The Spectacle Blog

Doing It “Together” With Government

By on 8.3.12 | 3:15PM

In the interest of keeping my article today shorter than my usual writings, I left out one point I wanted to make about part of President Obama's Roanoke words which are not, in my view getting enough attention.

Specifically, Obama said "we do things together," by which he meant individuals and government, not people working together in the private sphere.

In fact, showing that this is an intentional Obama campaign theme going forward, Obama used the word "together" ten times in that speech.

With that as introduction...

The other day, I overheard a woman walking out of the DMV after getting her driver’s license renewed say to her young son that “the DMV employee and I did it together.”

Actually, I didn’t hear that.

Nor did I hear the man coming out of the building permit office saying that he and the city planning staff “worked together” to pull a permit allowing him to make a modification on his private property.

Nor did I hear the woman who just had her taxes audited say that she and the IRS agent entered into a mutually-agreeable collaboration.

And nor did I ever think that the TSA agent and I “cooperated” when I endured an overly intrusive body scan, so he would oh-so-kindly allow me on to an airplane. (To be sure, the intimacy of the search and the images were as close as I ever want to get to “doing it together” with a TSA employee.)

Indeed, I have never heard anybody describe their interaction with the government as “working together” because that is not what government does. Government is force. And it is force paid for by the very people whom our current government most wants to bring that force to bear against.

At least in the way Barack Obama means it, we are most definitely not all in this together, and if we are, then the soul of our nation is surely lost.

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