While I may not have agreed with everything he said, or everything he did…I have to admit, President Ronald Reagan did get this right in 1981.
note: This is a political post. It is about the problems we have in our political system and our country today…and have had for many decades. If you don’t want to read about politics, don’t read this article. If you don’t want to get upset, don’t read this article. If you don’t want to be challenged, don’t read this article, If you don’t want to face some ugly truths, don’t read this article. If you are not open minded, don’t read this article. If you are a political ideologue, don’t read this article.There, you’ve been warned. Read at your own risk.
While Reagan was referring specifically in this particular speech to the economic troubles of the time period, it is 100% true in the world today…maybe more so than ever before. And, while it applies to our current economic problems, it also applies equally to just about every problem our country faces, and has faced, in the last 130 years.
And he said this while HE was the president…and he didn’t exclude himself or any other time when a Republican was a President…and neither do I.
Thomas Jefferson once declared to “question everything.” Some have incorrectly tried to make this sound as if he were trying to disprove the existence of God. Not so! Jefferson was simply trying to motivate folks to figure out who they are and what they believe. He was imploring them to discover actual truth vs. following blindly.
I am asking you to do the same thing…open your mind, challenge yourself, and listen for truth in what you are about to read.
Now, let me start the post with my point…Patriotism vs. Nationalism.
You see, one is evil, one is good. And it is far more important is to know which is which…and why.
Let me fully disclose to you right from the start…as always, this is purely my opinion. And, I don’t want you to believe a single word I am writing. I do want you to listen to what I have to say, then think it over, do your own research, and most of all…come to your own conclusions.
Why? Ah yes…”Why?”
Because my friends, it will not be much longer until you will have to sort out exactly who you are, what you believe, what you are willing to stand up for, and more. Before long the outcome to those decisions will drive everything else in your life…and in the life of your family.
Now please, don’t become alarmed, nor think I am predicting some fast approaching dire apocalyptic event. Although, on any given day I would not be surprised to see such a thing.
Realistically, you will be faced more and more in the coming days, weeks, months, and years with these decisions in your life…or, at least their consequences. And without knowing certain fundamentals, you may well make the wrong decisions. And those wrong decisions could have very dismal consequences.
So, you might ask, “What are the right decisions?” Great question!!! And I surely wish I knew the answers for you. I only know them for myself. It will be your job to figure out the right answers for you and your family.
Let’s start with nationalism. There are different definitions of nationalism, none of which are officially canonized anywhere in some all-powerful book of knowledge. Generally speaking though nationalism can be pretty well substantiated that it includes love of, and loyalty to country…more accurately, absolute love of country. That means whatever my country does or is I love it no matter what. And “country” in this respect is represented by government as well as its people. More plainly…I blindly love my country and support the government.
But, before we go any further with that explanation, let’s touch on patriotism. Interesting, when you track the origins of the word back into Greek and Roman era it sheds some fascinating insight. It becomes clear that the origins are love of the political conception of a country, associated with the love of the law and the common good. And it also includes a dedication to resist corruption and tyranny that threatens the law and the citizens it is meant to protect. That infers both a belief and required action.
So here I find a stimulating dichotomy in terms of the United States of America. Nationalism is the love of country, the government, and loyalty to it…a virtual unwillingness to question it or challenge it. Patriotism however means love of the founding principles of the USA (i.e. the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights), and being dedicated to protecting those founding principles against corruption and tyranny…regardless of the origins of that corruption and tyranny.
If you are a veteran or active duty you will recognize that concept in the swearing in oath we took when we entered the military…”…defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”
Humor me. You may not believe my way of defining the two terms, nationalism and patriotism, but I think you will find that honest and objective research will prove me right. But, let’s say I am right just for this article. I want you to ask yourself a question, “Are you a nationalist or a patriot?”
Now wait! Before you answer that question, ask yourself this question, “Where our Founding Fathers nationalists or patriots?”
If they were nationalists by definition they would have supported England, King George, Parliament, the British army, and colonial rule. However, if they were patriots they would support individual rights first written about in such British founding documents such as the Magna Carta which outlined those individual rights, liberties, and freedoms.
So again…“Where our Founding Fathers nationalists or patriots?”
Now here is a hard question for you, “On the 4th of July did you celebrate our Declaration of Independence, which is based on the Magna Carta, as a document/declaration of open rebellion against tyranny and corruption?” or, “On the 4th of July did you celebrate the military, the government, the flag, fighting our wars, etc.?”
OK, so many of you are probably pretty mad at me about now. Let me make it worse…
Let me test you…and your patience, “In 1770’s, if you would hear ‘British Colonies…Love it or leave it!’ who would have spoken those words? Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, or ????”
Yeah, the only folks that would have been speaking those words would have been British nationalists…commonly referred to as Tories. The likes of Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, etc. were working to try and fix the problems of their day based on patriotism (i.e. the love of the rights outlined in the Magna Carta and the rights then defined as natural rights (i.e. God-given).
So now…I want you to ask yourself a question, “Are you a nationalist or a patriot?”
I certainly hope you answered…”I am a patriot!”
And more importantly I hope you answered that way because you truly believe in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. That you believe in the beginnings of God-given rights that first appeared in the Magna Carta. That you have the courage to resist corruption and tyranny! I pray to God that this is part of your very soul!
It is easy in this day and age to get lost in the politics of it all. The word “compromise” has become synonymous with something good. But I tell you it is not! Compromise is what got us to this awful state that we find our country in today. Compromise between two parties… Republicans and Democrats. I make no distinction between the two in regards to their recklessness with the Constitution.
Our Founding Fathers warned us against a two-party system…they tried to help us avoid the tyranny that we find ourselves in now. But, we allowed ourselves to be seduced into the grasps of powerful men whose only desire was power and wealth.
So we see clearly that our Founding Fathers vehemently despised a two-party system. Why? Because they knew eventually men would lust for power and dominion over each other…and political parties would enable that lust. Our Founding Fathers wanted us to believe in, debate, and come to a consensus in regards to principles NOT party dogma. And consensus is far, far, better than compromise!
So now try these two questions on…
What have the Democrats given us?
What have the Republicans given us?
There is no difference! To prove my point let me ask the question differently…What evil, tyranny, or injustice have the Republicans protected us from?
We still have crushing national debt and huge annual budget deficits. We still have abortion. We still suffer under staggering income tax burdens. We still have significant infringement of the Second Amendment. We still have popular election of Senators. We still have a monstrosity of federal government bureaucracy. We still have 10’s of thousands of federal laws on the books. We still have disregard of “due process” by the government. We still have a massive standing military that is strewn about the world, and virtual constant warfare for the last 100+ years. Need I go on?
But the Republicans are trying!!
When the Republicans controlled all three branches of government what anti-Constitutional laws did they repeal? When the Republicans controlled the House of Representatives and/or the Presidency tell me when they last had a balanced budget? When was the last time a Republican President shrank the actual power and reach of the federal government in any meaningful way?
But the Republican party is the party of Conservatism!
Ah yeah…that is what worries me.
Conservatism – (paraphrasing)
Encyclopedia Britannica – Conservatism is political doctrine that emphasizes the value of traditional institutions and practices. Conservatism is a preference for the historically inherited rather than the abstract and ideal.
Merriam-Webster: Conservatism disposition in politics to preserve what is established, a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change.
So how are you feeling about conservatism right about now?
Let me ask you another tough question, “Would our Founding Fathers have been considered ‘conservatives’?”
Time for another challenge…
Who is proud of our US military?
Well, I am for one. Actually, let me be more specific…I am very proud of the members of our military and their willingness to sacrifice for us. I have some knowledge of this since I am a vet…and my family is full of vets back to the Revolution. In WWI my father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and 3 great-uncles all served at the same time…and many more of relatives as well. But, that is not my point…just a little information ahead of time to prevent a possible lynching.
So, what did the Founding Fathers think of the military?
During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, George Mason put a finer point on it:
“No man has a greater regard for the military gentlemen than I have. I admire their intrepidity, perseverance, and valor. But when once a standing army is established in any country, the people lose their liberty. When, against a regular and disciplined army, yeomanry are the only defence [sic], — yeomanry, unskilful and unarmed, — what chance is there for preserving freedom? Give me leave to recur to the page of history, to warn you of your present danger. Recollect the history of most nations of the world. What havoc, desolation, and destruction, have been perpetrated by standing armies!”
In the Federalist Papers Alexander Hamilton wrote, “If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.”
So why do I quote the Founding Father in regards to our military? Because they warned us of such things! They warned us of these threats to our Constitutional Republic.
No, I am not denigrating the members of our armed services and to think such is sheer stupidity. Yes, there will be some that jump to such an obscene and idiotic conclusion but they are to be dismissed as nothing more than a mentally ill provocateur.
My point being…conservatives (i.e. Republicans) adore a large standing army, navy and air force!
Now you have to wonder…if the Founding Fathers warned us against a large standing army and warned us against a two-party system…and they were patriots…what does that make Republicans and Conservatives?
OK, take a breath…seriously, breath for a minute.
Fortunately most people who claim to be conservatives are actually libertarians…or at least so to some degree. Let me share these two graphics with you…
As you read through the two charts, what do you find yourself identifying with?
Now try this one on…
Yes, libertarians of today are the “classical liberals” of yesterday.
Now, let me go back and ask you this, “Were our Founding Fathers Conservatives, Liberals, or Libertarian in their beliefs?”
And then again, “Were our Founding Fathers patriots or nationalists?”
And lastly, “Did our Founding Fathers want us to have Democrat and Republican parties?”
Many of us view our Founding Fathers as divinely inspired…I am one of them. If I were to guess, those of you reading this article would agree with me on that point.
So, for me…
- I am a patriot, not a nationalist.
- I am civil society libertarian in my political thinking, not a liberal or conservative.
- I am surely not a Republican, I am definitely not a Democrat.
Yup, that leaves me squarely and solely a person who views issues, ideas, thoughts, and problems from a purely principle position…not from a given political ideological perspective.
Now the real question is…Who are you?
About now you are probably “Why did I write this article and what do I want from you?”
Well, just as Thomas Jefferson implored us to do, I wrote it to encourage you to challenge what your beliefs are. I want you to truly think about your principles and what they are based on…their foundation. I want you to become firm in those beliefs to prevent you from being blown about in the coming storm.
I want you to know that which is right to “stand for” and avoid the “fall for anything” traps that are here…and many, many more traps to come. There are people who have wrapped themselves in the flag and those who are carrying the Bible…and they are laying traps for you. How? They are using nationalism disguised at patriotism. And worse, they are using convoluted scripture from the Bible as justifications for their agenda. To do what? To get you to do those things that you would normally not ever do…that the real America would not do. They are learned men deceiving people by mingling some truths with their illicit and immoral plans. They are scheming for their own personal gain…power and money…and that of their political party.
I simply want you to know and understand truth as you have researched it. I want you to take action as you feel prompted to follow. To take those actions that you feel are right and based on a firm foundation of solid and actual truths. I don’t want you manipulated, tricked, and brought down.
America has an amazing, divine foundation. America’s Founding Fathers were divinely inspired men. America is an amazing country, the most fantastic country on earth, nothing like her exists.
America has problems in our past, but it does not define our future.
We are America’s future.
Stand Firm…Stand Tall !!
Your family needs you, America needs you, and God needs you.
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I agree that our government has become bloated and over bearing, however there are a few things which are noted as libertarian ideas that do not mesh well with section 8 of the constitution which our founding fathers agreed upon as foundational principles. A few I’ve listed below:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
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Well Steve, To a point I don’t disagree with you.
But, the term libertarian has been hijacked to a certain degree to almost mean anarchy. And anarchy is not even close to being part of libertarianism. Libertarians don’t object to what you outlined…they just want it severely limited…as the Constitution provides for, demands. No problem with taxes, as long as they are within reason…and they currently are not. Same for Duties, Imposts and Excises…within reason. No problem with common Defence and general Welfare either. But, that doesn’t mean posting our military all around the world, a massive standing army, and it certainly excludes democracy building. And general welfare does NOT mean a welfare system as it is used today. Regulating commerce…again, no problem as long as the laws are reasonable. Naturalization & Bankruptcies…no problem. Coining money…no problem. Wish the federal government would actually do it vs. the Fed. As for “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress” ….don’t I wish!!! We would be way further ahead.
So you see, there really isn’t any problems to speak of as long as it is “reasonable”…which is defined as what a “reasonable person” would see. But, the federal government, and government in general, went far, far beyond that over a hundred years ago.
As I see it…as do most true libertarians…the federal government has gone WAY outside the bounds of the Constitution. Would you agree with that?
And honestly…the “classical liberalism” philosophy is actually the best foundation…and it matches pretty well with actual libertarianism. But, can you imagine what my readers, friends, and relatives if I announced one day that I was a classical liberal???? Oh my gosh…the world world would stop spinning 😉
Thanks for the reply/input…I appreciate it!
EXCELLENT ARTICLE!! Well done! Thank you
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Thank you Lona. I poured my heart and soul into this article over the course of four days. I almost didn’t publish it. Then the prompting to was so strong I could not resist it. I hope it means the right thing to the right person…even if it is only one. AH