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America’s Ruling Class and the Perils of Revolution

Even though America has two major political parties, the politicians running the country actually belong to one, single-minded ruling class.  The political ruling class’s appetite for deference, power, and perks keeps growing.

This elite ruling class has been educated in the same sort of social engineering that has infected the rest of America and has shaped their lifestyles and beliefs around those concepts.  They believe that if we would just do things THEIR way, that is, the Progressive way, our country would be better.  On the other hand, Christian patriots like you and I want to curtail their power and reduce their perks. The ruling class don’t attempt to hide their opinions about the rest of America; we are racist, greedy, and above all stupid.  Our rulers don’t believe Americans need a God when they have the government for protection.

However, Americans are more convinced than ever that our rulers are corrupt, malevolent, and inept, while those same rulers want us to shut up and obey. The ruled want to be self-governing, and so the inevitable clash between the two is about which side’s vision of itself and of the other is right and which is wrong. The clash between the ruling class and Conservatives is as sure and momentous as its outcome is unpredictable.

The ruling class holds strong defensive positions and is well represented by the Democratic Party and even many so-called moderates.  Conservatives, which make up Independents, Tea Partiers and Republicans aren’t as unified.  Many want the ruling classes out of the Republican Party and want a return to the basics.  The few who tried to advance this agenda were treated as rebels: Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. The party helped defeat Goldwater, but when it failed to stop Reagan, it saddled his and subsequent Republican administrations with establishmentarians who, under the Bush family, repudiated Reagan’s principles as much as they could. Barack Obama exaggerated his claim that Republicans had driven the country “into the ditch” all alone. But they definitely had a hand in it. Few Republican voters, never mind the larger Conservatives, have confidence that the party is on their side. In the long run, we will not support a party as conflicted as today’s Republicans. Those Republican politicians who really want to represent it will either reform the party or start a new one as Whigs like Abraham Lincoln started the Republican Party in the 1850s.

The ruling class denies its opponents’ legitimacy. Seldom does a Democratic official or member of the ruling class speak on public affairs without reiterating the litany of his class’s claim to authority, contrasting it with opponents who are either uninformed, stupid, racist, shills for business, violent, fundamentalist, or all of the above. They do this in the hope that opponents, hearing no other characterizations of themselves and no authoritative voice discrediting the ruling class, will be dispirited. For the Conservatives to seriously contend for self-governance, the political party that represents us will have to vigorously oppose frauds as ethanol mandates, the pretense that taxes can control “climate change,” the notion that the government is here to save us from ourselves and the outrage of banning God from public life.

Suppose that Conservatives (whatever its party name might be) were to capture Congress, the presidency, and most statehouses. What then would it do? Especially if its majority were slim, it would be tempted to follow the Democrats’ plan of 2009-2010, namely to write its wish list of reforms into law regardless of the Constitution and enact them by partisan majorities supported by interest groups that gain from them, while continuing to vilify the other side. Whatever effect this might have, it surely would not be to make America safe for self-governance because by carrying out its own “revolution from above”, it would have made that ruinous practice standard in America. Moreover, a revolution designed at party headquarters would be antithetical to the Conservatives’ diversity as well as to the American Founders’ legacy.

Achieving the Conservatives’ inherently revolutionary objectives in a manner consistent with the Constitution and with its own diversity would require us to use legislation primarily as a tool to remove obstacles, to instruct, to reintroduce into American life ways and habits that had been cast aside. Passing national legislation is easier than getting people to take up the responsibilities of citizens, fathers, and entrepreneurs.

Reducing the taxes that most Americans resent requires eliminating the network of subsidies to millions of other Americans that these taxes finance, and eliminating the jobs of government employees who administer them. Eliminating that network is practical, if done simultaneously, both because subsidies are morally wrong and economically counterproductive, and because the country cannot afford the practice in general. The electorate is likely to cut off millions of government clients, high and low, only if its choice is between no economic privilege for anyone and ratifying government’s role as the arbiter of all our fortunes. The same goes for government grants to and contracts with so-called nonprofit institutions or non-governmental organizations. The case against all arrangements by which the government favors some groups of citizens is easier to make than that against any such arrangement. Without too much fuss, a few obviously burdensome bureaucracies, like the Department of Education, can be eliminated, while money can be cut off to partisan enterprises such as the National Endowments and public broadcasting. That sort of thing is as necessary to the American body politic as a weight reduction program is essential to restoring the health of any human body degraded by obesity and lack of exercise. Yet shedding fat is the easy part. Restoring atrophied muscles is harder. Re-assembling the governmental body to do elementary tasks takes yet more concentration.

If self-governance means anything, it means that those who exercise government power must depend on elections. The shorter the electoral leash, the likelier an official to have his chain yanked by voters, the more truly republican the government is. Yet to subject the modern administrative state’s agencies to electoral control would require ordinary citizens to take an interest in any number of technical matters. Law can require environmental regulators or insurance commissioners, or judges or auditors to be elected. But only citizens’ discernment and vigilance could make these officials good. Only citizens’ understanding of and commitment to law can possibly reverse the patent disregard for the Constitution and statutes that has permeated American life. Unfortunately, it is easier for anyone who dislikes a court’s or an official’s unlawful act to counter it with another unlawful one than to draw all parties back to the foundation of truth.  Suffice it to say that the ruling class’s greatest difficulty — aside from being outnumbered — will be to argue, against the grain of reality, that the revolution it continues to press upon America is sustainable. For its part, the Conservatives greatest difficulty will be to enable a revolution to take place without imposing it.  America has been imposed on enough.

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