Again, political violence from the Left.

Progressive HateOn Wednesday occurred a tragic shooting of Steve Scalise (R) LA, and three others by progressive activist and Bernie Sanders supporter, James T. Hodgkinson, who opened fire on a group of Republican lawmakers practicing for a baseball game to be played today.  It was yet another violent incident perpetrated by a member of the far-left.

In the name of their cause, which has apparently degenerated into blind hatred of President Trump and by extension all Republicans, they have committed many acts of violence from hitting a Trump supporter on the head with a bike lock, to politically motivated riots on college campuses intended to shut down the free speech of conservatives, most notably an incident at UC Berkeley that prevented outspoken Milo Yiannopoulos from a scheduled speech at that campus.

Trump was not particularly beloved at first even among Republicans, who fought bitter primary campaigns against him during last year’s presidential election season.  Conservatives for their part have long since made peace with the fact that he is our President and have showed support where they agree, but have also pointed out where they disagree on many occasions.  For the most part, they are prepared to coexist with Trump nation.

This hasn’t been the case of the anti-Trump legions on the left. Far from coexisting with him and his fellow Republicans, they have deemed themselves a sort of resistance, fighting, all to often violently, against anything Trump has attempted.  They have called for his opposition, his impeachment, his imprisonment, and his death and the death of other Republicans, both implicitly and at times explicitly. The anti-Trump movement on the left has a particularly vicious streak.  So called “comedian” Kathy Griffin recently released a photo of her holding up a bloody, fake severed head of the President.  Even William Shakespeare has been co opted by the the malevolent Left, with a recent live performance casting a Trump doppelganger in the role of a modern-day Julius Caesar, who at the climax of the play is brutally murdered by former supporters to the cheers of the NYC crowd.  If you’re at all in touch with conservative politics, you know the list goes on and on.  That’s just the problem.

While yes, there have been isolated incidents of violence committed by those on the right, but those sorry displays of misguided fervor pale in comparison both in scope and intensity to those committed by the alt-left.  While those acts of violence are both uncommon and roundly condemned by vast majority of conservatives, violent rhetoric and actions have the tacit and not so tacit support of progressives. Malice towards Republicans, especially Trump, is widely and actively expressed by the left, among them was James T. Hodgkinson, who attempted the mass assassination of Republican lawmakers.  It was the evil act of an evil man who pursued to the end an evil, malevolent path of hate.  It’s a path shared by all too many progressives.  While they might not travel it to the farthest destination that Hodgkinson did, they are firmly on it.  If they have a shred of decency and civility, they should abandon that path. They can still protest, advocate, speak all they want against Trump or any politician, but if they want to call themselves civilized human beings they will let go of their hate.  In short, they need to decide what kind of movement they want progressivism to become; one of malevolence, intolerance and hatred, or one of peace, real progress, and coexistence with those who might disagree with them politically.

Advertisements

Democratizing Catholicism? I think not.

Progressives v. CatholicsIn a world where the words “offend, offended, and offensive” are so overused, I have to say that I’m properly offended by the casual anti-Catholic bigotry on the left and particularly that of current senior members of the Clinton campaign staff.   You’ve probably heard now of the leaked emails of Hillary’s campaign chairman John Podesta. (For a good synopsis, check out: WikiLeaks: Podesta and Left-Wing Activist Plot ‘Catholic Spring’ by Edmund Kozak)  The leaked emails from  talk about subverting Catholic doctrine with the idea of bringing about a “Catholic spring”.   Let me rephrase that:  Leaders of the Democratic party because so much of Catholic doctrine specifically when it comes to issues of pro-life and marriage, goes against their liberal agenda, decided to subvert the Church in America and replace its core doctrines with ones more in line with their political goals.

“There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church,” wrote left-wing activist Sandy Newman to Podesta.

How does one democratize a religion?  Would the members get to vote on Church doctrine?  Cardinals get to vote for the Pope, should they act like delegates as if the conclave of cardinals were some sort of political convention?  Here my message for Podesta and friends:  Catholic doctrine was created by Christ.  It was codified a long time ago by Emperor Constantine I in the fourth century.  That is the basis of the Catholic Church, now and forever, unless the Big Man Upstairs orders a change.  If He does, you can bet it won’t be the  purposes of facilitating your political gain, your pro-abortion, anti-life agenda.

The leaked emails show utter contempt for Catholics, suggesting them backwards in their beliefs. The writers of these emails show a complete lack of understanding about the Vatican and the Church at large. The fact is, progressives such as those quoted in the emails see the Church as a hindrance advancing their social agenda.  The words of St. John Paul II hint at why the teachings of  Catholic Church might prove problematic to Progressives:

“True freedom is not advanced in the permissive society, which confuses freedom with license to do anything whatever and which in the name of freedom proclaims a kind of general amorality. It is a caricature of freedom to claim that people are free to organize their lives with no reference to moral values, and to say that society does not have to ensure the protection and advancement of ethical values. Such an attitude is destructive of freedom and peace.”
Pope John Paul II

Progressive Democrats can’t have an entire voting bloc that thinks like that.

Every American has the right to ‘vote’ to be Catholic or not, to be religious or not, but the essence of what it means to be Catholic is not up for a vote. The Church’s essential teachings are not up for negotiation like planks in some political party’s platform.  The best way to teach and practice those fundamental doctrines of faith and life can and will be debated, but what those core doctrines themselves are will not and cannot be determined by the democratic process.

 

The Politics of Division

Politics of DivisionThe Democrat stock in trade has always been division.  Whether it was the quite literal division they sought between American Indians and whites during the 19th century, the societal division between blacks and whites during the 20th, or the division of every minority group against every majority group in the 21st. Pitting American against American has been part of the formula that has driven virtually every Democratic campaign in this country since Andrew Jackson.  Through most of American history, they have been on the wrong side of virtually every civil rights issue.  In the 1960’s they came up with what would become their new template for their politics of division:  Identify a group, offer them help, but then implement laws and regulations that insure they continue to need it.  Anyone opposed to their scheme is then be labeled a bigot.

Another way to describe their Democratic divisive formula would be:  Favor one group that constitutes a large enough voting bloc, and offer them just enough, not to solve their problems, but to get their vote.  Most of the time, the quickest and easiest way to buy a group’s vote is to create a program with a high-sounding name, like “the war on poverty”. The program may or may not actually help the community, but regardless, the administrators who lobbied and donated to the proper candidates get paid or otherwise rewarded. The obvious question then becomes: Who do you get the money from?  You can only take so much money from the middle-class before they stop voting for you, so you take from the rich.  How do you get the voters to go along?  Convince them that the money the wealthy have was ill-gotten and at the expense of one or more of the favored groups.  To do this, you first need to portray the economy as a zero sum game– stress the notion that the economy is a pie, and every slice that someone takes out of it leaves less for everyone else.  If someone is making more money, someone else, probably you, must be making less.  If you convince a large enough segment of society that the rich one’s gain the poor one’s loss, then it is easy to pit one segment against the other.

When it comes to civil rights, Democrats have consistently been on the wrong side of history.  The civil rights battle at the forefront of the American psyche is still the one for black equality.  They got that one wrong and have been trying to find new civil rights causes that they can get right ever since. Liberals have to feel good about themselves.  Problem is, the policy that feels good may not actually be the best policy. Conservatives have a nasty habit of pointing this out when it occurs.  Nothing can stand in the way of the liberal and their need for unconditional approval.  Anyone who stands in the way must be demonized and marginalized.

If you believe in dealing strongly with the issue of illegal immigration on the basis that it robs citizens and legal immigrants of jobs and wage earning power, you’re anti-immigrant.  Of course the logic involved in calling someone who supports legal immigration anti-immigrant when they don’t support illegal immigration is questionable, but it’s never been about logic with liberals, only emotions.  The same thing can be said about how the left tries to portray those who don’t want to let in refugees from predominantly Muslim countries who can’t be properly screened.  If you’re against letting in vast numbers of Syrian refugees in without proper vetting, you’re anti Muslim. To be vocally against Islamic-extremism, is somehow to be against all Islam.  The left needs to see themselves as not just right, but morally superior to those who disagree with them.  If there is no real point of disagreement then one must be invented.  The language that the other side uses must be condemned and discredited in order to maintain that sense of superiority, hence if conservatives use the term “Islamic extremist terrorism” and that goes to the identity of a group, then identity politics demands that the term be deemed wrong.  Those who seek to be the arbiters of right and wrong with regards to a group must then control its identity so it can be tied to a voting bloc.  No one really cares about hurting the feelings of terrorists, so that sub-group must be tied at all times to a group that voters do care about i.e.:  Muslims.  The use of the modifiers “Islamic” and “radical” to describe “extremists” by conservatives affords the liberal a chance to create an imaginary division between they who don’t use the term and the those who do; even when it is clearly understood both sides are speaking about the exact same group of murderous fanatics.  It’s a complete contrivance meant to create division where there is none for the sake of being on the ‘right’ side.

The politics of division is the main weapon in the Democratic arsenal.  Their strategy is simple:  divide and conquer.  They pick a voting bloc, along any lines it doesn’t matter, give them victim status then assign a villain.  Then come the promises…  Give the ‘victim’ a largess, and/or take punitive action against the alleged bad guy.  The oppressor is always the larger party, usually they call them ‘big’ as in ‘big oil’, or ‘big pharma’, just so you know who to blame.  As an aside, you’ll never hear reference to ‘big academia’ or ‘big government’ from the left as those are clients and are thus exempt. Anyone who would dare to criticize their divisive agenda is demonized as a bigot, sexist, or (fill in the blank)-phobe.  They claim to stand for tolerance while at the same time exercising extreme intolerance when it comes to opposing viewpoints. Theirs is the only morally defensible position, therefore tolerance is not required.  If public sentiment is not initially on their side, a massive propaganda campaign is launched to ensure you know who the opponents of their agenda are and who to despise.  There are no exceptions, countries, competing political philosophies, even major world religions are fair game to be condemned and marginalized as it suits the Liberal cause.  Finally, they ensure their propaganda cannot be assailed by argument, as they control the very language to be used around it.  Their allies in the media and academia see to that.   Their words need not be honest, their ideas need not even work, so long as the formula works to get them the power they seek before their charade is exposed.  By the time that happens, they have moved on to the next con, the next group in need of their “help”.  And so it goes….

 

 

 


Originally posted in Poliltical Storm as: The Politics of Division

No shortage of constituents

Election 2016So, you hear what’s going on in places like Texas and North Carolina with edicts from the governmental left about transgender bathrooms and such.  You wonder why all the concern about trans-gendered bathrooms all of a sudden.  Then on top of that you hear that they represent .3% of the population.  That’s three people in a thousand that can even possibly be affected.  So why this issue and why now?  Simple, it was their turn.

The modern Democrat M.O. is to identify a subset of Americans, find their grievance (or invent one on their behalf) and advocate for it.  They missed the biggest group, African-Americans.  They were on the wrong side of the slavery issue, and later they were on the wrong side of the civil-rights for blacks issue.  They’ve been trying to make up for it ever since. Problem is, despite what the left would have you think, there just aren’t a lot of victims left out there, none that are suffering due to a lack of sufficient laws anyhow.

With all of the more egregious forms of discrimination either disappearing or illegal, Democrats are forced to seek out more and more exotic victim groups.  They’ve gone though the L’s, the G’s, the B’s and are now have worked their way to the T’s.  After that, it will be some other group. It may be some group that you didn’t even realize existed, much less required advocacy.  One thing is for sure though, there will always be another victim-constituency.  For Democrats to survive, there has to be.  The great irony is that sooner or later, they will be advocating for some new victim group that they themselves have created.  Now that Christians are being exterminated in the Middle East they could even make the list.  War on Coal picHillary Clinton now seems to be interested in giving unemployed former coal miners green jobs.  Of course the only reason they are out of work and thus “victims” in the first place is because of the oppressive regulations that are destroying the coal industry.

There is hope then, even if we elect another Democrat president.  Eventually, the Democratic left will have destroyed so many segments of America that every special interest group, even those currently out of favor, will enjoy victim status.  When that time comes, the Democrats will be ready to swoop in and save the day.  Who knows?  Maybe they’ll even make a victim-constituency out of conservative bloggers and their readers.  We can only hope.

Liberty Relearned, Year One

 

LR turns 1
April 6th, 2016 is the first anniversary of Liberty Relearned!

The Liberty Relearned Mission Statement:

To engage in civil, enlightened debate on what political direction is best for the United States, promote a better understanding of conservative/libertarian principals and effectively express them to others in a thoughtful and insightful way.  Liberty Relearned’s goal is to help bring back liberty as the chief American value and to counter the misleading and destructive rhetoric of the liberal statist crowd in America.


A year ago, after a long time watching America drift ever further from her roots of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness I saw some very troubling things happening to my country and society.  The Supreme Court had ruled that it was indeed lawful for a government to mandate its citizens engage in commerce through the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. The IRS had been used as a weapon against the Tea Party and other similar organizations.  In Washington, D.C., the President closed off and denied access to the WWII Memorial to the very veterans it honored just to turn the public sentiment against his opponents in Congress who were attempting to restore fiscal sanity to government.   I had wondered if the ideas of liberty and personal freedom hadn’t become passé, a quaint notion from a now bygone era.

Even more alarming was seeing the younger generation of Americans gravitate towards destructive ideas such as Socialism and Authoritarianism.  This generation, never having known such things as Cold War, the Reagan Revolution, being even farther removed from such things as the ‘space race’, WWII and the Marshal plan than my generation, seemed to be unaware of the things that made and continued to make America great.  Having never personally experienced any existential threat to its loss, many of them seemed to take things like freedom and liberty for granted.  Having never seen some of our greatest moments, they forgot or never even learned about something called American Exceptionalism.

What then, could a single person of modest means do to help turn the tide away from collectivism, progressivism, and just plan ignorance?  What could I do to help bring back the values that our Founding Fathers believed to be so important that they laid their lives and their fortunes on the line for?  Some people are blessed with skills of oratory, some are natural leaders, and some others have charisma.  I was blessed with a certain skill in writing and design.  There was really one avenue that I felt offered me my best chance to communicate my love of things like capitalism, Americanism, and personal freedom—a year ago this week I started this blog.

It’s now 52 weeks and many posts later, and I’m still working, still believing, still teaching, still learning.   A special thanks goes to you, the reader for joining me in this endeavor.  Here then is to another 365 days of us, in our own ways and voices, pursuing a common goal of helping to bring back liberty as a primary American value.

-JP Mac


 

Socialism in America: Just a President Away

Socialism: “a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies”

-Merriam Webster Dictionary. 

Statist ControlBernie Sanders warns us up front, he calls himself a Democratic Socialist.  Hillary, not so much– she keeps her socialist leanings better hidden.  First things first, show me a Democratic Socialist and I’ll show you a socialist. And now that’s out of the way…

If Sanders were to become president, he would try to make America into a European-style socialist republic.  Could he really do it?  The answer unfortunately, is yes.  As a matter of fact, we’re already well on the way.  The fact is, most of the infrastructure needed to make the U.S. a socialist state is already in place and operational.  The rest would quickly be put in place.  What would it take?  Here then are the key components required to create to a Democratic Socialist Republic of America:

  • A compliant Supreme Court. Check– a Supreme Court that can rationalize forcing citizens to engage in commerce (Obamacare) can rationalize the legality of just about any socialist “reform”.  This has occurred with a strict Constitutionalist, Antonin Scalia, on the court.  Imagine what would be possible with three to four more liberal justices to legislate from the bench.
  • An Executive Branch virtually unchecked by Congress or the courts. Democrats have convinced Congressional Republicans deathly afraid of being blamed for a government shutdown not to use their power of the purse to defund several of the President’s unconstitutional executive orders.  The Supreme Court as already mentioned, would not much stand in the way of anything a President Sanders or President Clinton would want to do.
  • A huge regulatory state. This most critical piece necessary for creating and maintaining a socialist state already to a large extent exists.  When we picture a socialist country, we think of the hammer and sickle chiseled into the façade of every industrial headquarters.  A socialist America probably won’t have or require that.  All the buildings that need them already have an official state seal on them, and most of them are in Washington D.C.  The EPA, IRS, FDA and scores of other regulatory agencies already weld extraordinary power.  Through these agencies, the federal government can and would control in great detail all of this country’s major industries.  With that much control, the government would not actually need to own these industries for us to be effectively socialist.
  • Big national law enforcement. This already exists in the form of the FBI, the ATF, and various other agencies.  Of course, many of these agencies are required to enforce the law, socialist state or not.  They do a pretty good job keeping us safe in an ever more dangerous world.  Not needed in a free state, but helpful in a socialist one would be armed law enforcement wings of departments tasked not with fighting violent crime, but the restriction of commerce and business, agencies such as the FDA, Department of the Interior, as well as other departments not very likely at all to encounter armed opposition.

We consider ourselves to be free citizens of a capitalist country operating in a free-market economy.  How close we are to not being that much longer, to the extent we even still are, is enough to give one pause.  Most of the components of a socialist America are already in place.  Most of the rest can quickly be put in place.  Really the only thing standing in the way of American becoming a European-style socialist republic is an election later this year.

Antonin Scalia, the Constitution, and the Coming Storm

Antonin Scalia copyOn Saturday, we lost a truly great jurist in Antonin Scalia.  Justice Scalia believed in interpreting the Constitution not as we would have it, but as the framers understood it. He was an “originalist”.  He is considered to be a conservative among Supreme Court justices.  It’s strange that a justice that believed the Constitution is an unmalleable document should be considered conservative, as if some other way of seeing it was just as valid.  Scalia knew that the documents power laid in it immutability.  He understood that the meaning of the Constitution could be interpreted, but could not be changed to fit out passions and our prejudices at the moment.  Can what was unconstitutional yesterday be constitutional today simply because we wish it to be?  Scalia knew the answer.

“A Constitution is not meant to facilitate change. It is meant to impede change, to make it difficult to change.” – Justice Scalia 

Justice Scalia’s view that the Constitution is “dead” should be a universal constant among justices, it should be common sense, and sadly it isn’t.  Progressives see it as a living document, one that can change as society’s needs change.  Each decision can take the law farther and farther from the Framer’s original intent until what we have is something that not only is unrecognizable as a constitutional entity, it may even contradict the plain wording of the original document.

President Obama doesn’t share the Scalia’s originalist view of the Constitution.  To him, the Constitution is merely a guide, a series of suggestions to be followed or not according to what is politically desirable.  He has appointed, and would presumably appoint judges to the Supreme Court who share is view.  As many of the Court’s recent rulings have split five to four along ideological lines, it is easy to see that another liberal justice would change the balance of the court in favor the Constitutional destructionists.  What under such a Court would be constitutional?  Whatever the Progressives decree to be necessary to the advancement of their cause.

To those that think that the law should not be subject to the whims of a political ideology, but to our founding principles, the appointment of an activist justice should be avoided at all cost.  Luckily, the U.S. Senate must consent to the president’s pick, and the Senate is controlled by those who tend toward Justice Scalia’s originalist views.  The Republican Senate is not known for always standing steady on conservative principles.  President Obama will likely nominate a candidate with a history of judicial activism.  When the Senate initially rejects this nominee, he will call them obstructionist.  He and much of the media will claim that they are attempting to deny him his Constitutional rights.  Of course, this will be after he has exercised precisely that, his right to nominate a replacement for Justice Scalia.  That right does not require the Senate to rubber-stamp his choice.  The Senate’s right is also clear, they have the authority to consent (or not) to the president’s selection.  Constitutional conservatives must then help them to steel their spines, to withstand the hurricane winds of criticism and accusations.  The stakes are so high, so high—let’s hope they are up to the task.