Obama, Sibelius, Reid – Compulsion V. Choice
From the Publisher Clif Smith
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal lead editorial by Daniel Henninger laid it out plain and simple: the seismic difference between traditional Democrats and today’s “progressives” can be summarized in one word, “compulsion.”
Gone is the liberal Democratic Party tradition of strong support for the needy, access to our economic system and protection of the individual while supportively working within a free enterprise system. That philosophy, originated (believe or not by Republican Herbert Hoover) but implemented by Franklin D. Roosevelt, has been embraced by both political parties for nearly half a century. Democrats may carp that Republicans want to starve kids, pollute the environment and deny health care to old people, but that is not and has never been true. The principle of a viable “safety net” is embedded in our national psyche not to be removed.
No. The debate between the two major parties has mostly been over the scope of the “safety net” and how to pay for it.
Not the case today. As Henninger demonstrates, today’s “Democrats” have renamed themselves “progressives” and are marching through our nation implementing compulsion.
Whether it is light bulbs, toilets, washing machines, financial services, energy or now health care, gone is the notion that the people will be left alone to decide for themselves how to live, what to buy, where to live, how to bank, what medical services they can or must purchase. (A woman carrying a baby to term or not seems to be the only real “choice” left.)
Apparently, about half of the working-age population thinks this is just fine. The U.S. Census reported this week that more in the United States are receiving means-tested federal government benefits than are in the work force full-time. These are the soldiers of the revolution. This is the “progressive” revolution that now dominates and controls our federal government, the government of California, New York, Illinois and elsewhere. That political label, “progressive,” originated around the turn of the 20th Century and meant individual control of government via the initiative, recall and referendum. Its leaders were Theodore Roosevelt of New York and Hiram Johnson of California. The “progressive” movement was a reaction to big business control of government. The current version turns the notion on its head.
Today, it is government that is in control and we, the people, are losing whatever control we thought we had. We have no control over national finances, debt, obligations or borders. When two U.S. senators, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, tried to stop or slow down our plunge into national bankruptcy via Obamacare, they got blasted by the mainstream media, all of the Democrats and a good portion of Republicans.
What about our supposed right of “free speech”? Just try it. If you oppose Obama’s policies, or even question them, the Internal Revenue Service comes after you. How does the Obama Administration know you oppose their policies? They read your emails, listen to your phone calls, track your internet use and check out who your friends and correspondents are. If they don’t like what you say or write, in marches the IRS. Don’t believe that? Read the mainstream media. It’s happening. Try NBC and L.A. Times.
What does the Obama Administration do with this information? Are you getting audited by the IRS? Turned down for a loan? Children denied admission to colleges? Your business lose a contract? “Outed” to one of their political pressure groups because you made a campaign contribution to something you believe in? Harassed, hounded, denounced, picketed? It’s all happening. You think this is a coincidence?
What will happen to you under Obamacare when you go to a hospital?
Will they check a list of “us” and “them” to decide whether to treat you?
Will they “lose your records”?
Will you be told: “Your policy doesn’t cover this procedure” or “You are not eligible to be seen by this doctor or that”?
The facts about compulsion are glaringly obvious: Obamacare, energy decisions, shutting down clean coal, blocking cheap energy, government financial takeovers, the National Security Agency snooping, abuse by the Internal Revenue Service are not matters of opinion. Yesterday, we learned that the NSA has wire-tapped Google and Yahoo (plus the Pope and everyone else). So much for gmail and yahoomail.
This condition has never existed in the United States–more people on government welfare than are working, more debt than we can possibly sustain, a national attitude of “dictate, dictate, dictate” from on high. “You will do as we say or you will be fined, taxed, denied healthcare, ostracized and maybe imprisoned.”
That is what today’s “progressive” movement is all about. Compulsion. Elimination of choice. Elimination of freedom. It is not the movement of Theodore Roosevelt, Hiram Johnson, John Kennedy, Pat Brown, Stanley Mosk or even Bill Clinton.
But it is the politics of Barack Obama and his mentors Bill Ayres, Saul Alinsky and Frank Marshall Davis. Go read about them for yourselves, see where their policies came from, compare that with where we are going today and make up your own minds. If you are persuaded by facts, not personal attacks and trite name-calling, you will see the truth. Some of you will like it because that is your philosophy. We suspect, however, that most will not.
That is the message of “progressivism” today and it is enveloping all of us.