2020 Vision: The Great Hypo-cracy

Powel: Well, Doctor, what have we got?

Franklin: A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.

Powel: And why not keep it?

Franklin: Because the people, on tasting the dish, are always disposed to eat more of it than does them good.

What happened at the Capitol last week was dangerous. But perhaps not just for the reasons you think. We’re living in perilous times and if we’re not careful, we’ll find ourselves at war with… ourselves. You can certainly feel the tension. You would have to be sleeping under a rock if you are now just becoming aware of it. It didn’t start here however as some will have you believe. We’re seeing a Great Hypocrisy run wild in our Democracy (ok Democratic Republic, but the line was too good to pass up).

President Trump was impeached for the second time, only days from writing this. What is remarkable, is that the case could actually be made for this and be reasonable, unlike the first, but politics being Kabuki theater, was rushed through. Up to this point, his team had every legal opportunity at their disposal to prove malfeasance. The media would say the assault of the Capitol was the Rubicon.

I’d argue differently, the President has every right to gather people wherever and whenever, peacefully. I don’t think he intended to storm the building with violence. He is more of a WWE showman than revolutionary in attitude. A smaller portion of supporters split off from a largely peaceful rally, with agitators from the left embedded as well and overran security. You would think however according to the popular current, that 74 million people did. Every one of those perpetrators who broke in should be prosecuted in court, and rightly, are being pursued. It was all a failure. An embarrassment for our country. We’ll know more as details unveil themselves.

I don’t think that was President Trump’s perilous move however. While a black eye to the country and we were blessed that it wasn’t worse, his real failure was the pressure of Vice President Pence to give himself powers he didn’t have. That is dangerous. That is where he failed. When we anchor ourselves as we do to the Constitution, it becomes clear when tyranny comes in. The tyrannical move here, wasn’t President Trump’s lack of wisdom in his end game but the direct move to usurp powers that were not granted. The electoral game should have been won long before that if he had a chance at winning the election but this isn’t commentary on Republican electoral strategy. To be fair, I’m simply calling out the right’s failure.

The left is not off the hook for responsibility of the state of our country. Upon this sad moment, I’ve taken notice of the reaction. I’ve noticed the rage and anger, justified, at the sight of the besieged Capitol. I’ve also noticed commentary in media and in friends feeds giving victory laps, show-boating that we should have expected this, as if innocent themselves. I’ve noticed a swift censoring and the calling of “deprogramming” of conservatives, who unjustly are swept into one broad dustbin and straw-maned.

I’ve also noticed tyrannical fruit from the leftist tree in the form of collusion between large companies such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, Amazon, banks, PGA, among others and Democratic messaging to silence opposing viewpoints. It’s easy to shut down someone who isn’t popular like Trump. A dictator isn’t the loud mouth, it’s the one silencing it’s opposition.

The great hypocrisy here is two fold: 1. Where was this outrage when violence ran through the streets this summer? 2. Where is the outrage for the overt tyranny that is now taking place?

Because I don’t remember the same groups, outlets, and friends having the same standard when applied to earlier this year. Actually it is eerily reflective of group think. (Groupthink is a phenomenon that occurs when a group of well-intentioned people makes irrational or non-optimal decisions spurred by the urge to conform or the belief that dissent is impossible (psychologytoday).

As I watched the vote count of the Electoral College after they returned, a Congressman commented about a false equivalency between what happened at the Capitol and this summer. Another said that these hallowed grounds are the tabernacle of our democracy and this was a desecration. I would agree that watching the seat of our national governance under siege is terrible, I think most rational people would. What I don’t understand is how you can watch as businesses and homes burn, statues undemocratically get toppled, people beaten and killed in the streets, sections of cities claimed autonomous and turn a blind eye, and not feel the same pain. As if violence and insurrection is only terrible if it’s the other team’s players.

The right isn’t rallying behind the Air Force woman who was killed and telling you to say her name. Or blacking out social media to dissenting voices. Or intimidating people to kneel before them to show support. Or using the private sector to censor ones ability to communicate. That is happening on the left.

Everyone has their cause and justice should be blind. The left and right should beware of group think and consider their own hypocrisy before pointing out someone else’s. If President Trump’s charge of incitement is punishable, should not the actions and promptings of the Congressional leaders who advocated for violence last summer? Or perhaps the same application of fairness when the Bernie Sanders supporter who shot up the Republican baseball game, critically wounding Congressman Scalise and garnering crickets? Can we not get on the same page and equally say that we want peaceful rallies, that we want fair justice, that violence in the street is not a good thing, that free speech is imperative – even when we disagree, and lastly that liberty is not shutting down others ability to think openly? What I’m afraid of, is that the answer to that, is no, but that’s not American ideal.

We need to be careful and reject tyranny within ourselves. We all have a right to our own viewpoints. You don’t have the right to silence or intimidate others. Vigorously fight for your belief but violence isn’t the way. Follow and consider facts, even if it’s not popular then live it out so it’s so attractive someone else would want to see what it’s about.

I’ve been to D.C. a number of times and seen many things but what I’ll never forget is the Holocaust Museum. There is a poem that is engrained in my mind upon the walls as you leave written by a survivor…

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me

Martin Niemöller

If censoring is allowed to happen to one group, you better believe it can happen to you. Don’t let groupthink settle you into the the great hypocrisy. Let freedom ring for all.

2020 Vision: America the Great Liberator

1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. 


1492, began a radical change in the world’s history. Aside from brief excursions like that of the Vikings, Old and New Worlds remained separated for millennia. Columbus’ voyage opened a collision between two worlds that have not engaged with each other since the Bering land bridge flooded over fifteen thousand years ago. I highly recommend the book “Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond for commentary on the disparity between the worlds. 


My purpose with this post is to highlight the darkness of human governance pre-America and how our formation helped break much of the norms up to that point. It would be impossible to cover the depths of this history, so I will cover broad strokes. The formation of the United States wasn’t an act of evil and certainly didn’t form an evil nation. I will argue the opposite, that the U.S., despite the scars of slavery and Native warfare, has served the world as a net positive overcoming the stains of a world through the struggle to serve as a catalyst for change. 


Proceeding the ignition of the Age of Exploration and the landings of Columbus, a few European powers took advantage of the disparity between worlds. Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, then England and France raced around the world building a mercantilist world economy that served to feed the mother countries. The slave trade became lucrative with willing accomplices based in Africa, happy to make a buck (or doubloon for you Spaniards) and not be a victim themselves. These empires toppled other empires such as the Maya and Aztecs in North America and were happy to edge out the competitive Ottoman, Chinese, and Mughal Empires.

  
1619, with last year marking 400 years since the beginning of slavery in the English colonies, was an anchor point for our history. While the history is not clean-cut, with many slaves and indentured servants being of a variety of races from African, Indigenous, and even European populations earlier than that, it marks a point on the timeline that we can point to as a starting point for what the U.S. was born into. Slavery was not a uniquely European quality however. Despite thousands of years of separation, the North American Indigenous Empires still developed the flaw of slave ownership before the Europeans arrived in the 15th century. This as well as the Ottomans and Moors, among others, used human capital for economic gain. This was a human issue that went unresolved even as the clarity of human rights through Christianity spread throughout the world in thanks to missionaries like the Jesuits. Those who prospered under the financial gain simply turned a blind eye to that which Christ taught in the Gospels. 


As the dominant empires grew and established colonies, there was little respect for even these settled populations. This elitism festered. In the darkness of this time period of tyranny, there was also light. If this was an environment, it wasn’t all a dark canopy or a lightless cave. The sun did shine and there was a flourishing even in the midst of this hyper-competitive age. A hunger began to build through the heritage of the English colonies and the Enlightenment for freedom. Not freedom for whiteness, but freedom for all man. While theologically messy, this period set up in the New World a powder keg to dismantle the Old. 


1776, The American Revolution was the spark to begin that dismantling with 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.” We were designed by our Maker to be free and that no man has the Right to take that away. Even the deist fathers recognized this. Our founders were unable to shake the scourge of slavery engrained from mercantilist England in their time. It would have been impossible to win both the Revolution and Civil War at the same time in 1776. Step by step in our history, we walked closer to the aim of “a more perfect union.” The framework the Founders set up would be a framework that would create an environment where tyranny would have no home and that freedom was our national pursuit. The envy of the world. What millions of people, even to this day will leave their homes behind for a new opportunity.


1861, compromise was impossible. Making two systems work to keep the House together, the slave states decided that a framework of liberty for all was incompatible for their future in the union. They broke away. A terrible war ignited across our land as we fought to keep our people free and keep us together. Whites and free blacks fought in the grizzly Civil War which resulted in the Emancipation of slaves. We would spend the next one hundred years wrestling for equal rights for all and those wounds are still healing today.


The lessons and technologies developed from the Civil War prepared us as an emerging power in what would be the greatest fights in human history. While the scale of competition between the empires of the 19th century was truly global, it wasn’t until the 20th century when we experienced not only one but two World Wars followed by the Cold War. Our rebellion against the Old World made us a force to return back and strike the heart of the truly brutal philosophies of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party, Imperial Japan, and the worst of all, the Soviet Union and her allies. An even greater foe to liberty than slavery or monarchy, Marxist powers sought to enslave the world. Now that is for an upcoming post. As our history and people continue, we strive and fight for liberty. These powers cost the world over an estimated 200 million souls. Our efforts freed hundreds of millions from the clutches of evil and poverty. 


By bringing a freshly united, reconstructed, and powerfully industrialized U.S. in support of and then leading the free world, humanity stood a chance in the face of extreme evil. Our supplies and fresh troops in WWI tipped the balance to victory. Our bravery, ability to fight two fronts, and industrial might in WWII created a decisive alliance. Our technological leaps because of our economical forte matched by the contrast of Communism vs Free Market sealed the Soviet destiny to doom. 


Our default human condition is tyranny and human history is dark with it, shading parts of our own. What makes us different is our governmental DNA. Our foundation from 1776 stages our future, sets our aim, to create an environment to raise our children, grow our culture, and to prosper. This sets the rules, architecture, and bounds for how the culture wars play out. Just a hint for the next post.   This is what it means to be American, for us to pursue Happiness is to agree on our shared identity. As Americans. Under God and indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Left and right. We’ve struggled together to fight tyranny here in our Union. First to overthrow the Old World and create a new. Second, we had to work hard to make sure all Americans were included. Third, we brought the weight of what that liberty can create to fight the tyrannical monsters of the 20th and now 21st century’s.  


The actions in our history have been that of a liberator. No, it’s not as pretty as a 1940’s reel but through the gritty real force of a people endowed by their Creator, the foundation of our Nation has created immense opportunity around the world because of the blood of those who fought for freedom. When we can agree that what we are fighting for, liberty and justice for all, we’re not our own enemies. When we stand for our flag, all of this is stitched into it. Our nation and our history is nothing to be ashamed of. We should be proud of our shared history. We have progressed greatly towards a more perfect union but not as political progressives would have us running away from it. Humanity’s default is tyrannical. We should be wise of what we hear these days or we will risk it all. As it’s been said, we’re always one generation away from throwing away our liberty. To stay true to our mission we need to use God, the virtues, and our founding principles as a compass and you can’t steer a ship without one. 


Adam loves living out the vocation of marriage with his wife Ani, and proud father to Izzy and Wyatt. He loves God, getting outdoors, doing work that matters, and writing about things true to the heart.

Resources
Guns, Germs, & Steel – https://www.pbs.org/gunsgermssteel/about/index.html
Slave trade – https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2019/02/08/1619-african-arrival-virginia/2740468002/https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-slavery/chronology-who-banned-slavery-when-idUSL1561464920070322


Declaration of Independence – https://billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/declaration-of-independence/?utm_source=GOOGLE&utm_medium=SEARCH&utm_campaign=EVERGREEN&utm_term=DOI&utm_content=TEXT1&gclid=Cj0KCQjw3s_4BRDPARIsAJsyoLMo-6YTd8o8HYqQGii9FFGdbDlS3h_QnWnKFI8vetV-AR3Yb0SgbWAaAtTWEALw_wcB


WWI casualties – http://www.centre-robert-schuman.org/userfiles/files/REPERES%20%E2%80%93%20module%201-1-1%20-%20explanatory%20notes%20%E2%80%93%20World%20War%20I%20casualties%20%E2%80%93%20EN.pdf


WWII casualties – https://www.nationalww2museum.org/students-teachers/student-resources/research-starters/research-starters-worldwide-deaths-world-war


Communism casualties – https://www.wsj.com/articles/100-years-of-communismand-100-million-dead-1510011810


What We Saw: The Cold War – https://billwhittle.com/category/shows/firewall/cold-war/

2020 Vision: Race & Racism

This is a wild time in our nation. Not to be colloquial but society is in a wilderness right now. The story of race has been cut open new again and everyone is trying to figure out what to do with it. I’ve been listening, praying, and reading the various voices in the conversation of race. Left, right, and holy. The 1619 Project, Thomas Sowell, MLK, The Breakfast Club, Candace Owens, BLM, Larry Elder, Kimberly Jones, and Allen West amongst others. I’ve listened to black voices in the Church about their experience around this issue, including a “Coffee Talk” conversation I had with Fr. Moses, you can find it here.

What this article is, a commentary and challenge to get back into a place of dialog and debating of facts. To think as an individual and break from whatever narrative you are immersed in is the foundation of civil discourse. That means educating ourselves beyond the spheres we frequent. We have carved out idealogical lines with our families, friends, social media, and news outlets. Made tribes armed with spears. This closes our minds. Let your fingers loosen and defang yourself. A return to prayer softens the heart and clears the mind. We need a lot more of God if we’re going to solve the problems we’re facing in the 21st century. 

What this is not, a full treatise on the topic. I’d be kidding myself if I thought I could solve or dive into all of the facts or perspectives involved in a quick read blog post but I would like to encourage you to tune into the various links and sources in the post for more reading. There are much smarter people engaged and my perspective is limited but what I will rely on are some of the black voices advocating in the scene.

While discerning my way through the conversation, something has become abundantly clear. There is a struggle of message in 2020. I think everyone can agree what happened to George Floyd was a terrible and ugly moment for the country and it was. Nobody cheered. Nobody celebrated. But the following month would have made it seem that the opposite was true. The nation exploded with fervor. The country took hold of passions and ran with them. 

A loud collective voice took over and led what should have been a peaceful movement of solidarity turned into chaos. Riots and destruction in the streets, proclamations that the nation is systemically racist, that police need to be defunded, and our history should be torn down. And you have advocates stoking the fire saying that it’s legitimate. I disagree.

Racism

As a white man in America, I find that it is a little intimidating approaching the conversation, not because I have a problem with talking about tough conversations or that there is any shame, but there is a pressure out there to think a certain way, to tow a line. Cancel culture is very real and limits discussion and opportunity. In a free and liberal society, free speech is one of the most important pieces of our heritage. This is the most difficult article I’ve written but my nation, my voice.

First off, if you are judging someone based on the color of skin, you need to check yourself. As Americans and Christians, that is not who we’re called to be. Judging on race is cheap and thin-skinned. It’s dehumanizing and embarrassing. It is important to remember to love one another, to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus told us this as the second greatest commandment (Matt 22:38-40). 

Our history is steeped in our racial divide. Slavery and the proceeding hundred years before the overturning of Jim Crow was terrible. As history, it’s important to read and learn about where we came from and have fought to overcome. It’s important to also know the history so you are not fed lies. It’s important to remember that it was blacks and whites who worked together to solve these problems. This isn’t an us versus them game as common narratives would claim. It’s going to be a just us mentality to bring healing and better opportunity for all.

The Challenge

I want to provide some contrast. If you’ve been observing, a lot of voices are saying that we need to listen. As President Obama has challenged lately, “make people uncomfortable.” Challenge: to listen to the other side. I’ve put down just a few samples of some of the most intriguing voices at work right now. The challenge here is for you to break outside of your tribe for a moment and pick another side below and listen to the argument. Go ahead. Hear it through. Is it convincing? What about it do you disagree with? Is there a common ground? Stretch a little.

Next level is to compare and contrast, who do you align with, and why?

Left

Baratunde Thurston – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZgkjEdMbSw

Kimberly Jones –  https://youtu.be/llci8MVh8J4

Center

Middle Ground – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VspjfNMPHyc

Right

Thomas Sowell – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS5WYp5xmvI

Eric July – https://youtu.be/pf_LQhcIO4g

Holy

Fr. Josh Johnson and Jeff Cavins –  https://www.facebook.com/AscensionPress/videos/574652393191720/UzpfSTU4MDc3NTMwNDoxMDE2MzU1NjEyMDI5NTMwNQ/

Fr. Pierre Toussaint, CFR and Fr. Agustino Torres CFR – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVxcB1qEQqg

Black Lives Matters

I haven’t heard one argument that claims that black lives don’t matter. The phrase “black lives matters” is something everyone can get behind. Black people and culture of course has a place in this nation and should be protected and invested in. Yes, they matter. 

Then there is the Black Lives Matters Movement, an ironclad identity that you would be foolish to oppose, because how could you ever get away with saying you don’t support Black Lives Matters? But here I am and here’s why I stand on this…

The ironclad wordplay is very clever, however there is much to BLM that I cannot get behind. First of all is in their mission, the disruption of the nuclear family, the unit on which society is built on. We know by stats that families that stay together have higher incomes, better health, and are overall happier. In a time when fatherlessness is at an all-time high for black families, why would we encourage otherwise? 

Secondly, Patrisse Cullors, the founder of BLM, claims the ideological framework of the movement is Marxist. That they are trained that way. Marxist? The same ideology that is responsible for over 100 million deaths in the 20th century? That sought to enslave the world in an unjust economic system where liberty and opportunity are snuffed out? I’ll have more to say on this in the fourth installment in this series, “Socialism the Great Enslaver”.

Thirdly, one of the founding members, Shaun King is openly advocating for the destruction of Christian property and holy imagery. He’s not the only one. Aside from the fact that nearly every society has portrayed the Lord in local imagery, including Black and Asian Jesus, the Lord is someone who we are made in the image and likeness of. Christian art reflects that. The removal of national sites should be a democratic process with a vote where people in a community have a say, not the roving bands of brigands with an ax to grind. Most importantly, we need to recognize this for what it is, a hate crime against religion. You have no right to the destruction of other’s property and this level of incitement to violence to a specific faith, is actually a crime. There have been reports around the country of churches being vandalized. The St. Louis reports of Catholics being assaulted by praying by the statue of St. Louis himself is terrifying. They didn’t fight back. This is Marxism.

I’m all on board with the fact that black lives matters. If you think BLM is worthy of a knee, look again. 

The Antidote

The greatest thing we can do as a country is to pray. If we’re going to solve anything, we need to put away our swords and do it together. If we are one nation, under God then let’s call ourselves back to that. Ourselves. Before we point out the splinter in someone else’s eye, we better work on the log in our own. For some reading this, you might roll your eyes at the God thing, but one thing is clear, we certainly don’t get our rights because of man.

It doesn’t matter what side of the lines you find yourself, this is a good time to check and see how you treat people. It starts in us and at home before we can ever go and change the world. If you have struggled in the past with seeing others who are different, through skin or ideology, gut check yourself. No, you don’t need to make a pressured social statement, just work on it. Stretch and learn. Lead with love. We have one home, let’s live up to what the country has set as our mission statement, “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.”

If I can boil every conversation I have heard down to one point, it’s this. I hear a black community in desperate need of fair and fearless opportunity. We’ve been trying to solve this problem for the last sixty years through a liberal/progressive government ideology with terrible results, beginning with the Great Society. As Lyndon B. Johnson, a true racist, was heard saying, “I’ll have those $#% voting Democratic for 200 years.” I highly recommend Thomas Sowell, famed economist and advocate, to hear what he has to say about that experiment. 

It’s time for a free market and entrepreneurial approach. Everywhere the free market principles are executed there is a rise of opportunity to those people. England, America, post-war Germany and Japan, South Korea, Israel, and more. We are the land of opportunity and we don’t need to burn it to the ground, we need to turn it up around the country in places like Chicago, St. Louis, and Baltimore. Let’s give more opportunities to support black small businesses and incentivize raising families and communities. Let’s teach free-market principles and entrepreneurship at young ages and inspire and encourage the vision through. 

In addition, perhaps the most insidious is the long-running scourge of abortion in low-income communities. Planned Parenthood, founded by eugenist Margaret Sanger, is still targeting minorities with two out of every three surgical abortion sites in black/minority communities. The mindset of the Confederacy and White Supremacy, eugenics is the disgusting discipline of selective breeding. It is sadly still alive and well-disguised as women’s rights today. When black women represent 13% of the population and receive 30% of the abortions, there is a problem. As of 2008, that was over 1,000 babies a day. Over nineteen million since Roe v Wade. However, you won’t hear this on the news. If there has been a single effort at keeping the black community a minority, it’s this. I highly recommend you read Sanger’s words and read the abortion stats and not ignore this. This needs to end.

Lastly, we don’t need to defund the police and remove key protections for at-risk communities. What we need to do is have reform and better equip our police with the right training and accountability so they can do a better job at protecting justly. The vast majority of police are good but we do need to hear the fears of innocent people whose trust has been broken. Police do good work. Oversight, training, outreach, and reform can help rebuild relationships with police and the communities they serve. If we learned anything from CHOP/CHAZ, it’s that lawlessness is a disaster. We need to protect our communities because we’re only hurting ourselves. I’ve seen too many interviews where black business owners had their lives ruined because of lawlessness.

In Close

The benefit of hearing all sides of the situation and educating yourself is that you don’t just hear what one narrative is trying to sell you. There are so many problems facing our black brothers and sisters in society. It’s all of our jobs to make sure that we all rise together. This isn’t a black versus white issue. This is an us issue. We the people won the Civil War together. We the people beat Jim Crow and segregation together. We the people beat redlining and exclusionary banking together. And as we pursue the goal of “a more perfect Union”, we’ll beat our next hurdles together too.


Adam loves living out the vocation of marriage with his wife Ani, and proud father to Izzy and Wyatt. He loves God, getting outdoors, doing work that matters, and writing about things true to the heart.

2020 Vision: Introduction

There is a lot going on in this country. While I’ve been busy raising a family, building a ministry and a business, I’ve been away from advocating for Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness. There is a lot to say about what’s going on. That’s why I’m going to stand up and share my thoughts about this year, but not only that, it’s time to stretch and get active.

And a year it has been.

Big things are happening and “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Racism, Marxism, Desecration of the Faith, Desecration of our History, Vice over Virtue…

It’s time to get busy.

As a Catholic American man I don’t want to stand by and watch our country burn. Enough. This is has been a call to action. As a part of the effort; my daily rosary, phoning my legislature and executives, writing in this blog, and more.

This is the introduction of a six series stretch, focused on this year, about six topics that we need to talk about. I’ve listened and read enough over the last few months from all sides, it’s time to share and challenge the narratives wrecking our country and faith. On the schedule…

  1. Race & Racism
  2. America the Great Liberator
  3. The Great Hypo-cracy
  4. Unashamed Faith
  5. Socialism the Great Enslaver
  6. True Virtue

I hope you read along and share but more importantly pray and get brave.

No, we’re not looting but we are getting busy.


Adam loves living out the vocation of marriage with his wife Ani, and proud father to Izzy and Wyatt. He loves God, getting outdoors, doing work that matters, and writing about things true to the heart.

Be Not Afraid

This is a adaptation of a reflection I gave yesterday online for the parish. As I’ve been personally reflecting on the environment we find ourselves in, I’m drawn to the lessons of history to find a way through. Old Testament, New Testament, and history since, the Lord is always calling us to pray and fear not. A timeless lesson.

The Lord moves through history, after all it’s HIStory. I love history. Especially listening to podcasts about it. Right now I’ve been digesting What We Saw: The Cold War and my favorite over the years, Revolutions. There is so much to pull from the tides of history, lessons learned can save us heartache. What I would like to do here is highlight how the 20th century can reflect us in the 21st.

I’m going to start in 1917, just over 100 years ago. Our Lady appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal. The signs and wonders that came from her messages revealed three things I would like to highlight,

1. Recite the rosary everyday for peace in the world and for the end to WWI. However if people don’t continue offending the Lord there will be a second and more deadly war.

2. Establish a devotion in the world to her Immaculate Heart

3. Consecration of Russia, otherwise she will destroy nations and oppress the faithful.

The requests fell on mixed ears. People were already praying for the end of the Great War, so adding more was a natural inclination. Dedicating Russia? Fell on deaf ears and didn’t happen. Later that same year, the Tsar was overthrown and the Communist regime took power. We’ll set that aside for now, and let it simmer. Or fester if you will.

The very next year on November 11,1918, known then as Armistice Day or as we call it today, Veteran’s Day, ended World War I with much rejoicing. That is unless you were Germany in which you were saddled with crippling reparations that would later breed resentment and the rise of the Nazi’s.

Two years later however, we enter the decade of the “Roaring 20’s”! Life was improving as the modern era took hold with electricity, cars, and planes arriving across society. Literature like the Great Gatsby capture the imagination in this fast paced decade with flappers, prohibition, and high flying stocks. Interestingly enough we see the start of our own decade with memes and social posts reflecting the same title of the “Roaring 20’s” here and now.

What tends to happen when things go well in society? We get distracted. We get busy. We lose sight of our relationship with God. Materialism and hedonism tend to rule our time and imaginations. It isn’t the Lord that walks away from us but we who walk away from Him. During this time, people became distracted and didn’t hear the call from Fatima.

Black Tuesday, 1929. The market crashed. This launched a decade of poverty and desolation across the world. Food lines and high unemployment along with failing crops in the Dust Bowl are reflected in works such as Of Mice and Men and Grapes of Wrath.

I remember my grandma telling us stories of the Great Depression and living frugally her whole life. She would share tales of being out in a field in Springville as a kid, picking beans to bring home a little money for the family. I was a witness to one of the last times she, my mom, and aunts canned for the last time. I never liked canned tomatoes. A skill obtained from the time that was necessary. I wouldn’t know where to start today, never needed to because you can just grab it at the store. Stores never fail.

One of my grandma’s favorite scripture quotes, that has since become one of mine as well, is Psalm 91. Fittingly it seems to fit times such as these as the Lord is always reaching for us. Hard times always seems to be an opportunity for us to hear him more clearly.

Thankfully the Great Depression eased. Only for the price of the second Great War. The Great Depression fueled resentment in Germany as normal people carted wheelbarrows of marks for bread. The rise of the Nazi’s fed off of this and seized power from a weak and unsupported republic. The Soviets consolidated their power and crushed dissension in their motherland.

World War II killed over 75 million people. People raised in this age knew fear. They knew anxiety. Real fear was marching into a death camp or staring down the hull of your landing craft approaching Omaha beach. Fear was wondering if your loved one was coming home or if you were coming home in a pine box.

The world went from World War II straight into the Cold War, marking peak of the communist, atheistic, Soviet regime behind the Iron Curtain. The Nazi’s were notorious for a methodological and industrial process in exterminating over 11 million in camps that I had the honor of walking in myself. The Soviets however. Over 27 million perished because of their reign, inside the motherland and reaching across the world. The close ideological brethren in China, killed over 45 million in the Great Leap Forward.

Fear and anxiety now covered the world because of the reaches of the Atomic Age. Rocketry and splitting of the atom was sure to deliver a sun at anyone’s doorstep within twenty minutes of the press of a button. Only thing you could do was pray and hide under the desk.

Headlines from this era consisted of the Berlin Airlift, The Korean War, Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the brutal Vietnam War. From the Bolshevik takeover in 1918, atheistic Communism, started in Russia, claimed over 100 million lives.

In the midst of all the fear and evil in the world, there was certainly hope. With great fear comes the Hope and Love of the Lord. In desperate times comes great Saints who rise to the occasion not because of some chemical or program but cause of great faith. Just to highlight a few humble 20th century Saints below who lived a relationship with the Lord and let Him guide them in dire times…

  • 1930’s, Sr. Faustina shares the message of the Divine Mercy, along with that is the famous image and chaplet of the Lord. She passed away from an illness, tuberculosis, in Poland at 33 years old, the Jesus year, just before the outbreak of the War in Europe.
  • 1941, Fr. Maximillion Kolbe gives his life in place of a father at the death camp at Auschwitz, Poland.
  • 1978, Pope John Paul II in his inaugural address, stared down the communist leaders in Poland and the Soviet Union and told the people to “Be not afraid!” as he led the Poles and the world in faithful fortitude.

Since the failure of consecrating Russia in 1917, the Church rallied and not only consecrated Russia but the world. By 1989, the iron grip of the Soviets was spent and outmatched. In the end, they couldn’t stomp out the flame of faith and hope. The hope for peace prevailed. By the power of prayer, martyrdom, and the blessings of ingenuity of the free world, the predicted Russia terror was over.

Now we as the free world are asked by Saint John Paul II, “Yes free, but free to do what?”

We’re just twenty percent into our own century but by this time in the last, those Saints were already walking, working, and living out a mission. They were youth and young adults. Who are the Saints of the 21st? They could be you. You just have to decide to be one. It starts with an invitation of the Lord. Difficult times gives us pause and a chance to reflect on our relationship with Him. How do we heed the call to prayer? More time. Less distractions. Clarity. He has only been calling for us for all of history. HIStory.

I’ll leave one last reflection below, just simply an except from Saint John Paul II’s inaugural address I referenced earlier. I think you may find hope and a timeless relevancy in it…

“Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power. Help the Pope and all those who wish to serve Christ and with Christ’s power to serve the human person and the whole of mankind. Do not be afraid. Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of States, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development. Do not be afraid. Christ knows “what is in man”. He alone knows it. So often today man does not know what is within him, in the depths of his mind and heart. So often he is uncertain about the meaning of his life on this earth. He is assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. We ask you therefore, we beg you with humility and trust, let Christ speak to man. He alone has words of life, yes, of eternal life.“ JPII – inaugural address October 22, 1978


You can follow his work at stgregsym.org and righteousco.com.

Race to the bottom?

Race is a difficult topic to talk about, it is almost intimidating putting it to paper. Almost. Everyone is walking on eggshells when it comes to this topic. The recent flair up in Charlottesville is just an ugly example of this. The landscape in politics is intense and race has been used as a political football for a long time. Over-generalizations and ignorance stoke the flames and build rhetoric. It’s going to end poorly if we keep going this way. Like the song “Stuck in the middle with you,” I feel like I’ve got clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right. White supremacists need to learn empathy and love. Antifa and Black Lives Matters needs to understand violence and suppression is only a means to recreate the monster you’re fighting against. This isn’t a race to the bottom.

I was told this year, for the first time in my life, that I’m racist and my privilege discredits any voice I have. I was slapped a with a label as if my story and heritage can be automatically assumed. As if I come from a background of slave ownership seeking the return to glory days. Here is my story. My heritage. My great grandparents fled the Russian conscription of Poles to escape to America in search of a more secure future in freedom from tyrannical oppression. My grandfathers fought against real fascists and imperialists in World War Two. My grandmother’s brother kept his life but lost his sanity at the infamous battle of Guadalcanal. My grandmothers, like our family’s own ‘Rosie the Riveters’ contributed to the war effort. Relatives who lived in Oświęcim we’re forced out of the ancestral home to make way for the Nazi officers who ran the infamous Auschwitz death camp. My uncle received the Purple Heart in Vietnam and my own brother serves proudly in the U.S.A.F. I come from a heritage of freedom fighters, not oppressors.

What my heritage is carved from is that of immigrants who escaped the hardships of late 19th and early 20th century Europe with nothing. From the ravages of famine in Ireland to the forced oppression of the Poles, my blood consists of the hope that America promised to those who would shed their old life for a new one. A life where hard work matters and makes your future family tree. A life in a place that really is unique in the history of the world. They took a chance but for what?

“That all men are created equal.” 

The history runs deep. The American experience is born from struggle. Nobody is free from a life without it. What’s an important starting point through this is understanding others and where they come from. Media and political parties love playing identity politics and putting people into blocks. We can do better than that and empathy is the antidote here. The founder of The Free Hugs Project, Ken Nwadike Jr., gets it as a bold man stepping in front of hate and breaking the ice by hearing other’s stories.

The American struggle is a shared experience. Our African-American brothers and sisters do not have a separate history from other Americans, it is our history. Our descendants from Europe are not clumped as one. Our history. Our Latin and Asian brethren have walked difficult roads too. Our history. This is the melting pot where culture and ideas collide. This is American history. Our Declaration of Independence doesn’t tolerate the supremacy of one people over another in any direction. Let’s look at each other as individuals instead of buying into the manipulation of group identity politics.

While looking at the stains of our shared heritage can be painful, it doesn’t diminish who we are. The hope for our country, the hope that caused my great-grandparents to settle here, doesn’t lie in our stains but in our freedom to be independent to make of our lives as we wish. That hope is for all citizens. How’s about we share our story with each other and empathize that we’re trying to move our family tree forward in this messy but beautiful land we call home. The framework is there and it’s available for all who pursue happiness. There is no promise of a struggle free existence but when you dig deep, work hard, don’t quit, and treat people with respect; no one is going to stop you from Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Everything else is an excuse. Speaking as the third generation from ground zero, your future family tree will thank you. Let’s stop racing to the bottom. 

“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Gal 5:13

The march for Life continues

I’m taking a group to Washington DC this week, joining a large Buffalo contingent, for the March for Life. I’ve done this trip four or five times before. The travel is usually rough; a long overnight bus ride which I don’t get much sleep on and usually end up motion sick, a days worth of sightseeing, followed by unrestful sleep on a gym floor, hit the Mall in frozen temperatures, then get back on the bus for an equally uncomfortable ride back.

You would think that 600k+ people peacefully protesting in the Capitol would raise some eyes from news organizations, but no. Most ignore it or will site the fifty counter protesters standing for a worthy cause. The pro-life cause is often a lonely one however the tides are turning.

A few years ago pro-lifers became the majority in the US and on January 17, the Guttmacher Institute released findings that abortions are now at the lowest levels since the 1973 decision from Roe v Wade. Even Roe herself is now pro-life and is fighting to overturn her own case. President Trump signed an executive order to defund the International Planned Parenthood the day I write this. The rally for life is gaining and not because of force. People are waking up.

I made the case for life here if you want to img_5149see the reason for why I believe this but I’m really writing this as a reflection of where we are at. As a man who has conceived, lost, and conceived again; my greatest work is this developing life. Seeing our child’s heart flutter at 5 weeks and feeling he/she kick at 18 weeks has only strengthened what I’ve known all along, that defiant babe here is a someone. Our someone. That someone, like all the someones that age, deserve the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

 

 

The Election Year Thanksgiving 

With complements and gratitude to Adam Jarosz for allowing me to express my views on his platform… 

With Thanksgiving around the corner and the nation needlessly divided, your dinner table will most likely have card-carrying friends and family members of the Democratic party who will not be able to grasp why their candidate was not able to beat the Republicans. I’d like for you to consider three points as you attempt to dialogue with those who are distraught and not able to comprehend how Trump bested Hillary. There’s much more to say than what I’m about to offer and others will most assuredly express themselves better than I am about to. That said, let’s get on with all that jazz… 

Number One: You Feel The Bern Yet?

Bernie Sanders was drawing enormous crowds wherever he went, creating something of a socialist revolution within the Democratic Party. His vast following, fresh ideas and appeal to young voters were reminiscent to the Ron Paul libertarian movement within the Republican Party in previous presidential elections. Supporters of Bernie were left dissatisfied and disgruntled when he could not secure the Democratic nomination. With Hillary’s loss, Democrats are now beginning the process of speculating whether or not Bernie could have gone the distance to give them the White House.

While this may at first glance seem a reasonable hypothetical to entertain, it is wrongheaded. Having a postmortem discussion involving an imaginary scenario of whether Bernie Sanders could have beaten Trump is akin to debating whether or not the Allies could have reclaimed Europe from the Third Reich had Hitler decided to not invade Russia. It would be a thought-provoking, stimulating conversation for a couple of World War II historians. I’d love to be a fly on the wall to hear two history-buffs dispute what could have been, but it misses the point. The question isn’t what if this supposed scenario played out differently with Hitler’s military decisions. The real question is, “What was Hitler thinking when he decided to pick a fight with the Red Army?”

While the disciples of Bernie Sanders maintain that their political revolution could have trumped Trump, there just isn’t a measurable way to judge such a hypothesis. Democrats seem to either be ignoring or are oblivious to the real question everyone is and will be asking for generations: “What were they thinking when they decided to make 2016 about Hillary?” The moment when the Democratic Party decided to allow Hillary to seize control of the DNC on account of it being “Hillary’s turn” is the moment when they sealed their fate and dug their own grave.

It’s really simple: THE DNC GAVE THE REIGNS OVER TO A CORRUPT ESTABLISHMENT CANDIDATE WHO WAS UNDER AN FBI CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION. Read that statement again…now again…now one more time. As the wise Mugatu noted, “DOESN’T ANYONE NOTICE THIS? I FEEL LIKE I’M TAKING CRAZY PILLS!” Folks, this isn’t advanced political rocket science. Of all the things a secretary of state had to struggle with, Hillary Clinton mishandle classified information and her email account. A blind and deaf man could see and hear this from a long way off.

Candidates who would have proven to be more attractive (if only because they weren’t under criminal investigation from the FBI) were ultimately dissuaded because it was Hillary’s turn and no one dared question the clout of the Clintons. On top of that, the DNC allowed Hillary to rig the primary elections when they knew of all the skeletons that were in the Clinton closet and the baggage that came with her. 

And this brings us to WikiLeaks…

Number Two: WikiLeaks and the Death of Journalism

No, CNN/MSNBC/CBS/CNBC/ABC/NBC. It wasn’t propaganda from Soviet-Russia. The mean ol’ Russkies weren’t in cahoots with Assange to spread conspiracy theories. Much like Han Solo and the existence of an all-powerful Force controlling everything, Democrats thought WikiLeaks was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. Crazy thing is… it’s true. WikiLeaks. The corruption… All of it… It’s all true.

The entire planet had the opportunity to gaze into the world of the Clintons. A backstage pass. It was VIP access to authentic and genuine emails of Hillary Clinton, the DNC, the Clinton Foundation, and the campaign staff. And what did liberals in large, who during the Bush-era applauded WikiLeaks, do when offered an intimate picture of their Democratic nominee? 

Nothing.

None of it showed up in any of their social media posts. They didn’t tune in to non-liberal sources who spoke about it. They ignored it. They remained in their safe-spaces, they blocked out reality, they stayed in their echo chamber, etc. However one wants to describe it, liberals and Democrats lived (and have been living for quite some time) in an alternate universe where their beliefs were amplified and repeated to their liking while different views that would have challenged their narrative were censored, banned, or diminished.

Perhaps even more damning than the imaginary world of the left is the deafening silence of the media. The one outlet that is supposed do exactly what WikiLeaks was doing, was coddling and pampering the Clinton campaign. It’s a fry cry from the days of Watergate. They not only ignored all the lies of the Hillary campaign and revelations of WikiLeaks, they were accomplices in burying the same type of corruption they used worked tirelessly to expose in the past; just for giggles too, they even decided to actively support Clinton and defend her at every turn. When WikiLeaks was doing the job that the press ought to be doing, journalism was effectively dead.

Number Three: The West Wing, House of Cards, and Delusions of the Democratic Party

Related to the bubble that Democrats and liberals live in, you’ll find that many of them view their political party as under the paradigm of fictional Democratic President Jed Bartlett from The West Wing. An addicting show that portrayed Washington, DC and American politics as a noble, moral, and principled endeavor, Aaron Sorkin’s show had much in it that should be admired. None of the characters were not without their own faults, but they were genuine, knowledgeable, and endearing. President Bartlett and his staff had intellectual discussions and arguments over substantive policies and political philosophy. The show depicted Washington and the political-industrial complex as working hard for the American people, something any American would long to see for our political establishment. 

Now, juxtapose The West Wing with Kevin Spacey’s near flawless performance as Democrat Frank Underwood in House of Cards, a show that portrays Washington, DC in enmity with Sorkin’s universe. The show is deeply cynical, anchoring itself on abuses of, thirst and lust for power. Frank Underwood, his wife Claire, and everyone around them manipulate and connive their way up the ladder of power. Frank endlessly conspires to will himself to the top of the political food chain at any cost. He is the perfect Machiavellian; he is two-faced in his political and personal relationships, a pessimist with no regard for morals and ethics, and is drunk with self-interest. 

Both shows are fiction, but in light of all the revelations from WikiLeaks and the scandals surrounding the Clintons that even preceded Hillary’s run for president, one show approaches the realm of fantasy in the same vein as Lord of the Rings while the other one…not so much. As one watches House of Cards, the Underwoods’ accounts of scandals, murders, affairs, and media-political influence are so eerily knotted with paralleling chronicles of the Clintons and the Democratic Party that the lines of entertainment, fiction, and reality are blurred. 

The political world in House of Cards is fictitious, yet at the same time is strangely not-so-fictitious. It turns out that the real life version of the Democratic Party operates has more in common with deplorable Frank Underwood than upright Jed Bartlett. The revelations from WikiLeaks have confirmed inadvertently how the Machiavellian philosophy that guides Beau Willimon’s political drama is how the Democratic Party operates, which is chilling. 

I make this tangential observation about political dramas to illustrate a larger point regarding the moral diagnosis for the Democratic Party as it stands now: it has a tumor, and it’s not benign like the The West Wing. It’s a malignant cancer of the House of Cards variety. Unless the Democratic Party sees the need for surgery and to clean house, it’s a sure bet their party will be dead.

In Conclusion

Democrats are quick to blame Americans for their election failures. They still want to believe their narrative that Trump supporters are nothing more than uneducated racists, bigots, homophobes, transphobes, misogynists, sexists rather than face reality. The more they insist upon hurling insults, they more they demonstrate their misinformed, out-of-touch, condescending attitudes

Of all people, even Michael Moore saw through the excuses liberals hung onto. The Americans who voted for Trump have been marginalized and misunderstood by leftist elites. These Americans still haven’t recovered from the recession, their job at the factory has been shipped out overseas…again, the ACA has been anything but affordable for them, and their taxes are ascending while their income and quality of life is descending—they are downtrodden and tired of the failed Washington, DC establishment whose policies have maltreated them again and again and again.

If the Democratic Party actually cared about the anxieties of Americans, they wouldn’t have put their money on a horse that was a sure bet to come up lame. “What were they thinking when they decided to make 2016 about Hillary?” It’s an easier question to answer than, “What was Hitler thinking when he decided to pick a fight with the Red Army?”

— Mario Vinti is a man of many talents and a passionate patriot who enjoys stirring up conversation. 

Bernie Sanders and the Magical Taco

We’re in the heat of the campaign season and sure enough the election is all the talk. A friend of mine posted a funny meme video on Facebook regarding Bernie Sanders, I thought it was spot on. It’s a clip with the title, “Your Average Bernie Sanders Supporter” and the woman on the clip wants stuff. Where is her stuff? For stupid political poking, it’s spot on. So, tongue in cheek, I left a comment, “Where is my stuff?”. Sure enough I get a response back from someone, “Eh, You say “Free stuff’, the rest of the world says “human right”. Tomato, Tom-ah-to right?”

Right.

While this comes from the pit of useless banter and trolls,  I think this quote actually represents a problem that we have. While I can’t blame this person for shooting off a dumb line in a Facebook comment section on a silly clip, I see this as a frequent theme from Bernie supporters. Instead of saying, “Hey I want someone else to pay for this,” they will call whatever they want a “right” therefore it should be provided. At least you can’t blame the former for being dishonest.

I’d love to see where it is actually written that a Free College Education or Healthcare is a right, because it’s not. Not in the U.S. Constitution or Universal Declaration of Human Rights. You don’t have the right for someone else to pay for your right. No one is going to pay for your right to free speech by purchasing your newspaper or publishing your book. No one will pay for your gun but you do have the right to buy one for yourself. The same way, you can certainly go ahead and purchase health insurance and invest in a college degree. No-one is telling you that you don’t have the right to receive either one of those things.

Even for those who struggle, there are safety nets and opportunities to achieve through Medicare and Medicaid for health and scholarships and grants for college.

Like a genie however, they are in the business of making wishes, I mean progress, *ahem* rights. So in the spirit of feeling the Bern, I shall write a new rights platform. I nearby decree that all persons living are entitled to free tacos.

Better yet, I believe someone else should make them for us. Because we have none and I don’t want the responsibility of going to the store, buying ingredients, learning the recipe or taking the time and effort to actually make one myself. It takes time, effort, and I would have to buy the tools to make it. Added expense that just isn’t fair. And I want the best.

Chipotle makes the best tacos and as a corporation they can afford to give them away. They are in the business to make a profit and that isn’t fair to us. Why should they develop the recipe, invest in the talent, and plan out success just to charge us? They should be sharing the wealth not make us pay an incredible $8. I mean, the pizza place down the street charges $3 for theirs. This is just greed.

And one more thing since we’re in the dream, I mean progress, I mean rights business, why don’t we get that extra guacamole that makes them even better.. that everyone charges extra for because of cost… free. Pile it on thick and no big deal if you waste some by dropping it on the floor. Why? Cause we have no vested interest and we want the freedom from responsibility! *enter some European millennial anthem and wave the flag of social equality*

Bernie Sanders represents an unhealthy growing strain in America, separate from the usual corruption and complaints that breaks up our faith in government. Uncle Bernie authentically believes what he says and I do believe that he wants the best for people. What he and his supporters don’t realize, is their socialism kills the freedom to success and failure, which are both linked at the hip and leads to just failure. It leads to theft, jealousy, and tyranny. Where true capitalism expresses free will. The problem with Bernie is not that he wants to help people, the problem is he is wrong on how and he’s especially wrong for America.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Part 2: Liberty… and socialism.

This is the second of a three part series on Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness continuing with liberty. The first of which can be found here. Coming from the first line of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, these inalienable rights for all make up the foundation of our society. Not to be viewed as an ancient scroll but a living manifesto of the U.S., it is something that any shade of American can hold as their own. Left or Right, all people in the melting pot can subscribe to this. The Constitution is what sets it in practice. While the Constitution has mechanisms to adapt to the times, its strength comes from being nearly timeless. It’s important to note that these rights are not given by man but by the Creator or for you atheists out there, nature. The point is still sound; the Founders recognized a truth, a truth that mankind’s basic rights are not subject to the will of those who hold power. These are your rights. You own them. The original entitlement. This is what makes us, U.S.. Don’t throw them away. Embrace them for yourself and those around you.

In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all — security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.”  — Thatcher

The rise of socialism in America has been a troubling sight. I’m not talking about the classic Soviet styled socialism of the Cold War, its raw face, but the contemporary European counterpart the West’s Left have turned to. Chic, enticing, and well polished. After all, why not be social? Everyone is social. We’re on social media and we socialize our kids and puppies. If you’re not social, then you are unsocial. Nobody wants that. So why not have our government reflect that? I mean, the Left is dipping in so why shouldn’t I? #feelthebern right?

Marx laid the roots for socialism and communism out of critique for capitalism. The perfected plan for socialism is to level the playing field for all equally. Ownership rights are shared among the masses. Intellectual property is shared among the masses. Wealth is shared among the masses. Production is shared among the masses. Social rights over personal rights. While the democratic socialism Bernie Sanders advocates sounds good (well, anything free from Santa Claus sounds good), it is inherently dangerous for many reasons but two should be highlighted:

  1. It robs the citizen of responsibility
  2. It robs the citizen of the option to fail

This creates a culture of dependency and complacency. While healthy social nets are important for us to take care of the least of these, capable adults should be taking care of themselves. Capitalism maximizes independence. Free markets are responsible for lifting the largest amount of people out of poverty. Entrepreneurship and corporate business are the source that generates wealth and innovation in which people rise. Ideals which don’t find a home in socialist societies. Adam Smith wrote of the “invisible hand” of the market which affects everyone. People have buy-in because it’s necessary for them to take care of their needs.

There is no perfect system because of our human condition. Capitalism, like every system has people who lose out. This is especially true when it is tainted by poor regulation and cronyism with government. However the ills of capitalism are nothing compared with the ills of a social state.

Socialism, an economic system, has an accompanying political system that is always its wingman. The political system doesn’t support the inalienable rights Americans have because they create a roadblock for social success. The socialist will seek to undermine them, often arguing for other rights in their place. Progressives use socialist policies which exaggerate governmental involvement to solve problems and has been creeping onto the American scene for a long time. Governments are not inherently evil or incapable, however they can easily drift that way when given too much control and the right mix of hubris enters the mix. It’s important to see it ahead of time to prevent it from occurring. History is an important lesson.

A healthy Federal system will maintain a system of checks and balances among itself, its people, and its economy. A person or corporation that breaks the rules can be punished and the system is realigned. However when the government is out of line and balance, what will realign it?

The default human government throughout history has been some shade of tyranny. Kings, queens, despots, and dictators have ruled throughout history. If the rulers were too harsh and motivated a rebellion, the victors would replace one autocrat for another. People from every continent have submitted to the powerful in every age. Athens, Rome, the Republic of Venice, and the Weimar Republic are some examples democracy and republicanism giving way to dominating imperial forces. Each with it’s own history worthy of study, yet one thing ties them together, their cultural rot. The plebeians stopped caring about their power in the system, getting lost in their comfort. Often the fall of democracy was met with thunderous applause without knowing (or knowing) that a knife was held to their back.

The basic fact that in Germany only a minority (not necessarily from the aristocracy or moneyed class) understands anything of life and knows how to lead  it — a fact that, incidentally, makes the country inherently unsuitable for democratic government.”  – Sebastian Haffner’s real time reflection on the rise of the Nazi’s in his book “Defying Hitler” written in 1939.

The U.S. was formed as a response to the historical default. We rejected the autocrats then as we should now. Socialism by its very nature seeks to dampen liberty. While our Constitution was ahead of its age at conception, the U.S. has grown into its shoes. The Constitution created the frame our country has needed to prevent it from returning to the default of authoritative rule and it is this framework that defends us from usurpation. Unfortunately it cannot defend itself, so I hope my case does it justice in an uncertain climate.