Thursday, 01 December 2011

The Bipartisan War on American Freedom

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While Congress abides in gridlock, as Republicans and Democrats debate tax policy, and the SuperCommittee admits failure over deciding how to tame the mounting federal deficit, the fight against American liberty remains a bipartisan war. Conservative and liberal elites seem to share a common theme: The American people are too free for their own good.

Indeed, for those in the elite ranks of Washington politics, the concept of liberty is regrettably similar: Those on both the Left and the Right continue to stomp on the Founders’ vision of a free America.

In agreement with those who are determined to suppress American liberty, William Galston of the Brookings Institution penned his anti-freedom sentiments recently in a New York Times op-ed article entitled "Telling Americans to Vote, or Else." In the article, Galston cited the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, which reported that 31 countries currently have some form of mandatory voting, many of which impose fines on citizens who refuse to vote. Of course, advocates of liberty may suggest that the freedom not to vote is just as important as the freedom to vote, but Galston recommends that the government confiscates such freedoms.

Congressional leaders, those appointed to protect American liberty (not grant it), carry much of the blame for losses of freedom — and no one party is the sole culprit. ObamaCare proponents believe every American should be forced to purchase health insurance, while providers are required to offer federally mandated services and individuals are compelled to subsidize the negligence of their fellow citizens.

Also in the crosshairs of healthcare-minded bureaucrats is a mandated service, recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which would oblige boys and young men to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus, or HPV, as a safeguard against various cancers that often stem from sexual activity.

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s answer to illegal immigration is an expanded E-Verify system — which he recently advocated at a town hall meeting in mid-October — a national identity program that would require government pre-approval of all new hires in the country. Romney’s proposal would not only be used to control employment, but it would feasibly grant the federal government more authority over healthcare, financial services and credit, housing, gun ownership, and the list goes on and on. Indeed, a national identity system would only tighten Washington’s strangling grip on American liberty.

Another GOP-driven legislative boondoggle designed to suppress Americans’ freedoms is the Patriot Act, a law that grants the federal government unbounded authority to implement warrantless searches, in shameless violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Beyond their landmark healthcare overhaul, President Obama and congressional Democrats have proposed or enacted a slew of new authoritative plans and actions to oppress the will of the American people. Last year, during a "tabletop speech" at a National Press Club, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the administration’s "livability" initiative "is a way to coerce people out of their cars." Further, President Obama and his Democratic disciples long to compel auto consumers to buy fuel-efficient vehicles, force insurance providers to cover birth control and abortions, and squander more taxpayers’ dollars to help fund the welfare and entitlement programs that deepen the country’s federal debt.

But politicians are not only to blame, as many in the mainstream media also support a Big Brother-style form of governance that plunders American liberty and strips the individuality that America’s Founders so adamantly touted. For instance, Time magazine proposed in 2007 that the next President should "create a program for universal national service," where citizens would get involved in civic life to "create a common culture that will make a virtue of our diversity."

Whether military or civilian, serving in the national service "should become a countrywide rite of passage," Time acclaimed, which would be "the common expectation and widespread experience of virtually every young American." Indeed, the magazine’s 2007 article indicated that the champion of the 2008 presidential election should harness the "spirit of volunteerism" and transform it into a "permanent part of American culture."

Such action, of course, could only lead to a compulsory federal requirement where every young American would be forced to relinquish their freedom and "serve their country" — much similar to the Hitler Youth, a paramilitary national service organization of the German Nazi Party.

In a recent article for Reason magazine, Barton Hinkle wrote:

Voices outside the administration … fret that it is not being forceful enough. In a recent Washington Post column, Dana Milbank advised the president to emulate the ruthless tactics of JFK. Milbank recounts how Roger Blough, chairman of U.S. Steel, raised prices in defiance of the president's wishes. "'You have made a terrible mistake,' Kennedy told him. Subpoenas flew, FBI agents marched into steel executives' offices, and Kennedy spoke about IRS agents examining 'hotel bills and nightclub expenses [that] would be hard to get by the weekly wives' bridge group out at the country club.'"

Similar to Milbank’s assertions, the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman has also dabbled with the notion that the American people should be ruled by a governing authority that is more authoritative. In observing the healthcare and environmental debates in Congress, Friedman wrote an article in 2009 about how China’s one-party autocracy is more effective and more just than America’s two-party democracy.

"One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks," Mr. Friedman wrote, "but when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people … it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies to move a society forward." The Times columnist went on to chronicle China’s "critically important policies," and its commitment to overtaking the United States in electric cars, solar power, wind power, and other forms of energy-efficient mediums.

Indeed, such government action and media propaganda, which litter American society, load inestimable weight on citizens’ God-given rights — which are liberties that the Founders hoped would endure for centuries to come. And while Congress still endures gridlock, many self-serving politicians on both sides of the political aisle still agree on one thing: The American people are not capable of functioning without government assistance.

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