True comprehension of our founding requires a thorough and intellectually honest approach to the entire spectrum of social science disciplines from history to philosophy to economics among the rest. I knew I could not do justice to it short of writing a book - a virtual impracticality considering time constraints (not to mention that I am not an author and do not profess to have the writing skills) - so I decided to attempt writing sort of a mini-book. Looking back at it now, though I am relatively happy with the content, I hope the lack of organization did not take much away from it.
I started my "mini-book" by discussing the importance of true, classical education in comprehending the relationship between universal truths and our founding in general. As such, I made the point that it is a logical fallacy to view our founding principles that are anchored in absolute natural/universal rights merely as a guideline for the future generations.
The American Founders understood liberty to mean freedom from unjust coercion. The Bill of Rights was indeed expressly intended to codify the Founders' understanding of liberty as protection from coercion in the normal course of human events. What set the first American Patriots on the path to revolution was not the economic burden imposed by British taxes, which was very small by contemporary standards, but rather the fact that these taxes represented a form of unjust coercion in direct conflict with their natural liberty.
Today, coercion is being applied by enemies of our Constitution from within. The progressive agenda aims to break down the individual spirit of independence and replace it with dependency on the state simply because of their inability to accept individuals as unique beings with their own strengths who may attain differing levels of success in life.
The elitist view that individuals must be guided through life is wholly inconsistent with our foundational principles. Therefore, in order to attain progressive/collectivist goals, anything related to our founding has to be attacked and discredited by any corrupt and dishonest means as possible.
The progressive mantra that the Founders were a bunch of white racists with a handful of good ideas they embodied in our Founding documents that were meant to be molded to the needs of future generations is nothing but a smokescreen for their collectivist ideals. This is exactly why the progressives incessantly fight originalism as it pertains to the U.S. Constitution and refuse to inter-connect the founding documents.
This undermining of liberty is part and parcel of the left's agenda (precisely because their agenda is coercive). Liberty is nothing but an obstacle to the left. As such, today, the consent of the governed is routinely ignored by the executive branch as in undisputedly unpopular healthcare reform, FCC and EPA regulations, etc. – Constitutionality of their actions be damned!
As such, liberty according to progressives is the obligation to accept coercion in the interest of a greater good that has been determined in advance by the political class. On this view, the government acts beneficently in order "to assure the full worth of every individual's equal freedom." Thus, on this twisted model, coercion by government actually increases freedom.
In contrast, defenders of our founding principles – classical liberals and libertarians – believe in triumph of the human spirit over weaknesses of human nature. We believe we are all unique in our own ways and circumstances. As such, we believe in equality before law and equality of opportunity – not equality of outcome which by definition violates independence and individual freedom.
We believe that government that governs best governs least – mainly because we understand the frailty of human nature as it comes to greed and power in politics. Politics is the competition and division of power. As history also shows, power instilled in politicians is directly correlated to government size (from Rome on down). That is so because, throughout history, democratic governments descend into a process by which an elected few, often for their own political gain, redistribute the earnings of one societal group for the benefit of another. That dynamic, more often than not cast in compulsory terms, can’t help but be divisive. As that chasm of envy and resentment grows, and it has throughout all of history, ever-greater partisanship is sure to follow and elections become all the more important.
Our Founders understood that dynamic and wanted none of it. Keep in mind that they fought against a powerful government and the notion government should rule our lives. They also knew, as studied as they were, that the Utopian chase of a better life through government fiat was not only illusory but necessarily fracturing. All this is well documented in their writings and thus, beyond dispute.
Today, America is very different than any of our Founders could have imagined. Return to Federalism is a must if we are to survive in the spirit of the Constitutional republic our founders envisioned. This vision is the only vision consistent with what made our nation uniquely great.
America has a special place in the world – not because we are as individuals or geographically different from anyone or anywhere else but our foundation as a nation is built upon universal truths that make everyone living within our borders truly free individuals. The phenomena emanating from this foundational strength, called American Exceptionalism, has propelled us to greatness as defenders of liberty as well as economic and innovative leader of the world.
We must never give up on the timeless principles of the American idea: free-market democracy, open competition, a robust private sector bound by rules of honesty and fairness, a secure safety net, and equal opportunity for all under a limited constitutional government of popular consent.