August 23, 2009
Government Knows Best?
A reflection of the first seven months of the Obama presidency reminds me of the 1950's sitcom Father Knows Best. The sitcom originally debuted as a radio show in 1949 and was entitled Father Knows Best? - ending with a question mark that was later removed when the show transitioned to television. But which was the more appropriate title for the show?
As The Museum of Broadcast Communications reflected:
"Indeed, careful viewing of each of the series' 203 episodes reveals that the title was actually more figurative than literal. Despite the lack of an actual question mark, father didn't always know best. Jim Anderson could not only lose his temper, but occasionally be wrong."
Frighteningly, team Obama and the Democratically-controlled Congress -- who have taken on the role of the prudent parents of juvenile Americans -- have proven to be more than occasionally wrong for the country. In their desire to completely control American lives, they have progressed from losing their tempers to losing their way. Americans are now living in a nanny state in which the Democrats in power are implementing policy after policy designed to reduce freedom of choice and increase government control. Big government, socialized institutions, and sharing the wealth are policies supported by the Democrats - the party whose membership includes academics, Hollywood pseudo-intellectuals, and community organizers. The members of the Democratic Party are those who believe that they are smarter and wiser than the average American and that government intervention in all aspects of our lives is necessary in order to prevent social and economic catastrophe.
Both the executive branch (controlled by a self-entitled, narcissistic socialist) and the legislative branch (controlled by power hungry, leftist dictators) of our government believe that like Jim Anderson from the television classic, they know what is best for the children of this nation. Americans are waking up daily to the discovery that their elected leaders have determined that citizens are not competent to make their own economic and personal decisions on matters pertaining to the purchase of healthcare, banking services, and automobiles. Corporate boards of directors are not competent to hire and fire their executives, determine appropriate salaries for those executives, or decide which type of product to manufacture without a White House czar overseeing these everyday business decisions.
In the minds of those presently running our country, government control is necessary in order to set Americans and the country on the "right" course. The forced acceptance of this control is being sold through fear and intimidation by the Democrats and sadly, many Americans are buying it. The real question is how much damage will be done. How many facets of our lives will the government successfully take over, how many individual liberties will be lost, and how many irreversible socialist policies will be implemented before the Democrats are thrown out of office by the outraged electorate.
Obama won the presidential election in part due to huge numbers of voters "outraged" by the Bush administration. They claimed that Bush lied, that his administration ran the country behind closed doors, and that a lack of bipartisanship was due to a controlling administration. So liberals jumped on the hope and change bandwagon offered by the Obama team and voted the Republicans out of office.
As the tea parties and town hall meetings are illustrating however, Americans, including those who voted for Obama, are discovering that the change in Washington is not all that they had hoped for. The Obama administration is interjecting itself where no administration has dared (or even contemplated) to go and in areas in which our founding fathers had no intention of regulating. However, the Democrats running the show believe that they know what is best for the future of America and frighteningly, that includes stifling free speech and brainwashing the electorate.
Unlike Jim Anderson who listened to Betty, Bud, and Kathy, our government wants no part of dissent with regard to their policies. The First Amendment's right to free speech may exist in writing, but when the President of the United States requests family, friends and neighbors to snitch on each other whenever they hear information critical of government policy, we have to ask ourselves in what country we reside and in what direction we are headed.
And while Jim Anderson occasionally lectures his children, Americans are subjected to speech after speech, press conference, after press conference, and infomercial after infomercial in which Obama lectures us that his policies must be implemented immediately lest terrible devastation befall the country. Unlike the sincerity of Jim Anderson, however, Obama's scripted addresses contain lies, distortions, and threats (with a few insults and straw men thrown in for good measure) with the goal of confusing and hindering independent thought.
The insincerity of Obama's campaign promises becomes more evident with each passing day as he takes measure after measure to create a country in his own image (or that or Hugo Chavez, take your pick) while ignoring the wishes of Americans. He promised bipartisanship yet we are witnessing partisanship never before seen from an administration. He promised transparency and yet he has filled the White House offices with a cabal of czars who are answerable to no one and he attempts to pass legislation before anyone has the time to read it. He promised no new taxes on people making less than $250,000 and yet he passed a new tax on cigarettes and had his economic team float the prospect of a middle class tax as an inevitability. He promised health care reform that will enable individuals to maintain private insurance despite stating years ago that his goal was a single payer system and admitting that he did not read the 1,000 page bill which could very well limit that right.
The citizenry is beginning to wake up; however, the dissension in this country between liberals and conservatives is growing at a breathtaking rate. During the Bush administration we had the pleasure of listening to demonstrations by the likes of Cindy Sheehan and fringe group Code Pink who protested the war on terrorism (I will ignore the latest dictate from Obama that I may not use the terms jihadist and terrorist to describe the enemy that this country faces). But now, faced with policies that will forever change and weaken the country, ordinary, disgruntled Americans are speaking out. The question is whether their complaints are falling upon deaf ears as they are accused of carrying swastikas and characterized as mobs by their elected officials who simply want to shut them up and make them go away through intimidation tactics.
We are supposed to trust the government that ran Fannie Mae, Cash for Clunkers, the USPS, and Amtrak to make our medical decisions, our corporate decisions, and regulate away our freedoms. I fear what will happen when the authoritarian rulers sitting in Congress and the White House turn their attention to education. Their attempts at indoctrinating Americans thankfully have not addressed our children but Obama has made it clear that this too is on his agenda.
The Democrats who are the party of the right to choose are legislating away our right to choose. They are succeeding right before the eyes of the people of this nation. And they have the audacity to slander and mischaracterize anyone who dares to disagree with or question the wisdom of their policies.
Americans are not children and we have survived 233 years of less government control and more individual liberty than the Democrats in power want to allow us in our future. I say let the mobs revolt, add me to the enemies list, and let's get this country back on track as the freest nation on earth.
As another father, that of our country, George Washington, wisely noted: "Government is not reason, it is not eloquent; it is force, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."