I’m not talking about why I think the Republican party is broken and I’m not talking about why I don’t think Mitt Romney was the BEST candidate. I’m also not talking about why I can’t stand a lot of liberals. It is all irrelevant at this point. (Well, actually, it’s not. But for the sake of this post it is.) I’m talking about the fact that we are so far from our roots that we are truly almost unrecognizable.
I took some heat on my Facebook page (surprise!) the other night because I said, “My heart is aching for my country. I don’t understand how people can be so stupid. My respect for anyone who identifies as a liberal dwindles daily- regardless of the outcome.” But 24 hours and several arguments later, I still stand by my words.
The truth of the matter is…Liberals & Moderates: I’m judging your actions and your thought process. Please…do show me in the Constitution where you are awarded birth control, health care, phones, housing arrangements, abortions, higher education, cars, anything!….where it says we should have legislation like the PATRIOT Act, the NDAA, No Child Left Behind and ObamaCare. SHOW ME. I’ve read it several times. I still can’t find that in there.
Conservatives lost the election to social issues. Liberals encouraged women to vote with their lady parts and for “revenge” while Republicans allowed the election to focus on Big Bird, Binders and Bill Clinton recommendations. The fact that voters were driven by body parts and social ideas is perplexing. I’m not okay with it. I don’t know why our elections aren’t more focused on the Constitution. Even taxes were twisted into class warfare talk and demographics when, in reality, a tax is a tax is a tax regardless of who is paying it. Do you think we had the Revolutionary War, Constitutional Conventions and people dying for our country so you could have free things at the expense of others? Absolutely not. Our Constitution sets us aside from other countries because we have the freedom to excel as far and as high as we so please. We have the freedom to speak, pray, associate, carry a gun, and most importantly, to question our government. We have protections from the Federal government through our states. Why is no one talking about this? I’m sure our Founders fought for this country 1) based on their strong faith in God and 2) their strong belief in personal responsibility.
Someone from class told me I was an “outlier” because I am a staunch Constitutionalist and respect what our forefathers laid out for us. This person told me that I am “so far from everyone else that I shouldn’t be on the political spectrum” and that I am a “1 on a scale to 10”. Really, sir? I beg to differ. I believe in everything that we started with…all the way back in 1776. I liked what America stood for. So wouldn’t that make YOU the outlier? All you 4-10 people. The people who have “progressed” so far from our foundations? [I’ll say that 2’s and 3’s are okay because , in my metaphor, they are likely the number which extended the right to vote to all races and women.]
But I am bewildered by the idea of attaining anything for “free”. You know things don’t just jump into existence…You know SOMEONE has to pay for those free things, right? In a lot of places, when something is taken from one and given to another, it is called theft. Why do you think it’s okay for you to have some of mine just because you have less? I don’t steal you’re free time because I have less while working so hard to support you. The only thing the Constitution guarantees ALL of us is freedom (different variations of course, but certainly no entitlements.)
We are so lost. My generation has become such a group of leeches who think everything should be handed to them. They don’t even know the first 10 amendments. How un-American and unacceptable.
I cried for my country last night. I cried because if we are this unrecognizable now…where will we be in 2016? Will we remember what freedom feels like?
Wow. I couldn’t agree more. I met someone recently who had determined his “optimal level of effort” in life. He is a brilliant mathematician who had determined that he should only work a certain amount, because past that “optimal” point he would be taxed at too high a level and therefore the resultant incremental increase in income was not worth his time…….
I thought No Child Left Behind was created by another Conservative? Don’t you think it’s time for all of us to stop placing blame on one another? One of our Country’s greatest gifts to us is our ability to have the freedom to think, speak and choose for ourselves one of the many things I admired in you. I am one of the Liberals you are attacking and it’s not right nor is it fair. I didn’t vote with my “Lady Parts” I voted on who would best serve MY family. Sorry if my political vote upset you but it is my right. I will say the same thing to you again that I said last night Knowledge is power and you are one smart lady use it to educate your generation, and stop berating people for their choices because perpetuating our divided Country isn’t going to fix anything it is only going to make things worse.
I can assume you will take some heat tonight as well not a very nice blog post to read if you are a Liberal, but I brought it on myself by reading. That was MY choice.
I believe there was more than one occasion in the blog where I referenced “moderates” as well. I would argue that Bush was a moderate and most would consider NCLB a failure…as are the other pieces of legislation I mentioned. I would also note that Congress crafts policy, not Presidents, even though they champion legislation.
You are correct that your opinion is yours to value and present, as is mine and the next guys. Unfortunately, many would say that while you didn’t vote with your lady parts..you voted because you WANTED something. You wanted health care, this you’ve told me. You said your family needed the Affordable Health Care Act. That is not the America way, to receive subsidies and help from the government. The American values are based on personal responsibility and receiving help from charities, when needed. The government is not a charity.
Also, I’m not attacking “you”. I’m attacking your values because there is no way to argue around them…it is not what America was founded on. I will fight for America until the day I die and I will continue to believe that being forced to give to others because they want it…is wrong.
Be careful of creating a straw man for arguments that you disagree with. While free stuff is probably the motivation for some, that is far from the primary justification for most liberal voters that I have ever met, including myself. As a white male with health insurance from my job, I’m not honestly sure what direct support I would be getting, but that also isn’t why I tend to lean left. I believe that the promotion of the general welfare is a worthwhile cause (as do the preamble and Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution), and I believe that we are better off as a nation if we have more affordable healthcare, easier access to birth control, more affordable housing, etc.
And yes, there’s an argument to be made against those things (in terms of cost, sometimes in terms of morality), but it’s impossible to have that argument if you don’t understand where the other side is coming from and instead categorize them as “leeches” or thieves.
But more importantly, to the Constitution and the idea of being a strict Constitutionalist. I’ll start by disagreeing with the idea that the founding fathers were unified in the creation of the Constitution or even it’s subsequent interpretation. This isn’t a document birthed of divine providence; it came from copious debate, and the way it should be interpreted was still up for discussion even while the founding fathers still lived. For example, Alexander Hamilton’s argument that “implied powers” exist within the constitution, giving it some elasticity. Hamilton used that argument to convince George Washington to create the First Bank of the United States, even though that was not a power contained within the Constitution. Even (at least some of) the founding fathers agreed that the government can act in the general welfare in ways that are not strictly enumerated in the Constitution.
Also, we have to consider that the Constitution dates back over 200 years at this point, which makes the principle of implied powers even more applicable today. It’s hard to say what the founding fathers would have said about cell phones, birth control, or cars (aside from “WHAT SORCERY IS THIS!”) because they simply weren’t issues that existed at the time. In 1776, distribution of birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies (and their subsequent economic burdens) was impossible. Can we really say that the founding fathers wouldn’t have consider this a promotion of the general welfare? In 1776, “bearing arms” didn’t mean having a weapon that can slaughter a room without reloading. Would the restrictions of the second amendment have been the same if the founding fathers were given that information?
Now, bear in mind that this is not a complete discussion of any of the preceding arguments. There are economic costs, safety concerns, and issues of personal freedom that I haven’t even gone in to. But from a strictly Constitutional perspective, there are modern issues that the document simply could not have been prepared for, and that is why elasticity was built in, rather than leaving it as a hard and fast set of rules.
Thanks for your comment. While there is substantial validity to some of it, I am not concerned with people who voted for other reasons. I am concerned with people who voted strictly on social issues. You mentioned affordable healthcare and affordable birthcontrol, neither of which I mentioned. I am talking about people who expect free things from the government, and yes, there are thousands of them. Take student loans for example. I believe, regardless of degree, job or financial status, you should repay every penny. Even if you donate time to work for the government. Pay the money back.
I also appreciate your comments regarding the crafting of the Constitution, because while they may not have been able to prepare for what we are dealing with now, the foundations are the same. America believes in freedom and responsibility. Not free stuff.
Don’t back down from your position if you truly believe in it. Anyone voting to give government the power to make things “affordable” is casting a selfish vote. It is not the role of governement, and each instance the government interjects itself into that position the result is/will be failure.
Additionally, the founders did prepare for what we are dealing with now. Yes, technology introduces varied elements, but it has zero impact on the princilples of natural law which the Constitution is firmly rooted within. The problem is that what we are now is not what they created…and they knew it would happen.
“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
“A Republic, if you can keep it.” -B Franklin (We kept it for little less then a century).
“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” -B Franklin
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville
And I’ll leave you with yet another B Franklin;
“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
Very good points, Brad. I wasn’t backing down on my points about “Affordable”. Absolutely agree that making anything affordable is not the responsibility of the government…the private sector or a nonprofit can do that. And technology is the ONLY thing that has changed. People just like to say otherwise to make thesmelves feel better. A little bit at a time, right?
“We cannot expect the Americans to jump from capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have Communism” — Soviet Leader Nikita Krushchev, 1959
Can’t seem to reply to Brad alone, so my apologies for getting things out of order.
The point of my previous post was that the Constitution, and the founding fathers, and not strictly couched in the idea that the government that governs least governs best. As previously stated, the Welfare clause and Hamilton’s arguments for it imply that the government is intended to make laws which act for the good of all people. I’d contend that making necessities like health insurance more affordable, or providing birth control. fits that criteria. The argument should be over whether or not these policies improve the general welfare (as that can be argued with facts and figures) and not whether or not the government has the power to do anything at all.
As for the quotes, here are a few more. Sorry, they get a bit lengthy:
From Thomas Jefferson, on the role of government and corporations: “I hope we shall take warning from the example and crush in it’s birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country”
From Ben Franklin, on why non-essential income should be taxed: “All Property indeed, except the Savage’s temporary Cabin, his Bow, his Matchcoat, and other little Acquisitions absolutely necessary for his Subsistence, seems to me to be the Creature of publick Convention. Hence the Public has the Right of Regulating Descents & all other Conveyances of Property, and even of limiting the Quantity & the Uses of it. All the Property that is necessary to a Man for the Conservation of the Individual & the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property of the Publick, who by their Laws have created it, and who may therefore by other Laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire & live among Savages.—He can have no right to the Benefits of Society who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it.”
And From Thomas Paine, in his pamphlet “Agrarian Justice (http://www.constitution.org/tp/agjustice.htm),” which basically argues for taxing landowners to redistribute the money to everyone through a stipend and an old age fund. I’d suggest reading the whole thing: “Cultivation is at least one of the greatest natural improvements ever made by human invention. It has given to created earth a tenfold value. But the landed monopoly that began with it has produced the greatest evil. It has dispossessed more than half the inhabitants of every nation of their natural inheritance, without providing for them, as ought to have been done, an indemnification for that loss, and has thereby created a species of poverty and wretchedness that did not exist before.
In advocating the case of the persons thus dispossessed, it is a right, and not a charity, that I am pleading for. But it is that kind of right which, being neglected at first, could not be brought forward afterwards till heaven had opened the way by a revolution in the system of government. Let us then do honor to revolutions by justice, and give currency to their principles by blessings.”
The point of that lengthy block of text being, the founding fathers have argued for both sides of this debate. There is a place for publicly funded assistance (or, if you prefer, “free stuff” for people who need it) in American democracy, both according to the Constitution and those who helped shape it.
I have no idea what the founders position on weapons that could “slaughter a room without reloading” would have been and nor does anyone else. Although they never set a limit to the number of weapons a person could carry or the number of armed people permitted in a concentrated area (the equivalent of a 30 round magazine in 1776 terms). However, I am certain they believed the right of the entire room to return fire shall not be infringed.
Jon, The flaw in your argument as it applies to the debate of the content and intent of our founding documents is that you are citing mere opinions of individual founders and not what is the actual result of the vetting of these opinions. They are neither provided for nor mentioned as part of the Constitution. You are correct in that the founders held individual opinions that may support the ideals you espouse. However, as you pointed out, our Constitution derived through a process of “copious debate”. In which time, if the individual founders felt strongly enough about these ideals they surely would have been subjected to such debate. The fact that they were then thoughtfully omitted from our Constitution should tend to make one at least consider that they just may have been determined to be unconstitutional. The very fact that you can cite references at the time from the very men crafting these documents proves that this was not done because they just never even thought of it, but rather they did and dismissed the notion all together.
I am certain there were things debated during the development of “Obamacare” that are not contained within its text (with the length of the document it couldn’t be much though). But just because Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner had the argument or stated an opinion, does not make that the intent of the document if it is not contain within the document. It would just be one person’s losing argument during the “copious debate”.
If the founders had intended for the state to be the source of welfare for the populace, by what means was this enacted during the subsequent presidential terms of the very men involved in crafting the Constitution? (Serious question, I truly do not know). Prior to the advent of mercantilism in the mid-nineteenth century, I am not aware of any significant examples where the wealth of the citizenry was taken to disperse for the “public good”.
As for your hope, desire, and/or belief that the government can or will make healthcare affordable, please dig a little into the healthcare system of our nation prior to the mid-1960’s. This was prior to the government stepping in to make the healthcare system more efficient, effective, and affordable. I may also suggest that you look into, the network of free, yes free, Catholic hospitals that were regulated effectively out of business by the 1970’s (yes, Catholic hospitals still exist, but in name only). Many of these hospitals provided the standard of care in most major cities throughout the country at zero cost to the public, and they would treat people without insurance. Novel idea, and just one example of successful provisions of public welfare without forced confiscation of wealth, or the intrusion of a beauracracy that is unnecessary and was never intended to exist.
I would argue that the existence of the welfare clause, and Madison’s subsequent interpretation, would actually suggest that the founding fathers intentionally left the door open to the disbursement of public funds for the public good. within the Constitution. Now, that may only be one interpretation, but that at least should prove the point that the document is not a stringent, immutable set of rules – it’s the outline of how government should work, with room left for future generations to fill in the gaps.
As for these ideas having been debated and not included within the Constitution, Paine published Agrarian Justice in 1797 and the Thomas Jefferson quote comes from 1816. These were ideas up for debate after the establishment of the Constitution, so either they didn’t know how the document worked even then, or these kinds of ideas were allowed within their understanding of the Constitution. But, moreover, the quotes were intended to dispel the idea they “knew it would happen,” with “it” (if I’m understanding you correctly) being the downfall of government due to spending on the public welfare.
I’ll admit, it is somewhat difficult to find something we would consider a modern welfare program created in the outset of the nation, but I would argue that was primarily due to issues of disbursement and organization. Technology has made a lot of social programs considerably more feasible (though not perfect). You also have to consider that the Industrial revolution and subsequent population growth lead to a much larger income gap, so the issue of public assistance wasn’t as pronounced in early America.
Still, here are two that I know of:
– John Adams passed “An Act For the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Act_for_the_relief_of_sick_and_disabled_seamen)” in 1798, which required money to be withheld from sailors paychecks in order to pay for their mandatory health insurance. Probably the most typically “welfare state” early legislation.
-James Madison used the national bank to fund “internal improvements,” such as roads, bridges, and ferries. Now, this was given a very short leash initially, and Hamilton did shut down a later version of the bill that would have given more funding, so I wouldn’t exactly call this the “pre-new deal,” but it indicates that there was an open constitutional door for it. This was also the view taken by Henry Clay, who advocated an extensive set of such ideas in his “American System” economic plan.
If you go forward a few more years, there are plenty more programs as the first wave of real progressivism comes to America, but you’re really past the “founding fathers” by the time you’re at John Quincy Adams. This also doesn’t include multiple laws that were put forward but not passed, although I would still argue that if the founding fathers proposed a policy, then it fit within their understanding of the document or it took them less than a generation to disagree with their own rules.
As for the healthcare, I’ll definitely look into those models, and you quite possibly will be right that they are better than Obamacare. There are absolutely times when the private sector can solve better than the government, but that is different than saying that the federal government is constitutionally unable to create a solution. That’s actually why I prefer a more general interpretation of the Welfare Clause: When a social program is proposed, we must evaluate if it is a net positive gain for society, using facts and figures, rather than denying it the chance to even be considered on simple principle.
Oh Picturemommy……you are a typical whining liberal. If you are so confident in your beliefs, why do you feel the need to defend them. Go on about your way, collect your free healthcare and any other entitlements you feel you deserve. I am assuming you are not employed – lady parts in motion. Our country is on the path to total destruction because of the liberal vote on Tuesday night. i hope you can look at yourself in the mirror, when you are unable to feed your children because of skyrocketing prices……but oh, wait, perhaps you will get a free phone…….
Wow Andrea I am in fact employed I never asked for free healthcare I only support the pre-existing clause and both my husban and I do have 2 children own our own businesses pay taxes. Your assumptions are quite off base and definitely crude. Sorry Jessica while you know I support you always have and for years I may add I am going to respectfully stop subscribing here. I wish you all of the best and hope you continue trailblazing your path! You sure have grown into a beautiful young woman from the days you were interning at the office.
Everyone needs to chill out. Picture mommy if u support the author why are u punishing her for others comments?
Andrea- I think your point was in tact buy delivery was off.
Brad- right on!