Posted on December 30, 2014
The Mystery “Our”
Whose values are the Dems talking about?
The Democrats have been lecturing us a lot about “our values” lately. When they issued their so-called “CIA torture report,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein called the interrogation techniques “a stain on our values and on our history.” President Obama agreed that “these harsh methods” were “inconsistent with our values as a nation.”
While announcing that he was easing sanctions against Cuba, Obama repeatedly claimed that this new policy of “engagement” with the Castro brothers would promote “our values.” In a recent interview on CNN, he reiterated his promise to close the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, on the basis that, “It is contrary to our values” – whatever he imagines those to be.
Obama once criticized the Constitution as “a charter of negative liberties” that only enumerated restrictions on federal power, and did not empower the government to redistribute wealth. He said this as if he thought the omission was a mere oversight, and not the natural exclusion of something that’s antithetical to the very concept of America. Values our founders might have described as enterprise, industry and self-reliance are what Obama and his party often deride as a “you’re on your own society” in which people must “fend for themselves.”
The Democratic Party’s two most significant accomplishments of the past century have been to dismantle the family unit, and stomp the American work ethic into submission, and they did it through just the sort of redistributive system that Obama seems to think the men who wrote and ratified the Constitution simply neglected to establish. This system has diminished the role of genuine charity, and has instead corrupted millions of Americans into an existence characterized by ingratitude, unaccountability and sloth.
For all of Obama’s vacillations about whether or not he believes in American exceptionalism, he either fails or refuses to grasp its meaning. The United States is unlike any nation that had previously existed because it is based on the principle of government by the consent of the people – or, as Ronald Reagan put it, “We are a nation that has a government, not the other way around.” This principle is wholly incompatible with the “living Constitution” theory that is embraced by the Democrats and their judicial appointees.
To perceive the Constitution as “living” is to say that judges may deem the document’s meaning to have amended itself spontaneously, without any input from the elected representatives of the people. In other words, the self-appointed guardians of “our values” believe that the American people should have no role in shaping the fundamental law under which they must live.
If the Constitution can just evolve away from the plain meaning of its language, then the value it places on the rights of the people to life, liberty and property is no longer necessarily valid. It’s no wonder, then, that Obama wants to end our embargo against Cuba, since it was imposed in retaliation for that country’s expropriation of American-owned businesses. So the Castro government seized the property of U.S. citizens without compensation. And?
Both Obama and presumptive presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren have argued that all successful enterprises are communal properties, of which the government is entitled to a cut. According to their “you didn’t build that” theory, if you employ people who have been educated in public schools, or if your business makes use of public roads, then the government has a preemptive right to your earnings. By their figuring, none of your income ever really becomes yours, other than through their benevolence.
If the Democrats were honest, they’d admit that they’ve discarded our values and embraced those of our ideological adversaries. They’d acknowledge that the whole concept of American values offends them, perhaps calling it “jingoistic” or “xenophobic” for good measure. They’d probably even blather about how supposedly unrealistic Leave It to Beaver is. Because they can never afford to be honest about who they are and what they believe, they’ve chosen instead to redefine “our values” by re-categorizing the “we” who hold them. Out goes James Madison, in comes Karl Marx.
Elected Democrats seldom if ever cite “our values” in order to celebrate America. Whenever they mention them, they do so only ironically, for the purpose of accusing America of hypocrisy. It’s well past time that America turned that accusation around on them.
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