Recovering America

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Amidst
all the flag-waving and “America the Beautiful” singing, there’s
a recurring theme among the chattering classes: “How will America
recover from these senseless tragedies?”

Now
by this the punditistas usually do not mean "recover"
in any economic sense of the word (to them the answer is obvious,
and his name rhymes with “reigns”). Nor does "recover"
carry any sense of moral or ethical reconsideration of policy (that
way spells "treason" to statists).

No,
our media masterminds merely seek to "recover" our bully-boy
pre-eminence in worldpolitik; hence their slavish fidelity to bombing
back to the Stone Age a country for which the Stone
Age looks very much like progress
.

All
this talk of "recovery" has given me pause. What, I ponder,
would it take for America to really "recover" – that
is, to the state of grace in which she was founded, and away from
which she has moved ever since the Whiskey Rebellion?

The
answer, at least for me, has become quite clear. It involves our
very own “12 Step Program”, guaranteed to turn us all into “recovering
imperialists.” Submitted for your consideration:

Step
1

Bring
the troops home. No more occupations, no more force projection,
no more showing the flag, no more joint operations, no more
task forces, no more “War on —”. All of them. Home. Now.

Step
2

Stop
the bombing. In Afghanistan, in Iraq, anywhere we’re tempted
to pull a Curtis LeMay. Declare a unilateral halt to the practice
of killing numerous innocents in the faint hope of hitting one
bad guy here and there.

Step
3

Open
negotiations with nations willing to assist us in capturing
those actually responsible for the murder of American
civilians. Required: proof positive of the culpability of those
we seek.

Step
4

Stop
backing our petty tyrants against their petty
tyrants. (In better words, “avoid entangling alliances”.) Realize,
better late than never, that our tinpot dictator today
will only become their tinpot dictator tomorrow.

Step
5

Reinstate
the fundamental, unequivocal, and inalienable right of defense
of self and others that is currently denied (in whole or in
part) to all citizens of the United States. Encourage and nourish
the true self-reliance that was the original essence of the
American spirit.

Step
6

Convert
the current military-industrial-congressional complex into a
true defense establishment reliant on military resources structured
in strict adherence to Article
I, Section 8
of the Constitution.

Step
7

Dismantle
all agencies of the federal government whose true charter is
to infringe the rights of American citizens. Start with the
IRS, DEA, BATF, FBI, INS, and work down from there.

Step
8

Hold
all elected officials strictly accountable for their actions
(and ignore their words until they prove themselves worthy of
respect). Impeach elected officials who violate their oath to
defend the Constitution. Enforce restitution from those convicted.

Step
9

Restore
to Congress the powers that they have ceded to the executive
and judicial branches. Then require of all legislators that
they exercise those powers — and only those powers — in strict
accordance with the Constitution.

Step
10

Insist
that with citizenship comes responsibility. Make the franchise
(and all other privileges and immunities of citizens) something
to be earned, rather than passively received as just another
meaningless handout from the welfare state.

Step
11

Repeal
all unconstitutional laws.

Step
12

Enforce
the Bill
of Rights
.

Is
this just a patriot’s version of delerium tremens? Are we
so far down the proverbial "slippery slope" that such
a prescription is harsh beyond acceptance – perhaps even beyond
our befuddled comprehension?

It’s
up to each of us.

And
the first thing we have to do is admit that we have a problem.

October
18, 2001

John
Taylor [send
him mail]
is the editor of The
Libertarian Enterprise
.

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