We Hold these Twerks to be Self-Evident
Because people feel passionately about these subjects, and because there is no way to resolve disagreements. Therefore, we'll just get into a passionate disagreement and our enlightened liberal friends will disown us.
But if the Founders are correct, then there is most certainly a way to resolve political disagreements, at least fundamental ones.
That is to say, our entire political system is rooted in ontological truths that are said to be self-evident. And someone who is incapable of recognizing a self-evident truth is what they called a "jackass." How and why would you bother arguing with such a person?
Now, being a human is difficult. And if we don't have access to truth, then it is just a nuisance, an annoying imposition.
Another way of putting it is that because God has created us, we are "entitled," so to speak, to truth. This no doubt sounds impertinent or presumptuous, but think about it. If you bring a child into the world, that child is absolutely entitled to your love, protection, and eventually education. It is not presumptuous for the child to expect these, for they are "in the nature of things."
God is many things, including Creator, Person, Father, and Spirit (or presence) of Truth. We are the way we are because He is the way He is. Accusing God of creating beings who love truth while denying them access to it, does no credit to God, for it renders him a deadbeat deity.
Back to our main point: that in both politics and religion there exist self-evident truths. Which is not to say they are evident to everyone at all times. For example, there are countless self-evident truths in math and logic, but we nevertheless have to be exposed to them and cognitively adequate to grasp them.
The classical liberalism of the Founders is rooted in a commonsense realism through which the "unfettered intellect" may "appreciate how divinely endowed freedom is innate to the human condition" (Curry).
But the modern left has jettisoned this self-evident truth in favor of a "counterfeit doctrine" that assumes "the state's right of almost limitless power over the individual to ensure equality of result," simultaneously ignoring human nature while trying to alter it. The result is a kind of inhuman, anti-human, or infrahuman monster.
Why monster? Many people, going back to the Bible, have observed that Hell is a place where reason is inoperative. Raccoons will have noticed that any time they have been in a hellish relationship with someone, it has been because reason was impotent.
Indeed, isn't this the meta-theme of our contemporary political scene? Here's an example of a monstrous vision of hell well beyond Dante's most perfervid imaginings: a man dressed in short shorts twerking in public to get his way. (Refer back to paragraph four above: how and why would you bother arguing with such a person? At best, you can mount a counter-twerk.)
So, the classical liberalism of the founders, in which humans have access to self-evident truths by virtue of being human, has given way to a gnostic political cult whereby an elite cadre of "self-appointed experts could explain all the mysteries of man's physical and spiritual existence."
How could it be otherwise if human beings have no access to the self-evident truths that ground and orient our lives? Modern liberalism makes no effort to conceal its lack of "confidence in the individual to think and function freely apart from government coercion." It assumes "that only properly coached and powerful elites and their technocrats [can] curb unhelpful personal expression and misguided individual choices to achieve more cosmic goals of equality and perceived collective fairness."
Lincoln made a very frightening prediction, that "the philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next." D'oh! These leftoid monsters inculcated an entirely new set of foundational truths while our backs were turned! It is no exaggeration to say I spent the first half of my life assimilating those anti-truths, the second half trying to extricate myself from them, the third half ridiculing them.
It occurred to me while reading this book that, just as we need a Christian apologetics, all citizens should be equipped with an American apologetics. Peter said to always be ready to give a logical and coherent defense to anyone who asks you to account for your faith. But all Americans should be equally ready to give a logical and coherent account for their faith in our political system.
Might be a good idea to toss this into the "extreme vetting" procedures. Just ask applicants to give a logical and coherent account for their faith in our political system.
As an aside, we've had a few comments from a Muslim guest who believes we are being unfair to Islam. I certainly don't want to be unfair, just accurate. And there is no Islamic state, nor could there ever be one, that is founded upon extra-Koranic self-evident truths available to man by virtue of his humanness. Rather, to my knowledge, every Muslim state is rooted in a sharia law that transcends and negates (if it doesn't deny altogether) the natural law that is our common earthright.
Curry quotes the philosopher Thomas Reid -- whose commonsense realism was a major influence on the Founders -- who wrote of "certain principles or dictates of common sense" which constitute "the foundation of all reasoning" and without which we descend into contradiction and incoherence.
Reid's "fundamental insight was that our ability to make sense of our experience presupposes certain first principles." These principles "are implicit in our conduct and our thought," such that "to deny or even doubt any of them is to involve ourselves in absurdity." It is in this sense that they are self-evident. As Schuon was saying the other day about religious truths, they are recognized by a kind of perception as opposed to being "conclusions."
It comes down to asking ourselves what we are doing when we are thinking. Whatever it is, it cannot be seen directly, but rather, is implicit in the very act of thinking. What's a good analogy... I suppose it's like twerking in public, which presupposes a transcendent ability to make an ass of oneself.