Politicians would do well to read about Robert Morris and Noah Webster.
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Toward the end of his life, Kendall believes that Webster lost touch with the promise of America because of his acceptance of inequality. As Kendall puts it:
Inequality, an embittered Webster had come to believe, was inherently good. While, as the papers reported, he still “retained the full power of his faculties,” Webster had lost touch with the promise of America, which he himself had championed a half century earlier. It was the expert definer rather than his fellow countrymen who could no longer appreciate the true meaning of “liberty” and “equality.”
But it is more likely that Webster was only being faithful to the Founders’ belief in a meritocracy where equal opportunity, as opposed to equal distribution, was the key to national greatness and personal fulfillment.
Reflecting on his own life, Webster saw that being poor need not be a permanent condition in America. The present egalitarian ethos now regnant in our country discourages personal initiative and (as Alexis de Tocqueville feared) encourages mediocrity. It also creates serial poverty. The tragedy of this equalizing philosophy is seen in the 2011 Budget Crisis which was brought about by an entitlements mentality and relies on taxing the rich for its sustainability.
Morris seems to have a handle on the essence of America which is based on the truth of American capitalism in which financial inequality is a fact of life. As Rappleley puts it:
More than that, Morris installed his pragmatic, realist, modernist vision of a free people united by the principles of economic self-interest and not by bonds of state or political authority. For better or worse, that is the feature that distinguishes America from every other nation established in the New World, and set America on its course to becoming the economic powerhouse we know today.
Politicians would do well to read both books.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?