Congratulations to Barack Obama for a hard-won presidential election. I won’t say it was well-played, because it was not — on either side. But, the people have spoken and, sadly, it would appear they’ve grown weary of liberty, and have chosen instead to sacrifice it to the god of Financial Security. History, it would seem, has not been as eloquent a teacher as Obama has been a communicator. The irony is in how many of those voting for Obama were so very fond of paraphrasing Franklin: “those who would sacrifice liberty for security shall have none and deserve neither.” And yet…
Does that sound bitter? It isn’t. I’m not even angry. Just sad.
Democrat rhetoric during the last year or so has shown us, I think, the directions we’ll be looking as a nation, come January 2009. In spite of the closeness of the election, there will be talk of “mandates,” and the Democrat win (aka the de facto ‘mandate of the people’) will be used as justification for more and more federal intrusion, higher taxes, and fewer freedoms.
People who sincerely love freedom, no matter who you voted for, I sincerely hope you watch this new administration closely. I hope you watch for the erosion of our liberty — and I hope that, no matter who you voted for, you will fight to keep that freedom when the time comes. This erosion is going to come in many small ways, from many directions. It’s going to come as a gift — a trojan horse: in the form of healthcare, new entitlement benefits, new Social Security rules. But these small intrusions will turn into larger ones. These gifts will soon reveal their costs. And, once the mistique wears off — once the thrill of making history has worn thin — we will perhaps begin, finally, to see what we have wrought.
Watch for a re-emergence of the so-called “fairness doctrine.” The idea that freedom of speech only applies to private entities who willingly give up their podium to the opposition, in spite of the fact that the opposition controls the majority of the mass media, and suffers under no such requirement. Make no mistake; this doctrine has nothing at all to do with fairness, and everything to do with silencing criticism of the establishment. Congressional Democrats have long been vocal about their wishes in this matter, and Barack Obama will, given the chance, seek to abide by them.
Watch for unreasonable mandates to appear, with an aim toward crippling the energy industry as we know it. And understand that, before those “evil” energy corporations go bankrupt, it will be you and I who first foot that bill.
Watch for “free healthcare” to become a mandate to business owners to pay beyond their means for employee benefits — benefits which were not negotiated between employer and employee, or even between employer and union, but instead introduced, coerced and enforced by federal government. And watch the prices for simple goods and services skyrocket as business owners try to comply with federal law without going belly up. And when the market finally ceases to be able to bear the burden, watch for the unemployment rate to acheive new highs.
Watch for the government to sieze control over your 401(k) as a means of alleviating the damage done by the collapsing economy, and place caps and limits on your retirement earning potential.
Will all of this happen under Barack Obama? God willing, it will not. But none of this is outside the realm of possibility, and, indeed, most of the policies listed are either direct interpretations of Obama’s own policies, or policy suggestions made within the Democrat Party.
This is History’s sad truth about handing over liberty for the sake of financial security: it doesn’t work. It never has. The most successful communist/socialist countries are either, like China, finding that they have to embrace some forms of Capitalism in order to stay afloat, or, like Cuba, are home to a vast population of the impoverished — but at least they have nice hospitals. Most, however, either never make it out of third-world status or, like the USSR, finally kill off enough citizens to render itself unsustainable.
“Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.”
-Benjamin Frankin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1738