By Henry Lamb Â
June 09, 2007
In a recent speech, Hillary Clinton described the Bush administration as a "government of the few, by the few, and for the few." She's wrong; the Bush government is bigger than the Clinton government. Nevertheless, the government she described might be the government Thomas Paine had in mind when he observed: "That government is best which governs least."
Hillary doesn't agree with Paine's observation. She says she prefers a "we're all in it together society" where "government can once again work for all Americans," with "opportunity for all and special privilege for none."
This could be scary. If, in the world Hillary prefers, one person achieves greater success than another from an equal opportunity, does the result constitute a special privilege that should be denied to the more successful?
Hillary believes in "pairing growth with fairness." This must be one way "government works for all the people:" by keeping track of the success achieved by all the workers, to make sure someone doesn't get a "special privilege" as the result of greater success than another. No wonder she doesn't like a government that governs least; it takes a lot of government workers to work for all the people.
Hillary's rhetoric and voting record reveal a philosophy that penalizes success by taxing the rich, and rewards failure by expanding the work government does for other Americans. Hillary's description of the government she prefers is one which takes "from each according to his ability;" and redistributes "to each according to his need." In fact, she told a San Francisco audience that "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
Thomas Paine's observation, which succinctly describes the government designed by the U.S. Constitution, could not be further from the Karl Marx vision of Hillary's preferred government. The great disappointment in America is that increasingly, more people seem to prefer government to do more "work for the people," and thereby move further toward the Karl Marx vision, than toward the Thomas Paine vision of government.
There is a direct correlation between the freedom people have, and the "work" government does for the people; the more there is of the latter, the less there is of freedom. In order for government to prevent "special privileges" to some, it must know about all, and it must place active constraints upon some, in order advance others.
Economic growth, according to Hillary's philosophy, must be governed by rules that "protect our workers and give all people a chance to succeed. Fairness doesn't just happen. It requires the right government policies."
Hillary's vision is not of a free market, nor of a free people; it is a vision of government control, enforced "fairness," and limited opportunity.
Hillary's philosophy is not exclusively hers, nor does it belong exclusively to any political party. It is a philosophy that prevails throughout Europe, and has grown steadily in the United States for most of the last century. It is a philosophy that empowers government to impose its will upon the people, in the belief that the opinions and theories of professionals are certainly better than the self-seeking whims of ordinary individuals.
The definition of freedom is: the self-seeking whims (and responsibility) of ordinary individuals. Or, put another way: "... the pursuit of happiness."
Under the leadership of Democrats and Republicans who share Hillary's philosophy, government is constructing an all-encompassing web of rules and regulations. This web is formulated, not by elected representatives of the people, but by appointed professionals who work throughout government agencies. Self-appointed, so-called professionals who represent special interest groups, often funded by government grants, lend their expertise to the hard sell of the philosophy that government enforced fairness makes a better society than does individual freedom.
Hillary's philosophy continues to permeate public policy in education, economic development, health care, land use, environmental protection, international affairs, and every other corner of society. The solution to this problem, and the salvation of America, lies not in the elimination of rules of behavior, but in the method by which those rules are developed, adopted, and enforced.
The genius of the American system of government is the idea that government power is limited by the consent of the governed. This consent is conveyed when representatives are empowered at the ballot box to enact rules of behavior. When the rules these representatives adopt do not receive the consent of the people, then the representatives can be sent packing, and new representatives elected.
When the rules of behavior are developed, enacted, and enforced by people who are not elected, the people have no way to convey or deny their consent. Government usurps the power from the people and imposes its will - as it wills.
This is the kind of government Hillary - and a great many others, want. This is the kind of government they describe as the government they will continue to build. It is the kind of government in which freedom will continue to diminish, and eventually fade into oblivion.
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