The shadow of the jackboot…

I have only just begun to read news about The Ghastly Mrs. Pelosi’s machinations, or the single-mindedness of the president who flinches at the slightest criticism but seems not to care about the CIC part of his job, and the passing of the monster bill, and also about some of the troubling rumbles coming out of Europe. While reading, I had the overwhelming image of the shadow of a jackboot, poised just above our nation.

Socialism is an opportunistic infection of the body politic. It occurs when defenses are low.
-Glenn Reynolds

and

Look, liberty is not lost in a day. It is lost in increments and inches. Today you will not smoke in a pub – or smoke at all – even though those in charge might. Tomorrow the government will set your house temperature for you, while keeping their own set to their comfort levels. They will tell you how much money you may fairly earn, while “they” are not quite so limited. Next year your son will be forced to participate in mandatory volunteerism, and so will your mother. Soon you will be advised to abandon your hate-filled intolerant church for the approved and correct one. Someday, you may be asked to bow before someone and you will have to say “yes” and then live with yourself, or say “no” and live with those consequences. The banality of slavery…it is almost a tedious thing.
Me, here

We’d best prepare ourselves for an America we could not have imagined even 9 years ago, and a world besieged by an ideology that seems to be heading to a victorious ascendancy.

“Seems” being the operative word.

Remember what I said back in November; sometimes bad things have to happen, have to be allowed to happen, before something great can happen in response. This is one of the lessons of the crucifix. Sometimes wholly unjust and destructive things will happen, but it is never the end of the story. The resurrection would not have happened, had the crucifixion not been allowed; not just allowed, but surrendered to and embraced by Jesus.

This morning at mass, I made my thanksgiving, praying, “thank you, Lord, for coming into our world.” And in a moment I understood the silliness of that simple prayer, given the constant reality of Christ. I no sooner said the words than I was powerfully reminded that Christ has not “come into” our world, that He was in the world; through Him the world was made. He does not penetrate our world so much as draw us into His Divine Reality, which looks nothing like what we think we know.

Remember this, too:

“Everything” is about nothing.
Everything ended with the sacrifice of the Lamb.
All is consummated.
We are forever and always at the Last Supper, at the Crucifixion, at the Resurrection.
Time ended with the tearing of the veil and the rolling back of the stone.
The rest is illusion and catching up.
There is nothing to be afraid of.

Even that jackboot, whose shadow seems poised so directly over North America, it is an illusion, because it is a shadow of worldly, earthly power, which is fetid, transient and finite. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1

Or, as Buster so ably put it, in wide-eyed innocence, a few years back:

Christ gave himself to us – freely – of his own free will. A Gift freely given. If someone takes the Gift and spits on it or whatever – they’re only destroying what was given to them, they are destroying what is “theirs.” They don’t in any way destroy the Giver of the Gift, or lessen the Giver…OR the Gift. So they have no power over it, they can’t dominate it. All they can do is destroy themselves within themselves.”

We who are surrendered to Christ and thus exiled have already freely given ourselves over to the Constant Reality of Christ, therefore while we may suffer the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” reflected -often painfully and frighteningly- in our material circumstances, we are nevertheless untouched in our deepest selves, which belong to God alone; it is there we exist in freedom and peace, and where we persevere. The very real power that comes from the interior life -from prayer, quiet and contemplation- is a most subversive and devastating weapon. It will, in the fullness of time, “awake the dawn.”

Remember these words offered by our excellent pope, Benedict XVI, in almost prescient fashion:

It begins like this: “In aeternum, Domine, verbum tuum constitutum est in caelo… firmasti terram, et permanet”. This refers to the solidity of the Word. It is solid, it is the true reality on which one must base one’s life. Let us remember the words of Jesus who continues the words of this Psalm: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”. Humanly speaking, the word, my human word, is almost nothing in reality, a breath. As soon as it is pronounced it disappears. It seems to be nothing. But already the human word has incredible power. Words create history, words form thoughts, the thoughts that create the word. It is the word that forms history, reality.

Furthermore, the Word of God is the foundation of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realistic, we must rely upon this reality. We must change our idea that matter, solid things, things we can touch, are the more solid, the more certain reality. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount the Lord speaks to us about the two possible foundations for building the house of one’s life: sand and rock. The one who builds on sand builds only on visible and tangible things, on success, on career, on money. Apparently these are the true realities. But all this one day will pass away. We can see this now with the fall of large banks: this money disappears, it is nothing. And thus all things, which seem to be the true realities we can count on, are only realities of a secondary order. The one who builds his life on these realities, on matter, on success, on appearances, builds upon sand. Only the Word of God is the foundation of all reality, it is as stable as the heavens and more than the heavens, it is reality. Therefore, we must change our concept of realism. The realist is the one who recognizes the Word of God, in this apparently weak reality, as the foundation of all things. Realist is the one who builds his life on this foundation, which is permanent. Thus the first verses of the Psalm invite us to discover what reality is and how to find the foundation of our life, how to build life.

If you are feeling undone by recent events -and that is not unreasonable- do yourself a favor and read the whole message, which is not long, and then marvel at how well the Creator attends to his creation, providing the perfect teacher at the perfect time. Pray in thanksgiving, seeking wisdom.

Do not let a good crisis “go to waste;” put it through the wringer of faith, and see what comes.

And, in the words of the angels, and of Benedict’s holy predecessor: Do not be afraid.

Welcome: Michelle Malkin readers! A Malkin-lanch! Cool, thanks! Check out my post on The Good Ol’ Stasi!

Related:
“What it all means”
Additional thoughts On Benedict’s words
Trust is always difficult, always rewarded
Trust brings the reality
Fatima and the Rosary

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Mary B.

    Thanks for an excellent post. And I’m thrilled to have found a post w/ comments that are thoughtful and respectful. Thanks for the resources, too. My question is to Gayle:

    … I highly recommend that we make it our business to eject all 435 of the members of the House of Representatives, all of whom I am sorry to say have been bought and paid for… and 33 of the U.S. Senate who are up for reelection.

    And will we have a pool of 468 talented pro-life candidates from which to replace all those we vote out of office next Nov? Wouldn’t that be great!

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    some progressive souls decided [the Constitution] was a “living document”

    It ain’t living no more. It’s a nice piece of paper, to be argued over by dinosaur, out-of-touch conservatives who don’t know that it is a new day. But it is now as alive as Marley.

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  • http://redc1c4.livejournal.com/ redc1c4

    there may be the shadow of a jackboot, but someone better remind its owner that there are a helluva lot of nails down here waiting to be stepped on, and tetanus can be fatal.

    Molon Labe.

  • http://smartuckus.blogspot.com Smartuckus

    I see a duality here. On the one hand disagreeing with the Obama administration (or at least this “healthcare” bill) on somewhat Catholic principle, and referencing one of the most liberal popes of all time; Benedict XVI, A.K.A Joseph Ratzinger, friend to such wacked out theologians as Hans Kung and other periti who contaminated the documents of Vatican II and supplanted Catholicism with Liberalism.

    [I fear you make an unjust accusation re Benedict and Ratzinger. As Pope, he has to reach out. Clearly, that has not translated into listening- admin]

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    And, as I said, Reason60, your complaints might be better made to them, than to the Anchoress (who really has gone into detail on a lot of this stuff.)

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    I don’t know, Bender, at least Marley gets to run around and howl a bit, and put the fear of God in his old partner, Scrooge!

    That’s something more than being a piece of paper that gets argued endlessly over. Poor old Constitution. . .

  • http://breakdownofamerica.com Tim Singleton

    Cool post. You are correct. Victory is already ours if we just hold to the iron rod of truth.

  • http://www.castrodeathwatch.com/ curiozities

    Just when I had begun to give up hope, here comes your post. Thank you and God bless!

  • philfl63

    Remember though that God will not interfere in temporal things. God Almighty gave us minds and a conscience. We are required to take the initiative and defeat evil such as Obamugabe and liberals. Thank God for the 2nd Amendment. Bring it on.

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Bender’s Cheerleader

    Remember though that God will not interfere in temporal things

    Some time ago I read something that gave me a lot of hope. Please bear with me as I muddle this out because I can’t find the source at the moment.

    It went something like this: God lives in eternity and we live in time. God, hearing our pleas from time might certainly be moved in eternity, to answer our pleas.

    Not to mention, God does answer all prayers, and He doesn’t always say ‘no’. Yes?

    Now, it’s true that in the past, our forebears couldn’t possibly have anticipated what we would be experiencing today, but still their prayers as generalities might just apply to us, just as our prayers for our children and grandchildren and their futures will perhaps move God.

    Does that make sense?

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Remember though that God will not interfere in temporal things.

    Certainly God does not override a person’s free choice of the will. That would be an act of violence contrary to love and, hence, contrary to God Himself.

    But God, who transcends time, does also act in time. God has not only entered time in the Incarnation, but He also continues to interact with His creation. God is not a mere clockmaker who, having once created the world, has now retreated to the comfort of heaven, sitting with His feet propped up on clouds looking down on us in amusement.

    Rather, God continues to involve Himself in the affairs of the world and, thus, in temporal things. He did not abandon us, but, in His Divine Providence, continues to watch over and provide for us. Not only did Jesus promise to be with us until the end of the age, but He also promised to send us the Holy Spirit to guide the affairs of mankind. And so He has. This does not mean overriding free will. Just as He is not a clockmaker, neither is He a puppet-master. Instead, He prompts and prods and enlightens and speaks to those who open the ears of the heart to hear Him.

    To be sure, all things exist by and through Him. If He were to totally remove Himself from temporal affairs, then the world would cease to exist.

    At the same time, the almighty God who is need of nothing and dependent on no one has chosen to need us, He has chosen to be dependent on us for the work of salvation. He does the heavy work, certainly, but He asks us to help Him. We see this from the very beginning, at the Annunciation, where God asked for Mary’s help, and thereafter made Himself physically dependent upon her for His very life.

    Part of that helping Jesus in the work of salvation is praying for others, as Jesus has prayed and does pray for us to the Father. And, God being eternal and existing out-of-time, to pray in communion with Him is to make our prayers eternal, just as the Mass is One eternal sacrifice, joining us in communion with all the faithful across time, past, present, and future. So, yes, our ancestors’ prayers can help us today, and our prayers today can help our descendents.

    We are indeed required to take the initiative and work to defeat evil. If we don’t do it, it ain’t getting done. We are to be “soldiers for Christ.”

    At the same time, I don’t believe that what Jesus has in mind in the way of being a soldier for Christ is the Second Amendment and the natural right of revolution, including armed insurrection against tyranny.

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  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Bender’s Cheerleader

    Geez Bender, make me look like a light-weight chump.

    A classic case of the master putting the student to shame.

    Just so y’all know, Bender here is my mentor:-D

  • Elaine

    I understand all your concerns, and believe me I am no Obama fan, but I can’t help but think this speculation about America going down the tubes and where we’re all going to live if it does is merely the conservative flip side of the panic attacks Hollywood liberals like Barbara Streisand, Rosie O’Donnell, etc. had when Bush 43 got elected — insisting they would leave the country if that happened… but I don’t think any of them ever did. They realized it wasn’t the end of the world after all.

    Also, we’ve survived worse stuff than this before — the Civil War, the Depression and World War II weren’t exactly strolls in the park. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus; FDR interned Japanese-American citizens and attempted to pack the Supreme Court to get his way.

    Terrorism on American soil? Nothing new really. Ever heard of Bleeding Kansas, Harper’s Ferry, and the Potawotomie Massacre? Or of the original Jayhawkers, who were NOT a basketball team? Most people have little idea how close we came in the 1860s to being just like Bosnia, Chechnya, Sudan or any number of perpetually strife-torn states.

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t pray or take threats to our freedom seriously, but I’m thinking we need to have a little more perspective here.

  • Allison

    It took women claiming they could be priests and practicing gay clergy for the Church to bring home Anglicans after several hundred years.

    God creates good out of every evil; he uses every opportunity to offer us something better than we could ever understand.

    I do not know why we humans had to have Hitler rise to power, but God gave Israel its homeland back after the Holocaust.

    I do not know what God has in store for us. I do not know if America will be something that survives this evil that has sickened its culturally, seemingly fatally–a culture that can’t allow its military to name a traitor in their midst for fear of being viewed as not “diverse”, a culture that even after that traitor is unmasked by his own actions, will not name him traitor. The abortions haven’t stopped yet either.

    But our Redeemer lives, so something good will come of this. Still, that doesn’t mean America will still be that shining light on a hill at all.

    We must not despair, but that doesn’t mean we should wait for God to turn things around for us.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    I’m thinking we need to have a little more perspective here

    I understand your point, Elaine. But then again, the perspective today is 50 million innocents slain pursuant to anti-constitutional judicial fiat. The perspective today is “God is dead” and “God is not great,” the denial and even outright rejection of truth and, consequently, a perversion of the idea of freedom. The perspective today is that the law is whatever the judges or bureaucrats say it is. The perspective today is the your money and private property ultimately belong to the government, to be taken from you at a whim and given to whomever the government dictates. The perspective today is the dictatorship of relativism.

    Violent as past ages were, they still believed in things such as God and truth and freedom. Government had not injected itself into every aspect of a person’s life, and that same government understood itself to be limited and subject to the people, rather than an unrestrained elite oligarchy.

    If it does not appear to be “all that bad” at present, well, neither does it appear to be all that bad to the frog in the slowly heated water. But before you know it, the pot is boiling. And for us right now, the water is simmering.

    George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine would not recognize the America of 2009. In the past, we would have risen up by now in armed rebellion against the Leviathan as philfl63 suggests. But we live in a more civilized age today. Fighting for liberty is not something we do anymore. The commandments on the barn wall are changed and we do little but scratch our heads and argue about whether they have changed at all.

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  • Elaine

    “Violent as past ages were, they still believed in things such as God and truth and freedom. Government had not injected itself into every aspect of a person’s life, and that same government understood itself to be limited and subject to the people, rather than an unrestrained elite oligarchy.”

    Maybe so, but 1) some of our most influential founders like Thomas Paine did NOT believe in God; 2) they didn’t necessarily believe in freedom for everyone (the original Constitution allowed something called “slavery”); 3) government was “subject” in most states only to white males who owned property since no one else was allowed to vote; 4) government DID insert itself into every aspect of your life if you were black (even if you were a free black) or a Native American whose lands were being coveted by white settlers; 5) there were still plenty of people around before, during and even after the Revolution, who would have been cool with the idea of having Britain continue to run the show, or with having Washington or someone like him become king, since they had absolutely no proof that this democracy experiment was going to work. Oh, and that time the Brits marched into Washington and set fire to the White House? I’d say things were looking pretty grim then. The long-term survival of America was not assured until at least the 1820s or so, and maybe not even until the end of the Civil War.

    Now again, I’m not saying we don’t have serious problems or threats to our freedom going on now. I’m just saying, let’s not fall into the trap of idealizing the “good old days” and thinking that nothing could possibly be worse than what we have going on now. We probably have many ancestors in the Church Triumphant and Church Suffering who would beg to differ.

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Bender’s Cheerleader

    It’s true that every age has it’s difficulties. It’s also true that we need to learn from the past so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past, and I don’t think anyone here is ‘idealizing the good old days’. The facts are that despite your arguments, Elaine, the personal liberties of those of us alive in the USA today, no matter our race or creed, are under full attack. And I’m not talking about free speech – I’m talking about the right to own your own piece of earth without worry that it’ll be taken from you, or being told what you can or cannot do with it. I’m talking about the government not confiscating our guns and our money. And ultimately, I’m talking about the government not dictating how many children we can have.

    The founders of this country had a goal to ‘form a more perfect union’ and as Ben Franklin said when asked at the Constitutional Convention, “what have we got, a monarchy or a republic”, said, “a republic, if you can keep it.”

    One of Elaine’s points in particular always riles me up – I believe that only property owners should be entitled to vote (no matter their color or gender); I’ve said this before – there should be something at stake before you step into the booth. (This isn’t discrimination. If you want to vote, work to own property. If you want a Benz instead of Yugo, work for it.) Or, to quote Franklin again, “When people find they can vote themselves money, that will be the end of the republic.”

    This administration may be beaten back some, but we are long past the opening salvos that signal the end of the republic and it won’t take much to bring it the rest of the way down. I’ve said this before, too – most people younger than myself will not blink an eye at freedoms lost as long as they have their damned personal communication devices.

  • mortus

    It amazes me that the Left screamed and howled so loudly about any ‘infraction of liberty’ done duing Bush and now there is nothing buy utter silence.

    Are they really that blind to their god?

    The question is rhetorical.

  • Sally June

    Can I be “Bender’s other, other, other cheerleader?” Maybe the watergirl? Peanut vendor?

    Anyhoo, I agree that we should return to a restricted voter base, as the original: property owners (those with a stake); but then, I am a Texas redneck, so whaddaya gonna do?

    This blog and all the dear friends huddled around the fire are the perfect antidote to the winds of change howling outside. Lest we forget: God is omnipotent; that means all-powerful. He is perfectly in control (I know, Bender said it gooder and cooler than me.)

    And Anchoress: fantastic pic of JP2 and Ronnie Reagan. Miss them both.

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Bender’s Cheerleader

    Sally June,

    Bender says everything gooder and cooler than any of us, except for Anchoress.

    Welcome to the squad! :-) But don’t forget, I’m the one who doles out the pom-pons. Just have to keep the pecking order intact.

    You are so right about the ‘friends around the fire’ analogy here. I haven’t been here long but it didn’t take long for me to feel right at home.

    And I find that I now worry about some of them…

  • Sally June

    Bender’s C:

    I used to spend a lot of time worrying about running out of food or such. Now I come here and pray with y’all. And, what with the Anchoress and Bender, I also revel in the fantastic prose. I am so grateful that Miss Elizabeth “wastes” here time here with us.

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  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Leela

    STOP IT!

    Bender’s already oversized ego will get even more inflated and monstrous in size.

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Bender’s Cheerleader

    STOP IT!

    Bender’s already oversized ego will get even more inflated and monstrous in size.

    Dog.

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Bender’s Cheerleader

    Let’s try that again.

    STOP IT!

    Bender’s already oversized ego will get even more inflated and monstrous in size.

    Dog.

    It was supposed to be italicized.

    Check your e-mail, fool.

  • Elaine

    By “property owners,” do you mean ONLY people who own real estate should vote?

    In that case, you’ve just disenfranchised me, because I had to sell my home 4 years ago and now rent an apartment.

    Do you assume I have NO interest or stake in what happens in my community — whether it’s safe, whether jobs are available, whether there are decent roads or infrastructure, whether or not the schools are any good (my daughter does attend a public school) — simply because I don’t own any land? If property taxes go up, my rent goes up. And I pay income taxes too.

    Sorry, but when you say only property owners should vote, you assume that poor people or people who don’t have the means to buy property have no interest in the good of their community, and I find that to be a highly un-Christian attitude to take. Oh, by the way, wouldn’t that also mean members of religious orders who live under vows of poverty would also lose their right to vote?

  • Elaine

    And by the way, owning land or buildings doesn’t guarantee that you have a stake in the community; ask any absentee landlord who lives thousands of miles away from the property he or she owns, or anyone who rents or works land or buildings owned by some mysterious corporation or trust or development company or whatever.

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Bender’s Cheerleader

    Give me one rational reason why someone should be able to vote themselves an entitlement. And, I never said a stake in the community. I said there should be something at stake. In place of that what we have is a crap-shoot lottery vote where politicians pander to the downtrodden or the lazy or whatever.

    I’m not as clear on this point as I should be, but I believe that exemptions would be made for people such as those in religious communities, and possibly for other circumstances. I just don’t know how that would work.

    I do know that it is flat-out wrong, no matter who you are, for you to be able to vote to take from me, for yourself.

  • Elaine

    BC, just because I don’t own a house or a piece of land doesn’t mean I’m some kind of lazy leech trying to “vote myself an entitlement.” There are actually plenty of reasons why for some people, it makes financial sense NOT to own a house. Yet you’re arguing that they should have no right to vote?

    I work full-time. I support myself and my husband who is disabled due to an injury TOTALLY on my salary. We do NOT draw welfare, food stamps, Medicaid or any “entitlements,” unless you count certain veteran’s benefits that he EARNED during his military service as “entitlements.”

    I married and had a child IN THAT ORDER. I pay income and sales taxes. I am NOT a socialist, not in favor of government regulated health care, pro-life and pro-traditional marriage all the way. I can’t even remember the last time I voted for a Democrat! :-)

    Yet you assume that because I don’t own a house with a picket fence and all that, that I don’t have enough of a “stake” to deserve a chance to vote. So just living in a community isn’t enough of a stake? Thanks a lot. Sorry if I’m ranting or taking this personally but I am. I DID used to own a house but after I lost my job, had to move, husband got injured, etc. we couldn’t afford to buy another.

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Bender’s Cheerleader

    I didn’t mean to offend you, Elaine. I’m sorry for what you’ve had to bear, believe me, more than you know!

    My point is that there has got to be a standard of some sort – not everyone is as responsible as you nor has the integrity that you seem to have. I certainly was not referring to people such as yourself as one who votes the lottery. I don’t think you would do that.

    I really wish you well and I wish you the peace and contentment that you deserve for the strength you are showing as a wife and mother. Your husband is lucky to have you.

    God bless.

  • Elaine

    Ok, I promise this is the end of my rant. Several years ago my elderly mother sold her home of 50+ years and moved to a nursing home as she is in ill health. She has lived in this town nearly all her adult life, raised my brother and I there, and nearly everyone she knows lives there. Meanwhile a gazillionaire developer (who doesn’t live there) built a fancy water park and hotel in the same town. Are you saying the gazillionaire developer has “more at stake” because they own land and buildings, and therefore more of a right to vote for the town’s officials than my mom does?

  • Elaine

    BC, I finished my closing rant before seeing your last comment. Sorry to get so riled up about this, but for obvious reasons, it’s a sensitive subject. I apologize for going overboard. God bless you :-)

  • http://runswithangels.wordpress.com/ Bender’s Cheerleader

    No apology necessary! I get bent out of shape all the time here but I think they still like me.:-)

    Actually, the developer you spoke of has no right to vote at all in the town where his water park is because he doesn’t live there.

    That aside, how much is the water park contributing to the community? I would think that the corporation that owns it would pay taxes, and possibly it is a tourist or visitor draw? The only other thing I can say about this, because I’m not really the brains in my family, is that the country is built on a monetary system whereby we are free to succeed or fail as we see fit, with obvious exceptions such as your situation, and there has to be some benefit electorally for that.

    That’s about as far as I can go without it being made patently obvious that my education is sorely lacking.

  • james hamlin

    This kind of hyperbole is irresponsible. There is no jack-boot poised over the USA. The sooner we get past this sort of weak in the knees persecution fantasies the sooner we will take back government, reduce spending, strengthen the military etc. I don’t seem to recall many of us bleating about fascism when our president that we voted for basically wiretapped everybody, or usurped the right to declare an
    American citizen an enemy combatant and lock them up indefinitely without access to a lawyer. Settle down, put on your big girl panties and deal with it…

  • Elaine

    Actually, the water park contributes quite a bit to the community and is a big tourist draw. And it does generate quite a bit of tax revenue. I have nothing against it, neither does my mom.

    I was simply using it as an example of how, if one used property ownership ALONE as the standard for determining who has enough of a stake in a community to deserve the right to vote, the developer would be allowed to vote but my mom would not.

    Obviously actual residence can’t be left out of the equation, otherwise real estate tycoons would have dozens more votes than everyone else :-)

    If we want to enshrine the basic principle behind the property ownership requirement without actually demanding that ALL voters have to be property owners, it could be done this way:

    Lengthen the standard residency requirement for voting in state and local elections to at least 2 or 3 years.

    Grant an automatic exemption from the waiting period to anyone who owns their principal residence or owns or operates a business in that state or locality. They would be eligible to vote immediately.

    An exemption from all or part of the waiting period could also be granted to custodial parents of children enrolled in local schools (public or private), to persons who had been employed full time in the community for a certain amount of time, or in other circumstances determined on a case by case basis by the local election authority.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    Of course, there was, once upon a time, the quaint ideas of the right of private ownership of property and equal application of the laws. Accordingly, even with a universal right to vote, it was not possible for one faction, by force of their superior electoral numbers, to simply take the property of some other group.

    Once upon a time, it was understood that, under our constitutional system, 50.1 percent of the population did not have the legal authority to seize all of the property of the other 49.9 percent. Rather, tax laws had to apply equally. Today, what is there to stop such legalized theft by taxation or otherwise?

    Moreover, at least as far as land is concerned, there is no private ownership of real property. Again, private ownership of real property is an illusion in this country. Even if the bank did not hold legal title to the property, still, because of real property taxes, you do not really own the property — you merely rent it from the government. As in feudal times, the sovereign owns it all and we are merely serfs working the land.

    My parents are in the same situation as many seniors. They have paid off the mortgage and so, on paper, “own” their home outright. The problem is — they are finding it harder and harder to afford living in that home. How could they possibly not afford to live in a home that is fully paid for? Property taxes. Sky-high property taxes that are threatening to go higher (they live in Michigan).

    And if they do not pay these taxes? The government takes the home and evicts them. These are not taxes and they do not own the property. They are tenants paying rent to the landlord-government, period.

    The right to vote, and thereby have the power to take from society, should indeed be contingent upon some stake in society, some contribution to the commonwealth, you should have to give in if you want to have a say in taking out. Originally, it (and land ownership) was tied to military service. I don’t know that it should be restricted to the landed classes, but no one should have the power to engage in theft by electoral means.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    In the debates over the Constitution, the Anti-Federalist “Brutus” wrote of the evils and potential for abuse in giving Congress the power of taxation –

    This power, exercised without limitation, will introduce itself into every corner of the city, and country — It will wait upon the ladies at their toilett, and will not leave them in any of their domestic concerns; it will accompany them to the ball, the play, and the assembly; it will go with them when they visit, and will, on all occasions, sit beside them in their carriages nor will it desert them even at church; it will enter the house of every gentleman, watch over his cellar, wait upon his cook in the kitchen, follow the servants into the parlour, preside over the table, and note down all he eats or drinks; it will attend him to his bedchamber, and watch him while he sleeps; it will take cognizance of the professional man in his office, or his study; it will watch the merchant in the counting-house, or in his store; it will follow the mechanic to his shop, and in his work and will haunt him in his family, and in his bed; it will be a constant companion of the industrious farmer in all his labour, it will be with him in the house, and in the field, observe the toil of his hands, and the sweat of his brow; it will penetrate into the most obscure cottage; and finally, it will light upon the head of every person in the United States. To all these different classes of people, and in all these circumstances, in which it will attend them, the language in which it will address them, will be GIVE! GIVE!
    Brutus No. 6, 27 Dec. 1787, Storing 2.9.67–82

    When you no longer have the right to keep the fruit of your labors, you are no longer free. To be sure, they did not start it, but Obama, Pelosi, Reid, et al. have fastened such heavy chains upon us all — we are way past passing the bill to our children and grandchildren — that it can hardly be said that we are still truly free.


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