Sunday, January 24, 2010

Scott Brown and Freedom

I’m encouraged that there may actually be a spark of freedom left in the American psyche. The election of Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate from the State of Massachusetts is nothing short of amazing. It gives to a Republican the Senate seat that has been held by a Democrat since JFK defeated Henry Cabot Lodge in 1952. In contemporary politics it is at minimum a repudiation of at least some of the policies (ok, one policy, healthcare) of President Obama and the Democratic Party. Republicans will extrapolate for narrow political purposes the implications of this election. But Republicans are more interested in regaining power than in promoting freedom. The broader question is what does this mean for the future of freedom in our country?

I’ll state my conclusion up front, probably not much. In the continuum of America’s decline toward democratic socialism, this is but a blip in the positive direction. The American people are, generally, there are exceptions to be sure, but generally they are more interested in promoting their interests in federal largess at the expense of their fellow citizens. If you doubt that, how many of us would be willing to forgo our social security? That payment is forced extraction from a current tax payer directly to a current recipient. Sure, the government has been taking money from you by force for years, if not decades, but does that negate the amorality of your living at the expense of others? I don’t exempt myself from the dilemma. I hope to not take Social Security when I turn 66. My wife won’t like my decision. It could get dicey.

The Republicans are energized and think they can gain seats in both the Senate and House this year. And they probably will. They may even take control of the Senate or the House which will definitely force the Democrats to move back to the center. The Democrats grand attempt to move the country left will have failed. But that doesn’t mean the electorate has realized the error of their ways and will now embrace freedom, free market capitalism, constitutionally limited government and individual responsibility. No, the only thing this election reveals is that the voters of Massachusetts were concerned that they may get less money back from the federal government than they send. This notion of using government to loot others is explained very well in “The Law”, by Frederick Bastiat. In the section entitled “The Choice before us”, he explained.

This question of legal plunder must be settled once and for all, and there are only three ways to settle it:
1. The few plunder the many.
2. Everybody plunders everybody.
3. Nobody plunders anybody.
We must make our choice among limited plunder, universal plunder, and no plunder. The law can follow only one of these three.
Limited legal plunder: This system prevailed when the right to vote was restricted. One would turn back to this system to prevent the invasion of socialism.
Universal legal plunder: We have been threatened with this system since the franchise was made universal. The newly enfranchised majority has decided to formulate law on the same principle of legal plunder that was used by their predecessors when the vote was limited.
No legal plunder: This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic. Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle with all the force of my lungs.

Unfortunately, we’ve made our choice and this election will not change our decision.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great work TJ. My generation has long since given up on EVER seeing Social Security. I love paying into a system that I will never get to use. -Chuck G.