With a birthday that falls very close to July 4, I’ve always been quite proprietorial about this holiday. One small part of my brain, while watching fireworks, always thinks “For me? Why thank you!”
Fortunately, that’s only a smart part of my brain at work. The bigger part of my brain has a more noble thought: the best birthday gift in the world is that I am an American, born into a country that, by its founding charter, maximizes individual freedom and minimizes government control over people’s lives.
This year, we are very much at a crossroads. In 2008, the American people decided to experiment by granting virtually unlimited political power to a cadre of people who have faith only in government, and who view the American people as infantile ignoramuses who can function only under the direction of self-styled experts. This experiment has seen these experts abandon the contractual relationship that is supposed to control the various branches of government in their relationship to each other and in their relationship to the people. I will not do a parade of grievances here (you can readily compile your own), but I will note that it was a parade of grievances resulting from overwhelming government pressure that, in 1776, led the American colonists to part ways with Britain. Historically, Americans don’t like to be pushed around.
My hope for the coming election is that Americans find their backbone and their maturity. Both backbone and maturity can be scary. An adult, looking at a sleeping baby, thinks how delightful it must be to be coddled and bathed and fed and sheltered, all with minimal effort on the baby’s part.
What adults forget is how desperately children seek out and fight for freedom and responsibility as they grow. From the toddler’s “No,” to the five-year-old’s “I can do this myself,” to the teenager’s “You’re not the boss of me,” our development shows that we are programmed to be self-governing. To deny us that growth is to arrest our development in ways that can only stunt us, whether we’re viewed as individuals or a nation.
For reasons unique to me, Bookworm will continue to be my nom de cyber in the coming year. However, on Facebook, which is my main point of intellectual (as opposed to social) contact with my corporeal (as opposed to cyber) friends, I am much more aggressively pursuing a conservative agenda. When people make some fatuous liberal statement, I politely ask them to develop that thought, and then equally politely point out the holes in their reasoning and their facts. With increasing frequency, I’m posting articles that challenge liberal paradigms. I do the same in face-to-face conversations. Confrontation is not my style, but I continuously strive to following Dennis Prager’s dictum to “prefer clarity to agreement” (keeping in mind that clarity often leads to agreement).
One of the things that will help you catch the holes in liberal arguments is to read Jonah Goldberg’s The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas. This book gives operating instructions for spotting the conversational tricks that liberals use to shut down conversations without actually having to touch upon substantive issues. You can’t fight what you can’t see. These clichés obscure ideas, leaving hapless conservatives fighting chimeras. Their use also suggests either that liberals have no idea what they’re talking about (the majority, probably) or that they’re very busy hiding the ball (the dangerous power-brokering minority).
The other thing you can do, and this is just for fun, is to help out my friends at Madison Rising. I’ve blogged here before about their Star Spangled Banner, which I thought was spine tingling. The guys have now issued a challenge:
Let’s show Press and Tosh – and everyone else – that we still believe in this country and our National Anthem.
Take the Challenge: Help Madison Rising reach 1 million views & downloads by Election Day (November 6th).
Watch the video NOW. If you like what you see, download the song from one of the sites below. [Go to this link for the download sites.]
Happy Independence Day, Everyone! It’s a great day to be an American.