Why we left Europe, lest we forget

Winningreen Discourse       A052711

Why we left Europe, lest we forget

By Tom Randall

Date: May 27, 2011

We often talk about America being a right-of-center country.  Research has demonstrated this to be true.  In polling, Americans consistently score about 40 percent conservative, 40 percent moderate and 20 percent liberal.

How we got that way goes back way before the first European “dissidents” ever gave a shot at establishing a colony in the New World.  When Martin Luther nailed his The Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517, he touched off much more than the religious upheaval it was never his intention to create.

On a philosophical level it presented not only a series of religious dilemmas but a profound political one as well.  If, as Luther postulated, anyone could speak directly with God, without the intercessionaries of the priesthood, how is it that a few could claim to rule the many by virtue of Divine Right? 

On a political level, it led to all sorts of conflict and confusion as “Sovereign Rulers” scrambled to get on the right side of the religious tide while serving their own purposes.  Henry the VIII is a prime example of this.  Just ask Jane Seymour, Anne Boleyn or Catherine Parr...oops, they’re not doing interviews.  Under Henry and his successors, Catholics were in, then out.  Episcopals rode the same roller coaster as did the more radical Calvinists — each swing bringing greater confusion to exactly what secular rules applied to whom, how and when and all leading to civil war about 75 years later.  The rest of Europe fared no differently.  The new Dutch Republic fostered the same uncertainty regarding individual rights.  French Huguenots scarcely knew where they stood from one day to the next. 

There was no certainty of rights.  Europe was in chaos.

So, early in the Seventeenth Century, small bands of dissidents began striking out to seek the fuzzy notion of freedom in the New World.  Of course, it is interesting to note that in these new colonies there was little religious freedom, except for their version of religion.  Moreover, their first forms of government were usually what we know today as socialism.  These, of course, collapsed almost immediately when lack of individual incentives to produce led to collective starvation.

Only the rugged individuals remained, those who distrusted governments and ruling classes, those who wanted none at all, those who just wanted to go their own way.  And, those are the kind of folks who followed on.  The American Declaration of Independence and Constitution later reflected these attitudes.

As the century progressed, John Locke and others began to provide the philosophical underpinnings for freedom and limited government.

It can be argued, successfully, that we as a country have gotten quite far away from the ideals of individual rights, limited government and no ruling class.  Bigger government certainly seems to be here to stay.  And, we certainly have enough liberal elitists of the ruling class who look and act their part of the American Royalty.  President Obama seems to personify it.

But, wait.

There is a growing backlash.  Obama’s numbers are pathetic on almost every issue.  Some boldly say that he is even not American.

Liberal elitists in the American Royal ruling class decry this charge as being racist and its purveyors are derided as “birthers”.  They make these dismissals at their own political peril.

If those who call some people “birther racists” are right, how come Americans hold Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the other liberal American Royalists in pretty much the same disregard?  No one would question whether they were born in this country and they are certainly as Caucasian as anyone who sailed on the Mayflower.  But they don’t seem to be American.  Not in the way as we poor buffoons who watch NASCAR races and love Air Force flyovers before sporting events. Or like those of us in Chicago, who are captured with our hearts in our throats when Jim Cornelison does his stirring rendition of the National Anthem in the United Center before Blackhawks games, current military and vets at his side and the crowd cheering at the top of their collective lungs.

No.  The American Royalty doesn’t seem to understand any of that.  They are better and smarter people, they seem to be saying.  They’re above all that. A fine example of their superior attitude — and the difference between how Americans and Europeans view it — was demonstrated by the reaction to the alleged attack of a hotel maid by the head of the International Monetary fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.  To Americans it was a charge of sexual assault to be investigated and tried in court.  Pure and simple.  To Europeans it was simply an opportunity for the lower class “chambermaid” to have an encounter with one of her “betters.”

However, it runs even deeper than that. We think  America belongs to all of us, not just the liberal elite political Royal Class and it should be run the way we want it run, not the way they tell us it should be run.  A recent Rasmussen poll of likely GOP voters (both mainstream and Political Class) confirmed that divide.

Rasmussen asked these voters if they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “[The] gap between Americans who want to govern themselves and politicians who want to rule them is as big as it was between the American Colonies and England in the 18th century.”  Mainstream GOP voters agreed 71 percent to 12 percent.  Among the GOP Political Class only six percent agreed and 73 percent did not.

When asked, “ On important national issues whose judgment do you trust the most, American people or Political Leaders?”  Mainstream voters chose the American people 92 to zero.  The Political Class chose Political Leaders 67 to zero.

When asked if the federal government, itself, had become a special interest group, mainstream voters said “yes” 97 to zero while the Political Class said “no” by 89 to zero.

All of this being said, and looking at the political landscape today, there is reason for some optimism that “government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from this earth.”  It all depends on how we vote.

One thing is for sure, the brave men and women living and dead who have fought and will continue to fight for our freedom are fighting for all of us.  This weekend find one — no, find as many as you can, and say, “Thanks.”

Have a happy Memorial Day.

Contact: Tom Randall
Winningreen LLC
Chicago, IL
Phone: 773-857-5086
e-mail: trandall@winningreen.com