Back in the Fifties, Robert Heinlein used the phrase, “Where are the heirs of Patrick Henry?” to kick off a short-lived campaign to block a foolish test-ban treaty that constituted one of the Eisenhower White House’s relatively few statecraft mistakes.
Fast-forward almost sixty years to the Obama White House, where blunders are the order of the day and follies of state are legion. The shade of Johnathan Swift, should it care about the affairs of the living, is doubtless wringing its spectral hands in creative agony at being unable to write about the madcap ‘Modest Proposals’ of the Servant Who Reigneth(with apologies to Rudyard Kipling and to the Holy Ghost, but none to Barack Soetero… oops, that’s Obama, sez so right on the birth certificate, but was that the Protectorate of Kenya birth certificate or the Hawaii one: I seem to confuse the two…).
But in the interests of brevity and specificity, let me confine my attention to the Swiftian-or more like Orwellian-Luftballoon now being floated with the hot air of pernicious control-freakery by the Servant Who Reigneth, or, more likely, by whatever sublithic policy wonk he’s paying to do his thinking for him; namely the idea of installing mileage trackers on every car in the formerly-free U.S. of A for the ostensible purpose of fortifying our deficient federal treasury.
On the 2d of July(look it up: that was the actual date) 1776, our ancestors filed for political divorce from George III of the UK. In the court of divine dispensation, we won our case by force of mores and arms. The causus belli: oppressive taxation of tea, books, and legal transactions, among other things.
One can do without tea(although that’s harder in the South, where sweet iced tea is the drink of choice), one can borrow a book rather than purchasing it, and one may more or less dodge legal transactions. One cannot, however, always default to feet, bicycles, or mass transit(whether the Loser Cruiser, the subway, or light rail, none of which are particularly convenient or even universally available) for getting around-the distances in this country are too great. So this Obaminable proposal would oppress to a much greater degree than even Tyrant George and his subservient Parliament ever conceived possible.
So where ARE the heirs of Patrick Henry today? The crisis Heinlein attempted to avert has passed-and returned in different guise. Twenty years after the Soviet Empire imploded(Eisenhower could’ve hung tough and forced that implosion decades earlier), the heirs of Jugsvashili and Ulayanov (look it up!) sit in positions of authority from Congress, to the Executive, to the federal courts. So I ask again, “Where are the heirs of Patrick Henry today?” Or, like the Israelite general who confronted painted and adorned Jezebel in her window, I ask, “Who is with me?” The only ones who responded that day were two eunuchs-but they threw down the she-tyrant, who became low-grade dog food.
Today, we’ve done away with the making of eunuchs in America, but those nameless castrates of yore had more testicular fortitude than most modern Americans, or Mr. Soetero-Obama would sit rotting in prison, awaiting execution for high treason-if his own Secret Service hadn’t fragged him first.
So, for the third time, I ask, “Where are the heirs of Patrick Henry today?”