In just 74 days Barack Obama will raise his right hand and take the following oath, “I do solemnly swear to faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” With that oath he will become our forty-fourth President, and the most socialistic President in U.S. history. Only two others have even come close, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Roosevelt and Johnson implemented many of the socialist policies we are living with today but they were not necessarily advocates of the socialist agenda.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, has spent his entire adult life promoting the agenda of the socialist movement in America. His voting record in the Senate is even to the left of Senator Bernie Sanders (Ind-VT), the only openly socialist member of Congress.
Many “mainstream” Americans bristle at the use of the word “socialist”, an attitude held over from the McCarthy era when Joseph McCarthy attempted to expose communists who had infiltrated academia, entertainment and the government. For his efforts McCarthy was destroyed politically and personally, establishing the template used by socialist, even today, to suppress opposition to their agenda.
I do not use the word in a pejorative sense but in a descriptive one. There are two principles that distinguish the socialist philosophy from all other political and economic theories. They are redistribution of income and government control of the economy. Any policies that result in these two outcomes are socialist policies and should be identified as such. This is true whether they are implemented by Democrats or Republicans. The number and magnitude of these policies determines the degree of socialism involved.
Socialism is incompatible with capitalism. Invariably, whenever there is an attempt to mix the two, socialism eventually crowds out capitalism. Socialism is also incompatible with the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution must be ignored in order to implement socialist policies at the federal level. It’s not that the Constitution prohibits socialism; it doesn’t. Individual states like California, Vermont, Massachusetts, etc. can have all the socialism their taxpayers want and can support, just not at the federal level.
The reason socialist policies cannot be implemented at the federal level is that they cannot be put into practice without violating the limited, enumerated powers doctrine as established by Article One of the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment. Aside from wrecking the economy and undermining capitalism, the very act of implementing socialist policies dilutes the Constitution until it becomes a meaningless document with no capacity for curbing the natural inclination toward tyranny common to all governments.
Republicans just took a thrashing in the ‘08 elections. In my opinion, one of the main reasons for the Republican defeat is the party’s effort to rid itself of its conservative base. If conservatism is to regain its former place in American politics it is going to have to deal with, not only the socialists in the Democratic Party, but the moderates and elitists in the Republican Party as well.
Americans are conditioned by over two hundred years of history and tradition to respect the Constitution and oppose socialism, when it is pointed out to them. These two themes must be the foundation of the conservative message for the next few years if we are to make any meaningful progress in restoring the country to the constitutional republic it was intended to be.
There has been an attempt over the past few years to redefine “patriotism” as loving your country and expressing opposition to its policies. In addition, we often hear attempts to define the essence of America. In fact, mention almost any subject dealing with politics or culture and someone is likely to inform you that “that’s what it means to be American.” To me, the essence of America is found in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is the Constitution that differentiates us from all the other nations of the world.
One of the accusations against conservatives who criticize Obama’s socialist agenda is that we are questioning his patriotism. The accusation is usually followed by the declaration that he loves his country as much as anyone. The dictionary defines patriotism as loving and defending ones country. If the Constitution defines the essence of the meaning of “America” then one cannot be a patriot and in opposition to the Constitution at the same time. I have no doubt that President-elect Obama loves his country but that does not make him a patriot. The America he loves does not exist today except in his mind’s eye and he certainly does not love or defend the Constitution. On more than one occasion he has expressed the belief that the Constitution is outdated and should only serve as a starting point for making America into the country he believes it should be.
For that reason his taking the oath of office on January 20, is little more than a travesty. I have seen no evidence he is willing to defend the Constitution. I have seen and heard plenty of evidence that he intends to either ignore it or change its meaning in order to bring it more in line with what he believes the founders should have written.
Perhaps the same thing could be said for most politicians today from either side of the aisle. When was the last time you heard a politician defend the Constitution with any specificity? I have to confess I cannot remember the last time I heard one. In fact, the Constitution is rarely mentioned except to bolster an argument that something they propose is necessitated by the Constitution or that something they oppose is unconstitutional. In these vague references they never explain exactly why something is either constitutional or unconstitutional.
If we, as conservatives, are not willing to defend the Constitution against assaults from whatever source and if we value political correctness more than we value an accurate identification of its enemies then we have no right to expect any meaningful participation in directing our nation‘s future.
Cross-posted at Constitutional Sentinel