Where Goes Our Republic? Where Goes My Daughter?March 25, 2010Dangerous Dan No Comments »
I'm worried. I've been fighting this feeling for awhile and tried to avoid appearing reactionary or overreactionary to recent events, but I'm worried. Something is happening here and it isn't pretty.
I've grown to distrust modern liberalism. Its adherents keep changing the U.S. into something it's not supposed to be and wasn't meant to be. While they claim the changes are consistent with the spirit of America's promise and are making it better, they break it down and rebuild it into something bearing no resemblance to what has made it great. Where they find nothing broken, they break it so they can repair it. Where they find something broken, they dash it so they can replace it.
I have always considered America to be something great on this good earth. Where the rest of the world lived by the grace of kings, we lived by virtue of our own efforts. When others were ruled by despots, radicals, and the shifting powers of wars, we held firm trusting that our ability to govern ourselves was the answer. We demanded nothing but the rights of life, liberty, and property and a government composed of our own citizens who would not only protect our rights from foreign and domestic threats, but would also respect those rights itself and not threaten them. But our social contract isn't what it used to be. We'll give up some liberty if it means some personal security. We'll give up some property, especially someone else's, if it means we can get something else in return for little effort. We have sacrificed so many others in our society for our own gain and in the name of justice and generosity, never realizing that we were really sacrificing ourselves. We've given up our obligations but expect to keep our rights. We've given up the rights that make us citizens so that we can enjoy the pleasures that make us hedonists.
America is not perfect and has never been perfect. But in a world of deep darkness and oppression, by God, our light, no matter how dim or imperfect it's been at times, was a blinding beacon on a hill, beckoning others to us and to like us. Our light is now dimming more than ever and we threaten to pitch ourselves into the same darkness the rest of the world inhabits. We will no longer be exceptional and we will no longer be able to help others or ourselves. The beacon, the great hope for humanity and the great pro-human force for the past 220 years will be snuffed – not by anybody else. No external power could ever have defeated us. Instead we will die the only way we could have – we will have killed ourselves.
Our decline will be slow, but it will be certain. Those other nations across the Atlantic that so many of our citizens envied will go down with us, and they'll realize the hyperpower they so long criticized, looked down on, and which they celebrated the more it became like them, was the only thing that made their arrogance possible. With no military to protect it, a hampered economy, and a lack of innovation, they'll have no one to be parasitic upon. They'll also realize that in America's defeat, they are now subject to the whims of an increasingly despotic Russia, an expansionary China, and aggressive foreign immigration. They survived in the valley by basking on our light, but they will no longer have it.
So where goes our good republic? I honestly don't know, but with fiscal time bombs, unsustainable entitlements and ever more people wanting something for nothing, it doesn't look good. But I'd like to talk about somebody else.
I have a little girl. When I found out I would have a daughter several years ago, I saw the future stretched out in front of her. I saw her as a toddler and a young girl. I saw her as a difficult, but talented teenager. I saw her going off to college and doing what she found productive and fulfilling. I saw her contributing to her community and being a good person, friend, and citizen and as someone who would be a credit to the nation that had raised and done so much for me, my father, my grandfather, and my immigrant great-grandfather. I saw her get married to a good man. I saw her having children of her own for whom she would see a future like I saw for her. I saw her grow old and I saw her finish a life well-lived.
Someday, I'd like to sit her down and tell her the future I saw. None of it specific, more like a cloudy haze. It's a future that exists based upon a society that does not restrict her, that protects her freedoms and allows her to make choices. I'd like to tell my daughter that it's a great future; that it's cloudy, yes, but she may choose her path and all the side-paths and detours she wants. I'd like to tell her that the best path will always be found with hard work, with skill, with duty, with being productive, with contributing to the society that protects her, with willingly giving of herself to help those around her, that reason will be her best guide and that virtue is never wasted. I'd like to be able to tell her that with all this, that haze before is bright and that what lies ahead is better than the cleared area behind us. That, just as my ancestors had covered so much more of that ground before I began my walk, was cleared ground I had advanced upon so she could go farther.
But I can't tell my daughter any of this. Not anymore. How can I tell her to follow hard work when hard work will only be exploited? Shall I point to her mother, who worked hard for seven years to become a doctor, sacrificed so much and accrued debt, who started working and making decent money at age 30 by treating the children of her community only to be called rich, greedy, selfish and then be claimed by a bureaucracy that will dictate how she exercises her career and from which she cannot escape while remaining a doctor? Shall I point to the small business owners who invested money and worked hard only to have so much of their work's reward stripped away, to be called greedy and exploitative of their workers? Meanwhile, those who do less receive rewards for their lack of effort, with their laziness subsidized, handed the fruits taken from the ones naive enough to still work hard. While handed the fruits, they're told they're the victims and that they're the ones being exploited by the hard workers. Worse, the lazy, the exploiters, begin to believe they are victims. Worse still, the hard workers, the victims, begin to believe they are exploiters. And worst of all, they both begin to think of the lazy as deserving of the fruits. Shall I tell my daughter that hard work prevails? Or shall I be honest and tell her that hard work makes her the rube?
How can I tell her to follow duty when her duty is continually narrowed down to being little more than rank obeisance to those who govern her? What duty has she to others when her duties are taken from her and given over to the anonymous collective? She'll have no duty to help, to do what she knows is right while risking everything for it, to willingly give of herself for others, to teach, to learn, to fight. Those responsibilities will not be her's. The collective will do those things. It will tell her what is right, it will take from her for others, it will teach. And should it fail? No matter. In the collective, no one is to blame. All that will be required of her is to do as told. Shall I tell my daughter to follow duty? Or shall I be honest, cut out the pointless middle step that has turned into nothing more than a controlling faleshood, and tell her that she need only obey?
How can I tell her to be productive and contribute to the society that protects her when so much of what she produces is taken away and when her society preys upon and exploits her? Shall I tell her to produce and contribute? Or shall I be honest and tell her it's better to prey on others?
How can I tell her that reason is her best guide when emotion, base appeal, irrationality, and lies rule? Why tell her to search out what is in a world that no longer searches for it or believes it's there? Why tell her to even think in a world that says thinking is nothing more than believing and, worse, feeling? People don't look for truth, they look for what's "true to them." They turn inward, gaze at a hollowness they never filled, then look back out to commit themselves to what they feel is right, not to what they think is right and certainly not what is right. They appeal to their bestial sides, banishing what about them is most human, and maximize freedoms available to any common weevil. The rationality occasionally rediscovered and championed throughout the West's history has once again been surrendered. Shall I tell my daughter to follow reason? Or shall I be honest and tell her to just follow emotion without the threat of ever being wrong (since it can't be wrong) and to enjoy the lies of the moment while new lies will always be available when the old ones are exposed as false?
How I can tell her virtue is never wasted when the only courage shown by leaders is the courage to defy the will of citizens? When intemperance and self-indulgence are celebrated except when they get in the way of state priorities? When the virtue is not taught or expected, but is merely compliance with rules she will be forced to follow? When temperance makes you the rube whose goods and savings will be taken for others? When generosity disappears amid the collective doing what was once the duty of the individual? Shall I tell my daughter to practice virtue? Or shall I be honest and tell her that it will be cold comfort when her virtue will be taken advantage of?
And so I look back at her future. What was once a bright haze with any number of paths darkens and the paths narrow. Many paths have been closed off and she is no longer free to pursue whatever makes her happy. Those liberal elites determined they know better what should make her happy than she herself can and so those paths are no longer acceptable. They cannot make her happy and it's not best for her, they might say, but more likely those paths are considered contrary to the good of the collective as determined not by the public, but by the elites themselves. Or perhaps those paths are still open, but they are far more difficult and rocky than before and the costs of taking them outweigh the benefits. And so I must set my daughter forth not into a future of promise like I originally envisioned for her, but into a future filled with trepidation, soft smiling tyranny, and exploitation by the worst of society. A future ruined by the hubris of the liberal elites who think they can direct humanity to its betterment, but who fail always and then create more failure to fix their mistakes.
I want my daughter's future back, you sons of bitches.