Authored by William Robert Barber
“Government is the problem,” recalling the quintessential conservative Ronald Regan’s famous line when advocating the righteousness of limited government. But as with President Jefferson, Reagan once elected went on to gainsay his own statement by enlarging and enhancing the power of the federal government. Today however it is not just political leadership crowing the cock-a-doodle-doo of populous sentiments. Today, a plurality of Americans, even those of conservative persuasion, view government as more than just a necessary utility, but a symbiotic dependency effectuating a guarantee for everyday essentials. For these citizens government is the reason, the cause, and the solution.
Subtly spread over a number of generations, the societal ideal that government can resolve the problem has taken firm root in the American psyche. Though this belief is opaque in contextual clarification, short on evidence, and often nebulous in form, the trust in government’s omnipotence has been ubiquitously disseminated and for the most part positively received. In an almost devilish sort of enchantment the idea that government knows best has captured the mind-sets of many citizens. Compellingly, a significant portion of citizens, from wide and varied demographics, to actually openly accept that government is or should be directly responsible for their liveliness.
Proportionate to this belief that government is the end-all solution to one’s life is the emergent cultural degeneration of American societal principles. Values such as self-reliance, work ethic, self-discipline and the acceptance of personal responsibility for ones actions are now, and increasingly so, the exception rather than the norm. The most outstanding results of this degeneration of once distinctly American societal principles are the attitudes, collective victimization complex, and the pervasive amongst the younger persons, a “you owe me” mentality.
The reasoning of such acceptance on or dependency for a government solution for what historically was considered common societal or individual aliments was the contrivance of liberal progressives; progressivism is an affiliate that flies under the flag of socialism. It was the post-WWII babies that grew up in the USA orb of plenty. It was this generation fueled by high-tech inventions that injected the concept of instant satisfaction. Inclusive was the benefit of instant communications seamlessly linked into a media industry that intensified not just the distribution of news but formed (for those too lazy to think) at-the-ready opinions of what is news-worthy, as well as, its meaningfulness. These children of WWII veterans were taught by the brethren of father FDR; they were taught that it was FDR and his progressive agenda that retrieved the nation from the despair of the “great depression,” and defeated the fascist in Germany and Japan. They were taught to believe in government. Interestingly, they were also schooled that Republicans were rich and Democrats worked in the interest of the poor and the middle class.
Their children those born in the 70’s and 80’s were led to believe that America is a nation of wrongdoers, often imperialistic in foreign policy, and that America had a long history of violently acting out its warmongering inclinations.
The latitude and longitude of government authority and its resulting imposition upon the populous has abated individual liberty and freedom; nevertheless, even when acting counter to the words if not the spirit of the constitution, government ignores and disregards lawfulness in favor of its power. The populous seem cheerfully willing to trade individual liberty and freedom for even the pretense of governmental guarantees. Disconnected notions such as blindly trusting government’s competency in lawmaking (considering the lawmakers rarely even read the bills presented) while idly permitting the ballooning of government pension obligations and blindly allowing the creation of an entrenched public service union bureaucracy to run rough shod over prudence, when such behavior is predominate it is likely that government has meandered over the abyss. When courts consider governing under the concept that the constitution is susceptible and wholly pliable to the whims of man or societal discretion, and when the governed believe government is the only true arbitrator of the public good. Our republic has, at that point, been transformed into an autocracy of progressive-elitist; a form of governing that Plato and Marcus Arilleus would consider advisable.
Quantitatively and disturbingly, (for me) government is a cell dividing multiplier. Government is a liberty and freedom eating monster. The idea of an ever expanding all-powerful government is allied with many elected representatives who believe governance is best when its grasps include every aspect of one’s liveliness. They also consider such governmental ingress an eventual constitutional right; i.e. sixteenth amendment.
The resilient once proudly existential traditional American has evolved into an American who increasingly relies on every level of governments as their raison d’être. A significant percentage of Americans are willingly, at least ostensibly, “in the land of the free and home of the brave,” to trade their individual liberty and freedom, for the sake of certain guarantees.
Well, we have federal guarantees for entitlements, social security, even public employee pension funds, including all of the military health, welfare, and retirement promises to pay. How has the government preformed on these guarantees? I wonder how those within the ranks of those who voted for and will continue to vote for liberal progressives feel about those guarantees.
Are we Americans now subjects of the government? Yes, increasingly so. I see and hear news stories wherein the protagonist notes that he or she is a college graduate, then the question: Where are the jobs? As if it is the direct responsibility of the elected or some government agency to secure a job for that college graduate.
I think Reagan had it right…we Americans had better get our act together and retrograde back to our ancestral traditions as such regress applies to a principled life wherein blaming, lamenting, and figuring how to take from the more to give to the less is discarded as un-American. Withstanding the question more government is hardly ever the answer and often enough never the solution.