Please understand! I am deeply offended when called either conservative or liberal. These are traps for the ignorant who wish to reduce my years of serious contemplation to a word so that a part of my readers can praise me, “Well done! “ “You are one of us!” And the other part can dismiss me by a single word, even hate me. This is war, every bit as much as it was for the Founding Fathers, and I will not be dismissed. There are Loyalist or Tories in our day just as there were in theirs, and I stand to call them out, whether Democrats or Republicans.
My views are the Founders’ collective view. I draw from the same fountain of natural law as they did and appeal to the same “father of lights to illuminate my understanding” as Ben Franklin said at the Constitutional Convention. I am my own thinker.
I have been a college professor for many years, and students sit in front of me just waiting to tag me with some label that did not exist in the same way back then and dismiss me or marginalize me so that they do not have to think. As long as they are not successful, they are teachable and have to deal with the inconsistencies of both ideologies – liberal and conservative. I have friends in both camps, and sooner or later, they say to me somewhat surprised, “I thought you were one of us.”
I, like George Washington, dislike political parties. Today both major parties undermine the Constitution, and collective ignorance, reinforced by numbers, is more dangerous than individual ignorance. Neither side uses the Constitution as first consideration in governing.
I publicly challenged the Republican Party for leading us into the Iraq wars against Saddam Hussein because the evidence for doing so – 9/11, weapons of mass destruction, preemption which is the concept that they would do something to us eventually – did not exist and had to be constantly changed to justify our presence. I did not oppose the war in Afghanistan because the evidence was there for 9/11, but I do now because we have no clear definable win objectives and lack the will to unleash everything we have to win. It is another Vietnam quagmire.
It was the George W. Bush administration that gave us the Patriot Act, which allowed the government to define terrorists as her own people and severely damaged the Bill of Rights. Republicans looked the other way as the National Security Agency gave itself authority to gather and store in Bluffdale, Utah, every electronic message of her own people. While the government looks within for the enemy, it fails to secure our borders from Middle Eastern intruders from countries with a known intent to harm us, until now. With respect to national health care, something they unanimously opposed and which has no constitutional basis, they now look more like Democrats who at least were not hypocritical in their desire to take over a third of the economy. “Obamacare-light” is still “Obamacare.”
Democrats have taken spending to an unacceptable level and seem intent to risk collapsing the entire economy in doing so. With each crisis they help create, their remedy is always more government as they hamstring businesses that create our jobs with numberless rules and regulations.
Their model is not the Founders or the Constitution but socialist countries in Europe, some of whom tax their people over 50 percent of their income and offer far less freedom. A worshipful press has never properly explained Obama’s past connection with revolutionary Bill Ayer, founder of the militant Whether Underground, which bombed government buildings in the seventies. While China, Cuba and even Canada are showing clear signs of backing off socialism, we seemed “hell bent” to rush into it under either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
Moreover, instead of investigating the Clinton Foundation or the Clinton classified emails scandals that jeopardized national security of which there exists extensive documentation, far more than on Nixon’s Watergate, they push Russian influence in the Donald Trump election for which real documentation is nonexistent. Amazing!
So what do I embrace? I usually drop a tear or two when the national anthem is played. I am touched by George Washington who loved his country enough to risk his life in a doubtful cause failing to win a single battle the first year against England, the most powerful nation on earth, and who refused pay from the government for his services as a general or as president. I love knowing that Founders and presidents acknowledge the hand of God in crisis and shamelessly went to him for help. I love the stories of servicemen who put their lives on the line to save a buddy. I have undying respect for those who served their country with the primary intent of saving freedom – even if they did not understand the motives of the politicians who sent them. I love people who stand for the traditional values of honesty, integrity and morality and who did not justify President Clinton’s numerous White House affairs.
So what am I? Only a typical American that wants to return to our foundation and thinks more people should embrace this description rather than either party’s ideology. So please, just call me a patriotic American. That is a title that I wear with honor.
Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and to applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. To read more of his weekly articles, visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.