October 27, 2011
While expressing his solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement this week, President Obama said something very weird – that OWS and Tea Party protestors share the frustration of feeling separated from our government.
No we don’t. I desperately want to be separated from my government again; separation from government is the whole purpose of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It draws the lines between us and our government; it is our national restraining order against a stalking pervert who climbs through our windows every chance he gets to steal our stuff and cop a feel while we are sleeping.
I doubt if separation from government is what makes the employees of Gibson Guitars frustrated these days. My guess is that the feds busting down their doors and shutting them down indefinitely for no reason whatsoever is probably more of a concern. They are probably more than a little frustrated that the guy who keeps yammering on about his jobs bill is the reason they lost theirs.
And it is a safe bet that the small regional banks that are being choked to death by regulators under the Dodd-Frank bank “reform” bill don’t see separation from government as a major problem. Congressman Frank sees no conflict between his taking heaps of cash from the giant Wall Street banks and writing the new rules that effectively take out their smaller competitors while guaranteeing their profits. He supports OWS, too, providing a role model for schizophrenics with political ambitions.
And weren’t you happy to learn that First Lady Michelle Obama wants to “shape” your children for you? Personally, I would like to establish some considerable distance between me and someone who thinks children should be shaped, like little pieces of clay. Does she want to dress them up and take pictures, too? We like our kids to be separated from strangers like that…and we like our First Ladies to be a little less creepy. I’m not sure how the OWS crowd feels about it.
By linking the Tea Party and OWS, President Obama once again shows us he doesn’t know his country very well. Most of us do not want government to sit in our lap; we want it to go lay by its dish. Americans are united in the things we are against; what divide us are the things we are for.
No one wants more crime, poverty, injustice, racism, drug abuse, inflation, illiteracy, pollution, unemployment, bankruptcy, fraud, illness, and premature death; we only disagree about how to combat them. And everyone sees war as the last resort; we just disagree on what comes second to last.
President Obama and his ideologically aligned liberals, Democrats, progressives, and socialists are for more government and less liberty. Like helicopter moms, they see separation from government as way too risky for their citizen/children; they demand a government that protects us from ourselves at our grandchildren’s expense.
Conservatives, libertarians, constitutionalists, principled Republicans, and political agnostics are for less government and more liberty. We do not want to be mothered by government; we want to live free of government supervision and approval. Separation from government does not cause us fear and anxiety; we crave it.
When asked if we want more government or less of it, Americans consistently choose “less” by 2:1 margins. That has been one of the most consistent polling questions over the past three decades. OWS is not the 99%; it is some tiny fraction of the 33% who say “more”.
When I went off to college, my mom and dad did not cry and neither did I; after 18 years of dependence on them, we were both happy to empty the nest. I was grateful to them for preparing me for that day, and they were even more grateful that it finally came.
There were other kids who spent that whole day bawling with their parents; I didn’t understand why back then, but a little wisdom has stuck to me over the decades that have passed since. We all grew older but we didn’t change much.
Some Americans see every new day as an opportunity to learn and grow, to overcome new challenges, to succeed and prosper, to be responsible, to discover how high is up for ourselves and to help others do the same. The happy kids.
Others wake to dread the dawn; seeing only hurdles that can’t be overcome, barriers that can’t be breached, disadvantage and unfairness, and a world so difficult to manage that only government can protect us from it. The bawling kids.
The painful truth is that we choose which of those two worlds we will live in. The happy kids and the bawling kids all went to the same campus. And the awful truth is that politics is the imposition of one viewpoint upon the believers of the other. The genius of democracy is that is allows us to change who wins without killing each other.
In the natural order of things, the mighty fall. The prodigal squanders, the haughty are brought low, nations decline, empires implode. This creates space at the top for the lowly to rise. Our iconic national story is one of humble beginnings which end in glory.
The problem with government is that it disturbs that natural order; it props up the mighty and crushes the meek. In a free market, privilege cannot be defended, it must be re-earned. Enron’s separation from government allowed it to rightfully perish alone; Fannie Mae’s incestuous relationship took us all down with it.
Maybe the bawling kids are still fooled by the teleprompter President, but the happy kids aren’t buying it. We are not still mired in recession almost four years later because government can’t clutch us tight enough to its bosom; we are stuck in the ditch because it won’t get off our backs.
Mr. President, with all due respect, we are not frustrated over our separation from government; it is that your separation from government can’t come fast enough.
“Moment Of Clarity” is a weekly commentary by Libertarian writer and speaker Tim Nerenz, Ph.D. Visit Tim’s website www.timnerenz.com to find your moment.
- Rant about Comparisons between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party. (ferrellgummit.wordpress.com)
- Dems take direct aim at tea party (politico.com)
- Tax the Terps – Tea Party Nation (gds44.wordpress.com)