Why Has There Been No Revolution?


When the central government in the United States rams through a 2700 page bill that was not read by any person who voted for it and whose impossible promises of more-for-less are now being revealed as a fraud; when the government, without apparent concern, rapidly inflates the national debt to 16 trillion that it will admit to (actually it’s 83 trillion); when the federal government sues the state of Arizona to stop it from guarding the borders and enforcing federal laws concerning illegal aliens; and when the government announces that it wishes to ban all weapons that would allow citizens to resist government overreaching, how far distant is revolution?

This question must have run through the minds of anyone who has read the newspapers for the last four or five years. In today’s Wall Street Journal in the “Notable & Quotable” column, historian Paul Rahe, citing Tocqueville, writes:

“One key indicator [of readiness for revolution] is that those with access to the levers of power within the ruling order cease to believe in the religion or ideology that legitimizes the regime. . . . First goes the belief in the legitimacy of the system. Then comes a trigger--an event which causes large numbers of people to say to themselves, ‘I cannot take this anymore.’ Then, the crucial question is whether those in charge have the nerve to try to crush the rebellion and whether their underlings will follow orders. If the powers that be are hesitant, ambivalent, or divided, if their underlings are fed up, things can very easily come apart (as they did in eastern Europe, in the Soviet union, and in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria).”

The most striking thing to me about Barack Obama is that he does not and he has never believed in the ideology that has formed this country and that legitimizes his own government. He meets the first requirement in Tocqueville’s analysis. He comes from some other culture, some other way of thinking, as is illustrated by the political identities of those who raised him and his friends like Bill Ayres.

And it is because he does not believe in this country, its origins, its traditions or its ideology that he is willing to destroy it.

Why then has there been no revolution?

I suggest there has been no revolution because Obama and his lieutenants have been able to disguise his lack of belief in the legitimacy of the system as patriotism. It’s as if he were able to say, “Let’s destroy the health care system, let’s bankrupt the economy, let’s compromise the security of our borders, and let’s confiscate guns. It’s the American way.”

If the body politic ever identifies Obama’s actions as coming from a person who does not believe in the ideology that formed the country, then all bets are off. All bets are off, that is, unless the realization of who Obama is doesn’t come until the body politic is inside the wire fence of an internment camp.

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About William Lafferty
William Lafferty is a retired lawyer. He retired from the position of staff attorney for the Pennsylvania supreme court. He also worked as a part-time instructor at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin and a j.d. degree from Duquesne University. He is also a writer of novels which you can find at his site.