Liberals Hate Poor People

A very liberal acquaintance of mine remarked recently that Wal-Mart is the most “destructive” entity in the world because its business plan focuses heavily on reducing costs! This is only slightly less shocking than progressive New York Daily News columnist Neil Steinberg’s description of the company as “an enormous fascist beast”. Wal-Mart’s emphasis on cost control and low prices runs afoul of a number of liberal shibboleths such as buying manufactured items from nations having wage scales below some arbitrarily derived minimum, selling “too cheap” and operating in sprawling “big boxes” that crowd out local mom and pop stores. That Wal-mart furnishes its customers serviceable to excellent products at deep discounts and that items it obtains from third world regions provide otherwise non-existent jobs is willfully ignored.

One trip to a Wal-mart in say Hattiesburg, Mississippi quickly reveals that it is the least economically endowed who shop there. The cars of the working poor and the elderly fill the Wal-mart parking lot. With many prescription drugs at $4 for a month’s supply and cut-rate groceries, clothes and other necessities of life, the company brings American prosperity to the least of us. It is no stretch to assert that Wal-mart does more for poor people in this country than all the liberal welfare programs adopted since the New Deal - and without damning consequences. Overseas Wal-mart suppliers provide countless men and women with jobs at a wage they stand on line to accept.

In public education, progressive teachers unions foster a culture of inferiority where excellence is suspect and mediocrity rewarded. These same unions promote bloated, out of touch school administrations that siphon off much needed funds from the classroom. Deweyite educators push multicultural and new age curriculums in place of basic and foundational studies. Our schools no longer teach grammar, civics, a truthful history of our nation and other subjects necessary in preparation for life in a 21st Century world. It is the children of the impoverished of course who are condemned to these factories of failure.

Free exchange of goods and services is among the most dignified and moral acts in creation. Dignified because each man gets what he wants from the bargain and moral for the transaction is totally without compulsion. Free enterprise with its handmaiden, privately owned property is the ultimate wealth and prosperity engine yet created by the society of men. The excess profit of trade has furnished every improvement in man’s environment and life since the dawn of time. Liberals despise private property, trade and profit.

Unfettered, free enterprise will ever produce more and better goods and services at lower prices. The production of this merchandise and benefits create the jobs by which the meanest among us may improve their lot. The lower prices guaranteed by competition put more and more quality products in their homes. Social reformers seek heavily sanctioned state control of both trade and production with favored products and services subsidized and others regulated away. Each time the heavy thumb of government falls on the scales of the marketplace, more poor people are put of work and denied the advantages they need and desire. Progressives seem to abhor general prosperity.

Extreme environmentalism harms struggling people by artificially raising gasoline and other energy prices. Excessive regulation and taxation restrict profits thus impairing job creation, again disproportionately affecting families at the bottom of the ladder. Farm subsidies push up food prices making it more difficult for the humble to eat properly.

From demonization of large discount stores to ineffective state schools. From family devastating welfare programs to excessive regulation and taxation I can think of no progressive policy that has produced anything but a negative impact on the less well off. The left claims a deep affection and compassion for poor people. Measured by the effect of its actions, liberals hate poor people.

The Little Moron Blunders Again

For those of who continue to mistake George W. Bush for a conservative, please consider his response to the Big Three Bailout. Ignoring his own party’s principled opposition to requiring autoworkers in Kentucky making $49/hr to share their checks with union cousins in Detroit making $79/hr. The Little Moron of Pennsylvania Avenue has elected once again to add another liberal merit badge to his Weasel Scout sash. He has instructed Uncle Hank to dip into to his rapidly diminishing slush fund for a few billion for Detroit. In doing so he continues in Poppy’s tradition of state sponsored corporatism.

Having given banks billions not to loan, credit card companies billions to cover losses on cards mailed out like spam and giant insurance companies billions to cover bad bets, it is now the UAW that gets Uncle’s largesse. I have heretofore considered those calling to impeach Bush to be cranks. That notwithstanding by continuing to steal from the average and give to the rich he is getting in my opinion, perilously close to “high crimes and misdemeanors”. The President’s action, which is opposed by more than 60% of U.S. citizens is if not unconstitutional certainly repugnant. He is to be reviled. It is hoped someone will go into the federal courts seeking to stop this knavery.

Tyranny Rant

The Federal government and the big banks have generated an economic collapse such that 10% of all American homeowners are at least 30 days delinquent on their mortgages. The same tribe of Wall Street vipers and bureaucrats who created the debacle have been given over a trillion dollars of public money to fix it. $350billion has been used to cover the large banks speculative losses and restore liquidity in the marketplace. Credit windows are nailed down and covered by plywood. 530,000 people lost their jobs last month as a recession hidden by the government for nearly a year threatens to become a depression. Your national government has bailed out credit card companies that mass mailed cards like sale flyers. Now cometh the carmakers and the UAW demanding the USA force autoworkers in Kentucky making $70,000 a year share their pay with their unionized cousins in Detroit who make twice that. Congress will after a pro-forma posturing cave in.

America has enough coal to heat and power our country for 200 years. Burning it produces carbon dioxide, which makes the trees green. In homage to a known fallacy and enviro-nazis, our leaders intend to as the new Vice President put it, “bankrupt the coal companies”. While gasoline was $4 Congress wouldn’t permit drilling off our shores and in frozen wastelands. God only knows what they have planned now that gas is below $2. Our same keepers began paying people to turn corn into a fuel that produces more carbon than coal and caused a shortage of corn for food. Democrats who now run the federal circus want to let the UN tell us how warm we can keep our houses. The new President and Congress want to take over our health care and turn it into the type that drives Canadians across the border to use our current system. If you earn more than $50,000 a year Washington grabs half of it. For 6 months a year each working man is a slave. Federal bureaucrats mandate toilets that won’t flush and light bulbs that poison you if you break them. The President elect can't find his birth certificate. By order of Uncle Sam doctors go to jail for alleviating pain and fathers for spanking their sons.

The government makes murdering terrorists’ distinguished professors and distinguished teachers unemployed. Grandmothers are rudely searched while young Arab men walk right on to airliners. Shutting down talk radio is constitutional but listening in on terrorist phone calls is not. You may murder an unborn baby without fear but be prosecuted for cutting a tree that might be occupied by a rat. I could go on but I am just too tired.

Thomas Jefferson allowed, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants”. The tyrants are plentiful, where are the patriots. I am 58 years old and have the better part of life behind me. If things continue to run as they are now I may soon declare myself with Jefferson’s fellow Virginian Patrick Henry.

Republicans Beware

CONSERVATIVE - one who favors building on learned experience rather than untried innovation; in a political context- favoring free enterprise, individual and private property rights and traditional mores.

Lately some traditionally conservative journals such as National Review have become less conservative and more Republican. This bodes ill for both constituencies. Kathleen Parker writes recently that social conservatives, particularly Christians are “what ails” the GOP. Others suggest that the party must be more open to pro-abortion candidates and soften its stance on social issues like gay marriage and the 2nd Amendment. They cite statistics that gun owners and white married couples are shrinking as a demographic and Republicans must court the moderates and independents that are put off by the overtly religious.

I have included the definition above to remind the reader that “Republican” is not part of the definition of conservative. “One who favors…traditional” mores however is. The GOP would be well advised to remember this distinction. In 1966 when Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of California, the Republican Party was calcified and dying. It stood for nothing and virtually no one stood for it. Reagan like NR founder William F. Buckley was a movement conservative more concerned with first principles than pragmatic attempts at power. Republicans occupied the White House all but four years from 1968 to 1992. By 1988 to be Republican was to be conservative. George Bush [The Elder] however abandoned Reagan’s legacy for the moderate center over the next four years and facilitated the election of Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992. Returning to principles in1994 Newt Gingrich and his Contract With America led a GOP sweep of both houses of Congress. Sending Sen. Robert Dole, another Republican moderate to the post in 1996 assured Clinton’s re-election.

By 2000, Republicans had repented and nominated the proven conservative Governor of Texas, George W. Bush and won a hard fought campaign to retake the oval office. Solid Republican majorities were maintained as well in Congress through 2006. Bush 43 held on in 2004 defeating Sen. John Kerry. By then however GWB had become compassionate. GOP members of Congress who had been reading the Washington Post for nearly ten years, opened wide the tent and became Democrat Lite. In 2006, they were rightfully swept out. In November last the most liberal member of the U.S. Congress, Barack Hussein Obama was elected President along with 58 Democratic Senators leaving Ronaldus Magnus’ glorious revolution little more than a memory.

The Reagan Coalition that dominated American politics for over 20 years included all those persons described in the definition above, many were Democrats, all full conservatives. A plain reading of this shorthand political history reveals clearly that the Republican Party came to power on the broad shoulders of conservatives and kept that power as long as it remained true to conservatism. Each time Beltway pundits chattered the party leftward [see Rope-A-Dope On the Left; Contra Mundum 5.21.08] electoral losses followed.
In 1992 and 1996 the Republican nominee for President ran as a moderate. Being neither hot nor cold; fish nor fowl, the electorate gagged on Bush 41 and Bob Dole respectfully. Social – conservatives remained loyal. By 2006 it was obvious Republicans for the most part had abandoned conservative axioms and they were turned out. John McCain, ‘The Maverick” that would save the day by attracting independents found his margin of defeat last month equal to the number of independents Bush The Younger got in 2004 that he didn’t.

Republican leaders need understand that many conservatives in the aftermath of the November slaughter are beginning to believe that the party no longer serves our interests. A few party leaders must be getting the message; radio hosts that have gone fool for the party are busy lately reminding conservative listeners they have no place else to call home. Of course, third parties are very problematic. Political organizations though do outlive their usefulness. Whigs are conspicuously absent from ballots recently. Without gun owners, evangelicals and other religious stalwarts more Republican defeats will certainly come followed inevitably by defects of fiscal and national security conservatives. Overtime The Reagan Coalition will reorganize under another banner and the GOP will pass from the scene forever. Let those Republican leaders with eyes to see, see and ears to hear, hear. Drive Christians and other So-Cons out at your own peril.

Lincoln's War

He suspended the civil rights of his own country, took over 13,000 political prisoners, including mayors, legislators, ministers and newspapermen. He invaded his neighbor lay waste to her lands, killed over 250,000 of her people and caused the remainder to be subjugated to his own political will. Who was this man?

The short resume above belongs to President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln is given almost godlike reverence on two counts, resulting from the northern victory in The War Between The States; emancipating the slaves and preserving the Union of 34 states. That he accomplished these with no authority save more and bigger cannon has been ignored if not denied by ancient and modern historians alike. In the brief essay that follows, I hope to gauge Lincoln and the conflict against the philosophical underpinnings of the Union he strove to save not merely the immediate results of the conflict of 1861-1865.

The casus belli of The War Between the States remain as debatable today as they were in 1861. The writer is inadequate to the task of unraveling that Gordian knot. The actions of the 16th President of The United States on the other hand are visible to anyone with eyes to see. President Lincoln unleashed horrible destruction and loss on the southern people not to mention the 300,000 Union soldiers who lost their lives. More Americans died in Lincoln’s War than in all other U.S. conflicts combined. The above notwithstanding, I do not suggest that Lincoln was motivated by anything other than what he thought to be right under the circumstances. I believe Lincoln was met with such intractable problems and powerful external forces that he wearied under the pressure and chose to try to accomplish quickly by force of arms what might have been achieved only through years of painstaking diplomacy.

The America of the 1860’s was very unlike our nation today. Neither the interstate highway system nor the automobiles to travel it existed to tie us together. People and commerce travelled by horseback, steamship and loosely connected railroads. The Republic was divided north and south, geographically, industrially, monetarily and spiritually. The northern states were fast becoming an industrial giant. In just more than a half century it would become manufacturer to the world. The wealth of the nation passed through the banks, trading houses and ports of New York, Philadelphia and Boston. Much of the population north of the Mason-Dixon was urban. On the other hand the American south in the middle of the 19th century, was overwhelmingly rural and dependent on growing and selling tobacco and cotton. More than 90% of the world’s cotton came from the states of the Confederacy. Southern cotton was shipped on northern ships, sold through northern commercial houses and the profit deposited in northern banks. Virtually all southern manufactured goods from farm equipment to weapons to clothing were imported either from abroad or from the north. Industrial tariffs on these importations produced 70% of federal tax receipts in 1860. The high exactions drastically reduced the value of southern crops. Lest we ignore the obvious, the far greater part of plantation labor was performed by black African slaves while radical abolitionists dominated the newly minted and powerful Republican party. In the south, paranoia began to run deep.

When South Carolina and then the other slave states seceded and formed The Confederate States of America a whole host of problems arose for the northern states and the federal government. Without southern tariff receipts federal coffers would soon run empty requiring increased taxes on northern merchants and manufacturers. Additionally, the Confederacy offered foreign nations tax free ports at Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans presenting a mortal threat to the protectionist northern sea trade. In fact, an independent southern nation had the potential to bankrupt the north. These conditions met the 16th President at his inauguration.

It is clear that in defense of the wealth, property and well-being of the northern states and their people, Lincoln could not permit the Confederacy [without mutual agreements on trade etc] to remain as an independent country. Yet the President had the same obligation to protect the people and property of the south, at least as long as they were states. Truly no President before or since has faced such an imponderable dilemma. Half of the nation that elected him President no longer believed it bound to the Union and had set up a nation that threatened the well being of the other half. Lincoln was left hanging between heaven and hell. He had really only three options; accept the Confederacy as a legitimate, sovereign nation and begin the long and arduous task of negotiating the salient issues toward a peaceful resolution and perhaps reunification, declare war on the C.S.A. or claim the southern states in “revolt” and use the United States Army to subdue the “rebellion”. Under severe pressure for a quick solution from northern commerce and with abolitionists railing at him to take the opportunity to free the slaves, Lincoln seemed never to have considered diplomacy. In his first inaugural he put his marker down asserting: “ in your hands my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen and not mine is the momentous issue of civil war…You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government, while I have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it." In a brilliant piece of political legerdemain, Lincoln established a self-serving and false rhetorical basis for the conflict that obtains even today.

No threat was uttered nor intent given by the seceding states toward an overthrow of the government of the United States. Civil war [a legal term] by necessity of definition requires such a struggle thus no civil war was imminent and in fact, none occurred. Further Lincoln’s oath was to “preserve, protect and defend “, not the sitting government but the Constitution. Nothing in The Constitution compelled any state to remain a part of the U.S. We shall see further on what oath the south staked its claim. On April 13, 1861 goaded by Lincoln's ordering gunboats toward Charleston, intemperate South Carolinians fired on Ft. Sumter. In late July 1861, Lincoln invaded Virginia.

The ethical and moral foundations of the United States are expressed in the Declaration of Independence of 1776. In that year, the 13 American colonies of King George III of England declared:

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

If these truths are not eternal and invioable the United States is and forever will be a rogue nation founded by brigands and traitors with no moral or ethical grounds for its being and no basis for its laws and customs save force. Below is an excerpt from The Declaration of Independence of the Confederate States of America.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all human beings are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Lincoln’s arguments, to the contrary the Confederacy held exactly the same writ asserted by the colonies against Britain some four-score years past. In ignoring the legitimacy of the Confederate States and using armed force to keep them under United States rule, Lincoln denied the foundational principles of his own country. Like George III before him, Lincoln became a tyrant.

In judging Abraham Lincoln, one may not retreat behind events occurring after the War Between the States. It also cannot be assumed the he was prescient in knowing a re-united America would become a great power and force for good in the world just as we cannot assume that had he let the Confederacy go reconciliation would not have taken place peaceably or that both nations may not have been great. Neither can we contend that the slaves would not in time, have been emancipated. President Lincoln, like all men must be judged according to his times, by the knowledge and wisdom available to him. Lincoln was dealt a terrible hand. He felt an immense pragmatic and mystical burden to maintain the union – whatever the cost. Lincoln’s policies in response to that burden were by the immutable axioms of our own beginning, illegal, immoral and unethical. His actions were those of a despot and resulted in a spiritual, physical, societal and cultural devastation of the nation that is not healed 140 years hence. That the Union Abraham Lincoln salvaged became the American Colossus may be accounted to his favor. That slavery was abolished at that precise time and in the manner it was, is more problematic. I hope to address that issue as well as other significant historical consequences of The War Between The States in future posts.