By Bubo Virginianus
Part 1: The Illness
“When did you move here?” or “where are you from?”
I am usually asked one of these two questions when I meet someone new, and I try to respond quickly.
“July of 2020, from Arizona, but my wife was born in Belfast.”
As if to say without saying, “yes, I’m ‘from away’, yes I moved here during “the thing”, yes I’m an ‘outtastater’. But my wife has roots here. I married into this culture and society.”
This passes most tests. It relaxes the locals. The next question they ask is “why would you leave Arizona for Maine?”
The question is usually stressed, exaggerated, and implies an attitude of derision toward Maine.
To many people, states like California, Arizona, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Idaho, or New Hampshire seem like a political and cultural paradise when compared to Maine.
They will follow-up with something like, “you’re a conservative. Maine is so blue. The taxes are high. The houses are old. The snow is wet. The winters are cold. There’s nothing to do here.”
Friends in red states and Mainers alike say things like this. Individuals in states that are more “free” or people in blue states looking at getting out will ask why I didn’t move to one of the states listed above.
Then I try my best to persuade them of an idea, a strategy, a long game play. A way out of this nightmare that society has become. This society of high taxes, restricted movement, masked faces, and the government forcefully intruding into our homes and lives.
This conversation most recently happened with a very dear friend who moved here. The midterm elections took the wind out of his sails, which prompted me to write this out.
My wife and I were married in Belfast decades ago. I announced I would NEVER come back to Maine when we left. Because of this, please try to believe me when I say that I’ve very much attempted to separate any emotion from this argumentation. When I tell people up front “my wife was born in Belfast,” this fact plays little bearing on why we’re actually here, it is simply to disarm the other individual. Since that time, I would like to think I’ve matured a lot as an individual. Couple this with many books, news articles, essays, the changes in society, studying history and politics, and furthering my understanding of people. All this led up to 2019 when I announced to my wife-
“We’re moving to Maine.”
Her response was, “What? You’re kidding.”
“No. I’m not.”
Believe me when I tell you, the level of shock that my wife had is a testimony to how this decision was based in logic, and that emotion/hope/feelings played no part in it. What I’m writing now is the product of approximately 5 to 6 years of thought. A lot of reading, writing, thinking, arguing, and literal blood, sweat, and tears.
On November 8, 2016, I sat in my office in front of a wall of monitors with news feeds, social media, chat rooms, and a TV playing CNN.
I was in shock at what was happening.
Trump was winning.
This situation was unfolding after I had grown quite apathetic about politics. In 2015, someone asked who I hoped would be the next president. I replied, “Trump.” They asked “why?”
“Well, I see it can go one of three ways. 1. He’s telling the truth and he does what he says. 2. He’s a liar and he doesn’t do what he says. 3. He’s the Joker from Batman, and he is an agent of chaos thrown into a tightly run political machine of tyranny.”
The other option was Hillary, and I wanted none of what she was sellin.
Neither candidate was fit for office. And here I was thinking we needed to release a fighting pit bull into a room full of trust-fund-tyrant-lawyer Pomeranians. It’s a strong indictment against the state of our politicians’ pedigree.
In hindsight, I can say we got a mix of Trump doing what he said he would do plus a bit of the Joker living in the White House.
The fact that America got to 2016 is a testimony to the fact that America has a terminal illness. On that night, I realized Arizona politically lost the war, and was infected with an illness.
What is this illness? It is people holding to secular progressive ideals, and it’s in the GOP as much as it is in the DNC. The GOP has proven itself to be the tailwind of the DNC. The GOP may be moving at a more relaxed pace, but its destination is the same.
What is “secular progressivism”? It is the ostensible goal of removing Christianity from the public sphere. Both political parties in the US have been removing the Christian religion from the public sphere, they’ve been completely caught up in the philosophy of naturalistic humanism.
For years the GOP and DNC have dismantled historic conservative views on marriage, hunting, building codes, agrarianism, education, healthcare, infanticide, taxes, individual rights, religion, firearms, social services, constitutional originalism, and state rights. This is happening in EVERY state, not just the blue ones. All of these adaptations to moral and legal philosophy have been with the intention to progress naturalistic humanism.
In removing Christianity from the public sphere and embracing secular progressivism, the Bible is removed from the public sphere as the primary objective rule of society’s ethical and moral standards. Society shifts to worshiping man and the cosmos. Our society now creates endless pursuits of chasing bottlenecks in human safetyism and environmental protectionism. This is an attempt to have zero impact on “mother nature” , while creating the most relaxing and harmless environment for humanity’s physical and mental proclivities, according to a select few “experts”.
These “experts” essentially act as Ministers of Progressivism. From the 1600’s until the late 1800’s Christian ministers were the experts on ethics and morality within everyday life and politics. We’ve exchanged the Christian minister for another type of minister.
We have exchanged the Christian religion for another religion, namely secular progressivism.
How does this practically play out?
My realization that Arizona politically lost the war starts back in one of the most red counties in the state: Yavapai County. The county started putting building codes and land use codes in place, the same codes their neighboring state, California, was using. That’s what occurred to me: the subtle encroachment of secular progressivism. The requirement that I need to choose between asking permission to build a shed or build a shed and pay a fine. It starts small, the right to property ownership is infringed upon, and then the slippery slope gets more and more slippery. These building codes require enforcement officers, and a variety of people to process paperwork like permits, fines, exceptions, and new codes. This is how government bloat occurs.
Gone are the days of a town office staffed by one person, part time, who doesn’t get paid to serve. The town office is now a multi-level building, a multi-level organization. It even has a full-time janitor to change light bulbs.
Gone are the days of a sheriff that everyone knows and loves, who genuinely cares for a town, like Sheriff Andy Taylor in the town of Mayberry.
When the local government grows, so do budgets. Those budgets need to be paid for, and they get paid via licensure, fees, fines, and taxes. To quote Ayn Rand-
“[Y]ou really think we want those laws observed?… We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt.”
Both the GOP and the DNC need to “cash in on guilt” to cover the budgets of the ever growing government monster. They’re grifter and looters.
You want to build a covered porch without a permit? Well, you just added to the square footage of the house. You broke the law. Pay a fine. You want to build a covered porch with a permit? Get plans, pay for permission, and the town profits.
Have 100 acres of land? Shoot a deer without buying a permit? Fees and fines. Don’t want to pay fees and fines? Just pay the government for a hunting license, pay for a tag. Now you can shoot the king’s deer. Town and state profits.
You’re driving in the middle of absolutely nowhere at 1am, you can see for long distances in all directions, and you encounter a stop sign. If you don’t stop, you commit a crime, more fees and fines.
What is unethical about building a covered porch? What objective universal moral law was broken by harvesting a deer to feed a family? What part of the moral code was broken when the stop sign was run?
There is nothing inherently wrong with building a covering, or hunting a deer, or safely running a stop sign.
Remember Lawn Darts? Why are those illegal? What is unethical about having lawn darts?
In and of themselves, none of the example violations above are unethical. God is not sinned against.
This is how far we’ve “progressed”. This is not conservative. None of what the founders created has subsisted. No logic from Jefferson’s Federalist Papers has lived through to our modern era. The Jamestown Charter, the Mayflower Compact, the Massachusetts Body of Liberty, and the Declaration of Independence, all contain ideals and standards that are foreign to our modern society. With each passing day we move further from them.
This is what I realized with every red leaning state. This is what I realized with every GOP run county/district/region, they’re all 10 or 20 years behind a progressive hell hole like California.
Now, I realize people reading this may be thinking, “we don’t have lawn darts because kids were getting killed by them falling from the sky and hitting them in the head.”
Or, “we need stop sign laws so people don’t drive into each other killing people with their car.”
Or, “we have building codes for safety.”
Or, “we need to have hunting permits and deer tags because of over-hunting and regulatory controls.”
And that right there, that’s the secular progressive humanist mind virus. That’s the idea that we need someone else to come in and attempt to PREVENT a subjectively unethical act with red tape.
Let’s focus for a moment on the stop sign in the middle of nowhere with plenty of visibility. If a driver in their car safely drove through the stop sign without stopping, stopped on the other side of the sign, backed up, drove through again without stopping, stopped on the other side, backed up, and repeated this procedure 100 times, then they just broke the law 100 times. Maybe more, because there’s so many ever changing laws on the books that I’m sure there’s some other crime being committed than just safely running the stop sign. Serial stop sign running? Stop sign running with intent? Premeditated stop sign running? Running a stop sign with a child in the car? Reckless endangerment? Running a stop sign while being unbuckled?
Sheesh, if you’re unbuckled, did the violation count just go to 200?
So, hypothetically, hundreds of violations of traffic laws that will incur all kinds of fines, lawyers, court dates, and restrictions, but what objective immoral act was committed? NONE!
We have moved from scripture as the foundation of this country’s laws that viewed legislation and punishments to be retributive justice based on breaking an objective ethical standard, and toward what we have now, which are laws that focus on preventive justice. In general, the laws in place are actually pre-crime guardrails, and when they’re broken, nothing unethical has taken place; no injustice has been committed, but there’s a punishment in place for exercising the potential action that leads to doing something deemed wrong. This focus on preventive justice has lawbreakers paying fees and fines, with endless court dates, days in jail, and licensure, which in the end fill the coffers of the local politicians.
Remember the quote from Ayn Rand, “pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers.” Well, every single day of our lives, we unintentionally break all kinds of laws; laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted.
This use of the law has absolutely exploded in popularity in the last 70 years and they’ve slowly been eroding our freedoms ever since. These new laws on the books are not upholding morality, they are unjust laws. They are laws that violate rights endowed on us by our Creator.
From a moral perspective, what moral framework has been conserved by the “right”, the GOP, or “conservatives”?
As an example, it wasn’t long ago that every state in the US rightly enforced blasphemy laws.
Some states still have blasphemy laws on the books, Maine has one. It’s similar to the one in Massachusetts. MA’s is as follows-
General Laws, Part IV, Title I, Chapter 272, and Section 36: Blasphemy
“Whoever willfully blasphemes the holy name of God by denying, cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, his creation, government or final judging of the world, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching or exposing to contempt and ridicule, the holy word of God contained in the holy scriptures shall be punished by imprisonment in jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars, and may also be bound to good behavior.”
Only 101 years ago, in 1921, while many readers knew family members who were alive at the time, Maine convicted Michael X. Mockus of blasphemy. It went all the way to the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine, which ultimately upheld the conviction.
The reader might be thinking right now, “This is absolutely bonkers!” But let me ask you this: what’s more crazy, this new way of thinking that we have now or laws like these that have been in place longer than America has been a country? And how would someone prove that blasphemy laws are unethical? What would they appeal to? The founders were in full agreement with these laws; they supported them; they penned them. The founders signed the Declaration of Independence, agreed with the 1st Amendment and the separation of church and state, all the while being able to reconcile what they wrote in those founding documents with blasphemy laws.
Now either the founders were idiots who were holding to clearly observable contradictions, or there’s no contradiction between blasphemy laws and the separation of church and state.
There are numerous other examples of moral and religious laws, and the way the states historically operated, but the point is this; without an ethical foundation or moral framework that mirrors what we had in the late 17th and 18th century, America will not in any way be able to return to the freedoms it enjoyed just 70 years ago.
When John Adams wrote “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other”, he assumed a Christian moral framework, and a Christian people. Remember, the society John Adams lived in enforced necessarily Christian blasphemy laws, and John Adams followed those laws. If America has a people in the likeness of what John Adams assumed and described, only then can the US Constitution have an adequate effect in securing freedoms granted by our Creator and thereby limiting government encroachment and overreach. Hence, the rationale for Adams’ quote.
When we look at the moral and religious state of the GOP, it isn’t pushing for a return toward ethical and religious standards of a society that had the ability to produce men like Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, John Witherspoon, or John Cotton, and whose minds, intellect, and ethical standards were required in order to produce America’s founding documents.
Due to this refusal of applying the objective standards found in the Bible, there’s no hope at all of getting an environment that entertains the freedoms that first, second, and third generation Americans were able to enjoy and thrive under.
Kari Lake or Blake Masters isn’t going to fix anything. LePage couldn’t fix anything. Collins isn’t fixing things. Trump isn’t fixing things. DeSantis isn’t fixing things. None of these politicians can fix anything, because even if they obtained supreme and unmitigated power, they don’t have the moral and religious foundation in place to return us to a constitutional republic. Even Reagan, who many people laud and praise as a great conservative president, how did he move or shift the American public back to the founding principles of the United States? He didn’t. Under Reagan the US Government got bigger. Federal monetary policy went awry, and now look at where we are. America, as a country, is worse off because of and since Reagan.
With these views of what the illness is, no state is “safe”, no state is getting better, every state in the US is deteriorating. The United States has cancer and every single state is losing the war against this terminal illness. The “Red” states and “Blue” states alike are hurtling down the road of secular progressivism. This road ends in chaos, anarchy, and death. We see it all around us, what was once a dangerous little spark of humanistic idealism is now a raging inferno devouring everything in its wake.
America is terminally ill.