I was swapping e-mails with a colleague the other day, discussing one of the many flaps that illustrate a philosophical division in this country. It happened to be about the president’s planned speech to school children next Tuesday — not so much the speech but the Education Department’s recommendation that children be advised to write letters to themselves “about what they can do to help the president” — but it could have been about Tea Parties or townhalls.
My colleague noted, there is a lot of hate out there.
To which I replied, there are also a lot of people truly concerned about the direction in which the nation is headed.
There is real concern about the lack of restraints on the federal government embodied in the 10th Amendment, but utterly ignored.
I doubt that even the AntiFederalists — who wrote in opposition to adopting our Constitution, and who insisted on a Bill of Rights, including the 10th — could have envisioned a federal government that would own banks and car makers, that could ban commerce for the sake of bugs and bait, that would control the air we breathe and water we drink, that would dictate what drugs we may ingest, that would require travelers to prove they are unarmed, that would pay pensions and medical care, that would dictate to states speed limits and the age at which people may consume alcohol, that would tell people what light bulbs to use and how much water to use per flush of the toilet, that would pay farmers to not grow crops and place tariffs on foreign competitors, that would censor broadcast speech and campaign speech, that would take money from everyone so a few can trade in clunkers for new cars and weatherize their homes, that would impose a crushing debt on generations to come, and so much more.
I leave you with the words of A Newport Man, which first appeared in the Newport Mercury on March 17, 1788, under the title, “What Does History Teach? (Part II),” now labeled part of AntiFederalist Paper No. 18-20:
“It seems rational in a case of this importance to consult the opinion of the ablest men, and to whom can we better appeal than to J. J. Rousseau … His words are, that ‘every law that the people have not ratified in person, is void; it is no law. The people of England think they are free. They are much mistaken. They are never so but during the election of members of Parliament. As soon as they are elected, they are slaves, they are nothing. And by the use they make of their liberty during the short moments they possess it, they well deserve to lose it.’ This is far from advising that thirty thousand souls should resign their judgments and wishes entirely to one man for two years-to a man, who, perhaps, may go from home sincere and patriotic but by the time he has dined in pomp for a week with the wealthy citizens of New York or Philadelphia, will have lost all his rigid ideas of economy and equality. He becomes fascinated with the elegancies and luxuries of wealth. . . . Objects and intimations like these soon change the champion for the people to an advocate for power; and the people, finding themselves thus basely betrayed, cry that virtue is but a name. We are not sure that men have more virtue at this time and place than they had in England in the time of George the Second. Let anyone look into the history of those times, and see with what boldness men changed sides and deserted the people in pursuit of profit and power. If to take up the cross and renounce the pomps and vanities of this sinful world is a hard lesson for divines, ’tis much harder for politicians. A Cincinnatus, a Cato, a Fabricius, and a Washington, are rarely to be found. We are told that the Trustees of our powers and freedom, being mostly married men, and all of them inhabitants and proprietors of the country, is an ample security against an abuse of power. Whether human nature be less corrupt than formerly I will not determine-but this I know: that Julius Caesar, Oliver Cromwell, and the nobles of Venice, were natives and inhabitants of the countries whose power they usurped and drenched in blood.”
Here is a little ditty penned and performed by a man who works for a Dallas radio station:
Hear more Stubie Doak tunes at WBAP.