Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thomas Frank Model Journalist

These guys are making it too easy. Behold:
There are few things in politics more annoying than the right's utter conviction that it owns the patent on the word "freedom"...

Any increase in the size or duties of government, the right tells us, necessarily subtracts from our freedom. Government is, by its very nature, a destroyer of liberties; the Obama administration, specifically, is promising to interfere with the economy and the health-care system so profoundly that Washington will soon have us all in chains.

I'll speak slowly and use words you're sure to understand. Any time something is mandated by government, i.e. it becomes law, it is then illegal to not do what the government has mandated. For example, health insurance. If the government mandates that people must have health insurance, healthy 20-somethings like myself who are trying to save money for more important things (i.e. starting a business) are penalized. Therefore, I no longer have the freedom not to spend my money on what is important to me, I must spend it on health care, or face a fine. Follow?

That our ancestors could ever have understood freedom as something greater than the absence of the state would probably strike protesters as inconceivable. But they did. You can see it in that famous Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving painting from 1943: "Freedom from Want," an illustration of one of Franklin Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms." Strange though it might sound, this is a form of freedom that pretty much requires government to get involved in the economy in order to "secure to every nation," as Roosevelt put it, "a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants." The idea is still enshrined today in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

First off, the government wasn't nearly as involved in our ancestors life as it is today. I am referencing the same group of ancestors that the author is, the group who were around to hear Franklin Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" when he broadcast it live over the TV... Second, the UN... Really?! What you're failing to see here, is that this is an argument about constitutionality. Please point to the section of the constitution where people are guaranteed the 'freedom from want.' I'll wait.

Conservatives of the 1930s, led by an upper-crust outfit called the American Liberty League, certainly felt that way. "That Roosevelt was a dictator there was no doubt; but Liberty Leaguers were not quite sure what kind," wrote the historian George Wolfskill in "The Revolt of the Conservatives," a 1962 study of that organization. "Some thought he was a fascist, others believed him a socialist or Communist, while others, to be absolutely sure, said he was both."

I'll tell you which kind. A socialist that increased government spending higher and at a faster rate than any other president before or after until PeeBo came along. The guy who pioneered the tax our way into prosperity by taking money from the people and spending it on make work projects. How'd that work out for those in the Great Depression, by the way? It's no secret that FDR idolized his buddy, Papa Joe. The rest of us know him better as Joseph Stalin. So, I don't think the Communist nameplate is as far removed as you liberal FDR lionizers would like to believe, either.

Today, of course, we know that the right's tyranny-fears were nonsense. Most of Roosevelt's innovations have been the law of the land for 70 years now, and yet we are still a free society free enough, that is, to allow tens of thousands of protesters to gather on the National Mall and to broadcast their slogans and speeches to the world via C-SPAN.

By this definition, were every other right guaranteed in the constitution removed, we'd still be 'free.' That means; no press, no freedom of religion, no right to bear arms, no protection from search and seizure, no protection from cruel and unusual punishment, no womens voting rights, shall I continue?

Even such pits of statism as Britain and Canada remain free societies, generally speaking, despite having gone skipping blithely down the universal-health-care road to serfdom decades ago.

They're so free! Just ask Mark Steyn about freedom of speech in Canada.

For the sort of people who gathered on the Mall last weekend, however, I doubt that such observations would matter in the least.

Such observations matter in the least, because they are inherently flawed, and you're a condescending douche who just doesn't get it.

Moment of inadvertent honesty:
Government intervention equals tyranny. Liberalism is forever a form of despotism-in-waiting.

By the way, I'm still waiting...

Please take the time to comment!

11 People Have Had Their Say:

Skunkfeathers on September 17, 2009 at 2:52 AM said...

Yawp...he's sold out to Barry's media spin machine.

classicaliberal on September 17, 2009 at 4:55 PM said...

I don't think I've ever heard dumber crap roll out of an elected officials mouth, ever. And there's been some dumb crap over the years.

ChristinaJade on September 20, 2009 at 12:21 AM said...

If ignorance is bliss - this is one hell of a happy mother f...*BLEEP*

classicaliberal on September 20, 2009 at 12:27 AM said...


Wait... I thought you were friends with Paul. He hasn't taught you how to curse?

ChristinaJade on September 20, 2009 at 12:55 AM said...

CL, I do try to restrain myself from time to usually doesn't work very fucking well, though.

Oh, well, shit. There that went. :)

classicaliberal on September 20, 2009 at 1:26 AM said...

Goddam I love your filthy fuckin mouth. Scuze my Slovak!

Skunkfeathers on September 20, 2009 at 3:20 AM said...

LMAO...CJ can 'parrot' Paul to a tee ;)

ChristinaJade on September 20, 2009 at 3:23 AM said...

Oh, lovely. Now I'm a parrot. Heh. :)

BWAK - *Christina cusses like a drunken sailor* - BWAK

Anonymous said...

Why didn't I get invited to the swearing party? I know I don't swear much but... I'll just have to try harder. BRH now with 10% more swearing! ;) You guys are fun!

Patrick Joubert Conlon on September 24, 2009 at 11:03 PM said...

a) You've got the patience of a saint to bother explaining freedom.

b) I hope you have health insurance. I had to find out the hard way when I started my own business that it's as essential as paying your mortgage.

classicaliberal on September 25, 2009 at 6:42 PM said...

Patrick - I just read that individuals who refuse to purchase insurance under Obamacare, and also subsequently refuse to pay the $1,900 fine... Well, I'll just let the Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation explain it:

"Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty..."

I'm not worried,though, I look good in blaze orange and/or stripes!


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