments and hopefully they learn something from mine. What if some “sensitivity Fascist” had said that my position on abortion should no longer be part of the “public square” because it offends some people? Since when did college and university students gain the right not to be offended. I do not mind the Marxist professor two doors down from me expressing his views to his classes as long as students are free to disagree and are not penalized for their positions. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and if Marxist positions can be presented, so can conservative positions in economics, morals, philosophy, and/or religion.
There are so many issues on which this nation is deeply divided–sexual ethics, racial issues, gender issues, issues regarding the role of government in combating poverty, issues surrounding health care. If discussion is halted just because someone is “offended,” this only serves to increase resentment on the part of those who disagree with the position of the professional sensitive person. We become even more divided and angry at one another. The best way for the culture war to become a true war rather than a war by means of language is to stifle discussion.
If “sensitivity training” really dealt with bad behavior, I suppose there would be no problem with it–men and women are wrong if they are in a supervisory position and request sexual favors from an employee before they promote that employee. That is unethical and illegal, and it should be. If someone constantly tells sexual jokes after being warned not to several times, that is bad behavior that can and should lead to termination from a job. But a man who is of equal rank in a company to a woman surely has the right to ask her out unless the company forbids inter-employee dating. Often a woman really will have plans on the day the man wanted to go out, so he will ask her again. Now if she says no then, if I am not mistaken, society generally says “two time’s the charm” and the man should not ask her out again (although there are men who married women whom they asked out many times–and they remain happily married). If some professional sensitive woman whines about sexual harassment when a man asks her out in a nice way on a date, this is oversensitive behavior from someone who either hates men, is a psychopath, enjoys hurting people, or wants easy money. Have some common sense, folks!
Racial issues have become so sensitive that many people won’t talk about them lest someone be offended. I do not deny that there are racists in our society–every society has them–and that sometimes racists will discriminate against those of a different race. When the race card is overplayed, however, in cases in which it is unwarranted, eventually any racial incident comes across as “crying wolf” and genuine incidents of racial prejudice may be unnecessarily ignored. When any criticism of Mr. Obama’s policies is labeled “racism,” that ignores the fact that many people disagree with the President’s policies–including some who voted for him. I do not hate or even dislike Mr. Obama, but I disagree with a number of his policies–and that does not make me a racist. I am a conservative, so of course I will disagree with Mr. Obama on some points. What else would you expect?
Liberals gain their power by playing on the sensitivity and resentments of people. They play up the envy the poor have for the middle classes and the wealthy. They emasculate man by calling any comment “sexist” that does not fit their radical feminist agenda of changing human nature, either by denying differences between males and females or trumping up “female virtues” as superior to “male virtues.” Those positions are self-contradictory, of course, but to the liberal, especially to the “postmodern” liberal, coherence is not a truth preserving condition.
As outspoken as I am, I keep some positions to myself, not because they are wrong, but because I know there would probably be a professional sensitive person in the audience who would misrepresent my beliefs–knowingly. On religious and moral issues I am more outspoken. Political issues are not values free, but they are contingent matters about which people even of similar world views disagree, and I must pick my battles. But I have grown more outspoken over the years because I am sick of a false, hypocritical “sensitivity” stifling discussion, especially of conservative positions, on issues important for the good of society.
December 23, 2010
Why is there is such a deep conflict between conservatives and liberals in American society? It is not because people want to argue for argument’s sake; it has to do with radically contrasting views of the world. Below are some differences between traditional conservatives and liberals. Note that I am not saying that all people who label themselves as liberals and conservatives would accept all the positions attributed to them. I do believe that the positions below are characteristic of most conservatives and of most liberals.
Conservatives believe that society is an organic structure that develops from below; liberals believe that society is an artificial construction that can be manipulated at will.
Conservatives believe that traditional religion is an important social activity that encourages virtue; liberals believe that traditional religion is an outdated system that should be abandoned in any enlightened society.
Liberals believe in unlimited human progress; conservatives believe that while scientific and technological progress occurs, this does not change the fundamental nature of human beings as capable of both great good and great evil.
Liberals believe that “evil” is due to problems with heredity and environment; conservatives do not deny the role of heredity and environment in shaping human behavior, but they deny that these factors determine human behavior.
Conservatives (at least traditional conservatives as opposed to Classical Liberals and Neoconservatives) believe in a sense of place, of a person being located in a particular place and time and finding much of his identity there; liberals believe that in order to progress, a sense of place must go, and that a person can feel “at home” anywhere.
Conservatives believe that there is an intrinsic order to human nature that must be respected; liberals believe that human nature is malleable and can be changed at will by liberal reformers.
Conservatives believe that social change must occur in an orderly fashion, even when such change is good; liberals wish to force change on a society, using police and military power if necessary.
Liberals believe that the value of human life is a matter of achievement or reason or sentience; conservatives believe that there is something intrinsically valuable about human life.
Conservatives believe that the fundamental principles of morality do not change; liberals believe that the rules of morality progress as humans progress.
Liberals believe in abstractions such as “social justice,” or “the proposition that all men are created equal”–abstractions that can never be achieved in concrete society; conservatives believe that terms such as “social justice” and “equality” must be defined in terms of the actual concrete development and life of a particular culture.
Liberals (including Classical Liberals) accept the myth of “economic man“–that humans in society are primarily driven by economic forces; conservatives recognize that human motivation is complex and includes more than mere economic motivations.
Liberals believe that all stereotypes are evil; conservatives recognize that although some stereotypes are destructive, others are peaceful ways of human beings understanding differences.
Liberals interpret “diversity” only in terms of race, class, and gender; conservatives realize that “diversity” is a much richer concept that transcends the above categories.
Liberals believe that human creativity blossoms in a cosmopolitan culture; conservatives, while not denying that cultures intermingle, believe that local cultures are the most creative.
Liberals trust in big government to solve problems; Neoconservative trust in big business; Traditional Conservatives believe that problems are best solved locally.
Conservatives believe that marriage is a natural law union of a man and a woman oriented to the birth of children in stable families; liberals believe that “marriage” can be defined in any way that people wish without harming society.
Liberals despise the wisdom of the masses; conservatives believe that sometimes the masses know better than intellectuals what is best for society.
Liberals want Heaven on earth; conservatives recognize that Heaven on earth is impossible; we can do our best to love our families and improve our small communities, but a perfect society is impossible this side of Heaven.
If any conservatives who read this want to add some contrasts of their own, feel free to do so.
October 10, 2010
As an academic, I am often in informal gatherings with colleagues, some of whom take for granted that social democratic liberalism (as opposed to classical liberalism) is the correct political philosophy to follow. If anyone dares to deviate, few arguments are given; rather, there are accusations that the lone conservative “is not committed to critical thought.” This claim is merely asserted, not argued.
The Democratic Party in the United States is doing the same thing that academics are doing–claiming that those who support Republican candidates are intellectually vacuous. Now I would be the first to admit that there are some conservatives (just as there are some liberals and some moderates) who are intellectually vacuous. Ignorant people are found of all political persuasions. But intellectual conservatism has a long history stretching from Edmund Burke through Russell Kirk through academic conservatives today who vigorously debate the meaning of conservatism. Such debate is a sign of a healthy movement committed to intellectually weeding out views that are not helpful to a stable social order. One may disagree with such conservatives, but to call them intellectually vacuous is unfair.
What about conservative voters? Are some of them ignorant? Of course, but there are also ignorant moderate and liberal voters. When Democrats insult voters for shifting their loyalty to Republicans, this is a foolish move that alienates most voters. Adlai Stevenson discovered this the hard way, and did not learn his lesson in 1952 when he lost again to Eisenhower in 1956. When the left shows its intellectual snobbery, it fails in politics. To win, it must hide its superiority complex behind a veil of populism.
Conservatism at its best values practical reason and recognizes that behind traditions there often lies deep wisdom gathered over time. Intellectual experiments in social order invariably fail, as the failure of the Great Society programs has shown to most individuals who are not blinded by intellectual dogmatism. It is this wisdom that many conservative voters recognize. Most may not be among the academic elite, but they have a common sense and practical wisdom (phronesis, to use Aristotle’s term) that liberals lack. The left can be intellectually arrogant all it wants, but behind its theories lies the true complexity of real life, a complexity that is lived by real people living in real communities rather than by academics hiding in their ivory towers.
September 16, 2010
Christine O'Donnell, conservatism, Country Club Republicans, politics, Republican Party, United States of America Christine O'Donnell, Country Club Republican, Republican, Ron Paul, Tea Party, Tea Party movement, United States Leave a comment
One would expect a political party too support its nominee unless the nominee holds overly radical views. Christine O’Donnell is not in that category, so the Delaware Republican Party should support its nominee enthusiastically. But when she defeated former Governor Mike Castle, a RINO (“Republican-in-Name-Only”), the state Republican establishment said it would not support her. To its credit, the national Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee supported her.
The Republican Party has long been divided three ways: into moderate/liberal Rockefeller Eastern establishment Republicans, into libertarian Republicans, and into traditional Conservatives. Another name for the Eastern establishment types is “Country Club Republicans.” They are basically Democrats in Republican guise. What Republicans in Delaware did was to vote in a true conservative, Tea Party supported candidate rather than a candidate of the old, tired establishment.
It is time for the Republican Party to purge itself of RINOs, especially the country club liberal Republicans. They have fought the party’s conservative base tooth and nail for years. They strive to divide the libertarians from the traditional conservatives so they can push their own agenda and candidates. They support Democratic big spending plans, support massive federal intervention into the economy and into the lives of Americans, and are every bit as liberal on social issues as Mr. Obama. The Tea Party movement has brought out conservative voters to remove these establishment candidates. This does not imply that the Tea Party candidates are always ideal, or that the Tea Party is correct on every issue–many Tea Partiers need to tone down warmongering and support the American interest foreign policy of Ron Paul. But they, at least, listen and are far more willing to change than comfortable establishment candidates.
The press, of course, along with the Country Club Republicans, are writing off Christine O’Donnell as a loser. Both the majority of people in the press and the majority of Country Club Republicans hate middle America and its conservative values. I remember talking to an older lady, very nice, but a Country Club Republican, about abortion. I was shocked at what she said to me: “We have to allow abortions so those poor black babies won’t be born into such bad environments.” I assure you that she is not the only Country Club Republican with that attitude. Comfortable in their gated communities, such “moderate” and liberal Republicans are quite confident in their beliefs about who is worthy to live and who is worthy to die. The Republican Party can do without people like that. It can do without their presence, their politicians, and their money. The only hope for the Republican Party becoming a true Republican Party is the Tea Party and other grassroots conservative movements bringing out the vote. Only then will more establishment candidates be replaced by those who truly desire the Republican Party to the conservative party of the United States, to curb spending and taxes, to give more power to the states and less to the federal government, to stop judges from making laws rather than interpreting them. But to do that, the RINOs have to go!
July 24, 2010
Since the time of Rene Descartes (1596-1650), French philosophy has been characterized by rationalism, the view that our knowledge comes through reason rather than through sense experience. Descartes began a trend toward rationalism in philosophy on the European continent as a whole (with the exception of the British Isles, and in the 20th and 21st centuries, with the exception of Scandinavia). In politics, it is dangerous to apply a rationalist approach, since that approach is often used by idealistic thinkers to set up an ideal political state arising from thought alone rather than from concrete human experience. In the ancient world, Plato is a good example; in his ideal state, babies are taken from their parents at birth and whisked off to state-run nurseries. There, children attain their “natural state” of being artisans or soldiers; later, from among the soldiers are chosen philosopher kings who rule with dictatorial power hidden by “noble lies” they tell the people. Aristotle rightly countered that government should start from below with the actual historical development of a people rather than being imposed via some idealistic rationalist framework.
The practical results of such a rationalist approach are seen in the tragedy of the French Revolution. What began as a series of grievances against King Louis XVI and his queen, Marie Antoinette, quickly degenerated into a rationalist framework being imposed on the French people. A new “age of reason” was proclaimed, tradition trashed, and the king and queen executed. Later, after Robespierre’s rise to power, the new modern apparatus of the police state was used to round up those who opposed those in power, or simply opposed the attempt to eliminate Catholicism and replace it with a cult of reason. As a result, tens of thousands of heads rolled from the guillotine. The attempt to oppose a government run by the “reasonable elite” led to tyranny. Since then, that threat became even more dangerous with Rousseau’s notion of the “general will,” which can be used as an excuse to label the most brutal tyranny “the will of the people.” The proper question to ask is “which people”? The answer is almost always in terms of the elites who run the state according to their rationalistic plan no matter how many people are killed. The cause becomes higher than the individual.
This scenario was repeated by the followers of Karl Marx. Lenin murdered hundreds of thousands of those who “opposed the people.” Stalin, though more of a psychopath and thug than an ideological Marxist, murdered millions in the gulags and his forced relocation of millions of people.
Those who wield political power in the United States are more benign–people are generally not killed or imprisoned for their beliefs that oppose the position of the state. But top-down management by elites takes place to the point that the United States often seems to have the form of a democratic republic without the content. Federal judges make mandates and force them onto the people against their will–not because those mandates are really constitutional, but because the judge has a rationalistic vision of society he or she wishes to impose on the rest of society. Government bureaucrats do similar things, with their arrogant “we know best” attitude. This arrogance is supported by media elites who despise Middle America as a group of ignorant hicks, and who believe that if their vision of society prevails, we will live in a utopia, a secularized heaven on earth. The American left eagerly supports their goals with an almost missionary zeal. When Middle America opposed the left’s goals, as in the Tea Party movement, the left does not resort to rational argument, but to name-calling. This is ironic–if the left really believed that, say, redistribution of wealth, unlimited access to abortion, affirmative action, etc., were rational, they would present arguments to support their position. But for the most part they do not do so–and no empirical evidence against their methods, no matter how persuasive, will phase them–after all, if their form of government is so clearly proven by reason, their position, they hold, cannot be touched by the evidence of our senses.
The alternative is to realizes that governments should arise from the bottom-up, not from the top-down. A government, as Aristotle recognized, reflects the geography, history, and traditions of a people. This does not mean that “anything goes;” in fact, Aristotle strongly condemns tyranny. As traditional conservatives such as Russell Kirk argued, it is best to respect a people’s traditions and not impose an artificial, rationalist ideology to remake society, including political governance, in its image.