Freedom in the Wind
In Phoenix between October and May we get a little preview of Paradise, at least as far as weather is concerned. There are perfect days when you want to open the house up and let a fresh breeze blow through and sweep out the stale refrigerated air of summer. Sometimes though, the breeze carries a sudden gust that catches a door and slams it shut with a bang.
Today, your freedom is in that open doorway. Your ability to do with your life pretty much as you want, to participate in the economy in whatever way best suits you, your opportunity to use whatever combination of physical or mental or intellectual strengths you brought into this world with you, to build your personal wealth in family and property over the course of your life, your right to keep the wealth you have built so that when your strengths decline in old age you can relax and enjoy your retirement and do some of the things that during the course of your working life you imagined you might enjoy if only you had both the time and the money, all these things which have been slowly eroded over the years are about to be blown away.
Your government was once like that fresh breeze; back when it was doing only what was intended by our country's founders and permitted by the Constitution. The gust you feel now is the force of arrogance and avarice of those that seek to use government to dominate every aspect of your life. The gusts are so frequent now they have become a storm. They are the relentless unrestrained growth of government that grew from a gentle breeze into a constant driving force that bends everything in its path and breaks anything that stands rigidly against it. The name of the storm is Statism.
Since the end of the Reagan administration both major political parties have done much to advance Statism. Today, Americans are not in a battle between Republican and Democratic politics, Americans are in a battle of Government against the individual.
The Democratic Party is currently in control of the administration and both houses of Congress. As a result growth of the Federal government is likely to advance further in one presidential term than in the previous two hundred years and our freedoms are under assault to an extent unprecedented in American history. While both major parties have contributed to the advance of Statism, the Democratic Party advertises it unabashedly as its primary goal.
For six of the last eight years Republicans were in control of the Administration and both houses of Congress. As the party ostensibly opposed to the principles of the liberal Democrats, one would expect that Republicans would attempt to roll back as much of the Democrat's Statist agenda as possible. Instead they enacted a number of laws that advanced the march of Statism. One of the worst was the Prescription Drug Plan, a huge increase in entitlement spending and a major advance in the Statist's march against our freedoms. George W. Bush kept us safe from further terrorist attacks on our soil but unlike Reagan he was without a strong personal understanding of and commitment to conservative principles and he allowed the party elites to indulge the worst tendencies of an in-power political party.
The front line in the battle between Government and Individual is taking place in our Republican Party. Conservatives at the grass roots want the Party to unite behind the principles embodied in the Founding Documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Many of the party elite however, consider themselves "moderate" as defined by groups like the PAC "It's My Party Too".
The current MPT-PAC website sounds very conservative but the following is taken from the original website which has been replaced.
Christine Todd Whitman is the president of the PAC and authored a book sporting the name in its title. Michael Gerson was Dubbya's first speechwriter and founded the idea he calls Compassionate Conservatism. Both are attempts to preempt the Democrats' gains from what they think is a swing to the Left by the American people. George W. Bush followed many of their ideas over the eight years of his term, effectively erasing the Conservative Republican brand built by Ronald Reagan and handing all three branches of government to the Democrats. Our freedoms today are far more at risk from the excesses of our own government than they are from Middle Eastern terrorists.
Those same party elites have advised us to "get over" Reagan. They have tried to convince us that America has moved beyond his kind of conservatism and that we have to adopt some of the liberal Democrats' doctrines and philosophies if the voters are ever to put the Republican Party back in power. Conservative Republicans reacted negatively. In 2008 the voters looked back at what Republicans did in the name of Compassionate Conservatism and also reacted negatively.
The differences between Democrats and moderate Republicans appear to be little more than degree of attention to fiscal matters. When either group is in power, government intrusion into our lives advances. Only the speed differs. George Will noted recently:
The Democrats believe that victory in their 70-year march toward a permanent majority coalition is within their grasp. Capturing control over health care would irreversibly advance Statism and the growth and power of government to a degree that would be disastrous for freedom and for the American people. The Democrats will not be satisfied with any bill that does not ultimately capture healthcare.
In terms of his oath to defend the constitution and his duty to protect the country our Founders created, any Republican who professes now to help America by "reaching across the aisle" to arrive at a workable compromise will be taking a place in history along side Lyndon Johnson, Franklin Roosevelt and Benedict Arnold.