Groucho Marx once quipped, “These are my principles; and if you don’t like these, I have others.” I started thinking about this old joke as I picked up a penny in the Kroger parking lot. My wife thinks I’m crazy, but I like to go to the grocery and she encourages this quirkiness. I realize that pennies are almost worthless these days, but the principle stamped on the coin resonates in my soul. Pennies proclaim, “In God We Trust.” I do, and this is a foundational principle for me.
I’m reading a book called “And How Should We Then Live.” The author, Francis Schaeffer, is a philosopher, an art historian and a man of faith. He chronicles the rise of our Western culture and attributes much of what we are to Judeo-Christian precepts. A similar argument was made in the “Victory of Reason” by Rodney Stark. Both historians think that Western culture is under assault and is in decline. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in “The Gulag Archipelago” said that to subjugate a people you must take away their history. We are again repeating the mistakes of past civilizations as we allow our schools to take history away from our children.
Sometimes I see glimmers of hope and think perhaps the sleepers are awakening. The History Channel is now running a series called The Bible and I saw an interview with the producers on TV. I was impressed by their sincerity, and though I might quibble with their artistic license of the greatest story ever told, I firmly believe in the message. Illiteracy of the Bible and our collective history is the path to subjugation.
I’m not a Catholic, but I find myself strangely drawn to the drama in Rome and the Catholic Church. I watched as the white smoke rose from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel heralding the election of the Vicar of Rome and the new Spiritual Leader of a quarter of the world’s population. I believe anything that furthers the faithful benefits our collective civilization. I find it offensive that TV talking heads immediately set out to denigrate Francis I for his defense of marriage, his belief that abortion is wrong, and contraception is against the teachings of Catholicism. Progressives and secularists howled when the Cardinals selected a man who stood up for his beliefs in his own country and was internally banished for opposing the liberal Argentinean president, Cristina Kirchner. It took the intervention of Pope Jean Paul II to restore Francis’ stature in the Church, and we can only hope he can now reform the bureaucracy of the Vatican and raise the stature of Christendom.
The word conservative comes from the Latin word conservare and means to keep safe the traditions of the past. This is not a staid philosophy, but is a measured one. Obama said his desire is to transform America. He voiced even more radical perspectives in his book “Dreams from My Father.” I read the book; did you? As a writer I believe what an author writes is the truest reflection of his heart. You can tell if writing is honest and sincere even if you don’t agree with the writer. I don’t agree with Obama’s vision for America even though his book was beautifully written.
In 1940 The London Times first used the term quisling for those who collaborated with the conquering Nazi war machine. The term came from the Norwegian politician Vidkun Quisling who assisted in the overthrow of his government so he could become its titular leader under the Nazis.
I cannot support something I know in my heart is wrong; and I believe America has been led down the wrong path. I have been advised to compromise my principles. I have been ordered to change the words in my column by those outside my Focus family. I have been called vile names and I am increasingly ostracized by those who collaborate with wrong. The likes of John McCain would have railed at me were I as influential as Senator Rand Paul, our modern day Mr. Smith gone to Washington.
The Progressive philosophy, masquerading as the Democrat Party, had its origins as a populist movement in the late 1800s. Originally, it opposed the injustices of the Industrial Revolution and Robber Barons like Vanderbilt and Carnegie, but later brought us such popular programs as our graduated income tax and prohibition. You see, the government needed more money and needed to control its children. The American People eventually turned on Progressives, but in 1924 John Dewey rebranded them as “Modern Liberals.” Please recognize that our Founders were Classical Liberals who believed in constitutionally limited government and individual freedom, the opposite of Progressivism.
“Modern” Liberalism of the last fifty years, which brought us The Great Society, has been a dismal failure. How instructive that Liberals have again rebranded themselves as Modern Progressives. Both Hillary Clinton and President Obama call themselves modern progressives.
“How should we then live?” We must get educated and get involved. You should not trust the quisling media or me; find your own truth. Don’t expect our dysfunctional government to fix your problems or take care of you. Refuse to be enslaved and banished to the government plantation. Resist giving the government more of your labors (taxes) in the hopes that they’ll throw you some beans and rice over the fence at the end of the day. We The People must say NO! to tyranny. Marco Rubio said it well, “We don’t need a new Idea. The Idea is called “America,” and it still works.”