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Travis Rowley - The Democrat Party: A Lost Cause

Saturday, May 14, 2011


“The greater dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” – Justice Louis Brandeis (1928)

In the 2010 movie Robin Hood, Robin Longstride addresses the oppressive and unpopular King John in a crowded town square, firmly declaring, “The laws of this land enslave people to its king…In tyranny lies only failure…Empower every man, and you will gain strength.”

Longstride’s objection wasn’t over a deficiency of democracy or political representation. It was over the control King John was exerting over English lands via taxation and regulation. Men cannot be truly free until they are economically liberated. That was Longstride’s notion of empowering every man – “To work, eat, and live on the sweat of his own brow,” as he put it.

Free enterprise – guarded by severely low tax rates, scarce regulatory measures, and limited local government – is the best system ever devised for the average man, allowing him to prosper and provide for his family; offering the best method of limiting the amount of people who truly need government assistance; and preventing the formation of corrupt citizen blocs who may begin to learn to live off of their neighbors’ labor.

In the 1800s America saw poor people from around the world flock to its shores for the opportunity to reap the rewards of their own work. America’s promise was that a government wouldn’t be standing in their way. Government was in its infant stages, and was further inhibited by a popular culture of independence and the legal protections of the US Constitution. Welfare bureaucracies were yet to even be a glimmer in Democrats’ eyes.

The poor were ecstatic, and were on their way. America soon became America. People prospered. Some became very wealthy. And nobody hated them for it.

Nobody had a right to a job; or a right to healthcare; or a right to a house. It was the great American Experiment. The American irony, really: It was an utter lack of guarantees that actually secured the American people. In one word, Freedom.

Famed economist Milton Friedman once described 19th century America this way: “They came by the millions. And by the millions they were absorbed. They prospered because they were left to their own devices…Immigrants kept coming…It is inconceivable that millions kept coming to the United States decade after decade to be exploited. They came because the hopes of those who had preceded them were largely realized…The country grew more prosperous and more productive, and the immigrants shared in the prosperity.”

Every man was empowered. And America gained strength. Freedom was “spread[ing] the wealth around.” So who needed the Democrat Party?

The 20th Century - A Progressive Experiment

But what is this mess we have now? After a century of betraying the American promise in the utopian attempt to eradicate all of life’s hardships, progressives remain tortured by the sight of inequity – obstinate in their quest to continue expanding the size and scope of government in order to remedy the situation.

But progressive programs have only proven to expand and solidify poverty. Un-American and immoral programs to begin with, they have also left mountains of public debt in their wake. Perhaps everything is as Thomas Jefferson warned, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

The Democrat Party – the party of high taxes, government regulation, and wealth redistribution – holds its tightest grip over the State of Rhode Island. Widely considered to be the most solidly Democratic state in the entire country, is it any wonder that Rhode Islanders currently find themselves disenchanted with a failed and bankrupt government; a government that is, once again, threatening the people with more taxes; a government that doesn’t understand that, in order to regain strength, it must liberate the citizenry?

Liberty is not democracy – the right to vote. Liberty is the recipe of capitalism and the rule of law.

Rhode Islanders must realize soon that they have been living under tyrannical conditions, and then set for themselves a path toward true freedom. They must replace tired and ignorant politicians with those who still comprehend and revere America’s founding principles. Otherwise, their state will continue to decline under the rule of King John.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans, and a consultant for the Barry Hinckley Campaign for US Senate.


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