Where We Go From Here

Now that the dust has settled and we have elected a new president, the GOP must figure out how to re-build itself after a second electoral disaster. 

Where does the Republican Party go from here?  And most importantly, what does the future hold for the conservative movement?

I believe one of two things will happen to the party – either it will move even further to the center and left, and embrace more neo-conservatism and outright liberalism because it thinks the country is at that point, or it will dump its current leadership and embrace the conservatism of Reagan, thereby giving voters a true choice.

Democrats have now united under the banner of extreme leftism; Republicans must unite under the banner of true conservatism.

Consider what has happened to the Republican Party since its historic takeover of Congress in 1994, an electoral triumph of true conservatism.  The party was able to maintain its hold on Congress throughout the remainder of the Clinton presidency by staying true to its principles, then continued control of both chambers and the White House with the election of George W. Bush in 2000.  This hold remained through the 2004 election, when the GOP reached its zenith with 232 House members and 55 Senators. 

During this era of Republican rule, the Democratic Party was on the ropes.  Members were switching parties, they had no strong candidates with a coherent message to speak of, and the party seemed to be loosing its grip and its hope of ever regaining the White House or Congress.  Even many state and local races seemed hopeless.  The GOP dominated in governor’s mansions and state houses.

Oh what a difference a few years, and many bad policies, has made. 

Republicans, under Bush, outspend Democrats and expanded government far beyond anything liberals could have ever hoped to do.  The national debt doubled and Washington grew by 40 percent in just six years.  Voters reacted and now the party finds itself in a worse situation than did Democrats just four years ago.  Many members are dejected and gloomy, candidates have been horrid, and the message has been lost, forgotten, or abandoned.

Yet now is not the time to panic.  There can be a silver lining to this political shipwreck.  The McCain-Bush neoconservative wing of the party has been permanently damaged and should never rise again.  This election was a complete repudiation of those discredited policies – rampant and out-of-control spending, huge deficits, free trade, and wars without end.

I have taken the liberty to list a few items which I think will help bring about the revival of the party and the conservative movement:

1)  Oust the Leadership – This perhaps is the most important step.  If the leadership in the House, Senate, and national party hierarchy are not thrown out, then any meaningful reform is moot.  McConnell, Boehner, and the leaders of the national party have failed and need to go in favor of new, young, and conservative, leaders who can take the party in a new direction.  Paul Ryan and Mike Pence come to mind in the House, as well as Tom Coburn in the Senate.  Moderate-to-Liberal Republicans, Rhinos, and “Obamacans” should all be ousted as well. 

We should follow the example of the Whig Party in dealing with President John Tyler, who assumed office with the death of William Henry Harrison in 1841.  Tyler, a states’ rights advocate placed on the ticket to attract Southern votes, betrayed key Whig principles, thereby provoking party anger.  In 1842 a mass meeting was held in Washington, led by Henry Clay, whereby President Tyler was literally read out of the party.

2)  Craft a New Message – Any new message should be based on old conservative principles – limited government, states’ rights, low taxes, balanced budgets, no public debt, sound money, strong military defense, non-interventionist foreign policy, and fair trade.  Recently emerging reformist conservative ideas, like “heroic conservatism” and the like should be rejected.  Reformers like David Frum and David Brooks seek to make the GOP more like the Democratic Party, but we just lost an election trying that.  To advance in the future we must look to the past.

3)  Rebuild the Party from the Grassroots – A complete overhaul will not be successful simply by making a few changes at the top; the bottom is just as important.  New, young leaders need to rise up in local and state party organizations and vigorously promote the message and recruit candidates.  College Republican groups across the country need to recruit new leaders and work to promote the party and its true ideals among the younger generations.  The people need to be able to trust the “Republican” brand again.

These changes, as well as a newfound respect and promotion of our Founding principles, will revive the Republican Party like nothing else can.  We must offer the nation a true choice, either in the GOP or out of it, or face decades out of power.

Obama’s New Deal

It seems every time Democrats are out of power and seeking to regain the White House, the United States just so happens to be in the “worst economy since the Great Depression.”  Barack Obama has been no different.  Yet its funny how Democrats conveniently forget about the Carter years, when we experienced double digit inflation, unemployment rates, and interest rates, forcing us to drag out the old misery index.  We haven’t quite reached that point as of yet.

But there’s little doubt we are in a tough spot and certain sectors, like the banking and housing industries, could very well end up in the worst shape since the 1930s.  And without the right dose of medicine we could slide into a new depression.

Senator Obama’s prescription, however, is a recipe for disaster.  Major tax hikes and massive doses of big government spending have only served to drag out, and even worsen, economic distress.  And we need only look at the Great Depression and FDR’s New Deal to see why Obama’s plan will take us down the same road.

First, it must be noted that, despite the best efforts of academia, the New Deal did not get America out of the depression; quite the opposite.  It actually made it worse, or as Amity Shlaes writes in The Forgotten Man, the federal government “made the depression great.”

FDR ran for president in 1932 against the hapless incumbent, Herbert Hoover.  Roosevelt stuck to more traditional Democratic campaign themes, relentlessly attacking the Hoover administration for overspending and not balancing the budget.  FDR promised a return to these basic policies, the bedrock of Democratic economic thought for more than a century.

But once in office, all that went out the window, an all-to-familiar Democratic scene.  FDR set out to implement his New Deal for the American people, and the government was quickly transformed.  A host of new programs were enacted and new bureaucracies created to administer them.  Washington assumed a wealth of new powers, all to fight a global depression that put one in four workers in the United States out of a job.

Did it succeed?  Hardly.  An unemployment rate of 25 percent during the depression’s height never dipped below 14 percent during the 1930s and continued to hover around 10 even after the military buildup began in 1941.

How did the mighty federal government fail so miserably? 

Both Hoover and FDR committed a major economic no-no by raising taxes in the midst of an economic downturn.  Under Harding and Coolidge the top rate had been sliced to 25 percent from Wilson’s wartime rate of 70, when the nation was in the midst of a serious recession after the end of World War One.  Hoover raised it to 63 percent in 1930, then FDR upped it to its record level of more than 90 percent.  Corporate taxes, excise taxes, and estate taxes all went through the roof.

New taxes were also placed on both workers and employers with the implementation of Social Security in 1935.  This caused a crippling blow by placing additional burdens on workers, who needed all the money they could earn, and employers who now had to budget more for each worker, limiting the capital that could have been used in production or to hire additional hands.

According to Jim Powell, in FDR’s Folly:  How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression, the federal government also enacted a new anti-trust law, the Robinson-Patman Act in 1936 and launched 150 anti-trust lawsuits, further hampering business.  The National Industrial Recovery Act kept prices high and actually jailed people for trying to cut them.  And, like a good, modern Democrat, FDR more than doubled federal spending and issued more an unprecedented 3,728 executive orders, all in the name of fighting a national emergency.

With all this government intervention, is it any wonder the economy struggled to regain its footing?  Now Senator Obama just might be following in FDR’s footsteps, as his “change” message seeks government solutions for all of our economic ills.  But in this instance, “change” means “socialism.”

Barack can’t say this, however.  So, much like FDR’s campaign rhetoric, Obama, moving to the center since gaining the nomination, now offers a few popular, and even sound, fiscal policies.  One such  proposal is a middle class tax cut to those making under $250,000, the new Democratic definition of rich.  This “tax cut” will apply to 95 percent of Americans, but since more than 30 percent pay no federal income tax, the only way that could work is by giving out checks every spring to those who did not earn the money.  Like earned income tax credits, its simply another welfare program in which the Democrats are using to buy votes.

Another recent Obama proposal is a “net spending cut,” which he does not bother to detail with any specifics, probably because there are none.  There can be no net spending cut while proposing a national health care plan, a “green” jobs program, increased education spending, and other expensive goodies. 

This tactic of campaign in the center but govern on the left has become standard Democratic jargon, right out of the Clinton playbook, in order to gain voters in a skeptical Middle America.  But like Clinton, Obama will not deliver on any of these center-right proposals.  Bill Clinton during his 1992 run promised to “make the rich pay their fair share” and not to raise middle class taxes.  But once in office, Clinton gave us the largest tax hike in American history.  Obama and the Democratic Congress will likely follow suit.

Most of the Obama plan is not change, just more of the same.  He favors a near-doubling of the capital gains tax to 28 percent.  At a time when we need more capital pumped into the economic system, a President Obama will take more of it out to feed the federal appetite.  This will only serve to restrict investment and reduce federal tax revenue.  But, as he stated in a debate with Hillary Clinton during the primaries, it’s a matter of “fairness.”  In addition, he has also proposed lifting the cap on Social Security taxes, taking another serious bite out of the investor class.

Obama has also relentlessly attacked corporations as “unpatriotic” for moving production overseas, yet has proposed no solutions to the sky high tax rate of 35 percent, the second highest in the world, and the crippling regulations that border on the ridiculous and cost corporations billions per year.  And since Democrats are big fans of anti-trust, we might expect the Obama Justice Department to go after these evil, “unpatriotic” job-creators, the way Bill Clinton did.  Like Hoover and FDR, Obama has proposed new tariffs at a time when the free-flow of goods is essential for economic growth.  Sky-high tariffs are tantamount to higher income taxes during a recession.  Not a good idea.

Obama has recently stated that he opposes a federal spending freeze, which John McCain supports, and he has plans to spend nearly a trillion dollars in one of the largest expansions on record.  But like FDR’s attacks on Hoover, Obama has lambasted the Bush administration for running a $500 billion deficit. 

Yet the actual deficit is over $600 billion, when you add the surplus Social Security revenue that is spent every year as general funds.  The government never counts this as debt, so as to make the number much lower than it actually is, but rest assured it is added to the National Debt.  Analysts are even predicting the deficit to be in the neighborhood of $1 trillion by 2009, without any new spending.  That, coupled with Obama’s spending spree, and our fiscal problems quickly become nightmarish. 

Are we to believe that Obama can institute this massive spending plan and balance the budget by taxing only those making over $250,000 a year?  It can’t be done.  He is either lying about his tax plans, which is a good bet given his track record, or he cares nothing about the deficit or the debt, also a possibility.  And its probably both.

But despite the fact that all this has been placed in the public eye, Obama still leads in the polls, albeit by the slimmest of margins.  It is difficult to believe why 48 to 50 percent of Americans are backing a candidate who is using fancy slogans and slick speeches to promote socialism.  They are voluntarily enslaving themselves to government.  This is not America, the “empire of liberty” our Founders envisioned.  Let us hope enough Americans still believe in the ideals of the Revolution to halt the most dangerous candidate and the most perilous campaign in our history.

A Crisis of Stupidity

Since the economic meltdown began, we have been treated to an overwhelming dose of Big Government in recent weeks.  President Bush has already signed two bailout bills totaling over $1 trillion and the Fed has been busy pumping hundreds of billions more into banks and mortgage companies in the hopes of staving off disaster.

But where will all this money come from and when does the madness stop?

And none of this has been lost on the presidential candidates, as they have gotten in on the act.  Barack Obama promises massive increases in government spending and has no plans to scale back his proposed spree one bit.  He is still planning big tax hikes and big programs despite the problems.

McCain, rather than being the Anti-Obama, has joined the chorus, also proposing government solutions to the crisis.  His $300 billion plan for failing mortgages sounds like something right out of the socialist playbook.  And with his support of the latest bailout, at a pork-filled $850 billion, McCain has now lost all credibility on his opposition to overspending and earmarks.

With these two, it seems that limited government and the republican ideals of the Founders are dead, maybe forever.  This financial crisis puts us on a dangerous slippery slope, to the dark valley of socialism.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the American economy also endured financial panics, as they were called then, in approximate 20-year intervals – 1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893, and 1907.  The Fed was created in 1913 to end this “boom-bust” cycle, which we know hasn’t happened.  But even though many of these early depressions were severe, they did not last long, precisely because American statesmen let the market regulate itself and did not interfere with an infusion of government bailouts. 

But since Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive Era, the ideas of laissez faire capitalism have been shelved, with the exception of the Harding-Coolidge years when a harsh post-World War One recession was overcome in months with a hands-off approach.

During the severe economic crises of the 1920s and 30s, various governments responded in a variety of ways, all using government power to some degree.  Let’s briefly examine two – Germany and the United States. 

After World War One, Germany was in a state of financial chaos.  The Allies imposed a massive reparations plan that would require the Germans to pay for the total cost of the war, with installments lasting until 1989!  The German economy was buckling under the pressure.  So in the hopes of alleviating the strain, and to make their payments, the German government, under a new, and foreign, republican system, cranked up the printing presses.  As a result, hyperinflation set in.

Whereas the German Mark was pegged at 4 to 1 against the dollar in 1921, by 1923 it was several trillion to 1.  People were literally using a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a purse full of goods.  Lifetime savings were wiped out.  There are stories of German families actually burning paper currency in wood stoves because it was cheaper than using the worthless money to buy firewood.  These conditions allowed tiny fringe parties, like the little-known Nazis, to gain widespread support.

When the global depression hit in the late 1920s, the United States responded, initially, with the opposite approach, by tightening up its money supply in what the late great Nobel laureate Milton Friedman calls “the great contraction.”  By FDR’s first year in office, the Fed had pulled a third of the money out of circulation, and that coupled with the massive New Deal programs, which further hampered the economy with higher taxes and oppressive regulations, its little wonder the economy struggled throughout the decade to regain its strength.  A crisis that started in 1929 continued to see unemployment at nearly 10 percent on the eve of Pearl Harbor, despite a major military buildup.

Government stepped in to tackle the problems in both countries, and in each instance government failed.

Our current mess is not so much a financial crisis but a crisis of stupidity.  It is not, as the leftwing press headlines, a failure of capitalism.  Borrowers stupidly took out mortgages that they could not afford and banks and other lending institutions stupidly loaned the money, in many cases pushing prospective homebuyers into even bigger houses.  Now the government is stupidly intervening in the hopes of cleaning up the mess, a mess it has a part in. Washington is asking hardworking taxpayers to step in and pay for the stupid on Wall Street and the irresponsible on Main Street. 

This is the wrong approach.  The federal government must stay out of the crisis and allow the market to correct itself.  These troubled banks and mortgage lenders must be allowed to fail.  Taxes on capital gains and retirement plans, as well as other government restrictions on success, must be ended.  Only then can the economy regain its footing on a sound basis, not one propped up on a house of cards. 

As Newt Gingrich has recently written, we are like someone who continually mops up water as it pours in from a leaky roof, but will not fix the roof, or even admit there’s a problem.  If this isn’t stupidity, I don’t know what is.

Sarah Palin: A Breath of Fresh Air for Conservatives

On Friday of last week John McCain shocked the political world by naming Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.  This bold choice has energized the conservative base as nothing else could and might even gain McCain the White House.

But Governor Palin has already seen, in a few short days, an onslaught from the Left.  And the slanted coverage has been downright sickening!  Every descent woman in America, who care anything about women’s rights, should be deeply offended by the vicious nature of these attacks!  Yet where are the self-proclaimed protectors of women – Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and N.O.W.?  Their silence is deafening! 

The media is now obsessed with Palin’s 17 year old daughter Bristol after it was revealed she is pregnant.  In fact, the New York Times ran three front page stories about Bristol Palin in Tuesday’s edition! 

Isn’t it also funny that the Times refused to run any lead stories about the John Edwards affair because he was not an elected official and was not then seeking an office? 

But children should always be off-limits!  And remember the media stayed away from the Clinton and Gore children, even when Al Gore’s son was caught with marijuana during the 2000 presidential campaign!

Oh the hypocrisy and hate of the Left!

Yet it’s Governor Palin’s experience that has the Obama-Biden team really jumping.  Obama has taken such a beating from Republicans for his lack of experience, now they have turned the tables on Palin.  But her experience is where it counts, as an executive.  As a governor she makes multiple decisions on a daily basis, more in a year than either Obama or Biden, as U.S. Senators, in a full term.

One of the biggest criticisms against Palin is that she has no foreign policy experience.  But as Alaska’s governor, she is commander-in-chief of the state’s national guard.  Not significant you say, well how many military forces have Obama or Biden commanded?  Zero!

Bill Clinton had none in 1992 yet Democrats still praise him as a “great” president.  In his convention speech last week, Clinton made a mocking reference to the criticisms leveled against him:  “Together, we prevailed in a campaign in which the Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be Commander-in-Chief.  Sound familiar?”  It sure does!  Now Democrats are leveling that same criticism against Sarah Palin, just two days after Clinton said it!

“With Joe Biden’s experience and wisdom, supporting Barack Obama’s proven understanding, insight, and good instincts, America will have the national security leadership we need,” Bill Clinton said.  But why is this not good enough for the McCain-Palin ticket?

Judging the experience question by today’s standards, only a former president could fully qualify as experienced enough to be president, a ridiculous threshold.

Palin’s rise to the vice presidential nomination from relative obscurity should not disqualify her either.  Her career and selection for national office reminds me of a great leader and conservative president whose important legacy has been forgotten by a great many Americans.

Grover Cleveland, a Democrat when that was the conservative party, made a similar leap in the 1880s, only straight to the presidency.  In 1882, Cleveland was serving as mayor of Buffalo, New York, a small town in those days.  He was elected governor of New York later that year and was just one and a half years into his governorship (it was just a two year term) when he was nominated and elected president of the United States in 1884. 

Though he might have suffered from a “lack of experience” according to leftwing pundits today, Cleveland was a very successful president for two terms and managed the major crises he faced extremely well, troubles that included an economic panic and a major labor strike that resulted in violence and crippled the nation’s rail network.

Sarah Palin has almost exactly the same amount of experience as Cleveland, so leftwing attacks against her smack of extreme sexism as I see it.

Cleveland, like Palin, also entered office on a similar mantle of reform, hoping to clean up a Washington corrupted by a quarter century of Republican rule.  He stood up to one of the most corrupt organizations in the history of American politics, Tammany Hall, the Democratic political machine in New York City.  This was not seen as a wise move politically but made him a champion reformer in the eyes of the public. 

Likewise Governor Palin took on her own party in Alaska and the major power broker, the oil and gas industry.  Serving as chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission in 2004, which controls and regulates that industry, she resigned in protest over the corruption of one of the leading Republican members, who also happened to be the state party chairman.

She also took on the whole party establishment.  After serving on the city council and as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Palin challenged and defeated Governor Frank Murkowski in the GOP primary in 2006 with 51 percent of the vote.  Murkowski, who angered Alaskans for his nepotism, gained just 19 percent.  In the fall she defeated former governor Tony Knowles 48 to 40.

While leading Alaska, Palin has been a leader in ethics reform, fighting against corruption, and causing high-ranking officials to resign.  She is also unabashedly  in favor of traditional values; she is pro-gun, as lifetime member of the NRA; pro-drilling and favors energy independence; pro-life; and a huge tax and budget-cutter.

For her conservative stances, which the Left hates, her approval ratings are sky high, many times over 80 percent, making her the most popular governor in the nation.  To hear Senators Obama, Biden, and other members of Congress attack Palin, while they themselves enjoy a 9 percent approval rating, borders on the ridiculous.

For these reasons, the Left is terrified of Sarah Palin, which is why they are coming after her with all their might, to discredit her in the hopes McCain will dump her, thereby destroying the Republican ticket.  With her in the mix, the Washington establishment is at risk!

The Obama-Biden campaign should tread lightly in its criticism of Governor Palin.  After angering millions of Hillary supporters, they now run the risk of alienating millions of women across the country, who might take offense over the attacks of one of their own.  Let’s hope, for our sakes, they continue!

The Obama Nobody Knows

Obamania. The Obamessiah.  The One.  Barack America!  Such has been the praise and adulation bestowed upon Barack Obama in recent weeks.  The Media swoons, commentators have funny feelings running up their legs, and reporters follow him around like a bunch of groupies.  Fans faint in his presence.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently called him “a leader that God has blessed us with at this time.”

As Rush Limbaugh says, quite truthfully, Obama does not have supporters, but followers.

In a recent poll, however, 48 percent responded that they were tired of hearing about Obama.  But the leftwing-dominated media continues to heap mounds of praise upon him and dares not criticize.  The tilt toward Obama is so blatantly obvious that it can scarcely be believed.

Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center recently studied the matter and produced a special report entitled “Obama’s Margin of Victory:  The Media,” available on its website (www.mediaresearch.org).  The report concludes that Obama could not have won the Democratic nomination over Hillary Clinton without the help of ABC, NBC, and CBS.  It details some startling statistics.  For instance, these three networks ran 462 positive stories on Obama, compared to just 70 that were critical.  The ratio for NBC Nightly News was 179 to 17 and ABC was 156 to 21.  His gaffes and misstatements were downplayed, as well as his controversial relationships with Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, and William Ayers, but positive events like his major speech on race in Philadelphia drew far more positive coverage.

Such a discrepancy is also evidenced in print media as well, as Time has Obama on the cover this week, the seventh such instance this year alone.  McCain has graced the cover just twice.

But no, the Left screams, there’s no such thing as media bias!

But who is this man, Barack Hussein Obama?  Since the news media has failed to do its job, causing Sean Hannity to rightly wonder if 2008 is the year journalism died, its up to the so-called “alternative media” to flesh out the truth about the Illinois Senator.  An anti-Obama press is now running at full speed ahead. 

Several new books have emerged that take a critical (and more truthful) look at Barack Obama – Jerome Corsi’s The Obama Nation:  Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality; David Freddoso’s The Case Against Barack Obama:  The Unlikely Rise and Unexamined Agenda of the Media’s Favorite Candidate; and the soon-to-be-published book by Brad O’Leary, The Audacity of Deceit:  Barack Obama’s War on American Values.  In addition, Dick Morris’s newest book, Fleeced, includes an entire chapter analyzing a possible Obama presidency and what it would mean for the country.

These important books, as well as an upcoming documentary, should help erode the carefully crafted public persona that Barack Obama and his campaign team has sold to a large portion of the American public, attempting to pass him off as our savior, the only one who can fix what is wrong with America. 

During his televised speech on the night of the last primary, when he was assured of enough delegates for the nomination, Obama made some eye-opening statements, which tell you a lot about his arrogant mindset. 

“We will be able to look back and tell our children,” he said, “that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless.”  I guess nobody even thought to do any of that until Barack Obama arrived!

“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”  Yes, the savior will personally stop the rise of the oceans and heal the planet.  Wow!

The Democratic nominee then traveled to Germany soon after and reminded his foreign admirers, in Berlin, that he was also their savior.  Identifying himself as a “citizen of the world,” Obama spoke of the need to pull down the walls that separate nations.  He wants us all to be citizens of the world and have no allegiance to our nation.  “People of Berlin – people of the world – this is our moment. This is our time,” he continued.  “Our moment” and “our time” to heal the planet, to feed the poor, to share the wealth, to give hope to those left behind, and to rid the world of nuclear weapons, he told them. 

This is the basic liberal mantra we’ve heard all our lives but now expanded on a global scale.  And don’t forget Obama’s Global Poverty Act, his plan to greatly increase our foreign aid payments to the rest of the world, more than $800 billion over the next decade.

Many Americans had a chance to see Barack Obama on the national stage recently at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Forum, answering some tough questions on morals and values.  But his answers were sorely lacking and somewhat awkward.  The reason for Obama’s strange answers at Saddleback is very simple:  he’s trying to mask who he really is.  Barack Obama does not want you to know who he truly is and what he really believes, for if he did, his defeat would be assured.

One important issue raised at the forum was abortion, lying almost dormant in the last few election cycles, which has now risen to the forefront.  But make no mistake, despite his efforts to dodge and weave on the abortion question, Senator “above my pay grade” Obama is an abortion extremist, with one of the most radical records ever recorded, even more so than Barbara Boxer it would seem, if that’s possible. 

Obama, despite his statements to the contrary, has never voted or supported any legislation that would limit abortion, even partial birth abortion.  He also opposed a bill in the Illinois legislature that would have protected infants who were born alive due to botched abortions, the only senator to do so.  Obama did not support the proposed law, which would have prevented babies from being allowed to die on the table!  This is infanticide, pure and simple!  However, since he has gained the nomination, Obama’s new position is that he would have supported it, if it had been like the federal law.  But now we have discovered that it was, in fact, identical to a law passed by Congress.  So Obama lied to hide his extreme position on abortion.

Obama also has many questionable ties to some shady characters, like Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright, and William Ayers. 

Tony Rezko is now a convicted felon facing serious prison time for bribery and corruption charges, yet Obama has known the man for decades and has provided $14 million in Illinois funds to Rezko and his slum business while serving in the state senate.  Rezko was a strong supporter of Obama and raised a lot of money for his campaigns.  But why did Obama continue to remain his friend, knowing full well he was a corrupt slum lord bilking taxpayers for millions?

Jeremiah Wright was Obama’s pastor for more than 20 years in Chicago.  Yet instead of using his church to promote the teachings of Jesus, which you might expect in a Church of Christ, Wright promoted a radical ideology known as Black Liberation Theology that would be as vile as any racist teachings, if whites were conducting it.  Can you imagine White Liberation Theology?  Wright continually trashes the United States, the “US of KKKA,” as he has referred to it, screaming “God D— America” in his sermons.  This man claims the U.S. government created the Aids virus to exterminate blacks and is the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world.  But he also married Obama and his wife Michelle, as well as baptized his two daughters.  So why would Obama continue to reside in this church for more than two decades, leaving only when the political heat became too much?

William Ayers was a member of the Weather Underground, a radical anti-American group who carried out bombings of the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol, and a New York City police station in the 1960s.  He was arrested but a mistake by the prosecutors office allowed him to go free.  Ayers has never been punished for his crimes and to this day he is unrepentant, writing on September 11, 2001 that he did not believe he had done enough!  Barack Obama continues to maintain his friendship with Ayers, serving on boards with him and giving speeches.  Would any decent citizen remain friends with a unforgiving terrorist?

These are questions for which we may never know the true answer.  And all we have gotten from Obama about these strange relationships is a standard answer:  that’s not the man I knew!  It’s not too much of a stretch to believe that John McCain or any Republican would never get off so easily!

Never has a presidential candidate for any major party had this much baggage.  And no self-respecting American citizen would ever associate with such a cast of characters.  So why does Barack Obama?  Do we really want a president who is good friends with someone serving serious prison time for corruption, an unrepentant terrorist, and a radical preacher who hates the United States?

But the bottom line for me is this:  the possible election of Barack Obama to the presidency will mean more than simply having a liberal Democrat in the White House; it will tell me far more about the state of the nation.  Should a majority of our people, or even a strong plurality, cast a vote for this man, with a razor-thin resume, an extreme leftist voting record, and a cast of friends that decent people would not be caught dead with, then our nation is in far worse shape than simply having to endure wrong-headed policies for the next four years.  If a majority of our people can vote Obama for president, then stick a fork in the United States of America, we are done!

The Nightmare That Has Become The American Dream

Have you ever considered the journey of a dollar as it runs the gauntlet that is the tax system in this country?  Studies have been done on how much the government actually ends up with by the time a dollar, or your yearly salary, emerges on the other side and it is staggering.  In some cases the government, on every level, can take more than 80 percent.

Let’s say you have worked all your life to better your situation.  You went to school, maybe taking night classes, all the while working a job or two.  But you eventually move up the social latter, now earning six figures.  Maybe you have your own business or have achieved a high position with a top company.  You buy a house, some land, maybe even a little farm in the country.  Because of your hard work, your children enjoy a better life than you had at their age.  They can attend college full-time and can enroll at a better school than you could afford.  This can be very satisfying, to leave your children and grandchildren with a better life.  Isn’t that the goal of every decent American?

Now consider the high taxes you must tolerate to do this.  On the federal level, the top rate can run anywhere from 35 to 40 percent, depending on who is in office.  You must also pay Medicare and Social Security taxes, which can be high, especially if you are self-employed.  State governments may also have an income tax of varying degrees, but let’s just say an extra 10 percent.  Most states also impose sales taxes on every thing you buy, even food.  Local governments levy property taxes, which can be down-right crippling, and can also tack on a few percentages to the sales tax, generally to promote “tourism.”  Additional federal excises are imposed on things like tires, health care, phone bills, and gasoline.  This is why a six-figure salary, in some parts of the United States, may very well be considered poverty, as there’s scarcely little to actually live on when the taxes are paid.  And though they’ve taken it away from you and your family, much of it goes to others, less fortunate they say, but those who won’t work at any rate, while still more is thrown away on stupid projects like “bridges to nowhere.”

Yet all of this does not take into account what you have to do if you own a business of your own, the taxes and regulations that border on the ridiculous. 

But after all this hassle, with the little dab you have left, you manage to put something extra away for retirement.  Maybe you scrimp and save, working extra jobs, to invest in an IRA, more land, and the like.  After a lifetime of work, you manage to create an estate valued at more than a million dollars, or more, all the while hordes of government bureaucrats hang all over you.  But even though Uncle Sam has his greedy, outstretched hand right there beside you, he never once lifted it to help you during your 60-hour work weeks.

So at the end of your life, when you’ve done all that could be expected of any honest citizen, the Lord finally calls you home.  You’ve worked hard, paid an enormous amount of taxes to support the government, but more importantly you’ve given your children and grandchildren a brighter future.  You pass away peacefully one morning.  But the tax man cometh still.  After your spouse receives a nice Social Security benefit of less than $300, the government takes 55 percent of your estate!  Even in death, thieves continue to take.  In many cases, children end up selling the family estate to pay the bill. 

After considering all this legalized theft, stop to consider what is the biggest obstacle to achieving the American Dream?  No it’s not racism, or sexism, or any of the many other “isms” we have crafted in this age of liberalism!  It’s government, on all levels!  Oh what people in the country could achieve if we had a government that stayed out of our hair!

This is not what the Founders of this nation intended.  They envisioned a place where men could live free and pursue happiness, whatever that happiness may be.  But we have taken that wonderful gift, purchased with their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor,” and are on the verge of completely destroying it.

So contemplate on these things and ask yourself which candidate will best protect and restore what the Founders bestowed on all of us and which nominee will make the nightmare one in which we will never wake up!  The answer should be obvious!

McCain and Obama on History

As a historian I like to know the views of each presidential candidate on American history, which can provide valuable insight into their real thinking. 

For instance, what is their stance on the Constitution?  Do they believe in applying original intent or do they believe it is a living document? 

Another valuable piece of information is who they regard as their favorite president, although this can sometimes be misleading.  But if one chooses Thomas Jefferson or Ronald Reagan you know they believe in smaller government and low taxes, generally speaking.  If they pick someone like FDR, well that tells you quite a bit about their ideas on government’s role in your life.

Both candidates were recently asked by Newsweek about their favorite presidents.

McCain answered, “On the obvious plus side, Lincoln, TR and Reagan are people who are in many respects my role models.”

When asked who he does not want to be like, McCain stated:  “One I was thinking about very recently because of this anti-free-trade, protectionism sentiment that understandably is being bred by our severe economic problems is Herbert Hoover.  In 1930, he signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act and there were other actions that the administration and Congress took that sent us from a recession into a deep depression.  And my study of history is that Herbert Hoover was at least acquiescent, if not very active, in taking all the wrong steps, which again not only didn’t help the situation but exacerbated conditions which led to the most severe depression in the history of this nation.”

This is a constant theme with McCain.  He continually thunders against the dangers of protectionism, yet all three of his role models, including Reagan to some degree, were protectionists. 

But it is really Teddy Roosevelt that McCain admires most, as a recent interview in the New York Times indicates.  During the interview he failed to mention any conservative stalwarts, like Reagan or even Barry Goldwater, as role models.  “I count myself as a conservative Republican, yet I view it to a large degree in the Theodore Roosevelt mold.”  But TR was no traditional conservative.

In the same interview, McCain also laid out his basic philosophy of government.  “I believe less governance is the best governance, and that government should not do what the free enterprise and private enterprise and individual entrepreneurship and the states can do, but I also believe there is a role for government.  Government should take care of those in America who can not take care of themselves.”  Save for the last section, this sounds more Jeffersonian than Rooseveltian. 

TR believed much different, however, and can not be considered a Jeffersonian conservative.  “I don’t think that any harm comes from the concentration of power in one man’s hands,” he once said.  This statement speaks for itself.

Most of TR’s biographers get so caught up in his outgoing personality and charisma, like the mainstream media does with Obama, that they fail to see, or refuse to see, many faults.  A book by Jim Powell, of the Cato Institute, Bully Boy: The Truth About Theodore Roosevelt’s Legacy, describes the consequences of TR’s presidency and what he really stood for.

The United States, TR believed, should engage in “the proper policing of the world.”  McCain would obviously concur with that sentiment, as he has stated on more than one occasion that “there will be other wars.”  It’s quite obvious that he is more hawkish than President Bush.

TR also greatly increased the power and influence of the presidency.  He issued 1,007 executive orders during his administration, the most ever until the administrations of Woodrow Wilson and FDR.  He believed that Congress should obey the president in all matters. 

But Teddy’s view of the Constitution is downright scary.  The conservative interpretation of the Constitution is that, in addition to being a compact among the states, it is a check on executive power; that the federal government can not act unless specifically authorized to do so.  TR rejected this notion and favored the opposite.  He wrote in his autobiography that “it was not only his [the president’s] right but his duty to do anything that the needs of the Nation demanded unless such action was forbidden by the Constitution or by the laws.”  That’s a recipe for tyranny.

“Roosevelt failed to recognize the dangers of political power and war,” writes Powell.  He “recklessly intervened in the lives of Americans and in the affairs of other nations, and we have seen the policy backfire.”

This is McCain’s role model?

As for the Constitution, McCain claims to believe in strict construction, the opposite of Roosevelt, and will appoint like-minded judges to the federal bench.  Yet some of the positions he has taken during his years in Congress, like his campaign finance reform bill, a blatant violation of the First Amendment, cause conservatives to wonder.  McCain once told Don Imus that he would rather have a clean government than one where First Amendment rights are respected!

And remember McCain also supported the bill giving the president a line-item veto, which might be a good idea but where I went to school we learned there is a method for amending the Constitution and Congress cannot do it alone.  The Supreme Court wisely struck down the law.  Only a properly enacted amendment can change the Constitution.

By contrast, Obama’s answers to Newsweek were not nearly as in depth as McCain’s, demonstrating that he probably does not possess a vast knowledge of American history.  “When I think about presidents, I start with Lincoln, and not just because I’m from Illinois.  I think he embodies those qualities that are the very best in America:  upward mobility, an embrace of the future and an ability to stand fast on principle while acknowledging the other side of the debate.”  Upward mobility?  But how can Americans achieve upward mobility when Obama’s tax program, if enacted, will crush anyone who ascends up society’s ladder?  The higher you climb under a President Obama, the harder the government will come down on you!

On bad presidents, Obama stated:  “You know, I have to admit that I don’t spend a lot of time reading about failed presidents.  There is a long list of presidents who did not rise to the times – Hoover, Buchanan, Andrew Johnson.  Many of them are people who did not see, for example, the fault lines of slavery, or the dangers of depression.”

But one must wonder if Obama sees the dangers of depression today, for his policies would commit many of the same mistakes as President Herbert Hoover.  Most history classes that cover the Great Depression claim, erroneously, that Hoover was a true laissez faire capitalist who repeatedly stated that economic storms, like natural ones, should be allowed to blow themselves out.  But this is a complete lie.  Hoover greatly increased government spending to fight the Depression.  His major tax increases, moving the top rate to over 60 percent, had a tremendously negative effect on the economy.  Hoover’s intervention was so large that during the 1932 campaign FDR criticized him and promised to balance the federal budget!

Obama has written much more extensively than McCain on issues of history.  In his book The Audacity of Hope he has an entire chapter on the Constitution, which gives us a lot of insight into his thinking on the supreme law of the land.  Boasting in the book, as he has on the campaign trail, that he was once a “professor” of constitutional law at the University of Chicago, Obama, who incidentally never held the title of professor, takes a typical left wing position, with the likes of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.  “Professor” Obama wrote that while he was “not unsympathetic to Justice Scalia’s position” of strict construction, it was his belief that the Constitution “is not a static but rather a living document, and must be read in the context of an ever-changing world.”  It’s a rationale for which he spends several pages attempting to defend, unsuccessfully in my opinion.

Why, then, would our Founders bother to write the Constitution down on paper for all to see if it could be changed at the whim of a federal judge or the Supreme Court?  Remember the British constitution was not written down, therefore the King could interpret it as he pleased.  Our Founders were not about to repeat the same mistake.  As Joseph Sobran is fond of saying, the Constitution “is written on paper, not rubber.”

But “Professor” Obama claims this is the way its always been done, that even the Founders disagreed passionately on what they had just written, even before “the ink on the constitutional parchment was dry.”  This is partly true but when you understand the history of the period, and the motivations behind many of those involved, you quickly understand why. 

Many Federalists, like Alexander Hamilton, were nationalists who wanted a strong, central government.  They were not happy with the final product in Philadelphia.  In fact Hamilton had argued for a lifetime appointment for the president, the right of the president to appoint all state governors, and for the national government to have a veto over all state actions it did not agree with.  He and his ilk sought to change the Constitution through various means, including judicial interpretations.  It was the Republicans who stood up to him and finally succeeded in their goal, as Mr. Jefferson said, to “sink Federalism into an abyss from which there shall be no resurrection for it.”  And as a result, Jefferson and Madison saved the Revolution.

Studying “Professor” Obama’s grasp of American history, one quickly concludes that he possesses a warped, leftwing view of it.  He incorrectly claims that Jefferson, the great libertarian and foe of governmental power, “helped consolidate the power of the national government even as he claimed to deplore and reject such power.”  How Mr. Jefferson was responsible for this Obama does not bother to say.  He simply takes a shot at a great president who did not believe government was the best solution to our problems, as Senator Obama does.

But as bad as Obama might be with respect to a true understanding of history, McCain can be just as erroneous.  Both men lack true understanding of the nature of our Founding, a continuous mistake that has crippled our republic to the point of destruction.  One problem we face is that we have too many lawyers and not enough statesmen who truly understand our history, our heritage, where we came from, and how we got where we are.  Likewise, many of our people have also forgotten these important lessons.  And now our once great republic is in a state of decline.  Either we return to our proud history of liberty and capitalism, or march into the darkness of socialism and imperialism.

Does Experience Matter?

It seems like the question of experience has emerged in virtually every presidential campaign in recent memory.   And this year it is especially important.

But what does that really mean – to have the experience to be president?  What’s the criteria?  When do you know someone has enough?  And what is more important, political experience, executive experience, or legislative experience?  Diplomatic experience or military experience?  How about business experience? 

Or is it judgment and adherence to principle that matter most?

Examining the historical record I find that there is no correlation between so-called “experience” and a successful presidency. 

Presidents with lots of experience have been successful, while those with little experience have also been successful.  But there has also been presidents with a lifetime of experience who failed and those with little experience who also failed.

And even the question of success and failure is open for debate, as one administration might be successful to some but a failure to others. 

So let us take a peek at a few examples from presidential history.

James Monroe, a protégé of Mr. Jefferson, had one of the most impressive political resumes of any American statesman.  Monroe served in the Virginia State House, the Continental Congress, as a delegate to the Virginia Ratifying Convention that debated the U.S. Constitution, as both a U.S. Senator and Governor of Virginia, as ambassador to England, France, and Spain, and finally as James Madison’s secretary of state, an office, at that time, seen as a stepping stone to the presidency. 

Monroe’s administration was largely successful, even though he tends to get lost in the shuffle of the Virginia Dynasty.  He had to preside over the nation after the costly war with Great Britain, as well as manage the nation’s economy after the onset of the Panic of 1819.  He won re-election in 1820 despite the depression, receiving all but one electoral vote.  Monroe was a strict constructionist, who vetoed the Cumberland Road Bill because he said the Constitution did not grant Congress the power to make such an appropriation.  He signed the Missouri Compromise Bill, which cooled the sectional controversy over slavery for 30 years.  In foreign affairs, he gave us the Monroe Doctrine, one of the great foreign policy papers in American history, completely in line with our traditional non-interventionist position.  Historians have ranked him as high as eighth in presidential polls.

James Buchanan also had a distinguished political resume, as impressive as any American president.  He served in the Pennsylvania state legislature, the U.S. House for ten years, where he was chairman of the Judiciary Committee, the U.S. Senate for two terms, chairing the Committee on Foreign Affairs, served as James K. Polk’s secretary of state, and was also ambassador to both Russia and Great Britain.  He  was even offered an appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court but turned it down.  But with all that experience, and prestige, his presidency was a disaster, mainly due to his judgment or lack thereof. 

With the Supreme Court poised to rule on the Dred Scott case soon after his inauguration on March 4, 1857, Buchanan communicated, unethically, with Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, urging him to make a definitive ruling that would end the fight over slavery in the territories.  Rather than handing down a simple ruling that Dred Scott had no standing to sue in federal court, and leaving it at that, Taney, whether he followed the new president’s prodding or not, handed down a decision that caused the sectional crisis to burn red hot.  And with the Southern States leaving the Union one by one after the election of 1860, Buchanan did absolutely nothing, one way or the other.  He did not even evacuate Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, instead leaving that thorny issue for Lincoln, a situation that led to war rather than peaceful negotiations.  In short, Buchanan fiddled while Rome burned and historians have hammered him for it.

By contrast, Buchanan’s successor, Abraham Lincoln, who most Americans as well as academic historians place in the top spot, had almost no experience at all.  He served a few terms in the Illinois state legislature and one term in the U.S. House, which he himself said was a “flat failure.”  But the conventional historical wisdom is that Lincoln, because he preserved the Union and, supposedly, freed the slaves, was a great success.  I would argue, however, that Lincoln essentially shredded the Constitution to accomplish what he did and, because of that, he does not deserve such a high place in American presidential history.  The damage done to our federal republic is still with us today. 

But looking at it from the standpoint that he accomplished what he set out to do, even implementing the old Whig, now Republican, economic program of high tariffs, centralized banking, and federal-funded internal improvements and subsidies to big business, then he can be regarded as successful, to at least a portion of the country.  Yet if you asked most Americans in 1860 if they knew of Abraham Lincoln, the vast majority, because of his lack of experience, would not have had a clue.

Jimmy Carter also had very little experience and his presidency was the biggest failure of all.  Despite attending the U.S. Naval Academy and serving his country in uniform, Carter, when it came to matters of national security, proved pathetically weak and indecisive.  When radical Islamic thugs in Tehran seized the U.S. embassy, after Carter’s bungling led to the overthrow of the America-friendly Shah, the president did nothing but preside over his own embarrassment for 444 days, while citizens of the United States were held against their will by a group of religious thugs.  Even a military rescue attempt ended in disastrous failure.

Carter’s political experience consisted of a single term in the Georgia state senate and one term as governor but despite his service in Georgia, his domestic record is just as derisory as foreign affairs.  Carter proved unable to deal with crippling economic conditions that included a serious energy shortage.  The president followed liberals in Congress nearly over the cliff, as the nation faced inflation, unemployment, and interest rates all in double-digits.  The situation was so bad that Ted Kennedy challenged Carter for the party nomination in 1980.  Kennedy lost but Carter was crushed by Ronald Reagan in the fall.

Barack Obama’s meteoric rise has been nothing short of spectacular but this has led to questions about his experience to hold the office of president of the United States.  This is a major weak point his campaign must address.  But instead of puffing Obama up, they have, instead, engaged in a campaign to tear McCain’s vast experience down.

Wesley Clark recently launched a full frontal assault on national television against McCain.  “He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn’t held executive responsibility. That large squadron in the Navy that he commanded — that wasn’t a wartime squadron.  In the matters of national security policy making, it’s a matter of understanding risk,  It’s a matter of gauging your opponents and it’s a matter of being held accountable.  John McCain’s never done any of that in his official positions.” 

And Barack Obama has?  Tangling with McCain on experience is not a wise strategy for the Obama campaign.  Though I find no correlation, many Americans do.

But instead of focusing on experience, voters should examine the record of every presidential candidate – any votes they have cast in legislative bodies as well as prior policy initiatives and speeches.  Voters can also determine judgment.  Simply look at the decisions he has made, even during the campaign.  But at the end of the day we are not going to know what kind of president any candidate might be until he finally takes office.

The Democratic “Machine” and the Latino Vote

The new political battleground is shaping up to be an all-out fight between Democrats and Republicans over the increasing Hispanic vote, which could be a key to the future of the United States.  In fact, Barack Obama told the National Council of La Raza, on July 13, that the “Latino community holds the election in your hands.”  But with John McCain as the GOP nominee, Republicans are more than ready to step up to the plate. 

According to Dick Morris, in his new book Fleeced, Latinos might comprise 20 percent of the total population by 2020.  If they vote 90 percent for Democrats, as blacks do, the Republican Party might be forever out of power.  This is a major reason why the late Sam Francis was fond of calling the GOP the “Stupid Party.” 

But instead of taking a patriotic position and seek restrictions on immigration, particularly the flux of illegal aliens, Republicans seem bent on trying to woo Latinos to their side.  Success will be futile, as there are no better sugar daddies than Democrats.

The modern-day Democratic Party has maintained a tradition from the corrupt political machines of the late nineteenth century, based in most Northern cities – get ‘em off the boat and into the booth as fast as possible.  Southern politics after the War Between the States never operated this way, with the exception of Huey Long’s Louisiana, but was devoted solely to the preservation of  white supremacy.  This crooked Northern system is accurately portrayed in the films Gangs of New York and Far and Away.

The most infamous political machine in American history was Tammany Hall in New York City.  Bosses, like William Tweed, were notoriously corrupt.  In fact, Tweed was finally convicted after stealing more than $100 million from taxpayers (that’s $100 million in 19th century dollars!).  He died in prison in 1878.

The old process worked like so.  New immigrants, many from Ireland, arrived on ships which docked at New York harbor.  Once off the boat, they were generally met by a “ward boss” or his representatives.  They were promised jobs and even housing, all provided by the machine.  However, part of every workers’ wages kicked back to support the machine, which provided funds for “get out the vote” drives.  These workers were expected to get out and vote “Tammany” in every election and many of them voted “early and often.”  To not support the machine risked losing job, lodging, and all. 

With its candidates firmly entrenched in office, the machine could then award contracts to its supporters for various government jobs and construction programs.  These contracts, as you might guess, were many times what was needed to complete the project.  But, as with the wages, part of the government funds kicked back to the machine.  The process then started over again.

One major example of the Tweed Ring in action was the construction of a courthouse in New York City, a building still in use today.  The original budget was $250,000, in 1858 just before the War, but by the time it was completed the city had spent $14 million, much of it in the pockets of Tammany bosses.  Roy Morris, in his book Fraud of the Century: Rutherford B. Hayes, Samuel Tilden, and the Stolen Election of 1876, tells of one electrician who submitted a contract to install fire alarms in the new courthouse, for the sum of $60,000, a high bid to be sure.  Boss Tweed responded to his request by asking, “If we get you a contract for $450,000, will you give us $225,000?”  Who could have said no?  And it was taxpayers who were left with the bill.

Democratic politics are not nearly so corrupt today but use a similar method.  Whereas the old political machines used graft and corruption in the form of stealing public funds and shaking down immigrant workers, today’s Democrats use legalized theft in the form of inflationary paper money, high taxes, and government handouts to maintain a permanent voting base.  The more people on the dole, the more likely they are to vote Democrat.  This is a primary motivation behind nationalized health care.

As for Hispanics, Democrats have been in the lead in the race with Republicans to out-promise each other.  Latinos, legal or not, are promised free health care, access to primary and secondary education, tuition breaks to colleges and universities that taxpayers don’t get, Social Security benefits, jobs, and quick citizenship and voting rights.  Step across the border with a pregnant wife due any minute, have the child in a U.S. hospital thereby making it an American citizen, and the authorities can’t send you back, even though this is a major distortion of the original intent of the 14th Amendment.

But Democrats are also not above out-right fraud.  During the 1996 presidential campaign, Democrats hurried the naturalization of more than a million Hispanic voters so they would be eligible to cast ballots that November.  It was known as Citizenship USA, a project initiated by Vice President Al Gore with the full knowledge and backing of President Clinton.  In fact Gore even admitted that the scheme was a “pro-Democrat voter mill.”

From August 1995 to September 1996, according to records from congressional investigations, 1,049,867 aliens received citizenship under the program.  Many of the laws governing naturalization were ignored, like background checks and fingerprinting.  About 180,000 immigrants were never fingerprinted at all.  Another 80,000 who were checked had criminal records, but were naturalized despite those restrictions.  According to David Schippers, a Democrat who headed the congressional investigation against the Clinton administration, one alien was even naturalized while still in jail!

Citizenship USA put politics ahead of the safety of the American people, as well as the laws of the nation.  It’s a prime example of how far Democrats are willing to go to maintain power and win over Hispanics.

Republicans are not nearly so brazen and seem to want a more moderate position that will appeal to enough Hispanics to remain competitive.  But this strategy is destined to fail.  Either the Republicans stand on principle and do what is right for America or fold up their tent and go home.  The war is over.

Lincoln and Darwin: Disastrous Legacies

This week’s edition of Newsweek has a thought-provoking article on Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin.  Author Malcolm Jones points out an interesting historical fact, that both men were born on the same day, February 12, 1809, and both had an extraordinary impact on history.  This celebratory article is likely to be the opening of the literary floodgates, as we get closer to the 200th anniversary of their birth.

Newsweek ponders this question:  which of the two mattered the most?  To Jones its Lincoln, though Darwin is given his due.  I contend, however, that while both are highly relevant, both were also failures, giving us problems that we should rightfully be seeking to correct.

Both men had remarkably similar life experiences, according to Jones.  “Both lost their mothers in early childhood.  Both suffered from depression and both wrestled with religious doubt.  Each had a strained relationship with his father, and each of them lost children to early death.  Both spent the better part of their 20s trying to settle on a career, and neither man gave much evidence of his future greatness until well into middle age:  Darwin published ‘The Origin of Species’ when he was 50, and Lincoln won the presidency a year later.  Both men were private and guarded.”

These are very interesting facts but Jones failed to point out two additional similarities, namely that Lincoln and Darwin were both racists, especially by today’s standards, and their legacies have also been quite destructive. 

Let’s start with Abraham Lincoln, thought by many to be the greatest president in American history, but only when the story is carefully crafted.

So much of what is taught about Lincoln in schools across the nation, from grade school to the doctoral level, is pure myth and outright lies.  He is hailed as the Great Emancipator and “Father Abraham,” a “great friend of the Negro.”  But this is nowhere near the truth.

During the fourth debate with Stephen Douglas at Charleston, Illinois on September 18, 1858 Lincoln gave his personal opinion about blacks: 

“I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which will ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together, there must be the position of superior and inferior. I am as much as any other man in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

These thoughts were very well known at the time.  So much so that William Lloyd Garrison, the famous abolitionist, did not support Lincoln and called him the “slave hound from Illinois” who has “not a drop of anti-slavery blood in his veins.” 

In fact, slavery was not on Lincoln’s mind when he decided to prevent the Southern States from determining their own future, as the American colonies had done in 1776.  In a letter to Horace Greeley, on August 22, 1862, Lincoln set forth his rationale behind the war:  “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.” 

And it must be noted that Lincoln wrote this letter at a time when he had already decided to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed no slaves at all.  It was nothing more than an executive order that only freed slaves in areas that the Confederacy controlled, areas that Lincoln had no control over.  So, simply put, he had no power to free anyone.  The four slaves states remaining in the Union were not covered under this proclamation, nor were areas of the Confederacy that the Union army occupied.

And what of those slaves who were free, before or during the war?  For all of his life Lincoln favored the colonization of freed blacks in the West Indies, Central America, and Africa.  As president he backed a plan to pay masters to free their slaves then send them out of the United States.  Its obvious, given his statement in the debate with Douglas, that Lincoln did not want blacks in North America.

In addition to being a racist, let’s also point out that Lincoln destroyed the fundamental concept of the Constitution, that of a voluntary association of free states with a federal government of limited powers.  When the war ended, America had ceased to be a federal republic and began the journey toward a national centralized state.  A great pillar of Western Civilization, republican government, was not defended, as he claimed in the Gettysburg Address, but assaulted with intent to destroy.

And for those that condemn George W. Bush for trampling American civil liberties should take a look at Lincoln, who imprisoned 14,000 citizens without trial or charges, seized telegraph offices, waged war without congressional approval, and committed war crimes against Southern civilians.

Not quite the legacy of a man who is deserving of a massive monument in the nation’s capital.

Now let’s turn to Charles Darwin, whose theories led to an on-going assault on another pillar of Western Civilizations – Christianity.

Darwin was a naturalist, a scientist of sorts.  After his famed voyage on the Beagle, he stewed over his ideas of evolution and natural selection for nearly two decades, mainly because he feared they would be viciously attacked.  When it was discovered that other scientists were working on similar theories, and were about to publish them, Darwin rushed his thesis to print in 1859.

Now most everyone knows a little something about Darwin’s thesis, that species evolve, or change, over time and through the process of natural selection weaker species, or weaker members of a given species, will eventually die out.  It is also known by the term, “survival of the fittest,” a term Darwin did not use.  But that accurately describes the process Darwin crafted.

It has been said by many of his defenders, mostly in the academic fields, that Darwin did not have humans in mind when he wrote Origin of the Species.  And, upon reading the text, he does not mention mankind.  He feared the inclusion of humans might lead to further hostility.

But it is clear that humans were implied.  Take a look at the full title of Darwin’s most famous work:  On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.  Sound a lot like he is implying humanity to me, not to mention the fact that it is quite racist.  Who could be a “favoured race”?

Darwin’s career was not done, however.  A few years later he published a second book, one which college professors rarely mention.  The second book brings humans into the equation of natural selection.  In The Descent of Man, published in 1871, Darwin wrote, “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races….” 

Scientists today, like Dr. James Watson, are fired and blackballed for saying much less!

Also in The Descent of Man Darwin puts humans at the top of the evolutionary chain and, within the human race itself, ranks Caucasians at the top.  At the very bottom we find “the negro and the Australian [Aborigines]” ranked just above the ape.

According to Benjamin Wiker, author of 10 Books That Screwed Up The World, And Five Others That Didn‘t Help, “Having read The Descent of Man, we can no longer claim that Darwin didn’t intend the biological theory of evolution outlined in the Origin of Species to be applied to human beings.”

Darwin’s theories have had disastrous consequences.  It led to the present assault on Christianity, on-going these last 150 years.  Darwin’s theories gave the atheist intellectual ammunition to show that God did not create the universe or mankind.  Scientists now can claim that man was “not planned” and a “mere accident,” to quote a few.

It has also led to the advent of Nazism and the Holocaust.  Academic professors in our government university system will always argue, unsurprisingly, that Hitler took Darwinism and perverted it into what they term “Social Darwinism.”  But this, given what we have just read, is not the case.  A large portion of Nazi philosophy is draw directly from Charles Darwin.

Richard Weikart, a professor of history at California State University at Stanislaus, in his book From Darwin to Hitler:  Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany, writes that Darwinism gave Hitler and the Nazis the “necessary scientific underpinnings to convince themselves and their collaborators that one of the world’s greatest atrocities was really morally praiseworthy.”

So ask yourself who mattered most, Lincoln or Darwin?  Both were racists and both led assaults against important pillars of Western Civilization.  In my book, both are equally destructive and equally worthy of our condemnation, not our praise.