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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 11/5/2001 2:53:23 AM EST
Is the Government "Us"? by Joseph Sobran Patriotism is never more needful than when your country goes mad. And Osama bin Laden has certainly driven America mad. Every American flag or decal on every motor vehicle is a tribute to his power. No American president's appeal could have evoked such a response. Supporting the United States government, though a psychologically understandable reaction to the 9/11 attack, is a misguided answer to our needs. The Wall Street Journal has just run a long essay arguing that our greatest wartime Presidents – Lincoln, Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt – imposed sharp though temporary restrictions on freedom, and that similar sacrifices of liberty to security may be necessary now. Of course it all depends on how you define "greatness." A strong argument can be made that Lincoln, Wilson, and Roosevelt were our three most disastrous Presidents. All three of them helped destroy the original American system of limited, confederated government and built what the framers of the Constitution would call "consolidated" – or monolithic – government. What may seem like temporary emergency measures in wartime often turn out to be not only permanent, but more decisive for our fate than the outcome of war itself. The real losers may be the citizens of the victorious state. Your chance of being harmed by terrorists is remote. That you will be oppressed by your own government is a certainty. Are we really "citizens" anymore, in any serious sense? Or have we been reduced, as I believe, to mere infinitesimal units of a gigantic warfare-welfare empire, beyond our control and comprehension? Let's face it. This isn't the America Norman Rockwell painted; he never heard of the Culture of Death. Every Trident submarine is capable of killing more people than Stalin did, and the grand totals in our abortion clinics are approaching Stalin's career record. Those are only the gory statistics; I say nothing here about the moral tone of American life. We must ask ourselves, as patriots, just what we are supposed to be loyal to. In a conflict – not exactly a "war" – between a Godless, lawless, unconstitutional state, alias "America," and an alien band of superstitious fanatics, we owe our allegiance to the former, merely because it rules us? As patriots, we love our country. As we should. We love our families, our neighbors, and those we recognize as our countrymen – all those with whom we share a broad set of customs, traditions, morals, and countless other subtle and implicit links that are difficult to spell out. page 1 of 2
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 2:54:12 AM EST
page 2 of 2 But, this is a very different thing from submitting to the dictates of the state, which is composed of venal politicians – men who swear on a Bible they don't believe in to uphold a Constitution they have no respect for. Such men will sell us out in a flash. They always have, they always will. Yet in times of crisis, real or supposed, they expect us to rally behind them. If we don't, we are un-American. And the worst of it is that in an awful way they are sincere. They really think they represent all that is best in this country. They imagine they establish their bona fides by uttering bromides about "freedom" and "democracy" and imprecations against "terrorism." A country is most likely to be betrayed by its own rulers. Roosevelt did this country more harm than any declared enemy ever did; not content with that, he betrayed much of what was left of Christendom by turning it over to Stalin. Yet millions of Americans thought they were being patriotic by electing and supporting him and revering his memory. Even alleged conservatives still praise him, and few conservative politicians dare to suggest that his legacy is evil. As Chesterton observed, anarchy starts at the top. Disordered rule, not street crime, is the real threat to society. But we have forgotten the old republican idea that the government is the servant of the people; today it is an imperious master, demanding our subservience and unconditional loyalty, even when it takes away our freedoms. And we are called unpatriotic if we resist its tyranny! We should be warned by the memory of Henry VIII, the king who ruined England. He claimed the absolute loyalty of his subjects, even when he presumed to dictate changes in their religion – and he got enough of loyalty for his purposes. The horrifying fact is that he got it from nearly all of England's bishops. St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, who died for opposing Henry, were not only martyrs; they were true patriots. They loved their country with something more than normal affection; they loved it with supreme charity. Reprinted from the November 1, 2001, issue of The Wanderer. November 5, 2001 Joe Sobran is a nationally syndicated columnist. He also writes "Washington Watch" for The Wanderer, a weekly Catholic newspaper, and edits SOBRAN'S, a monthly newsletter of his essays and columns. www.sobran.com. Copyright (c) 2001 by Griffin Internet Syndicate. All rights reserved.
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 3:17:54 AM EST
Since 'disordered rule' starts at the top, the answer appears quite simple - change the folks at the top. But that is easier said than done. Our republican form of government rewards numbers and not intensity of belief. We must have a revival [b]first[/b] in America and then our leaders can fall in line. A second 'Great Awakening' is called for, but not solely in the sense of a religious revival, but a political and spiritual revival, as well. Look at the upcoming generation, do they appear to be one that inspires you to great confidence? Eric The(No,MeNeither)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 5:39:06 AM EST
He apparently has difficulty distinguishing between the coutry and its government.
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