While our recession looms and nightly newscasts highlight rage over Wall Street bonuses, we’re missing a larger and most formidable storyline. The only class warfare worth mentioning is between the citizen class and our ever burgeoning political class; the latter, intent on a tyrannical control over our everyday lives by those who purportedly know best.
Our founders spoke of this very possibility. They said that the demise of the United States and our way of life would not emanate from an external force, but from a soft tyranny eroding from within. It’s sometimes our very prosperity and resultant apathetic political non-participation that affords this political creep room to infest our Constitution and our way of life.
As we drove our kids to school, took in a football game, texted our friends, and shopped on Main Street, our elected representatives and the massive bureaucracy that follow them got in bed with big business. Don’t get me wrong, big business is fine when smartly regulated by sensible policies and law, but when those government regulators turn a blind eye, we’re all in trouble. Furthermore, while we slept, our Federal government bought our banks, our car companies, our insurance companies, and our mortgages. Enough is enough.
This divergence from our Constitution has already been played. During the fear and strife of World War I, Woodrow Wilson, nearly our first prominent liberal progressive steered our nation in a path that our founders never intended. Wilson’s notion of a Constitution that was not keeping up with the times, and his contempt for its restraining powers on the Executive branch, was thankfully thwarted by Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover in the roaring 20’s – 30’s. However, by the stock market crash of 1929 and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first of four Presidential terms commencing in 1932, Wilson’s ideas had pervaded the minds of many in Washington D.C. The mindset that government can or should seek to solve man’s problems instead of good old common sense solutions that only man can best devise for himself became a dominant theme in the 1930’s and early 1940’s.
It seems all too fitting that a narcissist politician such as FDR, bent on power at all costs, spearheaded a flurry of entitlements designed to control rather than aid our citizens. In the liberal progressive’s utopian world, our citizens were best cared for from cradle to grave by experts in government. FDR spoke of a Second Bill of Rights, one in which every man had “the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation” Do you see how quickly we jumped from need to desire? Where would that subjective path take us?
An often overshadowed point in the discussion over how much governmental interference is right is the fact that government didn’t enable the greatest nation on Earth to flourish, our people did. Our Constitution was unique among the World’s political documents of it’s time and now. It essentially spoke of limits on government as opposed to what its citizens could or could not do.
While government slept in our nation, we harvested resources from a bountiful Earth, forged steel, steamed commerce across our nation, and exported the fruits of our labor on ocean-going vessels built by the hands of Americans in our shipyards. While government slept, America prospered.
I’m all too sorry to say, however, that the goliath of Washington and Wall Street together, has awakened with a vengeance. It needs to be fed and its appetite is vociferous. The bigger it gets, the more it consumes, the more it consumes, the bigger it gets. You get the picture. While we slept, a tyrannical creep swept into our lives.
In reliable fashion, however, the American people have begun to respond. That’s one spirit that may become distracted from time to time, but it never dulls. For the pride the American people gain from doing for themselves feeds this ongoing spirit in a way that a handful of politicians in Washington could only dream of restraining much less containing .
You see, at the end of the day, each and every American gets to choose with whom they’ll climb into bed. We all likely learned when we were young that no means no. Right now the American people are shouting NO to big government because they know that what makes their possessions valuable are not the material items themselves, but, the effort put forth to achieve those items. America was built brick by brick with the sweat and tears of its citizens and thank God the spirit of 310 million Americans will always be sufficient to battle tyranny at home as well as abroad.