A Divided America? If Only!

Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina says: ‘I can guarantee you in the Super Bowl this year the two coaches are not telling their teams to go out and work with the other guys because the other team has an opposite goal. In politics —unfortunately now in Washington — the Democrats’ goal is completely opposite of what the American goal really should be.’

This is exactly the right attitude. But it contradicts more than the establishment politics of Washington D.C. It contradicts the prevailing philosophical view that, “There is no right or wrong. There is no objective truth.”

Ironically, it’s Republicans — or libertarians, or Objectivists, or Tea Partiers, or anyone who opposes the establishment position and interests of Big Government — who face the burden of proving that facts are facts and that reality is objective. Liberals, socialists and Obama Democrats face no such burden. This is because they are the Establishment, and they utilize arguments of intimidation and authority to back up what, to them, passes as the truth. And when all else fails, they usually can use government coercion, since Big Government is backed up, after all, by force.

“ObamaCare? Why, it’s a good thing. Those who support it are right and good, and those who oppose it are wrong. What’s wrong with people who don’t support universal health care for all? Do you want people to get sick and die?”

This is the typical attitude of liberals, socialists and Democrats. Notice how it rests on a claim to objective reality. Yet the moment anyone disputes those socialist claims, the attitude becomes, “Who are you to be a know-it-all? How do you know what’s true?” I witnessed this recently in an argument between a pro-ObamaCare Democrat and someone else who dared to take issue with the law.

This is the deeper philosophical (and related psychological) problem that keeps non-liberals/non-Democrats from winning anything. Advocates of Big Government control the debate and control the agenda. They did even when Republicans controlled all of the government, a few years back. No election is going to resolve this.

DeMint is right and well intentioned in what he says. He’s one of the few decent people to actually hold office in Washington D.C. But he must understand that as an opponent of Big Government, he’s not entitled to have any claim to the notion of what’s right or wrong. That claim is reserved for the anointed, the Obama supporters.

I have said for years, and hold it as truer than ever, that what America needs is not a third party, but a second party. A second party has to be based on the premise of individual rights and limited government. This means asserting that most of what the federal government is now doing, it has no business doing. Fiscal debates should not center on reducing the increase in spending, as they now currently do, with Obama saying we should raise the debt by multiple trillions while Boehner and Republicans insist on a mere trillion. These are not “right-wrong” distinctions. Advocates of Big Government know full well that any battle waged on these terms automatically means winning the war.

I keep reading how America is divided. My reaction to this is, “If only it were so.” If there were an actual philosophical debate taking place, we’d be getting somewhere. I’m sick of the struggle between Republicans and Democrats as we know it. All of these struggles are on the terms of the Big Government advocates. What I want to see is the liberal socialist position on the defensive, just once. They should be made to defend the idea that government has any business being involved in transferring trillions of dollars from the productive sector of the economy to the politically powerful. “How do you justify THAT kind of class warfare, you Democrats (and some Republicans)?” ought to be the battle cry. And they ought to mean it.

Change the terms. That’s the only way to reverse course. When the American Revolution was fought, the colonists didn’t battle over the extent of British taxes. They fought against the very idea that the British could impose taxes and other regulations on them in the first place. Despite their military disadvantage, the colonists eventually won. It was the same with the Civil War. Lincoln didn’t pragmatically concede the issue of slavery. Even as the North was losing the military battle badly, he emancipated the slaves.

There’s power in principle. Liberals, socialists and Democrats understand this. They advocate the wrong principles, but they get it. They know they cannot be defeated unless the Republicans, along with a majority of Americans, rise up and challenge their Big Government ideology on principle. To date, that has not yet happened. A divided America would actually be a good thing. If there was a real battle between the right and wrong principles, there’s a good chance the right side would win.

Today’s fiscal, monetary and economic crisis is arguably getting as bad — and as critical — as those two eras I mentioned, the Revolutionary and Civil War periods. In the years leading up to Lincoln and the Civil War, there was a succession of unprincipled and horrible Presidents, and members of Congress, who were unable or willing to do anything as the situation worsened. It’s the same today, with the systematic unraveling of both the government wealth-transfer state and the private economy. Yet we have nobody taking a principled stand for reversing course. When and if we ever do, I think you’re going to see a different kind of outcome in Washington, and for the principle of what’s right, as DeMint refers to it. But not a moment sooner.