Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My Tree of Liberty is Alive and Well

Master Metaphorist, Owen Robinson at Boots and Sabers, is at it again. And this time he seems to be advocating revolution. His latest column in the West Bend News is titled “The Withering Tree of Liberty,” and he waxes poetic about the demise of everything he believes in (because he and his group of true believers cannot convince others to vote en masse in similar fashion). Well, here’s some of what he says …

I can’t recall a good rebellion for the cause of liberty in any of the great Western democracies in the past century or more. I don’t mean a trifling riot here or there that telegraphs a healthy love of liberty. I mean a true insurrection with all of the blood and mayhem that such a societal upheaval entails.

We have not seen a 1688 or a 1776 or a 1793 in a great while. This void of revolutionary vigor in the historical timeline exists despite the fact that it could be easily argued and substantiated that the citizens of these democracies enjoy less liberty than they did in the age of Bossuetian Divine Rule.

In the United States, we have seen a steady erosion of liberty over the past several decades. For example, oppressive government restrictions on political activity, politely referred to as "campaign finance reform," have become the norm.

The government restricts how much and how often you or I can give money to a political candidate whom we support.

This is a bit disengenuous. Bi-partisan campaign reform was rammed through, but against the wishes of the most ardently conservative Republicans (like Robinson). Its major provisions had to do mostly with accountability, but they also were a brake on the big corporations who have in the past tried to buy elections and legislation.

It is now against federal law for a group of us to get together and run advertisements against an elected official within 60 days of an election. Wisconsin Right to Life went to the Supreme Court when they were forbidden from running a television ad that mentioned Sen. Feingold, and lost.

The regulations on why, how, when and what we say during political debates shows that we have abdicated any pretense of freedom when it comes to political speech.

Well, we agree here (somewhat, though I wouldn't go so far to say we've abdicated any pretense of freedom, that's really a bit extreme) and surprise, the ACLU does too.

The level of taxation in our nation would have brought the serfs of medieval Europe to revolt, yet we endure it - nay, we rejoice in it and christen it "progress."

Huh? For a moment there I saw a Shakespearean actor reciting his lines, hand raised to the firmament. A Dohnal moment (ask me another time).

Taxation consumes about 30 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in America today. In Europe, that percentage hovers nearer to 50 percent. As recently as 1900, taxation in America only comprised about 10 percent of the GDP. Even 10 percent would have been intolerable for our colonial forefathers, who rebelled when they paid less than 5 percent.

Although taxation is a necessary evil which is collectively paid to protect our individual liberty, every dollar spent in excess of what is necessary for the protection of liberty leads to a reduction of liberty because each dollar is one less dollar that you or I, who earned that dollar, can spend for our own necessities or niceties.
I won't even speak about how misleading it is to compare taxation levels 100, 150 and 200 years ago. Currently though, the United States spends more on military than the next nine nations combined plus an additional $100 billion. Since, other than China and Japan, those other nations are European, just who the hell are we defending our liberty against. In fact, the government spends almost seven times more on defense than education. But, according to Robinson and his crew, all in opposition to public education, that would be fine. An uneducated population is less likely to care.

And who is going to pay for the upkeep of roads, hospitals, schools, etc.? Guess what, these were all necessary evils to which the public in majority fashion agreed. Robinson can spin it any way he wants, but it’s true.

If taxes are deemed too high, the remedy is the ballot box. But therein lies the rub, the public does not agree with Robinson … hence the end around effort called TABOR in which the public was left out of the process. IT STILL failed.

He continues …

No tyrant is as powerful or as unmerciful as the one who is elected.

And yet, that redoubt of democracy, Winston Churchill, laid naked the truth: no matter how repressive a representative government becomes, mankind has not yet devised a better system with which to govern ourselves.

It seems that our tree of liberty is withering without the blood of patriots.

This is ridiculous drivel from a man who thinks he is the second coming of Thomas Payne. The fact is that in everything Robinson dislikes he sees the evil machinations of government. If his conservatives ran the government, however, Robinson would gleefully goosestep in time to the martial music he so admires. Their disdain for the voting public is spectacular.

If words such as these were spouted from the pen of a liberal writer, Robinson and his ilk would loudly proclaim treason. But when one of their own drips poison from his pen, he gets a round of “well dones.”

Actually, one can’t help but feel a twinge of sympathy for Robinson. He and his followers have managed to fool some of the populace through the use of loathsome gimmicks like gay marriage. But the real problem is that Robinson and his group haven’t convinced enough people. Somehow, it reminds me of Vladimir Lenin in exile. One then cannot but be just a little worried over these sentences …

But there is a tipping point where a representative government loses its legitimacy and insurrection threatens. It is the point at which the people no longer feel that elections are credible enough to legitimately embody the will of the people. It is the point at which fraud, corruption, suppression, incumbency, gerrymandering and ignorance overwhelm the true will of the people and elect a counterfeit government. At that point, the will of the people no longer rules and the seeds of revolution are rightfully sown.

Is Robinson waiting for the Germans to help him and his followers to power, brought to Washington or wherever by shielded carriage?

Actually the truth is that the revolution is occurring already and the fraud, corruption, suppression, gerrymandering and ignorance of the Republican party, and of Robinson and his followers, has already sown the seeds. He rightly fears that.

3 Swings of the bat:

Dad29 said...

"...the Big Corporations who...attempt to buy government...'

Such as, say, the Potowatomi? Or WEAC (which IS a corporation)?

Other Side said...

I am not a supporter of Potowatomi gambling, nor gambling in general, including the lottery, which is just a tease that robs people without much hope (yes, their responsibility) and provides kickbacks to the better off.

WEAC, on the other hand, is a "corporation" I support. Their ability to influence elections pales in comparison to the real national and multinational brutes.

Dad29 said...

The National brute behind WEAC is the NEA. They dropped $8Million last year alone on support of 'think tanks.'

Haven't yet got figures on electioneering numbers. Trust me, they will not be small.

WEAC would be a lot more likeable if they were not tied to their own health-insurance company, which over-charges by a LARGE margin.