Dismantling America

As the American Constitution and free-market economy crumbles under the over-reach of the government, is there any way to put this country back together again upon the values it once stood for?

Just one year ago, would you have believed that an unelected government official, not even a Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate but simply one of the many "czars" appointed by the President, could arbitrarily cut the pay of executives in private businesses by 50 percent or 90 percent?

Did you think that another "czar" would be talking about restricting talk radio? That there would be plans afloat to subsidize newspapers — that is, to create a situation where some newspapers' survival would depend on the government liking what they publish?

Did you imagine that anyone would even be talking about having a panel of so-called "experts" deciding who could and could not get life-saving medical treatments?

Scary as that is from a medical standpoint, it is also chilling from the standpoint of freedom. If you have a mother who needs a heart operation or a child with some dire medical condition, how free would you feel to speak out against an administration that has the power to make life and death decisions about your loved ones?

Does any of this sound like America?

How about a federal agency giving school children material to enlist them on the side of the president? Merely being assigned to sing his praises in class is apparently not enough.

How much of America would be left if the federal government continued on this path? President Obama has already floated the idea of a national police force, something we have done without for more than two centuries.

We already have local police forces all across the country and military forces for national defense, as well as the FBI for federal crimes and the National Guard for local emergencies. What would be the role of a national police force created by Barack Obama, with all its leaders appointed by him? It would seem more like the brown shirts of dictators than like anything American.

How far the President will go depends of course on how much resistance he meets. But the direction in which he is trying to go tells us more than all his rhetoric or media spin.

Barack Obama has not only said that he is out to "change the United States of America," the people he has been associated with for years have expressed in words and deeds their hostility to the values, the principles and the people of this country.

Jeremiah Wright said it with words: "God damn America!" Bill Ayers said it with bombs that he planted. Community activist goons have said it with their contempt for the rights of other people.

Among the people appointed as czars by President Obama have been people who have praised enemy dictators like Mao, who have seen the public schools as places to promote sexual practices contrary to the values of most Americans, to a captive audience of children.

Those who say that the Obama administration should have investigated those people more thoroughly before appointing them are missing the point completely. Why should we assume that Barack Obama didn't know what such people were like, when he has been associating with precisely these kinds of people for decades before he reached the White House?

Nothing is more consistent with his lifelong patterns than putting such people in government — people who reject American values, resent Americans in general and successful Americans in particular, as well as resenting America's influence in the world.

Any miscalculation on his part would be in not thinking that others would discover what these stealth appointees were like. Had it not been for the Fox News Channel, these stealth appointees might have remained unexposed for what they are. Fox News is now high on the administration's enemies list.

Nothing so epitomizes President Obama's own contempt for American values and traditions like trying to ram two bills through Congress in his first year — each bill more than a thousand pages long — too fast for either of them to be read, much less discussed. That he succeeded only the first time says that some people are starting to wake up.

Whether enough people will wake up in time to keep America from being dismantled, piece by piece, is another question — and the biggest question for this generation.

Thomas Sowell is a Senior Fellow at The Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California. He has published dozens of books on economics, education, race, and other topics. His most recent book is The Housing Boom and Bust, from April 2009.

16 comments from readers  

To post comments, please log in first. The Atlasphere is a social networking site for admirers of Ayn Rand's novels, most notably The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. In addition to our online magazine, we offer a member directory and a dating service. If you share our enjoyment of Ayn Rand's novels, please sign up or log in to post comments.
I think people see it, they just don't know what to do about it. What we usually do, is wait four years, elect someone else, and then spend years trying to undo the damage.
While I agree with everything this piece says, I am a little disappointed with it.

It was a summary of Obama's recent evils that all of us, in the choir, should recognize as true. But it offers no support to convince the ignorant nor counter-arguments to the enemy's falsehoods (for example, they would claim that limiting those exec's pay is perfectly fine since they accepted a small percentage of (stolen) tax-dollars.)

My biggest frustration: The summary blurb asked, "...Is there any way to put this country back together again upon the values it once stood for?" Yet, no solutions were proffered.

So, good summary of problems for the believers**, but I don't see the point, otherwise.

** Leaving out: (a) Insane new jurists, like Sotomayor, (b) The plan to create many more federal judges, (c) Suicidal foreign policy, (d) Covert taxpayer support of criminal organizations (ACORN's umbrella group), (e) inexcusable negligence with our soldiers' lives, etc.
As I've been saying to everyone around me. How is that the Obama Kool-Aid has been the most potent? It's not about Obama specifically, but I stand in constant amazement at the Ignorance of "Americans" who will never ask the question of What is America all about?

I fear I will one day end up in an American gulag, which are likely being built as we speak (or read)
As the American Constitution and free-market economy crumbles under the over-reach of the government, is there any way to put this country back together again upon the values it once stood for?
Thomas Sowell

The American Experiment has produced the greatest living testament in history to the glory of man. How is it that so many 'progressives' desire legislation that can only destroy what we've created?
Walter E. Williams

These two men (and a few others) have so elequently outlined the problems, issues, personages and solutions that so glaringly cry for ACTION on our part. I fear we will not be able to solve our situation without blood in the streets since i dont expect a grand segment of our citizenry to accept the evil that confronts us lying down.. It happened before from 1861 thru 1865.

Where are some of the other voices Piekoff, Kelly , Branden(s), Postrel, Cato, Reason Mag, etc.?

Most of what the collectivists have accomplished has been done incrementally over the last two centuries by people who had a unified if fragmented vision. I submit we dont have that luxury if we want to retain and endow our freedom's.

Our biggest problem is to outlaw the use of the initiation of the use of physical force for personal of social gains. It should be feasible to convince even the most adamant collectivist of the desirability of amoral cause such as this, which has always done more to inspire man than prafmatic or practical means.
With evey single step we take in our quest to combat collectivism; this must be referenced in our every effort.

Ayn Rand suggested and I submit it for criticism that we must approach our goals and actions on an ad hoc basis w/ like minded "fellow travelers" . A good place to act might be the Atlasphere.
To continue the use of physical force thru alleged pressure group participation can only lead to perpetual conflict and eventual bloodshed.
Absolutely, dead-on-target correct. Obama has proven to be the determined socialist everyone should have recognized even during the presidential election, despite his attempts in some respects to package himself as a reasonable, likable man with the aid of much of the media. Now, his is doing everything he can to bring the brutal force of government down upon the People who slept through the election process.
Clear and concise runs down of the existential treat to civil society that is the present administration. I wonder how Ms. Rosenbaum would have viewed our fearful leader and his hirelings, no man of steel or soviet committees I'd wager. No, more like the tin man meets the lollypop guild.

Mr. Sowell, please tell Rahm Emanuel that the fish stinks from the head down.
You stated the case very well. But where is the way we put the country back together? This kind of writing leaves things less than half-done. It needs to be finished. It does no good for anyone to read a question and find nothing that begins to formulate an answer. This is like starting a fire and not having any heat. It is incendiary without a means to put it out.
Look, its just an opinion, but as I see it, you (free thinking Americans) have 3 choices:
1. Let things deteriorate to the point of collapse, then rebuild, something like post war Germany and Japan. This could take forever and, unlike Atlas Shrugged, is a gamble, as there is no reason to believe that what would emerge from the ashes would be any better than what you've got at present.
2. Infiltrate the Republican Party. To an outsider, this appears possible. New political parties don't seem to work.
3. Leave. Let me know if you find a better place to live.
Good Luck!
David R
0 points
Well done, Mr Sowell,

I am hoping that enough people are awake or will be by the 2010 elections that we can retake the congress with conservatives.... If that would happen, either BHO and administration will get it that they are going in the wrong direction, or, more likely, they will do their dirty deeds by presidential fiat... which might mean either revolution or compliance, both of which would spell the end of our great experiment! I am hoping for the former, but preparing for the later...Wake up America! This may be the biggest question of not only this generation, but of all recorded history.. WAKE UP AMERICA!
(profile not found)
0 points
I'd feel a lot safer if you would run for President! You know what the issues really are, and what makes people free and prosperous.

I have been quoting your Hong Kong v. India comparisons for years. What good are natural resources or land, if people's heads are all screwed up?

I fear we will indeed fall back into Third-World status in the next 50 years unless we get our heads on straight.

They sold us Obama the way they sold us Geico insurance: a cute harmless-looking spokesperson, and a simple slogan: "Change! We can do it!" Don't ask "What change?" or "Fifteen percent of what?"

What's appalling, is that Americans wanted so badly to be abducted and mesmerized. I pray, as you do, they will snap out of their trance before it is too late!
Most of us reading your column have seen this scenario before, in the pages of "Atlas Shrugged". Prophecy fulfilled.

The question for our times is this: how to restore the Constitution, preferably in a peaceful, lawful, and orderly manner, before our enemies can make such a transition impossible.

How about a new Declaration of Independence? The American people publicly notifying the Congress and the Administration that the bonds of allegiance have been severed, by the government, acting in the same manner as King George III and imposing many of the same forms of tyranny. It might not be "constitutional" in the strict sense of the word, but I would love to see this administration whining about the "constitution" given its long-standing contempt for that document.

The key action to watch for will be an overt move to deprive the population of its firearms. So far the Obama gang has maintained a discrete silence on this issue. But when the First Amendment has been placed in limbo (Limbaugh?) the Second Amendment will not be far behind.

Whoever has the funds and the means, now is the time to get a faithful rendition of Atlas Shrugged on the TV's or movie screens of this country. Let it be set in our times, and name names. The internet is fine, but the majority of Americans can best be reached through television or film.

One of the most important columns you have written.

Thomas Sowell for President in 2012!
Dr. Sowell. I am glad that you and others like you are speaking out. Karl Marx is now living in the White House. My question is a psychological one, what creates that kind of mentality, in a relatively 'normal' person? How can he do this, without blinking an eye? He must know that he is evil, how does he evade the consequences of his actions? I once heard a psychologist discussing the mind of Adolf Hitler, and he said that Hitler had to have created a psychological illusion in which he was able to justify the horror he was committing. Hitler never fully appreciated the evil he represented because his mind would have snapped if he had. Do you think Obama will ever wake up some morning, and in the words of Alec Guiness in Bridge on the River Kwai, say, God, what have I done? I doubt it. The terror for those kinds of people is Freedom and its corollary, Capitalism.

He has no concept of, or refuses to consider the nature of your founding fathers and what they achieved. Where is the Supreme Court defending the constitution or the Senate? Medicare is not amenable under the constitution. There is no question of that. How is he pulling it off? Worse, Why?
I completely agree with author Sowell ! As far as he's gone here, but he's only scratched the surface.

America's industrial manufacturing might is largely gone; outsourced! The machines were dismantled and sold, shipped first to Mexico and now to Asian nations.

USA inc. is now a "banana republic" with no bananas or Constitutional Republic left.

Bush-Cheney helped the GOP commit political suicide, and Marxists have taken over the country. There can be no economic or political recovery, and the courts are corrupt from top to bottom. That means only the fourth branch of "government" is left as even potentially effective; We The People. But, most of the able folks have already shrugged, and the rest are dependent on "government" for their bread and circuses .

However, the masses of people cannot be effective without able leaders. There is a leadership void. Since 1950 , most natural born American leaders have been siphoned off and terminated in places like Korea ( 53,000 KIA), Viet Nam ( 57,000 KIA & MIA ) , and now Iraq-Afghanistan ( already 6,000 KIA and climbing by 50 per month)

Barry "What's His Name? and Where Was He Born? and How Was He Raised In Indonesia? etc" has risen to fill this "leadership" void ; an impostor , with his golden voice and teleprompter-driven false promises, who's never served in the military, never met a payroll, never had a real job, and is as "transparent" as mud .

You shrugged so you're out of it, and Barry's "in" . What else did you expect would happen? What else do you deserve?
I fear that we are at the point of no return right now. As long as there are resources to be had and we are not willing to pay or exact the ultimate price, no change will occur. This is a prolonged campaign of coersion and unless one side is willing to achieve victory. How that occurs I am not sure, except that one side must win andfor our side it is either totalvicotry or no victory at all...
Oh good grief. This is just pathetic blathering. The pay czar is just for companies that have borrowed from the government; there are only a few of those and there will be none in just a year or two. NO federal official has proposed subsidizing newspapers. NO one proposed a panel of experts to decide who gets health care; except for the insurance companies, which already make that decision by determining who gets reimbursed for what procedure. America is NOT being dismantled, we are just putting back the rational system that gave us prosperity and surpluses under President Clinton.
Brownshirts? Death Panels? "federal agency(s) giving school children material to enlist them on the side of the president"?

Come on really? I thought the Atlasphere was about espousing political philosophy and debunking the arguments of your opponents through sound logic, not throwing out a litany of loosely factually based inflammatory statements.

I expect this kind of garbage from Fox News, not Atlasphere.
To post comments, please log in first. The Atlasphere is a social networking site for admirers of Ayn Rand's novels, most notably The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. In addition to our online magazine, we offer a member directory and a dating service. If you share our enjoyment of Ayn Rand's novels, please sign up or log in to post comments.