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January 8, 2012
James Wilson, Signer of the Constitution; U. S. Supreme Court Justice,”Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. . . . Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”
The Burning City
Star Parker wrote a terrific article about young Republicans and the Ron Paul youth phenomenon. She made the point that the young people fueling the Ron Paul movement are not exactly the Ronald Reagan brand of idealist who see America as “a shining city on a hill.” They seem to love the idea of “liberty,” but are uninterested in creating the actual conditions which are necessary for liberty to be realized. Star writes in her cognizant article, “Now, increasing numbers of my campus hosts ask that I not talk about “values.” Leave out the stuff about marriage, family and abortion, please, and just talk about the economy.” This is not the good news from the cadet ranks for which we’ve been hoping.
The tenor of Ms. Parker’s article about the “don’t talk about values” facet of the young Republican movement is one of troubling discovery. One tends to hope when reading it that the “valueless” movement is short-lived. A movement within the Party of Lincoln–which was on hand, by the way, for the bloodiest American war fought over the value of Human Life–that seeks to jettison moral standards, is no movement at all. And it may become a disastrous trend that ultimately rends and destroys the Party of Lincoln.
Our Founding Fathers emphasized countless times the necessity for citizens to be a moral people. It appears that the young people Star is addressing want their freedom, but don’t seem to understand that Constitutional liberties are not unconditional. All liberties are conditional upon our moral restraint in exercising those liberties, otherwise liberty becomes license, and the freedom of the body becomes bondage to bad behaviors. The freedoms of a society without moral restraint are a counterfeit of liberty, and thus very tenuous, and even dangerous.
Gouverneur Morris, Penman and Signer of the Constitution. “For avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. Therefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God.”
The “valueless” platform of the young Republicans/Ron Paul supporters of whom Star Parker writes, defies that which is efficacious and true in the perpetuation of a healthy Constitutional Republic.
- The movement is generally anti-war and isolationist in its approach to national defense. This is understandable since it has been decades since the United States was willing to kill enough civilians–and take the heat for killing civilians–to win a quick and decisive victory. However, the truism that “freedom is not free,” still stands. Liberty must be defended at home and abroad. America has been the only super power having the moral authority to justify a strong military presence in strategic locations around the globe. The defense of the Republic is a key Constitutional role of the Federal government. It is critical to both appear strong militarily, and to be strong militarily. America’s military is not the bully in the world. It is the presence that discourages the real bullies from attacking the weaker kids on the block.
- Any movement from the Right that rejects marriage between a man and a woman, and family as the cornerstones of civilization, is really a movement from the Left. The legislation of what it means to be a family is not the role of the Federal government. But the protection of what marriage and family, as designed and instituted by God, actually are is the role of government. You cannot have a free society unless you have a society that lives within the boundaries that ensure the best conditions for human freedom. In the absence of strong marriages and families the nation falls into both spiritual bondage and governmental bondage. Illegitimacy, divorce, unemployment and underemployment among dads without wives and moms without husbands, necessitates the growth and oppressive power of the central government. The Federal government would not be the gargantuan beast that it is if the need for welfare programs was minimized by healthy and functioning families. In a perverse reciprocal loop, the absence of strong values creates problems which government ineptly addresses, not with moral and civic expectations, but with entitlement programs. These programs massively expand the government, which naturally leads to increased incentives to abandon the notions of strong marriages, families, and self-reliance. The young people of which Star Parker writes can’t have it both ways. Weak social values = big central government = less liberty.
- In her article, Star Parker notes that “The materialism and moral relativism that created our left-wing culture is now infecting our youth on the right. Young Republicans may be pushing back on government, but too often their motivation is like that of their left-wing contemporaries: a sense of entitlement and a desire to claim rights, with little interest in corresponding personal responsibilities.” Generations X, Y, Z and whatever comes next, have been raised during prosperous times full of mind-boggling technological advancements. The economic downturn, now in its 5th year, is not like the Great Depression that tested the Greatest Generation. There are some demographics that have been particularly hard-hit with unemployment, but they’ve been sustained by a plethora of benefits and programs that provide a quite comfortable lifestyle for the comparatively impoverished. There is nothing at all evil in the desire to work, prosper, keep one’s own money, and enjoy material success in a free Republic. In fact, these are Capitalistic virtues. But these things are not attainable in a moral vacuum. Values that are found in religion and conscience are absolutely necessary for long-term economic growth and individual wealth. Without the values of honesty, the respect for the life and property of others, temperance, chastity, and humility, a Republic will eventually weaken and fall into despotism. In the great cycles of rising and falling civilizations, the despotism of immorality always precedes the despotism of tyrants.
- One of the most troubling aspect of this Republican youth/Ron Paul groundswell is the laissez faire attitude towards pot and the legalization of all other drugs. There are a couple of dynamics at work here. First is the adoption of a candidate, Ron Paul, and an ideology, Libertarianism, which simply fit the personal preferences of its adherents. Second is that the cannabis culture has been so normalized by Left and Right, Rich, Poor, and everyone in between, that moral stigma once attached to being a partaker of the wacky weed have fallen away. Drugs, some purport, are simply taking the liberty to do with ones body what one chooses. The great irony is that the use and abuse of illegal drugs and narcotics necessitates a bigger, more oppressive government. Until drugs do not create addicts, broken families, violent crime, non-violent crime, homelessness, poverty, and general mayhem in the lives of those who use their bodies the way they choose, they must remain illegal and socially stigmatized.
Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House, “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”
If the Republican Party is to survive as a viable political force it must maintain its values platform. Libertarianism is a different creature than the Party of Lincoln, and it is rightfully known across the country as the party of legalized drugs. The effort by the young Republicans and Ron Paul supporters, about which Star Parker writes, to redefine Conservatism to be the twin sister of Libertarianism, is toxic to the party in its divisiveness, and ultimately to the nation which it will leave diminished and dying in the hands of Socialist Progressives.
“Grassroots” is the new cool. But a grassroots movement that dismisses the responsibilities that come with American liberties will have the negative impact of a social revolution that overturns our most basic values. It happened in the 60s and 70s, and it did not turn out well. It is essential that we are a personally moral people who are fighting to maintain the timeless religious values that gave us the Republic in the first place. Liberty and morality are indivisible, and they cannot survive exclusive of one another.
By Marjorie Haun 1/8/2012