Sins of the Founding Fathers

Sidenote: As I post this entry, I am watching a live stream of proceedings at Continental Congress 2009, currently in session in St. Charles, IL. I have not had the time to dutifully review the content which CC2009 has so far produced. It is my understanding there will be archive video of the entire conference and many documents coming out of the event to peruse. Getting a comprehensive feel for the event will take time. That said, my initial impression of what is taking place in St. Charles is one of kinship. Regardless of whether it receives any mainstream attention or produces the mass movement it intends, I feel I am witnessing something special. Particularly in light of David Barton’s fantastic presentation on the founding of our nation, which I excerpted in my latest podcast, it is apparent CC2009 is being conducted in the same spirit of reverence for Nature’s God and the self-evident demands of Liberty as its historical namesake. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

As a Christian, I do not believe in karma per say. However, I do believe nations, like individuals, reap what they sow. One of my final electives, a class on the United States Constitution, has required a consideration of federalism and how it has evolved over the course of our nation’s history. There is no disputing our momentum has led further away from state sovereignty toward an evermore powerful federal government. There is a basic libertarian concept which says the larger a republic, the less likely it is to remain in touch with its people. This is why the federalist compromise which generated our Constitution enumerated the powers of Congress in Article 1, Section 8, and further contained implied powers with the Tenth Amendment. This initial arrangement of dual sovereignty, with relatively explicit federal and state jurisdictions, has been described as a “layer cake” in comparison to the modern “marble cake” of so-called cooperative federalism. These academic terms mask a blunt reality; we enjoy less liberty now than at any other time in our nation’s history. Of course, one may rightly point out that, for some disenfranchised groups, there is more freedom now than at the Founding. The end of blatant slavery and the eventual recognition of civil rights was due in no small part to the strengthening of the federal government. This is where karma comes in. Ironically, the initial deprivation of liberty for some in America has led over time to a deprivation for all.

When we hear Reverend Jeremiah Wright say “G-d damn American!” or listen to Van Jones demand we “give [Native Americans] the wealth,” we shake our heads and wonder how men could live in a free country and wish it less free. When I reflect on how my black father’s initiative, intelligence, and unflinching work ethic lifted our family out of a deteriorating Detroit suburb into a brighter future, I marvel at memories of him nevertheless lecturing me about “the white man” and my inherent racial disadvantage. When I speak to black friends or acquaintances, the vast majority are instinctively “progressive” regardless of lifestyle. What explains this phenomenon?

I submit that our nation has paid for the sin of racial inequality by inadvertently canonizing centralized authority as the savior of the disenfranchised. Imagine if we had gotten it right from the beginning, if there had been no slavery, if “all men are created equal” had truly meant all. How much more might our nation have been blessed? Black people in this country believe in government because government was necessary to impose that which free men would not rightly recognize on their own. As a result, a grand precedent has been set in their hearts and minds. Government is always right. Bigger government is always better. Government will provide what “the white man” will not. This is a horrific tragedy, arguably worse than the slavery which led to it, as it perpetuates a less direct slavery over a far broader population.

Many blacks are beginning to wake up to the shell game. Men like Thomas Sowell, Bill Cosby, and Lloyd Marcus have become unsung pioneers in a conservative movement which gains new outspoken faces seen in blogs, television, and alternative media. Conservative blacks understand that the plight of our fathers was leveraged by oligarchs to secure their own power. In this way, the black race has been no less used than when it was held in chains. The results have been devastating, as related by Kevin Jackson, author of The Big Black Lie: How I Learned the Truth About the Democratic Party, in a video from a tea party protest:

Blacks lead in all negative categories as a culture, in things like highest teenage pregnancy, highest number of single-parent homes. We lead in the lowest number of business starts, highest amount of high school drop-out rates, lowest number of kids entering college, lowest number of kids graduating college, highest unemployment, highest per capita on welfare, highest in prison.

He then brilliantly shouts down a reporter who counters his list with the question “What have the Republicans done for you lately?”

You know what? I don’t wake up in the morning looking for someone to help me. I look in the mirror for that help. <unintelligible due to cheers from surrounding protesters> That’s the stupidest question you could ask a black man… what has a Republican done for him? What has a Democrat done for me? I just gave you that explanation.

Jackson focuses on the Democrats as the force behind uncomfortable black demographics. In truth, the blame goes much further, encompassing the entire progressive movement and blacks themselves for failing to recognize the cliff off which they were led. Of course, the rest of America does not get off either. After all, it would never have been possible for civil rights to be leveraged as a wedge for corrosive socialist policies if race had not separated man one from another in the first place. We reap what we sow, even over generations. For posterity’s sake, let us now sow seeds of liberty by distinguishing rights from entitlements and empowering Americans of all races through education, activism, and incentive to produce.