Gary is an author, trial lawyer, Mequon-area resident and town of Cedarburg supervisor. He is a columnist for the News Graphic and writes for several Wisconsin area magazines and is a national columnist with The American Thinker and PJ Media. He lives with his wife, Lisa, and has three sons ages 18 to 28. Gary won Ozaukee County in his bid for the Wisconsin Assembly's 60th District in 2011, but came up just 58 votes short.
Some 18 years ago at a political luncheon I posited the serious possibility that one day the government would ban SUV’s and tell you what type of cars you had to buy. I was laughed at, diagnosed as extreme, and it was suggested I stop listening to Mark Belling on the radio. One of the liberals in the group – a Clinton supporter at the time – mocked my comment by suggesting that I would next claim the government would one day also tell us what color of car to buy. Everybody laughed at the absurdity of the comment, including me. The very next year a non-profit organization named Coalition For Vehicle Choice was founded. The name alone ought to bring a chill to the spine of every lover of freedom.
Even the unthinkable has now become thinkable. In California, the government has recently proposed legislation to outlaw incorrect colors on your automobiles. Gone is basic black, with all dark hues waiting in the on-deck circle. I wonder if my Clinton friend is laughing now.
When do all television sets just eventually default to the Obama channel? Two weeks ago during the Supreme Leader’s all-channel press conference Obama unveiled how the government will begin it’s creep into your homes. In a rare off-prompter moment he said:
“We could, um, set up systems so that everybody in each, uhh, house have their own smart meters that, uhh, will tell you when to turn off the lights, when the peak hours are, can help you sell back energy, uh, that you've generated in your home through a solar panel or through, uh, eh, other mechanisms.”
This is, of course, the prelude for never having to set your own thermostat. The government will do that for you [polite laughter by my Clinton friend at such an extreme and absurd suggestion by the editorialist]. The next thing Gary will suggest is that the government is going to send up spy planes to take infra-red pictures of your home and put them on the internet to show the world how much energy you are wasting. Oh wait, that’s already been done in the U.K.
Big Brother is knocking on our front door. The grim but unthinkable picture of Western society that George Orwell drew for us 50 years ago has become quite thinkable and increasingly orthodox. We laughed then at the absurd mental picture of Big Brother, his face, stern yet somehow compassionate, gazing down from every wall upon a thoroughly browbeaten and helpless populace – reticent under threat of repercussions from uttering politically incorrect speech. The nation is held together by a chilling fear - the Thought Police prowl the streets, censoring and removing from the radio waves talk show hosts harboring dangerous ideas; children are indoctrinated in the universities and spy on their parents, reporting suspicious conduct to the authorities. Party members pass laws they didn’t read and spend money they don’t have, as directives blare at the citizenry from the television screen. It’s beginning to sound a little less absurd, isn’t it?
American political life is a constant struggle between tyranny and anarchy. Too much government control and we have tyranny; too little and we face anarchy.
Tyranny inevitably has its beginnings out of a sense of the oneness of community, a noble belief in mutual responsibility for helping the “least of these”, and a faith that our governmental institutions and elected leaders can, if given enough power and support, construct a strong and just society. It becomes inevitable when Armageddon-like natural disaster hoaxes, class warfare, socialist notions that one person shouldn’t make more money or live in a bigger house than another, and the demonification of the Christian traditions and free market capitalism on which this country was founded rule the political day. The audacity of false hope and the encouragement of Americans to ask what their country can do for or give to them, lead not only to tyranny, but to statism, a war on success, and the complete destruction of the American way of life.
19th Century French historian Alexis de Toqueville described what we are witnessing in America today - a soft tyrrany which becomes increasingly more oppressive and eventually transforms into totalitarianism. Because we are born into a freedom which permeates our daily life, we take it for granted and do not notice its gradual disappearance.
Anarchy, on the other hand, has its beginnings in a blind passion for liberty at all costs, trickle-down progress, and a hope of success-through-freedom which can easily degenerate into a distrust of all authority and a society of dog-eat-dog individualism. It becomes inevitable when even the most benign regulation or government mandate is viewed as an abuse of government and an unconstitutional violation of our right to be free from confining laws and regulations.
Political parties may differ on the size of government but they must agree that we need balance in our society. In my humble opinion, we we are wildly out of balance. From a complicit liberal media to Obama-supporting children posting their conservative parents’ names and addresses on the Obama Forum, we are perilously close to the Orwellian world which seemed so unthinkable 50 short years ago.
The government has developed technology to use cell phones as bugs, using the phones’ microphones to listen in, even when the telephone is turned off. Bombarded by messages of negativity and economic doom from our leaders, Americans remain either blithely ignorant or ignorantly supportive of a mammoth new bureaucracy – the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, which will now monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what Big Brother deems “appropriate and cost effective” and urges seniors to “accept conditions that come with age.” There will also be a new Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research modeled after a U.K. board that divides the cost of treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Now we’re talking Logan’s Run and Soylent Green. Assisted suicide and euthanasia are here – by choice today, perhaps without a choice tomorrow.
The Orwellian warning is one that many Americans are not in the mood to hear. Statesmen must find balance and a way to bridge the gap between the noble impulses of both community and freedom. Politicians need to craft a happy medium between altruism and liberty – and being in the majority shouldn’t give either political party a license to throw the other into the dumpster of history. I believe we’ve long ago crossed the line of mutual responsibility and are well on our way to tyrannical centralization. Emerson's notion that man should stand erect, go alone, and possess the universe, is, of course, a long way from the Orwellian society we are becoming. It seems the universe may soon possess us.