Statism in America

My wife subscribes to a publication put out by Ligonier Ministries called Tabletalk. In addition to daily bible devotionals, each month it contains numerous articles written by leading Christian authors. I read one in the August edition written by Dr. R. C. Sproul, Founder and Chairman of Ligonier Ministries entitled “Statism.” In it he notes that he asked Dr. Francis Schaeffer his “biggest concern for the future of the church in America?” Dr Schaeffer said immediately, “Statism.” Dr. Sproul goes on to define statism as a world view philosophy that the federal government is the ultimate authority removing God from His position of supremacy.

A subset of this philosophy is the devolution of authority from statehood to statism. I am not going to address the removal of God from the public square, even though the evolution of the “separation of church and state” has certainly played a major role in this trend. Instead, I am going to look at the evolution of American society as an entitlement society, thereby moving ever forward to statism.

In the early years of the US the country was, for the most part, an agrarian society. Key among the characteristics of this society was self reliance and dependency on family. Each family knew that if they were to make their way in life they would have to do it themselves and maybe with assistance from their neighbors, if they had neighbors. Not in the equation was the government.

Over the last 200 years, it has become more acceptable and even expected for government to hand out those essential elements of survival as basic subsistence with no strings attached. This tendency became more evident under the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson. Barry Goldwater phrased it well when he said, “The government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.”

In a speech Johnson gave at the University of Michigan on 22 May 1964, he discussed the ills of America and called on the students to work toward solving those ills. Among other things, he pointed out the “crushing weight of poverty,” the overcrowded, understaffed classrooms with out- dated curricula.

To solve these problems, he it would “require us to create new concepts of cooperation, a creative federalism, between the National Capital and the leaders of local communities.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines federalism as, “the theory or advocacy of federal political orders, where final authority is divided between sub-units and a center.” This is the concept that the Founders envisioned when they wrote the Constitution.

So, what did Johnson mean by “creative federalism?”In his speech, he urges the audience to “join in the battle to give every citizen an escape from the crushing weight of poverty…. To join in the battle to build the Great Society, to prove that our material progress is only the foundation on which we will build a richer life of mind and spirit.” These are wonderful thoughts and goals. No one will debate that. However, Johnson’s intent was to make those goals achievable through government action, not through the sweat and perseverance of the individual. As a result, the welfare rolls jumped drastically as we tried to “distribute the wealth” as is being touted by Senator Obama.

Our country had been on an ever-steepening slide toward statism since the New Deal days, but Johnson accelerated that slide. It was further accelerated to include the commercial side our lives under President Carter when the Community Reinvestment act was passed. This forced mortgage companies to make loans that were questionable, at best. This placed a lot of bad loans under the umbrella of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

President Clinton took up the mantle of statism by “encouraging” lenders to make loans available to disadvantaged borrowers to make home ownership more available. This resulted in massive numbers of people buying homes they could not afford. Remember when the Clinton Administration changed the depository regulations for banks in the early to mid ‘90s? You could buy HUD housed for pennies-on-the-dollar. I contend that these actions were a direct result of the Federal Government’s push toward statism.

Now we can fast-forward to a few weeks ago when Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac imploded (along with a number of very large financial institutions). The Democrats are blaming the current administration for this implosion. Talk about mendacity! They are the ones that caused the crisis but are putting the blame directly on the Republican administration.

With the $700B bail-out, not to mention the billions spent to bail of earlier failures, we have steepened the slippery slope to complete statism to almost vertical. Treasury Secretary Paulson is now going about buying large blocks of bank stocks, putting the Federal Government right in the middle of the market square. In many cases, the banks have no choice about the purchase. The federal government is, in effect conducting a hostile takeover. While I am no constitutional scholar, there seems to be a serious constitutional issue here.

I have urged my Congressman and Senators to vigorously oppose these measures. Congressman Lamborn has done so. Unfortunately, our two senators supported the bail-out. Each and every citizen in America has had a huge debt burden placed on them. We have now sunk to not only the concept of individual statism, but now commercial statism has put a pall over our entire economy.

It is time that we put people into office that will vigorously work to reverse this trend and get us back on the track set out by the Founders.

As always, I welcome your comments and discussion.


Points to Ponder

I normally do not post email exchanges but the one below from a friend was very interesting and I thought I would share it. It is done so with her permission.

Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2008 6:34 AM
To: ‘Daniel C. Lanotte’

Subject: Points to Ponder

Hi Dan, The Dems and press are trying to destroy Joe the Plumber by showing he has no plumbing license, yet he said he worked for a plumbing company- has he ever actually said he worked for the company as a plumber? He may fill some other role in the company. There are also other routes to learning plumbing beside Union ones of which he may have availed himself, and it is the union that is screaming the loudest right now because they supported Obama.

At our caucus, all I heard was “So and So should be our nominee because he is electable”. Isn’t it about time (PAST TIME) that Reps start picking the right man and making him (or her) electable.! And stop letting the liberal press pick our candidates by suddenly promoting the man they think is most defeatable (or will “suck up” to them- pardon my French). McCain quite suddenly became the front runner after much hype in the press created a “Bandwagon” effect among Reps causing Mitt Romney to pull out. In (public) high school back in the late 50s/early 60s we had a class called “Problems of Democracy” in which we learned propaganda techniques and how to spot them and avoid believing them over our common sense. Bandwagon was one, “The Big Lie” was another whereby a lie is told often enough that people believe it (Joseph Goebbels’, Hitler’s propaganda minister’s, favorite technique). All one need do is listen to Obama or Biden (who said in his debate with Gov. Palin that Obama did not say he would meet with Achmadinijad and was never called on it, but you could see by the look on Palin’s face that she was appalled)- if their lips are moving, they are lying. McCain has done his share of “misstatements” too, and it is time we, including the press, start calling a lie a lie and start pointing out blatant efforts at propaganda.

I have forgotten the names of some of the other forms of propaganda, but they include one very commonly used by the Dems, possibly named “Substitution”- accuse the other guy of what you yourself are doing to refocus blame on your opponent. The Dems (Barney Frank and others) started this whole mortgage mess by forcing loans to go to many, especially the poor, who could not sustain the payments and were doomed from the beginning to eventually default on them. Now that it has hit the fan, the Dems accuse the Reps, the Bush Administration, of causing the entire mess when it was primarily the Dems who started it.

Another form of Propaganda is the use of celebrity to gain prestige for your candidate/cause. Get enough Hollywood luminaries to speak for your guy and the other guy looks like a “Nobody”. And who wants to vote fore a “Nobody”.

Just my 2 cents worth for the day.

My Reply:

S ,
There are certain issues on which you and I will respectfully disagree. This is not one of them. There are a lot of us who were very surprised when Romney pulled out as soon as he did. We have all come to the conclusion that the press “fell in love” with McCain because they saw Romney as a tougher competitor and unbeatable. Notice how soon they turned on McCain as soon as he became the only Republican in the game. They want Obama to win. This is not just my ranting. The MSM has bought into the “Globalization Effect” to the extent that they have sold their souls to make it happen.

Another area you have nailed it on is “Isn’t it about time (PAST TIME) that Reps start picking the right man and making him (or her) electable.!” This is another area where a number of us are working. The primary target for 2010 is Senator Salazar. He is identified as one of the most “suck-up” Kennedy Democrats in the Senate. I email him on almost every issue that comes up. To his credit, he never ignores me; he has always responded with a position paper. To his detriment, he is almost always on the wrong side of the Constitution. Most of his positions are not Constitutionally supportable. As you know I am just a simple carpenter and if I can recognize unconstitutional behavior that should be an indication that a lot of other Coloradoans will be able to do the same. I have saved all of his emails and have the evidence to back up my contention.

You also talk about “The Big Lie.” Boy! Is that an accurate assessment. I would like to refer you to two articles. The first is by Mike Gallagher on (first attachment). He does an excellent job discussing this issue. The second article you should have received last night on one of my postings and is available at Andy Pico has been called “Mr. NORAD” because of his years of experience and astute insights into national defense/security. His study into “The Big Lie” of global warming has drawn a lot of fire from “experts” who are sucking on the big money bottle. In my book, that is something of which to be proud.

Thank you for your comments. With your permission, I would like to pass this exchange around.

Daniel C. Lanotte

Audacity of Mendacity – Guest Article

The following article was written by Mr. Andy Pico, who has been published on these pages in the past and, I hope, will be so many times in the future.

Our country is on the verge of potentially electing a new Triumvirate of Obama, Pelosi and Reid together with The One’s sidekick, the Bumbling Biden, with the most radical, socialist agenda this country has ever seen in national politics. The Triumvirate could have a potentially filibuster proof senate majority able to ram through whatever far left radical measures dictated to the Triumvirate by their political backers within such groups as ACORN (currently under investigation for massive interstate voter fraud), and such Soros funded groups.

This coalition has a radical, leftist agenda that has nothing to do with preserving individual freedom, full employment, a robust economic climate or any of the key moral or social values this country has developed. Their entire methodology is built on deceit, fraud and intimidation of political opponents.

This Triumvirate has manufactured a great economic message focused on the current meltdown of the financial markets, aided and abetted by a complicit press which combines economic illiteracy with historical ignorance. The seeds of the current financial crisis were planted by the Democrat administration of Carter in the Community Redevelopment ACT and expanded by Clinton with the assistance of ACORN to strong arm lending institutions into making bad loans. The brief period of Republican control was unable to reform this coming, and predicted, financial meltdown due to Democrat obstructionism in Congress and in the courts.

Bill Clinton – “I think the responsibility that the Democrats have may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress, or by me when I was president, to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

I certainly would not be one to call the Former President a liar.

The facts, unreported by a complicit press, is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were established by Democrats, staffed by Democrats, (the former executives of these failed institutions are currently part of the economics team on Obama’s campaign staff), “regulated” by Democrats and provided campaign contributions with taxpayer guaranteed funds to Democrats. Obama, in his extraordinarily short time in the US Senate, managed to skim the 3rd largest amount, barely behind the Democrat chairman of the committee which oversaw those organizations. While technically legal, this defines the worst kind of corruption.

That the architects of our current financial crisis are likely to be rewarded with political control and given the responsibility to fix their own mess is one of the travesties of the scandal that is the current journalistic abandonment of any pretense of standards or integrity. That the Bumbling Biden could utter the most outrageous and complete fabrication of the history of Hezbollah in Lebanon and our involvement there along with the utter fantasy of his proposed intervention, and not be held to account by a press more interested in investigating 25 year old traffic tickets by Governor Palin’s relatives and whether Joe has a current plumber’s license, has to rank as one of the most despicable failures of modern and corrupt journalism.

The economic measures being proposed by those who have brought you this looming recession will repeat the governmental economic idiocy that ushered in the Great Depression.

Here in Colorado the Democrat candidate for the Senate is one of those responsible for restricting energy development resulting in high gas prices and utility bills, based in part by the fraud of man-made global warming and extreme environmental over-regulation. His possible election will not only reward his own complicity in our economic problems but help hand a filibuster proof Senate majority to this radical and irresponsible Socialist Triumvirate.

Rarely has so much been at stake. On positions of the economy, conduct of the war, worldwide anti-terrorist operations, opposition to the state sponsors of international terrorism, energy development, phony climate control, misguided tax policies and most of all, a culture of death which will include taxpayer funded abortions; this Radical Triumvirate is far outside of the political mainstream.

Do not reward this Audacity of Mendacity with political victory and the near dictatorial control over our economy by economic illiterates. Here in Colorado, vote to elect Doug Lamborn, Scott Starin, Wayne Wolf, Marilyn Musgrave, Mike Coffman, George Lilly and John Lerew to their Congressional seats; Bob Schaffer to the US Senate; Sarah Palin for Vice President and that other guy running with her for President.

Pico, of Colorado Springs, is a retired navy commander, naval Flight officer and economist.

As always, your comments and discussions are welcome