Consider these recent news headlines:
- Republican and Democratic leaders are floating the idea of a new "Super Congress" not authorized in the Constitution
- A legislative proposal in San Francisco seeks to make ex-cons and felons a protected class, along with existing categories of residents like African-Americans, people with disabilities and pregnant women.
- The Ohio appellate court handed down a critical Second Amendment-bending decision over the weekend in which a minor offense can eliminate one's right to bear arms.
- In the latest chapter of the gunrunning scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious, federal officials won't say how two suspects obtained more than 360 weapons despite criminal records that should have prevented them from buying even one gun.
As these articles abundantly illustrate, our elected officials have abandoned all pretence of adhering to the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They don't even bother pretending anymore. In fact, their attitude is mockery and downright hostility whenever it is suggested that the government should limit itself to the small, streamlined entity it was meant to be.
Today, anyone who suggests our government is out of control is labeled a right-wing extremist or even a domestic terrorist. Yet all the constitutionalists and tea partiers want to do is return our nation to the governmental restraints outlined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. We do not want a theocracy. We do not want an oligarchy. Is this too much to ask?
Sadly, yes. The progressives and the constitutionalists have no middle ground anymore. Listening to the arguments on both the left and the right provides abundant evidence that our nation as it currently exists is not salvageable. Freedom and slavery can never reach an accord.
I mean that in all seriousness. America as it was meant to be cannot be brought back on track. There are too many powerful people – virtually the entire government, mainstream media and populations of large urban areas – who are too addicted to spending, to entitlements, to control and to manufactured "rights." It's too late.
In an earlier column, I wrote that We the People are actually living in an occupied nation; the occupier – the enemy – is our own government. But progressives don't see the problem. That is, they don't see that an ever-growing governmental body is a bad thing – and they'd like to see more of it. They want our wealth redistributed. They want unconstitutional entitlements such as health care. They want the debt ceiling raised. They want everything they can lay their hands on when it comes to their agenda, and the Constitution be damned.
"The federal government is an out-of-control beast, no longer a body of representatives of the people but rather a house of aristocracy whose members do nothing unless it's for the good of their house," wrote a reader. "We the People have become nothing more than wage slaves to the gluttonous bloated entity our government has become. Nothing short of a military coup d'etat is capable of restoring our country back to the people, back to what was intended by the Founders."
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But I'm not so sure a coup d'etat would work. Oh sure, the tea party could take over Washington and begin to run the government within the original constraints intended by the Founding Fathers, but what then? The progressives would hate it. They would launch a counter-revolution. Civil war would ensue, and no matter who "won," the problems would remain.
And what are the irreconcilable problems on which the left and the right cannot agree? Simple: It's the vision of government. It's the degree to which government should be involved in the lives of individuals.
That's why I'm still of the mind that the only solution is division. We need a Progressive States of America, or PSA, and a Constitutional States of America, or CSA. As cruel and unfair as the mechanics of separating our nation would be, what other answer is there?
So which form of government is likely to work out? Interestingly, the study of history provides abundant examples of both types of government and what the likely outcomes may be.
Examples of progressive governments include Germany, Russia, Italy, North Korea, Cuba, China and endless numbers of other countries in which people have lost their freedoms.
We need look no further than our own history to find an example of constitutional government. Riddled with mistakes as it was, our nation leaped ahead 5,000 years in terms of technology, medicine, manufacturing, standard of living and other benefits – all due to the unique freedom from governmental interference our founders laid out. "By 1976," notes author W. Cleon Skousen, "the 'noble experiment' of American independence and free-enterprise economics had produced some phenomenal results … [it] allowed science to thrive in an explosion of inventions and technical discoveries …" Communication was revolutionized, the average life span was doubled and our standard of living was exponentially enhanced.
But this isn't good enough for the progressives. They want to make over our nation in their own image. They desire power instead of freedom. They prefer to be slave masters of a bankrupt state over being part of a free society.
So let's give them what they want.
Let's leap ahead and pretend that our nation has already divided. Most of the people reading this column will chose to live in the CSA. But what about those who chose to live in the PSA?
When the dust of producing a new country has settled and the hoopla has died down, the citizens of the PSA may eventually recognize what we've been trying to tell them all along: They've been able to get away with all their whining about entitlements and fake "rights" for as long as they have because they've been riding on the backs of those who supported our original Constitution. When that document is thrown out, everyone will want to get on the government dole. To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, their socialism will work just fine until they run out of other peoples' money.
Then, and only then, might they realize how good they had it before screwing it up. And then we'll get to say, "I told you so."