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Roger L. Simon

After Ukraine, We Need an American Spring

February 23rd, 2014 - 8:58 pm

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We are not in the situation of the Ukraine, however that turns out, but the events in that Eastern European country should remind us all of the sad condition of our nation, how much we now need an American Spring in the USA.

Not a Spring like the Arab Spring, of course, which was and is a nightmare beyond anyone’s wishes, but something more like the original Prague Spring that remade the Czech Republic into the vibrant country and society it is today.

The Obama administration has been the culmination of the advancement of state intrusion into our lives that began roughly a hundred years ago and has reached such a point that the originality and the intentions of our country are barely recognizable.  The results of this have been disastrous both economically and socially, most of all in terms of the personal freedom and liberty of our citizens. We have gone backwards in many ways, not the least of which is that race relations have deteriorated during the administration of the first African-American president, largely due to state meddling. We are divided as we have never been since the Civil War, and for really no good reason.

The people aren’t the problem. It’s the state.

And in a still-growing country of over 300 million the state gets bigger and bigger and bigger just by entropy, until we are all engulfed.

We need some government, obviously, but at this point in American history, in order to save our nation, we need to get the state as much as possible out of our lives, to cut its functions with a meat cleaver to release our better impulses, to have the renewal of Spring. Deep down even some modern liberals realize this. (Bill Clinton famously said the era of big government is over before running the other way as if in fear of his own honesty.)

In this coming crucial year, those of us who feel the overweening state is the problem must reach out our hands to our fellow citizens as never before.  My sense is that many of them are ready to hear our message.  (The fiasco of Obamacare has been a gift in that regard.) And if we don’t reach out our hands, there will be no American Spring. Things will only get worse.  (The horrific attempt of the FCC to monitor newsrooms is a harbinger of totalitarian things to come.)

I am one of those eternal optimists who think we are on the brink of this American Spring.  Another, whether he knows it or not, is ironically Joe Trippi, once the campaign manager for Howard Dean, a statist of the first order.  (See Trippi’s interview with Reason magazine in which he foresees a libertarian-oriented president in the near future.)  Possible allies can be found in more quarters than we know.

But in order to achieve this American Spring, those who favor  a diminished state must exercise discipline and kindness as never before.  They should avoid internal rectification campaigns (shooting their own, looking for ideological perfection that doesn’t exist).  We are not communists.  That’s what they do.

Those already convinced of our cause — small-government conservatives, Tea Partiers, libertarians — should put aside their squabbles for now,  join together and seek to be as inclusive as possible.  Ideological purity, indeed ideological terminology itself, is inherently exclusionary and often obfuscating. Gloating of any sort is also counter-productive, possibly terminally.  Instead, we must patiently explain, even to our most intractable adversaries, why our proposals for limited government are for their benefit as well as our own. We must do this in the face of a troglodytic and reactionary media and entrenched bureaucracies and interest groups from over a century of statism.  We cannot stop or give up.

And we must always point out that what people were and are fighting for on the streets of the Ukraine and Venezuela is human freedom.  They are not fighting for more government programs.  It’s even farcical to think so.

(Artwork created using multiple Shutterstock.com images.)

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
For starters let's abolish:
IRS
EPA
Dept of Energy
Dept of Education
Dept of Agriculture
HUD
We'll see how it goes and then start working on this list. Not every one for sure but certainly some can go?
http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/index.shtml
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually the people ARE the problem. The republic can survive a President Barack Obama. The republic cannot survive a citizenry who would elect a Barack Obama.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am old enough to remember growing up in the '50s. I was born in 1950, in fact. That world was totally different from what we have today. Culture, mores, society as a whole, the economy. The little interactions between people on a daily basis. It's all gone.
And it's never coming back. Period. end of story.
What you're looking for is a fantasy. That society that exploded onto the
new interstates. That took to the air as if WE had wings. That relished the idea of mobility and new horizons. Our parents (for the most part) are gone. what followed are my generation and all we want is to fold our wings and hide. We hope that the government will not bother us. That the younger generations don't make too bad a mess out things (while we're still alive). That we don't run out of money before we run out of time.
In these 64 years, I have seen things that my parents never would have imagined. People that we once looked up to and respected, being perp walked. Ray Nagin of New Orleans comes to mind. It's amazing really that what were once positions of service and honor have turned into machines of graft and theft. And the very people one would think might have led us in a different direction are the ones taking us over the brink.
You have to wonder what happened to us as a people that we accepted blow-jobs in the Oval Office (for God's sake!) as a peccadillo of small import.
No, we'll never see those days again and I don't know if they really were the good ol' days, but I miss 'em.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (112)
All Comments   (112)
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Well Mr. Simon, we hate to disappoint you, but an "American Spring" is just
not going to happen. A lot of us us are indeed very angry as to how this
once great nation has dissolved; however, most Americans are too lazy and
complacent to ever incite the kind of change needed. Sadly, we must suffer
the dictatorial tyranny of this current 'government' until the people have had
enough, by which time of course........it will be too late.
Good luck, America.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
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38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
The American Spring has already begun. It has bypassed the United States (central government) and is proceeding via the State legislatures. Check it out:
http://conventionofstates.com/
When last I looked, ten states had filed applications to the Congress, and others were in the works. When 34 States have filed, Congress must call a convention to amend the U. S. Constitution. The central government has no say about what these amendments shall be; nor can it prevent the calling of ratifying conventions. Yes, this is really happening.

39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
American spring? Is that when the money runs out and the "yes we cans" revolt?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
An American Spring! A day late and a dollar short. Make that seven years late and...Is this the same Roger Simon who twice witnessed the nomination and election of a garden variety criminal--criminal past, present and future--and remained silent?. Or is that silent coward another man of the same name? Last question: Would William Buckley have remained silent? Hands.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Leviathan has grown so large and so complex I cannot imagine anyone reforming it much less repealing and neutering the monstrosity.

How would that happen? How could the GOP stand up to the bullies of the IRS and the EPA?

Roger, we need some inspiration: someone needs to write a screenplay about that. :)
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bill Clinton famously said the era of big government is over before running the other way as if in fear of his own honesty.
Joe Trippi, once the campaign manager for Howard Dean, a statist of the first order.
Their regrets was Obama passed Health Care and not themselves.
As for the Prague Spring- Dubcek one of its leaders said: "Socialism cannot mean only liberation of the working people from the domination of exploiting class relations, but must make more provisions for a fuller life of the personality than any bourgeois democracy."

So Roger, what are you saying here?
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I fully agree that the 'state' needs to be reduced in capacity and influence. I've been screaming that at the polls for forty years or more. However, if I were a dumbass who doesn't vote in primaries and not sure whether or not I'd vote in November would agree that we need to get state government out of the way and let the Feds take over. Because obviously, I'd be a progressive lib lover... you remember that mirror.

If we're going to have an 'American Spring' then we sure as heck need to clarify just quite what it is we're talking about. The 'state' is one thing, the federal government is another. We've got to appeal to the lowest common intelligence. We've go to use descriptors that are understood in the spoken word. Yes, I'm fully aware of the use of the term 'state' as referring to 'the government', as in federal. But remember, I'm that dumbass who was waiting for ourselves. And hey, look at all that free insurance I got.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hmm. Let’s see, Arab Spring:

Libya: replaced Gaddafi (Libya’s Obama) with violent anarchy. Americans murdered.

Egypt: replaced Mubarak (Egypt’s Obama) with military coup and nation-wide violence. Americans assaulted, raped and murdered.

More of the same in most other countries.

Prague Spring, ended with Communist Reconquest. That’s what we have now.

----

Instead of an “American Spring,” how ‘bout we try and a Tea Party & an American Revolution. It worked once and briefly led to liberty.


No more political solutions for American based on foreign models: not on France (1789), Russia (1917), Germany (1933), Cuba (1959), Venezuela (1998), Libya (2011), or Egypt (2011).

Let’s try 1776.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fred Thompson's platform had a great deal of cross-over appeal. I had some very left-of-center folks giving him a serious look. (Granted, they would likely have eventually rationalized themselves out of it.)

I believe that's part of the reason Ben Smith (and a few others) wrote so many articles about him that were false. (And it didn't seem to matter that the contentions were addressed and disproven, generally within the hour. The lies spread, the truth was ignored.)
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
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