In the United States today well over ten percent and something less than a quarter of likely voters currently identify themselves when asked about party membership as members of the Tea (or TEA, i.e. “Taxed Enough Already”) Party. These people include some decently high number of folks who are willing to speak about an American Revolution such as the one we had two hundred years ago. There are tours going across the country as the Tea Party Express. There are rallies, conventions and town hall meetings. While many discount the potential of this movement in this country they represent the largest and most potent movement of their kind in a long time. I am doing a four part posting on the potential American Revolution as it might be abd as I would like to see it.
There are in addition to these people I think of Americans like my old college buddy Andy who ran for governor of a state other than mine in 2008 as a Libertarian. His principal slogan was “reboot the government” I believe. Andy is of course a computer guy — one of the real ones. Glen Beck is featuring a regular segment in his show called “Refounding America”. Mr. Beck’s show is really quite popular and successfull. Of course President Obama himself was elected on the slogan of “Change You Can Believe In!” There is the fact that Massachussettes elected its first Republican Senator in a very long time. It might be the case that America is ready to look at real change as a possibility. It is always at least a little scary when a large and powerful country reaches the point where real change is perceived as necessary. That is even more true when the geopolitical order and social order of the times is such as ours is today. Sometimes it is very scary indeed.
I am also aware of the huge crowds of Hispanics who not so long ago marched in the streets protesting imigration policy and the sense of persecution growing among Mexican Americans as they perceive the policies of the United States. If one factors in our vast national debt, huge production of waste, decaying infrastructure, rates of incaceration, porous borders, fiscal crises in so many places and many other woes it seems clear that we are in a place of real crisis and that some sort of revolutionary transformation may well be necessary. I think that this change will have to come from other places than what is the mainstream of our current social order or else it will only make things much worse.
Above all there cannot simply be a struggle between shrinking government and more entitlements of all residents to all kinds of government services. America is soul-sick and not on a path that can lead to the places America needs to reach to have a real chance of socio-political survival and the level of progress needed to support the survival of its people over the moderately long term. With a society such as hours there is a bloating and softening of the social fabric before the really big shocks to the state and the national structure take place.
I thin that America has begun to take notice of its social decay in movies like “The Blind Side” and “Precious, Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire” which have attracted an audience and will be discussed at the Academy Awards tomorrow night. It is possible for America top address many of its problems while still honoring its traditions and not tearing itself apart. But the time to act keeps running out and the chances of choosing the path we need to choose is not a very likely chance.
What will not work is the color blind, impersonal, nondiscriminating, cowardly and crime-loving concept of justice which our courts have imposed on the nation and the States over the last several decades. I believe that relatively radical action very soon can produce a real chance of justice. This reconstitution of America should create family associations with many privileges asssured by law. Such associations will take over some of the responsibilities of a federal budget with greater austerity measures than have been seen for a long time. These associations will also support autonomy and wellbeing for women who want to support and build the strong families that make society strong. There shall also be a transfer of lands into new jurisdictions and a reworking of the system of apportionment and representation. We can stop pretending that Guam and American Samoa and Puerto Rico have representative governance when they don’t. We can stop pretending that millions of ilegal aliens are not both unfairly treated and a grave threat to this society. They need not be our enemies for us to make that admission. We also need to create compacts between groups of States and other jurisdictions which are similar to the the Tennessee Valley Authority in some ways but are larger and are able to do more to promote regional welfare and interests. Then there some facts about military reservations and the District of Columbia which need to be addressed. We will need to rework the Congress and redraw the map a little bit. That will include a viable and vital constitutional future for existing American Indian nations. All of this will be made much harder by years and ecades of pushing a destructive and poisoonous obsession with calculator democracy in its simplest form on to a world that has often suffered from it. The military in the US is not perfect but it is one of our greatest assets. We have to find more of a constitutional role for this social institution in our socio-political regime. WE HAVE TO ADDRESS MANY VERY SERIOUS PROBLEMS.
Right now we still have resources to deal with these problems. That will not always be the case. Soon there will be no chance to solve them. Part Two of this posting will deal withhow we have to try to understand our constitutional and revolutionary heritage more clearly and effectively. Part Three of this posting (should I get to it) will discuss how we might make those changes which can at least address all of our major problems and preserve the best of our revolutionary heritage.