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What will Big Brother outlaw next? Salt shakers?
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Once upon a time, some people thought government might reach the end of regulating. Everything that could, reasonably, be regulated, would be regulated. Smoking prohibitions. Seatbelt requirements. Toilets that don’t flush. Trans-fat-free restaurants. And the thousands of other regulations contained in the tens of thousands of pages of the Federal Register.
That is fundamentally to misunderstand the nature of Big Government People. There will never be an end to what the BGPs want to regulate. And as time goes on, the regulations will intrude more and more into the citizens’ lives because the less intrusive regulations will already have been passed.
If the people really object to a regulation, the bright Harvard men will always fall back on the need to protect not just us, but also “the children,” the permanent wards of that village Hillary the Lamp Thrower and her intern-molesting husband lectured us about.
Even if the bright Harvard men could protect us, the real question is: Do we want to be safe and healthy, or do we want to be free?
An old-fashioned American will answer, “Free.” A progressive (a white-shoe socialist), having learned nothing from the history of the twentieth century, will prefer life in the Guiding State — especially if he is doing the guiding.
What can the freedom-loving American citizen do? When is too much regulation too much to take? When should civil disobedience begin?
Surely not over salt.
But salt is not the issue. The issue is freedom. If it’s okay to be civilly disobedient to demand freedom for blacks, why not also to demand not to have all of American life regulated, even if it’s for the sake of the neglected children the progressives tell us it takes a village to raise? After all, the civil-rights movement began because some lady wanted a different seat on a bus.
But of course that fuss wasn’t about the bus seat. It was about freedom. Now blacks can sit wherever they want on a bus. But soon they won’t be able to eat salt.
In 1961, William F. Buckley Jr. expressed the hope that “when the Negroes have finally realized their long dream of attaining to the status of the white man, the white man will still be free ….”
He won’t be, unless he pays more notice to the deliberate, calibrated attenuation of his freedom.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?