Monday, April 5, 2010

"Will America Break Up?"

My son writes me, asking: "Did anyone else catch this?" I will have comment on the other side.

"Will America Break Up?"

By Jeffrey T. Kuhner
Washington Times Opinion

President Obama is splintering America. The passage of Obamacare was a historic victory for liberal governance. Yet, its true cost may be that it triggers the eventual breakup of the country.

Mr. Obama has achieved what his liberal predecessors - Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Bill Clinton - could only dream of: nationalized health care. Obamacare signifies the government take-over of one-sixth of the U.S. economy. It has dealt a mortal blow to traditional America. We are now a European-style socialist welfare state. The inevitable permanent tax hikes, massive public bureaucracy and liberal ruling elites will stifle competition and initiative.

Republicans vow to repeal Obamacare. Their past record, however, leaves many conservatives rightly skeptical. Since FDR's New Deal, Big-Government liberalism has been on the march - Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Education. The Republican Party has been unable to roll back the tide of statism. In fact, under Richard Nixon and both George Bushes, Great Society Republicans have been complicit in erecting a nanny state.

Socialism is the road to economic ruin and fiscal bankruptcy. It subverts democracy, threatening the very future of our constitutional republic. Socialist states degenerate into some form of autocracy or technocratic neo-feudalism, whereby the productive class is taxed and exploited to sustain a growing dependent class. Factions are pitted against each other; groups vie for handouts at the expense of their fellow citizens. The bonds of economic union and national solidarity slowly dissolve.

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not," warned Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson was right: Redistributionist welfare policies are undermining our democracy. The resentments in America are growing. Tea Partiers believe that their government no longer represents their interests or values. The heartland is becoming dangerously alienated from the political class, whom it feels has betrayed them.

Obamacare may be the last straw. It strips away fundamental economic liberties, empowering the federal government to de facto nationalize everyone's body by controlling our health. Americans are compelled - upon pain of penalty and eventual imprisonment - to purchase insurance.

Moreover, the law codifies the federal funding of abortion. Taxpayer dollars will be used to subsidize the murder of innocent life. Hence, Mr. Obama has violated the social compact: He has abrogated the conscience of pro-lifers, making them tacitly complicit in the slaughter of the unborn. Obamacare is a radical assault upon fundamental religious freedoms.

The Obama revolution threatens to tear America apart. This has happened before. Slavery eventually triggered the Civil War between the industrial North and the agrarian South. Abortion is the slavery of our time - the denying of basic human rights to an entire category of people.

The bitter debate over Obamacare has exposed the country's profound divisions. We are no longer one nation or one people. Rather, there are now two Americas: one conservative, the other liberal. Increasingly, we no longer just disagree but we despise each other.

Our disagreements encompass everything - politics, morality, culture and history. We no longer share a unifying essence or common values. One half of America believes abortion is an abomination; the other half considers any attempt to repeal it as oppressive and sexist. One half opposes homosexual unions because it elevates immoral and unnatural behavior to the sacred status of marriage; the other half supports it as an extension of civil rights. One half reviles Mr. Obama's socialist agenda, viewing it as the destruction of capitalism and our constitutional government; the other half embraces it as the culmination of social justice and economic equality. One half reveres America's heroes - Christopher Columbus, George Washington, James Madison, Davy Crockett - and its glorious history; the other half is ashamed of its past, seeing it as characterized by racism, imperialism and chauvinism.

Ultimately, a country is not simply its geographical borders with the people inside of it. It is something more - and deeper. A nation must share a common heritage, language, culture, faith and myths. Once upon a time, Americans celebrated the same heroes, sang the same patriotic songs, read the same history and literature, and gloried in its exceptional nature: a city upon a hill, with liberty and freedom for all. It was understood that, for all of our different ethnic and religious backgrounds, America is a product of English and Christian civilization. Those days are long gone.

Instead, we are going the way our Founding Fathers warned us against: increasing balkanization and sectionalism. A constitutional republic - unlike an empire - is only as strong as its national cohesion. It is based not on imperial coercion but civic consent. Mr. Obama is recklessly pulling at the strings of unity, further polarizing us.

In confronting Obamacare, state sovereignty, states' rights and state nullification of federal laws are being asserted. This is what happened in the 1830s and 1840s. They are the signs of growing political anarchy and social frustration - people can only be pushed so far. Mr. Obama's drive for a socialist super-state threatens America's very existence. As Jefferson warned about slavery, it is time we start ringing the "fire bell in the night."

"Things fall apart; the center cannot hold," wrote William Butler Yeats. "Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world."

Conservatives will not be passive in this onslaught on all our core values. Mr. Obama's true legacy may be that he divides us deeper than ever before - unless
he abandons his revolutionary project.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute, a Washington think tank. He is the daily host of the "Kuhner Show" on WTNT 570-AM (www.talk570.com) from noon until 3 p.m.


This analysis is simplistic, but contains much truth. Kuhner's fundamental error is to see this as a "conservative" versus "liberal" divide, without taking into consideration the libertarian critique of both. Yet wars are fought by coalitions and in the end it will the libertarians and conservatives against the left-collectivists (and the right-collectivists, the racists and the tribalists, if they get in the way, which they will). This is because the onslaught of the left-collectivist revolution against the Founders' Republic immediately threatens the fundamental beliefs -- and lives and liberties -- of both "conservatives" and libertarians.

After the left-collectivist revolution is turned back and the Restoration accomplished, the competing visions will have to be reconciled. What I would like to see is the libertarians give up their insistence upon abortion and concede the conservatives' point about the sanctity of life. For their part, the social conservatives should admit the libertarians' point about the lesser vices not being the business of the state. Surely both sides can agree on "free men and free markets" -- about the rule of law, limited government, ordered liberty and property rights.

The libertarians may despise the biometric ID insisted upon in the upcoming Amnesty bill as a direct threat to individual liberty, while some religious conservatives will reject it primarily as a "mark of the beast." Surely it matters not why this hateful, tyrannical tool is rejected, as long as it IS rejected.

The "conservatives" will discover in this conflict that it is the libertarians who will lead the way, for their analysis is less clouded by a false sense that traditional politics will avail them. They will see the essential thing sooner, and act on it. On the other hand, the libertarians will discover that Leviathan cannot be turned back by small measures and that they must have the far larger numbers of the social conservatives fighting with them to accomplish it.

Surely the important question that each can agree on is the eternal one, the Founders' question -- which is to be the master? The government? Or the people?

It is my hope that having waded together through blood and fire to roll back the greater threat to each, they will come to realize that neither can be free, or stay free, without the other.

That is my hope, though I do not expect to live to see it.

Mike
III

40 comments:

TotC said...

Funny, while not thinking along political lines, I was of much the same thought that a coalition of social and political philosophies will have to work together.

On the abortion issue, I agree that it is wrong and would much rather find it so socially distasteful as to be a pariah. I would oppose a "there ought to be a law against that," sort of mentatility. That is the libertarian in me showing.

Whoever the hell cursed us with "May you live in interesting times." sure got it right.

B said...

I believe you are at your best when you are writing of the bigger picture. This was a well done commentary on an important article today.

B
III

Anonymous said...

And somewhere Dimitri Orlov smiles and says, I told you so.

Eric
III

Anonymous said...

Many will not live to see which is to be the master and which is to be the government. But, some will.

To you, collectivist progressives, that are now grinning as you attach the puppet strings to our Constitution, in an attempt to make it dance above your fire, know this:

We will allow our blood to be shed in the face of your war against our Constitution, our Republic. Will you shed as much blood? Before you answer, know that we will shed every last drop. With tears in our eyes for loved ones we leave behind, and with a determined, exhausted grins on our faces.

We will do this because we understand that this world, and all that we strive to protect and nurture here, is not our last stop.

We will not be placated. We will not be disregarded. We will not be slaves.

Come with your armies of tax collectors. Come with your armies of sly politicians, lying bureaucrats and laws designed to strip our will. Come with your armed 3-letter armies that are in reality, their own small, lawless governments.

Come. Shed as much blood as we.

patrickhenry3

III

Taylor H said...

We shall see.

Anonymous said...

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." Proverbs 25:11.

The sentiment of this essay is a treasure to read. May God give you long life and grant you your desire to see our Republic restored.

MALTHUS

Patrick Henry said...

What I cannot comprehend is this:

How can the author not make the connection between every productive person being forced to give of their labor to support those who will not, and slavery?

Government steals over 40% of my labor each year - that's 2 days of every work-week during which I am a SLAVE.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, speaking of collectivism: do you support the right of free association? Do racists have the right to not hire ethnicities they don't like, and not sell real estate to ethnicities they don't like, all while living peaceably in the same country as you, or do you support non-discrimination law punishing them if they do so?

dennis30 said...

I work in the "North East Coastal" area and I live in south Texas,Grew up in Indiana till age 16 then moved to Louisiana and started my carrier in the Maritime Industry,I mention all of this only to point out that I have seen a variety of the sub-cultures we have within this country we call the United States of America.

I have been saying for the last 3 or 4 years that this country was heading towards some kind of civil war, at first I didn't realy meen a violent all out War but some kind of civil up-rising. But with the current events and the Intolerable growth of our Goverment I see now that I was wrong, VERY WRONG. There are to many people that are willing, no actually WANT to have this Big Brother Goverment watching over them, they feel safer I guess.

And then there are the people, who like me only want a chance to live their lives in peace and to be rewarded for the work they do and a chance choose what THEY will do with their OWN lives and not be botherd with the problems of other people that are none of their buissness anyway.

But the people who WANT Big Brother taking care of them, making their desissions for them and therfore have someone else to blame when their lives are in some kind of turmoil. And these same people can not be sustained without SOMEONE that works that produces,inovates and creates and advances our "nation" as a hole.

And now the "PRODUCERS" have been overburdened with the NEEDS of those that don't want the responcebility of taking care of themselves of making their own desisions.Have grown tired and we feal cheated and that our lives or the self-control of our own lives is being TAKEN AWAY from us because it IS.And now that we have grown tired of the burden of maintaining those that want to be maintained. And now that we want to throw off the load of those that are not our responcability we are ridiculed and called Uncaring or Racist or Radicl or any other name that is considerd to be "POLITICLY INCORRECT" what ever the hell that is. And this only serves to make us more angry,And more determined to be rid of responabiltys that are not of OUR own making.

And if the "Taken Care Of" Stop getting what they say is owed to them they Scream "Injustice" and riot and cause Mayham.

These two different "Peoples" can not co-exist, and one way or another they will be divided and not just by social barriers but by Sovierne Barriers so I do Belive with deepest sincerity that this "GREAT NATION" will be devided.And in all probibility by a Bloody War as bad as or worse than anything seen by man.

I wish and pray that I am wrong but I see no other course for hard working respectfull people to be rid of the burden that has been placed on their backs by the irresponsabiltys of those that want others to do for them.

rexxhead said...

"What I would like to see is the libertarians give up their insistence upon abortion..."

"What I would like to see is the libertarians give up their insistence upon abortion..."

As a (once big-L, recently small-l) libertarian, I solemnly assure you that the very best way to get libertarians of either sort to give up the ZAP is to start talking about abortion. There are good people on both sides of that issue and most libertarians consider it 'unresolvable'. The closest we (sic) come to a solution is to insist that one not be taxed in order that another may have an abortion.

I offer my personal view on this most contentious issue:

All power originates in the people. Therefore if two people willingly act in such a way as ought reasonably be presumed will create new life, then new life was created whether deliberately or not. If willingness is absent (as in rape, etc.) then it should not be presumed that new life was created.

How to judge which is which? This is actually quite simple. Abortion must follow a criminal complaint. No complaint; no abortion. If you're not willing to declare you were forced to conceive, it must have been voluntary.

Dr. Richard said...

I don't know if America will break up or not because this divide is at the neighborhood level such that there are no neat geographical lines. There are plenty of conservatives and libertarians trapped in "blue states", just as there are plenty of collectivists living in "red states". Switch county with state, and this statement remains true. Most areas have at least 20% to 35% of the population in the other camp relative to the majority for their locality.

What it does mean is that politics is broken and that civil unrest / civil war is likely.

MamaLiberty said...

[quote]
Surely the important question that each can agree on is the eternal one, the Founders' question -- which is to be the master? The government? Or the people?
[/quote]

Far better for each individual to be the master of his own life, in voluntary cooperation with others. That is the only legitimate "government" - and the only one that will not become a tyrant.

FSHB said...

The capital Libertarian party does not have abortion as a plank - Libertarians are almost evenly divided on the issue. All Libertarians can agree that forcing those who don't believe in abortion to fund them via taxes is evil.

Libertarians have a hard time trusting conservatives since their seat at the political table was taken away and so many Republicans have wrapped themselves in conservative rhetoric while actively pursuing anti liberty goals - but, you are correct, the sides must work together in order to save the nation.

Paul W. Davis said...

The people are SUPPOSED to be - and can be. BUT . . . only of they are willing to put forth the effort to be the master of the government

Tom Wolff said...

I agree with ya, Mike.

Kuhner's article is not too bad, aside from his perpetuating the NONSENSE that slavery was the impetus behind the Civil War. He ought to study more.

However, I ran across something you ought to read. You might even want to create a new post and comment on it:

http://ampedstatus.com/is-it-time-for-law-abiding-american-citizens-to-stop-paying-their-taxes-and-start-a-new-government

Anonymous said...

Great article and thoughts. I agree with your analysis. We may not live to see the completion of this process but I pray that our children do!

s4f
III

jon said...

i generally hold that a society that became libertarian in all ways except on the point of abortion would suddenly find itself so wildly prosperous that nobody would notice when abortion is finally prohibited, and considered murder.

there simply wouldn't be anyone to perform them, that becoming an extreme liability, nor anyone interested in getting one, as children could not possibly be construed as a burden by any stretch of the imagination.

therefore i hold the same logic to this point as you've pointed out works for biometric IDs: what's the difference?

the order in which we restore society to sanity on these points is only relevant when taking into consideration immediate harm. in the long run, the only uniting principle is liberty. it's not guns, it's not rights, it's not terrorism, it's not health, it's not markets. "it's v for voluntary, stupid."


of course, it's also the case that certain things -- such as the income tax -- impose an unwarranted burden on life itself, and the onus is absolutely on the government and not the people to do more with less in the near term. i should not be construed to mean "you give a little now, social democrats, and we will give a little later, heh, heh."

Mike Foster said...

Amen, Mike. Well said, brother.

hangman said...

That would probably be the best thing for America.

PioneerPreppy said...

I wouldn't place the racist so quickly in with the progressives. So many people dubbed racist are simply whites looking for an even playing field. Now if you mean those who just hate someone for no other input than skin color sure, but by the progressive opinion all of us here are racist.

As for abortion, perhaps a good start would be for libertarians to maybe acknowledge that there are TWO parents that should have a say and go from there. Personal rights maybe king with libertarians but they need to keep in mind that the aborted fetus needed a female and a male to start.

I am religiously against abortion but fundamentally we cannot uphold one person's rights (female) while ignoring the others (male).

As for the problem of blurry dividing lines well one thing is certain the line that divides any blurring with progressives becomes quite clear at the Limit sign of most major cities.

Ahab said...

The First Civil War was begun when several states of the United States entered into a Confederacy to demand States Rights under the U.S. Constitution. Anyone who thinks the Civil War was over slavery hasn't learned our own history. The Confederate States demanded their rights under the 10th Amendment. The rights of all of the states were being denied them by the central government of the nation; however, not all of the states of America were at odds with the decrees of the central government, the national government. More influence and power in America was wielded by those states in the Northern half of the country because of their overwhelming numbers in population, i.e., true mob rule.

The states of the Confederacy made one huge error at the outset of the conflict with the North. They committed a hostile act against the national government by firing upon Ft. Sumpter in Charleston Harbor, Charleston, S.C. Had the South not entered into violent conflict by this act, secession may well have been successful. There was and still is NO PROHIBITION to secession. All states of the United States have the right secede from the union. I draw your attention to a 12 piece treatise on the subject of secession written by Timothy N. Baldwin, JD., under the title: "A Concurring Opinion for Secession," and can be found at newswithviews.com.

The sitting president, Abraham Lincoln, was more concerned with maintaining the union at any cost than he was about slavery, would have permitted the practice to continue until eliminated peacefully; but, that option was taken out of his hands with the commencement of hostilities by the Confederacy in Charleston Harbor.

I don't know if secession is still a viable possibility, the populations of each state being divided within themselves on freedom and personal responsibility vs the "nanny state," and progressivism. I don't think there is any possibility of resolving the issues we face as a people of this great nation between socialism and freedom, and fear that a Second Civil War is inevitable.

This coming war isn't going to be fought between the states. This coming civil war is going to be fought within the states, individuals against agents of the federal government, and maybe even individuals against the Armed Forces of the United States. This is going to be a terrible war, the consequences of which are going to be felt by this country from within and without for generations. Many generations!

Don't be hasty, but don't back down, either!

Anonymous said...

I think dennis30 said it best, these two kinds of people cannot co-exist. It's like mixing oil and water, you can't have it both ways with some wanting to be totally dependent on government while others want total independence. There is no form of government that can accommodate both types of people. Split the country, literally, in half might work for a while; but we'd like to avoid another Berlin Wall in our lifetime.

The bottom line is one side has to alter their thinking or they will have to fight until someone yields to the other. I don't see either side changing their minds at this point in the game, so its just a matter of time before war begins. I do not know if that day will come next month, next year, or next decade; but those in favor of freedom had best not lose it.

So long as some are touching on the topic of future days I'll throw my 2 cents in on that. Government needs to get out of the business of licensing, period! We are not free if we need a state license to marry, drive, fish, hunt, own or carry firearms, etc. Our diplomas and private certifications should be enough to certify we are educated, we don't need government licenses to practice medicine, law, or cut hair. Our competence will enable us to excel and incompetence will cause others to fail. And why have license plates and stickers at all, except to generate revenue and keep track of people? Get the government out of our private lives!!

Dr.D said...

As a card carrying Libertarian I find Abortion abhorrent, when we stop rewarding people for reproductive irresponsibly the demand for it will likely drop. That being said I'm reluctant to ban it out right. Some women will seek it out regardless, and from a utilitarian perspective having it available (though more difficult to obtain)is marginally better than than forcing women to seek unsafe abortions. What we need to do is encourage/ force people to be responsible for their actions and not to expect to be bailed out every time they make bad choices.
Actions have consequences and they need to be painful. I always reinforced to my daughters that "condoms are cheaper than a baby", and they don't need midnight feedings.

Dr. D
III

Anonymous said...

Mike,
I read your blog as often as I can because I'm of a like mind. I also read others of similar liberty loving themes. What I am looking for but have not yet found (although I could have easily missed it)is the conversation about gun control and how it relates to Obamacare. It seems to me that the annointed one has been curiously silent on guns. Could it that he was waiting for and now has a method to outlaw guns because they are a "health hazard" and you will be either charged more or required to register them because ou will be "uninsureable" if you have guns in your possesion? The bill, although it may not have that provision right now, can be easily modified at his leisure. I would like your take and others opinions on that possibility.

Regards,

Steve
III

Anonymous said...

Ahab wrote:
"This coming war isn't going to be fought between the states. This coming civil war is going to be fought within the states, individuals against agents of the federal government, and maybe even individuals against the Armed Forces of the United States. This is going to be a terrible war, the consequences of which are going to be felt by this country from within and without for generations. Many generations!"

I fear you left out one important level of the conflict, Ahab: Individuals will fight other individuals. Whether citizens shooting rioters and looters in the streets or defending their homes against invaders, or each side seeking to reduce the other side's numbers and influence by direct action, I fear the fighting may end up being very personal.

The two sides are intermingled within every county, city, town, and neighborhood. Neighbors, co-workers, former friends, even families will find themselves on opposite sides, if it ever comes to bloodshed.

That's what civil war will mean, I fear.

thom said...

Here is someone who also poses that question, Walter Williams,
Does America Need to Split along Political Lines?

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=529360

jeffohio said...

As Boortz REFUSSES to discuss abortion, I to do not go there much.

My view,

Do you want to "force" a person to raise a child, who would be just as willing to suck it down the sink?

Obviously, abortion should be left to the states,and let them sort it out.

Abortion in the Constitution is an

OBAMANATION.

Tom Wolff said...

To Ahab @4:44:

Thank you for explaining a little more about the TRUE reasons for the 1860's war. I still have neither the time nor the inclination to do so for people who are too lazy to find the truth.

I will add that only 4% of Southerners owned slaves at that point in time. Northerners owned more than that. (Look it up if you doubt me.)

Regardless, who the hell back then would fight to protect something they didn't care about?

Nowadays? I ain't touchin' that right now...

Ahab said...

Anonymous, 5:43 pm, wrote:

"I fear you left out one important level of the conflict, Ahab: Individuals will fight other individuals. Whether citizens shooting rioters and looters in the streets or defending their homes against invaders, or each side seeking to reduce the other side's numbers and influence by direct action, I fear the fighting may end up being very personal."

Yes, I did leave that out; but, you knew where I was going and added it. For that I thank you.

Anonymous said...

We could at this very moment divide the country into states and cities who are drawing from the bank, and states who are depositing into it through their hard work. As soon as the folks in the working states stop feeding the cities, we will see a change. And not until. They only have the power we give them.

Dedicated_Dad said...

Once again I'm too long for a "comment" so it became a blog-post.

I think it's worth the read - I hope you will too.

Follow this link if you'd like my $0.10...

DD

Anonymous said...

Once a society has reached the point where significant portions of the population hate and distrust one another, and the government, there is no stopping its eventual devolution into smaller territories where ethnological or ideological homogeneity is enforced, and the whole game starts all over again. In short, it's all over but the shouting.

Anonymous said...

Found this prog reference to civil war while following a WND link to an article about unemployment checks stopping:
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/04/02-3

The other side's view of civil war seems pretty lightweight. I think it would be much more serious.

Anonymous said...

Rexxhead, re: rape and abortion. I agree with the the quote from Rob Roy: It's not the child that needs killing.

W W Woodward said...

Dennis 30,

Your mini essay is spot on. I think it is probably one of the most eloquent op-eds I've had the pleasure to read in quite some time.

I would like your permission to copy it verbatim and send it to the folks on my regular e-mail list.

Mike recommended that I contact you via this post.

[W-III]

johnnyreb said...

We've in effect already broken up. We just haven't packed our clothes and divided up the DVD collection yet.

Richard
III

aaron said...

I stand on Christian principles and want to protect the sanctity of life and I believe that abortion is wrong.

If you agree and want your voice to be heard, join me and 400,000 other Americans in signing the Manhattan Declaration.

You can check it out at www.manhattandeclaration.org

Paul X said...

"Yet, its true cost may be that it triggers the eventual breakup of the country."

Breakup of the country is a benefit, not a cost.

"After the left-collectivist revolution is turned back and the Restoration accomplished, the competing visions will have to be reconciled."

Never happen, Mike. You cannot force a socialist to be a conservative. You cannot build a country (that will last) on the imposition of political "solutions" against half its population.

I say, let socialists be socialists. Let fascists be fascists. And let freedom lovers be freedom lovers. Eventually the market will reward the correct choice, and (at least some) people who have made the wrong choice will see their error of their own accord, in a way that they could not if it was imposed on them.

The only way this can happen is if this country breaks up into several Americas. Let the socialists live in the socialist America, and see how well that goes. Let the freedom lovers live in the free America, and see how that goes.

We need a divorce. What we don't need is a restoration imposed on people who don't want it.

By the way, massive secession from the empire is also the only way to avoid all-out war. If people in New York are allowed to go their own way, they won't care what happens in Montana; and vice-versa.

aaron said...

The way to make change happen is stand together with one loud voice.

That's why I signed this document with 400,000 others. our voice is getting louder. one day they will have to listen.

sign it here:
www.mahattandeclaration.org

Anonymous said...

Nice article from Kuhner, but the emphasis on the differing attitudes about bux & babies being the major causes for the rapidly widening & deepening socio-political rift sounds like a re-hash of the things the "leaders" of "conservatism" believe are important & want everyone else to focus on instead of "divisive" "distractions" like the 2A. And if you think I'm kidding, note not only how often the topic of "gun rights" is mentioned but the way it's addressed.


Cassandra (of Troy)