Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, Michele Bachmann at Orchestra Hall Oct 7!

http://www.am1280thepatriot.com/pages/ReclaimingAmerica

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Why Do Non-Leftists Vote Democrat?

SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 12:00 A.M.

Why Do Non-Leftists Vote Democrat?

Moderates pull the lever for liberal radicals because conservatives are effectively depicted as evil.

All Americans, including conservatives, understand why any leftist would vote Democrat this year. The Democratic party is now America’s version of a European Social Democratic or even a Green party. In domestic policy, there is no significant difference between Democrats and those European parties.

So there is no question as to why those on the left would vote Democrat. There is, however, a legitimate question regarding non-leftist Americans: Why would any of them vote for a Democrat this year?

The Democratic president and Democratic party have expanded the American government to an unprecedented extent. Moreover, they have done so in unprecedented ways: Never before has such extensive society-changing legislation been passed without a single vote of the other political party, and unprecedentedly vast powers have been given to “czars” and their new federal agencies — with no congressional oversight. Add to this a level of national debt that is unsustainable — but meets the Left’s great aim of redistributing wealth — and you have the most left-wing government in American history.

Why then would any of the vast majority of Americans who are not leftists vote Democrat this year?

The answer lies in emotion. For many non-leftist Democrats, it is emotionally impossible to vote Republican.

I can illustrate this best with a personal example that I often use in speeches to Jewish audiences.

I was raised both as an Orthodox Jew and a liberal Democrat. In my early 20s, not wanting to practice religious laws solely out of habit or fear, I experimented with religious non-observance.

I remember well the one time this yeshiva graduate ate ham. It was emotionally difficult.

I also remember well the first time this lifelong Democrat voted Republican. And it, too, was difficult. In fact, it was actually more emotionally difficult to vote Republican than to eat the ham.

Now, how could that be? How could it possibly have been more emotionally trying for a lifelong Democrat to vote Republican than for a lifelong observant Jew to eat ham? Isn’t religion a far deeper conviction than politics? The question implies the answer.

Liberalism and leftism are religions. While I felt I would be sinning against God when I tasted ham, I was certain I was sinning against both God and man were I to vote Republican.

That is how liberals, not to mention leftists, think: It is a grievous sin to vote Republican (unless the Republican is a liberal). One is abandoning one’s faith, values, community — one’s very identity.

But it is more than that. What keeps most non-leftist Democrats voting Democrat (and calling themselves liberal) has been the spectacularly effective saturation of virtually all media and all educational institutions with the message that the Right is mean-spirited and dangerous. One of the first books I ever owned — in high school — was titled Danger on the Right. Throughout the world, people are fed the message “Danger on the Right” — and virtually never “Danger on the Left,” despite the Left’s far bloodier and more totalitarian record.

The majority of people who vote Democrat do not have left-wing values. Only 20 percent of Americans even consider themselves liberal. But vast numbers of people with views that are not leftist have been effectively brainwashed (one cannot come up with a more accurate word) into fearing the Right when the threats to their liberty — as well as to America’s standing in the world, its exceptionalism, and its economic future — all emanate from the Left.

That is why nearly all Democratic and leftist reactions to conservatives and Republicans are to avoid argument (remember: on the issues, the Left has few supporters) and smear them as SIXHIRB — my acronym for “Sexist, Intolerant, Xenophobic, Homophobic, Islamophobic, Racist, Bigoted.” It is almost impossible to come up with the name of a leading conservative whom the dominant media have not dismissed as one or more of SIXHIRB — and usually as a buffoon as well. This obviously serves the Left and the Democratic party in many ways. But the most important is to keep non-leftists in fear of anyone who opposes the Left. In effect, the Left says, and has been saying for 100 years, “You may not agree with us, but our opponents are evil.”

The Democratic appeal to black voters provides an excellent example. In nearly half a century, the Left has done nothing for black America. Leftists have ruined the cities they govern, and ruined most of the public schools they control. But they have mastered one thing — the ability to paint their opponents as racist opponents of blacks. So, blacks, many of whom have conservative values — from opposing same-sex marriage to supporting school vouchers — vote almost universally for the Left.

The same holds true of most American Jews. Most live profoundly conservative lives but vote with the Left. Why? Overwhelmingly because they believe there is “danger on the Right.” It doesn’t matter how anti-Israel the Left is and how pro-Israel the Right is; or that liberal Time magazine has a mendacious cover story on “Why Israel Doesn’t Care about Peace,” while every major conservative periodical is passionately protective of Israel. For most Jews, voting Republican is a far greater sin — emotionally, morally, and socially — than eating ham.

That is why virtually every liberal columnist at the New York Times has described political opposition to Barack Obama as racist. The Left cannot win on arguments. It must demonize its opponents. From Stalin calling Trotsky a fascist to Frank Rich labeling the tea parties as mimicking the Nazis’ Kristallnacht, this has been the favored leftist method of achieving power. And that is why it remains so hard for most Democrats to vote what they believe and vote Republican — a lifetime of demonization has worked.

– Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. He may be contacted through his website, dennisprager.com.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/print/247952

Tea-Party Movement Gathers Strength

Wall Street Journal

PETER WALLSTEN And DANNY YADRON

The tea party has emerged as a potent force in American politics and a center of gravity within the Republican Party, with a large majority of Republicans showing an affinity for the movement that has repeatedly bucked the GOP leadership this year, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has found.

The tea-party movement has emerged as a potent force in American politics and the center of gravity within the GOP, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll finds. Jerry Seib discusses. Also, with higher car fuel-efficiency standards coming soon, Joe White discusses why we all might be driving Fiestas.

In the survey, 71% of Republicans described themselves as tea-party supporters, saying they had a favorable image of the movement or hoped tea- party candidates would do well in the Nov. 2 elections.

Already, the tea-party movement has helped to oust a number of incumbents and candidates backed by party leaders in this year’s GOP primaries amid complaints that they lacked commitment to small-government principles. The poll findings suggest that the rising influence of the movement, with its push to cut spending and oppose the Democratic agenda, will drive the GOP to become more conservative and less willing to seek common ground on policy.

“These are essentially conservative Republicans who are very ticked-off people,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with Democratic pollster Peter Hart.

If the Republicans win control of the House or Senate this fall, Mr. McInturff added, the survey shows “enormous amounts about how limited the interest is going to be in those new majorities to try to seek negotiation with the president or the Democratic leadership.”

The poll found that tea-party supporters make up one-third of the voters most likely to cast ballots in November’s midterm elections. This showed the movement “isn’t a small little segment, but it is a huge part of what’s driving 2010,” Mr. Hart said.

The survey also found growing energy among some core Democratic voting blocs, such as African-Americans and Hispanics—a tightening that is common as an election draws closer, according to pollsters.

The GOP now holds a three-point edge, 46% to 43%, when likely voters are asked which party they would prefer to control Congress. That is down from a nine-point Republican lead a month ago.

Still, Republicans retain major advantages, including a fired-up base. Two-thirds of GOP voters say they are intensely interested in the election, compared with about half of Democrats, suggesting that Republican voters are more likely to turn out at the polls.

The tea party is a major driver of the so-called enthusiasm gap, with three-quarters of supporters saying they are intensely interested in the election.

President Barack Obama’s ratings remain low, with 46% of Americans approving of his job performance. Half of Americans have a negative view of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, compared with 22% taking a positive view.

The findings show how the tea-party movement has grown over the past two years from a loose confederation of activist groups into a marquee brand within the GOP that has upended a number of primaries in recent months.

Those include the defeats of incumbent Republican Sens. Robert Bennett in Utah and Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, and the recent victory in Delaware’s Senate GOP primary of Christine O’Donnell, who was backed by some tea-party groups. Ms. O’Donnell upset a liberal Republican, U.S. Rep. Mike Castle, who was aggressively backed by the party establishment.

The survey showed that tea-party supporters are interested in protesting “business as usual” in Washington. The most popular issue motivating them is cutting government spending and debt, followed by reducing the size of government.

Mr. Obama’s health-care overhaul, which sparked unrest last year at congressional town-hall meetings and helped propel the movement to prominence, ranked fourth on the list of issues among tea-party supporters.

Republicans, the survey shows, welcome the change within the party.

“The tea party has to a certain extent scared the Republican Party,” said one poll respondent, Tim Bahmer, a 44-year-old Republican and self-employed auto mechanic from Charlotte, Mich. “From what I’ve seen of what the tea party is saying, I think that could be the change [Republicans] could benefit from.”

Another respondent, Scott Gonzalez, a 33-year-old Republican from Aurora, Ill., said some facets of the tea-party movement might be too conservative for his taste. But, he added, tea-party supporters “tend to be fiscally conservative, which I do like.”

“Hopefully, it will just help both parties understand that people are more or less frustrated and they want to know where politicians are on issues,” he said.

Mr. McInturff said the tea-party movement had not necessarily drawn new people into the GOP. Rather, he said, “a substantial chunk of the Republican Party is rebranding themselves.”

The movement’s greater strength within the party could be significant beyond 2010, as the party looks toward choosing a nominee in 2012 to challenge Mr. Obama.

One beneficiary could be former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who is viewed positively by about two-thirds of tea-party supporters, making her more popular in the movement than other potential presidential candidates included in the new survey.

Slight majorities of tea-party supporters also feel positively about former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Just four in 10 feel positively about former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

The movement’s power is emerging as Mr. Obama and top Democrats are trying to mobilize their base and attract independent voters by portraying tea-party-backed candidates as an extreme force within the Republican Party.

The survey suggested that the strategy could have mixed results. More than a third of independents in the survey expressed an affinity for the tea-party movement. Yet 59% of independents said they were not tea-party supporters.

Seven in 10 adults felt the country remains in recession. And among people who said the recession had a major impact on them and their family, more said they preferred a GOP-controlled Congress to a Democratic-run Congress. One in four adults thought the economy would get worse over the next 12 months. Of that group, two-thirds were people with an affinity for the tea-party movement.

Write to Peter Wallsten at peter.wallsten@wsj.com and Danny Yadronat daniel.yadron@wsj.com

The GOP’s “Pledge to America” tragically seeks to preserve the welfare state.

Empty Promise

When it gets down to brass tacks, the GOP has no brass.

There are two competing visions on the political right: government as a form versus government with an agenda. In the pledge, this plays out as the preamble versus the nuts and bolts — the authors’ five-point plan. It is individual liberty versus the welfare state. And for all the Republicans’ talk, talk, talk about the preamble, the inescapable message of the pledge is that the debate is over — and the welfare state has won.

The energy and the logic on the right wants Big Government dismantled. Very simply, it has been tried for almost 80 years, it does not work, it cannot work — not if you accept that there is a human nature and that it will always assert itself. Therefore, the welfare state needs to be dismantled. Reaching that conclusion doesn’t make us heartless. We believe in the goodness of the country. We believe responsible people will tend to their own needs, and that those who can’t or won’t provide for themselves are more likely to be empowered by private guidance and charity than by a government that turns them into permanent dependents — and gouges the rest of us while so doing.

Consequently, we don’t want to be told how you’re going to make Big Government work better. We want to know how you’re going to reduce government to a neutral guarantor of liberty. We want to know how you are going to strip the federal Leviathan down to its few enumerated powers and ensure that the remaining powers “are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” That last quote is also from the pledge’s inspiring preamble and, naturally, is not the work of the authors but of the Constitution’s framers — specifically, the Tenth Amendment. Alas, when you flip the page and get to the pledge’s guts (or lack thereof), you don’t get the Tenth Amendment. You get Big Government Lite.

Read the whole article at: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/print/247785
ANDREW C. McCARTHY, Sept 25

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Pledge to Nowhere
(read this whole article at: http://www.redstate.com/hogan/2010/09/23/the-pledge-to-nowhere/)

At a time when America needs a bold, simple, fresh plan for putting America on the path to fiscal and constitutional sanity – we get instead an almost 8000 word term paper of inside-the-beltway regurgitation that lacks the one thing the American people seem to be dying to have… actual leadership. Harsh? Hardly.

1. The Pledge fails to address the single greatest threat to our nation’s long term fiscal health – the fact that we have precisely $0 set aside for the more than $106 trillion in unfunded liabilities staring us in the face for social security, medicare and medicaid. Instead, we get more of the same political rhetoric about seniors standing to lose Medicare because of Obamacare. MEDICARE IS BANKRUPT. SOCIAL SECURITY IS BANKRUPT. FOR GOODNESS SAKE, MAN UP AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

2. The Pledge blatantly fails to even mention earmarks, much less calling for a ban on them. The issue here isn’t about how much money we will save. The issue is about Congressional arrogance – and their naked addiction to using your tax dollars to try to buy off your votes back home.

3. The Pledge offers no significant, concrete plan to reduce spending such as a Balanced Budget Amendment or a Spending Limit Amendment, relying instead on gimmicks like weekly votes on spending cuts and hiring freezes, as well as nebulous promises to cap spending.

4. And perhaps most troubling of all, the Pledge adopts the nonsensical “repeal and replace” mantra for Obamacare – offering as replacement yet more federal government mandates regarding pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps on benefits, which begs the question: which mandates are unconstitutional and which ones are not, GOP? And, STOP WITH THE MANDATES. STOP IT. MANDATING THAT INSURERS COVER PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS IS JUST AS BAD AS THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE ON ITS FACE – BUT WORSE, YOU IDIOTS, IT WILL LEAD TO AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE BECAUSE YOU CANNOT COVER THE ALREADY SICK WITHOUT MANDATING THAT THE HEALTHY PARTICIPATE. JUST STOP IT.

Thursday, September 23rd

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

From: http://www.frumforum.com/a-gop-pledge-to-do-nothing

The “Pledge to America” is a repudiation of the central, foundational idea behind the Tea Party. Tea Party activists have been claiming all year that there exists in the United States a potential voting majority for radically more limited government.

The Republican “Pledge to America” declares: Sorry, we don’t believe that. We shall cut spending where we can – reform the legislative process in important ways – and sever the federal guarantee for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Republicans will redirect the federal government to a new path that is less expensive and intrusive than the status quo. But if you want promises of radical change? No. Too risky.

A True First-Principles Counter Revolution, as evidenced within the Minnesota Twin Cites Southwest Metro Tea Party

Our Tea Party is providing an incredible encouragement to energize, educate and inspire people to take whatever action they choose personally in order to promote constitutional government.

We can contribute to achieving the core goals of the Tea Party….

Fiscal Responsibility: Fiscal Responsibility by government honors and respects the freedom of the individual to spend the money that is the fruit of their own labor. A constitutionally limited government, designed to protect the blessings of liberty, must be fiscally responsible or it must subject its citizenry to high levels of taxation that unjustly restrict the liberty our Constitution was designed to protect. Such runaway deficit spending as we now see in Washington D.C. compels us to take action as the increasing national debt is a grave threat to our national sovereignty and the personal and economic liberty of future generations.

Constitutionally Limited Government: We, the members of The Tea Party Patriots, are inspired by our founding documents and regard the Constitution of the United States to be the supreme law of the land. We believe that it is possible to know the original intent of the government our founders set forth, and stand in support of that intent. Like the founders, we support states’ rights for those powers not expressly stated in the Constitution. As the government is of the people, by the people and for the people, in all other matters we support the personal liberty of the individual, within the rule of law.

Free Markets: A free market is the economic consequence of personal liberty. The founders believed that personal and economic freedom were indivisible, as do we. Our current government’s interference distorts the free market and inhibits the pursuit of individual and economic liberty. Therefore, we support a return to the free market principles on which this nation was founded and oppose government intervention into the operations of private business.

…..by helping repeal Obamacare and bringing fiscal sanity to local, county, state and national government through all our advocacy via phone calls, e-mails, letters, public education, rallies, word of mouth, and candidate support.

This is the first major counterrevolution since the founding of our country (http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/09/the_counterrevolution_has_begu.html).

I’m serious…this is a movement of massive proportions that will not be assuaged at all by merely achieving Republican majorities.

That’s not just wishful thinking.

Older people are extremely mobilized against the wreckage the Progressives have caused against both the country, the business climate, and the American dream they grew up treasuring and creating. They make up over half of our 100 and growing Tea Party members.

Many young people refuse to be accused in the future by their children and grandchildren of not having fought to restore liberty, natural rights and citizen government during this watershed moment in history.

National crises have been met and worsened by massive encroachments by government. Now, with the combination of unresolved crises and an already overwhelming administrative state, if there’s a new crisis it will bring about an emergency that ushers in irrereversible tyranny. Hopefully it’s not already too late to dismantle the ruling class and pry off the cold, dead claw of the collectivist worldview from around our necks.

‘DREAM Act’ Threat Remains

Senator Harry Reid launched a sneak attack by adding the “DREAM Act” to the Defense Authorization Bill. Although the Defense Bill was temporarily sidelined Tuesday, most expect it to be revived at a later date. The Act will allow students who have lived in America for five years to obtain a green card after they attend college or serve in the military. This is nothing more than an amnesty program that gives citizenship to these illegal immigrants.

Although employers are the number-one contributor to illegal immigration, politicians such as Reid have now become accessories. It appears that they are rewarding those who are here illegally. Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA), chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus, said, “Harry Reid is trying to pander to the illegal population and their supporters. He is sending a message that the leader of the U.S. Senate wants to reward those that are here illegally. That mixed signal causes people to think there are long-term benefits for coming here illegally.”

Gaining admission into some California colleges is very difficult. There are only so many spaces, and this bill reduces the slots for legal residents and denies them the opportunity for a college education. Bilbray rightfully points out that that this is a “misguided concept where you reward people for breaking the law. There are a lot of foreign nationals that go to college; yet we don’t offer them legal status or citizenship. These people are not being offered the same proposal.”

By having non-citizens serve in the military, Reid has hypocritically allowed only the government to hire illegal immigrants while maintaining that other employers will violate the law. According to Bilbray, politicians should quit pandering to the illegal population, and employers should quit hiring them. This is not how America should function.

The congressman’s solution is very simple: institute an E-Verify system, since “if Congress can use the system, anyone can use it. A bill with E-Verify will do more to stop the flow of illegal immigrants. We don’t have to do it with the military at the border but with enforcement in the workplace.” It is an internet-based system that allows an employer, using information reported on an employee’s form, to determine the eligibility of that employee to work in the United States. For most employers, the use of E-Verify is voluntary and limited to new hires only. However, currently, every federal government agency must use E-Verify. The Obama administration has mandated that all contractors with the Federal Government use this system.

To make sure E-Verify will work, Bilbray wants the social security card, a national employment card, to be upgraded. Nothing has been done with this card since its inception in 1937. By using biometrics, the card will become tamper-proof, and identity fraud will be greatly reduced. For Bilbray, “it’s not brain surgery. Once you dry up the jobs for illegal immigrants in this country, you will dry up the majority of this problem. This is not a border problem, but an illegal employment problem. If the federal government had passed E-verify, we would not be talking about Arizona trying to address this issue on their border.”

Does Bilbray think that the Democrats will hijack the illegal immigration issue and pass it regardless of American objections? Most definitely, because several congressmen stated while in Mexico that “they were going to push amnesty after the November election.” It will probably be passed because the Democrats in power want it. The mentality in Washington right now is that if they lose the majority after the 2010 elections, then they will put forth whatever they want. This is pretty scary since they are going to do what they want despite public opinion being against it.

The “DREAM Act” is sending the wrong signal that the way you become an American is to break the law. Congressman Bilbray is frustrated and upset and wants to make it clear that “Harry [Reid] is desperate and is in a tight election. However, there should be some issues more important than politics.”

By Elise Cooper

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/09/dream_act_threat_remains.html at September 25, 2010 – 12:29:20 PM CDT

Bear attack fended off with a zucchini

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39325889/ns/us_news-weird_news/

updated 9/24/2010 9:56:43 AM ET

FRENCHTOWN, Mont. — Police say a Montana woman used an unlikely weapon to fend off a charging bear — a zucchini.

Good gourd! Woman stops bear with zucchini

Missoula County Sheriff’s Lt. Rich Maricelli says a 200-pound black bear attacked the woman’s 12-year-old collie just after midnight Wednesday on the back porch of her home about 15 miles west of Missoula. When the woman, whom police did not name, screamed to draw the bear’s attention, it charged her and swiped at her leg.  Maricelli says the woman jumped back into the doorway and reached for the nearest object on her kitchen counter — a 12-inch zucchini from her garden.  The woman flung the vegetable at the bear, striking it on top of the head and causing it to flee.  Maricelli says the woman did not need medical attention. Wildlife officials were trying to locate the bear on Thursday.



Yes, in Fact, We Are Radical

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/09/yes_in_fact_we_are_radical.html

September 12, 2010

Yes, in Fact, We Are Radical

By Joel F. Wade

“Radical: of relating to, or proceeding from a root.”
– Merriam-Webster’s dictionary

When the left attacks those of us who value our founding principles as “too radical,” some of us may be tempted to respond, “We are not; we just want to uphold the Constitution. You’re the ones who are radical!”

But “radical” is not a label from which we should defend ourselves. The truth is, we are indeed radical, because America’s founding principles represent the most radical and revolutionary change in human governance in millennia.

As conservatives in America today, we seek to conserve our founding principles. This is fundamentally different from, say, a Russian conservative who seeks to conserve the traditional state power of mother Russia, or an Iranian conservative who seeks to conserve his theocracy, or a North Korean conservative who seeks to conserve his communist dictatorship.

In this sense, to be a conservative in America is to be misunderstood. Seeking to conserve our radical founding principles is linguistically confusing. In the same way, to be liberal in America today is philosophically tangled — they seek to liberalize America by imposing more stringent controls and regulations upon her citizens?

Our political titles are fundamentally dysfunctional. It used to be that a liberal was what we now call a classical liberal, an adherent to a political philosophy aligned with what we would now call libertarian values.

A liberal in the past was an advocate for greater freedom from government control, more individual responsibility for our own success or failure, and greater opportunity for our own individual pursuit of happiness. A liberal sought to create a more merit-based, egalitarian society through removing the entrenched structures of political power and privilege, freeing up the energies of the individual citizen to rise or fall based on his effort, abilities, and courage.

A conservative, on the other hand, sought to conserve cultural traditions and could find him or herself at odds with liberals in terms of wanting to preserve such things as government privileges for established families or groups or male-only voting rights. A conservative in the past would not be considered, in anyone’s wildest dreams, a radical. A conservative by definition wanted to keep things as they were.

So now we find ourselves in an odd position. The self-described liberals in America are those who want to maintain the present status quo — the insane body of draconian regulations, the huge tax burden, and the massive governmental work force that sucks up to 30% of our national income.

They want to maintain this and build upon its ossified structure like coral on a pacific reef. They want to bring further government control to health care, financial transactions, and industrial activities. There is nothing radical about this; this is government as it has always been — dictatorial, arrogant, and full of people impressed with their own power, ideas, and vision for how the rest of us should live.

The justification for their use of force is the progressive notion that true freedom is the freedom to have the government take care of all our basic necessities so that we can, in theory, fulfill their vision of our human potential.

Nice, warm, and fuzzy ideal. But it is no different from any other ideal imposed by force — the ideal of the Spartans to have a warrior society based upon absolute discipline, with everyday needs supplied by their Helot slaves; the ideal of Alexander the Great, or Napoleon, or Hitler to conquer the world; the ideal of the early progressives to weed out genetically inferior people through euthanasia and sterilization; the ideal of communists for a worldwide dictatorship of the proletariat.

Modern-day liberals are engaged in furthering their own ideals through force. The ideal of cradle-to-grave government care, the ideal of eliminating the inequalities of the market, the ideal of making people “better” through social engineering, the ideal of environmental control.

In this entire world of mankind’s grand political ideals, only one path is unique. Only one path is truly radical, in the sense that it seeks to look at human nature and the human condition at the root and to transform the entrenched power structures from that root.

In magnificent linguistic irony, it is conservatives who seek to weaken and undermine the systems of unearned, entrenched, and corrupt privilege. Nowadays, such privilege is concentrated in the halls of government, whose employees enjoy twice the average salaries and better benefits and retirement than those in the private sector (and whose officials escape consequences for their abuses of power).

So it’s true: we are radicals. Our founding principles — the vision of our Declaration of Independence and the structure of law based on practical idealism contained in our Constitution, ideals which are consistent with human nature and which transformed the ancient principles of human government at the root — are the most radical political principles in existence today.

Those who have worked for the past hundred-plus years through progressive policies to undermine and replace our radical vision and structure of human governance are not radicals. They are conservatives of the worst sort. In common parlance, they are control freaks. They have brought political ideals from nineteenth-century autocratic Germany to America and fashioned them as some kind of visionary blueprint for bringing out the best in people.

But bringing out the best in people is not accomplished through force. Creativity, independent thinking, innovation, compassion, and initiative cannot be motivated through punishment.

Creativity and innovation thrive in an atmosphere of curiosity and playfulness.
Independent thinking and initiative flourish in an environment of positive incentives — the reward of fortune and notoriety and the great joy of making things happen through your own efforts.
Compassion grows and deepens through personal relationships and the infectiousness and gratification of human kindness.
America’s founding principles are the radical ideals that have shaken and continue to shake humanity to its roots, spreading the values of individual liberty, creativity, innovation, independent thinking, initiative, and compassion throughout the world.

The left seeks to frighten people with their accusations that we are radicals, and perhaps we are frightening to some. Liberty unleashes human potential that is unpredictable. The unknown can be terribly frightening for those who seek predictability and certainty through control.

But predictability and certainty are also boring. Creativity, innovation, initiative, independent thinking, and the genuine compassion of real human relationships — these are fun. And they are good. These qualities of human nature, unleashed by our radical founding ideals bring out the very best in human nature — though they do not eliminate the worst. Nothing can do that.

Those who today in America are labeled liberal seek to establish predictability and certainty, they want to establish an equality by force which they call social justice, and they are terrified that the fire of individual liberty still burns bright within the American soul.

So they call us radicals, as though we should be defensive or insulted or apologetic.

Fat chance.

Joel F. Wade, Ph.D. is the author of Mastering Happiness: Ten Principles for Living a More Fulfilling Life. He can be reached at jwade@drjoelwade.com.

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