Those who seek to run our lives

Watching the Anthony Weiner saga unfold was an exercise in déjà vu; denials, name calling, stonewalling, and finally the weeping confession.

This is a short list of politicians who recently have betrayed the people closest to them in sex scandals; their families, their friends, and their colleagues.  Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Eliot Spitzer, Barney Frank, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim McGreevey, John Ensign, Chris Lee, Mark Foley, Mark Sanford, Henry Cisneros, Larry Craig, and Bob Livingston. Then there are tax cheats like Charlie Rangel, Tim Geithner, and Claire McCaskill.

It is important to keep in mind that these people are like cockroaches; for every one that is flushed into the open, there are dozens more somewhere in the darkness, hidden out of sight.

If they will betray those closest to them, why do we believe they will not betray us? They don't even know us.

All of us fall short and are sinners; thus the Christian confession that "we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves."

The difference is that most of us do not hold the power of taxation and regulation over our fellow citizens.  Politicians, however, have enormous power and revel in that power.  Barack Obama tells us we are greedy and selfish, Nancy Pelosi compares some of us to Nazis, Dick Durbin compared our soldiers to the Soviets who ran the gulags.  Still others call us racist if we disagree with them.  Any time you turn on the TV you can find some politician lecturing us and wagging his finger in our faces, telling us how we should live our lives.

Here's a simple thought experiment. Imagine you had a neighbor, a business colleague, or an acquaintance, who was always in your face telling you what car to drive, what food to eat, what healthcare you must have, what you must allow the schools to teach your children, that your teenage daughter could have an abortion at an abortion clinic without consulting you first, that you had no right to own a gun, ad infinitum.  Most of us would tell him or her to stuff it, or perhaps use a little more colorful language.

Now, take that same person and put the title Senator, Congressman, or President in front of their name and millions of Americans accept these losses of personal freedom without a whimper. Even worse, some people worship and idolize politicians.  They tell us they are smarter, more educated, more visionary, more compassionate, more of everything than those clodhoppers out there in Podunk, USA.

By treating these people as though they are special and gifted, we reinforce the notion in their minds they are our betters. They are not; in many cases they are far worse.

The founders understood that too much political power is dangerous, and that government should have hard limits on its power. If we are to survive as a prosperous and free republic, this has to change.