Thursday night Obama kicked every American citizen in the shins – not just conservative Americans, but all Americans. We voted and we said with our votes, “Don’t do this.” And he stuck his middle finger in our faces and did it anyway. He just destroyed the last vestige of value in United States citizenship. Those whose ancestors risked everything to come here legally to build a free and prosperous life, all those who came here themselves legally and went through the proper and challenging process of becoming a citizen, and all those who are here illegally, but don’t fit the criteria in Obama’s amnesty plan, all have been spat upon.
This is not just political; it’s moral – and we’re in this pickle because we’ve forgotten a pivotal ethical issue; the method and motivation to accomplish a task is as important as the task itself:
--- A right thing done in a right way is right. If my neighbors are in difficulty it is right and ethical for me to bring them meals, run errands, offer to babysit. I’ve been on the receiving end of well-done kindness and it was a blessing, an encouragement. I’ve also been on the giving side and that has also been a blessing. To be helpful and charitable is right and proper as long as we don’t use the good deeds to plump up our egos, or to make those we help beholden to us. We can do good deeds without hurting anyone else, without coercing anyone else, and without breaking any laws. We don’t have to infringe on anyone’s rights.
--- A right thing done in a wrong way is wrong. Always. The end does not justify the means; a bad method invalidates a good intention. It is a right thing to give to the poor. But to give to the poor money that is not yours is wrong, because you’ve just impoverished someone else to do it. We want to help those who need help – that’s a valid intention, but if we tax citizens – rich or middle class – in order to do that, then we’ve committed a crime; we’ve taken money that’s not ours, in fact we’ve penalized the prosperous for being prosperous and we’ve not even given them a fair trial.
If we want to be helpful we must also do it in a way that does not make them dependent, that does not rob them of their pride, their drive, their futures. Once the government gets involved in charity this necessity of truly helpful giving is lost – power crushes everything.
--- A wrong thing done in a right way is wrong. It is right for Congress to draft and pass laws; this is the way our government was designed. But what happens if Congress passes confiscatory tax increases? What if Congress unanimously votes to ignore the Constitution? What if they vote to take away your access to your doctor? Oh. Right – they did: the “Affordable” Care Act was duly passed by both houses; it was signed by the President; validated by the Supreme Court. The methodology went according to law – if one stretches that concept more than a little – and most Americans are sure it was a wrong thing.
--- A wrong thing done in a wrong way is WRONG. This is what we are facing with Obama’s papal bull. I’m not saying here that immigration law doesn’t need tweaking, but any rational thinker can see that before we can deal with those who have in the past crept across our border, we have to stop those who continue to come. There is no point in mopping the wet floor until we fix the leak in the roof. That’s just common sense. It’s wrong to get this cart before our horse. To do so will raise false expectations for those not yet here. It will put our American poor in any even more precarious situation. It will nullify any value in American citizenship. It’s wrong for a president, who swore to protect American laws, to break that vow.
Then to add insult to injury he’s done this in a wrong way. According to the Constitution laws must originate in Congress. The President can either veto or sign those laws, but he cannot, according to our founding documents, just give an order that goes contrary to existing law. The immigration reform bill that began in the Democratic Senate, fell on hard times when it got to the Republican House, so Obama’s solution is to just issue an edict – an impeachable offense. It is WRONG.
Now the question is whether or not Congress will fight back. Will they do the right thing in the right way? Will they impeach Obama? Will they sue him over this? Will they withhold funding? Any of those would be legally right, but might be politically risky. Which bring up another question – are we now in such a place where the expediency of an act has to outweigh it’s rightness? The question brings to mind the Stonewall Jackson quote, “Duty is mine; the consequences belong to God.”
Almost no one thinks like that anymore; we take polls and bow to whatever they tell us. We pay rapt attention to the opinions of our enemies – “Why do they hate us?” We rarely function on principle, because we no longer have any on which to operate. Last night Geraldo Rivera said quite clearly that he didn’t care whether the president’s actions were constitutional or not; that he didn’t care what the law was. Those were his words, “I don’t care…” He, among many others, is willing to do, or have someone else do for him, dangerous and despicable things perpetrated in dastardly ways for no other reason than to feel all cozy and warm about them selves.
In Shakespeare’s play Othello, in Act V, just before Othello comes to kill his Desdemona – a wrong thing he was about to do in a wrong way – she and her maid Emilia are discussing right and wrong. Othello has just accused Desdemona of adultery and she asks Emilia:
Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?
Emilia – ever pragmatic – answers:
The world's a huge thing: it is a great price./ For a small vice.
Desdemona – ever naïve – replies:
Beshrew me, if I would do such a wrong /For the whole world.
It is then that Emilia, who has spent her adult years married to Iago, the most evil character in literature, utters her jaded philosophy:
Why the wrong is but a wrong i' the world:/ and having the world for your labour, /tis a wrong in your own world,/ and you might quickly make it right.
I am sure that our national Iago is thinking the same way. He doesn’t care what’s right or what’s legal – soon it will be his nation and then he can declare the moral standards. So what are we going to do about it? Whatever it is, it better be soon or tomorrow he’ll confiscate guns and declare the Internet off limits. Then he can order his crown.