“Don’t feed the trolls.” Don’t we all know what that means? Isn’t it a cute expression? It makes us think about feeding the wildlife, and until the wildlife starts biting and clawing, that’s fun.
Here is an example. I once had a friend with a cat who liked being petted. That sounds innocuous, and until I decided to withdraw my hand, the cat was quite friendly. Then the cat made it known that she was not yet done with being petted. My friend should have had that savage little beast declawed.
We are all like that cat. We are all trolls. We are all part of the wildlife, and we can all turn vicious. We don’t even have to be fed. We just have to be petted.
How does that relate to a republic? To maintain a republic, we must maintain a civil society. Can you imagine a civil troll? Therein lies the problem with a republic.
To have a civil society, we must obey the Golden Rule. On our own we cannot do that. Being what we are, we cannot even be honest about the meaning of the Golden Rule. We will bend it to suit the occasion. Somehow, someway we will make doing unto others all about what we want to do unto others, not treating others the way we want to be treated. We will hunt for nuances, craft exceptions, and most “useful” of all, use the ends to justify the means. We will lie to ourselves and to others and do what we want.
It is not that we do not know better. We create laws. We write them down. We try to fix their meaning, but laws are just words on paper. Because we lack integrity with a bit of sophistry we can make our laws say whatever we want them to say. We don’t even have to amend what is written on paper. That is why few nations have ever come close to achieving a civil society, and that is why few republics have lasted very long. Sigh.
So What Is The Point Of A Republic?
In a nation with millions of trolls, no troll by himself or herself can be a grave danger to the peace of the nation. As James Madison observed in The Federalist, Paper # 10, (see THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPUBLIC OVER A DEMOCRACY) the problem resides in our ability to form gangs of trolls, that is, factions. Hence, as Madison observed, we have a choice.
There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects.
There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests. (from here)
Since Madison could envision no method of curing the mischiefs of faction that were not worst than the disease, he argued for controlling its effects. Madison advocated a constitutional republic, a limited government designed with checks and balances to check the passions we associate with factional politics.
Even so, we remain trolls. Of what use is a constitution for trolls? Unless we each have the personal integrity to obey a law as those who wrote it meant it to be obeyed, how can the rule of law provide a solid foundation for our government? Is it not like building a house upon shifting sand?
Because most men cannot control their trollish character, most societies opt to control the passions of factions by using tyrannical force to stamp it out. To maintain their own power — their own faction — powerful, tyrannical leaders insist that every citizen voice the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.
Because we are what we are, we have no personal integrity of our own. So what else can we do? How can we avoid joining a faction and abusing the rights of our neighbors? How can we avoid the necessity of condemning our family, friends and neighbors to an ironfisted tyranny? Where can we each find a rock upon which to build a foundation for our character? A proper foundation for our government?
Long ago Jesus spoke to us, and the fathers and the mothers of this nation listened.
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
POLITICALLY CORRECT? WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT? — PART 1 was supposed be the first of four posts. However, because this is a blog, I write what I want, and I write what passion drives me to write. So I can get sidetracked onto a different topic easily enough, but there is this strange thing. Sooner or latter passion usually brings me back with even greater force to the topic from which I got sidetracked. In this case, that passion belongs to Donald Trump. Hence I will wrap up what was to be a four-part series with this post.
What is modern America’s primary failing? We don’t study the Bible; we are losing the advantages of our Christian heritage. Therefore, we have a difficult time discerning between honest men and women and demagogues.
What is the difference between honest leaders and demagogues? Demagogues scratch our itching ears. Honest leaders strive to speak the truth, perhaps even out of their love for their neighbors. Thus, when we have an election, to vote for the right person we must first seek to be honest with ourselves. We must discern between what we want to believe and the truth. What has happened repeatedly to Donald Trump is a case in point. The demagogues have charged The Donald with being politically incorrect.
What is the latest example of the Donald being politically incorrect? Donald Trump is now calling for an end to all Muslim immigration into the United States.
In a written statement late Monday afternoon, the Trump campaign said the Republican frontrunner wanted a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” As backing, Trump cited a controversial six-month-old survey from the right-wing Center for Security Policy finding that one-quarter of U.S. Muslim respondents believed that violence against Americans was justified as part of global jihad and that a slim majority “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.” (from here)
Predictably, the establishment immediately charged the Donald with extremism. Of course, that included the RINOs.
Condemnations from Republicans quickly followed. Jeb Bush tweeted that Trump had become “unhinged.” John Kasich said Trump’s “outrageous divisiveness” was more reason why he was “entirely unsuited” to be president. Senator Lindsey Graham, a long-shot Republican rival, tweeted that Trump had “gone from making absurd comments to being downright dangerous with his bombastic rhetoric.” (from here)
The terrorists have hijacked Islam. Most Muslims are not terrorists.
What happens if a Conservative starts to explain what the Koran says? Don’t we get told the Koran is like the Bible and the Bible says bad things too? Don’t we get told this by people who have never read either Koran or the Bible? So how do the politically correct know what they are talking about? How do they even know which people are the true followers of Islam? They don’t. They have no way of knowing whether the radical Islamists represent the true spirit of Islam. Afraid Muslims will hear, they may also not care to tell us what they really think.
When The Donald proposed to ban immigration from Muslim nations, the PC crowd raised the hue and cry that such discrimination based upon creed is unconstitutional. It isn’t. If it wanted to do so, Congress could exclude immigrants based upon their creed. However, our leaders cannot be trusted to discriminate based upon creed. So we probably don’t want to do that. Hence Senator Rand Paul offered up another option.
The Senate overwhelmingly rejected an amendment offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)last week that would have suspended visas to the U.S. from “high risk” countries until new enhanced security processes are in place.
Paul’s amendment would have designated 33 countries as “high risk” and placed moratoriums on refugee resettlement and visa issuance to nationals from those countries until the Secretary of State, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Director of National Intelligence certify and new processes to identify security risks.
The 33 countries included: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia,Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and the Palestinian Territories. (continued here)
As stupid as it sounds, our political elites refuse to restrict immigration. Period. No matter what! Hence their charges against Trump are just a smoke screen.
So why are our political elites so adamantly determined to keep our borders open and admit hordes of immigrants? The obvious answer is money. If you have capital assets in the United States, cheap labor makes those assets more profitable. For the sake of short term profit, our elites have deliberately chosen to ignore is the longcost to our country. We risk extreme violence, violence of the sort much of Europe may soon experience on a massive scale. In fact, at this point our elites may just be terrified of pissing off the Muslims in Europe.
The King Philip’s War (1675-1676) was the bloodiest war – per capita – in America. Twice as many casualties as a portion of the population than our American Civil War (a.k.a. The Recent Unpleasantness)! Seven times more bloody that WW II – FYI – for all “Greatest Generation” fans. Consider what happened and could happen again. (continued here).
Instead of hordes of people from a primitive culture settling into a more advanced society, the Stone Age Indians tribes in the New England area had to contend with English Pilgrims and Puritans. Inevitably, the local Indians and the Pilgrim/Puritan coalition clashed, and the Indians lost their lands and their way of life.
In retrospect, because the blood thirst of both the Indians and the Englishmen they fought is nearly forgotten, we now pity the poor Indians. Yet for the sake of our children it is also important we remember the lesson. The Pilgrims and the Puritans never had any intention of assimilating and becoming Indians. Yet, had it been feasible, there are some advantages to the life of hunter-gatherer. The Pilgrims and the Puritans had to work very hard, and the life of a hunter-gatherer was a bit easier, but the Pilgrims and the Puritans had not come to the New World to be Indians. They had come to be Pilgrims and Puritans.
Now the United States is being settled by Peoples from all over the world. Because of their associations with rabid terrorism, Muslims from the Middle East rank as the most strange and difficult immigrants. Hence, we have politicians calling for a stop of immigration from countries with terrorists, principally Muslim lands.
However, terrorism is only the visible tip of the problem. Unlike previous legions of immigrants, many recent immigrants have either entered the United States illegally or they have overstayed their visas (also illegal). Therefore, we have millions of people in our country who have no right to be here. Weirdly, we are even giving many of these people welfare and free public services. Unfortunately, their connections to and their loyalty to the United States is dubious at best. Given the continuing rate at which such people are arriving, we should expect many of these people will not assimilate. Instead, as the Pilgrims and the Puritans did in the 17th century, they may insist upon retaining their own culture and allegiances to the nations from which they came. They made even insist upon their own laws, like Sharia. Hence, when Donald Trump speaks about immigration, people listen.
Other Examples of Political Incorrectness
The are three big areas where political correctness tends to become an issue, discrimination based upon race, sex, and creed. The example above relates to discrimination based upon creed. What about race and sex?
Here is an example of political correctness running amuck based upon racial discrimination.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid on Thursday blasted Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for uttering what he called “racist ideas” from the bench of the nation’s highest court.
Scalia on Wednesday suggested it’s possible that some black students would benefit from being at a “slower-track school” instead of the University of Texas’ flagship campus in Austin, where Scalia suggested some of those students are “being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.” Scalia made the comment while the court heard arguments in an affirmative action case. (continued here)
Scalia’s crime? He questioned whether “affirmative action” is “good” racial discrimination. Given that the government is generally not suppose to discriminate based upon race, sex, or creed…… Is it possible that Democrats would also rather not talk about the quality of the intercity public schools that so many blacks attend?
Here is an example of political correctness running amuck based upon sexual discrimination. The subject is a December 3, 2015 article from the Center for Military Readiness (CMR).
Yesterday, President Barack Obama and Secretary Carter overruled the best professional advice of the U.S. Marine Corps in matters involving life, death, and national security. Secretary Carter also broke his own promise to base his decision on the quality of scientific research behind the military services’ recommendations. (continued here)
For as long as human beings have fought in organized, military units, armies have deliberately excluded women. Has combat changed that much? That is the point of the CMR article. In spite of the desires of so-called feminists, women and men remain different, and sensible people cheer that difference. Why? Well, there is the pleasure of sexual intercourse, but there is also something far more serious, the greatest honor that any human being might have.
Most of us have the opportunity to bring one or more babies into the world. When we watch our children grow, we can love them and show them how to love, or we can set them adrift and go about our personal business. If we do what we are supposed to do, we can live life with a clear conscience. As we watch our children grow, we can also learn things about ourselves we would otherwise never know. And we will have a family who will care about us and help us hold ourselves together as the years pass.
For it is in giving that we receive. — Francis of Assisi
When we have children — when we each give the people in our families what they need — we must discriminate based upon sex. Sometimes even our government has no choice except to discriminate based upon sex.
However, we Americans face an incredibly difficult challenge. It is a fact that Muslims throughout the world who only recognize Islamic Law have been trying to force or kill the people who do not. How can we tell the difference between a person peacefully practicing an Islamic Faith and a person who believes in Political Islam – that is, in the entirety of Islamic doctrine? The fact is, we really can’t.
When we allow Muslims to immigrate to the United States from nations where Islamic terrorists are active, we have no way of knowing whether that person will be a good citizen or a terrorist. None of us can read minds.
Because the framers of the Constitution intended a limited government, there is nothing in the Constitution that grants Congress the power to set up health, education, or welfare programs. Hence none of these programs have any right to exist. Yet they do exist. Why? The reason given is that it is the compassionate thing to do. Is that true? Is it compassionate to give the Federal Government that kind of power?
What Once Made America Different?
What once distinguished America? The wisest of the Founding Fathers knew men are sinners, not to be trusted too much, but we have been changed. America has seen its transformation. Think about the sheer hypocrisy of the guy who said this.
We, the people, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which asks only “what’s in it for me,” a freedom without commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism is unworthy of our founding ideals and those who died in their defense. — President Barack Obama (from here)
Obama tells us “we have responsibilities as well as rights,” but the words are empty, said only to assuage the consciences of those not truly interested in taking responsibility for their own thievery, immorality and bigotry. Unfortunately, because we no longer understand and accept our responsibilities, we have elected too many who spout such empty rhetoric.
Consider a still popular quote from a more honest, wiser man.
But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. — James Madison from The Federalist No. 51
What is the great difficulty? Don’t we each have personal responsibilities we must fulfill? Don’t we each have personal rights that need protection? When we shirk our responsibilities — when we demand that our government fulfill our responsibilities for us — we cannot trust that same government to protect our rights. For example, how can we trust the same people we have given the power to “redistribute the wealth” (stealing from one person and giving to another) to protect our property rights? Where can we find leaders with the moral integrity to resist such a conflict of interest?
What Defines Compassion?
In theory we could make the same government that protects our rights also responsible for giving us our “rights,” but we are morally incapable of making any such thing work. Let’s consider why.
a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.
Is compassion something we expect from politicians and the bureaucracies they create, or is it something we expect from individual human beings? The answer is obvious, but politicians are good at showing us how much they “care.” They and the news media show us suffering people. Then they offer us grand, “compassionate” solutions. Spend money on a great bureaucracies. Thus, we have education for the masses, housing for the homeless, guaranteed retirement incomes for the aged,” free” medical care for the needy, and so forth. Add it all up, and it is a “war on poverty,” a war that greatly profits the people who run that war.
For whom do we have the greatest compassion? Supposedly, we expect our children to be the greatest beneficiaries of this “war on poverty.” After all, who can list all the things that politicians have told us are “for the children”? In fact, us old people have buried our children in debt. Because us old people vote, we have voted to devote most of the Federal Budget to Social Security and Medicare programs. Those old people programs are not for our children, but those old people programs are most definitely the third rail of politics, untouchable.
What is going on? Perhaps this odd quote explains it best.
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. — Unknown
There are great many quotes such as the one above floating about on the Internet. Instead of observing the obvious truth of the statement, the big spending activists waste their time attacking the authenticity of the quotes. Yet when we are robbing generations yet unborn, what difference does it make who said it? Are we suppose to ignore the fact the public treasury is being robbed, that we are the ones robbing it?
Is it compassionate to bankrupt our children?
Reverence For The Law
A couple of hundred years ago a group of men met in Philadelphia. They spent most of a summer trying to solve a riddle. How could we receive the benefits of a national government without that government becoming a threat to our rights? They offered up the Constitution as their solution, and a dubious and distrustful People accepted it, quickly adding a Bill of Rights.
What is the key to making the Constitution work? What did Benjamin Franklin say in its support?
In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults, — if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people, if well administered; and I believe, farther, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other. — Benjamin Franklin, speech in the Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (September 17, 1787); reported in James Madison, Journal of the Federal Convention, ed. E. H. Scott (1893), p. 742 (from here)
Franklin and the other framers had no delusions that they had written something perfect or that mere men could make it work forever. They just hoped they could avoid corruption and make their Constitution work for awhile.
How do we avoid corruption? There is no simple way.
We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. — Abraham Lincoln (from here)
Now put that quote in context.
I say that we must not interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists, because the Constitution forbids it, and the general welfare does not require us to do so. We must not withhold an efficient Fugitive Slave law, because the Constitution requires us, as I understand it, not to withhold such a law. But we must prevent the outspreading of the institution, because neither the Constitution nor general welfare requires us to extend it. We must prevent the revival of the African slave trade, and the enacting by Congress of a Territorial slave code. We must prevent each of these things being done by either Congresses or courts. The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both Congresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
Abraham Lincoln included those words in a speech just before the start of the American Civil War. He knew slavery was wrong; most of the men who wrote the Constitution knew slavery was wrong. Yet without the compromise that allowed state governments to define black men as slaves, there would have been no Constitution. Hence, the Constitution’s framers had settled on a compromise that they hoped would limit slavery and allow it to wither away.
Because we cannot do it, government does not exist to right every wrong. It exists to maintain order, that we might have some rights rather than none at all. We do not honor the laws of men because they are perfect; they are not. We honor the rule of law because the alternative, the rule of man, is a far greater wrong, a despotism that enslaves all wholly and completely to the caprice of a tyrant.
Is despotism compassionate?
We can call anything compassionate. With portraits of suffering victims and showers of lovely words, we can even justify taking money from hardworking people and giving it to people who are not working. In time, the people who are not working will learn to vote themselves more money. Will their thievery make them more compassionate?
As the old saying goes, we cannot have our cake and eat it too. We can either have a government that protects our rights, or we have a government led by people who make lovely promises that they cannot and will not keep. Isn’t the correct choice obvious? Apparently, the answer is no longer obvious. We have been transformed.
When politicians make outrageous promises, some people are gullible enough to believe them. Ironically, those people like to call themselves “Progressives.”
Are you interested in the challenge, then please leave a comment indicating your interest.
Do you understand and share the American dream?
Politicians, with their extravagant promises long ago corrupted the “American Dream.” Where did the expression “American Dream” come from? It seems that historian and writer James Truslow Adams coined the expression “American Dream” in his 1931 book Epic of America:.
“The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.” (from here)
Was Truslow right? Well, perhaps, but those who made America in 1776 may have had something more bold in mind.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (from here)
In 1776, Americans did not worry merely about their material stature before other men. True, they opposed taxation without representation. Yet when the people of America declared their independence, they dreamed of a society that had not heretofore existed. The dreamed of a nation which recognized each citizen’s God-given rights.
Even the Constitution, carefully crafted by thoughtful men shepherded by the likes of George Washington, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin did not satisfy the Americans who had fought the American Revolution. In addition to a Constitution that prescribed strictly limited powers for the Federal Government, that People demanded a Bill of Rights that specifically limited the power of the Federal Government.
Consider the First Amendment. Consider what they listed first.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Many people came to America seeking their fortunes, but many risked their lives seeking religious freedom, the right to follow the dictates of their conscience without the interference of arrogant and powerful men. Ronald Reagan expressed that belief clearly.
The years, however, have allowed those who would twist the words of the Constitution some success. Now instead of protecting the free exercise of religion, those in power are using the First Amendment to create a wall of separation between church and state, forcing the exercise of religion out of the public square.
How do the arrogant and powerful get away with such schemes, slowly twisting the understanding of their fellow men? Consider what a tyrant once said.
He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future. — Adolf Hitler, speech at the Reichsparteitag, 1935 (from here)
Hitler made no great secret of his designs. People just looked away, half admiring — entirely fearing the man. They should have feared God more.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
As parents, the Bible tells us to help our children find the way God has called them to go. We cannot do that by handing what is a personal responsibility over to a costly administrative nightmare designed by greedy, power hungry politicians, our public school system. When politicians want us to believe that the American dream is about material things, things they can “give” us, how can we trust them with the responsibility for educating our children? Has it been working, or is not each successive generation getting a worse education?
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. — Ronald Reagan (from here)
Which generation shall be the one that loses its freedom. Will it be our children?
If we want our children to understand and experience the American dream, as parents we must make certain we understand it. We must read our Federal and state constitutions and study important documents written by the founders, like The Federalist Papers. We must do our best to understand how our government is suppose to work. Then we each must do our part.
Do we all have to become lawyers or historians? No, our government was never suppose to be that complicated. When someone tries to equate freedom of religion with freedom from religion, we just need to know enough to pity such ridiculous idiocy. Instead, someone is teaching our children to take such blithering nonsense seriously, and we are letting it happen.