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.

Is this a story we will be telling our grandchildren?

It was actually quite easy:  by promising us freedoms in the form of “freedom from” – freedom from want, from crime, from social injustices and inequalities, all those human ills against which every free society struggles – the government was able to deny its citizens the traditional American values of “freedom to”.

They started small.  They could have started with any of the Ten Amendments, but they chose the Second because that seemed to make the most sense at the time.  After all, criminals use guns, so take away firearms and crime will stop.

After all, they told us, you don’t need firearms for self-defense.  We can watch with drones, we can collect and monitor phone records and other forms of electronic communication, we can use our bureaucratic tax structure and institutions to control those sections of government and society alike who don’t think like we do.  Crime will be an ill of other nations, and if a few of our diplomats get killed in those far-off lands, what difference does it make?  We are trying to make sure our society doesn’t end up like theirs.

Just like the Founders (those “old men operating in secret behind closed doors”) could not have imagined modern firearm technology (untrue), they also couldn’t possibly have envisioned the effects of modern communication and monitoring technology (if they had, the Bill of Rights would have been longer and more robust).  It’s obvious, they told us, that the Second Amendment is no longer needed.  It’s antiquated, obsolete, and the government can provide for your self-defense.  And if the government gets out of line, we have the First Amendment to redress any grievances.  They assured us that we would always have the First.

So when the increased government presence was found to be ineffective at relieving citizens of their burdens, that crime continued to increase and social injustices continued to prevail – as is inevitable when one addresses the symptoms and not the true causes –the response was a further increase of governmental power.  The Fourth Amendment, protecting us against a standing army within our borders, was suspended.  Temporarily, of course.  After all, the Fourth prohibited a standing army in a time of peace, and our society wasn’t sufficiently peaceful.

And so it came to be that there was formed a society of frightened, defenseless citizens at the mercy of armed criminals and the armed government forces put in place to protect us and “form a more perfect union.”

And when the inevitable happened, when it became clear that the government was ineffective at solving society’s ills, and that it had become a tremendous burden, that injustices were being carried out by those in power against their subjects – for subjects we had become – we used our First Amendment rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression to redress our grievances against.  We wrote letters to the media, or at least that part of the media that had yet to succumb to government oversight, and we gathered in public spaces in protest.  At times frustrated citizen-subjects turned violent, and government forces were called in to disperse the crowds (mobs, they called them).  Eventually all public assembly was prohibited – again, only temporarily until the officials could get a hold on things.  So we continued to use the remainder of the First to contact the media and our fellow citizen-subjects.  But that just continued to inflame our fellows and anger our government, and since the government had gotten so effective at monitoring our communications, they stopped that behavior, too.  So the citizen-subjects were stripped of the First Amendment, the Second was a distant memory, and the Fourth was suspended indefinitely as a strong armed presence was deemed necessary to keep order in society.

After all, they said, isn’t it the job of government to ensure a perfect, peaceful society?  The Government has to have these powers in order to be able to guarantee “freedom from” all of society’s ills.  Men and women of a society simply cannot be trusted to properly use “freedom to”

And that, children, is how the Government turned its citizens into just that:  children.