Son, now that you’re old enough to vote, you’ll be voting in your first election this November. I can hardly believe it, but it’s true.
You and your friends are more into schoolwork, Dungeons and Dragons and other games than politics. The most political you get is when you joke about being “triggered” by something. However, I’m sure you’ve heard many controversial opinions in “the news,” and I know it seems strange to you that people would fight so.
I’m not here to tell you how to vote, or what opinions to have. I just want you to understand and appreciate your American heritage, and to know the lay of the political land that threatens it. This should help you make your own decisions.
It is said that when Ben Franklin was asked what kind of government they had created, he answered, “A republic, if you can keep it.” That was a warning. There are many these days who simply do not want to keep it.
Why is it important to keep the republic as founded? I’m sure you remember from your education and my various rants over the years why the Founders thoughtfully settled on creating a representative republic.
They considered direct democracy, then rejected the idea as a threat to liberty and therefore to the long-term health of the country. In a democracy, the majority rules, and minority rights are not protected. In our republic, it is the responsibility of the majority to protect the life, liberty and property of the minority as it would its own.
America’s founders were what we call classic liberals, accepting and tolerant of opposing viewpoints, of religion and different religions, of various methods of state governance. Their idea was to provide a federal government of limited power that would coordinate the states rather than to rule over them, thus preserving the rights of states and the people to govern themselves.
The Founders built many firewalls into the republic to protect it from majority rule by any one faction. If one faction were to accumulate enough social support, electoral and judicial power, it could simply overwhelm the separation of powers, and there could be a point of no return to the republican norm. The problem today is that these firewalls are under such assault they are in danger of being breached. This is, in short, what the Democrats hope to accomplish.
Fundamentally, you could say America is divided into two factions, democratic and republican – with a small “d” and “r.” These correspond to a large extent to America’s two primary political parties, the Democrats and Republicans.
Democrats tend toward supporting a direct democracy and oppose America’s republican construct. They oppose the Electoral College, which elects the president by state rather than by majority vote. They oppose the Senate in principle as it apportions votes by state rather than by population. Democrats tend to centralize power in the federal government to the extent possible when they control it, and to decentralize power to the states to the extent necessary when they don’t. They would make a dead letter of the Tenth Amendment, which reserves powers to the states and to the people except for those specifically delegated to the federal government by the Constitution. They would redefine the First Amendment to limit free speech to whatever they may define as permissible. They would eliminate the Second Amendment, the individual right to keep and bear arms altogether. For Democrats, the economy is a last priority, after government regulation and taxation.
Republicans tend the opposite, as you would expect. They support the separation of powers into the three federal branches, support the Constitution as amended, believe in states’ rights, and prioritize a good economy as best for people of all races, creeds and colors. However, Republicans are usually more malleable than Democrats. They often go along with Democrats on social issues, even if reluctantly. When Democrats are in power, Democrats get their way; and when Republicans are in power – Democrats usually still get their way. It is an unfortunate tendency of government is to try to be all things to all people, for mission creep, and for taxes and regulation to increase. But there are at least some limits to the extent that Republicans will typically allow Democrats to go.
Today’s Democrats, often called liberals, have mostly become what we call leftists. Leftists believe in government control over individual liberty, they support socialism, communism and ultimately fascism, as there is no limiting factor on how much government control is acceptable once it is considered necessary. They also tend to believe their authority should reign supreme and are intolerant of opposing points of view which they define as dangerous, violent, and grounds for dismissal or worse.
In my lifetime, Democratic candidates have moved away from centrists such as President Kennedy leftward towards socialists such as Bernie Sanders. They purport to be “anti-racists” and “anti-fascists,” to the point whereby simply opposing them *you* will be labeled a racist or fascist, to the point whereby even existing *you* will be labeled a racist or a fascist.
For instance, Democrats back the admittedly Marxist group Black Lives Matter. The idea that black lives matter might seem obvious. A normal person, when asked if black lives matter, would say “Of course, everyone’s life matters.” But the inference here is that “society” thinks that the lives of “black” people DON’T matter, which of course is ridiculous. Every law, every policy enacted in America since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s weighs against this idea.
Three generations of Americans raised since those days abhor bigotry, abhor discrimination, to the extent most people don’t give race a second thought. There are pervasive laws against discrimination; subsidies for food, healthcare, job-training, and housing; grants and loans for education, affirmative action for college; unemployment as low as possible, black mayors and governors, blacks in high positions in all branches of government including police departments. Most importantly, nearly everyone supports this.
Suddenly, the left has chosen to re-fight the battle of racism. It gives no credit to America’s promise, that all men are created equal; nor to the Civil War, which by blood and treasure abolished slavery; nor to the Civil Rights Movement, nor to American culture since. Only this time, their objective isn’t equality, as the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. taught; it’s revolution, as Karl Marx taught.
Suffice it to say the objective of the modern left, with whom the Democratic party is aligned, is to “cancel” anyone who opposes their political objectives, and to cancel America as founded – from Columbus to Jefferson to Washington to Lincoln and even to King. What would they replace America with? Something unknowable, as they only hint at what it would be; and something unthinkable, that not one of them would ever actually want to live in.
Can America be improved? Of course – there’s room for improvement, incrementally. Just remember, utopia is impossible. You can’t legislate morality or prosperity. It’s been tried; it never works. It is only by voluntary willful employment that productivity improves lives, as America has raised the quality of life for the world over the last two hundred years to a level previously undreamed of, reducing the world’s poverty level to the lowest in history.
A republic can only provide the conditions under which a free people are able to succeed. It can try to ensure equal opportunity and equal treatment under the law. That’s it. If it tries to provide for everyone, it must control everyone and everything. That is a fool’s endeavor, for ultimately people cannot and will not be controlled, and there will be revolution.
When you vote, consider not so much what your country can do for you or for any group or class of people. Rather keep in mind what is consistent with the republic as founded, then vote in the republic’s long-term best interest.
This, in a nutshell, is my perspective, offered to assist you in developing your own perspective. If you see it my way, you may find yourself in the minority among your peers. The young often think they’re the first to have ever thought to establish justice, to ensure domestic tranquility, to believe that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. But I assure you, they are not.
The problem of government has already been thought through. Your American heritage is the enlightened and revolutionary solution, brought to you by America’s founders and sustained by its defenders. It’s a republic, if you can keep it, if you want to keep it, if you will keep it.
Stephen Crawford is @servative on Twitter and elsewhere on social media