The seemingly endless and sweltering Philadelphia summer was finally coming to an end. It is the 17th of September 1787 and for nearly four months delegates from twelve of the thirteen states, after many compromises and at times virulent disagreements, consented to what would become the Constitution of the United States of America. At the signing ceremony Ben Franklin gave an emotional speech using an anecdote involving a sun that was painted on the back of George Washington’s Presidents Chair. As recounted in James Madison’s notes:
Whilst the last members were signing it Doctor Franklin looking towards the Presidents Chair, at the back of which a rising sun happened to be painted, observed to the members near him, that Painters had found it difficult to distinguish in their art a rising from a setting sun. I have said he, often and often in the course of the Session, and the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that behind the President without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting. But now at length I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting Sun.
What made Franklin so optimistic was that the framers had devised a political system combining a republic with never before seen limitations on a central government through a unique system of checks and balances, as well as disbursal of governmental power to the various states, in order to avoid the possibility of a monarch or an oligarchy ever assuming the reins of an unfettered national government. Yet, two hundred and twenty-nine years later the same question can be asked as it now appears that the sun is indeed setting on America as founded.
The authoritarian/socialist mindset most often identified with the Left is now overwhelmingly dominant in the United States of 2016. The acceptance of a powerful central government and its attendant governing class dictating to all Americans what they can and cannot do has become the norm. Beginning in the 1930’s, but in earnest over the past five decades, a socialist Democratic Party, media/entertainment complex, and education establishment has effectively conditioned a majority of Americans to look to the government as the source of salvation, opportunity and rescue in times of difficulty. Thus, there now exists a permanent ruling class or oligarchy in charge of all the levers of power in the government, including the Judiciary, and in a majority of all societal and educational institutions. While they may differ on leadership and nationalism, they agree on the supremacy of the state and limitations on individual freedom. Thus, they represent the outlook of the majority of the American citizenry today.
The structure set up by the founding fathers was genius; however, it had two severe drawbacks. The first was acknowledged by John Adams when he wrote: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” The second is that the fragmented political system as envisioned by the founding fathers can only function with two major political parties each as viable opposition to the other.
The Democratic Party is irretrievably socialist and the home to the what would be considered the authoritarian Left. The leadership of the Republican Party, for the past 20 years, has willfully chosen to not fulfill their obligation to be the opposition party extolling the virtues of limited government and vociferously opposing the agenda of the Left. During the terms of the Barack Obama presidency, the GOP, despite controlling at least one of the two Houses of Congress for six years, acquiesced to virtually every spending and legislative demand and surrendered without a whimper their authority insofar as treaty ratifications as well as rubber-stamping all of Obama’s Judicial and executive branch nominations.
The Party’s current standard bearer, Donald Trump, has proposed further expansion and maintenance of the current central government as he has declared his support for 1) expanded government paid maternity leave and child care, 2) mandatory increases in the minimum wage, 3) punitive tariffs on imported goods, 4) retaliatory steps against business who relocate overseas, 5) taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, 6) leaving Social Security, medicare and all welfare programs in place with no reforms although all are heading for insolvency, 7) doubling the infrastructure spending as proposed by Hillary Clinton, 8) unilaterally abrogating treaties and agreements, 8) the continued unfettered use of executive orders as he sees fit, and 9) limitations on free speech and changes to libel laws.
The Republican Party, regardless of whether Trump wins or loses, appears irreversibly committed to cementing its status as the socialist-lite party versus the Democratic Party’s staunch socialist status. There is little difference between them.
This nation, if it has any chance to survive as founded, cannot afford to have two nearly identical major political parties. However, the probablility of creating a third party to replace either major party is miniscule. The last time it happened was in 1854 when this was a nation with less than 4.5% (10 million) of today’s 222 million eligible voters. Further, there were just 31 states connected by primitive means of communication and no government sponsored social programs. Today, nothing short of a catastrophic national disaster of near biblical proportions would eventuate in either entrenched party being replaced by a constitution based conservative party determined to return to the tenets of this nation’s founding.
The United States has evolved into a Euro-socialist democracy. It now has the following in common with the failing states of Europe: 1) socialist and socialist-lite political parties, 2) no checks and balances between the executive and legislative branches, 3) uncontrolled immigration, legal and illegal, with the vast majority of immigrants refusing to assimilate, 4) overwhelming national debt and insolvent cradle to grave social programs, 5) escalating limitations on speech, religion, gun rights and assembly, and most significantly, 6) increasingly secular and agnostic societies.
The republic the founders bequeathed future generations is no more. But that is what the American populace has chosen. This nation will continue to move on; however, it has embarked on the same downward trajectory as the nations of Europe whose destinies are collapse and turmoil. Only the American people, and not any self-serving politician of either self-serving political party, can change this reality. It is time the citizenry gets their collective heads out of their posteriors and fathom what has happened, why and where it will lead.
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