This is not Jefferson's Republic
Today, we who stand for liberty are Jefferson’s latest protégé’s and the new army of Democratic Republicans. And our fight is no different than that of the great man whose vision we honor
This morning I arrived back in the United States from an overseas trip. After a long red-eye and with a short layover until my connecting flight, I just wanted to get home.
Making my way through immigration and the endless lines at Fort Lauderdale International Airport (arguably the worst airport in the world), I finally arrived at the TSA security screening only to witness a scene of utter chaos.
A young girl had vomited on the floor in front of the machines with nobody to clean up the mess. The goon standing beside the naked-making scanner was barking mad, handling the melee with markedly less aplomb than his “customers” – the innocent travelers.
Stuck at the back of the line, I approached a TSA official. “My flight leaves in a few minutes,” I said to her, preparing to make my request for some assistance when she cut me short, “good luck with that” she smirked before turning away.
For the underpaid, overworked TSA ruffians I was a nameless, faceless prole interfering with their attempt to get through their thankless shift without going postal.
They didn’t care if I made my flight; that was not their concern. They didn’t care about cleaning up the mess for the embarrassed father whose child had just become ill; that was not their job.
They had one task, clearly laid out, and the individuals for whose safety their entire career was conceived might well have been inanimate objects along an assembly line stretching into eternity.
Humiliated and tired, and watching the minutes tick away, my mind turned immediately to the week’s big news – the Obamacare nightmare.
As I stood there, the scariness of the new reality struck me. Why should we expect a government-run health care program, managed by a nameless procession of unionized federal bureaucrats to behave any differently than this? The answer of course is we can’t.
After experiencing government service at the hands of the TSA, or the DMV, or the Department of Education, or the Department of Corrections, the welfare offices, and myriad other programs, we have many clear examples of just how a government run health system (which is of course the endgame of Obamacare) will work.
Endless lines, underpaid, unionized “public servants” barking orders at faceless proles; paperwork, dictates, mandates, demands and orders; threats and punishments for non-compliance. These are what await us.
Einstein described insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. By this standard, either the Democrats are insane, or they know full well what they are doing and just don’t care; or worse have an occult agenda.
Either way, this is not Thomas Jefferson’s republic.
That great man envisioned the United States as a place where each individual was to be counted alone. He saw a country whose strength would come not from the top down but from the bottom up. He envisioned a place where people were responsible only to their maker and their family – not to some directives invented far from home or to bullies empowered by a new “sovereign” existing outside the consent of the governed.
Naturally, as is the case with every visionary, his dream was threatening to many and was brutally assailed from the beginning. From the very founding of the union a hard core of federalists saw a classist, elitist and powerful central government with the people as their subjects.
Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic Republicans waged epic, angry battles against these federalists and their dangerous ideas – never surrendering the doctrines upon which a great nation was founded.
We who come after are the inheritors of Jefferson’s struggle. The battle for an America founded upon the principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the sub-sequent Bill of Rights (written of course my James Madison, a Jefferson protégé) goes on.
Today, we who stand for liberty are Jefferson’s latest protégé’s and the new army of Democratic Republicans. And our fight is no different than that of the great man whose vision we honor.
Walter Lipmann once wrote, “Most men, after a little freedom, have preferred authority with the consoling assurances and the economy of effort which it brings.” He is, unfortunately, correct – as we have seen again in the rulings of our own Supreme Court.
Nevertheless, we who now must shoulder the mantle of freedom can take refuge in the words of another great patriot, Samuel Adams who said, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.” It is only through this tireless fight, making the case repeatedly and with patience, that we can turn this minority into a governing coalition to again rebuild our Jeffersonian Republic.
Take comfort in that legacy and this goal as you run to the battle.
Joel D. Hirst is a Principal at the Cordoba Group Interational, a strategic consulting and management firm in Washington D.C. Hirst has been a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; and is an expert in democracy, foreign policy and governance. Hirst tweets @joelhirst
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