"Ideas have consequences. - Weaver
One set of ideas is embodied in America's founding documents, speeches, writings, and explanations of its Constitution's restraints on powers delegated by "the People" to elected officials. That set of ideas resulted in what has been described as "the miracle of America." The Preamble to the Constitution states the goal of that set of ideas. Thomas Jefferson laid out in his First Inaugural what he called the "essential principles of our government" and called them the "only path to peace, liberty, and safety."
The other set of ideas does not envision individual freedom as its goal. Americans need to understand the difference.
"Although all men are born free, slavery has been the general lot of the human race. Ignorantthey have been cheated; asleepthey have been surprised; dividedthe yoke has been forced upon them. But what is the lesson? ... the people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government, they should watch over it ... It is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently free." - James Madison
So-called "progressives" understand the "divided" part of Madison's cautionary words, but the rest of us seem to ignore the rest of Madison's statement.
Might it have something to do with our not having been "well-instructed" in the ideas of freedom?
Edmund Burke, in his 1775 "Speech on Conciliation," observed the following "spirit" in the founding generations:
"Permit me, Sir, to add another circumstance in our colonies, which contributes no mean part towards the growth and effect of this untractable spirit. I mean their education. In no country perhaps in the world is the law so general a study. The profession itself is numerous and powerful; and in most provinces it takes the lead. The greater number of the deputies sent to the congress were lawyers. But all who read, and most do read, endeavour to obtain some smattering in that science. I have been told by an eminent bookseller, that in no branch of his business, after tracts of popular devotion, were so many books as those on the law exported to the plantations. The colonists have now fallen into the way of printing them for their own use. I hear that they have sold nearly as many of Blackstone's Commentaries in America as in England. General Gage marks out this disposition very particularly in a letter on your table. He states, that all the people in his government are lawyers, or smatterers in law; and that in Boston they have been enabled, by successful chicane, wholly to evade many parts of one of your capital penal constitutions. The smartness of debate will say, that this knowledge ought to teach them more clearly the rights of legislature, their obligations to obedience, and the penalties of rebellion. All this is mighty well. But my honourable and learned friend on the floor, who condescends to mark what I say for animadversion, will disdain that ground. He has heard, as well as I, that when great honours and great emoluments do not win over this knowledge to the service of the state, it is a formidable adversary to government. If the spirit be not tamed and broken by these happy methods, it is stubborn and litigious. Abeunt studia in mores. This study renders men acute, inquisitive, dexterous, prompt in attack, ready in defence, full of resources. In other countries, the people, more simple, and of a less mercurial cast, judge of an ill principle in government only by an actual grievance; here they anticipate the evil, and judge of the pressure of the grievance by the badness of the principle. They augur misgovernment at a distance; and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze." (Underlining added for emphasis)
Burke also declared to the Parliament that what he called the colonists' "fierce spirit of liberty" also must be attributed to their "religion," "under a variety of denominations agreeing in nothing but in the communion of the spirit of liberty."
In that great 1775 Speech to the British Parliament about the American colonies, Burke also observed and carefully documented the great and astounding economic progress which had already occurred in America, where the colonists went about their productive enterprises despite the burdens of King George. Burke pointed out that the Old World was feeding from the breast of the New--and that was before the 1776 Declaration and 1787 Constitution which further enhanced the "spirit of liberty" in that new and sovereign nation.
Progressives are worse than libertarians in terms of single issue obsession over gays and other navel centered bull crap. It is all they care about, about their outlook in a courtroom.
The rest, the economy, foreign policy and other very serious issues, they could care crap about it.
It’s completely retarded.
” - - - - Obama retreated, but then recently insinuated Romney-Hood will help the rich rob the poor - - - - .”
Uh, the real Robin Hood robbed the Government, usually the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Obama has stolen 1.5 Trillion Dollars a year from the Federal Government, all from his Sheriff of Nottingham, Timmy Gee.
“A widening political divide besets America. The sides not only propose competing, even contradictory methods, Left and Right esteem fundamentally divergent principles derived from philosophical differences over human nature and governments purpose. The Tea Party and progressives speak separate languages.”
You’re late to the party, Bill.
I’ve been writing about this same “divide” right here on FR for some time now. I’ve called it “The Great Divide”, a chasm which is so deep, as to be all-but “unbridgeable”. Those on either side are growing more polarized and their positions and worldviews are so opposed, that ordinary dialogue between them is becoming impossible.
But glad to see that others are coming around to my point of view!
We have two seperate histories. The Tea Party is from the American revolution, the Progressives have the French revolution.
We need someone to translate conservative talk into jive so they understand.
The answer to your second question regarding Burke's observations on the colonists and the Tea Tax may be contained in the "Speech of Edmund Burke, Esq., on American Taxation," April 19, 1774: [Second Edition. Dodsley, 1775.], which can be found here. It is also available here. An 1805 published version can be read by clicking on "read online" to the right side of the screen.
That Speech covers a wide range of issues related to taxation and liberty of the colonists. A favorite quotation from it is:
"Tyranny is a poor provider. It knows neither how to accumulate, nor how to extract." - Edmund Burke - "Speech on American Taxation"
Now, as to the question regarding a link to Burke's "Speech on Conciliation . . . ," that work, in an easy-to-read html format, as well as many other writings related to liberty and economics may be found on the Liberty Fund's Liberty Library web site.
As you will note, Burke cites statistics related to the remarkable economic activity which has occurred in the American colonies from their arrival in 1620 to the March 1775 date of his appeal to the Parliament for conciliation, noting how their commerce far exceeds that of the rest of the world and provides food for the Old World. Throughout his address, he accounts for the colonies' progress by noting the "spirit of liberty," tracing its origins to certain sources.
Many of us, when we consider our nation's history, forget that the colonists, across a great ocean, and away from a seat of power to plan and control their every move, were experimenting with individual liberty in a wilderness, and individual innovation and individual achievement for the 150+ years before 1776. The results of those experiments were those which Burke referenced in the Speeches of 1774 and 1775.