Pragmatism is hardly what it's made out to be, according to the cuurent hype behind its basic meaning, and its sinister application supporting an expanded working philosophy. During this essay, the distinctions between pragmatism and its direct opposite, idealism, will be examined.
Reporter Alec McGillis stated in a recent "Washington Post Outlook" article that Barack Hussain Obama's vow to search for, and practice, ruthless pragmatism during his presidency sounds absolutely great. Well, if it does sound so great, why didn't Obama mention this provocative ideology, and announce his intent to pursue it, during his campaign for the presidency; and not wait until after the election for the first mention of it to the American electorate by his advisor, David Axelrod? In case you're wondering, the reason I employed the foregoing term "electorate," instead of "public," is that just a little more than a simple majority (54%) of the voting age population of American citizens (the electorate) elected Obama, not the American public; for also comprising the American public you have millions of illegal aliens and probably the same number of people who don't care at all about protecting and preserving the Constitution of the United States.
Perhaps the reason that Mr. Obama was loath to make any mention of pragmatism during his greatly overrated campaign oratory was that the word, itself, just doesn't set-right in the minds of Americans concerned with restoring constitutional governance to the Republic. In fact, the sickening notion that the end result of slick Machiavellian political endeavors justifies the means used to effect them sticks in the craw of most American citizens who sincerely believe in, and readily endorse, the practice of constitutional law. You see, the working philosophical opposite of pragmatism is idealism which, in and of itself, affirms that there is a right and a wrong in every civic issue, and that a person should not confuse one for the other in order to ultimately settle for a compromise of the two, where a particular option is more right than wrong, and a deal made with the devil for the benefit of a special interest.
Obama has obviously found, during his first 100 days, distinct pleasure in portraying himself in the likeness of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was clearly and undeniably a ruthless pragmatist, but never admitted being one. Yet, what actually distinguished FDR as a brazen pragmatist, and as much an opponent of constitutional government as he was a falsely reputed savior of the American economy, was his unwillingness to accept the fact that his New Deal, and his National Recovery Act, which was passed by a large majority of a Democratic Congress within a day's time without most of the representatives and senators reading the bill, was blatantly unconstitutional on its face. The U.S. Supreme Court said so three times in three different rulings during the 1930s. But that didn't keep Roosevelt and his appointed henchmen from deceitfully politicizing the Supreme Court to get his way. By severely maligning the elder justices who opposed his unconstitutional legislation, thereby intimidating them into retirement, he was able to appoint new justices whom he cajoled into voting for his New Deal legislation. Though true it was, that what was accepted then by millions of struggling unemployed Americans as financial salvation (FDR's behemoth expansion of the federal government) seemed too good to be true , dire expedient pragmatism proved to be the means to an unsavory governmental end, where the 'ravenous wolf in sheep's clothing' was hidden cleverly from public disclosure, much as an unsanitary band aid might hide an infected sore.
While billions of dollars of tax revenue,which were collected mainly from the citizens making less than $20,000 per year, were being used, from 1934 until 1941, to bail out the national banks which had apparently gone belly-up, and to finance an exorbitant federal work system, the 50 largest U.S. multi-national corporations were still making high profits. As a matter of record, that's how the system of corporate capitalism in the United States was enlarged and enhanced for the future. The Great Depression hurt only those middle-class American workers who had depended entirely on an illusory credit system, and imaginary money, to finance their lifestyles, and suddenly found themselves unemployed and penniless. The poverty-stricken segment of society at that time was actually left bereft of hope on a sea of despair. No popular historian cares to mention the awful fact that over 70,000 Americans around the nation died from exposure and starvation during that time.
As a planned economic maneuver, the Great Depression was directly created through the strategic money-handling processes of the national banking cartel which had been established through the 1913 passage of the Federal Reserve Act. Contrary to popular belief, less than 3 percent of the multi-national corporations that employed more than 65 percent of American workers suffered during the Depression that began in 1929. The very wealthy capitalists, from 1929-41 (until the beginning of a war-time demand economy) were still reaping huge corporate profits, while the poor unemployed 24 percent of the population representing those individuals who had lost their jobs from small and medium-sized companies forced into bankruptcy by the federal banking cartel lost most of their possessions. These capitalists actually controlled 98 percent of the money in the country. Instead of the private sector bailing out the private sector, which was supposedly the guiding principle of free market capitalist economics, Roosevelt's government made the people, a virtual nation of sheep, believe in, and actually look forward to, their tax money being used to provide relief for the ongoing symptoms of a very diseased economic system under the control of the Federal Reserve Board.
Obama's, now public, assertion that pragmatism is his ideology of choice and heuristic philosophy of governance is extremely foreboding and troubling, in that his oath of office to preserve, protect, and defend the U.S. Constitution, may become essentially meaningless in the wake of his intent. His declaration to be ruthlessly pragmatic means that he'll have no qualms about shredding what's left of the principles of republican government established by the Framers, and written into the Constitution.
Just consider this. The U.S. Constitution has never authorized the the Executive Branch (the President) to issue executive orders. Executive orders have come about through congressionally unconstrained, and judicially sanctioned, tradition, not constitutional authority. For some inane reason, the President has been allowed by the other branches of the federal government to wield legislative, executive, and judicial authority within one tight fist, much like a divine-right king. Likewise, the Constitution does not state in Article 1, Section 8 that the Legislative Branch (Congress) has the authority to relinquish its power to coin money, and to determine its value, to the Executive Branch and to a private banking cartel such as the Federal Reserve Board. Further, the Constitution, in Article 2, gives no authority to the Executive Branch to authorize and send military troops to attack a foreign nation-state (police action). Regardless of how executive police action has been defined by Ivy-league universities, sending troops abroad (U.S. Marines, U.S. Special Forces, etc) by executive decree to attack foreign nation-states is tantamount to declaring war. For if the daunting military machine of the United States is the only intimidating means of keeping a nation-state from retaliating from such police action, a state of de jure war actually exists in such circumstances. If such action is to be taken, even if the United Nations recommends it, the Legislative Branch, the U.S. Congress, has the only constitutional authority to commit troops as a declaration of war. A declaration by the United Nations does not trump the letter of the U.S. Constitution.
By all that's holy, if the prevailing federal powers-that-be want to do things opposed to constitutional law, with impunity, let them change the U.S. Constitution through the prescribed amendment process, instead of pretending that they are following its dictates while secretly desecrating it. This is what pragmatism really means, the deceitful creation, and application, of enigmatic policies which provide, seemingly, a short-term illusion of economic, social, and political benefit, while at the same time, riding roughshod over the sacred principles upon which the governmental system is predicated. I believe that the great majority of American citizens are idealists, and not pragmatists, and cannot afford to let this happen if they want to preclude the utter disappearance of a constitutional republic of sovereign states.