Retrieving liberty 2

Just as happy events and the implementation of good ideas can bring unforeseen bad consequences, so dreadful events and the implementation of bad ideas can result in unexpected good.

Obama’s presidency and a Democratic majority in Congress have brought changes for the worse to America. But they have woken Americans up, reminding them of what their country has been and should be, and rousing many who had never yet felt a need to think about the way the country was governed, to an understanding of what is being taken away from them, and the value of what they had. They join and swell the Tea Party movement. They want to recall or know more about the origins and history of the United States. In the long run that means many more informed and aware citizens will be casting their votes for leaders who truly represent their interests and preserve their hard-won freedom. It would mean that the electorate will likely not make the same mistake again, not in a generation or two anyway, of empowering the enemies of the Constitution – such as Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and others of that kidney.

There’s a story in the Washington Post today that encourages the hope of such a reaction. It’s about hundreds of people gathering to watch “Revolutionary City” re-enactments in the historic area of Duke of Gloucester Street, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Here’s a part of it:

Amid the history buffs and parents with young children wandering along the crushed shell paths of Virginia’s restored colonial city [Williamsburg], some noticeably angrier and more politically minded tourists can often be found.

They stand in the crowd listening closely as the costumed actors relive dramatic moments in the founding of our country. They clap loudly when an actor portraying Patrick Henry delivers his “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. They cheer and hoot when Gen. George Washington surveys the troops behind the original 18th-century courthouse. And they shout out about the tyranny of our current government during scenes depicting the nation’s struggle for freedom from Britain.

“General, when is it appropriate to resort to arms to fight for our liberty?” asked a tourist on a recent weekday during “A Conversation with George Washington,” a hugely popular dialogue between actor and audience in the shaded backyard of Charlton’s Coffeehouse.

Standing on a simple wooden stage before a crowd of about 100, the man portraying Washington replied: “Only when all peaceful remedies have been exhausted. Or if we are forced to do so in our own self-defense.”

The tourist, a self-described conservative activist named Ismael Nieves from Elmer, N.J., nodded thoughtfully. Afterward, he said this was his fifth visit to Colonial Williamsburg.

“We live in a very dangerous time,” Nieves said. “People are looking for leadership, looking for what to do. They’re looking to Washington, Jefferson, Madison.”

“I want to get to know our Founding Fathers,” he added. “I think we’ve forgotten them. It’s like we’ve almost erased them from history.”

It’s a common point of view among tea party activists. They say their unhappiness with Washington reflects how far the federal government has strayed, through taxation and regulation, from the Founders’ intentions. …

The executives who oversee Williamsburg said they have noticed the influx of tea partiers, and have also noted a rise in the number of guests who ply the costumed actors for advice about how to rebel against 21st-century politicians. (The actors do their best to provide 18th-century answers.)

“If people . . . can recognize that subjects such as war and taxation, religion and race, were really at the heart of the situation in the 18th century, and there is some connection between what was going on then and what’s going on now, that’s all to the good,” said Colin Campbell, president and chairman of Colonial Williamsburg. “What happened in the 18th century here required engagement, and what’s required to preserve democracy in the 21st century is engagement. That is really our message.” …

If enough voters come to feel the same way, the Obama presidency will not have been an unmitigated disaster after all.

Disgraceful government and the duty to disobey 0

David Solway, whose insights often impress us, has today done us the honor of linking to one of our posts in a new article of his.

The article is at Front Page, titled Is the U.S. Too Big to Fail? Here’s a part of it (but read it all). The link to our post, Speaking of Secession, [April 7, 2010] comes with the words “parting of ways” in the third paragraph:

The Bridge Mix of social, political and economic programs—redistribution of wealth, a bloated bureaucracy, reduction of military power, amnesty for illegals, toleration of inimical communities, government takeover of the marketplace, ideology supplanting pragmatics—adopted by the American liberal-left and rapidly being put in place by the current administration are hurtling the nation toward its moment of truth when it will have to decide whether it survives as the United States of America or devolves into something that, until just a few years ago, would have been almost unimaginable.

Often what seems to be inconceivable is only the prelude to what may well become unavoidable. And in the case of America such a scenario is all too possible. For America has only three options looming before it in a rapidly foreclosing future. The best case scenario is that, assuming a concerned citizenry, the growing Tea Party movement, a return to strict budgetary rectitude and a revival of the wisdom of the Constitution and the Founders, the United States may weather the storm of social and political dismemberment it is presently undergoing and recover its essence as a constitutional republic. To accomplish this aim, however, the policies of the Obama administration must be resisted at every turn. What Henry David Thoreau wrote in On the Duty of Civil Disobedience in 1848 has a proleptic ring to it and is truer today than it ever was: “How does it become a man to behave toward this American government today? I answer that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.”

On the other hand the calamity of disintegration, as happened to the Soviet Union not so long ago, is a deeply troubling likelihood. The drive toward secession or what is called “disunion” along red state/blue state lines appears to be acquiring strength by the day. It is in the air. The threat of dissolution cannot be wished away or conveniently ignored. Whether such a parting of ways can be achieved peaceably and rationally or would entail violence and bloodshed remains an open question. But what resembles a bitter marriage between cultural incompatibles, the statist Left and the conservative Right, who have nothing to say to one another and disagree on just about everything, makes an eventual divorce by no means unthinkable. The clash between a pervasive scavenger mentality of collective entitlement and the ancestral belief in the values of personal initiative and individual responsibility cannot, it increasingly appears, be resolved amicably.

The third possibility is that America under the stewardship of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party will become an impoverished, socialist, Muslim-friendly country, much like the United Kingdom today or Sweden tomorrow, with devastating consequences for the majority of its citizens. As David Horowitz remarks of the U.S., “its constitutional order is threatened by a political left whose values remain socialist and whose agendas are subversive.” Such is the fundamental transformation promised by the Democratic candidate five days before his election: the intent to legislate outcome at the expense of input, to ensure a syndicalist homogeneity of status among the population while installing a privileged managerial class in the seats of power, and ultimately to transform America’s most industrious entrepreneurial sector into over-taxed and over-regulated obsolescence. Where have we seen this before?

These, then, are the three alternatives between which America will have to choose: recovery, dissolution, socialism. Regarding the latter two, to cite Aeschylus …,  it’s “either way, ruin.” Clearly, the moment of decision is not far down the road. Even a one-term administration for Barack Obama and his cohorts may be sufficient to wreak irreparable damage; a two-term presidency would probably spell the end of the noble and unique American experiment in republican democracy. For there can be little question that Barack Obama and the Democratic ascendancy together form the single greatest disaster to befall the United States in the modern era. If the country does not right itself sooner rather than later, it will find itself broken down the middle or wake up one day to discover that it is now nothing more than another socialist or quasi-Marxist Republic, which is a republic in name only.

Thoreau is on the mark again. Deploring the effects of a “wordy” and ever-compliant Congress which had “not yet learned the comparative value of free-trade and freedom” and which was devoid of “talent for comparatively humble questions of taxation and finance, commerce and manufactures,” he argues that without the “seasonable experience…of the people, America would not long retain her rank among the nations.” And we remember, too, that the United States was a much smaller political entity in 1848 than it is in 2010.

Now is not the time to take refuge in the smug conviction of indestructibility. America is not too big to fail and it may well be too big not to fail. But one thing is undeniable. As it approaches the eleventh hour, its survival depends on a determined and informed citizen “army” of genuine patriots capable of restoring the practical ideal of limited government  …

Did he, and does he, feel his shame? 1

This article discusses the revelation made by Dick Morris that Bill Clinton himself, not his attorney general Janet Reno, was primarily responsible for the Waco massacre:

It looks like somebody is going to have to update the Waco Siege page on Wikipedia. Apparently the whitewashed history that former President Bill Clinton would like us to believe regarding the 1993 federal assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, is missing important details regarding his own personal involvement.

In response to Bill Clinton’s highly publicized linking of the Tea Party movement to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing in an op-ed piece for the New York Times, former Clinton adviser Dick Morris disclosed on Monday that it was Clinton himself, and not Attorney General Janet Reno, as Americans have been led to believe for the past 17 years, who called the shots during the 1993 botched invasion that led to the death of seventy-six people.

Speaking on the Hannity program on the Fox News Network, Morris criticized Clinton for his Oklahoma City comments: “Let’s understand what was Timothy McVeigh’s motivation …he himself had said that it was the reaction to the Waco takeover. Bill Clinton orchestrated that takeover.”

Morris went on to say, “Clinton in fact was so ashamed about what he did in Waco that he was not going to appoint Janet Reno to a second four-year term. She told him in a meeting right before the inauguration day … ‘If you don’t appoint me I’m going to tell the truth about Waco.’ And that forced Clinton’s hand … It’s never been said (publicly) before.”

For years, Clinton has been criticized for his leadership of the federal government during the Waco crisis, but he has managed to escape personal responsibility for the tragedy. With Morris’s statements, it appears this may no longer be possible. It would seem that Clinton was far more intimately involved with the government response at Waco than previously reported. …

For Clinton to associate such a horrible act of violence with freedom loving [Tea Party] Americans, especially given the fact that he must be fully aware that it was his decisions that led to the Waco catastrophe which in turn inspired Timothy McVeigh, is remarkably shameless.

Unique and marvelous – the Tea Party movement 4

Is the Tea Party movement the only truly spontaneous uprising of a great part of a nation in all recorded history?

It arose and spread with amazing speed. It inspires ever more supporters. No one worked at it. No one manipulates it. It could surely only have arisen where there was an existing spirit of freedom among the people, and a consciousness of the profound value of freedom. And that could only be in America.

It intends and does no harm to any person, only to oppressive impoverishing government. It unites men and women of widely diverse occupations and backgrounds. It is peaceful and good-humored – yet there is passion in it too, as shows in this article by Sandy Rios from which we extract a part:

This president should never have been elected… he does not love this country like you do or I do … Could an enemy do more to dismantle and destroy it? His mentors from the earliest years were leftists … from his mother and father to his Communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. Barack Obama has never been enamored with the America he has never known. The hero of his mentors was the old Soviet Union. Why else would he bargain away our nuclear power to Russia, an entity far past its prime except for the romanticism that comes with being raised with Marxist ideals?

Why else would he implement economic policies that create and sustain unemployment, institute unsustainable debt, reward non-contributors and punish the ambitious, wealth creators? Why else would he dismantle the world’s greatest medical system, dooming healthcare to mediocrity, medical innovation and research to a standstill, hamstring the nation’s space exploration, prevent the exploration of our own energy supply … implement crippling cap-and-trade policies to further break our economic backs, all the while feigning he’s doing the opposite?

We will not survive the policies of this president. If we don’t rise up as our forefathers did 234 years ago, we will lose what they sacrificed for and, make no mistake, many of them lost almost everything they had in the pursuit of freedom. We will have lost the freedoms they sacrificed for in addition to what we have worked to achieve, but most of all lost that which our children and grandchildren will never have even experienced.

We are at a tipping point. Either we turn this American ship around quickly, or we will all go down with it. …

Out with the czars … the sexual radicals like Kevin Jennings, “Safe School Czar” who believes in sex between children and adults. And Chai Feldblum who wrote the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to assure that people of all sexual deviancies cannot be discriminated against even in public schools.

Out with the tyrants in Congress who would punish corporations who dare to disagree with the administration’s policies.

Out with the leaders of ACORN and the SEIU who break the law to steal elections and destroy American institutions with impunity.

Out with the lawyers at Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder who protect terrorists and put their own citizens at risk … who release members of the New Black Panthers charged with intimidating voters while placing law abiding citizens on special watch lists.

Out with a president who treats our friends like enemies and our enemies like friends … who bows to the Saudi Prince and the Chinese President, who gives flowery speeches to the Arab world claiming America is a Muslim nation, while disrespecting and degrading our own traditions. …

Out with a president who wishes his nation weaker … one who sets about to make it so.

Yes, the tipping point is fragile and if we tip the other way, we will find out readily what it’s like to not be a military superpower, as terrorists and rogue nations gladly take us up on our weakness.

We will find out what sustained and increasing unemployment is like, what poverty for more Americans looks like—more stores boarded, more businesses failing, more government handouts until they dwindle when there are no more so-called rich to provide them. We will find out what less freedom to express ideas and opinions is like, restrictions on conservative talk radio and alternative media, minimal healthcare, seniors neglected and dying earlier, the privileged political class at the front of the medical lines—all lines for that matter. And the American ship sinking into the abyss of poverty and obscurity.

What separates us from those two paths? It is, simply put … the Tea Party movement. It is their insistence on continuing to be able to speak the truth, to make their own choices, to voice their opposition to a tyrannical government, to defend the constitution and exercise their First amendment rights in public protest.

Who do you think is energizing this country? Is it the politicians in Washington? Is it the Republican leadership? No, they are motivated by this movement. While some have been lulled to sleep by the opium of power, others want to do what’s right and the energy of the Tea Party Patriots has given them the courage to speak up and fight.

Yes, the Tea Party movement is unique. May it provide an example to be followed by oppressed people in other times and places.

Posted under Commentary, Conservatism, liberty, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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Britons awake, and have a cup of tea! 0

There could be no better symbol of old British common sense, kindness, friendliness, normality, sanity, good cheer and healing than a cup of tea. (Usually served with milk and sugar.) Any disaster can be faced, dealt with, overcome, remedied, survived, reduced, or eliminated once you’ve had a cup of good strong tea. In the Kingdom of the rainy islands, tea is a panacea.

Your spouse left you? Have a cup of tea.

Your horse came in last? Your bus was bombed and you lost a leg? Your TV’s on the blink? You trod on your glasses? Your Social Security benefit hasn’t come through? You’ve been told to wait two years for an urgent operation? The Labour Government’s bankrupted you and the whole country?

Never mind, have a cup of tea.

So however unsuitable it may seem to hold a Tea Party in imitation of the the American Tea Party Movement in the very country against which the first political Tea Party launched a Revolution, in another way the idea could not be more British.

Daniel Hannan, British Conservative Party member of the European Parliament, held a Tea Party in Brighton, UK, on Saturday, February 27, 2010, with only two days’ notice – chiefly through the Telegraph, where his columns appear. He spoke about the fiscal irresponsibility of the government.

It was a small beginning, but the idea might spread and a British Tea Party movement grow into a nation-wide protest against big government and high taxation.

Here Hannan thanks the 300 or so who attended:

Thanks to everyone who came to the Brighton Tea Party, and apologies to those who couldn’t get in. We opened and filled an adjoining room, but it was still quite a squash. The hotel manager told me afterwards that there had been more than 300 people present, not counting those who had had to be turned away. Not bad for a meeting organised with two days’ notice.

If you can run a tea-party in Brighton Pavilion – the constituency which the Greens are most hopeful of winning – you can run one anywhere. You don’t have to be a small-government Conservative to feel that taxation, spending and borrowing are currently too high.

Let me say it one more time. Gordon Brown has doubled the national debt. Every second, it rises by another 5,000 pounds. Our deficit is 12.6 per cent of GDP compared to Greece’s 12.7. All this despite the additional trillion pounds taken in taxation since 1997.

We can’t afford another month of this, let alone another five years.

Thanks to the Freedom Association for helping to put everything together …

The Freedom Association is our partner organization. We are once again proud of what it’s doing for the cause of freedom in socialist Britain.

Is America in decline? 2

Is the world entering a post-American era? Will the 21st century be dominated by some other power, or several others?

In the splendid speech that John Bolton delivered at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2010, he said of Obama, “He is the first post-American president.”

In Obama’s eyes, American superpower status is already over. The decline is happening. There’s no reason to regret it, and it would be pointless and unnecessary to try to halt or reverse it. Obama is content to let America be a nation among the nations, no different in any important respect, and certainly no better. “He sees American decline as a kind of natural phenomenon,” Bolton said.

In Bolton’s own view, however, America is still exceptional and still the one and only superpower. If its status as such is under threat, that threat proceeds from Obama himself, who, almost casually – not caring very much, as John Bolton remarked, about foreign and national security policy – is himself weakening it.

What Obama does care about is domestic policy. To achieve his redistributionist goals he has put America into crushing debt; and being determined, it seems, to turn America into a European-style socialist state, he can only make the debt vaster and heavier. That alone weakens America.

China is America’s chief creditor, but that does not mean China is now a second superpower. A China growing in wealth and confidence, and becoming an increasingly significant world actor, may pose an economic threat to America but is not, or not yet, a rival world power. Militarily it is far from a match. Militarily, America is still far and away the most powerful nation.

But there again, if Obama has his way, it won’t be for much longer. He has, in Bolton’s words, an “incredibly naïve idea” that if the US would get rid of its own nuclear weapons, other countries would give up theirs; those that do not have them but want them – such as Iran and North Korea – would abandon their intense efforts to obtain them; and the world would live at peace forever after. This belief or ambition represents, as John Bolton put it, “a pretty deep-seated strain in the left wing of the Democratic Party.” Obama will soon negotiate an arms control agreement with Russia by which he will undertake substantially to reduce America’s nuclear capability. America will not develop new nuclear weapons, or arms in outer space, or even keep its existing arsenal battle-ready by testing for safety and reliability. It is as if America had no enemies; as if America were not under attack; as if 9/11 had never happened; and as if Iran and North Korea would not drop nuclear bombs on America and its allies if they could do it and get away with it.

Furthermore, with the rest of the dreaming Left both at home and internationally, he aspires to another vision of a new earth: one that is not only sweetly irenic but held forcibly in union by a supreme governing authority. Those proposals for world taxes that we hear of; the intricate business of trading in carbon indulgences in the name of saving the earth from being consumed by fire or ice; international treaty regulations that would result in banning the private ownership of guns – all these are measures to realize the tremendous objective of “world governance”. It would mean the end of American independence, the end of national sovereignty. It would mean that the Revolution was lost, as Bolton said.

In a sense it would be the end of America, because America is an idea of liberty. And it is an idea that the world needs. Its loss would be a colossal disaster, a tragedy for the whole human race.

Can America be saved?

In his book titled The Post-American World, Fareed Zakaria asserts that “America is closing down”, but allows that it “won’t be demoted from its superpower position in the foreseeable future” because “it’s not that the United States has been doing badly over the last two decades. It’s that, all of a sudden, everyone else is playing the game.”

America can “remain a vital, vibrant economy, at the forefront of the next revolutions in science, technology and industry, as long as it can embrace and adjust to the challenges confronting it”.

“The challenges” come from other nations, now rising, which he groups together as “the rest”.

China is the first of them because it is becoming an economic giant. The 21st century, he considers, may be the Chinese century.

What if [China ] quietly positions itself as the alternative to a hectoring and arrogant America? How will America cope with such a scenario – a kind of Cold War, but this time with a vibrant market economy, a nation that is not showing a hopeless model of state socialism, or squandering its power in pointless military interventions? This is a new challenge for the United States, one it has not tackled before, and for which it is largely unprepared.

Next in line is India. Poorer but democratic, India is “the ally”. Then come Brazil and Chile (plausibly); South Africa (less plausibly); and (implausibly) Russia. (Russia is a demographic basket case.)

Ironically, Zakaria says, these nations are rising because they learnt from America:

For sixty years, American politicians and diplomats have traveled around the world pushing countries to open their markets, free up their politics, and embrace trade and technology. … We counseled them to be unafraid of change and learn the secrets of our success. And it worked: the natives have gotten good at capitalism.

America, then, has not been a malign power, or not always. In Roosevelt’s day other countries believed that “America’s mammoth power was not to be feared”. It was after it had won the Cold War, when it became the only superpower, that it began to go to the bad. “Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States has walked the world like a colossus, unrivaled and unchecked”, and this “has made Washington arrogant, careless, and lazy.” Furthermore, he tell us, “people round the world worry about living in a world in which one country has so much power.”

To relieve that worry, America “must reduce its weaponry and work towards a non-nuclear world.” It is hypocritical for the US to insist that other countries should not have nuclear weapons while it is hoarding a nuclear arsenal of its own. By giving them up it would “gain credibility”, an end he apparently considers so desirable that it would be worth risking the nation’s very survival to achieve it.

The summer of 2002, Zakaria says, was “the high water-mark of unipolarity”. The world felt sympathy for America after 9/11. America went to war in Afghanistan, which was not good but not too bad. But then it invaded Iraq, which was very bad, and the world’s sympathy dried up. America was being too “unilateral”, too “imperial and imperious”.

George W Bush and “the nefarious neoconservative conspiracy” antagonized the world. He and his conspirators “disdained treaties, multilateral organizations, international public opinion, and anything that suggested a conciliatory approach to world politics.”

So the world’s dislike, contempt, and fear of America were justified, or at least understandable, in the light of the foreign policies of the “arrogant” Bush administration. Zakaria even claims that the animosity filled the Republicans – already full of “chest-thumping machismo” – with pride.

He asks:

Can Washington adjust and adapt to a world in which others have moved up? Can it respond to shift in economic and political power? … Can Washington truly embrace a world with a diversity of voices and viewpoints? Can it thrive in a world it cannot dominate?

The advice he gives to “Washington” for success in adjusting, adapting, responding, embracing, and thriving is to be conciliatory, apologetic. It must listen more; proclaim universal values”, but “phrase its positions carefully”; be like the chair of a board gently guiding a group of independent directors. America must “learn from the rest”. The president must meet more non-government people, have smaller entourages, rely more on diplomacy. Consultation, cooperation, compromise are the key words. He objects to such accomodations being called appeasement. Consult and cooperate, he urges, with Russia, and with “multilateral institutions” such as the UN, NATO, AFRICOM, OAS, and the International Criminal Court. (Even internally, the US legal system “should take note of transnational standards”.)

The federal government has been “too narrow-minded” about terrorism. When bin Laden got America to “come racing out to fight” him (in response to 9/11) this was “over-reaction.”  Zakaria’s advice: “take it on the chin” and “bounce back”. The government must stop thinking of terrorism as a national security issue, and think of it as criminal activity carried out by “small groups of misfits”. Although Democrats were on the whole “more sensible” about terrorism, both parties, he says, spoke “in language entirely designed for a domestic audience with no concern for the poisonous effect it has everywhere else.” His solution is better airport control round the world. The more urgent problem in his view is that American Muslims have become victims of over-reaction to terrorist attacks. Instead of being “questioned, harassed, and detained” they should, he urges, “be enlisted in the effort to understand the appeal of Islamic fundamentalism.”

Zakaria does not consider himself anti-American. He does not even see himself as a man of the left. He reiterates that he is a free marketeer. It is because America became “suspicious of free markets”, he says, that partly explains its “closing down”.

He wrote his book before the economic crisis. He saw a globalized economy bringing about an increasingly prosperous world in which the poorest nations were rising strongly enough for him to declare that “the world is swimming in capital”, and “there really isn’t a Third World any more “. But even then the dollar was sliding, and America was showing signs of being “enfeebled”.

At a military-political level America still dominates the world, but the larger structure of unipolarity – economic, financial, cultural – is weakening… every year it becomes weaker and other nations and actors grow in strength.

For all its military might, its chest-thumping phase is over and now it is “cowering in fear”. It must, he says, “recover its confidence.” ‘It must stop being “a nation consumed by anxiety”, with a tendency to “hunker down”, unreasonably “worried about unreal threats” such as terrorism, and rogue nations like North Korea and Iran. (Iran, he explains, has good reason to fear the United States, with its armies on two of its borders. It’s only to be expected that Iran would try to arm itself with nuclear bombs and missile delivery systems. He does not explain why America should not fear this as a real threat.)

He is certain about what America needs to do to propitiate and serve the world it has alienated. It should ‘‘build broad rules by which the world will be bound’’, rather than pursue “narrow interests”.

What the world really wants from America is … that it affirm its own ideals. That role, as the country that will define universal ideals, remains one that only America can play.

We know Obama has read Zakaria’s book, or at least looked into it, because there is a photograph of him holding it, one finger marking his place. Obama is doing much that Zakaria advises in foreign affairs. But that’s less likely to be because the writer has impressed the president with his arguments than because they have both drunk from the same ideological well.

Obama’s foreign policy lets us see if Zakaria’s theory works. So far it has not.

So is America’s decline beyond all remedy?

It’s a relief to turn from Zakaria’s dull and weakly reasoned book with its uncongenial credo to an article titled The Seductions of Decline (February 2, 2010) by brilliantly witty and insightful Mark Steyn. If America believes it is in decline, he says, it will be. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The view that America has been too arrogant a power; that it is not and should not be exceptional; that humility and apology are required of it; that only endlessly patient negotiation in a spirit of compromise will improve foreign relations and dissuade states like North Korea and Iran from acquiring nuclear arms; that Islamic terrorism should be treated as crime and not as the jihad its perpetrators declare it to be; that Russia should be consulted on, say, the deployment of American missile defense; and that the US should reduce its nuclear arsenal and work towards a non-nuclear world – will bring about the decline.

National decline is psychological – and therefore what matters is accepting the psychology of decline.

His answer to the question “is America set for decline?” is yes, because of the policies of Obama and the Democrats, which arise from their acceptance of decline.

Strictly on the numbers, the United States is in the express lane to Declinistan: Unsustainable entitlements, the remorseless governmentalization of the American economy and individual liberty, and a centralization of power that will cripple a nation of this size. Decline is the way to bet.

American decline, he says, “will be steeper, faster and more devastating than Britain’s – and something far closer to Rome’s.” It will not be like France’s, or Austria’s.

Why did decline prove so pleasant in Europe? Because it was cushioned by American power. The United States is such a perversely non-imperial power that it garrisons not ramshackle colonies but its wealthiest “allies”, from Germany to Japan. For most of its members, “the free world” has been a free ride.

And after “Washington’s retreat from la gloire” as hegemon of the world, when America “becomes Europe in its domestic disposition and geopolitical decline, then who will be America?”

Of the many competing schools of declinism, perhaps the most gleeful are those who salivate over the rise of China. For years, Sinophiles have been penning orgasmic fantasies of mid-century when China will bestride the world and America will be consigned to the garbage heap of history. It will never happen: As I’ve been saying for years, China has profound structural problems. It will get old before it gets rich.

Not China then. Russia?

The demographic deformation of Tsar Putin’s new empire is even more severe than Beijing’s. Russia is a global power only to the extent of the mischief it can make on its acceleration into a death spiral.

Not Russia. How about the Caliphate that the terrorist war is being fought to establish?

Even if every dimestore jihadist’s dreams came true, almost by definition an Islamic imperium will be in decline from Day One.

So what might the post-American world look like? Mark Steyn’s answer is deeply depressing:

The most likely future is not a world under a new order but a world with no order – in which pipsqueak states go nuclear while the planet’s wealthiest nations, from New Zealand to Norway, are unable to defend their own borders and are forced to adjust to the post-American era as they can. Yet, in such a geopolitical scene, the United States will still remain the most inviting target – first, because it’s big, and secondly, because, as Britain knows, the durbar moves on but imperial resentments linger long after imperial grandeur.

But nothing is inevitable, and Mark Steyn offers a last hope. Though “decline is the way to bet”, the only thing that will ensure it is “if the American people accept decline as a price worth paying for European social democracy.”

When in 2008 a majority of the American electorate voted for Barack Obama to be president of the United States, it seemed that the deal had been made. But now Obama is failing, the Democratic majority is under threat, and the Tea Party movement is reclaiming the Revolution.

This could be another American century after all.

Jillian Becker   March 1, 2010

Have they won? 2

With the federal government taking control of one sixth of the economy by means of ‘health care reform’, America is on the road to socialism and consequent decline, and it’s hard to see how the damage can be undone. Once entitlements are granted in law it becomes well nigh impossible to take them away again, as Europe has learnt the hard way.

Has America gone over the ‘precipice’, to use Obama’s word for this change? (We suspect he didn’t know what the word means, but it’s more apt than he could have intended.)

What sort of world is emerging with the connivance, or the capitulation, of the new weaker socialist America, which will no longer protect Western civilization?

Will America no longer be ‘the last best hope on earth’?

Is global government, the tyranny from which there can be no escape, inevitable?

Is there anything dissenting Americans – apparently a majority if the polls are right – can do to recover their liberty? Or is it too late to do anything?

Is there any point in looking to the Republican Party? Seems not, with its present leaders.

What if it had stronger leadership?

Here’s a suggestion by JB Williams at Canada Free Press:

This morning on Fox Sunday with Chris Wallace, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) conceded that Republican senators won’t be able to stop Democratic health care reform legislation from passing the Senate before Christmas.

“We will fight until the last vote,” McCain told Chris Wallace. “We owe that to our constituents, because we must do everything—we must look back and say we did everything to prevent this terrible mistake from taking place.”

I beg to differ with Senator John McCain… (which is nothing new) …

Another useless NAY vote is NOT everything they can do! …

McCain is right about one thing… Congressional Republicans have NO “legislative” POWER to stop the current assault on all things American taking place in Washington DC today. That’s because there is NO legitimate legislative process taking place in Washington DC today.

In the good old days, when the three administrative branches of the federal government kept independent checks upon each other, politicians were able to hide behind their NAY vote as a demonstration of opposition to anti-American and unconstitutional policies.

Those days are gone!

There is NO legitimate legislative process taking place in Washington DC today and even those who support this anti-American nonsense know it. More than 60% of American citizens strongly oppose every policy coming out of DC today – President Obama’s personal approval rating is in the toilet and still sinking, as is the approval rating of the leftist controlled congress.

Still, the left accelerates its rush into unbridled Global Marxism as if totally unconcerned with the “will of the people”, their limited constitutional authority, or the objections of Republicans in congress.

Republicans have only ONE chance left!

To save themselves from being painted with the same Marxist brush appropriate for today’s Democrats, stop the current slaughter of Americans sovereignty, security and prosperity, and unite the 60% of Americans in desperate need of leadership, congressional Republicans have ONE play remaining.

WALK OUT and STAY OUT!

Walk out of congress TODAY!

Force leftist Democrats to destroy this nation all alone!

Publicly name every vote bought off with state pork in the last ten months!

Call it what it is, a complete sham and rape of this nation!

Refuse to provide any form of cover for this sham and return home!

Once home, meet with state legislators to erect Tenth Amendment walls of defense at the state lines!

Once state defenses are erected, begin meeting with Tea Party and Town Hall patriots to begin the process of reclaiming the free republic.

Your Alternative?

Go down in flames with all other anti-American leftists in DC, currently running roughshod over the vast majority of American citizens opposed to everything going on in that sinking cesspool of political corruption called the federal government. …

Obama’s policies are set to tip these states and maybe others, over the brink in early 2010!

Trust me when I tell you, Congressional Republicans have NO other viable options.

But we have entered a new era in America… The enemies of freedom and liberty are in full control of all three branches of the federal government. There is NO legitimate constitutional process in Washington DC today. Republicans have NO “in chamber” power to stop the dismantling of America and only three defenses of the free republic remain.

Republicans MUST separate themselves from the sham immediately or go down in flames with the Democratic Socialists of America in charge!

The state legislatures MUST erect Tenth Amendment walls of defense at the state lines.

The people MUST unite in patriotic resistance, with or without Republicans!

The Republicans in Congress are very unlikely to take such bold action. So what remains? Many recognize that this is a critical moment for America and the world. Even among the well-behaved, mild-mannered Tea Party protestors there are some who talk of secession, and some even of revolution.

Many Americans are arming themselves. Is the revolution, if it comes, likely to be a violent one?