I once saw a movie (or was it a TV episode) in which the lead character has a bounty on his head that has several different assassins vying for the lucrative privilege of finishing him off. One of them catches up to him and is about to take the winning shot when his chief competitor rushes onto the scene and knocks him out of the picture. Obviously, the hunted man felt only briefly relieved.
As I have frequently suggested on my blog, I think this is the sad position of the American people in the upcoming electoral contest between the Democrats and the Republicans. In their different ways, the elites of both parties now embrace an understanding of human affairs that makes constitutional government, of, by and for the people, obsolete. They seek a return to the regime of elite domination that was characteristic of human society throughout most of history. The Obama-throttled Democrats have moved most openly to begin replacing the Constitution with a system of totalitarian socialism that uses the power of government to dominate and control the people. While adopting a posture that rejects this government domination, those who are currently the leading elements of the Republican Party do not seek to restore respect for the sovereignty of the American people. At best they work to achieve a somewhat more pluralistic form of elite domination.
Because the American founders committed the United States to a democratic republican form of government, the Constitution is an obstacle to elite domination. To protect the sovereignty of the people from their own potential excesses, it implements safeguards against the tyranny of the majority. But none of these safeguards gives the elite sufficient power to resist the sentiments of a sufficiently large and determined majority of the people.
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In order to be effective, however, the constitutional arrangements assume that Americans will retain a certain degree of moral and material independence. Under the specious rubric of a concern for the general welfare of the people, the elites in both parties have joined together to assert control of the nation's income. They have joined together to support an approach to education that degrades the intelligence and judgment of the people. They have joined together to abandon the basic tenets of the American creed, which acknowledge that the will of the Creator God determines the prerequisites of justice for human government and in human affairs.
Deprived of the moral and material wherewithal needed to maintain the initiative in selecting and controlling their representatives in government, the people cannot maintain their sovereignty. It passes into the hands of those who can manipulate the vices and passions of the people as spurs and goads toward whatever objectives they choose. The people go from being citizens with a share in determining the laws and destiny of their country to being subjects, their fate and that of their country in the hands of the manipulators.
To prevent the demise of the sovereignty of the people their moral character must be restored along with control of their material resources. As openly avowed socialists, the Democrats are of course the enemies of any such restoration. They actively encourage the breakdown of America's moral character, because people who cannot control themselves soon lose control of both their money and their government. Meanwhile, though they promise to restore Americans' control of money and government, the Republicans adamantly, even angrily, refuse to give priority to the issues that must be dealt with to end the systematic destruction of the moral character and conscience of the people. This is the telltale sign that they actually share the Democrats' hostility to the form of government that makes the people the ultimate arbiters of the government's existence.
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Because they were sincere advocates of that form of government, the original founders of the American republic dwelt continually and at length on the need to preserve the piety and moral integrity of the people. This was the focus of their understanding of education. It was the focus of their implementation of the view that respect for unalienable rights must limit and constrain the government's exercise of power. It is no coincidence that the first of the rights explicitly safeguarded in the famous Bill of Rights has to do with maintaining the people's independence and freedom of action in matters of religion.
Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans imitate the founders in this regard. They are therefore either enemies or false friends of the liberty established by the U.S. Constitution. Though a resounding Democrat defeat in the election next Tuesday is absolutely essential to parry the deathblow they aim at the sovereignty of the American people, it is vital to remember that the Republicans have no commitment to restoring that sovereignty. They will not work to do so. This means of course that those who sincerely wish to see the restoration of the American way of life our founders intended face a challenging reality – there are some things that will not be done unless the people themselves take the initiative. The elections in 2012 will be an opportunity for them to do so, but only if they discern the real nature of the challenge and step forward to meet it.