The Real Legacy of Gettysburg


This week marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, fought on July 1-3, 1863 in a small Pennsylvania town.  Celebrations began on Sunday and are scheduled to last all week.  Articles and commentary from across the political spectrum will flood the Internet and the airways in praise of those who fell on that hallowed ground in defense of liberty.

Yet the praise will be directed at Union forces.  But what about the 28,000 Southern soldiers who died for what they believed in?  Did they risk less?  Were their ideals any less glorious than those above the Mason Dixon line?

We have come to expect as much from leftwing Northern “scholars,” as well as Southern scalawags.  But, painfully, those who call themselves conservatives will take the Union side in the conflict as well. Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Mr. Jefferson


On April 13, those of us who love liberty and value the ideals of the American Revolution should reflect on the 270th birthday of Thomas Jefferson, one of our greatest presidents.

After penning the words of the Declaration of Independence, and serving in a variety of public offices, Jefferson stood for election to the presidency in 1800. Americans were more than ready for a change after twelve years of Federalist rule, and as a result, Jefferson’s Republican Party swept into power by taking over both houses of Congress in addition to the Presidency.

Many historians erroneously claim that President Jefferson did not institute much change once he entered the White House.  This is wholly untrue.  Jefferson made monumental changes during his presidential tenure, beginning with his inaugural ceremony, completely altering the decorum of the presidency.  He wore simple clothing and walked to the Capitol rather than arrive in grand style.  Today newly inaugurated presidents walk part of the way up Pennsylvania Avenue as a tribute to Jefferson. Continue reading

The Problem with Gun Control


“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”  So said Plato, some 400 years before the birth of Christ.  It is wisdom we should pay close attention to, for it seems that the latest mass shooting in Connecticut will lead to a major federal gun grab.

A new proposal initiated by Senator Dianne Feinstein will be the most wide-ranging gun ban in American history.  It will outlaw 120 types of weapons, including some handguns, and will require gun owners to be fingerprinted and their guns registered with the ATF.  The feds will also be able to determine who can have guns and who can’t, a “no buy” list similar to the TSA’s “no fly” list.  Private gun sales between individuals and a ban on gun shows are also in the works. Continue reading

It’s Time for the States to Strike Back


During his tenure as president, George Washington visited the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. When asked if he would call upon the new chief executive, Governor John Hancock is reputed to have said, “I am the highest ranking public official in the state and he should call on me.”  The humble Washington did so.

Today, every time a president visits a state, we are treated to the pathetic scene of the governor and various state and local public officials waiting on the tarmac for the “King” to emerge from his state-of-the-art aircraft. Sadly, the states have willingly become subservient provinces.  This is not they way it was intended to be. Continue reading

Marching with Marx


Last week I wrote a column about living in an emerging authoritarian state.  Yet I am certain most readers probably believe I have lost my mind and probably need some meds. But before we go that far, allow me to continue on this path by examining a 165-year-old political pamphlet of remarkable influence.  It is, in fact, so significant that it is still widely published today.

In 1848, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels published a short booklet entitled The Communist Manifesto.  Within its pages, the authors laid down ten specific goals for the establishment of the ideal state.  Amazingly, we are on a path to complete the fulfillment of most of its provisions. Some we have finalized; others we have partially implemented and seem to be racing to accomplish: Continue reading

Will the Republican Party finally go the way of the Whigs?


It doesn’t happen very often but occasionally a political party folds up its tent and goes home.  In the 1850s, the once proud Whig Party of Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster collapsed. The main culprit was the expansion of slavery into the federal territories, a volatile issue that became a fissure, splitting the party in two and leading to its ultimate extinction.

It happened before and it could very well happen again.  Just hours after Romney’s loss to Obama, the GOP began handwringing over the possible reasons why the unthinkable happened. Two answers have been put forth so far, with both sides facing off against each other.  A great fissure is shaping up within the party, just like the Whigs in the 1850s.

The Whigs had what amounted to a pro-choice attitude toward slavery.  They could get no consensus on that issue, so they fell apart.  Today’s Republicans seemingly cannot agree about immigration and the continuation of the welfare state.  So that is the essence of the debate: is our problem demographics or the welfare state?  My answer: It’s demographics AND the welfare state.  If not addressed, both issues will kill the party and the republic. Continue reading

Why do Americans have to learn the hard way?


It seems we never learn. Every now and then, the American people hand some poor soul, undeserving in many cases, the national levers of power.  And in each and every instance, it has cost us dearly.  There are several historical periods of note.

John Adams, himself a political giant, was imminently qualified for the presidency, at least on paper.  But he had the most unenviable of tasks, perhaps in all of American history.  He had to follow George Washington as president.  And he did a lousy job.

Rather than reverse course from what Washington and Alexander Hamilton had begun, Adams built on it, continuing an oppressive system of taxation and top-down management of the nation’s affairs.  A people who had just fought a war of independence over taxation now saw the imposition of an even more draconian system, one that included direct federal taxes on everything from whiskey and tobacco to land and homes. Continue reading