By Irene F. Starkehaus -
Both conservatives and progressives have used the term "revolution" to describe the political and socio-economic changes that they each would like for our nation. Both of these political movements seek to transport the nation as far from their opponent's positions as would be humanly possible, and yet they both use the same expression to describe how they want to achieve it.
They say they want a revolution.
Well, you know. We all want to change the world…
What? Too much?
Fine. Have it your way.
Polar opposites that are both revolutionaries? That's philosophically impractical. One side or the other must be using the term wrongly to get its point across just as the other side describes exactly what it means to do.
David Brooks from the op-ed pages of the New York Times excoriated conservative Republicans for advocating revolution as he finger-wagged at Republican RINOs for not keeping this so-called radicalized faction in line. David Brooks detests what he sees as a slovenly application of the otherwise noble and tidy conservative principles with terms of revolution.
He also feels entitled to educate us on proper political etiquette during our lurch to the left making him the self-appointed expert on correct conservatism. Quoting:
Over the past 30 years, or at least since Rush Limbaugh came on the scene, the Republican rhetorical tone has grown ever more bombastic, hyperbolic and imbalanced…
Politics is the process of making decisions amid diverse opinions. It involves conversation, calm deliberation, self-discipline, the capacity to listen to other points of view and balance valid but competing ideas and interests…
But this new Republican faction regards the messy business of politics as soiled and impure. Compromise is corruption.
David Brooks' exploitation of conservatism under the invalid rules pushed by the media has been compounded by the fact that Americans continually misapply values to the term "revolution" making its often pejorative tendencies seem nobler than they actually are. A nostalgia for the founding causes conservatives to gravitate toward the term. To this extent, David Brooks is right. The slipshod use of the word "revolution" by conservatives should probably stop.
Because? The American Revolution wasn't a revolution at all. The American Revolution was a reaction. Reactionary is a far less dreamy political term than revolutionary, I guess. To react is to take the role of mugging victim, which no one wants to be. We, therefore, eschew the term as weak and timid in favor of unmerited radicalism, but that nuance between two very different forms of rebellion is vitally important if we expect to overcome the poverty in liberty that the progressive movement is.
Within revolution's DNA is the covalent bond of conquest and seizure. On the other hand, a reaction is a form of self-defense. Reaction requires neither conquest nor seizure. It is not radical. Our Founders acted in self-defense for their lives, liberty and pursuits of happiness, which included the right to prosper from the fruits of their labors just as the Tea Party movement acts in self-defense for theirs. This is hardly a radical employment, and conservatives have been, I think, horrifically defamed by David Brooks in his op-ed.
The American colonies grabbed nothing that hadn't already been long established by them for their own particular use. They had already recognized liberty as being essential for prosperity. They had already constructed the means to freedom. They had fashioned a successful economy through trade. All of this was done with the full consecration of the British government because it suited the British Government to do so.
The true point of the contention between Crown and the colonies was that the British decided to assert an authority over the colonies that had been vacant in the colonies almost since their formation. They did so when the Crown no longer saw the benefit to this free society. The problem was that the Founders had by then recognized that freedom was given by God, and the Crown had no authority to revoke it. And…I might add… that was the same argument used to end slavery and expand suffrage.
What if? Had England won the Revolutionary War, the colonists would have passed into the servitude of the Crown as half-citizens. This citizenship would have been disproportionately diminished to that of true, full British citizens, and colonists' rights would have gradually contracted through decades of democratically contrived theft and abuse. The actual act of enslavement would have been entirely…brutally civilized however, as the English people would have come to believe that the colonies had theft coming to them.
Ultimately, oppression would have occurred through diligent compromise and debate, and the Brits would have felt themselves extraordinarily generous in the incrementalism of their domination because their seizure of rights would have happened at the hands of a democratically elected majority that would have voted little by little to rape the productivity of the American colonies.
It would have mattered very little whether the colonies had representatives in Parliament to argue against the pillaging of their productivity because their freedom would have been conditional to the benevolent dictatorship of the majority. Their prosperity and production would have been entirely contingent. Sound familiar?
David Brooks outlines what is wrong with modern conservatism in what we are expected to believe is his expertise on the subject. What he fails to explain in all of his thistledown philosophy is where the boundaries of civil debate end and the acts of self-preservation begin.
As long as socialists and other progressivists speak and act calmly and earn major legislative victories that eradicate our rights, must Americans tolerate the erosion of their civil liberties? What are we saying here? Is it this – only if the Left loses its collective temper and physically assaults conservatives may conservatives argue against unsupportable thefts of freedom and prosperity with urgency? Think about the conclusions we must reach by using the David Brooks method of political argument.
Look. The American people are generous by nature. If anyone would ask, the average American would willingly give to the point of pain to help those less fortunate. The majority of legislators, however, don't ask. They legislate confiscation to deal with poverty that remains unbroken in spite of trillions of dollars in accumulated debt. Over this abuse, there has been a great deal of consternation on the side of conservatives, but the legislated confiscation continues and increases as it suits the grand omnipotence known as the majority.
Having accomplished the legal confiscation of property with only a calm deliberation and capacity to listen to show for it, the democratically elected majority now takes aim at speech, religion, the press, association and gun ownership. As long as the speechmaking of the great and almighty majority is dispassionate and measured, it would seem we must suffer the abridgment of liberty.
Is that really true? Is that our charge as a democratic-minded people? Or in that particular scenario is compromise actually corruption?
I apologize in advance for taking up a correlation from a growing list of comparisons that have been banned because they lack sensitivity and respect. Legalized gang rape is, however, a fair analogy in this case because American civility has not devolved to such an extent that rape is as yet an acceptable act.
What if? If the majority of Americans flipped in their disdain of rape and only a small minority still abhorred it, would individuals who used bombastic, hyperbolic rhetoric against the legalization of rape be in the wrong? Or would they be within their rights to employ any rhetorical means at their disposal to convince the regal and prodigious majority of their flawed thinking?
Would a progressive evolution in thinking towards legalized gang rape permit the democratic majority to compel conscientious objectors to fund legalized gang rape regardless of their very deeply held convictions that rape is wrong?
We can see in this example that the conscientious objectors would be in the right for refusing to fund a legislative atrocity because society still holds that a person should not be forced to have sex without lucid consent.
This is my opinion. If the democratic socialists of the Democrat Party began working tomorrow to legalize rape, then within two decades conservatives would be shunned for suggesting that the act is abnormal. Within three decades conservatives would be ostracized for attempting to defund organizations that promote gang rape. Within four decades parental notification regarding the gang rape of children would no longer be required.
Again, that was my opinion. This, however, is truth. We are under neither ethical nor constitutional obligation to pretend that all opinions or laws are morally equivalent. We don't have to accept that every belief deserves calm deliberation rather than outrage. Ideas, laws and people who are outrageous deserve the outrage that they provoke.
Democrats…they haven't been open about it before this election cycle. In elections past, they embezzled the language of liberty and free trade to make their consumptive grab of liberty and property morally palatable to voters, but in Bernie Sanders we have a truthful socialist. He's telling you exactly what the Democrats want to do. When someone tells you what he plans to do, I recommend you believe him and act accordingly.
That's still is only half the battle before us though. The other mandate is in educating people that the fundamental rights granted by the US Constitution cannot be democratically voted away no matter how big the majority is. The fact that the Democrats are coming out of their socialist closet and telling you their plans means that the task of educating Americans will be harder than we know.