Delftsman, after our latest sparring match, pointed me to a relatively well-written (if note well-reasoned) article by Kim du Toit. Since the argument in Kim's article is related to some of my posts during the last few days, I'd like to provide a rebuttal of some of its points. Kim's article begins with a quote from Cicero (a self-serving aristocrat of the Roman Empire) and then goes on to warn us of traitors "within our walls." To give his argument an academic ambience, Kim makes historical analogies with the events leading up to France's fall to the Germans in WWII. Kim views the strengths of France at the time as being in its military and bureaucracy, and feels that these wonderful institutions were undermined by a number of traitors assisted by an unloyal press, an apathetic public, a pacifist mentality, and a lack of concern for constitutional rights. He also cites the divisive appeal of fascism and communism. The lesson Kim draws from this is that the U.S. is threatened by just such forces and traitors today.
When discussing the specific modus operandi of the traitors, Kim mentions the following specific points:
1. The attempt to "change our government completely" by making it a direct democracy without the Electoral College.
As one of those traitors who would love to see this happen, I stand guilty as charged. However, the realistic odds of enough states (many of whom benefit from the current status quo) supporting such a constitutional change are nil. So I won't even bother to rebut the silly argument that our system is necessary to keep big states from picking on little ones.
2. The attempt to void basic freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.
Judging from his silence about virtually all other infringment of rights, Kim evidently is talking exclusively about gun control and property rights. Once again, we're warned of something that definitely won't happen in the foreseeable future. Personally, I'm tempted to join the conservative enemy on this issue. Let the conservatives have all the guns they want. Hell, maybe we should all go out and buy an arsenel. We may need them. With that point taken care of, perhaps we should consider a few other areas of the Constitution. Doesn't it concern anyone that things like freedom of speech, freedom to gather and protest, freedom to a trial before one's peers, freedom of confidentiality regarding one's papers, and myriad other basic rights are being trampled, like never before, by the current administration? Why do people on the right only care about guns?
3. Disunity. America's coming apart!
Here Kim talks about the multiplicity of languages being spoken (i.e., Spanish) and laments the alleged loss of "our common culture and heritage" replaced by relativism imposed on an unwilling populace. I suppose Kim envisions an America more like Germany or France where national identity is synonymous with language and culture. If this is what America's really "about," wealthy business men probably need to stop bringing over cheap labor (whether it be Chinese or Hispanic) to exploit. Then we can go about creating our little 1950ish society of shared suburban values. This would require some pretty radical changes in order to get all of the outliers to conform to the beer-belly of the bell curve. There will still be a large group of people who will never agree to toe the line. Perhaps Kim envisions a cultural revolution so that these folks get with the program--or at least, get off the main streets. (I suppose that's why Kim placed so much emphasis on the guns.)
4. Kim also lambasts those “progressives”, “socialists”, “communitarians”, “populists”, “globalists” and other moonbats who are trying to replace the Republic with "another type of state" and "one which serves their own ambitions or goals" (sounds good to me) "—or, most reprehensibly, the ambitions and goals of those outside our borders" (and live in harmony with others. Even I find this reprehensible!) We traitors are accused here of supporting “open borders.” Actually, the political support for open borders is generally from Republican businessmen who want cheap labor, and by immigrant groups themselves. But I guess we shouldn't let a few pesky facts get in the way. It's a fine-sounding argument. And while I'm one of those traitors who actually doesn't believe in states, if we're going to have states, I don't see why we'd want to let in illegal immigrants. Now if we can just convince those traitorous businessmen and factory owners.
Kim's original half-baked comparison of the U.S. with pre-WWII France gets lost somewhere. It's just as well. Unlike the U.S., France was never a world hegemon and was only a European hegemon for an extremely brief interlude. Sandwiched between the then-world superpower (Britain) and the up-and-coming superpower (Germany), France's options were limited. The idea that the U.S. is now a struggling country threatened by powerful aggressors is not only mistaken, but is patently ridiculous. Does Kim see a Canadian or Mexican invasion on the horizon? Were the motley groups of religious kooks who took over some planes using pepper spray somehow similar to invading Nazis? For analogies, Kim should have stuck with the source of his original quote--an overconfident Rome weakened by wealthy elites like Cicero.
In true bad-ass conservative fashion, Kim ends his diatribe with a veiled threat to kill all of us "traitors within."
"And lest anyone think that simply desiring a different form of government is neither treason nor traitorous, it should be noted that after France was liberated by the Allies in 1944, and after a long and exhaustive trial, Pierre Laval was executed by firing squad."
My advice to all of you pointing fingers and gathering guns. It's much better if we can keep our differences in the forum of democratic debate. Because when we introduce violence and executions by firing squad, there might be some of us who have a very different idea of what makes a person a traitor. And you might not like where you find yourself.