- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
A ‘change’ election?
Question of the Day
Democratic presidential aspirants Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton jejunely celebrate “change” in their respective campaign narratives. But human nature — the DNA of both political and non-political action — never changes.
The human cravings for power, money, fame, sex and domination that fuel conflict and upheaval have remained unaltered since the beginning of time. The Book of Ecclesiastes explains, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”
In other words, as a French adage instructs, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Cuba’s Fidel Castro is replaced by Raul Castro. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will soon be Prime Minister Putin. Nothing will change because the dynamics of power in both countries remain undisturbed.
In the United States, nothing will deflect the nation’s ominous trajectory of ever-growing ignorance, arrogance, unchecked executive power, foreign adventurism, frivolity, and debauchery absent a change in popular culture — the decisive influence in American politics. Presidential candidates seeking authentic change should eschew promises of expanded and exorbitant entitlement programs, for example, national health insurance, reminiscent of Roman political campaigns featuring bread and circuses. Instead, they should preach education, education and more education as the remedy for the nation’s spiraling ills and descent into rule by executive decree.
Thomas Jefferson observed that a nation that hopes to be free and ignorant hopes what never was and never will be. Accordingly, he cherished his founding of the University of Virginia above his two terms in the White House. Ignorance lends itself to demagoguery. It fosters utopian thinking and political panaceas, such as promising free lunches or instant painless transformations of foreign despotisms into friendly democracies. Accordingly, James Madison taught that, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.”
Philosopher Sam Johnson lectured more crassly that there is the same difference between the learned and the unlearned as between the living and the dead. Shakespeare explained the matter impeccably in “Hamlet”: “What is a man,
“If the chief good and market of his time
“Be but to sleep and feed? A beast no more!
“Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
“Looking before and after, gave us not
“That capability and godlike reason
“To fust in us unus’d.”
The ignorance of ordinary Americans makes them ill-suited for self-government. Never have so many known so little about so much. They are unschooled in philosophy, history and literature. They are incapable of economical and lucid expression. Their vocabularies are circumscribed and monosyllabic. They are unversed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Washington’s Farewell Address, the Monroe Doctrine, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address or Second Inaugural, or the Civil War Amendments. They cannot identify the chief justice of the United States, the speaker of the House of Representatives, or the majority leader of the Senate. They do not know who is on Mount Rushmore.
They do not know the meaning of checks and balances, separation of powers, the power of the purse, or due process of law. Kabul, Kandahar or Karachi are as mysterious to them as the Rosetta Stone. They read on average seven minutes per day — and what is read is predominantly drivel. They are infatuated with “American Idol” and sophomoric video games. They pay homage to professional sports stars that shoot, throw, kick or hit balls, and brainless runway fashion models that strut or swagger. They are politically inert or indifferent.
They would neither have signed the Declaration of Independence nor have volunteered to fight in the Revolutionary War. They would prefer to subsist as docile cows under benevolent Platonic Guardians than to flourish as active citizens saddled with the labors of self-government.
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- Pentagon running out of time to find mass of missing weapons in Afghanistan
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring 'God's Rescue Squad'
- WEST: Those who would rather join the jihadi army than their own nation's army
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq