Sometimes distance provides perspective. My travels meant that, rather than being enveloped by news as I usually am, I read it only intermittently, and often through the New York Times’ filter, since that was the only news to which I had access for many days at a time. The few stories I was able to follow put me strongly in mind of the Gettysburg Address, and how far away from those principles our current government has come. Some of this is directly attributable to the current Democrat presidency, and some is an unpleasant by-product of a bureaucracy that has taken on a life of its own, independent of its creators’ ideas and energies.
Lincoln’s genius was that he was able to reduce to the smallest number of words the revolutionary principles that drove the Founding Fathers, as expressed in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Do we still have a government “of the people, by the people [and] for the people?” No. Our political and bureaucratic classes no longer believe that the people have anything to do with their continued existence (that is, they do not view themselves as parts of a government “by the people”); they do not believe that they have anything in common with the people whose lives they dictate (in other words, they are not part of a government “of the people”); and nothing they do benefits the people who are trapped in their web of laws and regulations (so that they are not part of a government “for the people”).
America has ceased to be a representative democracy and has, instead, become an oligarchy: We, the People, are controlled by a proportionately small number of people who claim all entitlement to themselves and who, through laws, lawlessness, and unbridled bureaucracy (with a bureaucracy made up of people entirely beholden to the oligarchy for their continued well-being), control every aspect of our lives. This oligarchy is separate from and unrelated to the constitutional, representative democracy Lincoln believed was the necessary underpinning for a nation “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
A handful of stories upon my return forcefully brought home the vast chasm that has formed between “we, the People” and those who no longer represent us but who, instead, simply govern us.
1. The people have long loathed ObamaCare, and by a significant and unchanging percentage too. Even the President’s water carriers are getting nervous. Those charged with enforcing it against us will not use it for themselves, nor will those who imposed it upon us. It is a product of the oligarchy, with the benefits, but not the burdens, flowing solely to the oligarchy. It was imposed upon the People, not through a true democratic process, but through dirty political dealing. This is neither government by the people nor for the people.
2. Despite the stagnant economy, the high unemployment, the rise of part-time jobs (i.e., no living wage), the number of young people stuck at home, and the continuing bankruptcy of our country’s business and economy, our President and his family continue to live like Nero or Marie Antoinette. The Nero analogy was most recently demonstrated with the story that Obama is golfing while the world burns down around us. The Marie Antoinette analogy can be seen in the endless round of A-list partying and multi-millionaire style vacations the Obamas enjoy, using our money (White House facilities for parties, taxpayer-funded air transport and security for offsite pleasures), even as ordinary citizens struggling to make ends meet. Obama, however, is worse than either Nero or Marie Antoinette, or any other analogous political figures (both historic and present day) who rob from the people to fund their lavish personal lifestyles. This is because Obama is the only one of these figures who is — in theory, at least, an elected representative who is supposed to be only first among equals. Obama’s grandiosity, however, shows that he no longer considers himself one of the people. Worse, he is abetted in this historic break from a constitutional presidency by a ruling political and media class that has a vested economic and social interest in breaking with a constitutional republican democracy.
3. The current government has abandoned the notion that government belongs to the people (“of, by, and for”) and holds, instead, the belief that the people and everything that they possess belong to the government. Rep. Keith Ellison, a black, Muslim convert who is a darling of the Left, articulated this sentiment with startling clarity: “The bottom line is we’re not broke, there’s plenty of money, it’s just the government doesn’t have it. . . . The government has a right, the government and the people of the United States have a right to run the programs of the United States. Health, welfare, housing – all these things.”
I would add that the statistical evidence of washington and the beltway elites no longer being a part of america is the unbridled economic boom going on in and around washington DC. while the rest of the nation struggles they have no worries…
When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion — when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing — when you see money flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors — when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you — when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice you may know that your society is doomed.”