One of the most revealing developments that has taken place over the course of the past three to five years — when it became apparent that the global far-Left was beginning a full-court press to implement fully its political agenda in the United States — is that many people who consider themselves political conservatives and who truly pay attention to what’s happening in our country have found themselves capable of anticipating or even practically predicting the behavior and next moves from Liberals and those who have committed themselves to what passes for a Democratic platform. As with anything else, I could be wrong, but I’ve come to think that I see a pattern beginning to develop — a pattern that I consider disturbing and shameless, mind you — that may suggest at least something of the tactics of Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, a pattern that recently led me to thinking of a significant figure from American Revolutionary history but one that doesn’t necessarily immediately enter into a general discussion of our nation’s fight for independence.
Several years ago, Mel Gibson starred in a movie called The Patriot, a film that was based on actual historical events from the Revolutionary War and in which his character was loosely based upon the real-life figure of Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, a man who commanded the American forces at the Battle of Cowpens, one of the two most decisive American victories that effectively decided the outcome of the entire struggle. The battle at the conclusion of the movie is based on the events at Cowpens and, in truth, does a pretty solid job of presenting the actual facts.
Personally, I don’t think the movie as a whole was all that great, as it has always struck me as nothing more than Braveheart wrapped in an American flag. Although, Adam Baldwin is in it, and we like him around here at America’s Right. (We’d like him even more here at AR if he submitted a few more great pieces; I know he’s busy, but his political activism is admirable. — Jeff.) But I digress.
The specific consideration here concerns the figure of Morgan, whom historians generally acknowledge as one of the greatest battlefield technicians of the Revolutionary War as well as, quite possibly, one of the greatest in American history. If we had never fought for our independence, however, would Morgan have ever had the opportunity to exhibit his talents as a battlefield commander and as a leader of men?
Not likely. The British military – heck, the entire British society – was based on family lineage and being relegated to the class into which one was born. The officers in the British military, especially the highest-ranking ones, were men from prestigious families, not men with any real, practical military experience. A commission as an officer in His Majesty’s fighting forces was more celebratory and an example of pageantry than it was a sign of something earned and deserved. The cultural and political revolution that was the American experiment was based in a person’s taking possession of his right to his own existence and to make any mark in the world that he could by virtue of his own hands and mind, which we call a meritocracy. Men (and later women) would no longer be judged by who their parents were.
Brigadier General Daniel Morgan was one of the first, greatest living embodiments of this new outlook. He was born to Welsh immigrants, people who were common laborers. Morgan never received any formal education and for the most part was destined for the same type of life as his father until he began serving in the British colonial militia during the French and Indian conflicts. As revolutionary fervor began to sweep the colonies and Morgan developed a serious disdain for the British, the opportunity to demonstrate his talents presented itself. Morgan took full advantage of the opportunity, and by the time his physical ailments forced him to the sidelines toward the end of the Revolution, he was a self-made and well-respected man.
Fast forward two centuries-plus, and it is painfully, painfully apparent just how far our society, culture, and politics have fallen. We now have a political class of “representatives” (mostly in the Democratic party, but the GOP is by no means exempt here) whose modus operandi is to convince those in the lower classes (and as many in the middle classes as they can) that their lesser position in life is no fault of their own and that someone or something has mistreated them in some horrible, unspeakable, immoral, and unethical fashion. In short, generally over the course of the past forty years but more specifically during the course of the past twenty or so we’ve seen our society devolve from a meritocracy to a victimocracy. Personally, the two most disturbing things that I see in this – beyond the obvious – is that first, it strikes me as what I’ll call a valued victimocracy, in that far and away too many of our people are now so “invested” in this outlook that it seems to me that they try to be the “best victims” that they possibly can, which is quite perverse and, I suppose, is a type of “merited-victimization”, a victimization that some come to view as a “hard-earned” one. It has become such a pronounced social reality that people who actually work hard, try to earn their way through life, and take risks in an effort to possibly improve their lot in life are mocked as chumps for not gleaning off the system what they can.
Honestly, my mind turns to jelly just trying to wrap itself around all of this.
The second thing that truly bothers me in all this is that the members of the new “political aristocracy” of ours would like nothing better than to return to the pre-revolutionary social order, in that we will be judged by who our parents are. To wit, all one has to do is to take a closer look at the glorious new “financial regulatory reform” signed into law last year by Barack Obama in order to see that the larger theme of that bill is directed at ensuring that those in the lower and middle classes “learn and keep their place” in life. Any attempt to lift oneself above his or her station is seriously frowned upon nowadays, by both the members of our political aristocracy and those in the lower classes who are more determined to pull those in the middle classes down to their level than they are in possibly trying to improve their own lot in life by virtue of their own hard work.
As I’ve pointed out, there are now a lot more everyday Americans who can see so clearly what the Left is attempting to accomplish and the manner by which they’re willing to undermine American ideals that generally anticipating Liberals’ next moves isn’t all that difficult. Truth be told, the Leftist agenda has now been so fully exposed that they’ve been, for the most part, reduced to name-calling and personal attacks, the most common being their use of the race card and the terrorist talking points with regard to the Tea Party. They certainly cannot argue on the merits of any of the issues, and they certainly cannot argue on the record of the Obama administration, as the entire body of work has been one, giant, abject failure.
So – what do they have left?
It seems to me that the next card that they’ve pulled from their quickly-diminishing bag of tricks is the victim card. They obviously have decades of experience in either convincing others that they’re victims (in an effort to build a political power base) or assuming the mantle of victimhood themselves. In this case, it appears that the road is being paved (with union labor, no doubt) to help set up the American electorate to view Barack Obama as a victim. The American voter will be expected to believe that he is a sympathetic figure who has been wrongfully mistreated by….well, by whom, exactly? The media? I don’t think so. The Tea Party? The moms and dads who are doing something that they’ve never done before by protesting the quickly-encroaching power of the federal government into their personal lives? But isn’t dissent patriotic? Conservative bloggers like myself, people who are merely offering their thoughts?
This occurred to me as I’ve watched some of the give-and-takes between political pundits during the last month or so. One of the dominant ideas that I think I’m now hearing from those on the Left is that Barack Obama “inherited a political maelstrom” – a time in American history when he’s had to deal with the Bush recession, earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear meltdowns, political and cultural meltdowns in the Middle East, a major oil spill, a downgrade of the U.S. Credit rating, and, of course, Hurricane Irene. I’ll say this for the Left – their talking points are always in order.
While we’ve all been numbed by the incessant “He inherited this mess from Bush” drumbeat of the past 2 1/2 years, this has struck me as something different. This is an attempt to portray the entire disaster of Barack Obama’s administration as one that was beyond the control of him and his advisers from the get-go, a situation in which no man, woman, or child could ever have been successful. Isn’t that tantamount to admitting failure on a rather grand scale?
Correct me if I’m wrong, but Barack Obama asked for this job. No one forced him into it. He stridently proclaimed that he could make the sea levels return to normal, that he could make the rest of the world like us again. The fact that none of it seems to have worked out … well … it’s clearly not his fault. Interestingly, the pundits arguing in defense of the president never offer to talk about the policies and decisions of this administration, whether or not blaming George W. Bush is any longer a viable consideration, the fact that he did little to nothing to address the oil spill in the Gulf (other than using the draconian sledgehammer to shut down offshore drilling), and whether or not natural disasters are crises that have a debilitating effect on a president’s administration. No, this strikes me more as throwing an emotional appeal up against the wall to see if it sticks in the hope that a few handfuls of uninformed voters might marginally latch onto the flimsy ideas being tossed into the political marketplace. Unfortunately, that may, in fact, happen.
The president of the United States as “victim” — wow. I’m wondering if we all can put this in the “uncharted territory” column. I think, when November 2012 finally does roll around, I may write-in my choice for president.
Brigadier General Daniel Morgan.