home > archive > 2011 > this article


The straw man of the left

By Robert T. Smith
web posted April 4, 2011

Inevitably, when Americans raise the states' rights issue as a basic construct of our Constitution, the left assigns nefarious intentions to the debate.  The left erects its straw man argument out of unequal outcome for all, and the historical aspects of slavery and racism.  The most recent example is the left's outrage over the various states and individuals contesting the federal mandates of Obamacare.

In order to squash the notion of states and individuals acting autonomous from the federal government, the left's straw man is erected piece by piece.  The straw man is constituted from slavery, the Dred Scott decision, Jim Crow laws, alleged social injustice of outcome, racism and all the historic ugly associated therewith.  

The straw man is then assigned by the left to any state or individual argument against their omnipotent federal government and the straw man is once again in their minds knocked down.  To debate the notion of federalism with the left is to be tagged a racist, segregationalist, greedy and self-serving, or at the least someone in favor of a historically-established deficient approach to American governance, set forth in America's founding documents.

A popular leftist tool of this approach is to portray our original Constitution as racist; the subset straw man of the 3/5ths compromise  is many times erected.  Apparently skimming through history, the left misses the mathematics of the situation, that the 3/5th compromise was all about "Representatives and direct Taxes" that shall be apportioned to the various states.  Worse, many on the left know this, but propagate the 3/5th compromise lie to foment racial tension. 

The 3/5th compromise had nothing to do with the humanity of the slaves, no more than the current electoral college degrades each person of any state to the proportion of the state electorate for presidential elections.  Mathematics and not humanity was the issue.  In fact, it was the anti-slave north that did not want each slave counted as a whole person, in order to "minimize" the population of the south.  In essence, the vilified compromise was a net good for humanity and colored people; an attempt to minimize the south's influence on the direction of the country.

To hear the leftists wail at the notion of states' rights, one would imagine that the left believes that we are one step away from reinstituting slavery.  It is naïve to imagine that abolishing slavery was possible contemporaneous with laying the building blocks for the formation of a new country.  The bar was set high at all men are created equal, but resolving the issue required a civil war.  Failure to simultaneously abolish slavery is portrayed by the leftists as a non-severable fatal flaw of the Constitution.

Observed through the prism of today, slavery as practiced historically here in America is unimaginable; however, it was an unfortunate accepted reality of that time in history.  Slavery is now no more acceptable than sending children into the mines for 12 hour work shifts, hanging as punishment for stealing a horse, scalping ones enemies, bleeding with leeches, or other less dainty incivilities of history.  The Holy Bible itself did not resolve the inhumanity of slavery, similarly as the Constitution; yet the Holy Bible seems an acceptable document to some who dismiss the ideals of the Constitution today.

The left's straw man is erected against states' rights, while the real argument is individual rights endowed by our creator; and therein lies the problem to the leftists.  The government cannot stand for competition for authority from a creator.  The leftist ideal is that an individual relationship between God and man must be severed; the leftist government is to be the master and controller over any rights of man.  Here, then, is the core issue for the apt pejorative Obamacare.

Ms. Pelosi infamously in her own ineloquence stated when asked about the constitutionality of Obamacare "Are you serious."   Comparatively, as a part of the debate on ratification of the Constitution, James Madison (who favored a strong central government) wrote to Thomas Jefferson (who favored strong individual/states' rights) in 1788…"It is a melancholy reflection that liberty should be equally exposed to danger whether the Government have too much or too little power; and that the line which divides these extremes should be so inaccurately defined by experience."   As indicated in the extreme difference in these historical examples, statesmanship as practiced today has achieved a low form.

Herein lies the crux of our ongoing political turmoil; Madisonian versus Jeffersonian, left versus right, and in our current debate over the direction of our government, socialism versus Americanism.  The notion of liberty has been applied in many different settings, prior to those immeasurably important words so powerfully included in our own Declaration Of Independence…."Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  These three sovereign rights of man, separate from any government are the root of what is the American ideal, that the left has now put to the axe through its stifling legislative mandates. 

Liberty is best understood simply aligned with its synonym freedom.  Freedom and liberty from constraints by others or government, as well as freedom and liberty to act, or in the antonym, to not act according to ones own wishes.  The main issues of Obamacare strike at the heart of liberty and freedom, the government mandate to purchase insurance, government dictates over what services will or will not be available to an individual, ad infinitum.  It is the "ad infinitum" aspect that adds to the abomination of Obamacare; dictates that remain to be conceived or written into regulations to further erode individual freedom and liberty 

To quote Samuel Adams: "If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."  The straw man of the left has been erected to squelch state/individual liberty in the stand against Obamacare.  As we play out this act of the historical scene called America, the script notation will forever reflect…{Enter stage right the American  patriots, bearing the torches and pitch forks with which to lay low the leftist straw man erected as the offensive facade of Obamacare.} ESR

Robert T. Smith is an environmental scientist who spends his days enjoying life and the pursuit of happiness with his family.  He confesses to cling to his liberty, guns and religion, with antipathy toward the arrogant ruling elites throughout the country.

Send a link to this page!
Send a link to this story





Site Map

E-mail ESR


Send a link to this page!
Send a link to this story


Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!



1996-2021, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.