America has moved away from the fundamental principles upon which it was founded but the Romney-Ryan duo promise to drag us back to them.
The Founding Fathers of this country were the elite gentry of 1700s society who fought for freedom and then formulated a constitution that in 1787 established the foundation for the American government and society that followed. Romney and Ryan would be comfortable associating with this group because, like the Founding Fathers, they are also white, male, wealthy, elitist, well-educated and Christian. Romney has described himself as “a severe conservative” and “as conservative as the constitution.” So, if you long for the America of the past and want to see the country begin to move back to the deep-seated, fundamental principles and concepts upon which it was founded in the 18th century, there is no option for you other than to vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket. (Assuming you are allowed to vote . . . have your government-approved ID ready).
Power to the Peons? Not Hardly.
The framers of the constitution had a passionate desire for virtually unlimited individual freedom (especially for themselves and those of their class), but this was balanced by two overriding fears: the potential abuses that could emanate from a strong central government and the “excesses of democracy” that could result if the “unruly masses” were given the power to populate government.
Their fears were well-taken. All of the Founding Fathers had lived under the capricious yoke of a distant monarchy and, having risked life and limb in a bloody seven-year war of independence, they were determined not to exchange one all-powerful central government for another. Likewise, these privileged members of society feared that government would disintegrate into the “rule of the mob” if the populous were given the direct power to elect the government. This latter attitude was best expressed by Gouverneur Morris of New York (one of the most influential members of the Constitutional Convention) who expressed the sentiment of most of the group when, in referring to the average citizen, he said, “These sheep, simple as they are, cannot be gulled as heretofore. In short, there is no ruling them . . . and how to keep them down is the question.” (Further in his remarks he referred to average citizens as “reptiles.”)
With great vision, creativity and compromise, the members of the Constitutional Convention in the end accomplished their objectives. A much needed central government was established, but its power was restricted by a limited list of explicit powers (all other powers were retained by the states), and by adopting an intricate set of “checks-and-balances” designed to share power so that no single branch of government could become dominant. When it came to the participation of the masses (who had been promised increased rights in exchange for supporting the Revolution) only free, white, property-owing males were given the right to vote. This included about 18 percent of the population, but even at that, this cream of society was not entrusted with the right to vote directly for senators or the president. (This was left to the “one percent club” of the day.”)
Self-Reliance Comes of Age
One enduring philosophy to emerge with the new constitution was the concept of individual freedom in the form of “rugged individualism.” There was a more than implicit message that government should stay out of the lives and business interests of the individual and that every individual and business enterprise was on their own: free to rise, fall or fail based on their own circumstances and effort.
This philosophy of a detached laissez faire government persisted with but one exception – the issue of slavery when the federal government intruded on state’s rights and individual property rights causing the Civil War – for 100 years. It all began to go downhill at the end of the 19th century when “trust-buster” Teddy Roosevelt introduced the philosophy of “progressive government.” It was when Roosevelt began to use government power to interfere with business that the long trail of government involvement, leading to the degradation of the fundamental founding principles of the country began.
Roosevelt’s progressive government broke up the great monopolistic trusts, recognized the rights of labor unions, implemented child labor laws, proposed laws governing the safety of food, created regulations limiting the “free hand” of business to operate as they desired, and reserved vast swaths of land for public use, rather than private exploitation.
Forty years later Roosevelt’s distant cousin, Franklin D., doubled-down on the philosophy of progressive government and turned the very concept of American government upside down. Battling through the depths of the Great Depression, FDR decreed in thought and action that all citizens – not just the elite and wealthy – were entitled to certain rights, protections and benefits from the government; and that businesses were not entitled to act in ways that would damage society. This philosophy took the form of government jobs for the unemployed, a guaranteed minimum wage, unemployment insurance and a plan of Social Security to guarantee income in retirement. In addition, he put strict regulations on businesses, banks and investment companies that had operated as if “buyer beware” was a constitutional right.
While FDR was called everything from a “traitor to his class” to a socialist out to destroy capitalism, his redefinition of the power and purpose of government has been followed by every subsequent president. Despite the lip-syncing of presidential candidates – especially Republicans – screeching that the actions of Roosevelt had “torn up the constitution” and offering promises to reverse course; once in office they simply followed the path set by Roosevelt. But, according to many, the current occupier of the White House is the most egregious violator when it comes to desecrating the fundamental principles of America and the constitution. The list of the incumbent president’s sins are long: Clearly he is not a pure American like us. He does not understand America. He is an obvious anti-business socialist. Worst of all, he is a faux Christian who, in all likelihood, is not even legally entitled to hold the office.
Following the Bread Crumbs Back to Anarchy?
In the name of returning America to the fundamental principles delineated by the Founding Fathers and to begin to reverse the “sins of progressive government” that have been foisted on America since Teddy Roosevelt, every pure, patriotic, Christian American should vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket. After all, it is clear from their ideas and philosophy that they would be much more comfortable living in the 18th century, rather than 21st.
Of course it is too much to ask that Romney-Ryan could take us all the way back to the philosophy of government in the 18th century, but they can certainly slow the progression of this damnable progressive government and begin to move the country backward.
Based on what the Romney-Ryan duo is saying, here’s the promise of things to come:
- Voting. America was founded on theory that only wealthy, white males should be allowed to vote. By backing state legislation that makes it more difficult for the minorities, poor and elderly to vote, Romney-Ryan are moving in the right direction.
- Regulations. America was founded on the belief that government should not intrude on the freedoms of people. Unlike the current president, Romney-Ryan recognize that corporations are people too; so government should stay out of their business. Having come from the corporate world, Romney understands that corporations know what is best for the country and themselves, so they should be free to operate as they please. The free market, capitalist economy is driven by making money, so Romney-Ryan instinctively understand that regulating how banks and investment companies make money is fundamentally un-American.
- Education. Romney-Ryan recognize the education is something that is earned, not granted. The current president has doubled the amount of federal grants and loans available to students. A vote for Romney-Ryan will assure that that trend will be reversed.
- Middle Class. These are the individuals described by the Founding Fathers as “simple sheep” who are beholden to business and the wealthy for their livelihood. Romney-Ryan understand that the more unfettered and successful businesses and the wealthy become the more that trickles down to the sheep. (Unless, of course, those jobs are outsourced.)
- Environment. As with the Founding Fathers, Romney-Ryan believe that if God did not want us to exploit the natural resources of the country, then he wouldn’t have given them to us. Think of the jobs that will be created when the natural resources of the country are open for exploitation and the thousands of additional jobs that will be created cleaning up the mess.
- Women’s rights. Romney-Ryan do not believe that the government should interfere with the rights of the individual to make personal choices; unless, of course, you are a woman.
- Health Care. Romney-Ryan believe everyone – even the sheep – have a right to health care and that right should not be defined, expanded or limited by government action. The right to health care should only be defined by accessibility and the sheep’s ability to pay for it.
And the Moral of the Story …
Based on the fundamental principles of the Founding Fathers, America has become the most successful and powerful country (empire) in the history of the world. Now it seems to many that America is in decline. The generally accepted view is that when a successful business or institution begins to decline, rather than trying to find new ideas for new times, the way to reverse the trend is to “get back to the basics.” Driving this attitude is the belief is that salvation in the future depends on reverting to what has been done in the past. Little consideration is given to the idea that maybe the basics have changed and that returning to the attitudes of the past may only exacerbate the problems.
Romney comes from a business background and brags of his understanding and success in business. As such, his belief is that the way to fix a declining America (if it is) is to “get back to the basics” of government as it was defined in the 18th century. If government will just get out of the way and get off the backs of individuals and business, then we can get back to the America of the past. It makes no difference that America is in the 21st century and that the times, challenges and opportunities have changed.
New times call for new ideas, but if you don’t have any new ideas, then the only thing you have to offer is to go back to what you are comfortable with and hope for the best. Times have changed and are challenging. Romney-Ryan offer the best opportunity for American to go backward and hope for the best. Even their poster says so.