The Year Ahead for the American Republic
Recently I watched the remake of The Flight of the Phoenix starring Dennis Quaid as pilot Captain Frank Towns. (The original version starred Jimmy Stewart as the pilot.) Both movies are beyond magnificent as tributes to the resilience and ultimate triumph of the human spirit in the most grueling of circumstances. Concerning the movie itself I will say this: If you don’t put this on your bucket list to see before you die you are making a VERY big mistake. However, in this post I would like to concentrate primarily on the parallels between this movie and the coming year for America.
America is at the tipping point, and its situation is as close to the edge of the abyss as it was for the cast of The Flight of the Phoenix. In this year, 2020, we the people of this country will begin to push aside and marginalize the various forces seeking to tear apart the world’s first constitutional republic, or those forces will ascend to the dominant position in our culture.
The Progressive liberal machine that has gone almost unchallenged for the better part of a century has lost its mind and is acting more irrationally by the day. This is creating a huge vacuum of leadership because our elected Conservative “leaders” at all levels –with some notable exceptions— are not up to the task of leading our country. In a nutshell their problem is this:
They do not grasp and/or believe in the importance of America’s foundation of individual rights— and because of that are unable to take the principled, effective actions needed to restore that seriously damaged foundation.
What is Wrong With the Conservative Leadership?
America’s cultural institutions have been under attack for over 100 years, and virtually every attack has been launched by targeting the weaknesses in our foundation of individual rights.
Problems with America’s founding documents i.e., the Constitution and Declaration of Independence center on important principles such as “equality” and “rights.” One glaring inconsistency with the general defense of individual rights was the legal sanctioning of slavery, a contradiction that took decades to resolve at the cost of more than 600,000 lives. Other examples included granting “rights” to states and an inadequate definition of the General Welfare clause. That clause has almost certainly been the most frequently exploited idea over our history to undermine our foundation of individualism.
Our attackers have used those weaknesses to undermine our cultural institutions and our way of life.The solution is straightforward: Take the moral high ground away from the attackers.
This raises this question: Why are Conservative leaders unable to take the moral high ground?
Before addressing “why. . .” – I will present evidence that this is the problem.
Today America is faced with multiple threats including: an anti-industrial ideology, commonly known as “environmentalism,” radical jihad, globalists ceding American sovereignty via Agenda 21 to international bodies such as the UN, out of control entitlement programs, central banking that has corrupted our financial system, runaway bureaucratic regulators at every level (e.g., city, regional, state, federal), the corruption of our educational institutions, increasing cronyism and influence peddling at all levels of our government, and more.
Only a handful of Conservative elected leaders across the U.S. grasp the fundamental ideas that these threats have in common and have consistently challenged them in words and deeds. As an example illustrating their inability to take the moral high ground, let’s review environmentalism’s flagship, “Climate Change” and Conservative leaders attempts to address the issue.
Climate change rhetoric has been recycled, manipulated, and spewed at the American people for over 50 years since the early days of the environmental movement in the 1960s, and used as a means of handcuffing our economy. It has taken a monumental effort over decades by courageous and dedicated scientists and individuals working outside the mainstream to get the word out about this colossally destructive boondoggle. Men like Fred Singer, Jay Lehr, Patrick Michaels, Joe Bast, Arthur Robinson, Richard Lindzen, Willie Soon, among dozens of others. And it took a political outsider, Donald Trump, to finally challenge the climate change juggernaut in the U.S. in the area of public policy. None of these individuals were in elective offices during the decades of ongoing efforts to challenge the proposition put forth by the climate change cabal— that human action by individuals and groups to transform our environment for the betterment of human life is destroying the planet. Even when the Climategate scandal surfaced in 2009 elected Conservative leaders failed to grasp the opportunity in front of their face to permanently exile the idea that human action was causing catastrophic climate change.
That is but one example of many showing the ineffectiveness of our elected Conservative “leaders.”
Now to answer the question: Why are Conservative leaders unable to take the moral high ground?
A review of the Conservative philosophy in “The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism,”by C. Bradley Thompson, (The Objective Standard, August 2006) provides us with our answer. In that essay, Thompson presents the essential elements of one of the dominant threads of thinking in Conservative political circles: “Compassionate Conservatism.” From Thompson:
“What is this philosophy? What are its principles and goals?
The guiding moral principle of compassionate conservatism is the idea that we, by way of our government, have a “duty” to serve the needs of the poor, the homeless, the sick, and the aged—hence “compassionate,” which means desiring to relieve the pain and suffering of others. Its advocates seek to uphold this moral principle through “free-market mechanisms”—hence “conservatism.
Myron Magnet, a leading theorist of compassionate conservatism, describes it as representing an ‘epochal paradigm shift’ in American political thinking. It amounts, he writes, “to a sweeping rejection of liberal orthodoxy about how to help the poor.” Why reject the liberal orthodoxy on this count? Because, says Magnet, ‘liberal prescriptions, good intentions notwithstanding, have in fact made the lot of the poor worse over the last 35 years.’ As such statements reveal, compassionate conservatism fully accepts the liberal notion that we have a ‘duty’ to help the poor—compassionate conservatives simply disagree with liberals as to how to help them.”
In other words, “duty” according to Conservative philosophy is the driving force for how we live our lives, not “the pursuit of happiness” eloquently stated in The Declaration of Independence. And that is the crux of the problem across a whole host of issues. Conservative leaders tremble before the possibility of criticizing radical Islam for fear of being called “Islamophobic;” refuse to address America’s debt problem in anticipation of being savaged in the media for shirking our duty to “the poor and elderly;” and scoff at the outrageously destructive proposition of the “Green New Deal” by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but then proceed to make back-room deals for watered-down versions of it attempting to stave off criticism that they aren’t “doing enough” about climate change. And on and on and on. . .
This is why Conservative leaders are by and large so horribly ineffective and why grassroots America must rise to the occasion until such time as Conservative philosophy undergoes a radical overhaul that upholds the spirit and the letter of the individualist philosophy espoused in America’s founding documents.
Grassroots America to the Rescue of the Republic
Because of our elected officials’ philosophical inadequacies, the American people MUST take action to prevent a giant power vacuum from occurring in the United States as the Progressive liberal machine continues to collapse. It is that simple. Having studied grassroots movements for the last 15 years I can state unequivocally that we CAN do this. We are America’s strength and always have been.
Obvious questions present themselves at this point: Can the old lions like myself who are scarred from this war summon the courage and muster to fight through this year? Will the leadership that is beginning to rise outside of our political bodies step up to the level needed? Will our youth reject the pleas to become socialists they are hearing on our college campuses? Will grassroots America get behind the various individuals and organizations that need their time, energy, resources, and ingenuity?
The answers to these questions will determine whether this is America’s finest hour, or the beginning of a descent into hell.
I for one will not allow the country that started the greatest experiment in liberty in human history to descend into such a hell. And I know there are thousands—if not millions— of Americans who feel similarly. What follows are suggested actions that you as an individual can take to restore the republic in America:
First, above all, get involved in some way, shape, or form. There are many options to choose from to suit your lifestyle and goals. If large numbers of Americans spend as little as 1 to 3 hours per week in this effort, there is nothing that can stop us from restoring the republic in America. That is not hype. If you doubt the power of grassroots movements, read for yourself about a ragtag group of students living in Germany in the darkest days of the Nazi regime in WWII. That handful of students decided they had had enough of Adolf Hitler and initiated the grassroots effort that led to the Resistance movement all across Europe and the eventual downfall of the most notorious dictatorship in history. (For details on the phenomenon of The White Rose, please see two excellent references on that amazing chapter of history: A Noble Treason by Richard Hanser, 1979, and We Will not Be Silenced: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement that Defied Adolf Hitler by Russell Freedman, 2016.)
If you have your own action items in mind on how you can help, by all means pursue them(!), but if you are looking for ideas, here is a list of possibilities that will cover many of the needed areas:
- Read: Lying As A Way Of Life: Corruption and Collectivism Come of Age in America by Alexandra York. In the 1 to 2 hours it takes to read this 58 page monograph you will gain the knowledge and insight that would require hundreds of hours to attain otherwise. And it gets better! . . . At the end of this monograph are 19 actionable recommendations to put York’s ideas to work–all of which will go a significant distance toward restoring the republic in America.
- Work with effective organizations that have mastered the art of grassroots activism. Outstanding examples include: ACT for America, (Defense and foreign policy), American Policy Center,(Property Rights), Turning Point USA, (Indoctrination in public universities), Pamela Geller, and Robert Spencer (Islamic Jihad), The Heartland Institute (Energy and Environmentalism).
- For further reading concerning the ideas that are tearing at America’s cultural fabric and the Enlightenment perspective that will help restore our philosophical foundation, please read one of the most insightful essays I have ever come across on this topic: “The Party of Modernity, 2003, by David Kelley, Founder of The Atlas Society, (formerly The Institute for Objectivist Studies.)
- Support think tanks and organizations that are leading in the fight of ideas needed to restore the republic in America. In terms of a worldview / comprehensive philosophy for living there are two organizations that lead the field: The Atlas Society and The Ayn Rand Institute . Both of these organizations have been in the business of promoting a pro-individual philosophic perspective for more than 25 years, and each has a variety of outreach programs to promote that perspective via the works of the novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand. Through publications, videos, seminars, online educational programs, and other outreach programs they strive to restore and invigorate life in America and beyond our shores. For details on their offerings, please contact the individual organizations.
Other think tanks working in various aspects of our culture to promote a pro-individualist philosophic perspective include: the Heartland Institute, Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, Hoover Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, Center for Industrial Progress, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Please contact these organizations to learn more about their activities and particular specialties.
- Follow Restore Our American Republic on social media and our website as we ramp up for our 2020 product release including the following publications:
- The Practicality of Principles
- Understanding the Media
- What you don’t know about Capitalism
- How and Why Benevolence and Goodwill Flourishes in a Free Capitalistic World
- Going Green vs. Human Flourishing
- The Future of America: the 21st Century and Beyond
These products will be released between April and July 2020. In addition, by November 2020 we will be creating a how-to publication on initiating, propagating, and sustaining grassroots movements titled: Grassroots Solutions: The Key to Restoring Our American Republic.
The grassroots of America are its greatest strength and always have been. By working as individuals, together in groups, and through the many organizations working to restore the republic in America, we will become the unstoppable force needed to create an historic turning point in the struggle to Restore Our American Republic.
Founder and President, Restore Our American Republic, LLC