Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Illegitimi Non Carborundum*

Far too long, conservatives have stayed defensive when the more liberal folks (or Statists, as Mark Levin would say) have assaulted them for being uncaring, behind the times, or devoid of new ideas. The last one hundred years, however, include many examples of the failures of central planning, socialized medicine, or government run industry. Indeed, it is the Conservatives who have history on their side.

The US has a relatively new form of government, but it is based on ideas on that have been discussed, debated, and distilled in thousands of years of philosophical discourse. From Socrates to Locke, thinkers and observers in each age studied the human race, observing what worked and what didn’t. The Founding Fathers took this cumulative wisdom and applied it to practical governing principles. Thus was our nation born.

Inspired by the heights of human achievement when set free, but mindful of human depravity, they devised a scheme of checks and balances that allowed the freedom each man craves and yet provided built in brakes to guard against corruption.

This is our heritage. The Constitution spawned and guarded a nation that achieved general contentment and financial success heretofore unknown on this earth. Like all human institutions, it is not perfect. It has created opportunity, not utopia. Results, although magnificent in most areas do allow chicanery, perversion, and suffering to exist.

In response to problems, the American people have developed into the most generous volunteers on earth. From barn raisings to blood drives, for generations citizens have responded to real needs of their neighbors. And Americans have traditionally preferred receiving the leg up instead of the hand out.

However, at least since Woodrow Wilson, there has arisen a group in the national scene who focused on the marginalized and, whether from altruism or a lust for power have sought government programs to solve problems.

Lyndon Johnson accelerated the process with his War on Poverty that continues even today. The result has not been the elimination of poverty, but rather the establishment of an underclass of people dependent on the government for their basic necessities. And as the wealth of society as a whole grows, so does the expectation of what constitutes basic necessities.

Obama appears to want to greatly accelerate the process of government intervention with his solemn pronouncements about changing health care, education, volunteer work, and charitable giving. To Statists, the ideas are noble. To conservatives, the ideas may be noble, but they remain unworkable in the real world. In the end, the messy and occasionally uneven processes involved in human freedom still bring the best results to the most people. Central planning, on the other hand, eventually brings universal misery.

Let us proudly stand up to defend and explain our beliefs so that our country men fully understand what is at stake and return to Constitutional principles rather than embracing unproven or unworkable programs.

* Illegitimi non carborundum is a mock-Latin aphorism jokingly taken to mean "don't let the bastards grind you down". From Wikipedia

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