“Hitch your wagon to a star” – Emerson
I’m backkk, lol. Lately, I’ve been spending a good bit of time reading the articles at National Review Online as The Trump Divide within the GOP deepens and hardens. So many of the writers there keep making the compelling case for why Donald Trump should NEVER be the GOP candidate, but along with those arguments, some of their writers went beyond that to highlight what America is and isn’t.
Kevin Williamson penned an excellent piece today, “What John Adams Knew,” highlighting that America is a republic, not a democracy:
“John Adams hated democracy and he feared what was known in the language of the time as “passion.” Adams’s famous assessment: “I do not say that democracy has been more pernicious on the whole, and in the long run, than monarchy or aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either.” Democracy, he wrote, “never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty.”
Regular LB readers will be familiar with my republic vs. democracy concern too, which I expressed in a January blog post, “On America’s side”:
“A couple weeks ago my 10 year old granddaughter, a very bright student enrolled in the gifted program at her public school, mentioned something she learned at school, which I told her is not correct and what she learned really plays into the problems plaguing America and it also speaks to our future. My granddaughter said, “America is a democracy.” Reflexively, I corrected her and said, “No, America is a republic!” Thus began a stream of back and forth, because as of yesterday she told me that her teacher still says, “America is a democracy.” I told her again that her teacher is mistaken, because assuredly, America is a republic, set up as a constitutional federal republic. However, watching the demise of federalism and the reliance on pop culture and public opinion polls to silence dissenting opinion, I’m wondering if America has descended into that hellish, brutish state where on the whims of ginning up anger and use of slick mass media manipulation (propaganda) to sway the mob, the only thing that matters is the “majority rules”.”
Kevin D. Williamson has been joined in expanding on what “America” is, with an excellent post by Ian Tuttle, “Go-Getters, Gone?” Tuttle showcases the American spirit through the words of a pioneer woman, Lodisa Frizzell, making the journey from Illinois to California in 1852:
“That this journey is tiresome, no one will doubt, that it is perilous, the deaths of many testify, and the heart has a thousand missgivings, & the mind is tortured with anxiety, & often as I passed the fresh made graves, I have glanced at the side boards of the waggon, not knowing how soon it might serve as a coffin for some one of us.”
Mr. Tuttle’s piece carries a Marco Rubio quote that really deserves wide-reading, because “Little Marco,” as the vile Donald Trump (you know the vulgar jerk, whom Rudy Giuliani last night on Hannity described as “gentlemanly), explained this American spirit so eloquently, that I apologize for using so much of Mr. Tuttle’s article here, but I’m still going to post Marco Rubio’s words and at the same time urge you to go to NRO and read Tuttle’s wonderful piece:
“We are a hopeful people, and we have every right to be hopeful. For we in this nation are the descendants of go-getters. In our veins runs the blood of people who gave it all up so we would have the chances they never did. We are all the descendants of someone who made our future the purpose of their lives. We are the descendants of pilgrims. We are the descendants of settlers. We are the descendants of men and women that headed westward in the Great Plains not knowing what awaited them. We are the descendants of slaves who overcame that horrible institution to stake their claim in the American Dream. We are the descendants of immigrants and exiles who knew and believed that they were destined for more, and that there was only one place on earth where that was possible.”
Amen, Mr. Tuttle and thank-you Senator Marco Rubio for once again trying to hitch America’s wagon to a star.