America’s First Principles Aren’t Irrelevant, They’re The Only Way To Save America

America’s First Principles Aren’t Irrelevant, They’re The Only Way To Save America

A few years ago, I decided to become more than just an informed voter. I applied for a senior position in a gubernatorial administration. When I interviewed directly with the governor I would serve, he asked me a probing question.

“Chris, you’ve got a good career, you’ll be accepting a pay cut and sacrificing five weeks of vacation. You’re living in one of the loveliest towns in the state and you’ll have to move to the capital. Why do you want to leave all that and get involved in the mess that is government?”

My answer came in an instant, “Because I think we are losing the Republic. I think we’ve forgotten first principles and I think I can help.”

My paternal grandmother was a Polish Jew. She came to America long before Hitler came to power, but she left family behind, and she made sure from the time I was five years old that she instilled a political awareness in me. She taught me well what leftism wrought.

That introduction led me to a lifelong study of, and respect for American first principles. Our national departure from those principles was never more apparent than in Biden’s red hued vitriolic speech last week and the Biden agenda in general.

The radical changes promoted by this current administration are destructive to the people of our nation. They are intended to cut us off from our past, and weaken the family, thereby destroying the bonds that connect us with our founding. Left unchecked, these policies will leave us to fend for ourselves, armed only with our own modern intellect and a morality weakened by 300 years of humanist dogma.

Leftism as practiced by the Biden administration claims to care about the individual. But all of the “isms” (socialism, fascism, communism, and leftism) contradict themselves because they have no foundation in a creator God. Therefore, their ideology can only devolve into chaos. They claim to stand for the little guy but favor abortion on demand. They claim to care for the poor but their religion of climate hysteria results in energy policies that drive up electricity costs and greatly harm the poor. The examples of these logical contradictions are innumerable.

They base their beliefs in humanism and the enlightenment, viewing some men as perfectible, by virtue of their own reason no less. In those circles of belief, such men should be trusted with decisions that impact every citizen, in the worst cases awarding them totalitarian control. By stark contrast, consider the two core concepts which provided the basis for our founding documents and must inform any hope for the return of American greatness. They are the fallibility of man and the imago-Dei.

The founders were steeped in the reformation and recognized that man has a sin-nature such that too much power in any one individual or collection of individuals would lead to corruption and tyranny. Therefore, they set up a governmental system of checks and balances so that no corrupt individual could control the entire government or the people.

They set up the senate to be a deliberative body. The founders were very concerned that men, whipped up into an emotional frenzy regarding whatever the issue of the day was, would change law and make law, willy-nilly. They were wary of the mutable passions of men.

In addition, John Adams emphasized the importance of faith and virtue in the majority of the people to make the system work. When his cousin Sam Adams expressed the love that all men have for liberty, John said, “So does a wolf, we must not depend on the love men have for liberty alone to preserve it.” Because the founders firmly grasped the depravity of men, they realized that some men will take unfair advantage of their opportunity and infringe on the opportunity of another. In those cases, there is an appropriate role for the State or civil authorities to step in.

The founders were great admirers of their contemporary Irishman Edmund Burke, who said that “Man’s rights exist only when man obeys God’s law, for right is the child of law.” Therefore, when one attempts to claim a so-called “right” that is in clear violation of God’s law, then no such right exists. Burke also wrote that a right comes with a corresponding responsibility to respect the rights of another. Transgender use of women’s public restrooms is an example of one of these pseudo-rights which, if obtained, would immediately infringe on the true rights of another and lead mankind into chaos.

Nancy Pelosi talks incessantly about “saving democracy,” a topic I am confident she does not understand. The founders were opposed to a pure democracy controlled by the will of the simple (51%) majority. Such a system would lead to mob rule. If history has taught us anything, it has taught us that the majority can be ethically and tactically wrong. This is why our Founders set up a Federalist Republic instead of a pure Democracy.

Far from being mere shadows of the past, the founders set up a system of government that has led to the elevation of the quality of life for more individuals than any other system ever devised. We should consider the ramifications of massive change to that government very carefully and avoid changing laws and constitutions with every whim of fancy that may be popular at a given time. Which is the opposite of what has been done under Democrat leadership where massive bills are “passed to see what is in them.”

Government that is deliberative and based on respect for the individual while recognizing man’s fallibility – the type of government championed by Burke, Adams, Washington, Churchill, Thatcher, Reagan and at many points by Trump – is the most humane, most compassionate, and most effective for the largest number of people. We abandon it at our peril.

Chris Skates is an author and a former chemist, speechwriter, and senior policy advisor.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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