Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. - Santayana
Kansas-Nebraska Act 1854, Redux
We are now beginning to enter the Kansas-Nebraska Act stage of the socialist crisis of the Republic.
To get the significance of this, some history is in order:
At our constitutional founding, the evil of slavery had been crudely evaded. In 1820, the Missouri Compromise was enacted that prohibited the abomination north of 36/30 degrees latitude [southern boundary of Missouri, except for it's SE "boot-heel"].
But with the western push of the frontier, a new compromise was needed. So the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 decreed that the “popular sovereignty” of each territory should decide whether they would be slave or free states. But then, adherents of both the abomination and freedom migrated to Kansas to struggle — with their bodily presence — for their respective causes. First there was politics. Then the political rhetoric turned violent. Then real violence ensued. Kansas became known as Bleeding Kansas. John Brown, most famously, applied unjustified, murderous violence for his righteous cause of ending slavery and was hanged, but the Civil War ensued…
NOT a pretty scene!
Now we enter our History’s second stage in the struggle against the abomination of socialism. Just as slavery had been contained in the South, so entitlement socialism has, until this week, been more or less contained in service to only the poor and the elderly — and even in those programs (for the elderly) on the principle of beneficiaries paying monthly premiums for the benefits they will later get (Medicare/ Social Security). Only the poor under Medicaid received benefit without premium payment.
But now, just as the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 broke through the slave state limitation to the South, the Democratic Party’s 2010 health care law has broken socialism’s boundary of being so limited. Now, the chains of socialism are to be clamped on to the able-bodied middle class — not merely the already presumed helpless poor and old who have paid their insurance premiums.
An exaggeration you say? Not so fast, according to that (understatement alert!) not exactly right wing New York Times.
Even the New York Times — after the vote — admits what the bigger goal has been all along. In Wednesday’s edition (“In Health Care Bill, Obama Attacks Wealth Inequality” by David Leonhardt), they point out: ” Beyond the health reform’s effect on the medical system, it is the centerpiece of his deliberate effort to end what historians have called the age of Reagan. … Speaking to an ebullient audience of Democratic legislators and White House aides at the bill-signing ceremony on Tuesday, Mr. Obama claimed that health reform would ‘mark a new season in America.’…. Above all, the central question that both the Reagan and Obama administrations have tried to answer — what is the proper balance between the market and the government? — remains unresolved. But the bill signed on Tuesday certainly shifts our place on that spectrum.”
I thank The New York Times for that honest statement of historic fact.
After citing some of the obnoxious aspects of what Congress and B.O. hath wrought, the piece goes on:
And just as the free states could not tolerate the spread of slavery into their midst, so, too, free middle-class America — if it still has its historic character — will not tolerate the yoke of socialism put upon our necks.
First, the unambiguous will of the majority has been defied by the vote of Congress last Sunday. Come November, we shall see whether the system can still turn the popular will into the constitutionally permissible legislative will of the majority. If it can, all will be well and the crisis will end. Rallying the vote between now and November is roughly equivalent to the early stage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act period — people started migrating to Kansas to support their convictions.
But come November, if the majority still opposes the socializing of health care delivery and the other central government intrusions, and yet the corrupt bargains and constitutional distortions of Washington deny that will its just expression — then, for the second time in our history, we enter that dangerous period where the House resolves its temporary division. Let us devoutly pray –and commit to ourselves — that this time freedom shall be reacquired … peaceably.
…and then there’s THIS one to go along with the above:
Will America break up?
Abortion threatens to split the nation like slavery
President Obama is splintering America. The passage of Obamacare was a historic victory for liberal governance. Yet, its true cost may be that it triggers the eventual breakup of the country.
Mr. Obama has achieved what his liberal predecessor…could only dream of: nationalized health care. Obamacare signifies the government take-over of one-sixth of the U.S. economy. It has dealt a mortal blow to traditional America. We are now a European-style socialist welfare state. The inevitable permanent tax hikes, massive public bureaucracy and liberal ruling elites will stifle competition and initiative.
Republicans vow to repeal Obamacare. Their past record, however, leaves many conservatives rightly skeptical….The Republican Party has been unable to roll back the tide of statism. In fact, under Richard Nixon and both George Bushes, Great Society Republicans have been complicit in erecting a nanny state.
Socialism is the road to economic ruin and fiscal bankruptcy. It subverts democracy, threatening the very future of our constitutional republic. Socialist states degenerate into some form of autocracy or technocratic neo-feudalism, whereby the productive class is taxed and exploited to sustain a growing dependent class. Factions are pitted against each other; groups vie for handouts at the expense of their fellow citizens. The bonds of economic union and national solidarity slowly dissolve.
“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not,” warned Thomas Jefferson.
Jefferson was right: Redistributionist welfare policies are undermining our democracy. The resentments in America are growing. Tea Partiers believe that their government no longer represents their interests or values. The heartland is becoming dangerously alienated from the political class, whom it feels has betrayed them.
Obamacare may be the last straw. It strips away fundamental economic liberties, empowering the federal government to de facto nationalize everyone’s body by controlling our health. Americans are compelled – upon pain of penalty and eventual imprisonment – to purchase insurance.
Moreover, the law codifies the federal funding of abortion. Taxpayer dollars will be used to subsidize the murder of innocent life. Hence, Mr. Obama has violated the social compact: He has abrogated the conscience of pro-lifers, making them tacitly complicit in the slaughter of the unborn. Obamacare is a radical assault upon fundamental religious freedoms.
The Obama revolution threatens to tear America apart. This has happened before. Slavery eventually triggered the Civil War between the industrial North and the agrarian South. Abortion is the slavery of our time – the denying of basic human rights to an entire category of people.
You may well not like this. I don’t get a warm fuzzy from it myself…but I’m not at all sure it isn’t happening anyway.
…we are going the way our Founding Fathers warned us against: increasing balkanization and sectionalism. A constitutional republic – unlike an empire – is only as strong as its national cohesion. It is based not on imperial coercion but civic consent. Mr. Obama is recklessly pulling at the strings of unity, further polarizing us.
In confronting Obamacare, state sovereignty, states’ rights and state nullification of federal laws are being asserted. This is what happened in the 1830s and 1840s. They are the signs of growing political anarchy and social frustration – people can only be pushed so far. Mr. Obama’s drive for a socialist super-state threatens America’s very existence. As Jefferson warned about slavery, it is time we start ringing the “fire bell in the night.”
“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold,” wrote William Butler Yeats. “Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”
Conservatives will not be passive in this onslaught on all our core values. Mr. Obama’s true legacy may be that he divides us deeper than ever before – unless he abandons his revolutionary project.
Once again, that most usable Warren Zevon lyric: “It ain’t that pretty at all!”