Category Archives: Constitution

Obama’s Top Ten

The use of a “top ten list” has become a popular method for expressing disapproval of the actions or beliefs of a famous individual. In this article I present such a list comprised of the top ten ways that Barack Obama is attempting to destroy the United States of America. By that I mean of course not that the President desires the physical destruction of the American homeland or the annihilation of its people, but rather I speak of his intention to replace the Constitutional Republic devised by our Founders – which, it is completely evident, Mr. Obama holds in contempt – by a statist, collectivist, egalitarian and universalistic nation as envisioned by Alinsky, Cloward-Piven or Soros. I have no doubt that this President, to whom the American public so foolishly entrusted the ship of state, believes that Madison’s Republic – based on limited government, individual freedom, free market capitalism, the morals of Western Civilization, national sovereignty and the rule of law – is deeply flawed and should be replaced by a more enlightened model according to his radical concept of liberty, equality and universal brotherhood. Based on his actions during the last two years, I present here Barack’s top ten ways of achieving his goal:

#10. Replace classic American policies – both foreign and domestic – that are focused on what’s best for America and its allies in the world by policies designed to promote a homogenized world of “one” people, global government and open borders. Obama’s pursuit of Cap and Trade, support for amnesty for illegal aliens, slavish belief in the perils of global warming and his courting of Islamic countries all bear witness to his devotion to this cause.

#9. Convert (what’s left of) America’s laissez-faire, capitalistic economy into a centrally managed, pseudo-socialistic, crony capitalist system. From his demonization of American business and its corporate executives to his ‘redistribute the wealth’ comment to Joe the Plumber, the evidence of Obama’s socialist world view abounds.

#8. Delegitimize the concept of American exceptionalism. Obama began his Presidency with a world apology tour and he has continued to never miss an opportunity to denigrate US history, emphasize our historical faults and current flaws, bow to foreign leaders (even despots) and to deny that the country he leads has any special role to play in defending freedom at home or around the world.

#7. Nationalize. Obama has nationalized banks and financial institutions, educational establishments, car companies, parts of the housing and insurance industries and of course the health care system. Barack has gone as far as he can go, in his limited time in office, to bring the US economy under the control of the Federal Government.

#6. Defang the military. He has cut defense spending, reduced the size of the navy and air force, gutted missile defense, signed a harmful agreement (the new START treaty) with belligerent Russians and in the most diabolical action of all, attempted to demoralize the armed services by deploying its forces against an enemy that he refuses to name, without adequate resources and intelligence and with one foot constantly out the door. In addition he does nothing to keep pace with the aggressive military build-up by the Chinese.

#5. Subvert the rule of law. Obama blithely ignores the Constitution when it suits him – or, he invokes it to justify clearly unconstitutional activities (e.g., Obamacare). He ignores court orders (e.g., Judge Vinson in Florida) and refuses to enforce the law of the land (DOMA) when it conflicts with his views. He appoints czars without subjecting them to Congressional approval, interprets thought (i.e., hate) crimes as only applicable to crimes committed by whites against minorities, encourages his allies in Congress to violate Congressional rules and he runs arguably the least transparent administration in US history.

#4. Renounce American leadership. The list is long and includes: celebrating thugs like Chavez, Ahmadinejad and Putin; betraying loyal friends (Israel, Britain, Taiwan, the Czech Republic and Poland); curtseying to Islamic princes; refusing to commit the US to action unless part of a broad coalition of “equals”; abrogating agreements negotiated by previous administrations and apologizing for America’s role as the unique world superpower. He wishes to reduce the stature of our country to at best one among a series of world leaders.

#3. Trash American culture. Obama and his minions have worked tirelessly to: disparage historical American culture – especially its Christian components; promote multiculturalism; rescind DADT; and encourage abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia and all manner of perversions to undercut the American family. They sweeten their multicultural stew with race baiting (the Cambridge cop incident), a failure to recognize the poison that is seeping into American society from Islamic radicals and an unwillingness to advance the assimilation of new immigrants (legal or otherwise) into American culture.

#2. Expand the government. The left seeks to increase the role of the Federal Government in every conceivable aspect of American society. Obamacare and Dodd-Frank are of course the most egregious examples; but Obama is pushing hard to have the Feds take command of American education, energy, transportation and finance. When legislation is out of reach, expanded regulation plays an equally important role in the effort (the EPA declaring carbon dioxide a harmful pollutant being a prime example). Then there is card check, the revocation of the spectacularly successful 1990s welfare reform and unholy alliances with subversive organizations like ACORN. Eventually no American will be able to make any move that escapes the watchful eye of Uncle Sam.

And (drum roll), number one is…

#1. Spend, borrow and tax until the dollar is worthless, the economy is in shambles and the economic future of our children and grandchildren is totally compromised. Barack has run up the deficit and exploded the national debt. He is debasing the currency, courting severe inflation, causing high unemployment, and willfully ignoring the oncoming economic chaos that his policies are guaranteed to produce. He apparently expects that eventually the people will have no choice but to surrender their freedom to an all encompassing Federal Government that will “rescue the nation.”

Barack has been diligently working his way up and down the list. In a few places, he has succeeded quite well; in many others, his success has been much less pronounced; and here and there, he has experienced serious blowback from the American people. In fact, given the resentment his agenda has aroused in much of the electorate – as expressed in last fall’s Congressional and State elections – it is likely that he is already past the high point of what he might hope to accomplish in a first term. Presidents are typically far less successful in moving their agendas in a second term than in a first; so even if he wins reelection, the high point of his radical remake of America might already be in the past.

Alas, that might bring scant comfort to freedom-loving Americans. Our country has been morphing slowly over the last century from the Constitutional Republic bequeathed to us by Washington, Jefferson and Madison into the neo-Marxian nirvana envisioned by Obama. During that gruesome slide, the US has experienced periodic, severe jumps to the left – under Wilson, FDR, LBJ and perhaps now BHO. Thus, I fear that we are perilously close to Sowell’s “tipping point”; the place at which the transformation of our society will have progressed so far, that it will be impossible to return it to its Constitutional moorings. If so, even the relatively few successes that Obama has enjoyed could be enough to spell our doom. I hope not. But, either way, I suspect that we shall know rather soon.
This article also appeared in The Land of the Free at

Repairing a Flaw in the Constitution

The recent book Nullification: How to resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. attempts to resuscitate the idea of State nullification of Federal laws. The idea arose almost immediately after the establishment of the US as a constitutional republic. It was proposed originally in the Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 and 1799. The proximate cause of these resolutions was the Alien & Sedition Acts passed by Congress and signed by President John Adams in 1798. The nullification cause was taken up again by Connecticut’s Governor and Legislature in 1809, championed by John C. Calhoun (most famously in his Fort Hill Address in 1831) and resurrected by the Wisconsin Legislature in 1859. But its death knell was sounded by Lincoln and the Civil War, and Woods’ well-written book is unlikely to revive it.

The idea is that if the Federal Government behaves in a manner inappropriate to its authority under the Constitution, then the States – as the sovereign entities that agreed to the compact embodied in the Constitution and therefore as the parties that founded the Federal Government – have the right and the duty to protect the Constitution by pointing out said bad behavior and refusing to abide by the offending law or regulation. It is a perfectly logical argument. If a group agrees to establish a special committee to administer some joint interests of the group, and if the committee oversteps the jurisdiction of its charter, then the members of the group are free to annul the offending action and even to suspend the charter of the committee if the group deems it appropriate to do so.

However, the principle of State sovereignty trumping Federal law envisioned in an individual State declaring a Federal law or regulation unconstitutional, and therefore void, is not coming to fruition in these United States – for at least three reasons:

  • The issue has been settled for 150, and maybe 200 years. The people have not bought into the idea of nullification. It would require a revolution for that to change.
  • As discussed in Woods’ book, Federal supremacy over the States has been justified by three clauses in the Constitution – the general welfare clause, the interstate commerce clause and the supremacy clause. The people have accepted these interpretations and there is no hint of any change of attitude – at least not until recently.
  • Nullification is unworkable. Which States will nullify which Federal laws? What if one State nullifies a law, but another does not? What if States start nullifying numerous laws? Or parts of laws? Chaos might ensue. We would be back to the situation under the Articles of Confederation.

Nevertheless, although nullification is not going to happen, that does not mean that its proponents are not attempting to address a serious flaw in the Constitution. The idea that the entity, i.e., the Federal Government, set up in the compact into which the States entered when they ratified the Constitution, might overstep its bounds was certainly anticipated by some of the Founders. Alas, they made no concrete provision for dealing with the possibility. Moreover, soon after the Alien & Sedition Acts were passed, John Marshall arrogated to the US Supreme Court the ultimate authority to decide such issues. That authority has been accepted by the American people for more than 200 years. But this mechanism is also seriously flawed. The Supreme Court is an integral part of the Federal Government established by the States’ compact. Therefore, by vesting such an authority in the Court, the people have empowered the Federal Government to effectively police itself and its relationship to the States which established it. This is certainly a prescription for unwarranted (according to the Constitution) power accreting to the Federal Government – which is exactly what has happened. The Federal Government has grown enormously in size, power, budget, complexity, influence and also in arrogance. It runs roughshod over the States and has reached a point where many believe it is destroying the historical character of the nation. It willfully ignores the Constitution – the compact that established it. If this situation persists, the Republic as we have known it, and as it was conceived, is certainly doomed.

Some States have resisted. How have they done so? Generally, by suing the Feds in Federal Court. But by pursuing this course of action, the people are still asking the Federal Government to adjudicate a dispute to which it is a party. It’s not a fair fight. So how else might the States reassert their sovereignty – assuming that they still have any? That is not a frivolous comment. Who indeed is the Sovereign, the US or the States themselves? In 1787, the 13 States were individually sovereign, but via the Constitution, they delegated certain authority (in foreign affairs and in regulating affairs between the States) to the Federal Government. To a foreigner, the US is the Sovereign, but to the people of Maryland say, it is Maryland that was supposed to be the sovereign to which they owed allegiance as citizens. I doubt we can revive that understanding. But we can restore a modicum of State sovereignty at this point in the evolution of our nation with an alteration to the terms of the original contract – that is, with a Constitutional Amendment. Here is the content of a proposed Amendment that would do the job and which I believe would command broad support.

If two-thirds of the States declare a Federal law or regulation to be unconstitutional, then said law or regulation is null and void. A State declares a federal statute or regulation to be unconstitutional when one of the two following eventualities occurs:

·        Either two-thirds of the State Legislators (meaning, for each State, the totality of State Delegates and Senators) vote in session – with a simple majority —  to that effect; or

·        One half of the State legislators (with the same meaning as in the previous clause) vote in session – with a simple majority – to that effect, and one of the following obtains

o   The Governor of the State declares his agreement with the intent of the Legislators, or

o   A majority of the State Supreme Court’s members declare their agreement with the intent of the Legislators.

The Supreme Court would continue to rule on cases exactly as it does now. But its rulings would be trumped by the States declaring a Federal act unconstitutional and therefore null.

One further point: this Amendment presumes that an entire statute would be declared null, not pieces of same. An entire law or regulation would be nullified, even if only part of it was deemed the real offender. This would motivate Congress and the Executive branch to do a better job of writing their laws and regulations, and not to commingle unrelated issues in the same statute or regulation.
This article also appeared in The Intellectual Conservative at

Is the Supreme Court’s Conservative Majority Imperiled?

It is an interesting coincidence that exactly at the time that Justice John Paul Stevens announces his retirement from the Supreme Court, the current edition of The American Spectator has its cover story devoted to ‘a conservative turnaround in the U.S. Supreme Court’ originally engineered by William Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia (TAS, April 2010, ‘The Good Old Days,’ pp. 14-19). It is a convincing essay, explaining how Rehnquist (appointed by Nixon in 1972, elevated to Chief Justice by Reagan in 1986) and Scalia (appointed by Reagan in 1986) have reversed the liberal, activist, non-originalist policies of the Warren and Burger Courts. The two men laid the foundation for the current conservative majority (Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito and Kennedy) and for important conservative opinions of recent years. The article’s author (Alfred Regnery – also publisher of TAS) cites as evidence recent opinions such as: the ruling banning late term abortions, abolition of affirmative action programs in high schools, evisceration of McCain-Feingold and the unconstitutionality of the DC gun ban.

But of course the conservative majority is precarious. In fact, in the years 1950-2008, out of 23 justices appointed, 17 of them were chosen by Republican presidents. Yet during that time – at least until Roberts and Alito cemented the conservative majority – the Court’s decisions were heavily leftist-oriented. Repeatedly, the phenomenon of supposedly conservative jurists drifting slowly, but inexorably to the left occurred over the years: Souter, Stevens, Blackmun and of course Burger and Warren. Even two of Reagan’s were not immune – O’Connor and Kennedy. By the end of her term, O’Connor had slid rather pathetically to the left – and Kennedy was headed in that direction too until Roberts-Alito pulled him back in the last half decade.

By contrast, every appointment by a Democratic president has started and stayed firmly on the left. Clinton’s two appointees (Bader Ginsburg and Breyer) are prime examples. And now we have as President a rigidly leftist ideologue. He has made one ultra-liberal appointment and of course he will make another. But fortunately the justices he is replacing were also in the liberal minority. So unless he appoints a towering intellect who becomes a highly influential liberal justice – things won’t change. If his first appointment is any guide, a towering intellect is very unlikely.

Can the conservative majority survive? Souter was old (although not as old as others who remain) and Stevens was ancient. Both stayed on through the Bush administration just so that the Court would not tip any further to the right. But a death or resignation of any of the five conservative jurists who remain will enable our socialist, community-organizer President to destroy the conservative majority and add another critical building block in his quest to remake America as a European-style social welfare state.

Here are the approximate ages of the justices:
50s – Roberts, Alito, Sotomayor;
60s – Thomas;
70s – Scalia, Kennedy, Bader-Ginsburg, Breyer;
?? – Obama’s new appointment, likely no older than 50s.

The key group is the four in their 70s, with two from each camp. I believe Bader Ginsburg’s health is the most problematic. But in fact, I hope they all hold on through 2012 – and 2016 if need be. My reason for praying for the health of Scalia and Kennedy is obvious. But I hope the two liberals hang on too, for if not, Obama will just replace one or both with younger clones.

How sad that the fate of our country hinges on the relative health of four unelected judges

Betrayed by My Own Country

For the second time in my life I am feeling betrayed by my own country. The unwarranted imposition of government-controlled health care constitutes the betrayal.

The first betrayal occurred nearly forty years ago. My wife and I had just purchased a new house in a nice (integrated) neighborhood within walking distance of the university in which I was on the Mathematics faculty. Actually, a prime attraction of the house was that it was located close to an outstanding public elementary school that my kindergarten-age eldest son would attend. But less than three months into the school year, a myopic federal judge ordered my son bussed to a far away, inferior school in a ghastly neighborhood—all in furtherance of racial integration, whereas my neighborhood and my son’s school were already completely integrated. I could not believe it. My liberties, my rights were being usurped. No county, state or federal legislator or executive did anything whatsoever to halt this gross miscarriage of justice.

This incident caused me to reevaluate all the political and social axioms that had governed my life. Suffice it to say that I emerged from the exercise converted from a misguided liberal into an ardent conservative. Nothing that has happened in the last four decades tells me that I made an incorrect decision.

I have felt many disappointments in that time as I watched our country slide ever closer to a Euro-socialist state. The people of the country do not appear to draw the right lessons from our: Ponzi-scheme entitlement programs; spiraling, out of control debt; government intrusion into virtually every aspect of our lives; crumbling free market system that is increasingly replaced by crony capitalism and socialist practices; debauched culture that undermines the morals, which our founders asserted were necessary for our Republic to survive; and our blatant and wanton violations of the Constitution.

But I have not felt personally betrayed as I did in the 1972-3 bussing incident—until now. I feel that the impending government takeover of health care is a personal threat to my liberty. When it is implemented, I will not have access to the doctors, hospitals and medicines that I might need in the latter part of my life. I will not be able to make the free choices that might enable me to live a longer and healthier life. Despite the clear and overwhelming opposition of the people, the radical in the White House and his socialist cronies in Congress are ramming their oppressive system down my throat. Betrayal! Whither my country?
This post also appeared in The Intellectual Conservative blog at


A Flight of Fantasy II: A Manifesto for Conservatives When They Regain Power

Prospects for Republicans to regain political power—in both the Congress and the Presidency—continue to improve. But as we learned sadly under the administration of George W Bush, Republican power does not necessarily result in conservative governance. In a recent post in this blog, I speculated about what conservatives might do if they do indeed receive a mandate from the American people. Moreover, I pointed out that such a mandate would come in one of two forms: either clear but limited (as it was for Reagan in the 80’s and Gingrich in the 90’s) or overwhelming and comprehensive (as it has not been since Coolidge, and perhaps longer ago).

In the last post I outlined three priorities that should determine the agenda in the case of a limited mandate. Those priorities were:

  1. Role of Government. Shrink the New Deal/Great Society/Obamania-inspired gargantuan government that is choking freedom out of American life.
  2. Defeat Islamic Fundamentalism. Reduce, and hopefully remove the scourge of Islamic fundamentalism as a threat to the US, to the West, indeed to the World.
  3. Recapture the culture. Initiate a multi-faceted approach toward rescuing the culture of the US. The basic goal is to restore (a reasonable facsimile) of the traditional culture that permeated American life from the 18th to the 20th century. Start on the long path toward delegitimizing the pornographic, anti-family, anti-religious, egalitarian, multicultural, environmentally wacky, anti-achievement, socialistic cesspool that passes for culture in America today.

Ideas and suggestions for action on each priority were presented in that post. In addition, I also promised that in a forthcoming post, I would outline a program to govern the actions of conservatives if and when the American people come to their senses and install a truly conservative government—with a strong and sustained mandate. Perhaps surprisingly, the same three principles serve as a linchpin for that agenda. Except that, with a strong and sustained mandate, the agenda could be pursued in a much more vigorous manner. It is my purpose to describe, as succinctly as possible, that ‘grand program’ here.

Before I launch into the precise program, let us briefly recall the fundamental idea that fuels progressivism—an idea whose pursuit has led to disastrous changes in our country. I will also explain why, after a century of experimentation, the idea is bankrupt and we must return to the conservative principles that made our country a bastion of freedom and a model for the world.

The fundamental idea that drives progressivism is that the traditional American culture, highlighted by individual liberty, free markets, rugged individualism, limited government, sanctity of private property and a ‘don’t tread on me’ mentality, inevitably leads to inequity, unfairness, injustice and oppression. These horrible consequences of the traditional culture are a blatant violation of how human beings should live on our planet. They can only be corrected by replacing the traditional culture with one that emphasizes redistribution of wealth, multiculturalism, a powerful central government acting as the ultimate arbiter of social and economic disparities, group rights and a hypocritical reliance solely on negotiation rather than force to reconcile differences. I say hypocritical because the principle only applies to international affairs, but not to domestic policies.

I believe history has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that striving for equality of outcome—aside from whether it is a proper goal for mankind—inevitably leads to tyranny. For proof, see the Soviet Union, East Germany, Cuba, China, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and even the European Union. The forcible taking from one to give to another—however justified it might appear in the abstract—deprives the former of liberty, property and, occasionally, of life. The coercive redistribution of wealth surely is one of the worst ideas that mankind has ever concocted—even if motivated by good intentions. Instead, the fundamental animating principle that should govern human behavior is equality of opportunity—that is, the same rules apply to everyone. After the games begin, some will outperform and out achieve others. If the society is just and the people morally sound, then those who excel will establish structures to aid those who do not. If, on the other hand, society (in the form of government) compels compulsory generosity, compulsory kindness or compulsory charity, then what it gets is not generosity, kindness or charity, but bitterness on the part of those deprived and resentment and irresponsibility from the benefiters. Charity and kindness can only result from an act performed with free will. Therefore, it is imperative that we reorient our country’s underlying philosophy from redistribution to equality of opportunity.

In the previous post I outlined for each of the above three priorities, concrete steps that conservatives could take, which the American people would support—even if they had granted conservatives only a limited mandate. If the mandate is broader, much more could be done. The two prime goals would be: first, a complete undermining of the liberal hegemony that has increasingly ruled the US over the last century; and second, a rekindling of the Constitutional republic that characterized US society in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Of course I am not proposing that we toss out the internet, abandon CAT scans and shun nuclear energy. Progress in technological matters and improvements in the quality of life should be embraced. But the underlying principles of our political and economic systems and, most importantly, of our culture, should be restored to the tried and true conservative paradigms that we benefitted from so greatly and for so long.

With that in mind, I will list, for each of the three priorities, some bold steps that I believe a strongly empowered conservative government should pursue. Each step merits a full essay. I and others will write those essays when the day of reckoning draws nearer. For now, let’s just settle on the broad strokes of the program—more of a conservative manifesto than a conservative playbook.

1. Shrink the government. Reagan failed to do it. So did Gingrich. This must be Job One of a new, powerful conservative government. Here’s how to do it:

·       A renewed emphasis on the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution must be implemented. These amendments make clear that the people are sovereign and that, aside from the limited and defined powers granted to the Federal Government by the Constitution, all remaining powers are reserved to the States and to the people. The willful ignoring of these Amendments by the Federal Government—and the people’s acquiescence in that usurpation—are at the root of the unchecked growth in the power of the Federal Government.

·       The Federal Government’s budget must be restricted to a percentage of GDP more in line with historic figures. Before WWI, it was less than 10%; since WWII, it has ranged between 25 and 35%; and in the age of Obama it is over 40%.We should reduce it to no more than 20%.

·       Federal entitlement programs are out of control and by themselves threaten to bankrupt the country. They all should be severely curtailed and ultimately privatized. This is a huge challenge and unfortunately has to be done somewhat gradually as an overnight implementation would wreak chaos.

·       Every federal agency’s budget should be cut by at least 25%, and at least 25% of the agencies should be phased out. Several cabinet level departments should be axed. More draconian cuts would be a worthy goal.

·       All federal taxes (income, payroll, capital gains, estate, etc.) should be cut by at least 25% and preferably more.

·       The number of federal regulations should be cut by at least 50%.

·       The deficit and national debt must be addressed. If all the previous steps were taken, they would go a long way toward substantially reducing the deficit. In addition, there should be statutory or constitutional limits set on the permissible size of the deficit as a percentage of GDP—never more than 5% as it has been historically (except during the two world wars); now it exceeds 10% and is increasing. But even better would be a Constitutional mandate for a balanced budget (as is the case in virtually all the States), which could only be violated in times of national emergency and only upon a three quarters vote of Congress. These steps and a growing economy will enable us to start paying off the debt.

·       The Federal Government should sell off large portions of its tangible assets including buildings, land and equipment. The proceeds should go toward reducing the national debt.

·       Judicial power must be reined in. Appointments for life should be terminated. Justices should serve fixed terms (e.g., 10, perhaps 15 years), renewable by the consent of the Senate at most once.

·       The Federal Reserve should be reexamined. Its power and related controversial issues—such as whether a return to the gold standard is wise—should be open for serious discussion.

2. Defeat Islamic Fundamentalism. Above all, we must recognize and appropriately name the danger we face: A resurgent, worldwide and radical Muslim movement that intends to destroy the United States, Israel and Western Civilization. Like the previous totalitarian movements we defeated, Nazism and Communism, radical Islam is bent on world domination. Unlike the previous two, radical Islam is not led from a single nation state. But that does not make the threat to us any less dangerous. Thus far, we have been reluctant to name our enemy and we have refused to acknowledge that we are in an existential battle. The sooner we do so, the better able we will be to deal with and win that battle. Here, in brief, are some of the steps we must take:

·       Although there is not a single source, there are identifiable sites of greatest strength—for example, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. We must impose severe sanctions on the first and punitive measures on the latter two to induce modified behavior. Military action must never be ruled out.

·       We must make clear that, should circumstances warrant, Teheran is a potential military target—but so are Medina and Mecca. That will focus their attention on the price they might pay for pursuing their mad quest.

·       The US must beef up its military. That means a larger force and the most advanced weapons—conventional, nuclear and those designed for asymmetric warfare. We must restore the capabilities of our intelligence services.

·       We should recognize that Israel is our most reliable ally in this struggle and cease our fixation on the so-called ‘Palestinian problem.’ Were Israel to disappear and Fatah/Hamas/Hizbollah to rule the Holy Land, it would not change by one iota the fundamental goal of the Islamic radicals to obliterate the West.

·       We must find a way to reenergize our NATO allies: they should cease their appeasement of our common Muslim enemies (which are increasingly found inside their borders); beef up their military capabilities; and seriously engage in this global struggle that threatens their existence even more than ours.

·       We should stop apologizing for ‘past American sins,’ reaffirm our role as the world’s chief bastion and model of freedom and go on the offensive against the enemy that endangers us. We need to engage the Jihadists in the court of world opinion as well as on the batttlefield.

3. Culture. As I have argued forcefully in the previous post and elsewhere, this is the greatest challenge facing conservatives—that is, recapturing the culture from the left that has almost completely usurped it over the last century. Here are the key philosophical principles that should guide us. (Some concrete action steps were described in the last post.)

·       A reverence for, allegiance to and study of the US Constitution must be a characteristic of all Americans, both young and old.

·       Similarly, the study of and pride in US history must be ubiquitous among the people.

·       Individual liberty must be restored as our highest goal. This does not mean an entitlement mentality that sees all of us with equal outcomes at the end of the day, but rather equal opportunity for all of us to achieve at the highest levels we can attain.

·       A belief in free markets, entrepreneurship, democratic capitalism and a rejection of the idea that the government can run our economy more effectively than the entrepreneurs, investors, shopkeepers and laborers who create and populate our job market.

·       Clean up the filth and degeneracy, propagated by the media, academia and the legal profession, which poses for culture in liberal America. This will not be an easy task. It requires higher moral standards among the people. Religion needs to play a role.

·       Restore pride in myriad aspects of the traditional culture that have been marginalized: Calvinist work ethic, humility, restraint, thrift, nuclear family.

·       Cease and desist all multicultural crap like: bilingual education, diversity programs, group rights, gay marriage and coddling of illegal immigrants.

·       Look to religious, civic, neighborhood and private philanthropic organizations to provide charity to the less fortunate—NOT the government.

Here’s the icing on the cake—two bold steps that would truly herald a refounding of America as a Constitutional republic. First, some of the above-mentioned steps might require a modification of the Constitution. The standard Amendment process is long and difficult. How about a Constitutional Convention? The Constitution provides for it. Just because we have not done it since 1787 does not mean that it is not a good idea. Second, it is not only Supreme Court justices who pledge to protect and defend the Constitution. Members of Congress and the President do the same. Perhaps it is time for them, like the members of the Court, to deem themselves responsible for deciding constitutionality of laws. I acknowledge this is a tricky matter, but I believe the founders foresaw that all the members of the government at the highest level would be equally responsible for safeguarding the Constitution.

Is America ready to embark on such a journey? I wish I could say that I was optimistic about the possibility. But the US has exhibited remarkable rejuvenative powers in response to numerous existential crises in the past. This one poses a greater problem in that the crisis has been festering for a century and its true nature is hidden from much of the population. Yet, unlike our President, I believe in American exceptionalism. It might ride to the rescue after all.