John Livingston

‘Tis the Season — “Hope and Joy”

Since the midterm elections, many conservatives have been disappointed. Why should a country that has been blessed with so much, been favored with the responsibility and the duty of liberty, been unable to connect to the virtues and values that have positioned us as the envy of the world? Why is our country so divided along the lines of “tribal factions”? It seems that a work ethic has been replaced with a sense of entitlement. Spiritualism and faith in God have been replaced with materialism. Responsibility has been replaced with victimhood. Gratitude and respect for the contributions from those who came before us has been marginalized by those who rewrite history.

I would hazard that those academics and those who dabble in writing historical fictions (including those in the mainstream media) possess none of the attributes and virtues that informed those who had the courage to cross the oceans, battle hardships while crossing the plains, build transcontinental railroads while fighting Indians, cold and starvation; fight a Civil War that freed four million slaves (costing 400,000 lives), defeat fascism in two world wars, all at the same time raising families, building communities, businesses and then a country. Our forefathers didn’t get everything right, but when they didn’t, they started over and tried again. The real story is that we didn’t quit or succumb to as James Madison instructed us in The Federalist # 10 the “violence of faction”. We are a great country because we had a few great people who never quit. As Teddy Roosevelt opined:

It is not the critic who counts not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” T. Roosevelt

From Plato to James Madison philosophers have understood the importance and dangers of “factions”. Our country was founded by a faction of at the most twenty-five percent of our citizens. The dominance of a stubborn minority in the colonies prevailed by being uncompromising in their principles. The majority in colonial times were apathetic and disengaged from politics, as they are today. A very specific type of intransigent minority with “skin in the game” founded our country. What we learn from our own history is that it takes only a small number of virtuous people with skin in the game in the form of virtuous courage and commitment to principle, to facilitate the proper functioning of society.

The problems that we have today are directly related to the complexities that have been purposefully created in how we govern ourselves. Factions grow as complexity in government grows. Factions exert influence by “scaling up”. That is why factions like Black Lives Matter (BLM) the LGBTQ agenda grew not from the grassroots and local communities but were funded up front by internationalists like George Soros and elite financiers in New York and Silicon Valley—modern day Rothschilds not Madison’s or Hamilton’s. Top-down politics at its worst. More analogous to fascism than representative democracy. Simple organizations are less likely to succumb to the “scale of faction”. That is why local governments work better than large central governments and why organizations—churches, businesses, and even families work best when decisions are made at the most basic level—where individuals have “skin in the game”. When Nancy Pelosi says “we feed them” does anyone believe she has as much “skin in the game” as a volunteer working at The Rescue mission or at the food bank, or a volunteer working at a church school?

Small, decentralized governments are less likely to succumb to the “scaling up of faction”. That is why Louden County Virginia. parents were able to defeat the faction of “wokeness” and transgender ideology in their schools. I believe now more than ever that the fight for conservative values will be in the States and municipalities—the way it was envisioned by our founders. Our legislators must push back against Federal mandates and Federal matches that obligate Idaho citizens to rules promulgated in Washington DC. Small government is the best defense against as James Madison opined—”the violence of faction

P.S. This is the season that we celebrate the birth of The Baby Jesus. The prophecies of the Old Testament and the promise HE made for our future should always be a source of hope and joy. No matter what happens in the world of politics and economics (the temporal secular world) we know how this all ends.

Merry Christmas!

“My Peace, I give you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world givith I unto you” John 14:27

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