As a political scientist and junkie, I am fascinated by the American electorate before and after the election this last fall. While I must admit that I did not vote for either of the two major party’s candidates, it has provided me with the ability to sit back and take in all that is happening. And while a lot of it is entertaining, a whole truckload of what is occurring provides overwhelming evidence that our nation is about to go through a groundswell of change. And the Constitution is back in the limelight again.
Many folks on both sides keep telling me that this is just a political cycle, a swing of the pendulum. A few years from now, it will all be swinging back the other way. Life will continue as it always has. I am no longer sold on that viewpoint.
Years ago, when I was in graduate school, I began to write down my concerns. I talked with former professors, I talked to anyone with a political acumen on whether or not they saw an impending political collapse. None of them did.
I was uncomfortable with what my conclusions were. There were so many little pieces of evidence that on their own, did not add up to much. But if you put them altogether, the direction we are headed was unmistakable. The events that are happening now, I saw clearly 25 years ago. Not only were we not moving forward as a country, many signs led me to believe we were stagnating and beginning to move backwards.
Our Founders foresaw much of this. Oh sure, they didn’t know about emails, or Trump, or even today’s alt-left and alt-right. All of that is new, yet none of it was new to them. They were students of history. In fact, so much so that our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, was just a collection of borrowed ideas from 700 years of British political struggles. What made our Founders brilliant was in a way only Americans could, they took those ideals and pushed them to their limits. It was those men that said, in the modern American vernacular: “Oh, what the hell? Hold my beer and watch this.”
Today, only a small fraction of our population understand the history and the principles that steered the course of those men. Today’s U.S. citizen is woefully ignorant on the concepts of unalienable rights, liberty, rule of law, and the fact that governments are instituted to protect the unalienable rights of the individual. Our people live in 140 characters and 30 second sound bites. It is this collective, willful ignorance that threatens to rip us apart and destroy us. Just as I began to see almost three decades ago.
A man or woman without core principles is unmoored. They are subject to the fate of the wind and go where it takes them. They are easily moved, and easily convinced. The superficial passes for fact, while the real substance underneath is ignored. The Self-Evident Truths are not only not self-evident to the current U.S. citizen…they are frankly becoming something that they know nothing about.
How did we get here? You see, if we don’t understand how we got here, then there is no hope to understanding how we move from this place and get back to being Americans again. About 100 years ago, the progressive movement began to gain strength. It began to score successes, like the 16th Amendment (income taxes), 17th Amendment (direct election of U.S. senators), and 18th Amendment (Prohibition). These were the Higgins boats of the Progressive Movement, used to land on the shores of American liberty to be able to move inland and destroy it. Of course, folks were up in arms about Prohibition and it created such a mess that we got the 21st Amendment thirteen years later, repealing Prohibition. Now folks, please remember this for later because the 21st Amendment will be instructive for what the way ahead is to look like.
After the Progressive Movement (hereafter referred to as the “Left”) got its hooks into us with those amendments to the Constitution, it began the Long Siege. For the next hundred years, the Left looked for any success it could find, no matter how large or small. If it found a crisis, it used that crisis to push the ball down the field. Remember the adage from just a few years ago: “Don’t let a crisis go to waste”? That is straight from the Left’s playbook. President Franklin Roosevelt used the crisis of a depression and a world war, to push through massive programs that furthered the Left’s agenda, and degraded American liberty. Of course, his efforts caused a depression to turn into the Great Depression and to last 7 years longer than it should have…but for the Left, the end goal is all that matters. If someone is hurt in the process, that is too bad.
President Lyndon Johnson did the same thing. With racial strife at an all-time high, with the death of President John Kennedy, and a war in Vietnam, President Johnson pushed through his War on Poverty. And who would be against waging war on poverty, right? Just as with FDR, Johnson’s efforts did nothing to end or even alleviate poverty. Instead, it made things worse and at the same time, the power of government strengthened.
American liberty was now on life support.
There have been reprieves at times during the last 100 years. There were times like the presidency of Ronald Reagan where the Left’s advance slowed. But one thing we need to note is that at no time in the last century has the Left’s advance been stopped or reversed.
President Barack Obama came into power on almost the same script used by FDR and Johnson. In 2008, we were in a deep recession. We were in a full out war with radical Islam, and had invaded two countries. So Obama began to push hard early for running up the debt and inserting this massive anti-American effort known as Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act).
In times of crisis and war, U.S. citizens almost always give their president and government wide latitude to solve the problem. But in the past, it was always with the expectation that once the crisis was over, that things would return to normal.
That no longer happens.
Where is American Liberty now? What is her condition? Is she still alive? Can she be saved?
American liberty is at the edge of collapse. Not only is she on life support, but the doctors are having a hard time finding a pulse. At least until they recently looked closer.
The great thing about liberty is that it is just like the saving grace of Jesus. No matter how far away you get from it, no matter how much you abuse it, the way back is always just one step. What has happened in the background over the last 8 plus years has been American Liberty fighting for her life. And folks, I have to tell you, whether you believe it or not, she is still alive.
How do I know this? Well, first of all, those that fully believe in the principles and ideals of the Left have been losing power over the last decade on a massive scale. Leftists control nothing in Washington, and their power in the state legislatures and governors’ mansions has waned to the point where they have almost no say across most of the political map of the United States. This all has happened without the electorate understanding the American principles I eluded to above. What the electorate has done though, is to begin to understand where they find themselves and they have noticed that things are getting worse.
Their ignorance will be their undoing if we do not educate them. Most U.S. citizens, when finally exposed to the American principles of liberty, unalienable rights and the rule of law, instinctively migrate towards the values and principles that define America. Which is why our efforts here at Committed Conservative have begun.
I do not want to lose sight of where we are now. With all of the control moved to the right side of the political spectrum, and an ignorant electorate, we are in a place of great opportunity as well as great peril. If the right fails to educate, if it fails to act to turn around a century of Leftists abusing and destroying American Liberty, then I am afraid to say that our Republic will collapse and American Liberty will die.
The great Daniel Webster once said: “Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.”
Are we not seeing that now?
While I could write all day on this subject, let me close this article with this thought. There are only two numbers that matter any longer…two numbers that define where we are going. And if we do not choose one, we will be forced to choose the other. What are those numbers?
The number “5” and the number “2.”
The number five I refer to is Article V of the Constitution. I will be writing further about this article in the upcoming days. In basic terms, this is how we amend the Constitution. One provision in there describes how the states can get together in a convention (a Convention of States) and draft amendments to the Constitution, taking away current powers of the Federal government or giving it more power. The great thing is that there is nothing Washington can do about it. As I stated above, I will be writing follow on articles about the Convention of States which has already started!
An Article V convention was the way that our Founders gave us to put a stop to the abuses we are seeing now and to put American Liberty back on track. With such a convention, we can turn things around in a way that the Left and its anti-American ideals would instantly be the ones on life support.
Should this effort fail, though, I see no other way in history, no other way in our Constitution or our principles that can keep us from the number “2.” And what does the number two signify? It is the 2nd Amendment, the palladium of American Liberty. Our Founders were smart enough to understand that even with all of the checks and balances, all of the Constitutional limitations (including Article V), enterprising men and women may one day find a way around them and flank liberty. So, as they had done with their own government, they took to arms to protect American Liberty. When they formed this government, they gave us a way to do the same.
Of course, I am in no way calling for anyone to rise up against our government. There is no need at this point. But our Founders did leave such a course of action on the table for us.
We must understand that the degradation and destruction of American Liberty can only go so far. At some point, the people say “enough.” That line folks has already been crossed. The American people have begun pushing back in the voting booth and in their public discourse. The battle is now spilling out in the streets, as we see on the nightly news every night. The Left is not going to go quietly into the night.
We must now put our resources and support behind those that are doing work that will actually matter. The folks at Convention of States have begun the Article V process and are closing in on the number needed in order to have a convention. We may not have this opportunity again.
If we do not support these people in the trenches, defending American Liberty with Article V…then I am not sure there will be any other measure left to us than the number “2.”
Author: Jay Shepard
Jay Shepard is the Executive Editor of Committed Conservative.
Jay is currently a security analyst and business owner. Jay served 21 years in the U.S. Army, mostly in the infantry. Jay also served as an Army inspector general for four years.
Jay has a Bachelors of Science in Political Science from James Madison University, and a Masters of Public Administration (concentration National Security) from Troy University.
Jay has run several successful state-wide political campaigns, and has been an outspoken advocate for the Constitution, the core American principles, the Convention of States, and military policies.
Jay’s passion is everything to do with the founding of our country, and with baseball. Jay has coached over 30 years at the youth to prep levels.