We have come to the point in this country where we have been fed a diet of elite intellectualism that we are choking on. There is a notable group of people who firmly believe that they know what is best for their fellow countrymen, that their fellow countrymen do not have the wisdom to make their own decisions about the way that economics works, or education, or the capitalist system, or the position that the government should take vis-à-vis the other institutions of our society, both large and small.
Most of these people have never broken a sweat for working a hard day at harvesting wheat, building houses, driving OTR trucks, bagging groceries, mowing lawns in the summer or clearing snow from driveways in the winter, stocking shelves, or handling a critical station on a manufacturing assembly line. But they presume to believe that they can fix things so that I will have a perfect life, that my grandchildren and great grandchildren can become geniuses by just attending public schools. They believe that they can fix things so that the poor and indigent will have the same benefits that those of us in the middle class have without having to tote that barge or lift that bale.
Oh, for a time that may work that way. For a time, they can take away from people who have educated and trained themselves and worked hard and earned a living for their families. But that won’t last long. At the most, it will last two generations, probably only one. After that, there will be no larder to rob. There will be no gold pot at the end of the rainbow. There will be little left for those who take to take. Then what will they propose, a controlled society where “everyone works as his ability allows him and receives what he needs.” Seems that I’ve heard that before. Seems that has been tried before. Seems that it’s never worked in other places. Someone defined stupidity as doing the same thing over and over again hoping that eventually it will work. If that’s an acceptable definition, then we have a lot of stupidity in the government and in the media that toadies up to the government.
When you were a youngster and someone was showing you how to do something and showing you and showing you, over and over again and again, didn’t there come a time when you just wanted to say, “Get out of my way. Let me do it myself. I may be able to do it. If I fail, I’ll try to figure it out for myself. If I can’t figure it out, I’ll call you.”
The true genius of this country is that we had probably the best of the Enlightenment intellectuals concentrated from Virginia to Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. They started the ball rolling and then they got out of the way, hoping that the people would understand they had a huge stake in what would happen and rise to any and every occasion that came along, hoping that they could “figure it out for themselves.” These intellectual giants then went back to their farms and raised their crops. Many of them died penniless, having endowed this noble experiment with their fortunes as well as their sacred honor.
The problems that have been faced by this country in the past two hundred plus years have been many and profound, but up to this point, we have been able to tackle them ourselves. It took many generations before the scourge of slavery was finally eliminated, but it was, not by someone in high office arbitrarily issuing mandates that circumvented the law, but by ordinary people who went to war, who marched and voted and argued with their friends, family, and neighbors. They were called Abolitionists. They were called N-word Lovers. They were told that they just didn’t understand that these folks were like children, and we have to take care of them because they can’t really take care of themselves. But they didn’t believe what they were told. The last vestiges of slavery to be done away with, voting rights of minorities, took until the 1960s when Republicans in Congress overcame the objections of Democrats and finally passed the Civil Rights legislation.
The problems we face today in education, economics, foreign affairs, inner-city blight, and others can be overcome, but not by administrative fiat. It will take the will of the people who are willing to put pressure on good men and women to run for office and not be concerned for their longevity in office. It will take office holders of good will in both parties to figure out how to defang the burgeoning bureaucracy, not because it costs too much and we can’t afford it, but because it has wrested the task of law making away from both houses of our duly elected Congress.
We’re rapidly finding that we are no longer a nation governed by law, but we are becoming a nation governed by regulations. Our slide into the slippery darkness of historical oblivion must be stopped. Otherwise, generations from now, children will read the history of the United States of America in the same way that we now read the history of Greece or Rome or the United Kingdom. They were wonderfully endowed civilizations that made mistakes, but nevertheless advanced society by leaps and bounds, but they lost their way.
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