[This is the follow-on to my previous post and must be read in context with it.]
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without color,
Paralyzed force, gesture without motion;
T. S. Eliot, The Hollow Men
The failure to articulate the connection between moral concerns and limited government has allowed the emergence of a sham approach to moral issues. On issues like abortion or the defense of the God-ordained natural family, leaders give lip-service or take isolated stands while actually implementing policies that preferentially employ and promote the spirit killing use of government power as the way to deal with our economic and social challenges. This is how the Huckabee/Palin fold (of the three-fold Republican political scenario discussed in my previous post) manifests the deficiency of substantive logic that so often makes the Bush league's version of a Republican conservative such a 'hollow man (or woman, as the case may be)'.
Education is the area where this deficiency becomes most apparent. The "No Child Left behind" policies of the Bush years were predicated on the development and use of centralized government power and control as the motivating engine for improvements in the standards and quality of American education. Bush policies also worked comfortably with an understanding of education as primarily aimed at workforce preparation. They did little to challenge the leftist, NEA strategy of abusing education to impose a globalist ('world citizen', i.e., citizen as the subject/worker in the global economy) as opposed to American ('sovereign citizen', i.e., the citizen as a member of the sovereign body of the people) identity on our children. Mike Huckabee "called No Child Left Behind "the greatest education reform effort by the federal government in my lifetime," (Washington Times 03/01/05)". Sarah Palin has superficially criticized its implementation. Her approach to education has generally emphasized funding, teacher salaries and workforce preparation, (typical NEA compatible boilerplate). She allows for school choice and teaching about creation in schools, but has apparently never coherently thought through and articulated the understanding that connects them with the essential goal of preparing young Americans for their historically unique participation as sovereign citizens in the constitutional processes of deliberation and choice that are supposed to govern their nation.
For true conservatives this aspect of education isn't just one issue among many because it is a key prerequisite for the survival of liberty. The Constitutional oath required of all our government officials obliges them first and foremost to preserve Constitutional government (the republican form of government- of, by and for the people- required by Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution.). Except we make preparation for citizenship the core and guiding concept of education in our society, this form of government must fail. But the assertion and sustenance of citizen sovereignty depends on respect for the basic moral understanding that undergirds the just requirement that government be based on the consent of the governed. As summarized in the Declaration of Independence, this moral understanding holds that human beings are created equal, their nature endowed with God-ordained unalienable rights. Though simply stated, the reasoning involved in this moral understanding must be shared with each new generation so that they can act with reasonable conviction as to its truth. Their education must therefore introduce them to the facts that account for its emergence in human history. And it must prepare them to follow and appreciate the thinking that reveals its intellectual and spiritual roots.
These education tasks rely on a reference to the Author of all creation as the ultimate source for the authority of the people. Yet the politicians of our time have surrendered control of education for many of our children to a government run system, that by incompetence or design they permit to be constrained by a doctrine that excludes all reference to God and His creation from the curriculum. The forces that promote this doctrine go beyond the exclusion of God's authority. They take measures that can only be intended to shame and intimidate students raised to reverence God's authority in their homes. Though often portrayed as if this is just hostility to "religion" it is in fact hostility toward the ideas of justice and liberty that are the basis for our institutions of constitutional self-government. If, from generation to generation, the American people surrender the warrant of sovereignty they derive from the divine Ruler of all possible worlds, they must inevitably expose themselves to the logic that has, throughout human history, subjected people in this world to the arbitrary rule of elite human masters deriving their warrant from the successful impositions of fear, force and falsehood.
Of course the power hungry elites in our time claim to derive their warrant for mastery from 'scientific truth'. But when people pretend that modern science offers any proven knowledge about the substance and premises of moral truth, their claim has no more basis than any other superstition. It is the logic of human experience, not scientific experiment that must decide the truth of moral ideas. That logic takes account of facts the instruments of science cannot perceive or measure, like the sense of inner worth that sparks the heart of every human being to cherish the love our nature beckons us to show toward one another, even when it sears our pride or other selfish interest. Such are the self-evident truths on which the American founders based the human claim to liberty. Republican leaders from the Palin/Huckabee fold seek the support and vote of those whose faith and natural wisdom lead them to hold fast to these truths. Whether through insincerity or incompetence, however, these leaders have shown no ability or even inclination to represent and articulate the reasoning that approves this wisdom and justifies this faith. Meanwhile, efforts to do what they can or will not do have been starved, stifled and systematically driven from the most visible platforms of public discussion and debate.
This failure of reasonable articulation tacitly cedes the high ground of moral discussion to those who assault the premises of liberty. It feeds and almost guarantees the outcome we have seen from the Bush era of Republican leadership. You can't beat something with nothing. Though confronted only by the straw man of socialist materialism and false compassion, the hollow men of contemporary Republican 'conservatism' lose because they will not fight, and because they fight for nothing even when they win. Who still deludes themselves that another empty victory won by such an empty leadership will restore the strength of the American people, and renew their faith in the better human destiny their liberty is supposed to illustrate to all mankind? The tragedy is, however, that except they are stirred by such renewal, there will be no victory of freedom, even a hollow one. And like the elderly exiled from care by the elitists' banal scheme for health care savings, this once free people will be pushed by falsehood and hollow betrayal, gently whimpering with inarticulate regret, into the long, dark night of tyranny come again. Have we become people with souls so dead we can still believe this is the lesser evil?
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow…
T. S. Eliot, The Hollow Men