The Consent of the Governed

The Fourth of July is an especially relevant time of the year to discuss the idea of a government’s legitimacy.  After all it was the Founding Fathers’ dissatisfaction with George III’s unaccountability to his American subjects that led to the founding of our country.  Such slogans as “taxation without representation is tyranny” show that the colonists were acutely aware that they did not possess any mechanism to make their wishes known to their king.  Parliament may have been at that time much less powerful as a democratic force in the British monarchy than it currently is but it did represent the common Englishman at the highest levels of government.

The principle involved is that consent of the governed is necessary for a government to be considered legitimate.  Whether that consent is grudging or enthusiastic is a matter of degrees and in either case recognizes that the governed concedes to following the laws provided by the ruler.  In the ancient world before democracy was a thing often the legitimacy of the ruler was wrapped up in divine right.  This assumed that the king was of the same people as those ruled and his relationship with the culture of his people was deep and meaningful to them.  In such a situation the people would endure quite a bit before they would revolt because they assumed that their gods had their best interests in mind and so they trusted in their greater wisdom, even when the results were brutally hard.

But when the ruler was a foreign conqueror, an emperor of some other nation then consent was the choice between slavery and death.  But even that is consent.  It is recognition of the balance of power.  It is choosing life over freedom.  And to the extent that you want to spare your children it is a long-term agreement.

In the modern era representative government provides much more scope for consent.  The formation of a strong middle class has made democratic governments more stable and produced a society where the governed feel that their leaders are accountable to their needs.  But with the introduction of socialism and communism  in the late 19th century forces have been unleashed on democratic societies that empower the most radical and least disciplined portion of society and turns it into a tool that can be manipulated by demagogues and even powerful elites that see it as a weapon with which to subjugate the middle class.

We are in such a situation now.  The Constitution with its enumerated Bill of Rights is being ignored by the elites and their toadies in the government.  We are being stripped of freedom of speech and religion and the right to bear arms.  What is occurring is a coup d’état facilitated by the elites and empowered by the mob against a middle-class people too habituated by order and stability to react as forcefully as is warranted.

What remains to be seen is when or if the American people withdraw their consent.  If they don’t then they’ll become a conquered people no better than the Roman citizens who slowly by degrees became serfs indentured to the Roman nobles and then Germanic chieftains who owned them.

But if instead they come to their senses, they can pretty quickly re-establish their rights.  When a court, even the Supreme Court clearly breaches the Constitution it’s time to start ignoring the decisions of that court.  It’s time to withdraw consent from that government.

If a state declared itself no longer bound by clearly unconstitutional laws it will be very difficult for even the mighty United States federal government to uphold that law.  Much of the enforcement of even federal laws depends on the good will of state and local law enforcement.  Without that good will it becomes a struggle just to know if the law is being broken.  And if the State government is actually hostile to a law it could become virtually impossible to enforce.  And if the federal government is under the leadership of a conservative president it would be simple for enforcement of unpopular laws to fall completely by the wayside.  A really far thinking conservative could dismantle whole departments of the federal government whose only job it is to harass the American people with all sorts of bureaucratic restrictions on their liberties.

So, it remains to be seen if the present American nation has as much courage as their colonial predecessors.  Patrick Henry said, “give me liberty or give me death.”  We can get away with just pointing at the Constitution and saying, “freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to bear arms, leave me alone.”

Which way do you think it will go?

 

Will the American People Finally Revolt Against the Tyranny of the Left

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The Fourth of July Is All Ours

Independence Day is a movie that I have spent a goodly number of hours mocking.  And rightly so.  One of my favorite targets is that truly annoying paeon to globalism when President Whitmore declares that because all of humanity is under attack and the final battle will be fought on July 4th that from now on the Fourth of July will no longer be an American holiday but will be the Independence Day for the whole world.

I think it’s interesting that instead of that reality we live in a world where a large swath of Americans is now rejecting the Fourth of July as being racist and therefore un-American.  Just as the American flag is now racist and to be avoided so too is our Independence Day.  To the Left, the true Independence Day is Juneteenth.  This goes along with their idea that America wasn’t founded in 1776 but in 1619 when slaves reached the colonies.

I think that’s great.  It suits me to a tee.  I prefer not to have to share the Fourth of July with these losers anyway.  It goes along with all the other things which now are forbidden to them but we can celebrate exclusively and joyously.  Christopher Columbus, Magellan, Henry Hudson, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, Andrew Jackson, Lewis and Clark, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Jeb Stuart, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Alva Edison, The Wright Brothers, Theodore Roosevelt, John J. Pershing, George S. Patton, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Chuck Yeager, Neil Armstrong, Ronald Reagan and countless other great men who created a new world that inherited the Renaissance civilization from Europe and brought it to unparalleled heights in the formation of the United States of America.  These are the people we read about in our history classes before the revisionists vilified them and replaced them with nobodies that fit better into the race and gender categories that they hoped to fill in their false history of our founding.

And I look forward to passing along all the details of how our country was actually built.  And I won’t care about cataloging some of the darker incidents of our story.  The cruelty and the war; the greed and the foolishness of some of the pages in our story.  These things are human and looking at the whole course of human history I can say without fear of contradiction that the American chapter is the brightest and best part of the whole story.

So, rejoice my fellow Americans.  And be glad that only true Americans now celebrate the Fourth of July and honor the lives of all the great men who built this land and made possible this most remarkable nation in all the history of humanity and anywhere on God’s green Earth.  Gather together with your friends and family and grill some steaks or barbecue some burgers and dogs and eat your potato salad and watermelon and drink your beer and lemonade and have a baseball catch with the kids and jump in the pool and sit around and have some ice cream and watch the fireworks.  And remember the Fourth of July when you were ten and tell your kids or grandkids about it.

I find it liberating to no longer make believe we are one people with a changing understanding of “who we are.”  In reality we are one nation, the American people, that still believes all the things we always believed.  And alongside this nation there is a hodge-podge of outsiders who do not want to belong.  They have formed a coalition for the sake of trying to disinherit the Americans by convincing us that we are evil undeserving racists.  But they have shown their hand too soon and the mask is off.  They hate us and they are not part of us.  We owe them nothing and we no longer have to accommodate them.  They are a separate thing from us and deserve none of our sympathy or consideration.  The only thing they require is our caution to avoid being harmed by their malice.

So, enjoy the Fourth and flaunt your happiness about it with your fellow Americans, especially in front of those who despise this country and its true history.  It’s your holiday and your birthright.

Yellowstone – A Television and Country Music Review

Camera Girl is a remarkable human being but she is, foremost, a woman. And any husband worth his salt will tell you that’s not an unalloyed blessing. One of the many things that separate women from rational human beings is their love of soap operas. And this includes that bane of late 20th and early 21st century life, the nighttime soap. Luckily when we were young, we had children so we were too busy in the heyday of nighttime soaps to watch Dallas, Dynasty, Knots Landing, Melrose Place and the rest of that bilge.
But now that we are mostly empty nesters it’s no longer safe. And every once in a while, Camera Girl will reach beyond her annoying predilection for cop shows and look for something truly awful. And so it is that I have been dragged kicking and screaming into the demented saga that is Yellowstone. Kevin Costner and a mostly unknown cast (at least to me) ride horses and shoot guns up in Montana trying to preserve their Ponderosa sized cattle ranch from the real estate speculators, Indian tribes, disloyal cowboys, hedge fund pirates and other assorted lunatics who all seem to need killing. And kill them they do. Their enemies end up shot, stabbed, drowned, blown up, or pushed off cliffs more or less with impunity. And within the family, hatred and dysfunction are on full display. The daughter is a foul-mouthed man-eating lawyer. The lawyer son is her foil that she despises, berates and occasionally assaults. The cowboy brother is the hero, I guess. He’s a decorated war hero and his Indian wife and son have left the reservation and live on the ranch now.
The show truly is a ridiculous nighttime soap with egregious plots and ridiculous dialog. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised when I started hearing some of my favorite country artists on the soundtrack. Colter Wall, Tyler Childers, Chris Stapleton, Ryan Bingham and a bunch of other good to excellent country acts provide at least an interesting aural experience to go along with the annoying goings on at the Dutton family ranch.
One other saving grace that the show possesses are the vistas and landscapes that seem to surround you wherever you look in that magnificent big sky country. The juxtaposition of soaring snowy mountains, cascading rivers, verdant plains and technicolor blue skies can be seen sometimes all in one shot. You often find yourself wanting to yell at the actors to shut up and get out of the camera’s field of view and stop ruining the experience of just seeing and hearing the grandeur on display. But unfortunately, thy will go on yammering about whatever crime or deal they are conniving that week.
So that tells you all you need to know about the show. And honestly there is no way I can say I recommend this train wreck of a television experience. It’s a ghastly offense against story-telling. If you’re an enormous Kevin Costner fan I guess you can justify watching it to see him. He is one of the better parts of the show but even that isn’t saying much. And you can just listen to the soundtrack without watching the show. And I’m sure National Geographic has tons of documentary footage of Montana and Wyoming wilderness to watch anytime you want.
I, on the other hand, have to watch. Camera Girl is a woman and therefore barbarically cruel. I can always hope it will be cancelled soon. Damn you Costner.

01JUL2020 – Quote of the Day

The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down. The rain will erode the deeds of his life. But that man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate.

Cormac McCarthy