Everywhere I look, on every issue, I am seeing America split into two camps. You are either a "Progressive" big government, gay promoting, pro-amnesty, green zealot, or you are a "Constitutionalist" small government, freedom lover. Our country divided is unfriendly, uncivil, unhappy, and suffering from a lack of cohesive citizenship, pitting false ideas of victimhood against the formula for individual success. There is no joy in Mudville lately.
Our country is broken in a way I believe is comparable to the days leading up to the Civil War. And like the Civil War era, this has come upon us gradually and insidiously. Families and friends were lined up on two different sides of the issues of the day; slavery, states rights , tariffs, and a wide divide in economic prosperity between the states. You could say that slavery was the underlying most critical issue of all and that is what drove the divide to the ultimate culmination of war. And I believe you would be mostly correct on that point. But I would also add that states rights - federalism was the Constitutional structure most challenged over the issue of slavery. In that way, slavery became a Constitutional crisis.
Since the days of the Civil War and the construction of the Communist Manifesto, the divide has only grown. Each current issue (as slavery was) is now an attack on the Constitution. Every issue arising in the public square becomes a divisive sticky wicket that people don't seem to know how to address and/or dismiss as either part of our way of life or not. This is what happens when chaos begins.
Does the Federal government have the right to force you to buy healthcare? Does the Federal government have the right to dictate what lightbulbs are sold? Does the Federal government have the right to use our taxes, i.e. grant money, to implement United Nations' projects? Does the Federal government have the right to force states to educate illegal aliens? Legally, under the Constitution, the answer is no to all of the above. Yet we are surrounded by people who have no idea that the government does not have those rights.
What was a racial slavery issue in the early days of our Republic is now an all encompassing class issue, teetering on the brink of enslavement of the entire mass population of America....all because the Constitution is being ignored and because government bureaucrats are, quite simply stated, completely out of control. Power over others is an aphrodisiac. Give a man or woman a job as a bureaucrat, where he or she can wield power over fellow citizens, and the man or woman will go home every night feeling drunk with power. Convince young students that their role in life is to go forth and tell everyone else how to live and what to do...and you have a generation of people who don't know how to do anything else. Conversely, do not teach young students to create anything or learn a skill of real worth...and you have a generation of people who will flounder and depend on government to pay their way. (by real worth I mean..farming, manufacturing, engineering, communicating, managing wealth, fishing, retail management, etc. etc.) The culmination of this is a huge segment of the population who knows nothing but regurgitating the government rules they have been taught to force onto others.
The goal of Progressives is collective Federal force against the individual. The goal of Constitutionalists is celebrating individual gifts and successes, forcing no one into paying for someone else, i.e. allowing individual liberty. The dichotomy is that the slavery issue from the Civil War has been translated into whether or not you can buy an incandescent light bulb or purchase your own healthcare insurance. In this way, the Constitutional crisis of slavery has become a Constitutional crisis of personal choices, a catalyst for enslavement of the entire population of America. Federalism has been turned on its head.
I am struck by the vehement adherence to these un-Constitutional dictates that I see in some people around me. It is as if our cultural conversations are on two completely different planets. It's nice to think we have common ground, but it is obvious we don't. "Never the twain shall meet" is the motto of the day. Opposites, in this case, do not attract, but repel each other. I am repelled by the Progressive, Marxist, big government people I hear and see in our society. Seriously repelled. I don't see common ground with them. There is none.
I read recently (sorry I didn't grab the link) that the Progressives' admonition of "old white dead men" being responsible for the Constitution somehow never becomes "old white dead men" are responsible for the Progressive movement, i.e. Marx, Engels, Popper, Wilson, Lenin, Mao, George Bernard Shaw, and more. I'm not ashamed to say, I like our "old dead white men" better than theirs.
The Constitution can and should prevail in its brilliant assurances of individual freedom from slavery, from slavery by the Federal government, from slavery by tyranny at all levels of government. Those who wish to enslave others to their own power agenda have no place in America...just as those who wished to continue the practice of African slavery had no place in America. The slavery of Progressivism is the same, only this time it is slavery of all people. Our current events are just that...current incarnations of the same old divide. We need to let them know this, in no uncertain terms. The beginning of the end of the Progressive Era has come. We've fought this fight before and we won. They don't win....we do.
This post is also seen at PunditHouse.com
This post is also seen at Conservatives On Fire!
Another great post on this subject at Crockett Lives