Vote As if Your Life Depends on It

To my conservative readers: please take pledge to vote and pass it to ten people.

http://www.make2012count.com/

To my leftist reader, who is here by unhappy mistake: sir, your candidate in whom you placed such hopes four years ago betrayed the principles for which you stand, did not end the War on Terror, did not close Gitmo, did not stop the rendition of prisoners of war to unsavory third world nations, and instead of savaging the Wall Street ‘Fat Cats’ on whom you blame our current economic woes, made sweetheart deals with them, bailed them out with money that could have gone to the poor, protected them from retribution or market correction, and, in short, formed an even closer and more cozy relation with Wall Street than your hated enemy, Mr Bush. I will not insult your spirit by asking you to vote Republican, but I will ask you to sit this one out, and so keep your principles intact.

To the independent or undecided voters: no matter how noble your ideals for voting for the Green Party or the Libertarian Party or the Constitutionalist Party, the practical result of your vote in a race this narrow is a vote for Mr Obama. You will not offend your ideals by voting for a less than ideal candidate, or for a Party which has no doubt deeply offended you in times past, because a vote for Romney at this time and in this crux of events will allow the Republic to continue to exist, and he and his party may possibly listen to you and your grievances, and, perhaps reluctantly, perhaps under protest, may act to satisfy you. Mr Obama’s Administration, surrounded by a News Media fanatically devoted to protecting him at all costs and demonizing his opposition, will never listen to you, and if you dare open your mouth to them, expect to be treated like Joe the Plumber, and be subject to investigation, harassment by the press, harassment by the bureaucracy, and retaliation.

Even if Romney is as bad as you fear, a strong conservative showing in the House and Senate races, and the awakening from slumber of a press corps willing to criticize the government, will slow the rate of corruption.

It is not idealism to hand victory to an enemy set to ruin your nation and your life by denying your vote to a lukewarm ally who is less than ideal.

To all my readers of any party, I ask: What is at stake in this election?

This is not about two men, and so any discussion of the personal merits and demerits of the candidates is irrelevant.  This is not even about two parties, and so any discussion of the merits and demerits of the parties and their past behavior is likewise irrelevant.

This election is about whether the American Revolution, and that things for which it stands, shall prevail in America, or whether the French Revolution, and the things for which it stands, shall prevail in America.

It is about whether the American Dream lives or dies. Is that worth asking ten people to vote?

I suggest that a victory for the French Revolution will last about as long here as it did there.  Let me remind you of the crucial dates:

1786

  • August 20: Finance minister Calonne informs Louis that the royal finances are insolvent

1789

  • July 9: National Assembly reconstitutes itself as National Constituent Assembly
  • July 11: Populace sack the monasteries, ransack aristocrats’ homes in search of food and weapons
  • July 14: Storming of the Bastille; De Launay (the governor), Foulon (the Secretary of State) and de Flesselles (the mayor of Paris), amongst others, are massacred.

1799

  • November 9: The Coup d’État of 18 Brumaire: end of the Directory
  • December 24:Constitution of the Year VIII – leadership of Napoleon established under the Consulate.

1804

  • December 2: The coronation of Napoleon as Emperor of the French.

So, then, eighteen years separates the insolvency of Louis from the Coronation of the Emperor.

That is a fair estimate, in my opinion, of how long this nation has left as a world power, or even as a civilized nation, should the adoption become irreversible of  the European style of Government: Spanish-style efforts against the Jihad, Greek-style public finances, English-style socialized medicine, French-style military glory, Russian-style Putin-crony economics.

And I suggest that this election will be the irreversible turning point: too many people will be permanently dependent on government largess for the ideal of limited government ever to have a hearing again. Socialism creates errors and displacements in the free market which need more socialism to correct; and those corrections need additional corrections; and no system free from error can ever be enacted, because socialism is not an economic theory. It is the theory that says the state can defy economic reality. It is not, in the final analysis, a theory at all, but a psycho-pathological rationalization  for confiscation and piracy; a way to commit a crime and feel good about it. Indeed, it is not even a psychopathology, but a sin, and a deadly one. Socialism is a fancy word for envy.

We have seen all the European Nations, even England, the Mother of Parliaments, even Greece, the Mother of Democracy, plunge into the slippery-sided cesspool of socialist dependency and servility. You have heard and read Europeans defend their system, some even here on this blog, and can take the measure of their character, or lack of it. Once a man is addicted to socialized medicine, he lacks the manhood needed to break the addiction. That is the point of no return.

Or are you eager to fill out your tax forms next year with all your personal medical information given to the IRS? Are you eager for two-year waiting lists for routine procedures, or the spectacle of begging a lard-faced bureaucrat in a bankrupt hospital for the life of your mother?

What do you make of the character of men who raise to the indignant, shrieking, supercilious defense of socialized medicine, who boast of its popularity, its efficiency, and who tell you without breaking a smile that you can get something for nothing, distribute goods and services without rationing, without a law of supply and demand, without cost, without cause and effect, and that Tinkerbell will live if you just  clap hard enough. Do they strike you as men of integrity and stark honesty?

Once their tactics of personal attack and hysterical denial of reality have proved to be successful and on an issue so central to the American character, do you think that anyone in the public sphere will ever again use the unsuccessful tactic of  dispassionate reasoning?

Our modern version of the insolvency of Louis happened in 1997. Clinton was President and Gingrich was Speaker of the House. This was the last time a full-on, real-life federal budget that was signed into law. In April of 2009 was an Omnibus Spending Bill which was signed into law by President Obama. For the three years since then, the federal money has been spent under the auspices of Continuing Resolutions, or, in other words, no one is even bothering to keep track.

If we keep to the schedule set by the French Revolution, the Emperor of America will be crowned in 2015. No doubt his title will be something more soothing to American Ears, such as “Recovery Czar” or “Chairman of the Combined Office of Federal Compliance” or “Head of the National Institute of Coordinated Experiments.”

Myself, being a bit of a skeptic, I doubt that the trend to bankruptcy, barbarism, and ruin can be reversed, even Tea Party Conservatives win every election at every level of government for the next ten or twenty years, even if the left-of-center political figures are banished to irrelevance, even if the lefter-of-center judges are impeached and their rulings overturned, even if the leftest-of-center mass media and Hollywood moguls are tried for treason and exiled to Devil’s Island, and even if the left-of-Marx academics of the political reeducation camps once called universities are torn screaming from their tenured ivory towers and hanged from the nearest lamppost. These would be good first steps, but I think First Contact by friendly Vulcans from outer space frankly more likely, or the Second Coming of Christ.

Even these unlikely first steps, even if initiated immediately, would not undo the damage already done to our finances by the countless trillions of dollars of debt we have already imposed on our children and grandchildren. If Americans under eighteen paid off the all of the federal debt in equal shares, each share would be over $200,000. That is more than it costs to buy a college education or a mid-sized home.

Even these unlikely first steps, even if initiated immediately, would not undo the damage already done to our laws and customs and to the spirit of the West by everything from the New Deal to going off the gold standard to changing the basic relation of the citizen to the government into a relationship of client to patron, child to nanny, serf to master.

But, on the other hand, if every smallest step in the directions of these first steps is reviled and resisted by the Democrat-Media People’s Party (or whatever they are calling themselves these days) and therefore rejected by the American people; and if instead of reversing course, or even steaming full speed ahead, the ship of state revs up the spendaholic engines to ramming speed, then disaster is certain.

The American Revolution was about the notion that free and independent men could govern themselves by electing representative who would make laws, an independent judiciary would interpret said laws in the light of traditional and common law, and an elected administration would enforce them. The state would protect the citizen from foreign invasion and domestic insurrection and tumult, and settle torts and contract disputes between its citizens, and otherwise enforce the laws to establish peace and order.

The French Revolution was about fraternity, equality, and liberty. At least in name. What it actually ended up being about was crushing the individual spirit in the name of the communal good; about equalizing the productive and the poor by savaging the productive; and about the liberty to be free of decency, of morality, of  honesty, and of reality. The Orwellian anti-clerical and anti-intellectual practices of the French Revolution, the secret police, the Terror, the sadistic brutality, did not have many years to work their evil, and so many people are simply unaware of it. But everything that was later done with greater scientific precision and on a much larger scale with a cast of millions by the National Socialists of Germany and the Socialists of Russia and China and throughout the world, was first practiced in miniature by the French.

The American Revolution was about independence and federalism: it was about magnifying men by a dwindling government. The French Revolution was about dwindling the role of man down the slope from Image of God, to free and equal citizen, to dependent, to child, to serf, to slave, to livestock, to subhuman, to fetus, by expanding the role of the state to all departments of life.

Under the French Revolutionary dream, the state takes over the market, that state takes over the church (tearing down cathedrals and erecting idols to itself),  the state takes over the community, that state takes over your identity; the state is your nanny and your stepmother and your conscience and your big brother; the state is genesis and eschaton, alpha and omega; the state’s voice is the only voice you hear; the state is the source of your rights and the only guardian thereof; the state is the source of your morals and the only measure thereof; the state is your keeper; and, in a crowning irony, the state is utterly incompetent at everything it sets out to do.

So, in the end, the state is a intoxicated, blind and lobotomized gorilla in whose narrow cage you have been locked, and the blind gorilla may do whatever seems fit in its eyes. The gorilla gets to decide how you live your life, what lightbulbs you can buy, which car companies succeed or fail, or banks, or student loan institutions, or what doctors you can see and for what and when.

The state decides who gets an education and when and what his skin color must be; and how to speak and act and think; and who rises to what level in society, or owns what possessions, or how he uses what he owns, who he hires, and to whom he buys and sells and at what price. The state decides which races and grievance groups should be distributed in which proportions, and if Yellow Men from China or Jews from Spain over-perform, they will be excluded by race quotas.

If the state decides that it is scientifically and economically feasible to generate power from solar energy, voila! the state commands it to be done, even if it is not scientifically feasible or economically viable.

The only thing wrong with my image of the state as a blind and lobotomized gorilla is that no gorilla could spend, burn, waste and destroy as much of your hard earned cash as quickly as the state can do.

Do you remember the scene in a recent Batman movie, where the Joker piled up a huge pyramid of cash with a human victim at the top and lit it on fire? It reached almost to the ceiling of a huge warehouse.

We are currently somewhere north of 16 trillion dollars in debt. That is more debt than all the previous Congresses of either party gathered up since the start of the Republic.

So imagine the Joker’s pile of burning money reaching from here to the orbit of the moon. That is roughly, depending on how narrow you make the base of the pyramid, four trillion dollars. So imagine twice as far away as the moon, and then imagine twice that again. It is taller than the planned height of the Tower of Babel.

That is what we spent in debt. That is how much work you and your children and your grandchildren and your greatgrandchildren will have to work just to get back to zero.

And what did we get for that money? Five hundred Golden Gate Bridges? A shining new World Trade Center 250 stories tall with immense scowling eagles made of marble at the top? Six hundred new Hoover Dam projects or a trip to Disneyland? Free food for the poor?

A city on the Moon? Made of solid gold? Which can be reached by a ladder made of twenty dollar bills?

What did we get?

We got Mr Obama’s campaign contributors on Wall Street generously bailed out, and major sections of our economy now run entirely by Washington, for Washington.

But the problem is not with Mr Obama. He is merely a symptom. The problem is not even with the Democrat-Media Axis. Republicans since Hoover have been buying into the ideals of the French Revolution, into the economics of envy, and into the theory that the State is Everything, less vocally but not less loyally than the Axis.

The problem is a dream.

The American Revolution represents the ideal of self-reliant and independent men, decent and virtuous in their private lives, hard-working, generous to the community, loyal and patriotic, brave and clean and reverent, gathering together for the common good, and setting sharply-defined limits on what can and cannot be done in the same of the common good. The American Revolution represents life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It represents the spirit of adventure and achievement lit by the torch of reason. It represent eternal enmity over every form of tyranny over the minds of men.

The French Revolution represents, in the Modern Age, after its many mutations and permutations in Europe, the thought prison of Political Correctness. It represents the prison from which there is no escape, because the chains and gyves exists only in the mind, and reason, that golden key, has been thrown away.

It represents absolute conformity to an ideal of social engineering, where everyone is a victim or an oppressor and no peace can exist between the two, and everyone is a ward of the state and a dependent; where the state and not the customers picks winners and losers in the marketplace (and somehow the state always picks losers); where only sexual deviance and adultery are to be encouraged and admired, and virtue is vice and vice is virtue; where lying is to be commended, even commanded, if it serves the Cause; where cop-killers are to be defended and innocent babies in the womb to be slain even if born by accident alive; where Islamist mass-murderers are to be coddled and defended as innocent victims, and the victims to be reviled as ‘little Eichmanns'; where everyone is a helpless babe, and the state is all and all-knowing and all-wise, and the state enforces no laws and secures no borders and wins victory in no wars, but instead acts as nanny, nurse, grievance monger, and Pirate Chief, selecting which of several identity-groups the spoiled raped from the productive citizens shall be given.

The gap between the pretensions of the state in the French Revolutionary Dream, where Big Brother becomes our tutor and guru and nags us into perfect enlightenment and teaches us all how to live in peace with our brethren and harmony with Mother Earth, and the drooling, apish, brain-dead incompetence of the State in practice has too many examples  to bear repeating.

But the same people who daydream of controlling the global temperature within ten degrees of mercury for the next five centuries are the ones running airport security, the Post Office, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and who did such a rapid and admirable job of preparing for Hurricane Katrina and cleaning up after the British Petroleum Oil Spill, not to mention keeping the streets of New York clean of snow in the Christmas of 2010.

Despite whatever reservations you may have about Mr Romney or the Republican establishment who selected him, a vote for Romney is a vote in favor of the American Dream, which is the dream of people freed from the intrusion of government and the strangle-nets of aristocratic privilege or oppression by the elite. It is democracy.

A vote for anyone other than Mr Romney is a vote for the French Dream, where the state is your nanny and warden and the prime role of the state is to enforce ideological conformity on every issue from race relations to religion to art to history to sexual deviance to grammar, but the state will not be expected to maintain impartial justice and public virtue, enforce the laws, fight wars, and otherwise do any of the things which justify the creation and maintenance of the state. It is a freakish combination of totalitarianism and anarchy.

One of those small but crucial events that happened to me which formed my view of the world and man’s place in it was nothing more than a story, an anecdote, told to me by my father over the top of the newspaper he was reading when I was a child.

Its seemed that a an employee owned company somewhere in the northeastern states — I neither recall the name nor the date — had run into financial difficulty. The only way out of the difficulty was to embrace austerity measures, cut back on employee pay and union benefits, until such time as the company would be solvent again. The decision was stark and obvious: be thrifty in the short run, wait for the next quarter’s profits to come in, and keep the company alive and afloat in the long run.

My father mentioned with a smile of saturnine sorrow that the company stockholders, who were also the employees, voted themselves a payraise, and the company went out of business when it could not meet its payroll.

They voted themselves out of a job.

That day, when I was a child, was when I realized the weakness all democracies suffer: the temptation to place the short term personal good over the common good is a powerful temptation, which is why the government must be surrounded by checks and balances, and strictly limited in his activities. Men are fine fellows as individuals, and selfish morons as a mob.

Will you do the same this year, O citizen of the United States? The choice before us is as simple and stark.

That is what this election is about.

Do you want to vote yourself out of a future? Vote yourself out of America? Vote yourself out of democracy?

Don’t say it cannot happen nor that it cannot happen here. It has happened all over the world, and has been happening here since the New Deal, or, longer ago, since the Sixteenth Amendment.

It is about whether the American Dream lives or dies. Is that worth asking ten people to vote?

Please take pledge to vote and pass it to ten people.

http://www.make2012count.com/

19 Comments

  1. Comment by Mary:

    Ran across something on that theme today.

    Why should marriage continue to be a public, not a private, matter? Well, if you believe that article:

    Because of the deep and rich cultural significance of marriage, in many cases marriage arrangements will take precedence over the terms of civil unions. When these arrangements exist in tension with widely shared public values — like those that subordinate wives and daughters and limit their opportunities — privatizing and deregulating marriage will curtail the government’s ability to promote gender equality within families structured by marriage. In other words, privatizing marriage will give private organizations, including inegalitarian ones, more influence over the institution of marriage without giving individuals negatively affected much protection by having access to civil union status.

    Among other reasons, to be sure. But this is the first problem: you might regard your private marriage as something other than Big Brother decrees.

  2. Comment by jtherry:

    I will vote, yes, but my vote will not count. I live in the District of Columbia, which is 75% registered Democrat, and which went more than 92% for Obama in 2008. Because of our winner-take-all system, my vote — whether for Romney or Gary Johnson or even “Average” Joe Schriner — will simply not count.

  3. Comment by robertjwizard:

    Already done, Republican all down the line. Unfortunately I live in the snotty blue state of Washington, so it may come as naught!

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      One advantage of being Christian is that no good act is in vain. We believe heaven sees and rewards all virtue, even acts which in the material world come to nothing. Even if our worldview were false, it does much us much harder to dissuade or discourage.

  4. Comment by Sylvie D. Rousseau:

    I’ve been praying and will pray harder tomorrow to the intentions of America’s men of goodwill. Whatever happens will have consequences for the world. May God help us.

  5. Comment by Stephen J.:

    I’m Canadian and thus excluded from participating, but I will be praying that whatever happens will be for the best.

  6. Comment by qbauer:

    I’m praying tonight that God has mercy on this country, because no matter who wins, we’ve long lost our moral center. Nancy Pearcey — and I’m sure others — writes about politics being downstream (and you write similar sentiments when you comment that Obama is a symptom). I’m hoping that my vote for Romney counts for something, but knowing that every Christian prayer to heal the spirit of this country will significantly count. As a collective we’ve manufactured this President as the embodiment of everything wrong spiritually with America. And it’s difficult to acknowledge my own culpability in the rapid decline of my country. Please, Lord, if it is your will, bless this country with wisdom and protect us from our own corruption and entitlement.

  7. Comment by Ben Zwycky:

    “The cause of the crisis is primarily a scarcity of morals. A turning point in the economic crisis? I don’t believe in turning points that happen by themselves. What we are accustomed to calling an economic crisis is another name for ethical poverty. Ethical poverty is the cause, economic recession is the result. In our country there are many who think that an economic recession can be propped up with money. I am terrified of the consequences of such an error. In the situation we find ourselves, we don’t need any brilliant manoeuvres or complicated strategies. We need an ethical approach to people, to work and to public property. No supporting the bankrupt, no going into debt, no throwing away values for nothing, no extorting those who work, but to do those things that lifted us out of post-war poverty: to work and save and make working and saving more profitable, more desirable and more honourable than laziness and waste. You are correct that we need to overcome this crisis of trust, but technological, financial and credit measures cannot do it – trust is a personal matter and trust can only be renewed via ethics and by personal example.”

    Tomas Bat’a, ‘The Henry Ford of Eastern Europe’, in 1932, about the Great Depression. Times sure have changed, haven’t they? (I couldn’t find the quote in its entirety anywhere online in English, so I translated it from the original, which can be found here: http://fzp.ujep.cz/aktuality/TomasBata.pdf)

    On a tangentially related note, it appears that there is still some hope for some form of sanity to return to the British legal system, that the all-suffocating embrace of Political Correctness is finally being publically resisted, I give you Rowan Atkinson:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gciegyiLYtY

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      Amen to Tomas Bat’a. He is dead right that this is a moral crisis. Political Correctness is the rejection of traditional morality in favor of either a meaningless utopian theory, or, in its more refined form, in favor of nothing whatsoever. What? Did we expect men who say that words mean nothing and that truth is untrue would practice thrift, engage in hard and honest labor, and eschew usury?

      The victim mentality inherent to Political Correctness forbids such ideas from even being contemplated. In the victim mentality world, the rich are rich for no reason, because of Cargo Cult voodoo, because they stole natural resources from the poor; and the poor are poor for no reason, because of Cargo Cult voodoo, because they were robbed by the rich.

      In either case, wealth is simply a magical charism which appears out of nowhere for no reason and is either divided fairly by an all powerful and all wise philosopher-king to the grateful and fawning multitudes, or robbed by the greed and cunning or brutal force of the evil spirits animating and inhabiting the top-hats and tail-coats of the rich. The economics of political correctness is literally voodoo economics, the belief that chanting certain mantras or sayings or spells over and over can make reality go away, the belief that goods and services can be distributed before they are created, and without reference to supply and demand, cost and benefit, cause and effect.

      It is not just a moral crisis, it is the moral crisis.

      A moral crisis is when some vice, such as perjury in the time of Titus Oates, or adultery in the time of the Regency, or dueling in the time of the antebellum South, comes into fashion, and corrupts the laws of the land and the spirit of the people.

      The moral crisis is when the rejection of morality itself, any and all morality, the rejection of logic and the rejection of reality, come into fashion, and corrupt the laws of the land and the spirit of the people.

  8. Ping from On The Election « Do_While(True):

    [...] think John Wright says this best: To my leftist reader, who is here by unhappy mistake: sir, your candidate in whom [...]

  9. Comment by Sean Michael:

    I fully agree with Mr. Wright that a vote for Obama is a vote for the monstrous ideals and totalitarian systems spawned by the French Revolution. That for all practical political purposes it is the Republican party which believers in limited gov’t and natural law have to support regardless of the all too human imperfections of the GOP. Which is why I vote only for Republicans and why I refuse ever to vote for any Democrats. I support the party which best represents my ideas and beliefs, not for the man.

    Sean M. Brooks

  10. Comment by Joseph M (was Ishmael Alighieri):

    A small but relevant addition to your French Revolution time line:

    17 July 1794 – 16 Carmelite nuns guillotined by the Department of Homeland Security, oops, I mean, um, the *Committee for Public Safety* in Paris for refusing to sign on to the “Civil Constitution of the Clergy”.

    It’s mildly comforting to note that Robespierre had his head lopped of shortly thereafter, and to take a tiny amount of grim amusement in how oblivious those who would cut down the forest of man-made laws are to what usually happens to those who do the clear-cutting. Yo, anarchist-sign-waving-making-up-rights-guy: do you think the principalities and powers behind all this love you or even care about you the slightest bit? Nope – after you are used, your turn will come too.

  11. Comment by wlinden:

    If all the New Yorkers who voted for Johnson, Stein, Goode, Rocky Anderson, and whoever was the “Liberation and Socialism” candidate had voted for Romney instead…. it would have made no difference whatever. Excoriate me all you want.

    And, of course, the sacred two-party system can never ever change. Guess I should supported the Whigs, not those non-viable Republicans.

  12. Ping from Redux – On The Election « Do_While(True):

    [...] think John Wright says this best: To my leftist reader, who is here by unhappy mistake: sir, your candidate in whom [...]

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