America: Divided Within

Q: Regarding the man who drove his plane into the IRS building in Texas — is this a valid way to protest Big Government?

A: Well, answer the question this way: How much closer are we to a limited government because of this incident? Not very — and probably even further away, thanks to this incident. As more things like this happen, the more the left can say, “See? Anybody who opposes us is crazy.” The important thing to remember about America is that we still essentially enjoy freedom of speech. In that regard, we are not China or Iran and we have not yet gone down that road. I have little doubt that some members of Congress, and maybe even the President himself, would just love to censor people if they thought they could get away with it. Senator Chuck Schumer comes to mind, who in the early days after Obama’s election victory told the media that a restoration of the “fairness doctrine” against right-wing talk radio would likely be on the way. Nevertheless, we’re not there yet, and I can imagine there would be huge protests if it ever came to that, based on the recent election in Massachusetts and the year-long opposition to ObamaCare that ultimately seems to have brought it down.

The man who ran his plane into the IRS building operated on two faulty premises: That life is hopeless, because of our crazy big government; and that he has a right to take others down with him. Neither of these premises are correct. We live under a crazy and dysfunctional Big Government, but not under a dictatorship — and there’s a difference. If he concluded that HIS life was hopeless, then he was entitled to take his own life quietly and without risking anyone else’s well-being or safety. I maintain that life is not hopeless, and definitely not because of Big Government. This is because we still have freedom of speech, as I said, which means people who oppose big government, high taxes and the like are free to speak their minds and persuade others. The biggest problem so far is that no politicians in either party have yet shown the courage to reverse course on Big Government. It’s going to happen sooner or later because the programs we have are going bankrupt and when the government becomes unable to pay Medicare and Social Security claims, there are going to be big problems. It would be much, much better if our elected leaders faced things sooner rather than later. They already have waited way too long and evaded the tough issues, in part because a majority of the American people themselves have done so. “I want my Big Government programs — but I don’t want Big Government!” has been the majority view for the last few decades.

Still, violence is not the answer. Violence isn’t going to change a single mind. Violence only makes sense in the context of literal, physical self-defense. If our government crossed over into dictatorship and totalitarianism, then you’d have no choice but to defend yourself once the thought police came after you. But we’re still free to protest peacefully, thanks to freedom of speech, and it’s still possible to civilly and peacefully reverse course. As much as I blame our elected officials for so many of the disasters government has brought upon us, I still blame the majority of the American people most of all. Most either evade or allow themselves to remain unaware of the fact that you cannot have freedom and prosperity while, at the same time, expanding the welfare and regulatory state. Case in point: Peggy Noonan, a perceptive and talented writer who does not intellectually grasp, but does sense, the nature of the crisis in America wrote the following in The Wall Street Journal: “The old vote themselves benefits that their children will have to pay for. What kind of a people do that?” She nailed it, right there. If America consists of a majority of people who are prepared to vote away the individual rights of others, while still demanding their own — then the majority deserve what’s happening, and what’s coming. They don’t need a terrorist to crash a plane into a building because they’re going to live see much worse, and it will be their own evasion and lack of integrity that brought it about.

Socialism AND capitalism — arbitrary rule over others AND individual freedom — simply cannot coexist in the same society. Flying airplanes into IRS offices isn’t going to bring any clarity to this fundamental contradiction which a majority still hold in their minds. Logic and reason can, and will — if and when more people start to think.