Localism vs. the grandeur of Washington
Last night when I came upstairs my wife, Jeannette, was sitting at the foot of the bed doing chores to prepare for today’s boys club event at our house. A TV set glowed, and together we enjoyed a few minutes of refined oratory from the man on the screen, the federal president, Barack Obama.
No friend of local economy is going to be too offended at having his interest ignored by the president’s speech. No Noogacentrist or localist is going to impose on President Obama a duty to talk about a single city and the 300,000 souls who live in or near it. No one expects him to say, as Bill Clinton did to an audience, that he thinks every day of each of its residents and how he might help.
Still, the tenor of Mr. Obama’s talk is intended to sweep his listeners into the national economy perspective, of which he is our official head, our official representative. The scriptures teach that the world is covenantal in its structure, with the primary covenant of interest being that of a holy God as it is imposed — unilaterally — into the world of sinful, rebellious man whom God intends to redeem.
So we are bound by God to honor our officials, however remote their offices, and to pray for them, that they might be submissive to God’s law and holy in all their doings, encouraging and aiding their people, not enslaving and ruining them.
Presidential ‘statements against interest’
In his desire to appear sympathetic to the plight of his countrymen, President Obama describes their agonies sufficiently to hint at an underlying cause. The speech contains a measure of blarney. But I believe I see at least one “statement against interest” in his presentation.
A so-called “declaration against interest” in a court proceeding is held to be truthful because the making of it damages the witness’ person or cause. “There is nothing that so strongly attests the truth of what a person declares, not even his oath and a searching light of a cross examination, as when he has asserted the existence of a fact and it appears that is interest at the time lay the other way,” says one authority (Doe v. Jones, 1 Camp. 267). It is an exalted provision of scripture that God blesses a man who keeps a promise even though doing so is against him and costs him. Similarly, a man who makes a statement that hurts him financially or otherwise is deemed to be a credible witness. His statements are more believable than any other sort of testimony because they admit an evil or injury on his part that pains him to reveal.
So what “declaration against interest” has Mr. Obama made? He is discussing national economy and urges “tax reform.”
But the alternative will cost us jobs, hurt our economy, and visit hardship on millions of hardworking Americans. So let’s set party interests aside, and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. And let’s do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors. The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. Let’s agree, right here, right now, to keep the people’s government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America. The American people have worked too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one crisis to see their elected officials cause another.
Mr. Obama wants you to understand that he has nothing to do with the “brinksmanship” that “stresses consumers and scares off investors” and that “the greatest nation on Earth” drifts “from one manufactured crisis to the next.” But clearly the national power is involved in this play through either or both of its national political parties, and Mr. Obama wants to come clean.
Once we understand his remarks about tax reform as being a quasi “statement against interest,” other phrases flock toward us, as if they sense we are open to perceiving the phrases of the speech in Mr. Obama’s favor as really revealing a wound, a canker sore, a defect not just blameable upon Republicans, but upon an entire system of government.
A little salve on 2 national canker sores
I see one other statement against interest, and a second point from Mr. Obama that comes close:
➤ Mr. Obama’s call for a F$9 federal minimum wage is modest, for if he wanted Americans to be rich he could call for an F$18 an hour minimum and “would raise the incomes of millions of working families” and “[i]t could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank; rent or eviction; scraping by or finally getting ahead.” In citing cases of poverty among people who earn the F$7.25 an hour federal minimum, he is admitting the declining value of the Federal Reserve Note. The issuer of that banknote is the biggest enemy of local economy, and its greenbacks circulate as if they were lawful money (which they are not). His admission against interest: We must rewrite the minimum wage statute to hide our secret tax via inflation.
Another argument not quite meeting the glowing “statement against interest” standard:
➤ In his assault on the 2nd Amendment, Mr. Obama professes to be a defender of it. “Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.” Yes, friend, you are coming together with Mr. Obama for commonsense reform. In his pitch, he offers a litany of instances of lawless killings by firearms — Gabby Giffords. The Newtown families. The survivors of the Aurora massacre. Mr. Obama pretends to be a backer of the 2nd Amendment while seeking to eliminate that right without a constitutional convention as provided for in Article 5 of the federal constitution. He admits his anti-gun owner proposal won’t stop acts of violence. But he appeals to emotion to ram through an abuse of owners of 300 million firearms in the 50 states.
Artfully, Mr. Obama cites in his cause the very instrument of liberty: the “absolutely necessary work of self-government.” By reason of self-government a free man owns and bears his arms, and knows how to use them. This concept arises from the Reformation of Christianity in the 1500s and 1600s of which today we are heirs.
Local economy is about self-government, self-determination, love of our neighbor. Mr. Obama admits the national system is set against the true versions of these virtues that reside in the breasts of our city’s residents.
The purpose of Noogacentrism, as I call it, is for people in a single city in Southeast Tennessee to look ahead with confidence in the future. First, confidence in the provision and sovereignty of God as taught by the faithful Christian church. Secondly, confidence in the fruit of taking personal responsibility for one’s own — one’s own children, one’s own investments, one’s own old people, one’s own debts, one’s own light bill. Local economy will grow into an invaluable buffer against the collapse of the national if we adhere to these ideals, and conveniently ignore their falsified forms thrown up in the laser light show of presidential speechmaking.
Transcript of Barack Obama State of Union address, New York Times website
Charles T. McCormick et al, “Hearsay Rule and its Exceptions,” Evidence[;] Cases and Materials (St. Paul, Minn., West Publishing Co., Hornbook Series and Basic Legal Texts Nutshell series, 4th edition, 1971