Droughts periodically strike the United States and this year is no different, as a severe calamity has affected at least half the country, the worst, at least so far, since 1956. The House of Representatives recently passed a one-year relief bill, yet the Senate adjourned for August recess without acting on it. Senate Democrats have already passed a massive agriculture bill that totals nearly $1 trillion over a decade and want the House to do likewise.
So the question is not if there will be relief, but only how much relief will be doled out from Washington. It wasn’t always this way. During the late 1880’s, a severe drought struck Texas. Congress, growing with progressive-minded members, sought to help, since no organization like the notoriously inept, incompetent, and corrupt FEMA existed in those days. Continue reading
“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety,” wrote Benjamin Franklin in 1755, “deserve neither liberty nor safety.” We don’t deserve either, he felt, because we will have neither.
Americans today seem to be doing just that, giving up our cherished rights as free men and women, with little resistance, in order to live in a promised state of security, protected from domestic criminals and international terrorists. But are we really safe? And are we still free? Continue reading
“The whole aim of practical politics,” wrote famed journalist H. L. Mencken, “is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
Truer words were never spoken, which begs important questions: Will our “War on Terror” ever end? Will our need for national security ever diminish? Most likely not, as Washington is always on the lookout for more ways to protect us from our “enemies.” As Vice President Biden told recent graduates at West Point, “Prepare for new threats.”
But new laws designed for our safety threaten to reach deeper and deeper into our private lives with more intrusive surveillance, as many in our government have taken to heart words attributed to Cicero, “In times of war, the law falls silent.” Continue reading
America is at a crossroads. The 2012 election, as well as those in the very near future, could very well determine what kind of nation we will leave for posterity. Yet, while on our current political trajectory, America is in danger of losing the constitutional republic created by the Founding Fathers, and once lost, it might be gone forever.
My new book, The Last Jeffersonian: Grover Cleveland and the Path to Restoring the Republic, examines the true nature of conservative thought, the present direction of the nation, and the changes we must make in order to preserve our great political heritage. Exhibit A in achieving these three goals is a study of the public career of Grover Cleveland, who served as the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, from 1885-1889 and from 1893-1897.
As a great public servant – mayor, governor, and president – Cleveland confronted many of the same troubles we face in our time – the public character and behavior of our candidates, the role of government in the everyday lives of the people, the burden of taxation, the distribution of wealth, government involvement in an economic depression, spending, constitutional interpretation, and complex foreign affairs. Continue reading