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Note: This is the first issue of the Political Mechanic. In it, I will describe a different political paradigm. In reality, it is not an entirely new paradigm, but rather, it builds upon the foundation laid out by our Founding Fathers.

Have you ever wondered why America is so great? It is because America was uniquely structured, in that every man and woman could make important decisions to direct the course of their own lives. Each individual can accept responsibility for their decisions and experience the consequences of those decisions. This people-centered system of government is rare in world history. The American system of limited government requires the expansion of civic virtue.

The essence of civic virtue is building and respecting the potential of individuals. The essence of civic virtue is a can-do attitude. Civic virtue thrives on hope and kindness. Civic virtue grows as people become virtuous. A sense of civic virtue creates a culture of cooperation. Civic virtue emphasizes human potential.

The other, more common, government structure is elitist domination. This structure has many names such as rule by elitists, divine right of kings, dictatorship of the proletariat, or philosopher-kings. All forms of elitist domination allow elites to use government to dominate their fellowman.

Centuries ago, elites simply imposed their domination on the masses through raw force. In modern democracies the power-hungry elitists have become more subtle. They have learned they can gain power by creating dependency and servitude. The more citizens who are dependent upon government, the more power elitists have. It is important to list a few examples to see that certain policies are not incompetence but are intentional. All these policies increase dependency and servitude.

Homelessness – As homelessness grows, it gives elitists an excuse to expand existing public assistance programs and create new ones. Elitists will not solve homelessness because they believe certain people are incapable of taking care of themselves. Homelessness reinforces this worldview. Only those who believe in civic virtue have the worldview capable of solving homelessness.

Intergenerational poverty – Poverty programs are designed with benefit cliffs that discourage the poor from engaging in productive work so they can leave the poverty system. A poor person receives thousands of dollars in public benefits. On November 30, 2014 incoming Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) said, “A single parent with a couple kids can easily get $35,000 a year in total benefits between the health care and the earned income credit and the FoodShare and the low-income housing and what have you. … That’s after taxes.

The poor who are dependent upon these programs vote for one party over the other. One party calls for more handouts while the other encourages work ethic. (Work ethic is now being called racist.)

Student loan programs – Young, motivated, lower income students are encouraged to go to college by taking out student loans. The average student loan debt is over $38,000. After graduation, if they graduate, some jobs are not enough to pay back the loan while trying to buy a house or car let alone get married and have a family. These loans cannot be forgiven, nor can a person declare bankruptcy to get out from underneath this crushing burden. (By the way, while they are in school, they are indoctrinated in the dangers of freedom and the benefits of elitist domination.)

Illegal immigration – elitists must have a new crop of people dependent upon their programs in order to get re-elected.

Extended unemployment – Paying people not to work, obviously creates dependency on a government check. It also changes a person with an independent work ethic into one reliant upon the state.

The elitist domination system of government protects the influence of the powerful, of the connected, and of the wealthy. It creates more dependency and justifies dominating those who they deem inferior.

The final point to be made about the elitist’s domination model is the emotional impact it has on elitists themselves.

All this dependency and control of people would distress most freedom loving, virtuous people; however, creating dependency does not bother those who buy into the elitist domination model. They think there are those who cannot take care of themselves and need government programs. This makes the elitists feel like they are taking care of their fellowman. They feel good about helping the poor, at the same time these programs rob the poor of their future, their responsibility, and their humanity. Elitists cannot see it because they are blinded by false feelings of charity.

Elitists justify the need for domination by emphasizing human faults and weaknesses.

All forms of domination concentrate power into the central government by robbing the people of responsibility.

The historical record plainly indicates people are better off when citizens have power. Elitist domination has given us the wars of conquest of rulers such as Alexander the Great and especially Gangus Khan who said, “It is not sufficient that I succeed – all others must fail.” This is a shocking but common attitude among the mega-rich who feel they have the right to rule over us.

Communist nations tried a unique brand of elitist domination with disastrous results: slave camps, widespread poverty, no open political debate, oppression, and people living in fear of their own government.

Elitist domination gave us the slavery of the pharaohs, the cruelty of the Roman Empire and the stagnation of the Dark Ages. Dark Ages perfectly describes the stagnation created by elitist domination.

Europe, after 1300, began to enter the Age of Enlightenment which increased to the same degree that the people gained power while political and religious elites lost power. As the virtue and power of the people grew, so did the strength of the Enlightenment.

Then came the grand American experiment in limited government curtailing the power of the elites and expanding the power of common men and women causing a 5,000-year leap in human progress. Millions of people became innovators. The natural consequence of empowering all citizens is human progress.

In the last 250 years since the Constitution was signed amazing progress has taken place.

Travel changed from walking, to trains, to cars, to planes.

Communication improved from mail, to telegraph, to telephones, to transoceanic telephone lines, to wireless communication, to cell phones and computers.

Medical advancements brought us from lack of sanitation and widespread disease to vaccinations, anesthesia needed for operations, antibiotics, and other developments.

Energy production transformed from horsepower and manpower to steam engines, then to internal combustion engines, and to hydroelectric energy, and to nuclear power.

This progress happened in a short period because the Founders limited the power and influence of elites while expanding the power of everyone else. Trusting the people is the key to the American system. This requires the expansion of public virtue, the source of which we will we address shortly.

What is Civic Virtue?

Let’s examine an example of civic virtue and then we will discuss its two sources. George Washington is one of the finest examples of civic virtue. This is from Land of Hope, a Hillsdale College government textbook on pages 53-54.

“The Americans also had a second advantage (during the Revolutionary War). They were blessed with an exceptional leader in the person of George Washington, a man of such fine character that he automatically commanded the admiration and loyalty of nearly all Americans and thereby served as a unifying force… Moreover, he was willing to leave a pleasant and comfortable life at his Mount Vernon estate to lead the colonial opposition. When he showed up at the Second Continental Convention in Philadelphia, he was wearing his military uniform, signaling for all to see that he was ready to fight for the colonial cause. The Congress acted accordingly, making him commander in chief of the Continental Army in June 1775. He accepted the position, on the condition that he receive no pay for it.”

“…he was known and admired as a man of exceptionally noble character who self-consciously modeled himself on the classical republican ideal of the unselfish, virtuous, and public-spirited leader, a man who disdained material rewards and constantly sought the public good over private interest.”

The Founders of America were not angels. They were flawed as we all are. But they sought to increase civic virtue. Civic virtue has two sources the first is religious and the second is secular (Natural Law). It is important to note there is a difference between religious piety and civic virtue. The two are different but intertwined. One has to do with actions within the church and the other has to do with actions within civil society. Religion has to do with a personal relationship with God and civic virtue has to do with a personal relationship with one’s fellow citizens. They are two independent sources of civic virtue.

America was founded by religious men and women. The churches promoted personal virtue which strengthened civic virtue. The dominant religion was Christian, and the dominant teachings were those of Jesus Christ. One of the most revolutionary teachings of Christ was forgiveness (especially in the context of the cruelty of the Roman empire in which he lived).

The second source of American civic virtue was the philosophy of Natural Law taught by Cicero and John Locke and well understood by the Founders. Cicero (106 – 43 BC) taught that there is an eternal law that all, including rulers, must obey. Cicero and Locke both taught that possessions, property, and the fruits of labor belong to the worker. Very different than the teachings of Hitler and Karl Marx who taught the wealth of society belong to the state.

Cicero taught “law is not a product of human thought, nor is it any enactment of peoples, but something eternal which rules the whole universe by its wisdom in command and prohibition. Nor is it one law at Rome and another at Athens, one law today and another thereafter; but the same law, everlasting and unchangeable, will bind all nations and all times.

The Natural Law philosophy gives citizens a moral compass while requiring leaders to submit to a higher power. Belief in Natural Law places limitations on political leaders. The purpose of government under the Natural Law philosophy is to protect the property, possessions, responsibilities, rights, and the fruits of labor of every citizen, not just elites.

Under Natural Law, all men and woman are created equal. Natural Law prohibits elitism or the belief that the few are meant to rule the many.

Practical Reasons to Empower the People

Should everyone be given the right to make decisions? We all know individuals who lack common sense and wisdom. The reality is that we cannot have our freedom unless we allow those who we deem inferior to have their freedom as well. The choice is between giving everyone freedom to act and make choices or allow elitist domination where the few rule the many. There is no half-way position. Here are a few reasons why elitism is problematic and does not support prosperity and liberty.

1. Experts stymie innovation. Experts have always fought innovation. History has shown that if government supported experts make policies, they usually make policies that benefit the king who employed them. Outside innovation is resisted because it upsets the tidy world they create for themselves.

2. The only way to gain wisdom is to make decisions and then be exposed to the consequence of those decisions. This is how wisdom is gained. A decentralized system of decision-making allows the people to make decisions and increases the intelligence of the people because they learn from their mistakes.

3, Experts do not learn from their mistakes because they are not exposed to the consequences of their decisions. Do you think Dr. Fauci is harmed by any of the wrong decisions he made? Experts, when wrong, dig in deeper and defend with greater fervor the wrongness of their positions.

4. When elites make decisions, the people become passive, less productive, and lose the capacity for intelligent choice.


The United States of America is going through a transformation

• from a family-centered society to a state-centered society,

• from respectful dialogue to the tyranny of political correctness,

• from an expectation that all able-bodied people work and contribute to one where dependency on government handouts is encouraged and rewarded,

• and from decentralized choice in education and medicine to increasing centralization of decision making where the goal is to control, not to inform.

The good news is that we, the people, can drive yet another political transformation where the people regain political freedom from politicians, elitists and experts. The essence of freedom is found in rebuilding civic virtue and recognizing and opposing the principles of elitist domination.

The following chart summarizes some differences between civic virtue and elitist domination.

    Civic Virtue

  • Individual freedom encouraged

  • Family more important than the state

  • Rulers must obey the law as well as the citizens

  • State serves the family

  • Diversity of opinion encouraged

  • Forgiveness

  • Individuals encouraged to become independent

  • Trust in individual choice

  • Trust in the family unit to make wise decisions

  • Expand the capacity of the people

  • People viewed with respect

  • Parental choice in education

    Elitist Domination

  • Allegiance to the state demanded

  • The state more important than the family

  • Rulers above the law (elitism/absolutism)

  • Family serves the state

  • Conformity of opinion demanded

  • Revenge and elimination of political enemies

  • Poverty programs designed to create dependency upon the state

  • Trust in experts

  • Trust in institutions to make decisions for families

  • Expand the capacity of the state

  • People viewed as expendable pawns and slaves

  • Society controlled through education

The Nature of Civic Virtue

Our structure of government requires increasing civic virtue. Civic virtue requires individuals to develop at least five main characteristics

work ethic,

independent work,


seek to understand the eternal nature of the universe (Natural Law),

and respectful dialogue.

Work ethic – The foundation of civic virtue is work. All able-bodied people have an obligation to work, produce, and contribute to the economy of their community. A virtuous society is not possible if it becomes acceptable for citizens to live off the fruits of the labors of others. There are only three choices for an able-bodied person to gain access to food and shelter: work for it, beg for it, or take it. Civic virtue is only possible under the scenario of productive work. Individuals who beg are not independent, but are susceptible to elitist domination. Individuals who take things by force are not respectful of others and are not virtuous.

Independent work – in colonial America, almost all production was done on small farms and in small businesses. Production operated independently of Great Britain or colonial governments. This gave individuals great ability to act independently. Under a system of elitist domination (Hitler’s Germany) all production was for the benefit of the elites who controlled the state. Production, under elitist domination, has one goal and that is to increase the political power of elites.

In colonial America, most families worked together as an economic unit – This structure strengthened families. While colonial families had faults from abuse to alcoholism, and more, nonetheless the economic structure of colonial society allowed family units to grow and bond with other members of the community. The development of positive relationships promoted civic virtue. For it is mainly within family unit, that civic virtue grows. Under Hitler, the family and the role of parents were replaced by Hitler youth groups, education became an indoctrination arm of the German state, and children were encouraged to betray their parents for incorrect political thoughts. The allegiance to German families was largely replaced by allegiance the state. With the family weakened, it was easier to replace civic virtue with elitist domination.

In a modern society, the family still has an important role to teach civic virtue. The role of the family must be protected by safeguarding family responsibilities. There are certain powers and responsibilities that the family should eternally uphold, and it is the duty of government to help protect these basic responsibilities such as education choice, health care, home production, religious instruction, and the teaching of civic virtue. The maintenance of civic virtue and freedom can only occur if the family unit is respected. If the state weakens the family, the result will be elitist domination.

The eternal nature of the universe (Natural Law) -- Natural Law is the belief that there is a system of cause and effect governing the universe that does not change and should be obeyed. It cannot be changed by enactments or desires of man.

People who seek to understand the unchanging laws of the universe and have a commitment to obey these laws when discovered, approach political debate differently than those who believe in elitist domination. A supporter to Natural Law uses debate to understand reality and makes personal changes when he or she gains an enlightened perspective. They are humble and teachable.

People who seek to empower elites and empower government use political dialogue to defend their previously, pre-determined conclusion. They are not seeking to understand different perspectives. They are not humble. They use words to personally attack and manipulate.

The Natural Law philosophy gives citizens a moral compass while requiring leaders to submit to a higher power. Belief in Natural Law places limitations on political leaders. The purpose of government under the Natural Law philosophy is to protect the property, possessions, responsibilities, rights, and the fruits of labor of every citizen, not just elites.

Under Natural Law, all men and woman are created equal. Natural Law prohibits elitism or the belief that the few are meant to rule the many.

The totalitarian state under Hitler would have been impossible if the German people understood Natural law. Civic virtue would have been sought for and families would have been protected and respected. All men and women would have been treated with respect rather than demonized for political beliefs or differences in race.

Respectful Dialogue – the Natural Law philosophy is the only secular philosophy that encourages respect and equality between individuals, races, and cultures. Natural Law says that we are all equal before the law. Natural Law does not justify elitism. Elitist domination is held at bay by respectful dialogue and an understanding of Natural Law.

The Role of Experts

In a civic virtue system where the people make the final decision concerning their lives, experts give advice but do not set policy. This has long been the traditional role of experts in America.

Under elitist domination, the role of experts is to justify creating top-down policies because “freedom does not work.” Recently, Dr. Fauci said: “There comes a time why you do have to give up what you consider your individual right of making your own decision for the greater good of society.”

Elitists, who don’t trust individual freedom, have always found excuses to exercise elitist domination. The Covid-19 pandemic is the latest justification because it is an emergency.


To regain limited government, we must act. We must build the society that we want by increasing civic virtue based upon work, family, respect, limited government, and Natural Law. Understand the nature of freedom. Look for opportunities to rebuild limited government. Ask different questions. How do we empower families? What choices should parents have in education? How can we help the poor escape poverty? We need to actively teach our people how to have respectful dialogue.

The ancient enemy of liberty is elitist domination. Those who disagree with us are not our enemies unless they want to dominate us. We must attack the false ideas of elitist domination but not engage in personal attacks – logic and experience are important tools in the fight for freedom. In future issues of the “Political Mechanic”, the specific principles outlined in this issue will be applied to current issues such as education, all-day kindergarten, school funding, and health care.