Thomas Sowell talks to Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard about the differences between Liberalism (ie. statism) and Conservatism. (The video dates from 2010.)
“The only way the Constitution can protect us, is if we protect the Constitution.”
And we hear many more wise words from Professor Thomas Sowell in this video made just before the 2012 presidential election.
It’s probably from Christianity that Socialism derives the idea that it’s virtuous to abase oneself. Sociological thinking and the leftist collectivist ideal of leveling require self-abasement.
Sometimes we come across statements or practices by leftist ideologues that sample for us all that is repulsive, anti-human, narrow and dumb about the Left.
Here for instance is a report, by Kyle Olson at Townhall, of just such a sample. It is about education officials prescribing self-abasement for Whites – as St. Paul did for Christians.
Wisconsin Education Officials Want Students to Wear “White Privilege” Wristbands.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction runs several programs that heavily emphasize racial issues in public schools …
Some feel that one of those programs – an Americorps operation called VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) – may go a bit overboard by encouraging white students to wear a white wristband “as a reminder about your (white) privilege.” …
A Gloria Steinem quote on the top of VISTA’s Facebook page reads ominously:
“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.”
The webpage also offers a series of suggestions for high schools students to become more racially sensitive. They include:
Wear a white wristband as a reminder about your privilege, and as a personal commitment to explain why you wear the wristband.
Confess, confess. Confess to being white. Hang your head and be ashamed. Make amends by abasing yourself.
Set aside sections of the day to critically examine how privilege is working.
Put a note on your mirror or computer screen as a reminder to think about privilege.
Examine your conscience. Repent being white.
The Wisconsin DPI also sponsors several similar programs, including CREATE Wisconsin, an on-going “cultural sensitivity” teacher training program which focuses largely on “whiteness” and “white privilege.”
Hating whitey sessions? After which the teachers will be better able to educate the children of Wisconsin?
An opposite way of thinking about race may be found in a column by the wise and great Thomas Sowell. He writes:
There are so many fallacies about race that it would be hard to say which is the most ridiculous. However, one fallacy behind many other fallacies is the notion that there is something unusual about different races being unequally represented in various institutions, careers or at different income or achievement levels.
A hundred years ago, the fact that people from different racial backgrounds had very different rates of success in education, in the economy and in other endeavors, was taken as proof that some races were genetically superior to others.
Some races were considered to be so genetically inferior that eugenics was proposed to reduce their reproduction, and Francis Galton urged [in tune with Marx and Engels - ed] “the gradual extinction of an inferior race.”
It was not a bunch of fringe cranks who said things like this. Many held Ph.D.s from the leading universities, taught at the leading universities and were internationally renowned.
Presidents of Stanford University and of MIT were among the many academic advocates of theories of racial inferiority — applied mostly to people from Eastern and Southern Europe, since it was just blithely assumed in passing that blacks were inferior.
This was not a left-right issue. The leading crusaders for theories of genetic superiority and inferiority were iconic figures on the left, on both sides of the Atlantic.
John Maynard Keynes helped create the Cambridge Eugenics Society. Fabian socialist intellectuals H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw were among many other leftist supporters of eugenics.
It was much the same story on this side of the Atlantic. President Woodrow Wilson, like many other Progressives, was solidly behind notions of racial superiority and inferiority. He showed the movie “Birth of a Nation,” glorifying the Ku Klux Klan, at the White House, and invited various dignitaries to view it with him. …
Now, instead of genes being the overriding reason for differences in outcomes, racism [has become] the one-size-fits-all explanation … [for] the same false premise — namely, that there is something unusual about different racial and ethnic groups having different achievements. …
Not only different racial and ethnic groups, but whole nations and civilizations, have had very different achievements for centuries. China in the 15th century was more advanced than any country in Europe. Eventually Europeans overtook the Chinese — and there is no evidence of changes in the genes of either of them.
Among the many reasons for different levels of achievement is something as simple as age. The median age in Germany and Japan is over 40, while the median age in Afghanistan and Yemen is under 20. Even if the people in all four of these countries had the same mental potential, the same history, the same culture — and the countries themselves had the same geographic features — the fact that people in some countries have 20 years more experience than people in other countries would still be enough to make equal economic and other outcomes virtually impossible.
Add the fact that different races evolved in different geographic settings, presenting very different opportunities and constraints on their development, and the same conclusion follows.
Yet the idea that differences in outcomes are odd, if not sinister, has been repeated mindlessly from street corner demagogues to the august chambers of the Supreme Court.
Here’s Thomas Sowell, with Peter Robinson, talking good sense on race, racism, and discrimination
Experimenting with people’s lives is the occupation and preoccupation of the Left.
If leftists’ do-goodery does painful harm, they do not see it as a reason to abandon a theory that makes them feel good for believing in it.
Thomas Sowell writes at the National Review:
If there is ever a contest for the law with the most grossly misleading title, the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 should be a prime candidate, because the last thing this act protects is the welfare of Indian children.
The theory behind the Indian Child Welfare Act is that an American Indian child should be raised in an American Indian culture.
Based on that theory, a newborn baby of American Indian ancestry, who was adopted immediately after birth by a white couple, was, at 27 months of age, taken away from the only parents she had ever known and given to her father.
Apparently, the tribe has rights under the Indian Child Welfare Act. If this child were of any other race, a court would be free to decide the case on the basis of whatever was in the best interests of the child. Instead, the child is treated almost as property, contrary to the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery. …
Anyone who would ruin a helpless child’s life in order to assert [his] own legal prerogatives, or to protect the tribe’s turf, raises very serious questions about what kind of parent [he] is.
The question is not just which home is better, but whether the child will ever feel secure in any home again after the shock of being forcibly taken away.
The welfare of a flesh-and-blood human being should trump theories about cultures — especially in the case of a two-year-old child who has been torn away from the only parents she has ever known, and treated as a pawn in a legalistic game.
This little girl is just the latest in a long line of Indian children who have been ripped out of the only family they have ever known and given to someone who is a stranger to them, often to live on an Indian reservation that is foreign to them. This has happened even to children who have spent a decade or more with a family to which they have become attached and which is attached to them.
There have already been too many scenes of weeping and frightened children, crying out in vain for the only mother and father they know, as they are forcibly dragged away.
Whatever the merits or demerits of various theories about culture, they are still just theories. But too many people put their pet theories ahead of flesh-and-blood human beings.
One of the rationales for the Indian Child Welfare Act is that, in the past, Indian children were wantonly wrested from their Indian parents and sent off to be raised by non-Indians. But nothing we can do today can undo the wrongs of the past — especially not by creating the same wrongs again, in reverse.
While those who are most victimized by the so-called Indian Child Welfare Act are the children ripped out of their homes to satisfy some theory, they are not the only victims. Indian children without biological parents to take care of them can be needlessly left in institutional care when there are not enough Indian foster parents or adoptive parents to take them into their homes. …
Less than 2 percent of the children in Minnesota are Indian, but 15 percent of the children in that state’s foster-care system are Indian. In Montana, 9 percent of the children are Indian, but Indian children make up 37 percent of the children in foster care.
What a price to pay for a theory!
Here is a young Thomas Sowell arguing against state welfare with a dyed-in-the-wool do-gooder – whose preferred policies have continued to increase poverty and dependency. (Milton Friedman is also there, smiling with delight – we guess – at Sowell’s exposition.)
Liberals’ devotion to their ideology greatly exceeds their concern about what actually happens to flesh and blood human beings as a result of their ideology.
With his usual clarity, Thomas Sowell explains how blacks are made to suffer from liberal policies which make only the liberals themselves feel good.
There is no question that liberals do an impressive job of expressing concern for blacks. But do the intentions expressed in their words match the actual consequences of their deeds?
San Francisco is a classic example of a city unexcelled in its liberalism. But the black population of San Francisco today is less than half of what it was back in 1970, even though the city’s total population has grown.
Severe restrictions on building housing in San Francisco have driven rents and home prices so high that blacks and other people with low or moderate incomes have been driven out of the city. The same thing has happened in a number of other California communities dominated by liberals.
Liberals try to show their concern for the poor by raising the level of minimum wage laws. Yet they show no interest in hard evidence that minimum wage laws create disastrous levels of unemployment among young blacks in this country, as such laws created high unemployment rates among young people in general in European countries.
The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state. Most black children grew up in homes with two parents during all that time but most grow up with only one parent today.
Liberals have pushed affirmative action, supposedly for the benefit of blacks and other minorities. But two recent factual studies show that affirmative action in college admissions has led to black students with every qualification for success being artificially turned into failures by being mismatched with colleges for the sake of racial body count. …
In all these cases, and many others, liberals take positions that make them look good and feel good — and show very little interest in the actual consequences for others, even when liberal policies are leaving havoc in their wake.
The current liberal crusade for more so-called “gun control” laws is more of the same. Factual studies over the years, both in the United States and in other countries, repeatedly show that “gun control” laws do not in fact reduce crimes committed with guns.
Cities with some of the tightest gun control laws in the nation have murder rates far above the national average. In the middle of the 20th century, New York had far more restrictive gun control laws than London, but London had far less gun crime. Yet gun crimes in London skyrocketed after severe gun control laws were imposed over the next several decades.
Although gun control is not usually considered a racial issue, a wholly disproportionate number of Americans killed by guns are black. But here, as elsewhere, liberals’ devotion to their ideology greatly exceeds their concern about what actually happens to flesh and blood human beings as a result of their ideology. …
Many liberal ideas about race sound plausible, and it is understandable that these ideas might have been attractive 50 years ago. What is not understandable is how so many liberals can blindly ignore 50 years of evidence to the contrary since then.
There is abundant proof that the welfare state, redistribution of wealth, regulation of individual lives by government, do not raise populations from poverty to prosperity, from misery to happiness. Could there be greater lessons in the fallacy of socialism, statism, collectivism – call it what you will – than the collapse of the Soviet Union, the ruin of Greece, the change to capitalism in China? Yet the Left clings to its formula of failure.
Why do liberals continue to pursue policies that not only keep people poor but make them poorer?
Because without underdogs they would have no cause. Without underdogs they would have no one to feel superior to. Since they cannot be unaware that their policies work against life, liberty. and the pursuit of happiness, the only conclusion to be drawn is that that is their whole idea: to keep the poor ever poor, ever dependent on government, so that – as Thomas Sowell says – they themselves may “look and feel good”.
There may be far fewer self-proclaimed Christians among liberals than among conservatives, but it is the liberals who keep the abasing values and moral hubris of Christianity alive and active in contemporary politics.
“A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn is not so much a history, more a compendium of complaint. And (therefore) of every Leftist issue you could think of.
(We have written about Zinn before. See our post Zinn writes histories, December 11, 2009.)
The “People” in Zinn’s mind are a totally different species from the “fifty-five privileged white males whose class interest required a strong central government” and so wrote the Constitution and founded the Union. Those same fifty-five privileged white males of a species different from the People have continued to pursue their selfish material interests ever since at the expense of downtrodden masses. These masses, this vast victimized majority (he quotes Shelley at them: “Ye are many; they are few!”), consists of subordinated races, females, persons of minority sexual preferences (he doesn’t call them that), and people who would like to be rich but do not manage to become so (he doesn’t call them that).
Zinn milks pity from his readers (or tries to). He would have you feel bad if you are white, if you are male, if you are “privileged” (ie not poor), and if you are American; but implies over some 700 pages that you can redeem yourself from your badness if you will beat your breast frequently, cry ‘Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!” every day of your life, and join with the complainers in bringing down those fifty-five imperial villains by becoming a violent radical socialist revolutionary or, more comfortably – well, he doesn’t say so in the book because it was published before the Occupy Wall Street movement emerged, but he would have said, by joining it.
Thomas Sowell writes at Townhall:
Schools were once thought of as places where a society’s knowledge and experience were passed on to the younger generation. But, about a hundred years ago, Professor John Dewey of Columbia University came up with a very different conception of education — one that has spread through American schools of education, and even influenced education in countries overseas.
John Dewey saw the role of the teacher, not as a transmitter of a society’s culture to the young, but as an agent of change — someone strategically placed, with an opportunity to condition students to want a different kind of society.
Or to put it another way: indoctrinate students to believe that a much better society – even a perfect one – could be planned and is only not being planned because “corporate interests” (a euphemism for the fifty-five immortals who founded the USA) will not allow it.
A century later, we are seeing schools across America indoctrinating students to believe in all sorts of politically correct notions. The history that is taught in too many of our schools is a history that emphasizes everything that has gone bad, or can be made to look bad, in America — and that gives little, if any, attention to the great achievements of this country.
If you think that is an exaggeration, get a copy of “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn and read it. As someone who used to read translations of official Communist newspapers in the days of the Soviet Union, I know that those papers’ attempts to degrade the United States did not sink quite as low as Howard Zinn’s book.
That book has sold millions of copies, poisoning the minds of millions of students in schools and colleges against their own country. But this book is one of many things that enable teachers to think of themselves as “agents of change,” without having the slightest accountability for whether that change turns out to be for the better or for the worse — or, indeed, utterly catastrophic.
This misuse of schools to undermine one’s own society is not something confined to the United States or even to our own time. It is common in Western countries for educators, the media and the intelligentsia in general, to single out Western civilization for special condemnation for sins that have been common to the human race, in all parts of the world, for thousands of years.
Meanwhile, all sorts of fictitious virtues are attributed to non-Western societies, and their worst crimes are often passed over in silence, or at least shrugged off by saying some such thing as “Who are we to judge?”
Even in the face of mortal dangers, political correctness forbids us to use words like “terrorist” when the approved euphemism is “militant.” Milder terms such as “illegal alien” likewise cannot pass the political correctness test, so it must be replaced by another euphemism, “undocumented worker.”
Some think that we must tiptoe around in our own country, lest some foreigners living here or visiting here be offended by the sight of an American flag or a Christmas tree in some institutions. …
American schools today are … undermining American society as one unworthy of defending, either domestically or internationally.
Which reminds us of what happened to Rome when it took on Christianity, the first Mea Culpa creed in history.
Thomas Sowell writes at Investor’s Business Daily:
The political slogan “Forward” served Barack Obama well during this year’s election campaign. It said that he was for going forward, while Republicans were for “going back to the failed policies that got us into this mess in the first place.”
It was great political rhetoric and great political theater. Moreover, the Republicans did virtually nothing to challenge its shaky assumptions with a few hard facts that could have made those assumptions collapse like a house of cards.
The Republicans did virtually nothing to challenge any of the assumptions – or the lies, or the deeds – of the Democrats.
More is involved than this year’s political battles. The word “forward” has been a political battle cry on the left for more than a century. It has been almost as widely used as the left’s other favorite word, “equality,” which goes back more than two centuries.
The seductive notion of economic equality has appealed to many people. The pilgrims started out with the idea of equal sharing. The colony of Georgia began with very similar ideas. In the Midwest, Britain’s Robert Owen — who coined the term “socialism” — set up colonies based on communal living and economic equality.
What these idealistic experiments all had in common was that they failed.
They learned the hard way that people would not do as much for the common good as they would do for their own good. The pilgrims nearly starved learning that lesson. But they learned it. Land that had been common property was turned into private property, which produced a lot more food.
Similar experiments were tried on a larger scale in other countries around the world. In the biggest of these experiments — the Soviet Union under Stalin and Communist China under Mao — people literally starved to death by the millions.
In the Soviet Union, at least 6 million people starved to death in the 1930s, in a country with some of the most fertile land on the continent of Europe, a country that had once been a major exporter of food. In China, tens of millions of people starved to death under Mao.
Despite what the left seems to believe, private property rights do not exist simply for the sake of people who own property. Americans who do not own a single acre of land have abundant food available because land is still private property in the United States, even though the left is doing its best to restrict property rights in both the countryside and in the cities.
The other big feature of the egalitarian left is promotion of a huge inequality of power, while deploring economic inequality.
It is no coincidence that those who are going ballistic over the economic inequality between the top 1% or 2% and the rest of us are promoting a far more dangerous concentration of political power in Washington — where far less than 1% of the population increasingly tell 300 million Americans what they can and cannot do, on everything from their light bulbs and toilets to their medical care.
This movement in the direction of central planning, under the name of “forward,” is in fact going back to a system that has failed in countries around the world — under both democratic and dictatorial governments and among peoples of virtually every race, color, creed and nationality.
It is one thing when conservative leaders like Ronald Reagan in America and Margaret Thatcher in Britain declared central planning a failure. But what really puts the nails in the coffin is that, before the end of the 20th century, both socialist and communist governments around the world began abandoning central planning.
India and China are the biggest examples. In both countries, cutbacks on government control of the economy were followed by dramatically increased economic growth rates, lifting millions of people out of poverty in both countries. …
We are going “forward” to a repeatedly failed past, following a charismatic leader, after a 20th century in which charismatic leaders led countries into unprecedented catastrophes.
Obama, however weak his grasp of economic theory, must surely have noticed that socialism sooner or later brings nations to a drab and stagnant equality of misery. Even he must have some notion that centrally planned economies do no good for the wealth, the might, or the progress of the country. What’s hard ( it seems) for many voters to accept, though it’s manifestly the case, is that Obama does not want a prosperous America. He wants power. He wants to be a central planner, not preside over a prosperous, strong, innovative nation. For him socialism is just the ticket.
Carrying high his banner with “Forward!” blazoned on it, he leads America back to the past – not its own past, but via welfare Greece, Mao’s China, Soviet Russia … towards (look! – millions of Americans trailing after him, their eyes bright with expectation) … towards just such another graveyard of hope.
Yesterday, by a majority of 1,057,148* (a figure we have just derived from the Drudge Report), Americans chose to give up liberty by re-electing the socialist Islam-lover Barack Obama to the presidency.
And so “government of the people, by the people, for the people” is perishing, contrary to President Lincoln’s hope.
It is no wild exaggeration but a sober truth that Obama prefers to govern in the manner of a tyrant, against liberty in principle, and destructive of it in practice.
Thomas Sowell gives a few of many possible examples of Obama’s contempt for American Constitutional democracy:
The checks and balances of the Constitution have been evaded time and time again by the Obama administration, undermining the fundamental right of the people to determine the laws that govern them, through their elected representatives.
You do not have a self-governing people when huge laws are passed too fast for the public to even know what is in them.
You do not have a self-governing people when “czars” are created by Executive Orders, so that individuals wielding vast powers equal to, or greater than, the powers of Cabinet members do not have to be vetted and confirmed by the people’s elected representatives in the Senate, as Cabinet members must be.
You do not have a self-governing people when decisions to take military action are referred to the United Nations and the Arab League, but not to the Congress of the United States, elected by the American people, whose blood and treasure are squandered.You do not have a self-governing people when a so-called “consumer protection” agency is created to be financed by the unelected officials of the Federal Reserve System, which can create its own money out of thin air, instead of being financed by appropriations voted by elected members of Congress who have to justify their priorities and trade-offs to the taxpaying public.
You do not have a self-governing people when laws passed by the Congress, signed by previous Presidents, and approved by the federal courts, can have the current President waive whatever sections he does not like, and refuse to enforce those sections, despite his oath to see that the laws are faithfully executed.
Barack Obama … has refused to carry out sections of the immigration laws that he does not like, unilaterally creating de facto amnesty for those illegal immigrants he has chosen to be exempt from the law. The issue is not — repeat, NOT — the wisdom or justice of this President’s immigration policy, but the seizing of arbitrary powers not granted to any President by the Constitution of the United States.
You do not have a self-governing people if President Obama succeeds in having international treaties under United Nations auspices govern the way Americans live their lives, whether with gun control laws or other laws. …
The desire to circumvent the will of the American people was revealed even more ominously when Barack Obama said to Russian President Medvedev – when he thought the microphone was off – that, after he is reelected and need never face the voters again, he can be more “flexible” with the Russians about missile defense.
There are other signs of Obama’s contempt for American Constitutional democracy, but these should be more than enough. Dare we risk how far he will go when he never has to face the voters again, and can appoint Supreme Court justices who can rubber stamp his power grabs?
A majority of 1,057,148 chose to force the nation to risk it.
America is no longer the political embodiment of the idea of liberty.
Thomas Sowell ends by asking rhetorically –
Will this still be America in 2016?
* Later numbers of popular and electoral college votes may be found here.
People died, Obama lied. Yes, that happened in Libya last month, when Ambassador Stevens and three other American were murdered by terrorists, having been refused the protection the ambassador had asked the State Department for. And Obama and his henchwomen went on lying and lying about what happened. (You need a bitter sense of Huma to appreciate the appalling story to the full.)
But that is not the story that Thomas Sowell deals with in the article we appreciatively quote from here. He is writing about a speech Obama made in 2007 in which he typically lied. Dr Sowell calls Obama “Phony in Chief“.
When President Barack Obama and others on the left are not busy admonishing the rest of us to be “civil” in our discussions of political issues, they are busy letting loose insults, accusations and smears against those who dare to disagree with them.
Like so many people who have been beaten in a verbal encounter, and who can think of clever things to say the next day, after it is all over, President Obama, after his clear loss in his debate with Mitt Romney, called Governor Romney a “phony.”
Innumerable facts, however, show that it is our Commander in Chief who is Phony in Chief. A classic example was his speech to a predominantly black audience at Hampton University on June 5, 2007. [ See the video below.] That date is important, as we shall see.
In his speech — delivered in a ghetto-style accent that Obama doesn’t use anywhere except when he is addressing a black audience — he charged the federal government with not showing the same concern for the people of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina hit as they had shown for the people of New York after the 9/11 attacks, or the people of Florida after hurricane Andrew hit.
Departing from his prepared remarks, he mentioned the Stafford Act, which requires communities receiving federal disaster relief to contribute 10 percent as much as the federal government does.
Senator Obama, as he was then, pointed out that this requirement was waived in the case of New York and Florida because the people there were considered to be “part of the American family.” But the people in New Orleans — predominantly black — “they don’t care about as much,” according to Barack Obama.
If you want to know what community organizers do, this is it – rub people’s emotions raw to hype their resentments. And this was Barack Obama in his old community organizer role, a role that should have warned those who thought that he was someone who would bring us together, when he was all too well practiced in the arts of polarizing us apart.
Why is the date of this speech important? Because, less than two weeks earlier, on May 24, 2007, the United States Senate had in fact voted 80-14 to waive the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans, as it had waived that requirement for New York and Florida. More federal money was spent rebuilding New Orleans than was spent in New York after 9/11 and in Florida after hurricane Andrew, combined.
Truth is not a job requirement for a community organizer. Nor can Barack Obama claim that he wasn’t present the day of that Senate vote, as he claimed he wasn’t there when Jeremiah Wright unleashed his obscene attacks on America from the pulpit of the church that Obama attended for 20 years.
Unlike Jeremiah Wright’s church, the U.S. Senate keeps a record of who was there on a given day. The Congressional Record for May 24, 2007 shows Senator Barack Obama present that day and voting on the bill that waived the Stafford Act requirement. Moreover, he was one of just 14 Senators who voted against – repeat, AGAINST – the legislation which included the waiver.
When he gave that demagogic speech, in a feigned accent and style, it was world class chutzpah and a rhetorical triumph. He truly deserves the title Phony in Chief. …
Obama’s true believers may not want to know the truth. But there are millions of other people who have simply projected their own desires for a post-racial America onto Barack Obama. These are the ones who need to be confronted with the truth, before they repeat the mistake they made when they voted four years ago.
Why did Chief Justice Roberts betray the hope that a majority of Americans had placed in him to preserve such freedom as they still possessed?
Was it moral cowardice and personal vanity?
Some believe it was. This is from an IBD editorial:
According to a report by CBS News, Roberts switched his position at the same time the White House, the Democratic Senate and their henchmen in the media made a full frontal assault on him.
In an unseemly move that smacked of intimidation, President Obama warned the court it would be “an unprecedented extraordinary step” for the court to overturn his signature health law. The head of the Senate Judiciary Committee singled out Roberts himself. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., mau-maued him to uphold ObamaCare and maintain “the proper role of the judicial branch.”
The Washington media piled on by demonizing Roberts as partisan. The orchestrated campaign to save ObamaCare included reports warning of damage to the court and to Roberts’ reputation if they voided the law.
Unlike many justices, Roberts “pays attention to media coverage,” CBS says, and he’s highly “sensitive” to how he and the court are perceived by the public.
The last thing Roberts wanted was the Congressional Black Caucus branding him racist for denying the first black president his signature achievement.
Suddenly Roberts, sold by the Bush White House as a solid constitutional conservative, went “wobbly.” Anthony Scalia and other conservatives on the bench spent a full month trying to bring him back to his original position.
But Roberts held firm. And conservatives told him he was on his own. They wrote a highly unusual dissent that deliberately ignored his decision. …
He played politics, which is beyond outrageous. Roberts … expanded government power by giving Congress license to impose taxes to regulate behavior.
If Roberts wanted to make the court look politically neutral, he failed miserably. Nothing could be more political than the head of the bench rewriting bad law to avoid appearing political. If Roberts hoped to burnish the court’s reputation, he succeeding only in staining it.
Roberts could have stopped one of the most glaringly unconstitutional laws ever written, and did not.
This is his legacy.
If it is true that he upheld Obama’s socialist health care law for fear of being hated and accused by the Left, and as a result is now hated and accused by the Right, what has he gained?
His feelings should not have been a factor in his judgment. To be reviled by vile people is a compliment and an honor.
The fear of being hated and reviled is seen by Dennis Prager as so widespread as to account for the success of the Left. He portrays the Left as a cohort of bullies, and the Right as consisting all too largely of cowards.
Given how many more Americans define themselves as conservative rather than as liberal, let alone than as left, how does one explain the success of left-wing policies?
One answer is the appeal of entitlements and a desire to be taken care of. It takes a strong-willed citizen to vote against receiving free benefits. But an even greater explanation is the saturation of Western society by left-wing hate directed at the right. The left’s demonization, personal vilification, and mockery of its opponents have been the most powerful tools in the left-wing arsenal for a century. …
The Left has labeled its ideological opponents evil. And when you control nearly all of the news media and schools, that labeling works. …
What matters to most of those who speak for the left is not truth. It is destroying the good name of its opponents. That is the modus operandi of the left. …
To protect himself from vilification by the Left was “the overwhelmingly likely motivation of Chief Justice John Roberts to declare the ObamaCare individual mandate constitutional despite his ruling that, as passed, the mandate was in fact unconstitutional.”
[He] and his conservative colleagues on the Supreme Court have been the targets of media and academia vitriol and personal invective for years, and in some cases, decades. But while his conservative colleagues don’t care, Justice Roberts does.
As reported by CBS News:
“Some of the conservatives, such as Justice Clarence Thomas, deliberately avoid news articles on the Court when issues are pending . . . . They’ve explained that they don’t want to be influenced by outside opinion or feel pressure from outlets that are perceived as liberal.
“But Roberts pays attention to media coverage. As Chief Justice, he is keenly aware of his leadership role on the Court, and he also is sensitive to how the Court is perceived by the public. ["The public" means liberal media and academics.]
“There were countless news articles in May warning of damage to the Court – and to Roberts’ reputation – if the Court were to strike down the mandate.
“Some even suggested that if Roberts struck down the mandate, it would prove he had been deceitful during his confirmation hearings, when he explained a philosophy of judicial restraint.”
[His] change reassure[s] progressives that ridicule, demonization, and character assassination work. With the stakes so high in the forthcoming election, expect it to only increase.
Thomas Sowell does not deny that motives of cowardice and vanity moved Roberts, but thinks the question of motive is “ultimately irrelevant”. What he accuses Roberts of is dereliction of duty.
Roberts was wrong in assessing where his duty lay.
Betrayal is hard to take, whether in our personal lives or in the political life of the nation. …
Chief Justice John Roberts need fear no such fate because he has lifetime tenure on the Supreme Court. But conscience can be a more implacable and inescapable punisher — and should be. …
The Chief Justice probably made as good a case as could be made for upholding the constitutionality of ObamaCare by defining one of its key features as a “tax.”
The legislation didn’t call it a tax and Chief Justice Roberts admitted that this might not be the most “natural” reading of the law. But he fell back on the long-standing principle of judicial interpretation that the courts should not declare a law unconstitutional if it can be reasonably read in a way that would make it constitutional, out of “deference” to the legislative branch of government.
But this question, like so many questions in life, is a matter of degree. How far do you bend over backwards to avoid the obvious, that ObamaCare was an unprecedented extension of federal power over the lives of 300 million Americans today and of generations yet unborn?
These are the people that Chief Justice Roberts betrayed when he declared constitutional something that is nowhere authorized in the Constitution of the United States.
John Roberts is no doubt a brainy man, and that seems to carry a lot of weight among the intelligentsia — despite glaring lessons from history, showing very brainy men creating everything from absurdities to catastrophes. Few of the great tragedies of history were created by the village idiot, and many by the village genius.
This Supreme Court ruling that the conservative Chief Justice Roberts shockingly swung to uphold the socialist health care law, consummates the tragic story of ”the decline of individual freedom in America, and the wrecking of the best medical care in the world”.
And instead of confirming the Constitution, controverts it.
There are many speculations as to why Chief Justice Roberts did what he did, some attributing noble and far-sighted reasons, and others attributing petty and short-sighted reasons, including personal vanity. But all of that is ultimately irrelevant.
What he did was betray his oath to be faithful to the Constitution of the United States.
Who he betrayed were the hundreds of millions of Americans — past, present and future — whole generations in the past who have fought and died for a freedom that he has put in jeopardy, in a moment of intellectual inspiration and moral forgetfulness, 300 million Americans today whose lives are to be regimented by Washington bureaucrats, and generations yet unborn who may never know the individual freedoms that their ancestors took for granted.
Some claim that Chief Justice Roberts did what he did to save the Supreme Court as an institution from the wrath – and retaliation – of those in Congress who have been railing against Justices who invalidate the laws they have passed. Many in the media and in academia have joined the shrill chorus of those who claim that the Supreme Court does not show proper “deference” to the legislative branch of government.
But what does the Bill of Rights seek to protect the ordinary citizen from? The government! To defer to those who expand government power beyond its constitutional limits is to betray those whose freedom depends on the Bill of Rights.
John Roberts has betrayed the people who looked to him to preserve the freedom the Bill of Rights granted them. He has validated a law that changes everything the United States of America was founded on and for.
On this Independence Day, that is the tragic fact Americans have to face, assimilate, and adjust to. They have been changed into a different kind of nation.