There’s not a whole lot out there which isn’t being said. In a nation of 300+ million, you’re going to have one of each. When the deepest sources of passion are added to the mix, there is no limit to the hyperbole which comes to light, justified and unjustified.
On the afternoon of the Sandy Hook shootings, I posted a lengthy tirade on Facebook attacking the disgraceful politicians who were out harping against gun ownership quite literally before the dead had assumed room temperature. Much of that is worth reiterating, and maybe I’ll post the entire text here. But in the days that have followed, several other things became more apparent.
The federal government has sought to ban certain types of firearms and certain magazine capacities. New York has taken the initiative to implement such measures on a statewide level. (Connecticut already had a ban on these weapons, and that didn’t stop a law-breaker from breaking the law.) Alternatively, Wyoming and Texas have both moved to ban federal gun laws in their states. Wyoming will punish federal agents who attempt to enforce federal gun laws with two years in prison.
Whether or not this state nullification is legal or practical is up for debate. What it does make clear is this; the nation is no longer a set of diverse cultures unified behind a common belief in the Constitution as the best possible construction of government. In order for a nation to exist, there must be some point of commonality, which America no longer possesses.
Yesterday, I was chatting with someone on a messenger service…
It is depressing to see so many in this nation so fully hoodwinked by the philosophies and policies that utterly laid waste to the world during the twentieth century. The only thing which preserved America from the devastating impact of leftist ideology was a powerful dedication of the people to the Constitution, which severely restricts the role of government, and thereby limits the amount of damage that can be done in collectivist schemes.
What was maintained by Americans in the previous century has quickly been abandoned in the current. Leftist ideology was shown to be a failure in the Communist mode, in the socialist mode, in the cultural mode, in the moral mode… And yet it survives as the new default ideology in the United States, which had not embraced it during the times when societies of Europe, Asia, Africa, and Central/South America were razed by it.
Yeah, maybe some out there are scratching their heads saying, ‘Only the Berlin wall was razed, not all of Europe.’ I disagree. I think Andrew Klavan is right, that Europe has been in the death throes since the World Wars. Being incapacitated from defending its traditional culture and heritage, it is being overrun by anything else which is more powerful. As Muggeridge wrote:
“So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over–a weary, battered old brontosaurus–and became extinct.”
Sadly, it appears that Muggeridge was only off by a few decades, even regarding the United States. Even a cursory examination of Europe as it once was and as it now is will find stark, unsustainable differences. The other areas mentioned have clearer issues. Only China presents an interesting analysis, sustaining itself as a massive parasite on the sectors of free market it has embraced, relinquishing no autonomy in any other matter.
And yet, and yet! America, in the greatest position to learn ten thousand lessons from these other nations that are in permanent decline, has decided to flee sense and follow the wisdom of the ages, the post-modernist narcissism and dementia of self-appointed elites who say that the only truth is that there is no truth. Why would anyone trust anything said after someone makes that statement?
Is there not at least a logical certainty one could take in the alternate position? Truly, it should be more comforting to embrace concrete positions that can be absolutely understood moment to moment, rather than trusting a fluid system not to overturn your raft when it lifts up a wave of trouble.
Life is an uncertain experience. It will have ups and downs. The great temptation of man is to generate truth as a dynamic concept which changes given the circumstance (essentially for inconstant man to decide what truth is at any given moment). That is the essence of materialistic Darwinism; that all is change in material circumstance, and there is nothing beyond the individual experience. But truth is by definition external to the individual, or it is not true at all.
This probably all sounds ethereal and confounding, so let me bring this to a practical example. If someone tells you that the Constitution is a living document (that what it says changes, based upon the circumstance), what they are really telling you is that we do not have a Constitution. For a living document takes on whatever meaning the person wishes to add to it.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”
Ahhh, the classics… Always way ahead of their time. You see, if the left is right [sic], and the Constitution is a ‘living’ document, then the question becomes not what the Constitution actually says, not at all! It becomes a question of who can amass a greater mob of power behind their particular preferences for what the Constitution ought to say. This is the difference between the rule of law (republicanism) and the rule of the majority (democracy).
Walter E. Williams is fond of asking people whether they would like to play poker with living rules. “That is to say, maybe my two pair beats your full house, depending upon the circumstances.”
Drawing this back to my original point, if Wyoming regards the Constitution as a document with specific, knowable, and original meaning; then it is bound by its agreement to the Constitution to behave in a specific way, namely to respect life, liberty, and property as the property of individual people and to leave those rights which are not addressed in the Constitution as the property of the states or of the people. After all, the Constitution demands this in no uncertain terms.
New York (especially City) has embraced the notion that the Constitution is just a dusty old rule book that we can’t understand and shouldn’t try to, because it “upheld slavery!” after all. (Not sure we can reconcile those two assertions, by the way. On the one hand we can’t understand it, and on the other it’s disgraceful, what it means.) Thus the government is not restrained in anything it wants to do, at all. And we should not be opposed to the government banning weapons because weapons kill!
Okay, if your eyes haven’t rolled out the window already, let’s just give them all of that for the sake of argument. You cannot find a point of commonality between Wyoming and New York with regard to the Constitution’s limits on governmental power. Given that the government conveniently sides with greater endowment of its own power, it is not unreasonable for states that believe in the original Constitution to leave the Union which no longer abides by it.
Now, this should not be thought as a light thing. It is no small matter for the nation to divide, very likely with permanence. But the nation is already divided. I do not believe you could find a majority of people who want Wyoming to be not part of America, and yet, that is not to say it would not be the best route for Wyoming to go, in terms of protecting personal liberties.
Hopefully, this state’s nullification idea will catch on and reassert state’s rights are more powerful than the federal government, so long as the object in question is personal liberty. That would be a tremendous miracle, given where we are now, and it would require voluntary cultural changes as well. We shall see.
If the piling on of trillions more in debt continues, it is unlikely that all 50 states will remain in the union. This is like having a credit card with a spouse that moved out months ago and continues to spend twice the amount both of us make. At some point, the one spouse is going to assert legal action to get out and leave the debt on the shoulders of the spendaholic.