Calls for an American dictator

George Will notes progressivism’s impatience–”We can’t wait!” in the words of President Obama’s campaign–which manifests itself in an impatience with constitutional checks and balances and a willingness to get around them.

His column, which I also posted about yesterday, includes some interesting quotations from journalists during the depression of the 1930s who were actually calling for a dictatorship:

Commonweal, a magazine for liberal Catholics, said that Roosevelt should have “the powers of a virtual dictatorship to reorganize the government.” Walter Lippmann, then America’s preeminent columnist, said: “A mild species of dictatorship will help us over the roughest spots in the road ahead.” The New York Daily News, then the nation’s largest-circulation newspaper, cheerfully editorialized: “A lot of us have been asking for a dictator. Now we have one. . . . It is Roosevelt. . . . Dictatorship in crises was ancient Rome’s best era.” The New York Herald Tribune titled an editorial “For Dictatorship if Necessary.”

via Obama follows the progressive president’s model of martial language – The Washington Post.

As we face our national problems, economic and otherwise, we must take care not to jettison our liberties in a panicked  desire for the government to “do something.”

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    Yes, well, maybe previous attempts at a rational, humane dictatorship have been miserable failures, but this time we’ll get it right! Or else. So, all you counter-revolutionaries, and running dog capitalist stooges, agents of the oligarchs, vain aristocrats, and other enemies of the Volk, better get with the program or face the pogrom.

  • SKPeterson

    Yes, well, maybe previous attempts at a rational, humane dictatorship have been miserable failures, but this time we’ll get it right! Or else. So, all you counter-revolutionaries, and running dog capitalist stooges, agents of the oligarchs, vain aristocrats, and other enemies of the Volk, better get with the program or face the pogrom.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Yes, THIS time ‘the left’ will get it right.

    The are off to a fine start.

    The DO- GOODERS will never stop.

    Lord, save us from the DO-GOODERS.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Yes, THIS time ‘the left’ will get it right.

    The are off to a fine start.

    The DO- GOODERS will never stop.

    Lord, save us from the DO-GOODERS.

  • MichaelZ

    Their calls for a dictator came at an interesting time in history…the 1930s…hm…
    You know, I seem to remember that there were some other nations that asked for the same thing around that time…

  • MichaelZ

    Their calls for a dictator came at an interesting time in history…the 1930s…hm…
    You know, I seem to remember that there were some other nations that asked for the same thing around that time…

  • Random Lutheran

    And our Roman arc continues. Thankfully there are no major figures on the national stage…yet.

  • Random Lutheran

    And our Roman arc continues. Thankfully there are no major figures on the national stage…yet.

  • kenneth

    ——–First you confuse the religious question as one that has no real object and then a dictator is ripe for rotting, Dictator His or Her can then take power! ! ! And power is everything…..

  • kenneth

    ——–First you confuse the religious question as one that has no real object and then a dictator is ripe for rotting, Dictator His or Her can then take power! ! ! And power is everything…..

  • Steve Billingsley

    This is not new. I seem to recall that the people of Israel asked for a king at the end of the days of the judges.

    I do remember after Obama’s election, during the two month time frame between the election and the inauguration reading a couple of articles urging the U.S. to dispense with the transition period and go ahead and install Obama as president. (We can’t wait! Can’t that evil Bush go already!)

  • Steve Billingsley

    This is not new. I seem to recall that the people of Israel asked for a king at the end of the days of the judges.

    I do remember after Obama’s election, during the two month time frame between the election and the inauguration reading a couple of articles urging the U.S. to dispense with the transition period and go ahead and install Obama as president. (We can’t wait! Can’t that evil Bush go already!)

  • trotk

    For all those who are blaming this on the left, or implying that those around Obama are primarily responsible for this sort of talk, there are plenty of examples of the social conservatives calling for this sort of thing. In fact, there is a healthy dose of this mentality in Bush and Santorum, although they would never say it in these terms.

  • trotk

    For all those who are blaming this on the left, or implying that those around Obama are primarily responsible for this sort of talk, there are plenty of examples of the social conservatives calling for this sort of thing. In fact, there is a healthy dose of this mentality in Bush and Santorum, although they would never say it in these terms.

  • Tom Hering

    So … where are the quotations from leftists, liberals, progressives, and socialists calling for a dictator, or a President with some dictatorial powers? Contemporary examples, please – not from the 1930s.

    In the meantime:

    “I would love a conservative dictatorship, if you will. Right? Where we can dictate everything.” – Rep. Duncan Hunter ( R ), April 16, 2011 (Laura Ingraham interview on FOX News).

    “By elevating popular fancy over truth, Democracy is clearly an enemy of not just truth, but duty and justice, which makes it the worst form of government. President Bush must overcome not just the situation in Iraq, but democratic government.” – Philip Atkinson, August 3, 2007 (Family Security Matters website, Center for Security Policy, a right-wing think tank).

    “Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ – to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.” – George Grant, The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action, Dominion Press, 1987).

  • Tom Hering

    So … where are the quotations from leftists, liberals, progressives, and socialists calling for a dictator, or a President with some dictatorial powers? Contemporary examples, please – not from the 1930s.

    In the meantime:

    “I would love a conservative dictatorship, if you will. Right? Where we can dictate everything.” – Rep. Duncan Hunter ( R ), April 16, 2011 (Laura Ingraham interview on FOX News).

    “By elevating popular fancy over truth, Democracy is clearly an enemy of not just truth, but duty and justice, which makes it the worst form of government. President Bush must overcome not just the situation in Iraq, but democratic government.” – Philip Atkinson, August 3, 2007 (Family Security Matters website, Center for Security Policy, a right-wing think tank).

    “Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ – to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.” – George Grant, The Changing of the Guard: Biblical Principles for Political Action, Dominion Press, 1987).

  • trotk

    Tom, to add to your list, here is a personal favorite of mine:

  • trotk

    Tom, to add to your list, here is a personal favorite of mine:

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    And it was only weeks ago when Newt was pondering adding the right to ignore the courts, the first step to dictatorial rights. This is a common theme from both sides, methinks….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    And it was only weeks ago when Newt was pondering adding the right to ignore the courts, the first step to dictatorial rights. This is a common theme from both sides, methinks….

  • Steve Billingsley

    I think it is just human nature, not the province of any political point of view. What is it that Lord Acton said about power? It is true about all of us and not just in the province of politics. Who hasn’t interacted (or been) the middle manager who has a little bit too much of sense of their own importance? Or the customer service manager who puts the rules ahead of good customer service? The list of examples could go on and on.

  • Steve Billingsley

    I think it is just human nature, not the province of any political point of view. What is it that Lord Acton said about power? It is true about all of us and not just in the province of politics. Who hasn’t interacted (or been) the middle manager who has a little bit too much of sense of their own importance? Or the customer service manager who puts the rules ahead of good customer service? The list of examples could go on and on.

  • Tom Hering

    There certainly was a time when the American Left kind of liked the idea of a benevolent dictatorship. But the anti-democratic voices I’m hearing today are coming from the right. So, no, I don’t think it’s “a common theme from both sides.”

  • Tom Hering

    There certainly was a time when the American Left kind of liked the idea of a benevolent dictatorship. But the anti-democratic voices I’m hearing today are coming from the right. So, no, I don’t think it’s “a common theme from both sides.”

  • trotk

    Tom, a current example:

    The Bev Perdue (D), governor of North Carolina, recently said the following:

    “You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It’s a little bit more contentious now but it’s not impossible to try to do what’s right in this state. You want people who don’t worry about the next election.”

    She has just announced that she isn’t running for re-election. It seems that people didn’t like this suggestion.

  • trotk

    Tom, a current example:

    The Bev Perdue (D), governor of North Carolina, recently said the following:

    “You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It’s a little bit more contentious now but it’s not impossible to try to do what’s right in this state. You want people who don’t worry about the next election.”

    She has just announced that she isn’t running for re-election. It seems that people didn’t like this suggestion.

  • Tom Hering

    trotk @ 13, thanks for that. Yet one quotation from a Democrat doesn’t support Klasie’s thought that this sort of thing is common on both ends of the political spectrum. I would need to see at least as many anti-democratic quotations from the Left as we’ve cited from the Right.

  • Tom Hering

    trotk @ 13, thanks for that. Yet one quotation from a Democrat doesn’t support Klasie’s thought that this sort of thing is common on both ends of the political spectrum. I would need to see at least as many anti-democratic quotations from the Left as we’ve cited from the Right.

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    When one goes with the current tide…

    “A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” Chesterton

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    When one goes with the current tide…

    “A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” Chesterton

  • Steve Billingsley

    Tom,

    Looking at your quotes, you aren’t making your case.

    1. Duncan Hunter, in context, is talking about the situation in Iraq in 2007. He is frustrated with the Iraqi coalition government and the difficulty working with them. He is not referring the American government at all.
    2 and 3 – Philip Atkinson and George Grant? They may have influence within their circles, but they aren’t exactly household names with the ear of the powerful. There are lots more right-wing think tankers or policy wonks with more influence. And quoting a dominionist nutjob from a book written in the 80s doesn’t even rate a bullet point. You might as well quote Lyndon LaRouche as being representative of the Democratic Party.

    Newt Gingrich’s statements about judges drew just as much fire from the right as from the left. For example – Ed Whelan in National Review, wrote a five-part series detailing just how bad of an idea it was. Link to part 1 below…

    http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/286013/gingrich-s-awful-proposal-abolish-judgeships-part-1-ed-whelan

  • Steve Billingsley

    Tom,

    Looking at your quotes, you aren’t making your case.

    1. Duncan Hunter, in context, is talking about the situation in Iraq in 2007. He is frustrated with the Iraqi coalition government and the difficulty working with them. He is not referring the American government at all.
    2 and 3 – Philip Atkinson and George Grant? They may have influence within their circles, but they aren’t exactly household names with the ear of the powerful. There are lots more right-wing think tankers or policy wonks with more influence. And quoting a dominionist nutjob from a book written in the 80s doesn’t even rate a bullet point. You might as well quote Lyndon LaRouche as being representative of the Democratic Party.

    Newt Gingrich’s statements about judges drew just as much fire from the right as from the left. For example – Ed Whelan in National Review, wrote a five-part series detailing just how bad of an idea it was. Link to part 1 below…

    http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/286013/gingrich-s-awful-proposal-abolish-judgeships-part-1-ed-whelan

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 16, we’re talking about the influence and respectability of anti-democratic voices? I thought we were talking about whether or not they’re indicative of something fundamental to the Left or the Right. Or, if not that, then just where they’re mostly coming from these days.

  • Tom Hering

    Steve @ 16, we’re talking about the influence and respectability of anti-democratic voices? I thought we were talking about whether or not they’re indicative of something fundamental to the Left or the Right. Or, if not that, then just where they’re mostly coming from these days.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Tom @ 17
    It does speak to where the voices are coming from these days. If you troll the fringes of the Left or Right – you will find lots of nutty things said about dictatorship or a variety of subjects.
    I don’t think that this kind of talk is fundamental to the Right or the Left. I think it is fundamental to human nature. But I don’t see a lot of it coming from legitimate representatives of the political Right. But then again, I don’t see a lot of it coming from the political Left, either – regardless of what George Will says. I do see policies that I think are wrong, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are dictatorial or anti-democratic.
    One voice that I do see that engages in this kind of fantasy pretty regularly is Thomas Friedman, with is fairly regular paeans to China and how they seem to get things done. But I see a difference between columnists and political leaders.

    (Also, I think Newt Gingrich is an egomaniacal fool who deserves his own category – but his prominence in the Republican Party has been a pain in my tookus for quite some time).

  • Steve Billingsley

    Tom @ 17
    It does speak to where the voices are coming from these days. If you troll the fringes of the Left or Right – you will find lots of nutty things said about dictatorship or a variety of subjects.
    I don’t think that this kind of talk is fundamental to the Right or the Left. I think it is fundamental to human nature. But I don’t see a lot of it coming from legitimate representatives of the political Right. But then again, I don’t see a lot of it coming from the political Left, either – regardless of what George Will says. I do see policies that I think are wrong, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are dictatorial or anti-democratic.
    One voice that I do see that engages in this kind of fantasy pretty regularly is Thomas Friedman, with is fairly regular paeans to China and how they seem to get things done. But I see a difference between columnists and political leaders.

    (Also, I think Newt Gingrich is an egomaniacal fool who deserves his own category – but his prominence in the Republican Party has been a pain in my tookus for quite some time).

  • Tom Hering

    As for Duncan Hunter, the context was dealmaking in Congress. The U.S. Congress. He said “I would love a conservative dictatorship … but …” And not “I wouldn’t want a conservative dictatorship … because …”

    Where’s the congressperson who said, “I would love a liberal dictatorship … but …”?

    But I agree with you that anti-democratic (or even questionably democratic) statements are not characteristic of either true liberals or true conservatives. Now, as to how many of either we actually have around these days … :-D

  • Tom Hering

    As for Duncan Hunter, the context was dealmaking in Congress. The U.S. Congress. He said “I would love a conservative dictatorship … but …” And not “I wouldn’t want a conservative dictatorship … because …”

    Where’s the congressperson who said, “I would love a liberal dictatorship … but …”?

    But I agree with you that anti-democratic (or even questionably democratic) statements are not characteristic of either true liberals or true conservatives. Now, as to how many of either we actually have around these days … :-D

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sigh. Sigh, sigh, sigh.

    George Will notes progressivism’s impatience–”We can’t wait!” in the words of President Obama’s campaign–which manifests itself in an impatience with constitutional checks and balances and a willingness to get around them.

    As we face our national problems, economic and otherwise, we must take care not to jettison our liberties in a panicked desire for the government to “do something.”

    I don’t disagree with Will’s point about Obama, but I can’t believe anyone would be so naive as to believe this is limited to “progressivism”.

    Were you all asleep after 9/11, when it was the Republicans screaming that we had to “do something”? When we passed the Patriot Act with such speed (“we can’t wait!”) that Congressmen almost certainly didn’t have time to actually read it? When the Bush administration (notably, Alberto Gonzales) got impatient with the Constitutional checks and balances that supposedly impeded our ability to prosecute the “War on Terror” (i.e. habeus corpus)?

    It seems that most of this country is predisposed towards dictatorship — as long as it’s the right kind of dictatorship. Republicans want a dictator who will ensure our safety from Muslim terrorists. Democrats want a dictator who can bring us a socialist state.

    But the problem is that not enough of us are actually enthusiastic about keeping our liberties, en toto. So Obama steps into the increased power that the Republicans gave Bush. And the next Republican President will doubtless take up the power arguments that Obama is now making. The end goals may be different, but the diminishing freedom and increasing governmental power are the same means.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Sigh. Sigh, sigh, sigh.

    George Will notes progressivism’s impatience–”We can’t wait!” in the words of President Obama’s campaign–which manifests itself in an impatience with constitutional checks and balances and a willingness to get around them.

    As we face our national problems, economic and otherwise, we must take care not to jettison our liberties in a panicked desire for the government to “do something.”

    I don’t disagree with Will’s point about Obama, but I can’t believe anyone would be so naive as to believe this is limited to “progressivism”.

    Were you all asleep after 9/11, when it was the Republicans screaming that we had to “do something”? When we passed the Patriot Act with such speed (“we can’t wait!”) that Congressmen almost certainly didn’t have time to actually read it? When the Bush administration (notably, Alberto Gonzales) got impatient with the Constitutional checks and balances that supposedly impeded our ability to prosecute the “War on Terror” (i.e. habeus corpus)?

    It seems that most of this country is predisposed towards dictatorship — as long as it’s the right kind of dictatorship. Republicans want a dictator who will ensure our safety from Muslim terrorists. Democrats want a dictator who can bring us a socialist state.

    But the problem is that not enough of us are actually enthusiastic about keeping our liberties, en toto. So Obama steps into the increased power that the Republicans gave Bush. And the next Republican President will doubtless take up the power arguments that Obama is now making. The end goals may be different, but the diminishing freedom and increasing governmental power are the same means.

  • Cincinnatus

    Caesarism knows no partisan boundaries, and any good conservative should oppose it in all its guises.

  • Cincinnatus

    Caesarism knows no partisan boundaries, and any good conservative should oppose it in all its guises.

  • –helen

    But neither side will repeal the Patriot Act.
    They both relish that much power!

  • –helen

    But neither side will repeal the Patriot Act.
    They both relish that much power!

  • SKPeterson

    Oh, come Cincinnatus. Everyone know dictatorships are only temporary. They end once the emergency is over. I mean look at Augustus, once peace was restored after the death of Julius Caesar, the Republic was reinvigorated and given a new lease on life. Sure, there were continued emergencies that required attention under Tiberius and all those others that that crank Suetonius wrote about. But, we got Hadrian – he built a wall! and Marcus Aurelius – the man have been a despot, but he was enlightened. Okay, maybe the occasional Commodus or Caligula or Nero or Domitian pops up – but emergencies and crises need to be addressed and addressed forthrightly by a man who can do the job.

  • SKPeterson

    Oh, come Cincinnatus. Everyone know dictatorships are only temporary. They end once the emergency is over. I mean look at Augustus, once peace was restored after the death of Julius Caesar, the Republic was reinvigorated and given a new lease on life. Sure, there were continued emergencies that required attention under Tiberius and all those others that that crank Suetonius wrote about. But, we got Hadrian – he built a wall! and Marcus Aurelius – the man have been a despot, but he was enlightened. Okay, maybe the occasional Commodus or Caligula or Nero or Domitian pops up – but emergencies and crises need to be addressed and addressed forthrightly by a man who can do the job.

  • Cincinnatus

    Finally my username is relevant.

  • Cincinnatus

    Finally my username is relevant.

  • JunkerGeorg

    I expect tyranny from the left in the name of supposed progress, but as others here have pointed out, there is just as much potential tyranny from the Fox News “Neoconned” Right and they vex me even more, a recovering neocon myself. At least the left can openly disregard the Constitution, whereas the current Republican establishment pays lip service to it, appealing to it when expedient, hardly “conservative”, at least in a strictly constitutional sense, and hardly fiscally conservative (ala TARP, Debt Increase, etc.) I mean, not only do they not even at least consider “blowback” a partial reason for terrorism put forward by more than CIA expert director (e.g., Michael Schuer), but they even go so far as to boo the “Golden Rule”. But I guess when a philandering Newt Gingrich goes after Clinton for philandering, it is ok, because, you know, Newt’s a Republican. Sick and blind, sick and blind…

    But, of course, for those in the cave, the echo chamber of Limbaugh/Hannity, making such statements must mean I’m one of those hemp-wearing followers of that “evil”, “dangerous”, crazy old kook Ron Paul, you know, the man who is actually serious about adherence to the constitution and has a clear record in the past and a clear platform in the present to prove it (for which he is therefore just given the blanket label “libertarian” by the Neocon Right, without any qualification as to the type of libertarian thought he might reflect, given there is anywhere from 8-28 different versions of libertarianism depending on who you ask. Of course, since most don’t understand this, they wrongly equate libertarian with “liberaltarian”, just as much as they wrongly equate Republican with “constitutional”!!!)

    Again, the supposed Democrat vs. Republican paradigm distracts us from the deeper philosophical issue over the purpose, place, role of government in general–of whether it should be authoritarian and unlimited (over/above the constitution’s restraints/limitations) or libertarian and limited. Both parties voted for TARP, Debt Increase, and the most recent NDAA (“Enabling Act of 1933″ anyone?) As things stand, the less the Constitution is abided by, the more authoritarian the government becomes, regardless of which party is in control. Is that hard to understand? Is it hard to see the wisdom in being wary of the proverbial “law of unintended consequences”? In some ways we’re Rome (except Rome lasted alot longer than we likely will), or as others have suggested, Germany in the 1930′s.

  • JunkerGeorg

    I expect tyranny from the left in the name of supposed progress, but as others here have pointed out, there is just as much potential tyranny from the Fox News “Neoconned” Right and they vex me even more, a recovering neocon myself. At least the left can openly disregard the Constitution, whereas the current Republican establishment pays lip service to it, appealing to it when expedient, hardly “conservative”, at least in a strictly constitutional sense, and hardly fiscally conservative (ala TARP, Debt Increase, etc.) I mean, not only do they not even at least consider “blowback” a partial reason for terrorism put forward by more than CIA expert director (e.g., Michael Schuer), but they even go so far as to boo the “Golden Rule”. But I guess when a philandering Newt Gingrich goes after Clinton for philandering, it is ok, because, you know, Newt’s a Republican. Sick and blind, sick and blind…

    But, of course, for those in the cave, the echo chamber of Limbaugh/Hannity, making such statements must mean I’m one of those hemp-wearing followers of that “evil”, “dangerous”, crazy old kook Ron Paul, you know, the man who is actually serious about adherence to the constitution and has a clear record in the past and a clear platform in the present to prove it (for which he is therefore just given the blanket label “libertarian” by the Neocon Right, without any qualification as to the type of libertarian thought he might reflect, given there is anywhere from 8-28 different versions of libertarianism depending on who you ask. Of course, since most don’t understand this, they wrongly equate libertarian with “liberaltarian”, just as much as they wrongly equate Republican with “constitutional”!!!)

    Again, the supposed Democrat vs. Republican paradigm distracts us from the deeper philosophical issue over the purpose, place, role of government in general–of whether it should be authoritarian and unlimited (over/above the constitution’s restraints/limitations) or libertarian and limited. Both parties voted for TARP, Debt Increase, and the most recent NDAA (“Enabling Act of 1933″ anyone?) As things stand, the less the Constitution is abided by, the more authoritarian the government becomes, regardless of which party is in control. Is that hard to understand? Is it hard to see the wisdom in being wary of the proverbial “law of unintended consequences”? In some ways we’re Rome (except Rome lasted alot longer than we likely will), or as others have suggested, Germany in the 1930′s.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    and we Christians are doing WHAT!?
    turning the other cheek-how many ‘other cheeks do we have to turn!?
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    and we Christians are doing WHAT!?
    turning the other cheek-how many ‘other cheeks do we have to turn!?
    C-CS

  • CRB

    I believe that a country whose population majority rejects the gospel will get what it deserves in the form of government that the good Lord allows to arise and prevail (perhaps for a short while, or for many decades). The Lord, however, is always in control—even when despots rule a nation.

  • CRB

    I believe that a country whose population majority rejects the gospel will get what it deserves in the form of government that the good Lord allows to arise and prevail (perhaps for a short while, or for many decades). The Lord, however, is always in control—even when despots rule a nation.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Junker – “recovering neocon”? Do tell – what made you change your mind / recognise the madness?

    Carol – we’ll keep on turning them, till they roasted, like the martyrs of old.

    CRB – we all deserve death, because we all reject the Gospel every day. But God let’s it rain on the just and the unjust.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Junker – “recovering neocon”? Do tell – what made you change your mind / recognise the madness?

    Carol – we’ll keep on turning them, till they roasted, like the martyrs of old.

    CRB – we all deserve death, because we all reject the Gospel every day. But God let’s it rain on the just and the unjust.

  • http://www.leadershipethicsonline.com John D. Willis

    I concur with your statements about the caution needed in any major policy actions in the midst of crises. I have a few short points.

    1. We are NOT in the times, yet, when the cries for the government to take charge occurred in the 1930s. It is the height of anachronism to apply those calls–in the midst of threatening social revolution, due to hunger, etc–to today’s crises. While I believe we have the foundations poured for similar chaos, we have yet to experience the “tipping point” that will produce similar calls, and they WILL come, once we are there. (To find out what “there” means, please do some serious social research on various forms of violence in the Great Depression.)

    2. I find Obama a moral vacuum, though I voted for him. Nevertheless, I want to note how, with all this George-Will-as-polestar argument you’ve posed–as a self-identified conservative, I would suggest that the FACTS are that whatever “Constitutional threats” ANYONE poses today, that the Patriot Act was, factually, the most egregious “midnight mandate” that shook the spine, and cut off major neural branches, to the U.S. Constitution.

    For your information, I voted Republican from Reagan until GW the first time. I put NO trust in ANY political party, NONE, nor in ANY put forth by any party–which means, de facto, that they have been bought and paid for.

    So, good brother (if you will grant ME that status) in Christ, if you should choose to follow the money, follow the facts, then you will find yourself in very, very lonely company.

    I submit two of my essays for you:

    http://www.leadershipethicsonline.com/2011/07/21/september-11-ten-years-after-christian-reflections/

    http://www.leadershipethicsonline.com/insure-domestic-tranquility-biology-human-nature-federal-debt-future/

    I was just today given your blog by a good Lutheran friend of mine. I intend to start reading it, at least until I see that you are more attached to a political ideology than to facts–wherever they lead.

    I am by nature conservative, because I am a believer in Jesus Christ, resurrected, and in the gift of the Holy Spirit; however, I find myself utterly revolted, usually, by Christians whose minds have been framed more by ideological habit, than the more difficult, nasty, messy, time-consuming method of seeking to learn the evidences of the Truth, which usually is found between the extremes of the rabid Left or rabid Right.

    In Christian Love, Keep Faithful,
    John W

  • http://www.leadershipethicsonline.com John D. Willis

    I concur with your statements about the caution needed in any major policy actions in the midst of crises. I have a few short points.

    1. We are NOT in the times, yet, when the cries for the government to take charge occurred in the 1930s. It is the height of anachronism to apply those calls–in the midst of threatening social revolution, due to hunger, etc–to today’s crises. While I believe we have the foundations poured for similar chaos, we have yet to experience the “tipping point” that will produce similar calls, and they WILL come, once we are there. (To find out what “there” means, please do some serious social research on various forms of violence in the Great Depression.)

    2. I find Obama a moral vacuum, though I voted for him. Nevertheless, I want to note how, with all this George-Will-as-polestar argument you’ve posed–as a self-identified conservative, I would suggest that the FACTS are that whatever “Constitutional threats” ANYONE poses today, that the Patriot Act was, factually, the most egregious “midnight mandate” that shook the spine, and cut off major neural branches, to the U.S. Constitution.

    For your information, I voted Republican from Reagan until GW the first time. I put NO trust in ANY political party, NONE, nor in ANY put forth by any party–which means, de facto, that they have been bought and paid for.

    So, good brother (if you will grant ME that status) in Christ, if you should choose to follow the money, follow the facts, then you will find yourself in very, very lonely company.

    I submit two of my essays for you:

    http://www.leadershipethicsonline.com/2011/07/21/september-11-ten-years-after-christian-reflections/

    http://www.leadershipethicsonline.com/insure-domestic-tranquility-biology-human-nature-federal-debt-future/

    I was just today given your blog by a good Lutheran friend of mine. I intend to start reading it, at least until I see that you are more attached to a political ideology than to facts–wherever they lead.

    I am by nature conservative, because I am a believer in Jesus Christ, resurrected, and in the gift of the Holy Spirit; however, I find myself utterly revolted, usually, by Christians whose minds have been framed more by ideological habit, than the more difficult, nasty, messy, time-consuming method of seeking to learn the evidences of the Truth, which usually is found between the extremes of the rabid Left or rabid Right.

    In Christian Love, Keep Faithful,
    John W

  • CRB

    Klasie,
    No argument there! Grace alone.

  • CRB

    Klasie,
    No argument there! Grace alone.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    I don’t think the problem is the “left” so much as the pervasive Progressive assumption that well meaning experts need to control large parts of the lives of ordinary people.

    I’m not worried too much about dictatorship. I’m worried about self-righteous busybodies who think they should determine my healthcare decisions, my children’s education and other private concerns.

    I’m likely to lose more freedom to experts in unaccountable organizations than to an American ‘dictator’.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    I don’t think the problem is the “left” so much as the pervasive Progressive assumption that well meaning experts need to control large parts of the lives of ordinary people.

    I’m not worried too much about dictatorship. I’m worried about self-righteous busybodies who think they should determine my healthcare decisions, my children’s education and other private concerns.

    I’m likely to lose more freedom to experts in unaccountable organizations than to an American ‘dictator’.

  • SKPeterson

    SAL – That is the essence of dictatorship – rule by fiat in the form of committee. A Presidential Committee for This Important Thing, A Presidential Committee for That, all presided over by “czars” and vice-czars, and third plenipoteniary sub justiciars for This, That and the Other. Self-righteous busybodyism is the essence of authoritarianism; it is one of the prime moving forces compelling the State.

    Look at the Soviets. Look at China either under Mao, Deng or now. Look at the Fascists in Italy, Germany or Spain (or Romania or Hungary or Argentina). Look at any two-bit Latin American caudillo or junta. They all follow the same pattern, and they almost always used the same language, salted and peppered here and there with a few choice code words that prove they’re “original” and “special.”

  • SKPeterson

    SAL – That is the essence of dictatorship – rule by fiat in the form of committee. A Presidential Committee for This Important Thing, A Presidential Committee for That, all presided over by “czars” and vice-czars, and third plenipoteniary sub justiciars for This, That and the Other. Self-righteous busybodyism is the essence of authoritarianism; it is one of the prime moving forces compelling the State.

    Look at the Soviets. Look at China either under Mao, Deng or now. Look at the Fascists in Italy, Germany or Spain (or Romania or Hungary or Argentina). Look at any two-bit Latin American caudillo or junta. They all follow the same pattern, and they almost always used the same language, salted and peppered here and there with a few choice code words that prove they’re “original” and “special.”

  • Tom Hering

    John D. Willis @ 29, thanks for the link to your essay on biology and insuring domestic tranquility. It was a good read – you framed the issues in a refreshingly sensible way.

  • Tom Hering

    John D. Willis @ 29, thanks for the link to your essay on biology and insuring domestic tranquility. It was a good read – you framed the issues in a refreshingly sensible way.

  • fws

    george bush and the compliant democratic congress certainly paved the way for a dictator with the still latent powers bestowed upon the government with the patriot act.

    Obama wont be the one. But he is coming . the next time the usa faces a sept 11 it will probably happen. we value a feeling of financial and physical security much more than we value freedom dont we?

  • fws

    george bush and the compliant democratic congress certainly paved the way for a dictator with the still latent powers bestowed upon the government with the patriot act.

    Obama wont be the one. But he is coming . the next time the usa faces a sept 11 it will probably happen. we value a feeling of financial and physical security much more than we value freedom dont we?

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Mark Schroeder

    I just watched on the Today Show Matt Lauer interview President Obama. In response to a question, the President said that the founding fathers made difficult to implement change, but we are going to go ahead, etc.: That’s the whole point of the Constitution! On an NPR segment on the constitution some intellectuals decried the Constitution as an 18th century document, ill-suited for a fast-paced times and therefore should be streamlined. One of them said that it is essentially unnecessary to have a document to prevent “monarchy”. I yelled at the radio, that’s right, it is to prevent monarchy! It sure seems to me just a half hour ago that our President at least does not like this impediment of the words of a document, i.e. the Constitution, to prevent his will. Again, that’s the point. One Christian doctrine that the founding fathers believed in was original sin. As Thomas Paine wrote, we have government because men are not angels. Given our old Adamic propensity toward “wanting to be like God”, imposing the will of one branch of government, here the Executive, exclusively on the American People is what the Constitution was designed to prevent because they knew our tendency to self-aggrandizement and evil even for the “good”. Like Luther wrote, all evil begins in the Name of God. CNN on their website, date October 8th, 2007, reported during the ’08 campaign: “Obama told an evangelical church in South Carolina: ‘I am confident we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.’” And so the further problem in the President’s remarks this morning (needless to say, Lauer did not catch it), is what kind of “change” does he want? What kind of ‘kingdom’ does he want? He assumes it is the “change” and a “kingdom” we all want: it’s not.

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Mark Schroeder

    I just watched on the Today Show Matt Lauer interview President Obama. In response to a question, the President said that the founding fathers made difficult to implement change, but we are going to go ahead, etc.: That’s the whole point of the Constitution! On an NPR segment on the constitution some intellectuals decried the Constitution as an 18th century document, ill-suited for a fast-paced times and therefore should be streamlined. One of them said that it is essentially unnecessary to have a document to prevent “monarchy”. I yelled at the radio, that’s right, it is to prevent monarchy! It sure seems to me just a half hour ago that our President at least does not like this impediment of the words of a document, i.e. the Constitution, to prevent his will. Again, that’s the point. One Christian doctrine that the founding fathers believed in was original sin. As Thomas Paine wrote, we have government because men are not angels. Given our old Adamic propensity toward “wanting to be like God”, imposing the will of one branch of government, here the Executive, exclusively on the American People is what the Constitution was designed to prevent because they knew our tendency to self-aggrandizement and evil even for the “good”. Like Luther wrote, all evil begins in the Name of God. CNN on their website, date October 8th, 2007, reported during the ’08 campaign: “Obama told an evangelical church in South Carolina: ‘I am confident we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.’” And so the further problem in the President’s remarks this morning (needless to say, Lauer did not catch it), is what kind of “change” does he want? What kind of ‘kingdom’ does he want? He assumes it is the “change” and a “kingdom” we all want: it’s not.

  • Tom Hering

    Rev. Schroeder @ 35, you should have watched Bill Moyers last night. His guest was social psychologist Jonathan Haidt (author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion), who argued that conservatives have a better grasp of human nature than liberals do. (I agree.)

    http://billmoyers.com/episode/how-do-conservatives-and-liberals-see-the-world/

  • Tom Hering

    Rev. Schroeder @ 35, you should have watched Bill Moyers last night. His guest was social psychologist Jonathan Haidt (author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion), who argued that conservatives have a better grasp of human nature than liberals do. (I agree.)

    http://billmoyers.com/episode/how-do-conservatives-and-liberals-see-the-world/

  • Mark Johnson

    Let’s not forget Card Check for unions. Any move away from a secret ballot is a move towards dictatorship.

  • Mark Johnson

    Let’s not forget Card Check for unions. Any move away from a secret ballot is a move towards dictatorship.


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