"What do you say to people who say the Tea Party is anti freedom?"He answers it well by saying that it's silly on the face of it, but I'm a bit stumped by it. I'm used to the CNN reports that, if made at all, are far more likely to be the sort of villainy slung by Campbell Brown by way of her smirks and the reporters finding those who will most easily appear to be an 'extreme' misrepresentation of Tea Partiers... but anti-American?
What idea can they have of America, if the desire for a return to a constitutionally limited government of enumerated powers and fiscal responsibility... could be considered to be anti-American? That IS American! Where did the question even come from? It's hard to see it originating from anywhere else than from a fear that a return to constitutionally limited government which the
Tea Parties seek, is somehow seen as a threat to what the questioner, and those the question represents, wants.
What does that mean? A constitutionally limited government of laws, not benefits, means people would once again be able, indeed be required, to make their own decisions, to make their own lives from their own choices... what kind of life is it that is idealized as having its choices made for it?
A life is made up of choices. What is left of a life lived without making or being able to make its own choices... can't be pretty.
You choose whether to eat, or not, whether to produce what you need in order to eat, or not, whether to put the effort necessary into those productive activities which will possibly produce the most... or only the effort required to return a more (seemingly) dependable result. You choose whether to smile at someone, or not, whether to be courteous, or not, whether to make your home clean and presentable, or not, whether to do the honest and right thing, or not... and how diligent you intend to be in doing the honest and right thing, or only cover those appearances which will let you comfortably get by with appearing to do the honest and right thing. You can choose to seek out, contemplate and reflect on what is beautiful, or not.
You can turn away from what is ugly and mean and rooted in pure sensory stimulation, or turn towards it and revel in it. You can seek out and look up to what is Good, Beautiful and True... or choose not to bother. But you can't do both... you do have to choose.
It is through just such an untallyable process, sequence and unutterably vast expanse of such choices, that a life is made, formed, directed and lived, and to the extent that you are conscious of those choices, and the making of them, and their results, you can be said to actually live your life.
To the extent that those choices are barred from your making them, or that someone else has made the choices for you and forces (for there is no other way such a thing can be done, but through force), that is the extent to which you are barred from, removed from, living your own life.
The hellish list of choices that have been determined by others through the arms of govt to be forced over and in place of your ability to make them... are legion... but a few off the top of the head,
- How you can and cannot earn your living has been pre-selected to a list of acceptable (to those who have acquired the power to impose their choices upon others) options, and of those remaining that are available, how you will and will not go about your actions, has been narrowed to an acceptable list of selections which 'you may' choose from - within 'reason' of course.
- What you can and cannot do with your land, and who takes precedence over your 'property': you (not!) or the wishes of the community.
Let me stop a moment with just that. Someone ought to take a look into an early property rights decision, one which famed lawyer Daniel Webster argued for, and on losing remorsefully stated meant "The death of property rights", that of the Charles River Bridge v. Proprietors of Warren Bridge, in it the majority opinion was stated that,
"While the rights of private property are sacredly guarded, we must not forget that the community also have rights, and that the happiness and wellbeing of every citizen depends on their faithful preservation."
Hint: what this means is that individuals have no natural and inalienable Rights, they have only those permissions and customs which the community allows. This was the opinion of Hobbes and centuries later, of the southern pro-slavery democrats. They will speak eloquently of the importance of 'property rights' but they don't mean that People, Individuals, have a Right to property, only that the community is generally better served by letting people keep hold of stuff. That has nothing to do with Natural Law and true Property Rights, it is only a theory for promoting a kinder, gentler form of tyranny - while it finds it convenient to.
That same Chief Justice who wrote the Charles River Bridge opinion, Roger Taney, followed the logical progression of that viewpoint in writing the majority opinion in the Dred Scott case (which was the spark that ignited the fuse to the Civil War) - that a Man or some particular group of men, if considered less than such by the community (or by those who claim to speak for the community), then they have no Rights whatsoever and slavery is right and proper for them. Those same justification's ('injusticeafication' would be a useful word to have) which were used for depriving people of their property rights in the Charles River Bridge case, were at root the very same ones which Justice Taney used to justify denying some people any Rights at all, with his, and the South's (meaning the Democrats) opinion asserting the legitimacy of slavery.
Look into it a bit, and you'll find that they are the very same ideas used by the EPA and other govt functionaries in advocating for regulating industry, decreeing minimum wages, or for promoting the interests of mice, beetles and wetlands, over and above those of mere 'individuals'.
The list of choices that have been chosen for you goes on,
- Where you can and cannot live. What you can and cannot live in.
- What you will, and will not drive, and what you will use to make it go.
- What you must not eat... what must and must not be included in what you are allowed to eat, and we are rapidly approaching the boldness of govt determining what you must eat.
- Whether or not you can have a child ...
"It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Jacobson v. Massachusetts. Three generations of imbeciles are enough."(BTW, she was subsequently found to not be 'feeble minded'. Sorry. You can read a bit more about these well intentioned proregressives in American history here.)
Take another look at the reasoning of the leftishly revered proregressive Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendel Holmes, idolized in all the law schools even today, look closely folks... does it not make you shudder? If you think that there is nothing in the ideas of the modern left that will not resurface here again under the 'need' for environmental protections or in the healthcontrol bills, just as they already once did from the bench of the supreme court, if you think that there is nothing that would lead them to repeat similarly 'sensible' chains of reasoning for the 'benefit of the planet'... then I think that you have neither read our healthcontrol legislation nor much marked the nature of proregressives and their eagerness to 'do good'.
Continuing with one last choice chosen for you,
- Whether or not your child (or you) will go to school - you will - and what type of 'school' you will attend - and whichever you 'choose' it will be one that has been chosen by others as being acceptable for you - or else. Check with a California Homeschooler to see how respectful of a parents rights the State is today.
Funny thing about reality, it isn't fooled. You of course can fool yourself, and others, by swiping from Peter to pay Paul, but that's a losing game... sooner or later it doesn't add up. It just isn't sustainable.
Funny thing about unsustainability - it isn't sustainable (HT Gagdad Bob).
Not in economics, not in education, not in philosophy, and not with a process which excludes a person from making their own choices in their own life. At some point, their life is no longer being lived by them, but by someone else by remote control, who is forcing 'choices' upon them, excluding each person from their own lives.
The end result?
Zombies. Everywhere you look. Even in the mirror.
I suggest you put some Tea on the stove. Now.
(BTW - Blogger has the eff'ing worst html format writer in the biz. Just sayin')