Saturday, August 28, 2010

Gary Palmer: Liberals fear renewed interest in founding principles

  One of the positives outcomes from America’s current crisis is a resurgent interest in our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

  Liberals decry this new interest in founding principles as misguided and perhaps even dangerous. But then that is to be expected. Liberals know that once people figure out how much the progressive agenda has corrupted our Constitution and undermined our freedoms, there will be a political backlash that will bring change that liberals don’t believe in or want.

  Interest in a return to founding principles can be seen at tea party rallies as thousands of people show up with copies of the Constitution and the Declaration in hand. Moreover, The Washington Post ran an article about a significant increase in the number of visitors to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. According to the Post, these are tea party activists who have been drawn there by the park’s actors portraying the Founding Fathers. 

  The Post described these tourists as noticeably “angrier and more politically minded.” That is probably how King George III and many in the British Parliament perceived the colonists prior to the American Revolution.

  As liberal politicians and their allies in the liberal media continue to attack members of the tea party movement as “unenlightened” or “bigots and racists,” they only add fuel to the fire that burns in the hearts of millions of Americans who want their country to return to sound fiscal and governing principles.

  Millions of Americans understand how far from these principles we have strayed. Numerous polls show that the majority of Americans have lost confidence in Congress, the federal courts and the White House because they have more or less abandoned the ideals of limited government handed down to us by the Founding Fathers. They cite the federal takeover of the American health care system, the government takeover of American car companies, the appointment of czars and other bureaucrats to preside over whole sectors of the American economy and our daily lives as examples.

  Americans are angry, and their anger is in response to the arrogance of the liberal intellectual and political elites who pushed their agenda regardless of the fact that a clear majority of Americans were opposed. They continued despite the fact that Americans were asking serious questions about the legitimacy of their actions. In fact, when asked by a reporter where the Constitution granted Congress the authority to require individuals to buy health insurance, Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi responded, “Are you serious?”

  Madame Speaker, the American people are serious. They are serious about limiting Congress and reinstating the proper Constitutional roles of the federal government. They are serious about reducing spending and restraining the unelected federal bureaucracy that now has more power over their lives than any political leader ever elected. Furthermore, they are serious about upholding the Constitution and restoring their right to self-government.

  Last August, when members of Congress were confronted by thousands of citizens in town hall meetings, Pelosi dismissed them “un-American” and called them “astro-turf” implying that they did not represent true grassroots Americans. On September 12, 2009 when more than a million people, according to some estimates, marched on Washington in protest of the health care bill, the liberal national media reported a fraction of that number and the political elites ignored them altogether. 

  In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned about the rise of “right-wing extremists” which highlights the fear and misunderstanding of the tea party groups. DHS described them as “… groups and individuals who believe they have a Constitutional right to own guns or that are committed to a single issue like ending abortion on demand or that insist that our government enforce its laws.” You know the type… the hunter, the woman volunteering at the local crisis pregnancy center or the unemployed landscaper whose job was taken by an illegal immigrant.

  Liberal cultural and political elites currently in power are suspicious of people rallying to defend their Constitutional rights and ultimately, to pull America back from the brink of ruin. They see such people as angry, misguided political activists and have even called them un-American. But that is not what the Founding Fathers would have called them… they would have called them fellow Patriots.

  About the author: Gary Palmer is president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.

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