The American Aristocracy: Those Favored Few, Booted and Spurred

America is about to lose its republican form of government, the once vaunted phrases in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” have been forgotten, thrown on the trash heap of history alongside the American Exceptionalism they spawned. Americans have awakened to find themselves ruled, as they were prior to 1776, by an aristocracy.  An aristocracy requires superiority, superiority need not stoop to receiving consent from the lesser class, they are, by their own superiority endowed with the just powers to rule.  It is their divine right.

Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines aristocracy as:

1 : government by the best individuals or by a small privileged class
2 a : a government in which power is vested in a minority consisting of those believed to be best qualified b : a state with such a government
3 : a governing body or upper class usually made up of a hereditary nobility
4 : the aggregate of those believed to be superior

One of the triumphs the Founding Fathers saw in their design of the American government was the elimination of the aristocracy. Jefferson defined its successor as “natural aristocracy” based on virtue and talent, not, as the “artificial aristocracy” is based on hereditary privilege. In an 1813 letter to John Adams he said, “May we not even say that that form of government is the best which provides the most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government? The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent its ascendancy.”

A few years later, in a letter written shortly before his death, Jefferson wrote of the Declaration of Independence and the rights of man which that document recognized, once again making reference to the elimination of the aristocracy (in bold).

“May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.”

His reference to the hereditary relationship between the aristocracy and the citizens was itself a quote from another. Appropriately enough, owing to Jefferson’s authoring of the Declaration of Independence, he was quoting Richard Rumbold’s “Speech on the Scaffold”, delivered in 1685, just before he was hung for treason.

“I may say this is a deluded generation, veiled with ignorance, that tho popery and slavery be riding in upon them, do not perceive it; tho I am sure there was no man born marked of God above another, for none comes into the world with a saddle on his back, neither any booted and spurred to ride him.”

Americans may not find themselves saddled quite yet, but we have been gentled and calmed by years of Progressive Incrementalism as surely as a horseman calms and soothes a wary stallion before slipping the bit between his teeth. 206 current members of the House have been in office since 1999 or earlier, with the inestimable Duke Dingell having held office since 1955, when he inherited his seat from his father. The Senate counts 52 members who have held their seats since 1999 and earlier, led by one of the few Senators to have earned a title outside the aristocracy, the Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan Robert Byrd, first elected to the House in 1952 and serving in the Senate since 1958. The eldest inheritor of his divine right to a Senate Seat is the Ard Tiarna Chris Dodd, holding his title since 1981. In the manner of the landed gentry since the dawn of time, the members of American aristocracy have steadily enriched themselves through the toils and tribulations of their serfs, the American taxpayers. In 1952, when the Exalted Cyclops first took office his annual congressional salary was $12,500, with the aid of the Seneschal of Ways and Means, Charlie Rangel (in office since 1971) it is now $193,400. The nobility has also enriched their knights and retainers during this time. Nancy the Grand Duchess of Pelosi, for example, paid her staff $1,194,089 from the federal coffers in 2008.

Occasionally those who style themselves our betters let their views of us, their serfs and peasants, slip. Comments made among their peers in the intelligentsia denigrating the “gun and bible clingers” in fly over country would slip into the media. These were quickly explained away. The more comfortable they grow in their divine right to rule the less need there is to explain these slips of the tongue or to even expend the effort to hide their true opinions.

The reactions of La Noblesse to the Tea Parties and their well documented reaction to their constituents during the August Recess’ Town Halls, echo Marie Antoinette’s “let them eat cake”, or Mel Brooks’, “Sire, the peasants are revolting!” “You said it, they stink on ice!” The only difference being that Mel Brooks was funny, this is both heart wrenching and terrifying.

As the Dauphin de Amerique bickers about the definition of “tax”, the peers devise new ways to confiscate our earnings and property to pay for their spending. What we desire is of no consequence, as long as it is named something other than tax they can slip it past us. Their own bards tell them we are too stupid to know what we need and should be dragged to it by force. When asked to share the burden of governance with the American serfdom by posting bills online, the barons and baronesses refuse to allow us to even see it, refusing at the same time to entertain our questions and concerns over the pending legislation.

That the government of the people, by the people and for the people has been supplanted, and our ruling elites now govern without any semblance of the consent of the governed is about to be proven beyond any doubt. When Harry le Vicomte de Sénat Reid uses parliamentary sleight of hand to force the passage of the Baucus Bill, it will be undeniable. The willingness to force the passage of a bill nearing 60% opposition among the populace shows the ultimate in contempt for both the American people and the need for our consent to govern. The combination of the passage of Healthcare and the subsequent passage of Crap and Tax, Card Check and the resumption of funding to ACORN, will see the aristocracy’s payments to their military caste, their knights of the realm, completed. The bit will be firmly in our mouths and the saddle cinched tight. Those of us intrepid enough to voice our opinions will find a modern day Sheriff of Nottingham wearing an SEIU t-shirt, forcing us into submission. Even if we flock to the polls in 2010 to retake our liberty, the aristocracy is confident that ACORN can negate our efforts.  And there is still Grand Inquisitor Holder to be considered.

Still, bitted and saddled is a long way from ridden, our new aristocracy may find their new steed is not what they expected. They may find it something more purely American than a common horse.

I think it was Chris LeDoux who said “You’re never ready to ride the bull; it just becomes your turn.”

Go ahead Harry, pass healthcare.

It just became your turn.

Cross posted on The Minority Report