Saving the Nation’s Soul While the Economy Goes to Hell

September 3, 2022 Updated: September 8, 2022

Commentary

President Joe Biden went on a hyper-partisan, demagogic rampage Thursday evening, standing before an eerily red-lit Independence Hall in Philadelphia, with U.S. Marines at attention exploited as political props.

The speech, attacking Donald Trump and “MAGA Republicans” as a threat to “the very foundations of our republic,” was touted in advance by the White House as a sober reflection on America’s soul. But the soul of the country throughout U.S. history has had everything to do with private industry—and this speech sought to distract from the dour economic conditions during Biden’s tenure and that of his party’s narrow majorities in both houses of Congress.

Alexis de Tocqueville, the French government emissary who famously visited a young United States in the first half of the 19th century, emphasized the personal importance of capitalism to the American populace.

“I know of no country, indeed, where the love of money has taken stronger hold on the affections of men, and where the profounder contempt is expressed for the theory of the permanent equality of property,” he would write in 1835. Pursuing economic self-interest has made Americans “a multitude of citizens who are disciplined, temperate, moderate, prudent, and self-controlled.” And “Instead of blindly yielding to the ardor his first desires,” he argues that the typical American “has learned the art of combating them and has become accustomed to easily sacrificing the pleasure of the moment to the permanent interests of his entire life.” What’s more, this country that is “the freest and most enlightened” in the world, doubles as the country where religion’s “influence is greatest.”

With inflation remaining near 40-year highs and recession only beginning its onslaught, the president told us that what is soul-destroying for America is not such economic devastation; not sky-high crime; not a wide-open border. Rather it is the more than 74 million Trump voters who tried to go “backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.”

In other words, America’s soul is all about legalized abortion all the way to nine months, as described in the 1973 Roe companion case, Doe v. Bolton: “the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age … This allows the attending physician the room he needs to make his best medical judgment. And it is room that operates for the benefit, not the disadvantage, of the pregnant woman.” Unborn baby be damned, in other words. June’s Dobbs decision overturned this ultimate in judicial imperialism, which was one of the most extreme abortion legal regimes in the world.

Epoch Times Photo
Activists protest outside the senate chambers in the Indiana Statehouse during a special session debating on banning abortion in Indianapolis, on July 25, 2022. (Cheney Orr/Reuters)

America’s collective soul apparently demands accepting that the 14th Amendment’s protection against a state depriving “any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” somehow extends to “intimate choices that define personal identity and beliefs” and that this, in turn, “compels the conclusion that same-sex couples may exercise the right to marry,” as the Obergefell decision ruled. And it all originates from the absurd “penumbras, formed by emanations” that were the foundation of the 1965 Griswold ruling discovering a constitutional right to contraception hidden between the lines.

Some fine day will the Supreme Court, these nine unelected oracles of transcendent wisdom we’ve placed in lifetime power over us to solve our most difficult problems, discover that Americans’ “right to marry who you love” applies if you’re in love with two people, be they of the same or different sex? Back in the ‘70s there was a number one hit about just that dilemma: “There’s been another man that I’ve needed and I’ve loved,” the song went, “but that doesn’t mean I love you less … there’s just this empty place inside of me that only he can fill.” (Or only substantive due process can fill.)

Will they discover “the right to marry who you love” extends to 50-something males who “love” adolescents or pre-teens? It may sound like a ludicrous question, but so did same-sex marriage before the Dutch legalized it in 2001. And considering the record of newest Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, perhaps it will be she who writes the opinion.

Joe Biden used the word “democracy” 31 times in a speech running under 25 minutes. But what is democratic is what the “MAGA Republicans” he claims hold “a dagger to the throat of our democracy” stand for: allowing the people’s elected and accountable representatives decide the difficult issues that have only become issues in the last few decades.

The American people have full power to amend our Constitution to make abortion, artificial contraception, same-sex marriage, and anything else a federal right. And if the amendment process—requiring three-quarters of the legislatures of the states—is too difficult, they can amend the Constitution to make the process easier. The Democratic Party could have done the democratic thing and spent the last three decades agitating for just that, and they probably would have succeeded. But instead they focused on annihilating the characters of Republican Supreme Court nominees like Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh.

Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 14, 2022. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)

In 1920, the Constitution was amended to give women the vote. Since then there have been no amendments addressing social changes, despite the sexual and technological revolutions of the last few decades. Democratic Party politicians prefer it that way because having the Supreme Court do their bidding means more radical changes in the law, and no having to defend voting this way or that to their constituents.

According to Biden, “history tells us that blind loyalty to a single leader and a willingness to engage in political violence is fatal to democracy.” But Democrats have made the activist judiciary their single leader, and in July a 26-year-old man traveled 3,000 miles from California with the intent of assassinating a Supreme Court justice not activist enough for his liking.

As Tocqueville recognized nearly two centuries ago, economic freedom is what you find when you peer within America’s soul. At a time of economic distress unseen since the mess left by Jimmy Carter, both employers and employees would be better served if our Constitution were working as intended by its framers—and if the president weren’t slandering the tens of millions of Americans who voted against him to distract from his inflationary spending sprees, just because they don’t share Democrats’ undemocratic views.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Thomas McArdle was a White House speechwriter for President George W. Bush and writes for IssuesInsights.com