Recent Posts From Louis DeBroux
February being Black History Month, last week began a retrospective of blacks in America and the Republican Party. As noted, the Republican Party was formed in 1856 by anti-slavery members of the Whig and Free-Soil Democrat parties, for the express purpose of ending the evil of slavery in America. During this time, Democrats sought to protect slavery where it existed, and expand it into new U.S. territories. A Democrat-heavy Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sanford that blacks could never be U.S. citizens, and attempts to limit slavery were unconstitutional. A few years later, war broke out when slave-state Democrats declared secession from the Union and formed the Confederacy. More than 600,000 soldier deaths later the Union, battered, bloody, and exhausted, would remain intact, though heavily fractured.
It is difficult to overstate the viciousness with which the Democrats would defend the institution of slavery and the oppression of blacks. For example, in 1856, prior to the war, Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts took to the floor of the Senate and railed against the institution of slavery and its protectors, at one point singling out pro-slavery Senator Andrew Butler for excoriation, saying “Senator Butler has chosen a mistress. I mean the harlot, slavery.” In retaliation, two days later Senator Preston Brooks, livid at the criticism, entered the Senate chamber and approached Sumner, who was working at his desk. Using his gold-tipped cane, Brooks began beating Sumner in the head, blow after crippling blow slamming into the poor man’s skull. Sumner was only spared from death by the men who heard the commotion and ran to Sumner’s defense, dragging Brooks away. Undaunted, four years later Sumner would deliver a historic anti-slavery speech entitled, “The Barbarism of Slavery”.
In honor of February being Black History Month, I thought it might be informative to look at one aspect of the history of blacks in America; namely, the history of blacks and the Republican Party. Though black voters in America have in recent decades become a monolithic voting block for the Democrat Party, such has not always been the case. In fact, I think it would come as a great surprise for many blacks today to learn that not only have Republicans not always been thought of as their political enemies, they once had a political and ideological alliance. Even today these two groups agree on a wide range of issues, from educational choice and traditional marriage, to the importance of religion, specifically Christianity, to our history and culture.
On March 20, 1854, a group of people opposed to the Democrats’ policies supporting slavery met in Ripon, Wisconsin with the express purpose of organizing to end the moral evil of slavery. Just ten days later, on March 30th, President Franklin Pierce, a Democrat, signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, a law which authorized the expansion of slavery into U.S. territories. As a result, these anti-slavery members of the Whig and Free-Soil Democrats would form the Republican Party, and within a few short years had established a major power base in the northeastern and Midwestern states.
In 1856, the Republican Party held its first national nominating convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where it nominated John C. Freemont as their presidential candidate. Freemont ran under the slogan “Free soil, free silver, free men, Fremont”. He would lose that election to Democrat James Buchanan after Democrats warned the election of the anti-slavery Freemont would lead to civil war, but despite the loss in the 1856 election, the Republicans had established themselves as a major party, and would win the presidency just four years later with Abraham Lincoln.
Like a true leftist ideological warrior, this past Wednesday, Obama prepared for a speech on new gun control measures by surrounding himself with children who’d written him about gun-related violent crime. Like a soldier behind a wall of sandbags, the children were used as an emotional prop to protect Obama from the projectiles of logic and reason bombarding his weak position on the Second Amendment. The children were there to deflect the blows of contrarian facts which undermine his argument. They gave him the ability to make the argument, as the left is so masterful at, that opposition to his agenda was proof that his opponents don’t care about protecting children.
Hypocritically, just an hour after Obama surrounded himself with children to announce nearly two dozen Executive Orders meant to infringe on the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves, White House spokesman Jay Carney was whining to the press about an NRA ad which referenced the fact that Obama protects his own daughters by surrounding them by men carrying guns (as he should). Said Carney, “Children should not be used as pawns in a political fight.” If the irony was any thicker, you could pour it over pancakes.
Now that the “fiscal cliff” deal is law, we move on to the next acts in this kabuki theater we call Congress. The fiscal cliff deal locked in most of the Bush-era tax rates permanently, raised taxes on the highest earners, allowed the payroll tax to increase on all earners (a shock to many Democrats, who thought the re-coronation of the Obamessiah exempted them from more taxes). It once again kicked the can of spending excess, specifically entitlement spending, down the road. It supposedly reduces the huge annual deficits, yet will bring in only $620 billion over ten years (enough revenue in a decade to pay HALF of THIS year’s deficit). Since entitlement spending drives our growth in debt, the fiscal cliff deal did not avert a fiscal crisis; it simply delayed it and insured that it will be much worse when it hits.
The irony is that Obama’s fiscal cliff deal theoretically demands higher taxes for “fairness,” to get the rich to carry more of the burden. However, a recent Huffington Post article quotes Professor Emmanuel Saez of UC-Berkeley, who reveals that income inequality is actually higher under Obama than it was under Bush. Or, as the writer explains, “That means the rising tide has lifted fewer boats during the Obama years — and the ones it’s lifted have been mostly yachts.” In other words, his uber-rich friends hit the jackpot even as the poor and middle class he supposedly protects suffer more.
Despite hand-wringing and breathless proclamations of impending doom, Congress and Obama showed they were completely unserious about fixing the problem, voting on the “fiscal cliff” bill without having a clue what was in it. According to Congressman Ron Paul, the bill was voted on in the House just 22-hours after the text was made available, and the Senate voted on the 154-page bill just three minutes after it was presented.
In March of 2009, at a Georgia GOP county convention, Sen. Johnny Isakson gave a stump speech in which he pleaded for the help of the faithful grassroots in returning him and other Republicans to power because, as he told the assembled crowd, we had to defeat the Democrats and Barack Obama to stop the reckless, runaway spending in Washington, D.C. I turned to my wife in abject shock and asked if he’d really just said that.
Afterward, I went to him and respectfully but pointedly reminded the Senator that, when Georgia W. Bush was president and spending money like he had a golden goose, as our senator he’d voted for every one of those pork-filled, bloated budgets. Yes, Obama and the Democrats were on a drunken spending binge, but the Republicans had only been better by degree. I told him that the Republicans will never regain the trust of the American people unless they governed in a way that mirrored their conservative campaign rhetoric. I also told him the surest sign I’d seen that they had not yet learned their lesson was the fact that the Senate Republicans had re-elected the porkmeister, Mitch McConnell, as Senate Minority Leader. It is hard to take seriously a party which talks about fiscal responsibility and then elects as their leader of the upper house a man who campaigned on the amount of pork he’d brought back to Kentucky.
And now we have the re-election of John Boehner, the eternally weeping love child of George Hamilton and the Great Pumpkin, as Speaker of the House. The ONE branch of the federal government controlled by the Republicans and they re-elect the man who received the MVP Award from Team Obama; a man whose chief negotiating tactic is to fold faster than a card table in a hurricane.
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” — Thomas Jefferson, 1816, Letter to Charles Yancey
I’ve come to the conclusion that Dante, in writing his classic “Inferno”, actually missed the final level of Hell. Or rather, I have not so much concluded that, as discovered it. The deepest level of Hell is to be forced to watch the news and read the printed and online media, and see falsities, half-truths, and outright lies perpetuated ad nauseum, and be completely impotent to get people to realize the truth. You can convince a large majority of the people to believe just about anything as long as you say it in a serious, contemplative voice, or preface it with the statement “Experts agree” or “A new study has discovered…” I don’t mind people disagreeing with me (indeed, there are few things I enjoy more than debating against someone that is informed and well-prepared) but it drives me berserk at the absolute stupidity that some people are willing to believe.
So, as we head into the new year, my last column will be dedicated to correcting oft-repeated fallacies, in the hope that it will create a spark that leads to a reassessment of things that people believe, but just aren’t so. In no particular order, here is the truth about some common fallacies that I wish could be corrected once and for all…
With Christmas right around the corner, I decided, on the off chance that my belief in Santa as a fable is misplaced, to write a wish list for him to fulfill. After all, I’ve been a (relatively) good boy this year, so I think I deserve to have at least some of my wishes come true. I’ve been a good citizen, paid my taxes, stayed out of jail, stayed faithful to my wife, provided for my kids; heck, I didn’t even get a speeding ticket. Yes, the more I think about it, the more that I am positive that I deserve this. You might say that I feel…entitled.
So, in random order, here are some things on my wish list…
This weekend has, for my family, been a case study in the dichotomous nature of life. For my family personally, it was a joyous weekend. On Friday, I took two of my boys into town for the afternoon. We got haircuts and then I took them to do their Secret Santa shopping for Christmas (in our family, with eight children, it can quickly get very expensive for the kids to try to buy each of their siblings a gift, so we put their names in a hat and then they blindly pick out the name for whom they will be a “Secret Santa”). Later that evening, back at home, we were joined for dinner by four young missionaries who are far from home this Christmas. With my own oldest son, Elijah, on a mission in Mexico, they’ve become a sort of proxy for him until he returns.
Saturday was even more special, as we gathered with family and friends for the baptism of my daughter Mahalie. For Christians, few events in life are more meaningful or precious as baptism, as we take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and promise to live like Him, knowing we’ll often fall short, even as we try each day to do better. Seeing my sweet little daughter, dressed in all white, representing purity and innocence, brought tears to my eyes. These milestones are, of course, bittersweet, since they remind us of how quickly time flies, and one day we wake up and our little babies have grown up and are living their own lives, going to college or on missions, or getting married and starting families of their own.
By now most Americans have heard the tragic story of the deaths of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Belcher, and his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins. For those who’ve not, I will try to synopsize the story as I understood it from NBC sportscaster Bob Costas, as relayed to the audience of NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcast. As Costas regales, the tragedy started when Belcher got into argument with his girlfriend (and the mother of his daughter), 22-year old Perkins. As the argument escalated, both Belcher and Perkins were too distracted to notice that a gun had slipped into the room unobserved. Taking advantage of the distraction, the gun then jumped out from behind the door, fatally shooting Perkins, as Belcher could only watch helplessly, horrified.
So distraught was Belcher at the killing of his baby’s mama that he fled to the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice facility, where he breathlessly recalled, to the listening ears of his coach and general manager, the events of just a short time earlier. Compounding the earlier tragedy, Belcher was again distracted by his retelling of the killing, and was therefore caught off guard by the same gun which had killed his girlfriend. Unbeknownst to Belcher, the gun had followed him to the practice facility, where it refused to allow Belcher to reveal the horrible truth, gunning him down in front of the coach and GM before the real story could be told.
What in heaven’s name has happened to the country I grew up admiring? That is the question I’ve been asking myself over and over since the re-election of Barack Obama. While it’s easy to blame the crumbling of those principles, values and characteristics on Obama and liberal Democrats, that’s an easy way out, a little white lie we tell ourselves as a comfort mechanism. We blame it on Obama having run a campaign of distractions and outright lies to hide his failures (he did), or Romney not running an effective ground game (he didn’t) or being an eloquent spokesman for conservative principles (he wasn’t). We blame it on widespread voter fraud by Democrats (there was), or the media being complicit in protecting Obama by helping cover up the truth about scandals like Fast and Furious, or Benghazi (they were).
Yet not even those things reveal the underlying truth about the hastening erosion of what was once the foundation of American exceptionalism. We once valued hard work, honesty, fidelity in marriage, humility, and personal responsibility. We held up as men and women to be admired those who were industrious and entrepreneurial. These were traits we aimed for, even though we often fell short. Yet where are these values today? John F. Kennedy, the iconic president adored by Democrats, once exhorted us to “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Contrast that Democrat’s pseudo-messianic figure in Obama, who shuns the call for sacrifice, for hard work, telling us we have a right to free health care, welfare checks, food stamps, and a plethora of other goodies, all paid for by taxing at ever greater levels the hated, evil rich.