Reflections On America’s Fall, From CPAC 2014

Matt Barber says there is no political fix to America's death spiral.

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Matt Barber March 10, 2014

The question is not, “Is America falling?” but, rather, “Why is America falling?”

I’m currently writing from CPAC 2014, the nation’s largest gathering of conservative political junkies. The event is being held at the beautiful Gaylord National hotel, adjacent to the scenic shoreline of the historic Potomac River. We’re just a few short miles from Washington, D.C., which, at least for now, remains the modern-day equivalent of the Roman Empire.

I say “at least for now” because America finds itself skipping along the primrose path to Rome’s ill-fated finale. I needn’t trouble you with evidence to that effect as this tragic reality is hopelessly inescapable. It’s a self-evident truth. Unless our next generation of leaders – Gen-Y Millennials – can successfully turn things around, we’re up the Potomac without a paddle.

The day’s speeches have ended, and conference-going night revelers are about. The indoor balcony to my 12th-floor room faces, as the hotel website accurately boasts, a “spectacular 18-story glass atrium.” My balcony door is open wide, and the bustling din from several parties across the cavernous vestibule soaks the room.

A chorus has begun. What is this? Have party-goers launched an impromptu rendering of “America the Beautiful”?

No, this is a chant, joined by scores – a hundred or more perhaps – of young conservative bacchanalians on multiple suite balconies and from the open air bar below. What is that they’re chanting? Is that, “Amer-i-ca! Amer-i-ca!”?

At first, it’s hard to tell. It’s a booming echo that reverberates throughout the entire hotel.

And then it becomes clear.

Alas, our next generation of conservative leaders are not chanting, “Amer-i-ca! Amer-i-ca!” They are, instead, chanting, “F**k O-bama! F**k O-bama!”

And I hang my head.

So, now, children at the hotel, parents, staff, tourists – both foreign and domestic – and every other conceivable variety of guest who happens to be staying at the Gaylord National hotel during CPAC 2014 has a skewed, and likely irreversible, first impression of America’s conservative movement.

Or is it skewed?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m certain that the vast majority of CPAC attendees, both young and old, are as appalled and embarrassed by these drunken yuck monkeys as am I.

But I think the very fact that these blazer-clad, Cro-Magnon morons could even imagine, for a moment, that it’s somehow cool to publicly chant “F**k Obama!” – or “F**k” anything for that matter – speaks to a much larger problem, not just within the conservative movement, but, more importantly, within our entire culture.

I’m never going to win a popularity contest. It’s not my goal to be liked. I’ll probably never be a “Fox News contributor” or even broadly recognized as a dutifully compliant cog within the greater, GOP-heavy “conservative” political wheel.

That’s because I say things like this: There is no political fix to America’s death spiral.

We are drowning in a turgid river of postmodern relativism. This is a spiritual problem, not a political problem. This is a worldview matter, not a partisan matter.

Hitherto it has been “progressives” alone dumping buckets of moral relativist poison into the Potomac. But, in the last decade or so, self-styled “conservatives” have likewise begun drinking the subjectivist Kool-Aid.

Libertine libertarianism has infected the conservative movement like a cancer. Situational ethics, driven by emotional, anecdotal sob stories, are used to justify every moral wrong as an absolute right. “Get off the social issues!” they demand. “Gay marriage? No problem.”

These gun-toting, free-market “conservatives” (of which I’m both) grace us with beauties like this: “I’m a ‘pro-choice,’ ‘pro-gay’ conservative,” or, “Yeah, I’m shacking up with my girlfriend, big deal.”

Relativism blurs the fixed lines of demarcation between right and wrong, which leads to the abolition of absolute truth, which leads to pockets of moral anarchy, which leads to Barack Obama and Eric Holder deciding which laws to ignore and which laws to enforce, which leads to lawlessness, which leads to chaos.

Welcome to chaos.

Yes. The “social issues” matter.

The battle is not Republican vs. Democrat. Neither is it conservative vs. liberal. The battle precedes time itself. The battle is right vs. wrong. The battle is moral vs. immoral. The battle is truth vs. the lie.

The battle is between good and evil.

We’ve been playing political Ping-Pong for decades. We’ve been, as they say, rearranging the chairs on the Titanic while Democrats take the helm for a spell, and Republicans take the helm for a spell.

The reality is that both political parties have driven us into the iceberg, and then pranced off together, hand-in-hand, to play best-of-three racquetball at the congressional bathhouse.

While here at CPAC, I met an interesting fellow by the name of Frank Mitchell. Frank founded the Memphis-based, classically conservative group “A Shining City on a Hill.” During our discussion, Frank said this: “There is no liberty without justice. Liberty without justice is only license.”

Libertine libertarianism.

America cannot survive under a worldview that embraces unrestricted moral license. Such license destroys the individual. And such license destroys the nation.

“Liberty without justice is only license.”

There is only one Arbiter of true justice. And justice is defined by Him, not by us. He sets the parameters. As both individuals, and as a nation, we are ill-advised to breach those parameters and well-served to maintain them.

America does not need a political fix. America needs a spiritual fix.



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  • I'm sorry but I disagree with both you and Col Riley. If the main purpose is to first restore America to a faith based Christian nation before restoring her to a law abiding constitutionally based country then the mission is doomed to failure. Their are many Christian churches in this country and I don't know of any that cherish their freedom more than their tax exempt status or we wouldn't be in this condition to begin with. We need more than just Christians to restore the constitution and if we don't make that the focus we'll lose to much support. That's my opinion and I believe it is born out in this blog. Both of my daughters support a woman's right to choose and gay marriage. We need support from our youth to be successful now and in the future. I'm 66 and I can't persuade them otherwise. Can that be changed in the current atmosphere? No way. How do you propose to entice them into this movement? If you think there are enough of us old fogies to do the job I don't believe you. As I said in an earlier post we must focus on one step at a time or the effort will lose focus and momentum. I think we all want the same thing long term and God knows what is in our hearts and minds. There are many who call themselves Christians that would not fit in your mold. Would you turn away their support? I hope not because I'm probably one of them.
    • William, I am not a Christian. I am in this effort because, I realize how far down the road to Totalitarian Government we have come. It is my opinion that this is a hard core Marxist Totalitarian State we are fighting. I can not, nor will I attempt to stop people from expressing their religious beliefs here, unless they are completely over the top.

      Your daughters should be discussing totalitarian government and how to stop it or prevent it, when they talk about this effort. If they feel that what is going on in Washington is Ok, then they are not going to ever support this. If, however they see the rapid or slow, encroachment of government into their lives and our national structure, that is way outside Our Constitutional Framework, then they should be interested.

      The first thing we need to do is to stop this government in it's tracks, from further dissolution of our Constitution and the Rule of Law.

      My short "A Patriots Fusillade" says about everything that needs to be said, so try them on that, and see if they agree with any of it.

      One other thing. This effort may be just exactly what the nation needs to start a full fledged national reflection. When you have a nation that is over 300 million and is as screwed up and uninvolved as this nation is in it's core foundational principles, then we better have an open discussion, or we are finished. I feel that this will be the last chance to reset our course.

      So I will be there. I will do everything between now and May 16, I can, to bring people to come and participate, Christians Jews, Atheists, and all others who believe in the rights of the individual, over the rights of the Totalitarian State. Private property rights over the collective tyranny !

      See you in DC !

      Sic Semper Tyrannis !

      • Wow! I am not a Marine, I am an American who will serve my Country by being there, God willing! Thank you for your service, and as a citizen Patriot I echo Sic Semper Tyrannis ! 

        • Thanks. I am not a Marine either or former. I was in the Army. I know one thing. My friend, who shall remain anonymous, was a Navy pilot, who served a number of years in combat and also as a POW, will be there. He knows that we are in the most serious time that this nation has had since 1860 and possibly since we kicked the Brits tails.

          So we all need to put our differences aside and be there for Our Constitution Now ! or it will not matter.

          Sic Semper Tyrannis !

          • There is a video on line of 4 men in a small fishing boat, maybe 25' long, who encounter a Humpback Whale in the Gulf Of Cortez, that has been caught in a fishing net. It is just sort of floating in the water when they approach it, and one man goes into the water and approaches it. He has some cutters and is able to cut some of the net away, but the whale moves off and so he is forced to return to the boat. This is a horrible nylon net with cork or fiberglass floats on it. If this net remains, the whale will die.

            The men continue to pursue attempting to remove this net from the whale. Over a period of time, they are pulled by the whale as they have some of the net in the boat that is attached to the whale. Slowly they work on removing this net and after quite awhile they succeed.

            This 50 ft long behemoth, swims away and starts leaping out of the water. Time after time this huge animal jumps almost completely out of the water, It also whacks it's tail on the surface of the water near their boat over and over and over in appreciation for their help in freeing him/her from this net.

            Ladies and Gentlemen and Patriots all. We have a government that has put a large net on our Constitutional Freedoms and Liberties. We are however, the fishermen, who have the where with all, to remove that net. We can start the removal on May 16, In Washington, DC. We are each Individual fishermen and women, who need to help each other remove the net of Tyranny.

            C'mon Patriots ! C'mon ! You great American People ! Rise up ! 

            Remove the Net of Totalitarian Government.

            Fish for Freedom and Liberty

            Sic Semper Tyrannis !

            • I hope you do not mind I am using this to spread the word!

    • William. God give us all a brain to think with keep your mind open you are very wise and can think for yourself same as all of us dont think that all we are about is christianity our country needs all of us with god on our side no matter your religion we can succeed but not with everyone argueing over their religion which ever god you worship is fine we need to stand united we need to keep our freedom of religion and speech remember thats what we are goin for im glad to see so many people with a brain to think for themselves that is what makes this country great please we need every patriot no matter their beliefs to go we can not fail for our children and grandchildren god bless us all
  • Please share before it is pulled.
  • Patricia you are narrow minded. Your opinion, if it the prevalent opinion here will drive me and my five passengers away. Fortunately you are not a leader in this movement for if you were I doubt you would be able to raise even 100,000 to go to DC. I won't warn you again that you are threatening to derail this movement. I'll be sure to pass your zealous message onto my bible thumping sister and the two of you can have a moment, alone, perhaps if front of the White House or one of the other. Designated areas that will be poorly attended. Good luck!
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