Constituion 101 (10)

Lesson 10: “The Recovery of the Constitution”

Study Guide

Overview:

Statesmanship, for Franklin D. Roosevelt, entailed the “redefinition” of “rights in terms of a changing and growing social order.” Fulfilling the promise of Progressivism, President Roosevelt’s New Deal gave rise to unlimited government. In contrast to Franklin D. Roosevelt and his ideological successors, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan sought the restoration of limited government. Today, our choice is clear: Will we live by the principles of the American Founding, or by the values of the Progressives?

Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his campaign for the presidency in 1932 by emphasizing the Progressive understanding of history and by calling for the “redefinition” of the old idea of rights. His “New Deal,” a series of economic programs ostensibly aimed at extricating America from the Great Depression, vastly enlarged the size and scope of the federal government. Unelected bureaucratic agencies—“the administrative state”—became a fact of American life.

Roosevelt’s call for a “Second Bill of Rights” sought to add “security” to the rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Describing the “old rights” of life and liberty as “inadequate” without underlying economic security, Roosevelt called for new economic rights for all, including the right to a job, a home, a fair wage, education, and medical care. With these rights guaranteed, Roosevelt argued, real political equality finally could be achieved.

Following President Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy’s “New Frontier” and Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” continued the transformation of the relationship between the American people and their government. President Johnson redefined the government’s role by redefining equality itself: equality must be a “result” rather than a “right.” Expanded federal control over education, transportation, welfare, and medical care soon followed.

Announcing that “with the present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,” Ronald Reagan appealed to the principles of the American Founding in seeking to reduce the size and scope of the federal government. Maintaining that Progressivism and the consent of the governed are incompatible, Reagan called for a return to individual self-rule and national self-government.

Love Him or Hate him, He’s Right

Two Cheers For Glenn Beck, With Some Reservations

By Jerry Bowyer

Glenn Beck’s analyses of the history of authoritarian movements has many people concerned, and justifiably so. Most recently Beck has been laying out the ways in which the progressive movement in the U.S. has been following a three phase strategy to undermine the free-market constitutional order traditional to America.

He has also uncovered ways in which progressive propaganda on behalf of President Obama taps surreptitiously into language of earlier extremist thought, most notably Stuart Chase’s book,” The Road We Are Traveling,” and his invocation of Political System X. Chase was a Fabian socialist who was influential in the left wing of the New Deal, and may have coined the phrase ‘New Deal’.

Beck argues that phase 1 of the program, which focused largely on the institutionalization of the socialist movement and the de-legitimatization of traditional free institutions, has been completed over roughly the past 100 years. Phase 2 of the agenda, largely a matter of creating an escalating series of crises, Beck argues can happen ‘at lightning speed’. Phase 3 refers to a time in which the people, tired of chaos and crisis, permit the Left to grab power and perhaps even to liquidate inconvenient groups of people.

There is a lot to appreciate in Beck’s work, and I do not share the tendency among some in the conservative institutional elite to deride him. When someone like a Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal describes Beck as ‘insane’, she may well be responding more to the social pressures of the Manhattan cocktail party circuit than to anything Beck has actually said. Frankly, I’m tired of conservatives, such as David Frum and others, who have made a career out of appearing in liberal media venues to ritually denounce Beck or Palin or whoever is the liberal hate icon of the month, as beyond the pale.

In fact, I share Beck’s association of Obama with the Fabian socialist movement, and did so very early, perhaps earlier even than Beck did.

Personally, I like Glenn Beck. I appeared as a guest on his TV show when he was on CNN. He did something which TV broadcasters almost never do: he talked to me (through my ear piece) during the break. He told me “You are my absolutely favorite economic commentator,” no doubt in keeping with the well-known Beck hyperbole. I told him that he was something which I’ve found to quite rare in broadcast TV, an actual vulnerable human being.

So, mutual admiration aside, do I agree completely with Beck? No, I do not. I’ve found myself talking with investors often over the last couple of years who need to be coaxed down off the ledge of despair over alleged imminent depressions, hyperinflations, and dollar collapses. I’ve seen analysts on his former Fox show running elaborate scenarios about horrible economic events to unfold in matters of months, if not days or weeks. I am increasingly running into investors, often Beck watchers, who have thrown aside the ancient wisdom of asset diversification in order to jump with both feet into precious metals.

What I think Beck is missing is a sense of depth perception. He sees a danger ahead, but, can’t seem to focus his eyes in order to see how far ahead it is. Taking what he no doubt believes is the safest approach, and one that accords with the emotional intensity of broadcasting, he pronounces the danger to be imminent. Beck’s shows are anxiety-inducing; they’re meant to be. In fact, a colleague of mine was advised by his psychiatrist to stop watching the shows because they were triggering unhealthy anxiety episodes in him. The psychiatrist is an evangelical Christian who is not by nature inclined to be unsympathetic to Beck’s worldview.

I am not the only one who notices Beck’s lack of depth perception and tendency to telescope disastrous events…

“The one thing I always get wrong is timing. I told you three years ago that they were going to print money, that inflation was coming, that trouble was coming, three years ago. Before Bear Stearns collapsed. And I said the stock market was going to crash. I didn’t know when. I used to tell you when things were happening, but I noticed, I see everything as a flat wall. Everything I see in the future is just right here, right now. And it used to give me real high anxiety. ”

So, let’s leave aside for the moment the timing issues, which we as investors must pay close attention to, and take up the issues about the direction of our country, which we as citizens must also pay close attention to.

Beck is right and his critics are wrong about a number of things:

The progressive movement is totalitarian at its core. Whenever it has been allowed free reign, it has become highly repressive, and in some cases, genocidal.

Large swaths of the liberal coalition are, in fact, progressives, especially those in the emotion-forming industries such as film, TV and music.

It can happen here. No nation is immune from the totalitarian impulse and countries which had once been the high water marks of western civilization such as Italy, Greece, Turkey and Germany have all succumbed to totalitarian impulses at one time or another.

American economic hegemony is not inevitable. Every other great nation which has adopted a fiat currency has seen that currency eventually collapse. Every other nation whose currency enjoyed the exorbitant privilege of reserve currency status, has lost that privilege.

Most nations which have reached our level of public indebtedness, eventually suffered severe economic crises.

But, when and how, and most urgently, how quickly do events like this happen to nations such as the U.S.? Yes, Rome fell, and so did Byzantium, Spain, and the British Empires. But how long did it take to fall? How many reprieves did those nations get? How fragile are nations like the United States in terms of culture and political institutions compared the great nations which collapsed in ruin? Only time will tell.

Attribution: Forbes Online

A Man Without a (Tea) Party

Wake up Tea Party. You’re backing the wrong man and I can’t figure out why?

Newt’s latest attack of Romney is over Bain Capital and how Mitt has “destroyed jobs”, etc.

There is plenty of things to tag Romney with. Why pick the one capitalist thing he has done? That doesn’t sound like a conservative.

Yet plenty of Tea Party leaders are backing Newt.

“My sense is there is a growing coalition behind Newt Gingrich,” said Joe Dugan, leader of the South Carolina Tea Party. He added that Tea Party members do not want a “moderate” like Romney as their standard-bearer.

He would much rather throw in with an FDR “Progressive” than a moderate or a real conservative like Santorum.

Yes, I said FDR. As I have stated in past articles, Newt has proclaimed reverence for the 4 most despicable presidents in history; Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson & Franklin Roosevelt. If given enough time, he’ll probably eulogize LBJ.

If I knew nothing more about Newt, that would be enough. No real conservative would ever back such a man.

I recall going to Tea Party events, where many were condemning Obama for his socialist, Marxist, communist, terrorist friends and ties. You do pick your friends, allies and idols, you know.

Now, I suppose, it’s ok to discount the candidate’s own words & alliances.

I guess we’ll just overlook when Newt stated how, “The Four Freedoms still work.”

In his own words:

No Reagan, no Coolidge or Harding. Just FDR & Wilson.

If you are not familiar with the Four Freedoms, it was part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union speech where he said everyone in the world should have the freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

The first 2 are fine, but the third & fourth? Really? Are they in the Constitution, Mr. “History Professor” Gingrich?

Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips said, “Newt Gingrich is not perfect, but he is head and shoulders above the best candidate in the field right now.”

Holy crap!! I think I just figured it out. I began writing this article without knowing why my supposed brethren would do this. I was just hoping to solve it before I completed this.

Let’s read what Phillips said again. He is the best “Candidate” in the field. That’s it; Candidate!

Well folks, a candidate can’t govern. These Tea Partiers backing Newt are evidently giving little to no thought of how he will govern once he becomes president. They are so blinded by the possibility of Barack Obama winning a second term; they are willing to sell out what I thought they/we stood for.

Do they think Newt’s fire & brimstone style will carry the day? He only surges after debates. Without them, he is surely toast anyway.

Remember people; both sides have to agree to debates. How many, where, when, etc.
They will also be moderated by the enemy and the audiences that Newt relies on so heavily, will be stacked against him. I guarantee it.

If Newt wins the nomination, Obama may debate him once, even twice early on and then, nothing. There will more than ample time for any debate bounce to vanish.

I don’t care if Newt says he’ll follow Obama to the ends of the earth, The One, will not continue to debate him and the media will certainly carry his water in that regard.

Now, with my rant finished, I will still more than likely, hold my nose once again and vote for Newt, if he wins the nomination. I would vote for a dirty diaper before casting my ballot for King Barack.