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Reversing course and restoring liberty

By Mark Alexander
web posted July 19, 2010

Last week in my essay "Breaking the back of free enterprise," I noted, "Barack Hussein Obama's macro agenda to accomplish the 'fundamental transformation of America' is to break the back of capitalism and, in the ensuing crisis, use government intervention to replace it with a more refined socialist economic framework than the one currently in place."

I then posited the question, "Is there still time to restore the primacy of free enterprise over Socialism and turn back Obama and his Leftist ilk?"

The short answer is yes. I believe there is still time to implement political solutions to reverse course and restore Essential Liberty, constitutional Rule of Law and its economic expression, free enterprise. But that window is closing.

There is an economic catastrophe on our horizon, (the Obama Plan), one whose full force will likely be felt in the next few years. It will bring with it massive increases in taxation and income redistribution accompanied by inflation of the cost of goods and services and, ultimately, centralization of the economy through complete regulation of every economic sector. This scenario will be modeled after Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal policies, but it will be so massive as to fully institutionalize Socialism on a national scale.

That's the bad news.

The good news is there exists a solution, short of civil disobedience and revolution, to dispense with the Obama Plan. That solution is a revitalized national movement to restore constitutional integrity. That effort is now well underway bearing the Tea Party label -- not a political party, per se, but the advocacy of a set of principles to restore Rule of Law.

Our success will require a groundswell of action in the next few election cycles, and the seating of a majority of legislators who have both a firm understanding of the principles of Essential Liberty and a willingness to enact the bold and difficult legislation necessary to restore constitutional Rule of Law.

The most important of these legislative measures are outlined in the Patriot Declaration. These include the enumeration of specific constitutional authority for any and every act of the legislature, its compliance with our Constitution's standard for Federalism, the Tenth Amendment, and a complete overhaul of our system of taxation.

In other words, the only way to undermine the Obama Plan is to reduce the size and scope of central government such that it comports once again with the plain language of our Constitution. In fact, this conversion to a government whose powers are, as our Constitution's principal author James Madison declared, "few and defined," will necessarily collapse its size.

However, our Constitution's prescription for central government authority and its proscription against exceeding that authority have been eroded for generations. It will thus take time to restore the Rule of Law, but restoration is the only option if our legacy of liberty is to be extended to future generations.

The alternative is, most certainly, tyranny.

The "Cycle of Democracy," attributed to 18th-century Scottish historian Alexander Tytler, follows this sequence: "From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty [Rule of Law]; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage [rule of men]."

The consequences of complacency and apathy are, indeed, dependency and bondage.

The choice that all Americans face today was aptly described by Ronald Reagan in his timeless challenge to conservatives, "A Time for Choosing": "You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right, There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism."

Now, as then, Leftists decry the Reagan model for restoration, cutting taxes to grow the economy, as "trickle-down economics." But the Reagan Plan resulted in the largest peacetime economic surge in American history.

To be sure, the Democrat-controlled legislature refused to enact the spending cuts Reagan called for, and this led to what were then record deficits. Those deficits, however, pale in comparison to the debt of the Obama Plan, which can only result in "trickle-up poverty."

Alexis de Tocqueville once observed, "Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."

Today, the once noble Democrat Party seeks only to forcibly reduce the people they pretend to serve to restraint and servitude.

In 1916, a minister and outspoken advocate for liberty, William J. H. Boetcker, published a pamphlet entitled The Ten Cannots, which fittingly contrasts the competing political and economic factions today: You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will not do for themselves.

It is a hard, undeniable truth that the federal government cannot give to anybody what it does not first take from somebody else, and the power to do so is ruinous. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, we must "prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them."

Further, the debt and taxation crisis we face today was a prospect of great concern to our Founders at the dawn of our Republic. In Jefferson's words, "Taxes should be continued by annual or biennial reenactments, because a constant hold, by the nation, of the strings of the public purse is a salutary restraint from which an honest government ought not wish, nor a corrupt one to be permitted, to be free. ... Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands. ... The fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its turn wretchedness and oppression. ... We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. ... I place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared."

In 1824, Jefferson concluded, "I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious." What would he say today?

Our Constitution, and Rule of Law it was meant to ensure, has suffered great injury as a result of national complacency and apathy.

So we must once again choose.

Which will it be, freedom or totalitarianism, the Reagan Plan or the Obama Plan?

If we expect to bequeath liberty to our posterity, then we must dedicate our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to uphold the primacy of free enterprise over socialism, to defend Essential Liberty and to restore constitutional Rule of Law.

Will enough conservatives be seated in Congress this election cycle to stop, or even reverse, the Obama agenda? Stopping, at the very least, is mandatory. Reversing, while a daunting challenge, is achievable and must be the sole focus of every Patriot in the coming election cycle.

Be assured, should we fail to rise to the current challenge, the terminus of the Obama Plan is tyranny.

So, fellow Patriots, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, "Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve." ESR

Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.

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