Masking Totalitarianism

One of the oldest notions in the history of mankind is that some people are to give orders and others are to obey. The powerful elite believe that they have wisdom superior to the masses and that they’ve been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. Their agenda calls for an attack on the free market and what it implies — voluntary exchange. Tyrants do not trust that people acting voluntarily will do what the tyrant thinks they should do. Therefore, free markets are replaced with economic planning and regulation that is nothing less than the forcible superseding of other people’s plans by the powerful elite.

Because Americans still retain a large measure of liberty, tyrants must mask their agenda. At the university level, some professors give tyranny an intellectual quality by preaching that negative freedom is not enough. There must be positive liberty or freedoms. This idea is widespread in academia, but its most recent incarnation was a discussion by Wake Forest University professor David Coates in a Huffington Post article, titled “Negative Freedom or Positive Freedom: Time to Choose?” (11/13/2013) (http://tinyurl.com/oemfzy6). Let’s examine negative versus positive freedom.

Negative freedom or rights refers to the absence of constraint or coercion when people engage in peaceable, voluntary exchange. Some of these negative freedoms are enumerated in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. More generally, at least in its standard historical usage, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people. As such, a right imposes no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech is something we all possess. My right to free speech imposes no obligation upon another except that of noninterference. Likewise, my right to travel imposes no obligation upon another.

Positive rights is a view that people should have certain material things — such as medical care, decent housing and food — whether they can pay for them or not.

Seeing as there is no Santa Claus or tooth fairy, those “rights” do impose obligations upon others. If one person has a right to something he did not earn, of necessity it requires that another person not have a right to something he did earn.

If we were to apply this bogus concept of positive rights to free speech and the right to travel freely, my free speech rights would impose financial obligations on others to supply me with an auditorium, microphone and audience. My right to travel would burden others with the obligation to purchase airplane tickets and hotel accommodations for me. Most Americans, I would imagine, would tell me, “Williams, yes, you have the right to free speech and travel rights, but I’m not obligated to pay for them!”

What the positive rights tyrants want but won’t articulate is the power to forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another. After all, if one person does not have the money to purchase food, housing or medicine and if Congress provides the money, where does it get the money? It takes it from some other American, forcibly using that person to serve the purposes of another. Such a practice differs only in degree, but not kind, from slavery.

Under natural law, we all have certain unalienable rights. The rights we possess we have authority to delegate. For example, we all have a right to defend ourselves against predators. Because we possess that right, we can delegate it to government, in effect saying, “We have the right to defend ourselves, but for a more orderly society, we delegate to you the authority to defend us.” By contrast, I don’t possess the right to take your earnings to give to another. Seeing as I have no such right, I cannot delegate it.

The idea that one person should be forcibly used to serve the purposes of another has served as the foundation of mankind’s ugliest and most brutal regimes. Do we want that for America?

Secularism, Federalism, Interdependence and the New World Order prt. 1

The author of the Supreme Court’s Abington v. Schempp decision (1963) outlawing school prayer wrote that “the state may not establish a ‘religion of secularism’ in the sense of affirmatively opposing or showing hostility to religion, thus ‘preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.'” Unfortunately, however, this is exactly what has happened in the United States—the establishment of the “religion of secularism.”

 After the Supreme Court’s Abington v. Schempp decision, the High Court in 1965 allowed to stand an Appeals Court’s Stein v. Oshinsky ruling which indicated the state does not even have to permit student-initiated (voluntary) school prayer. This was followed by the Burger Court’s 3-pronged test regarding the Establishment Clause in our Constitution, one of which was that there must be “a secular legislative purpose.” However, this seems to have evolved into the interpretation that the “secular purpose” should be the “only purpose” of any law or action.

 For example, some years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that Nazis had the “freedom of expression” to march in largely Jewish, Skokie, Illinois, despite the obvious provocative nature of this “free speech.” In 1992, though, the Court held that Rabbi Leslie Gutterman did not have the freedom of speech to say “Thank You, God” at a high school graduation ceremony. The Court went to great pains to rationalize that these were students (though technically they were not, given that they had fulfilled their graduation requirements prior to the ceremony), and had they not been students, the Court would have looked at the matter differently. The Justices’ disingenuousness can be seen here by noting that the same day they handed down this decision (Lee v. Weisman), they also allowed to stand an Appeals Court ruling in favor of the Civil Liberties Union indicating that a judge could not begin his session with non-sectarian prayer, even though the Supreme Court had noted in its earlier Marsh v.Chambers ruling that most courts (including the High Court itself) begin with the invocation “God save the United States and this honorable court.”

 Since these decisions by the Supreme Court offer all the precedent needed to remove “In God We Trust” from our coins and outlaw any reference to God in our “National Anthem,” it must be apparent to almost everyone that we now have the “religion of secularism” as our national religion. Indeed, for quite some years now, secular humanist principles such as situation ethics have been indoctrinated into public school students via values clarification techniques, and the courts have not taken action to remove these “religious” teachings. The Supreme Court said prayer had to be removed from the public schools because that was government promotion of religion, but the High Court has not seen fit to remove non-morally-based sex education or death education from the schools even though they promote non-moral sexual activity or suicide. As a founder of the 4-million member International Humanist and Ethical Union, H.J. Blackham wrote in THE HUMANIST (September-October 1981), that if schools teach dependence upon oneself (students would be autonomous moral decisionmakers), “they are more revolutionary than any conspiracy to overthrow the government.”

The question now is where are the leading conservatives today when this “religion of secularism” has been approved by the courts? Oh, to be sure, these conservative/religious leaders have spoken and written their opinions about it, but where were the “Marches on Washington” after the Lee v. Weisman (1992) ruling? Did they meet with President George H.W. Bush and demand that he make a campaign issue out of the passage of a voluntary school prayer amendment? Did they at every “Clinton for President” campaign speech demand to know whether he would support such an amendment, thus making this a constant major issue before the voters in the 1992 presidential campaign?

 Unfortunately, this establishment of the “religion of secularism” has not been made a major campaign issue for those running for the presidency or Congress from 1992 to the present. This will inevitably lead to this “religion” becoming the one adopted as the “one-world religion” of the future, along with the planned one-world government.

To see how rapidly the “religion of secularism” is becomiing established, and how it will tolerate no competing religion, note the following example from the current newsletter of Rev. David Barnhart: “Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin are Christians who own Elaine’s Photography. When they refused to take wedding photographs for a same-sex couple in 2006, the two lesbians filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission of New Mexico.

The Commission said the Huguenins were guilty of discrimination and must pay the same-sex couple over $7000. Their case was appealed, but the ruling was upheld. In August 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision, saying religious principles must be set aside by those operating a public business. One justice said the Huguenins ‘were compelled by law to compromise the religious beliefs that inspire thier lives.’ The justice wrote: ‘Though the rule of law requires it, the result is sobering. It will no doubt leave a tangible mark on the Huguenins and others of similar views.’ One justice said that forcing Christians to act contrary to their religious faith is ‘the price of citizenship’.” The justice should have more candidly said, “…the price of world citizenship in the New World Order’s world government with its ‘Religion of Secularism’.”

© 2013 Dennis Cuddy – All Rights Reserved

Stop Scapegoating Third Party Candidates for Election Results You Don’t Like

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Virginia Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Nov. 4, 2013 in Annandale, Va.
Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Virginia Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Nov. 4, 2013 in Annandale, Va.

Even before yesterday’s election, Republicans were ready to blame Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s looming defeat to Democrat Terry McAuliffe on Libertarian Party candidate Robert Sarvis. “A Vote for Sarvis is a Vote for McAuliffe” argued one Cuccinelli supporter.

With the final count in, expect Republican anger at the Libertarian “spoiler” to grow exponentially. McAuliffe, who had enjoyed a double-digit lead at various points in during campaign, won with just 48 percent of the vote to Cuccinelli’s 46 percent. The Libertarian Sarvis ended up pulling almost 7 percent, far more than enough to tip the election the other way.

But to blame a major-party loss on third-party candidates is fundamentally mistaken. First off, it ignores data that the Libertarian pulled more votes from the Democratic candidate than he did from the Republican one—an exit poll of Sarvis voters showed that they would have voted for McAuliffe by a two-to-one margin over Cucinelli. Second, and far more important, it presumes that all potential votes somehow really “belong” to either Democrats or Republicans. That’s simply wrong and it does a real disservice to American politics.

The GOP theory is that Libertarians – who often bill themselves as fiscally conservative and socially liberal – ultimately care more about spending and taxes than about, say, marriage equality, access to abortion, or drug legalization (all of which Sarvis supported). Because Republicans talk a good game on cutting the size and scope of government (whether they govern that way is a very different question), votes “wasted” on Libertarian candidates who won’t win anyway should really go to GOP candidates regardless of their views on social issues.

Democrats trot out a variation of the same argument, too, usually training their ire toward left-of-center third parties. Don’t you know that Green Party candidate Ralph Nader “cost” Al Gore the 2000 presidential election by draining away precious votes from the vice president? Indeed, in both 2000 and 2004, even the ardently left-wing magazine The Nation implored Nader not to run specifically because he might let George Bush triumph.

Since it now looks as though Sarvis actually kept the race closer for Cucinelli, it’s well past time to re-examine the whole notion that third-party candidates somehow only get in the way of serious choices that always come down to the Democrat and the Republican in any given race. That sort of thinking helps justify draconian restrictions on ballot access for minor party candidates in every state in the country.

Indeed, part of Sarvis’ appeal in Virginia was that he spoke out against the Old Dominion’s rules for ballot access and about being shut out of gubernatorial debates despite solid poll numbers. The same sort of thing happens elsewhere. In the battleground state of Ohio, which didn’t even allow party affiliations other than Democratic or Republican to be listed on the ballot for many years, pending legislation would set qualification standards so high that third parties would essentially be forced to run as write-in campaigns.

Americans have come to expect if not demand a wide range of increasingly diverse and personalized choices in every part of our lives, from coffee shops to clothing stores to bookstores. And yet in something as important as politics, we allow the two major parties to systematically rig the system to exclude a range of opinions extending beyond two parties that were founded before the Civil War. Is it any wonder that a record number of Americans now call themselves political independents?

Reflexively blaming third-party candidates when a Republican or Democratic candidate loses only adds insult to that injury. Despite having every advantage going in, Al Gore ended up losing in 2000 because, among other things, he wore bizarre orange makeup to one of the presidential debates and came across as an environmental zealot fundamentally at odds with modern industrial technology. Ken Cuccinelli lost because, among other things, he failed to assuage fears that he would bring back sodomy laws, alienated single women, and he had no connection with young voters.

The major parties already enjoy vast advantages in terms of money, brand recognition, ballot access, and get-out-the-vote operations. When their candidates lose elections, especially tight ones, they would do better to look at what they did wrong rather than off-loading responsibility or blame on third parties who give voters more options to express themselves.