As America’s 241st birthday approaches, patriots agonizing over our political and social shambles inevitably ask, “How much longer can the nation survive?” But their lament is as late as America: The country died long ago, both politically and spiritually.
Recognizing a corpse now decayed and stinking is easier than pinpointing the precise moment of death. Some folks contend that the “Great Emancipator,” Abraham Lincoln, killed America as surely as his orders slaughtered Southerners. Others believe the patient survived Lincoln only to succumb to the Marxist contagion in the late nineteenth century. Still others indict as murderers those who erected the American Empire around the time of the First World War or the post-World War II Surveillance State.
All we can say for certain is that the virtues, spirit, and love of liberty the Founding Fathers bequeathed us have vanished from the public square as they have from our hearts and lives. Comparing the fiercely free and autonomous, devout, courageous, sensible, industrious, innovative and adventurous America of the 18th century with today’s imposter shows two irreconcilably different countries. Indeed, we ought to dispense with celebrating July 4 as the contemporary nation’s nativity: The only thing 2.5 million Americans in 1776 share with 320 million today is a bit of geography.
Exhibit A: The federal government. The one the Founders designed was a tiny, almost invisible speck rather than the modern monstrosity on the Potomac. It lacked most of the monstrosity’s parts, too. There was no bureaucratic “Deep State,” nor did the Constitution allow one. That document also limited the president to 10 duties that it described in a mere 325 words: command the armed forces; consult with the Cabinet; determine which culprits deserved reprieve or pardon for offenses; make treaties; appoint men to federal office and to the Senate if needful; inform Congress of the “State of the Union”; recommend “Measures” to Congress; convene or adjourn that body “on extraordinary Occasions”; supervise the “faithful execution” of laws; and “Commission all the Officers of the United States.” Contrast this scant list to the staggering omnipotence and celebrity that currently bathe the executive. Eighteenth-century Americans would have rarely if ever felt a presidential hand on their daily lives; 21st century ones never escape its smothering grip. (We’d find similar discrepancies in the judicial and legislative branches, too, were we to correlate actuality with the Constitution.)
Meanwhile, politicians have steadily degraded the Founders’ republic into a democracy — a form of government the Revolutionaries despised. Also known as “mob-rule,” democracy strips political minorities of their liberty, pursuit of happiness and, yes, often their lives. Even Alexander Hamilton, the Founder most sympathetic to a powerful State, denounced democracies because history had proven that “their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.” James Madison feared that under dictatorship by the majority, “there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” And Elbridge Gerry’s words ring true now as then: “The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue but are the dupes of pretended patriots.”
Worse than Americans’ abandonment of the Founders’ republican federation is their hatred of political liberty. Yet the desire to live free not only inspired but actively caused the Revolutionary War and the establishing of a new country.
Most modern Americans not only submit to tyranny, they enthusiastically welcome such enslavement. For example, they unilaterally presume that without governmental regulation, products and entire industries are dangerous: “The magnitude and multitude of toxic chemicals… is out of control. Even though some carcinogens are regulated (for example, formaldehyde, linked to cancer, is regulated in the U.S.), most brands are still manufactured overseas, where regulation is far behind. And only the most toxic chemicals are regulated in the U.S….”
They embrace official sexual assaults at airports (and other venues), cravenly trading liberty for the illusion of security: “I know we need the TSA to keep us [safe] from exploding underwear,” says one serf. Says another: “Airport security is a necessary nuisance travelers must accept if they wish to be able to fly around the world safely.” A third “doesn’t object … to the fact that he was searched closely, that his belongings were scrutinized…” When one of the agency’s pedophiles molested — sorry, patted down a young boy, Americans shamelessly defended the TSA: “I fly a lot and have been patted down a few times and so has [sic] my wife and sister. GET OVER IT! You people are IDIOTS! You are the same people that if and when something happens you will complain that they didn’t do enough”; “I know TSA officers, on the whole, are good people trying to do a thankless job…”; “The kid broke the rules… .” Victims themselves allegedly “[understand] the TSA has a job to keep travelers safe…”
And all this says nothing of Americans’ rabid, reflexive socialism, their craving to live off anyone’s money except their own, their demand that others buy them such “rights” as housing, financial security in old age, and medical care. While earlier Americans exulted in their ability — and freedom — to provide for themselves, our generation idolizes politicians who promise to rob the neighbors on our behalf.
Can we resurrect the dear departed? I doubt it. Too many people reap too much money from its replacement, whether they draw a paycheck or welfare from Leviathan or work for one of the beast’s myriad cronies. At this point, only another revolution — and I mean a literal one, with guns and casualties and unimaginable suffering — will pry greedy bloodsuckers and Progressives from their anchorage at the public trough.
Whatever date of birth the People’s Socialist American Republic claims, it certainly isn’t July 4, 1776.
— Becky Akers