This week, Florida Rep. Alan West posed the following question:
As Americans, we must bring to the fore this fundamental discussion of what we want our country to be. Do we veer from our Founders’ vision of a constitutional republic that preserves and protects the individual sovereignty of its citizens, along with the free market and the rights of the several states, or do we continue to slide down this path of expanding the secular welfare state, nationalizing production and enforcing economic equality? ~ Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) - 04/24/12
Old labels of Conservative, Liberal, Progressive, or whatever, are no longer appropriate. Democrat and Republican are also meaningless. Consider the difference between the candidates for president both parties have offered us. The difference between Obama and Romney is one has more hair. Both parties offer us elitist snobs who graduated from prestigious New England schools. Both routinely support the exact same positions. ObamaCare and RomneyCare only vary in control point not in substance. On Guns both have supported; restrictions on hand guns, assault weapons ban, and restrictive background checks. Both support government bailouts of favored businesses. Both want a stronger executive branch with power like the Line Item Veto. Both support the idea that the President has the authority to assassinate any US citizen he wants without due process. Both support the FED and want to retain its current head. Both support indefinitely detaining US citizens on mere suspicion of terrorist support without judicial redress, due process, or basic constitutional rights. Both have and receive donations and support from the same money groups: Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup. Both Obama and Romney firmly believe in big government over individual liberty and responsibility.
Let’s put a label that is meaningful and usable on parties and their soon to be nominated presidential candidates’ statists, men and parties who believe in statism. From Dictionary.com statism * noun, has 2 definitions:
A less formal definition that fits well is that statism is the belief that government knows best – that it has the knowledge, ability and power not just understand people’s problems, but actually solve them as well. This is an absurd notion that was long ago described by Friedrich Hayek, as “fatal conceit.” The vast majority of our Washington ruling class believe that it the government’s right and duty, to dictate the people’s actions and choices in order gain results to advance the “common good.” They believe that because some people may make choices, like drinking raw milk, that they feel are not in an individual’s best interest, they have the government has the right to dictate the voluntary actions of each individual.
This clearly and accurately defines the position of the vast majority of our ruling class in Washington. It clearly flies in the face of the original positions of our founding fathers and the mission statement of our government as defined in our Declaration of Independence.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Few in both of the major parties are willing to take up the debate and even address the fundamental question Re. West poses. West’s fellow representatives in the Congressional Progressive Caucus take “umbrage” with his equating their ideals with communism. They don’t even want it discussed because their ideas, are nearly identical with other Marxist ideals and have proven to be a failure wherever actually implemented. Current statists don’t want open and honest debate on fundamental ideas. Why can’t we discuss the fundamental basics to our government? It appears that there is a concerted effort to silence any basic question on individual freedom, movement from laws created by elected representatives to executive bureaucratic regulations, and questions on what fairness is. As Rep. West states:
We must be able to openly discuss how our fundamental freedoms are being slowly chipped away by an over-reaching nanny state that has bit by bit slipped its tentacles into every aspect of our lives, from the types of light bulbs we can use to the size of our toilet tanks.
We must be able to challenge the mandates being handed down by un-elected officials, which threaten our constitutional right to practice religion however we see fit.
We must be able to question tax policies predicated on “fairness” that punish job creators and do virtually nothing to reduce our spiraling debt and deficit.
Today those who claim to be “progressive” actively espouse Marxist ideology. They have taken over the progressive term after destroying the credibility of communist socialist and fascists. They are now doing the same to the term “progressive”. Progressive was the for runner of liberal, but since that term now has such a negative connotation these extreme statists have reverted back to progressive. At one time we had a Progressive political party. The Progressive Party of 1912 was formed by former President Theodore Roosevelt. It’s platform of 100 years ago was very similar to current Democrat platform with obvious differences associated with the times.
In the social sphere the platform called for
• A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies.
• Social insurance, to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled
• Limited injunctions in strikes
• A minimum wage law for women
• An eight hour workday
• A federal securities commission
• Farm relief
• Workers' compensation for work-related injuries
• An inheritance tax
• A Constitutional amendment to allow a Federal income tax
• Women's suffrage
• Direct election of Senators
• Primary elections for state and federal nominations
• The recall election (citizens may remove an elected official before the end of his term)
• The referendum (citizens may decide on a law by popular vote)
• The initiative (citizens may propose a law by petition and enact it by popular vote)
• Judicial recall (when a court declares a law unconstitutional, the citizens may override that ruling by popular vote)
Many of the Progressive Party goals were reached, many of those goals were good and did protect individual liberty like workers’ comp., but most of the planks most were to strengthen centralized authority and actively replace our republic with direct democracy; a form of government our forefathers warned us against, because it historically leads to mob rule and suppression of individual liberty at the direction of the masses. Progressives now ignore the requisite of the people in our society as eloquently stated by Progressive Party Founder Teddy Roosevelt, "The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight." The mantra is now the repeatedly failed socialist idea of wealth redistribution.
Our government conceived in liberty has followed the path to tyranny as predicted by Thomas Jefferson; “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”
Why today’s progressives refuse to debate their positions, or even allow the recognition that their ideas are in fact socialist in nature is a question that must be addressed. With rare exceptions, the very idea of individual sovereignty is not even allowed to be a discussion point among the ruling class in Washington. Although I don’t agree with much of Rep. Alan West’s positions, his question does deserve merit and discussion.