THE WAY I SEE IT by Don Polson Red Bluff Daily News 9/20//2016
Which path? Liberty or equality
The Republican Central Committee and volunteers hope to get to meet you at our fair booth in the commercial building, and share our enthusiasm and hope for electoral victories in 7 weeks. There will be flyers, bumper stickers and camaraderie for all. Hope to see ya then.
As I wrote this in early July prior to traveling, I found a 2-year-old item that is still relevant to issues at stake in this election. “The Idol of Equality” by Victor Davis Hanson, is on the Internet (enter title and author, use NationalReview.com). It is subtitled “To put equality ahead of liberty is to war against human nature.” It should be self-evident; however, many are sadly becoming confused by the pandering and sloganeering of “equality” ideologues.
Alexis de Tocqueville, a French traveler in, observer of, and writer about, a relatively newborn America in the early 1800s had this to say: “There is, in fact, a manly and lawful passion for equality which excites men to wish all to be powerful and honored. This passion tends to elevate the humble to the rank of the great; but there exists also in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to attempt to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom.”
The terms, “manly…men,” shouldn’t detract from the timeless sentiments. It’s laudable to aspire to betterment, comfort, wealth and position; and for removing impediments to such aspirations. It is, on the other hand, a disreputable desire or policy to look upon those who’ve achieved and have possessions, wealth or influence—even those on the way—and accuse them of malintent, dishonor, injustice or undue privilege, all to de-legitimize achievement.
Even worse is to empower the state—using the mob mentality of manipulated public opinion—to punish achievers via taxation, seize their wealth, and transfer it to other groups or people. It’s disappointing when that sentiment is a major motivation in one of America’s major political parties. The Democrats are obsessed with raising taxes on “the rich,” while concocting more spending giveaways, and growing existing benefit programs.
Large pluralities of Democrats supported a self-admitted “democratic socialist,” Bernie Sanders. This occurred while the latest experiment in socialism, Venezuela, descends into the kind of chaos and barbarity that inevitably follows misguided attempts to socialize a nation with “equality” for all. As an oil-rich country, with abundant fertile land, Venezuela’s energy lags its needs, food shelves are bare while riots and thievery overwhelm shipments, medical care is subhuman, and they can’t afford to print money.
Hanson: “The present war against personal liberty in service to mandated equality may become the greatest danger of the 21st century. The theaters of battle already extend to every segment of American life; and every weapon is employed, from government coercion to the media to the Orwellian effort to change the meaning of language.
“Millions of Americans have lost the liberty to select their own type of health insurance, purchased on their own volition to best match their own assessments of their particular needs. Obamacare—the federal government’s redistributive effort to equalize health care for all—sought to destroy the liberty of many millions in order to ensure state-directed sameness in care for all.”
What was foreseen, by many analysts and conservative advocates of free market health care, has occurred: So-called “death spirals” for companies that have been induced by legally mandated guaranteed signups—together with “must issue” for pre-existing conditions. That produced higher-than-expected costs with no reimbursement from taxpayer pockets as originally proposed. Result? Obama can’t force businesses to operate at losses exceeding a billion dollars; they exit the insurance exchanges, abandoning Obamacare to wither and slide into collapse.
VDH: “The effort to take away freedom, both violent and insidious, in order to ensure equality of result has a sad history…(to wit the French Revolution, the Sovietization of Eastern Europe, socialization of African and Latin American nations, the European Union, etc.)
“The problem with destroying liberty in service to mandated sameness is obvious: It has never worked, because it is contrary to human nature…forced equality erodes personal initiative, undermines the rule of law, ruins the honesty of language, and requires a degree of coercion antithetical to a free society.”
Remember that the progressive elite, the governing class and favored crony capitalists will always set themselves above the ruled; they will have a vested interest in promoting the philosophy of “equality” as a means of eliminating competition for the excessive benefits they award themselves. Just like the Obamas, their children will be admitted into elite schools, universities, and then on to boardrooms, private jets, private golf courses, gated wealthy neighborhoods, and on and on. The richest counties in America surround Washington, D.C.
State mandated (and attempted) equality produces 1) humans fleeing from it, as was seen in the U.S.S.R, Eastern Europe, France, Detroit and California, 2) governing by mandates and executive fiats which comes from 3) the selective enforcement of settled law and 4) appointees chosen on the basis of progressive ideology rather than proven competence and expertise.
This is all intended to help the poor; however “free people usually create more wealth than the coerced, which makes the lower echelons better off.” Liberty enables those same lower classes to lift themselves into higher incomes through their own initiative and abilities. Americans must choose liberty over equality to survive as the world’s beacon of freedom.