The Timelessness of C.S. Lewis: ‘tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive’

Photo Cred: Sigurdur Jonsson’s flickr

Via My Old Man, from C.S. Lewis’s essay anthology “God in the Dock” (1948):

My contention is that good men (not bad men) consistently acting upon that position would act as cruelly and unjustly as the greatest tyrants. They might in some respects act even worse. Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

 (Emphasis added)

It’s tough to make common cause with Progressives, for the libertarian ends I support (for instance, to legalize marijuana), when they fail to see any problem with the i-legalizing of things like soda over a certain size, or banning trans fats.

It’s not helped by certain of my progressive friends, who call themselves libertarians (for contrarian, not principled, reasons), who believe their support for pot legalization and their ‘why can’t we all just marry who we love’ attitude towards same sex marriage makes them libertarians.

Their position on these issues is buttressed by their support for an out and out expansion of the nanny state–especially Obamacare.

When confronted with the inconsistency of their position on these and other issues of the day, they (I kid you not) tell me, ‘well, Obamacare is [editorial insert: not yet] as bad as the Iraq War, so there.’

These are the people who elected Barack Obama to a second term.

Sorry, buddy, wanting to be able to smoke your pot legally and thinking that your friends ought to be able to get gay married does not make you a libertarian–at least, not when you also think government should expand its services and increase taxes to support that growth.

That just makes you a liberal. Or a progressive. Which label you prefer makes no difference to me.

God Bless America – Remembering 9/11

More than anything else, 9/11 prompted me to start this blog. I haven’t been regular in posting, but it’s only appropriate I publicly express my gratitude to our servicemen and women, President Bush, President Obama and all others who gave everything to bring OBL to justice.
No apologies here, folks. I’m glad and grateful he is dead.
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Thanksgiving: Washington & Lincoln

President Washington:

City of New York, October 3, 1789
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th. day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

President Lincoln:
It has seemed to me fit and proper that [our blessings] should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

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The Election of Ronald Reagan, 30 Years On

Birth of a Revolution
Thirty years ago today Ronald Reagan won the presidency. Few elections have had the monumental economic and foreign policy consequences of the one held on Nov. 4, 1980.
In the decade before Reagan’s election, the economy had faltered worse than at anytime since the Great Depression. The stock market lost almost half of its value, mortgage interest rates hit nearly 20% and the inflation rate topped 14%. The word “stagflation” — high inflation and high unemployment — entered the lexicon. After the full implementation of Reaganomics — lower tax rates, less regulation, control of government spending, the taming of inflation — the economy boomed. Eight million jobs were created over the next decade, and the economy grew at 8% per year.
I asked Reagan biographer Craig Shirley, author of the new book “Rendezvous with Destiny,” about the significance of the 1980 election. “Reagan understood what few other politicians of his era did,” said Mr. Shirley, “and that is that intellectualism and wisdom are with the American people and not the elitist ruling classes. Reagan and the populist conservatives he led made the elites uncomfortable because they were a threat the existing order. Common sense is intellectualism.” Arthur Laffer, Mr. Reagan’s chief economist, told me: “Reagan had three priorities and he never deviated from them: cut taxes, slay inflation, and win the Cold War.”
One of the Gipper’s greatest legacies was the Reagan Revolution, which gave birth to a modern-day conservative movement that continues to thrive three decades later. Tuesday’s victory for Republicans was a result of stitching together the Reagan coalition of free-market advocates, social conservatives, Reagan Democrats and independents. Reagan said during the 1980 campaign that “all of our problems . . . are in direct proportion to the overspending in Washington.” That sounds a lot like what today’s Tea Partier say about Mr. Obama and his $2 trillion spending spree.
“Ronald Reagan was a Tea Partier before the phrase was coined,” said Mr. Shirley, “because he knew what the Founders intended, and that was for power to flow upward and not downward.”

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Send Home ‘Senator Ma’am’

It’s tough to say which Democrat Senator I dislike most. No, that’s not true. It’s definitely Harry Reid. So much for tribalism.
Senator “Ma’am” isn’t far behind. Ditto Patty Murray. Or enemy of free speech himself, Russ Feingold.
Fortunately, it looks like at least two of those four will lose their job next week. With a little bit of work, maybe we can send home all of them.

Don’t let this opportunity to Be the Wave pass you by–get involved.

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Remember November 2nd

Be a part of the wave, not the trash that gets carried along by it–GOTV. You have two options, really: 1. do what you normally do and remain uninvolved, but complaining about the direction/state of the country OR 2. Do something. Like make some calls, do some canvassing, drive people to the polls.
The link I provided is to call people to encourage them to vote. Don’t stop there. Contact your local GOP party chair (Google it) and volunteer to help. If you really believe, as I do, that we need to elect conservatives to Congress, do something more than just talk about it.
I’m in London and as a result, am somewhat limited in what I can do to become a part of the wave. So, for my part, I commit to calling 40 people, per day, until the election. Each day I’ll write up a post about my experience.
What will you do?

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