Remember Chuck Colson? He had a saying mounted on the wall in his White House office that read, “When you have them by the balls their hearts and minds will follow.” Charming.
Today we have a White House with pseudo Chuck Colson’s who insist their motives are pure. To them, government is so obviously the answer to all our problems that only the ignorant would complain about following their lead. They pass laws, issue regulatory edicts, co-opt and extort private industry, manipulate the media, and buy votes with handouts to impose their ideology. Another saying, this time from that dear sage Woody Allen goes, “When you are sure you are right you will have a moral obligation to impose your will upon those who disagree with you.” Hmmmm…
Both Mr. Colson (see: Nixon) and Mr. Obama approach their problem of compliance with different words but identical actions, seeking to compel compliance with their beliefs through law, regulation, and the bald application of political power.
At the other extreme from the Obama administration we have groups certain their ideology founded in religious faith is similarly worthy of imposition. If you look closely it is difficult to distinguish some at the far end of the Christian religious right from Islamic extremists who would impose Sharia law if they had political power. There is no meaningful distinction between the political implications of imposing one or another ideology, whether religious or political. Imposition defines authoritarianism in all its forms, overwhelming the American principles of individual liberty and limited government. This is why freedom is never free but available to our children only if we are willing to fight to obtain and keep it.
When you combine the use of government to impose a particular ideology with the ability of government to print and borrow virtually limitless amounts of money to enable and enforce the imposition, you have our Federal government today; confused, misdirected, and incompetent.
As at the founding of America, the hope of the world is freedom from imposition. Let us focus here as we seek to replace the imposers with those who will enforce our freedom and expect us responsible for our actions as individuals.
An excerpt from Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address in 1801:
All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions.
Regards, Pete Weldon