November 6, 2012 _ An American Plebiscite?

Dictionary.Com defines plebiscite as:

1. a direct vote of the qualified voters of a state in regard to some important public question.

2. the vote by which the people of a political unit determine autonomy or affiliation with another country.
I’ll come back to these definitions in a moment. First let me direct you a short article written by  Dennis Prager at Real Clear Politics. He believes that this coming election is going to be a plebiscite and I am going to quote a large part of it here

Americans will not only be voting for a president (and a House and a third of the Senate). They will be participating in a plebiscite on the definition of America.

If Americans re-elect the Democrat, Barack Obama, they will have announced that America should be like Western European countries — governed by left-wing values. Americans will have decided that America’s value system — “Liberty,” “In God We Trust,” “E Pluribus Unum” — should be replaced.

The election in November is therefore a plebiscite on the American Revolution. The usual description of presidential elections — “the most important in our lifetime” — is true this time. In fact, it may be the most important election since the Civil War, and possibly since America’s founding.

The left knows what is at stake. And the most left-wing president in American history knows what is at stake. Candidate Obama announced shortly before the 2008 election, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

He described the left’s aim perfectly: to fundamentally transform America. It seeks to replace Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum.

That is what “fundamentally transform” means. In fact, those words are proof that American values and leftist values are fundamentally opposed to one another.

The right, on the other hand, seeks to maintain America’s values. Conservatives want to improve America, but, as its name implies, conservatism seeks to conserve, not transform.

“Liberty” means, first and foremost, limited government — because bigger government means less individual liberty. “In God We Trust” means that America must be rooted in Creator-based values. There are no inalienable rights if no rights derive from God. And “E Pluribus Unum” means the assumption of an American identity by all citizens regardless of their racial, ethnic or national background.

The left seeks to replace Liberty with Equality. Material inequality is the great evil, and if individual liberty needs to be sacrificed to attain equality, so be it.

Creator-based values are to be replaced by government-based values. “God-fearing” is to be replaced by “State-fearing.” God must be removed from schools and wherever else the left can succeed in doing so.

“E Pluribus Unum” is to be replaced by multiculturalism. For leftism, the very words “American identity” conjure up chauvinism, if not fascism.

For these reasons, this election is not just a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. It is between Americanism and leftism.

If you agree with the way Mr. Prager has framed his argument, then maybe both of the above definitions of a plebiscite apply. The transformation that Obama and the Left want to make would mean that we would be giving up our autonomy to affiliate with this new country the Left is designing.

I would love to see this election be the plebiscite that Mr. Prager has described. However, I don’t think it will be. It may be that my understanding of a plebiscite is too narrow. To me it is not a plebiscite unless the entire electorate has a clear understanding of what is at stake. And, I don’t believe that is the case in America at this point in time. Polls tell us that about 27% of the electorate describe themselves as liberals. For sake of this discussion, I’m going to round that up to 30%. These die-hard liberals do know what is a stake. The same polls tell us that about 45% of the electorate describe themselves as conservatives. But, you and I know that not all who describe themselves as conservatives are really conservatives. So, I’m going to estimate that there are 30% true conservatives that also understand what is at stake in this election. Then by my reckoning, 40% do not understand what is at stake.

In my opinion, this will only be a plebiscite as described by Mr. Prager if Romney and the Republicans make it so. Mr. Prager believes:

Mitt Romney and the entire Republican Party need to describe this election as the plebiscite on America that it is. The most urgent task in American life is to make clear, and then repeat as often as possible: leftist values and American values are in conflict.

Nothing would make me happier than to see Mitt Romney and the Republicans to do exactly that. That is not going to happen, is it? Conventional wisdom says Romney needs to run in the middle if he is going to win.  But, here is the question that weighs on my mind. If Romney runs in the middle and wins (very possible in my opinion), what will we have learned about where the majority of Americans stand? I would say not very much. What we won’t learn is if Romney could have won making this the plebiscite that Mr. Prager described.

I have very selfish reasons for wanting this to be Mr. Prager¡s plebiscite. I want to know once and for all if America has crossed the line from being a republic to being a democracy. If Mr. Romney should lose this plebiscite, then I could counsel my children and grandchildren on their options to make the best of this new reality. If Romney were to win this plebiscite, then he and the Republicans would have a clear mandate to begin moving this country back toward the ideals of our Founders. Wouldn’t you like to know where America really stands today?

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

13 thoughts on “November 6, 2012 _ An American Plebiscite?

  1. If Romney chooses Eric Cantor, that is what we might have. I d0ubt we would have a discussion with the ramifications of four more years of what we have going. Instead, we will worry about dogs, contraception, and meaningless sound bites.

  2. I share youre views on this, Jim. I too would love the GOP to make this into a plebiscite, but I can see it falling flat or even failing as the gargoyles in the press call it alarmist and divisive.

    I also think the broad middle would not understand it and late night tv smartasses would be caricaturing and lampooning it as Obama wanting to turn us into France or Sweden (which is true upon close examination, but most people don’t examine things closely).

    I think they could do it, but they would have to stick hard to the words and ideals of the founders and avoid too many broad references to European socialism.

    It’s going to be a rough row to hoe…

  3. You pose a thought-provoking argument, which caused me to offer you a somewhat lengthy reply at AOW. I won’t repeat it here, out of respect for your blog and patrons. Suffice to say that the downside could be a socialist state. IMO, it is a real and present danger.

  4. I’m reading Prager’s latest book right now and highly recommend it.

    I think Prager is right, but that our job is to make it clear. Obama tries to confuse and obfuscate everything. He will talk about job creation, which makes him seem like a capitalist, but he tends to talk about it like it’s something government does, or that it can be done through cronyism, rather than freeing businesses and allowing businesses to thrive and hire. He talks about being tough on Wall Street, but he intentionally let them off the hook when he was in a position to slap them down, allowing them to continue business as usual (however destructive that business turned out to be) and enshrined too big to fail in the Dodd Frank bill (while denying that that’s what the bill did). The guy is slippery as hell, and he’s talking to people who don’t understand the degree to which he’s totally full of shit. Hell, they didn’t even catch on when he said that under Obamacare you could keep your insurance and your doctor while the bill itself made that highly unlikely given the coverage mandates, the cost to businesses, and the incentives in the bill for companies to drop their insurance.

    It should be fairly simple. One could say, “Look at all the trouble Europe is having right now. That’s the direction Obama is taking this country. Those countries are collapsing financially, and Obama and the Dems want us to follow them down the same path, even as they are realizing they must abandon that path.” But, it won’t be that simple. We have a fairly complex argument to make and we have to figure out how to make it simple and clear. We’re right, but we’re up against people who aren’t afraid to lie, and who are good at giving simple (but wrong) answers to complex problems (example, we are deeply in debt as a nation so they say “the rich need to pay their fair share”. Idiots believe that’s the problem. It’s too hard to confront the truth of what the rich pay, and how the only real answer is to make government smaller).

    It’s only a plebiscite if the people understand the choice. It’s not going to be easy to make it as clear as it should be.

  5. People always put liberty and equality together like they were kissing cousins. Hell, they aren’t even distantly related. They are enemies. Let the socialists have equality. I’ll take liberty any day.

  6. I agree wholeheartedly with DP and COF, as I agree with the comments above. TRUE lefties or the TRUE right, damn it at least they believe in something. It’s the 40% of the idiots in the middle that I am deathly afraid of.

    The left will do whatever it takes to win, an immoral fault. The Republicans generally play in a ‘Prevent Defense’. Which FB fans knows prevents the team playing it from winning.

    The Right needs to prevent a nail biter. Construct an Offense that wants to crush the opponent, while playing by the rules. Keep it moral, TRUE, and full of integrity and possibly those 40% will see the light.

    Happy Cinco De Mayo from Sunny South Florida…

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