(Some thoughts on Brad Birzer’s recent post.)
Brad, you make a number of important points in this letter. I would like to consider your letter in light of the following concerns.
Can Rep. Walberg and other Republicans make the argument that since they only control the house in opposition to the Senate and the White House that they are at best performing a holding action until after the next elections? Realistically with divided government, something the Founders I believe expected, any reform (good or bad) is most likely to take more than one election cycle. Should the debt ceiling have been raised? Would there have been substantial damage to an already wounded economy if it hadn’t? The psychology of the financial markets is a dangerous thing to play with. Slow steady reform is better when trying to achieve significant change in the direction of a very big ship of state. Or is it?
It would seem that Republicans who say Obama is the root of the problem reveal the depth of their partisan and self serving cowardice. We had a surplus when George W. Bush came into office. Large increases in spending (foreign & domestic) are the root of the problem and both Republicans and Democrats bear responsibility as they strive to lavish borrowed money on their favorite programs. Defense for Republicans, social spending for Democrats, and goodies for corporations from both. Both parties have ill-served the American Republic for decades and only a broken economy may slow down their irresponsibility. If Americans truly want high spending then the only responsible thing to do is to raise the taxes to pay for them. Now, not postpone the burden so as to pass it on to our children and grandchildren. It is immoral to have a low tax, high spend, borrow from foreigners fiscal policy. It lacks any virtue. Both parties are to be blamed for our current state and the sooner conservative Republicans admit it the better. It is not leadership to blame the other party when both parties have committed fiscal treason. Tell the truth and lead. This is what conservatives must demand. Or the Republic is doomed.
But, in the end, it is the duty of citizens of the American Republic to hold their elected leaders accountable. Until we elect leaders who are committed to drastically shrinking the scale and scope of the national government (both in domestic & foreign affairs) we are stuck with a government of cowards elected by irresponsible debtors. Are we getting what we deserve? Have we reached a state where so little character remains in our citizens that only collapse will bring us to do our duty? Perhaps it is too late. But, maybe the 2010 elections showed that true patriots remain. We should pray for God’s mercy on our Republic. I don’t think we could bear the heat of his justice. The Republic is stained with too much sin. We must repent and reform our ways. Or we shall be an example for future generations of how to lose liberty and virtue and destroy a Republic.
Books mentioned in this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.