Conscience

True conscience is at the heart of the difference between those who value freedom and all the out-of-touch, self-proclaimed “progressives” making up the rank and file of those who have hijacked the Democratic Party.

The Founders of this country were not gods, nor demigods bereft of the failings of man, but they absolutely were people of conscience. Some found their conscience through religion, some through the exercise of Reason in the Age of Enlightenment, some as a result of their own struggles against their own and others’ moral failings; most as a combination of all of the above. The Left likes to dismiss them as “a bunch of farmers”, or “old men operating in secret behind closed doors.” This they were, but they were much more, and by refusing to dismiss them we can see what they envisioned us to become, both as individuals and a society as a whole. For they were Heroes in every sense of the word: heroes who had to face great adversity, not only in others but in themselves. And through all their struggles, it was their conscience that led the way.

You can see how the Left is lacking in true conscience in the book “The American Soul”, where Jacob Needleman describes the role of conscience: “We need to consider how many of the great ethical and spiritual reformers of the world found their conscience when caught by and within the very milieu which they themselves rose up to challenge. The force of true moral vision always arises from the depths of conscience – the real conscience, not the socially conditioned superego that reflects mainly the moralisms of the society and compels behavior largely through fear and guilt. . . . The search for truth, as well as the possibility of living in a society that provides the freedom and welfare necessary to live the life of ordinary men and women – this whole of human life, comprising both the material and the spiritual needs of man, requires the creation of a community of conscience; requires the order, the structure of a community from within which can be generated the ideals, the knowledge and, above all, the new men and women who can bring light to the whole of society.”

The Left wants a static society where the Government rules, where the people exist to serve; in return the Government will dole out the fruits of labor as it sees fit. Through “fear and guilt” the Government will ensure that everything is kept “fair”. The Founders envisioned something very different, a society where individuals could evolve and become better people, and raise society up as a result. That is why they envisioned a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”: a government whose role is not to control the people but rather to protect the endowed rights of the people, so that the people will continue to have the freedoms necessary to realize this evolution. This is the “community of conscience” that Needleman wrote of. Conscience and spirituality (and not just religious spirituality) are a hindrance to the Left’s goal, but they are absolutely imperative to the success of the Founders’ vision.

“But wait,” you may say, “aren’t progressives looking out for the little guy?  For example, they want to raise the minimum wage!”  Which they do, and I am all for raising the unfortunate out of poverty.  But less than 5% of the labor force in the US earns minimum wage, and half of them get a raise within a year.  Also, about half are part-time workers such as students, and not the principle wage earners of a household.  So while they may act like they are looking out for the little guy, it is really an empty gesture that will have little to no real benefit.  While such an act may ease their “conscience”, such an act does not make them people of conscience.

Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!”, a Trojan Horse in Obama’s City of Hope and Change

238 years ago Patrick Henry gave one of the most influential and moving speeches ever, the overriding sentiment being perfectly summed up in his final statement:  “Give me liberty or give me death!”  Reading through the short speech (which is actually a reconstruction, since nobody transcribed it when Patrick Henry spoke before the Second Virginia Convention on that day in March, 1775), I was stuck by how relevant it is today.  The possibility of armed conflict with our Dear Leader really isn’t the issue, but we still stand to lose as much as did those who forged the stage on which we stand today.  The Far Left Progressives, since they “know what is good for us,” are willing to deny us any and all of our endowed rights that empower us as free-thinking individuals.  To them, the Constitution is merely a pesky scrap of antiquated paper; those who forged it, simply old men operating in secret behind closed doors.

Today we are increasingly exposed to the lies and deceptions of the Obama administration:  Bengazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS and NSA scandals, and, of course, Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act.  In 2010 NBC published a news article that stated the Obamacare officials knew back then that somewhere between 44% and 66% of citizens would not be able to keep the healthcare plan in which they were currently enrolled.  So much for “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.  Period.”

Free people choose their destinies, or at least choose the destiny they wish to pursue, although they may not reach it.  Come what may, we must be allowed to pursue our lives, for that is the only way humanity will evolve as a society.   Liberty is at the heart of what we all hold dear; as Patrick Henry stated, it is more precious than life itself:  ” Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!”

The following excerpt is especially poignant.  The “president” was the president of the Second Virginia Convention, but I was struck by how you can direct it to our Dear Leader as he sings the siren’s song of “hope and change” he hopes will enchant us to throw off the chains of liberty and make us good little obedient subjects:

“Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?”

And later:

“There is no longer any room for hope.”

And this especially, one sentence only, but a sentence that we should all heed, as more and more of Obama’s promises of “hope and change” are found to be much more insidious than we once believed:

“I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.”

When in the entire course of all of human history has a government reigned justly over a defenseless and silenced populace, over one which the government “knows better”?  When has an all-powerful government never treated all its citizens as potential criminals and enemies of the state?  When the right to speak out has not been silenced, the right of self-defense not been prohibited, and the subjects not been subjugated to some sort of expansive Big Brother spying, and eventual search and seizure?  Without too much imagination, one can easily see how Obama’s scandals might be sending us down that path.  If we are not vigilant, we may find ourselves in a position in which:

“Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne.”

Patrick Henry gave us a choice:

“Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?”

Or we can hold fast to our liberties, our Constitution and the representative government which it promises, and all the endowed rights and means by which our freedom and our children’s freedom protects liberty, for “The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave”, and “. . . we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power.”

And again, probable the best ending ever:”

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

“You still have your health (and Obamacare is watching)”

The Founders envisioned the government of the United States to be run by “self-governing” individuals, people whose morals and conscience would enable them to consciously embrace certain principles and ideals, and whose intelligence and experience would allow them to apply their skills in new and varied situations.  They believed that morals and conscience allowed an individual to at least partially “know” natural law, or the divine order of the cosmos.  This was a popular theme during the Age of Enlightenment, and one that was the subject of many writers, including Thomas Paine who went all the way back to the ideas of Cicero when writing of this subject.  They believed that a person of conscience was compelled to follow the natural law, thus promoting the pursuit of all that is good and harmonious.

In other words, a person was ideally not to be commanded to do good by anyone – not another individual, certainly not a government, and really not even a divine being – but rather the impetus to do good would come from within, from their conscience.  (Anthony Burgess in A Clockwork Orange wrote: “Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness?”.)  An individual’s conscience, in turn, came from the use of reason when examining the needs of individuals and society, which promoted moral behavior, leading to a better society, which in turn would lead to an enhanced conscience, and so on and so forth.   A person of conscience would become a self-governing individual, and self-governing individuals would organize into a self-governing society.  As society tended to become more “perfect”, the need for government would lessen, as there would be increasingly fewer occasions for government to exercise civil and legal powers to protect individual rights.

“You still have your health” is often used when someone has lost financially, or some other misfortune has befallen them, the idea of course being that health is life, and life is precious, and a healthy, competent individual has a good chance to get back on his or her feet again.  In truth, our corporeal bodies might be the only physical thing we truly own.  Physical objects we may possess, and have a legal right to (at least, subject to the whims of our government), but we only truly own those things when they are in our control.  Cars can be stolen, bank accounts can be compromised, etc., but our bodies and our health are uniquely our own.  This might be at the root of the aversion many feel at the thought of Obamacare:  that an impersonal, overreaching governmental behemoth may suddenly have access to us at a very personal level.  A government that was envisioned to be formed of individuals of conscience, that was entrusted with the responsibility to protect the rights of its citizens, now assuming powers that it was never imagined to possess.  This is not on the road to the self-governing society that Paine envisioned.  Will we still have our health if the government becomes a controlling force in healthcare?  Or will the government “have” our health?  Will they be the ones truly in control of our physical selves?  Given the failures of the recent administrations when attempting to undertake tasks of much smaller scale, I feel there is plenty to be worried about.

Down south there is another term:  “You still have your religion.”  When you’ve lost everything, and your health is failing, that term is used.  If you still have faith and hope, you at least have faith and hope, if nothing else.  “Losing your religion” truly means to lose everything, including your faith.  I wonder how many of us will lose faith in our government within the next three years, as direct or indirect result of Obamacare.