Pressure is Building: Is America at Risk of Boiling Over?

Family Security MattersAugust 12, 2010 - Tom McLaughlin

Is America is at risk of boiling over? Peggy Noonan, former speechwriter for the President Reagan, now columnist for The Wall Street Journal, believes it is. I don’t like to think about it but the danger is there. Noonan is not the alarmist type. She’s even-tempered and intuitive about Americans, and that’s why she was able to write speeches for President Reagan that tapped the American psyche. When she writes something like this, I pay attention.

She says “Americans no longer assume that their children will have it better than they did. This is a huge break with the past, with assumptions and traditions that shaped us.” Do Americans think we’ve peaked? That we’re going downhill now?

She identified a gap between what our elites think our country needs and what ordinary Americans believe it needs. She claims there’s a “growing gulf between the country's thought leaders, as they're called—the political and media class, the universities—and those living what for lack of a better word we'll call normal lives on the ground in America. The two groups were agitated by different things, concerned about different things, had different focuses, different world views.”

She’s absolutely right. Americans have voted over and over on referenda that they want the federal government to control illegal immigration, but elites call them “xenophobic.” When citizens in the states vote against supporting illegal aliens in schools, hospitals, welfare offices, in bilingual programs and so forth, they’re called “racists.” She cites the situation in Arizona: “The point of view of our thought leaders is, in general, that borders that are essentially open are good, or not so bad. The point of view of those on the ground who are anxious about our nation's future, however, is different, more like: ‘We live in a welfare state and we've just expanded health care. Unemployment's up. Could we sort of calm down, stop illegal immigration, and absorb what we've got?’ No is, in essence, the answer.”

Nogales, Arizona border

Rather than closing the border, the Obama Administration sued Arizona for usurping the authority of Washington even though Washington was refusing to exercise that authority. Then a federal judge ruled that the Arizona law - even though it mirrors federal law - violates the US Constitution. Unbelievable.

Then there’s California’s Proposition 8. The elites say homosexuals have a constitutional right to marry each other. California’s citizens passed Proposition 8 in 2008 - an amendment to their state constitution restricting marriage to one man and one woman. Then a homosexual federal judge ruled last week that the amended California Constitution violates the US Constitution. As if George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson believed men had a right “marry” each other? As if ordinary Americans who have voted in thirty-four state referenda to preserve a basic, 5000-year-old human concept are “homophobic”?

Last week, the State of Missouri voted 71% that Washington cannot force them to buy health insurance from anyone. Congressional Democrats knew most Americans felt that way, but they voted to ram it down our throats anyway. US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pooh-poohed the Missouri vote, insisting that the “trend is turning” and Americans will soon embrace Obamacare.

You’re in La-La Land Harry.

Back in March of 2009, Texas Governor Rick Perry talked about secession in the face of the encroaching power of Washington. Several other states are discussing nullification - ignoring dictates from Washington - because they believe the Constitution doesn’t grant Congress or the President power to do what they want. Democrat Congressman Pete Stark told people at a “townhall” meeting in his district last week that “The federal government, yes, can do most anything in this country.”

Pampered radical students from the 60s and 70s are now running not only our universities and our mainstream media, but also our government. These dedicated followers of Saul Alinsky have taken over Washington. As Victor Davis Hanson puts it: “One walk across the Yale or Stanford campus circa 1975, and one could see pretty clearly what sort of culture that bunch would create when it came of age and was handed power.” They’re smugly imposing their bankrupt socialist policies on states and the states are rebelling.

There is indeed the “chasm” existing between the elites and the rest of us on the ground as Noonan describes. Ordinary Americans who know how things work in the real world because they actually keep the country running on the job sites every day have had enough. If citizens cannot use the democratic process to express their will without being thwarted and insulted by screwball federal judges at every turn, America will indeed boil over. Contributing Editor Tom McLaughlin is a history teacher and a regular weekly columnist for newspapers in Maine and New Hampshire. He writes about political and social issues, history, family, education and Radical Islam. E-mail him at