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Blind loyalty to government institutions is un-American   – and un-democratic

Blind loyalty to government institutions is un-American   – and un-democratic

The Democrat leftwingers are increasingly condemning conservative Republicans for attacking America’s public sector institutions – from the judiciary to the military.  They claim that criticism of government agencies is un-Amercan – under a romanticized notion that government operates impartially in the best interest of the people.  At least that is the left’s mantra when THEY are not the ones criticizing government institutions.  (I have often said that hypocrisy is not a problem in politics, it is a professional requirement. But I digress.)

Before you can understand the headline, you need to understand the fundamental difference between progressives on the left and conservatives on the right on the generic issue of institutions of government. 

Conservative philosophy is predicated on the belief that the power to govern arises from the inalienable rights of the individual.  It is the essence of personal freedom.  Conservatives only cede to government that which they determine is necessary to protect individual freedom and maintain an essential level of civil order.  Conservative hallmarks are limited government and low taxes – and are constantly concerned about the expansion of government powers.  That is why there is not such thing as a “conservative dictatorship.”  All authoritarianism is on the extreme left of the political continuum.

Progressives believe in the power of the state and its institutions to do more than protect constitutional rights and maintain public order.  They believe in the power of public sector institutions to increasingly regulate the daily lives of individuals.  They believe that the power of the state – and its institutions – are pre-eminent. They believe in an ever more powerful central government with expansive regulatory institutions to rule over the populace – the bureaucracy.

Such institutionalists are authoritarians because they proffer a philosophy that the “institutions” of government, run by ensconced bureaucracies, are the preferred form of government.  In the extreme, you see that philosophy played out in places like Russia and China. 

The words “democracy” and “republic” refer to systems in which the people rule, elected officials are servants and government institutions serve the manifest will of the people.  In the progressive ideology, we the people are considered incapable of self-rule.  We are not wise enough or noble enough to know and do the right thing.  We must be ruled over by institutions controlled by an elite class of unelected and unaccountable government officials.

Every day, we see the left proffering for blind respect and devotion to “institutions.”  Government is good.  Criticism is bad.  They criticize conservatives’ wariness of institutions – such as the IRS, the FBI, the FDA, the CDC and many of the other alphabet-soup agencies — as disloyalty to the nation.  MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough recently led a panel of bobblehead “contributors” in attacking Republicans for their expressed distrust for government institutions.  They say such criticism is a danger to the Republic. 

Au contraire!  Distrust in government institutions was at the core of the Founders’ philosophy.  The very first words of the Preamble to the Constitution were “We the people …”  They placed the people at the pinnacle of power. 

The entire Constitution is crafted to articulate the inalienable rights of the people over government.  In fact, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written to articulate the LIMITS of government power and to warn against tyranny.   

To underscore the meaning of those articulated limits on government power, the Founders gave us the Tenth Amendment to prevent the federal government from assuming more power and authority than is specifically granted in the Constitution.  Unfortunately, that Amendment is ignored.

If there is any misunderstanding about the purpose and meaning of the Constitution from the Founders standpoint, one only needs to read their various warnings.  “It is a Republic, if you can keep it.”  They called on we the people to have “eternal vigilance” against government usurpation of the rights and powers of the people.  They called it tyranny.

Even the power to amend the Constitution – to form a more perfect Union – is ultimately given to the people, not the state.

Those on the left, who call for fealty to the state, are wrong.  Their assumption that government institutions are perfect and operate beyond criticism is wrong – and we have seen it.  As good as the American system may be, we have had government institutions abuse power – going rogue.  Corrupted government institutions were iconic in the old, segregated south.  Were those state administrations and courts – those institutions — worthy of respect?  In more modern times, we have seen bipartisan abuses of power by such agencies as the IRS, the FBI, the CIA and even the White House.

Blind trust of government is not only contrary to the meaning of the Constitution, but it also undermines the entire concept of a democratic republic.  The call for “eternal vigilance” was at the core of President Reagan’s declaration that “government is not PART of the problem.  It IS the problem.”

It is also important to understand that political philosophy is not synonymous with a political Party.  While both major parties lean in one philosophic direction or the other, neither fully embraces the conservative/progressive core philosophies.

To understand where the Republican and Democratic parties stand on the political continuum, you only need to answer a few questions.  Which political party favors greater authority for an all-powerful central government? Which party builds massive regulatory bureaucracies to oversee and regulate all aspects of a person’s life in ways that were never intended to be the role of the federal government as the Founder’s envisioned and crafted it?  Which party favors the redistribution of personal earned wealth through a confiscatory and abusive tax system?

One question provides the answer.  Which party calls for uncompromised fealty to government institutions – and which party rejects blind trust and calls for “eternal vigilance” to protect the rights of citizens FROM oppressive and tyrannical government institutions?

Perhaps the most significant comment that came from ill-fated presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy was when he said, “The people who we elect to run the government are not the ones who are actually running the government.”  A though worth condsidering.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

17 Comments

  1. Frank stetson

    Hey, you promised serious studious discourse. LMAO at this joke, good one Horist.

    Reply
    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson ..More of Little Frankie’s childish sarcasm. LOL I would never promise to engage in serious discourse with you because you are not capable. But this time I admire your brevity. You got your insult in in less than 25 words.

      Reply
      • FRANK STETSON

        One man’s silly joke is another’s terrible insult.

        He can dish it out, but sure can’t take it. Not even a bit. A little, tiny, teenie wheeny bit.

        Reply
  2. Filmaker

    Nationalism – My country, right or wrong.

    Patriotism – My country, right or wrong. When right to be right, when wrong to be made right.

    Reply
  3. FRANK STETSON

    “BLIND LOYALTY TO GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS IS UN-AMERICAN – AND UN-DEMOCRATIC.” Can anyone disagree with that? Pretty hard. Seems like a no brainer. Captain Obvious strikes again. In sales, it is said, start with a YES and you will more likely close with a YES. Same thing for political punditry.

    Reply
  4. FRANK STETSON

    “It is the essence of personal freedom. Conservatives only cede to government that which they determine is necessary to protect individual freedom and maintain an essential level of civil order.” “Progressives believe in the power of the state and its institutions to do more than protect constitutional rights and maintain public order.”

    Civil or public order can be a yuge gray area. For example, —- welfare: is it abrogating the rights of the individual to not riot, rob, and steal before they freeze and starve to death? Or should they just lie down and die, is that what individual freedoms mean? Or maintaining civil order? Medicare – individual choice in not letting individuals access to get medical attention? Or maintaining public order: nothing worse than an unruly, sick, old person. You get my drift: civil and public order, gray area. One more from left field: marriage credit in tax code: are married people more civil OR are we just paying people to fuck…sorry…bad joke. Still, you get my drift. Almost any program, progressive or not, might be construed as maintaining public order. On the flip side, does Horist feel Medicare, social security, school lunch program, FEMA, should all be handled by individuals — how did that work out in the past?

    But let’s be clear: I am a lifelong Democrat and I don’t know any Democrat that believes what Horist says. Yes, we believe that government should do things that individuals either can’t or fail to. Highways, airports, even football stadiums, all supported by government. For the public good, not for power. Medicare is because individuals fail at this and then, literally, drop on our doorsteps begging for help. Social Security is a nest egg that previously many Americans skipped and, literally, dropped dead on our doorsteps begging for help. Charities did not cover. Churches did not cover. Where would we be without FEMA —- able to garner national resources for a regional disaster. Rand Paul, and probably Horist, wants to return it to the States for control. Imagine Louisianna, using 1/50th of the funds available to FEMA, fixing Katrina. And if we allocated based on State income, LA would get far less than a 50th cut. No, there are things best done on a national level. Period. Or how about the national highway system. How was that going before Eisenhower, a Republican, upped the ante to a national program? What, a freakin Republican using socialism for better driving conditions? Go figure.

    Horist simplifies things hoping you are simpletons. Life, government, is complex. It’s a two-party system, work with it, not against it. It’s not all just black and white, us or them, win or lose. Search for the win-win instead of like Horist, must destroy the oppostion, whatever it takes. Even a lie. Like maintaining “civil order,” many shades of grey in governing our nation.

    Reply
  5. Darren

    Frank, your credibility was all lost when you declared to be a Life Long Democrat.
    Have you taken ALL the Vaccines? Should IRS be taking more of your money so Biden can give it
    to foreigners? Should we sensor ALL TV and media so you can not here , but listen to what you are being told?
    Should we eliminate all police as Kamala told the people to fight back on the Police.
    Should your family continue to work hard as Elites in Washington run your life.
    Should we have elections or should the Presidency just go to Hunter as he is Biden’s shit head son?
    EVERYTHING you hold dearly in your views are what communist country’s expect from their people.
    Why are you here? The border is full of people leaving or trying to leave such places?
    Do you watch fox news? maybe you should watch for 1 week. Actual news might be of interest to you?
    And yes, Schumer did say we must not let the public view all the footage from J6th, we have to preserve Democracy.
    I will say something in your native tongue. Het. Pronounced NET.
    You are correct as usual Mister Horist.

    Reply
    • FRANK STETSON

      Darren, as of late you seem to be more resonable and willing to listen as well as to debate responsilby. This one seems a throwback to insantity. Think about it: you have said 1/3 of America has zero credibilty and 50% have zero to leaning towards zero credibiltiy. Is that even logically possible? Second, what is your solution? Your life will not be perfect until we are all gone and you can have your way all day? Does the way you are going make any sense whatsover?

      And then, your facts. You ask me to watch FOX because apparently that’s all you have. I do watch FOX at about the same pace that Horist watches MSNBC. I especially tune in when Dems are doing great things and patting themselves on their backs over their success. That’s boring and FOX goes to real news often at about that time :>) MSNBC rarely does real news.

      Some others:

      1. Yes, I have taken all vaccines as recommended for a person of my age as beneficial. Vaccines have an incredible track record for success. Never had covid, no flu for decades, etc. No terrible effects. Microwave ovens are safe too. But guns are used to kill tens of thousands every year.
      2. IRS? Congress is responsible and has the power, via the Constitution, to tax. They also control the purse strings on spending. So, what are you even getting at? But — like most, I pay as little taxes as possible, leverage every deduction and credit I can.
      3. We reguate the airwaves and should use similar regulations for the internet, imo. Based on what you have listened to, extreme free speech is code-word for lying-for-a-buck to which I am glad to see Carlson, Miller, Jones et all get hit with huge fines.
      4. Kamala on cops? Hunter for President, communists? border? No sources, can’t find, are you on drugs?
      5. My family works hard, and according to you, we are the elites. I dunno though.
      6. I am slavic, not communist, we left. I am a pretty hard core capitalist, worked for fortune 100 leader and with fortune 100 clients. Pretty sure communism would be not appreciated in that environment. And I fund many a company through equities.

      Your FOX facts on “Schumer did say we must not let the public view all the footage from J6th, we have to preserve Democracy” is wrong. Try: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-senator-schumer-condemns-speaker-mccarthy-supplying-jan6-videos-fox-2023-03-07/* Reuters is pretty spot on, pretty neutral. Schumer was pissed that McCarthy ONLY gave the tapes to FOX, specifically only Tucker Carlson, who then “wagged the dog” using the tapes to “prove” what Tucker summarized as “They were peaceful, they were orderly and meek. These were not insurrectionists, they were sightseers.” McCarthy responded: “”Each person can come up with their own conclusion,” McCarthy later told reporters. “I think the fairest way to do it … is allow all the transparency so everybody can see, so January 6 never happens again.” But that is not what he did. McCarthy gave then to one person, one network, both of which were proven to be total liars and fined over 780M dollars. FOX also paid out $12M over Tucker’s abusive work environment. Tucker was subsequenlty fired by Murdock.

      Johnson later released some tapes, not all tapes, and also edited said tapes for security. Not sure if that means police, lawbreakers, or both. Probably the lawbreakers given the internet slueths have been fantastic at tracking them down and passing that info to law enforcment to enforce the law and lock em up. FOIA would have coughed them up sooner or later anyways I think.

      Reply
      • larry Horist

        Frank Stetson … There you go again, Creating phony content for your imaginary Larry Horist. You say that you “… watch FOX at about the same pace that Horist watches MSNBC.” In FACT, I watch MSNBC and follow leftwing media much more than FOX. Since I write conservative commentaries to push back against leftwing ideology and idiocy, I get more grist for my mill from left wing sources. You see the problem? You claim to want civil dialogue with me on issue, but are never civil and you only dialogue with your imaginary playmate. That is why I do not respond to your many responses and insults. Not a good use of my time.

        Reply
        • frank Stetson

          How is my saying I watch fox at the same pace Horist watches MSNBC not civil dialog? How thin is your skin? Are you really that sensitive, that defensive? “Creating an imaginary Horist,” or just a simple mistake?

          Maybe I am wrong, you are right, you watch MSNBC more often than I watch FOX.

          Then again, like you, maybe I watch FOX more than I watch MSNBC; how would you know different? You ASSuMEd and since you are Horist, you must be right.

          Glad you think that’s a better use of your time than discussing issues. Then again, given your ability to discuss anything, I yield to the defensive, senstive one on this one. Let’s not talk issues; instead realise the Horist dogs of personal attack again while whining he’s under attack for nothing, nothing at all.

          You have more bullshit profferred in your desire to avoid discussing issues, used as bogus evidence of why you can’t discuss issues, than a 1.6.2021 violent Republican insurrectionist left on the Capitol floor.

          Reply
      • Darren

        My response about Schumer had nothing to do with McCarthy. I saw him say this after Jan 6th when the tapes were being discussed.
        The Jan 6th committee might have been were they showed him saying this or he said this about when the J 6th committee wanted to show it.
        This I did see and hear!

        Reply
    • larry Horist

      Darren … Thanks. I would say Frank’s credibility is destroyed by what he writes. I pity him. He is locked in on partisan propaganda as he is trapped in an obsession that goes beyond me .. but definitely has me constantly in his brain. He seems to see us in some competition for public approval. That is why he writes about me in the third person all the time. He is writing for his imaginary audience, I am not engaged in his competition, so he has to invented the straw man Larry Horist as his competitor. It is like hearing a mental case talking to themselves. For example, he says that I say,,, “Medicare, social security, school lunch program, FEMA, should all be handled by individuals.” I have never said any such thing. He invented that for his straw man. I have made the case for much of welfare to be handled a the state or local levels according to our federalist system — and where it can be handled more efficiently. Those are documentable facts. But Frank is not interested in facts. His facts are usually his opinions or some news items on MSNBC. Basically, Franks is in a debate with himself and his mental playmate to be judged by himself for an audience that does not reach much further than himself. (Waif for the squeal from Frank…lol).

      Apart from the Frank silliness, I think most people are yearning to return to some basic American values. I have just finished a commentary on that subject … basically looking for the new Ronald Reagan.

      Reply
      • FRANK STETSON

        Finally Horist goes after an actual issue. And, of course, a Horist is a Horist is a Horist has to spin out of context to fit his narrative. I said: “does Horist feel Medicare, social security, school lunch program, FEMA, should all be handled by individuals — how did that work out in the past?” which is a question for Horist that instead of answering, which he did not, he spun it as my statement of fact. The passage, in context, was not even close to what Horist spins.

        I am sorry Horist, I do not recall your past tomes on state-level welfare. And that has nothing to do with a discussion of Federal powers.

        As far as the rest of the personal attack, whatever. Not germane to the topic, as usual Horist defensive deflection.

        Reply
  6. FRANK STETSON

    Darren, I belive you but cannot source it. Can you?

    The Select Committee has/had released many hours of tapes, depositions, doucments, etc. so I am not sure what it’s in reference to.

    The Internet Sleuths, like the Deep State Dogs, seem to have no issue finding many videos: *https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/11/politics/internet-sleuths-january-6-insurrectionists/index.html*.

    But his words stated about the time of the McCarthy ill-fated release seem good to me and Johnson has yet to get much of the tapes “edited” so they, as he said, will protect the guilty: “As you know, we have to blur some of the faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don’t want them to be retaliated against and be charged by the DOJ,” Johnson said. Later he walked that back as being “retaliation by anyone” which is pretty funny coming from Team Swatters. Was Johnson pandering to his magarats? His funding emails trumpeting his moves came out shortly thereafter, you be the judge.

    “I could do with the money
    I’m so wiped out with things as they are
    I’d send 1/6 videos to my honeys – and I’d c’mon like
    A regular superstar”

    So far, of the 44,000 hours promised, just a fraction have been edited. Any with building security issues have been excluded. Between the blurring/redacting and outright exclusions, it is not transparent and it is not the complete record. It is some shameless pandering advertised as “CHA Subcommittee On Oversight Republican Majority” being brought to you by Republicans. Well, that’s incredibly accurate and telling. Should have said White Republicans….

    Why transparency means blurring the faces of criminals is beyond me. Meanwhile, Trump will out freaking court staff persons.

    But I have not heard Schumer say what you heard and the Select Committee has release many hours of tape, depositions, yada, yada, yada.

    I say, relaase the Kraken, make it all public, unblur the faces on all criminals and police alike. Let freedom reign.

    Reply
  7. FRANK STETSON

    “Conservative hallmarks are limited government and low taxes.” Gee, an actual update in that there is no mention of low or no borrowing and low debt. Guess that trusty conservative plank went the way of the dodo. Who says the “balanced budget” crowd can’t change, heh, heh, when convenient…..to them.

    “That is why there is not such thing as a “conservative dictatorship.”” Horist is kidding right? No dictatorship by platform because all dictators adhere to policy platforms? “Don’t worry little Germans, the platform will stop Hitler.”

    “All authoritarianism is on the extreme left of the political continuum.” I am sorry, but your guy, the guy you will vote for, is a-OK with being a dictator. For a day. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge. Yeah sure, lots of examples of dictator for a day. Not to mention this schmuck offering Putin free range over any NATO nation late on dues, which are not dues FYI, but goals….. Won’t matter once Putin rolls over. What’s that, he can’t be a dictator so he’s gonna be a dictator-enabler? Ask yourself, who’s his best friends: Putin, Un, Erdogan, and Salman. Hell, he’s so chummy with Salman, that Salman gave Jared $2B to invest because Jared is such a great investor having never worked for an investment firm. The brilliant Kusher who attended Harvard after Dad gave Harvard $2.5M of stolen funds no doubt, to get a degree, with honors, in government followed by an JDA/MBA whereupon he continued in his family’s real estate business. He has never worked much outside his own family in real estate.

    One can judge this guy by what he says, you just have to listen. One can judge this guy by the company he keeps —- all dictators, or close to it. And one can wonder why Horist would attempt to diffuse the issues once again.

    Reply
    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson … you rebuttals are getting nuttier and nuttier. Just because I did not mention the budget issues you ASSUME they are not part of my conservative philosophy — or at least the philosophy or our imaginary Larry Horist playmate. Allow me to refresh your failing memory. I am a conservative first. A Republican second. Remember me saying that repeatedly in the past? I have testified before Congress on the Balance Budget Amendment. Take notes. I have written critically about Republican excessive spending. I have been constantly critical of those who give aid and comfort to the tyrants. In fact, you have protested my criticism of Biden for doing too little/too late against Putin. Try to remember. I am ignoring the rest of your specious and off-subject litany of complaints. If you recall (probably not) that I referred to it as “liberal Tourette’s Syndrome.” The only “Horist” diffusing the issues is the one rummaging around in your head.

      Reply
  8. FRANK STETSON

    Don’t be a douche Horist.

    I said: ” Gee, an actual update in that there is no mention of low or no borrowing and low debt.” did you mention low or no borrowing? Did you mention the debt. No.

    The fact you may have mentioned it before is great information. Do you expect all your readers to remember all your articles where you might have said something different? That’s some hubris old man.

    But thank you. I do realize with your advancing years, loss of memory, and cognitive failings, that you just forgot to add it in the story even though now you seem to remember your past and demand that we do too. Even if we never saw it.

    Good discussion. Just don’t know why you didn’t say: “ooops, it was not in there and might have been a good addition. I have said, in the past, ……….” You know, a positive spin instead of taking the route you chose. But hey, you gotta win, they gotta lose. Whatever.

    Reply

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