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By Phil Lucas
Some call themselves conservatives, but they conserve nothing and instead condone the consumption of liberty and property in endless government programs and costly adventures. Some call themselves progressives, but they are 50 centuries behind the times, harking to an oppressive brand of government older than the pyramids of Giza.
Pharaohs, chieftains, monarchs and despots supposed their people too dimwitted to direct their own lives and, as shepherds with their flocks, undertook to mold mankind into their visions of utopia.
We tried something different, a first in the history of humanity. We trusted in the nature of our fellows — their intelligence, energy and integrity.
We had faith in the elemental goodness of our species, believing that if given the chance, if set free in pursuit of happiness, each individual among us would pursue it to the benefit of all.
Wherein this nation established a government inferior to the human rights of man, such as personality and liberty, all others controlled human activity, controlled human association, which is a rejection of liberty on its face.
They organized their flocks through laws of commerce, civility, education and employment. They imposed their utopias with garrisons of administrators, regulators, tax collectors and inspectors, their authority backed by armed enforcers.
They ruled through fear with the promise of security.
Listen to them now.
Woe is education. Woe is health care. Woe is weather. Woe is energy. Woe is poverty. Woe is agriculture. Woe is transportation. Woe is security. Woe is war (meaning the opposition's war, because their war will be righteous and essential).
Whence come these woes? Precisely from the ones who propose to fix them. Study these subjects and you will find the heavy hand of their governance upon them — the taking of life, the denial of liberty, the confiscation of property, the opposite of the principles upon which the nation was founded, a backsliding to the common and failed governments of past and present — the subjugation of one man to another, one class to another, one interest to another.
Something different, evidently, was too much for us to handle.
It turns out we have no elemental goodness. We are larcenous, lazy and lustful.
Oh, woe is us!
In rides a cavalry of candidates, breathing heavily, with visions of utopia dancing in their heads.
They cook up social experiments to improve our character. True, we will have no choice and therefore no liberty, but what is liberty when security is at stake? True, they will confiscate our property to fund their schemes, but what is property when progress is at stake?
And if a few guinea pigs must perish, well, that's life.
They look us in the eye and say we do not even have the sense to manage our own health care. The flock, fresh off its Fourth of July celebrations of independence, shouts back, "You are right, Barack the Obama! Save us, your Highness Hillary! Tell us what to do, Rudy, Rudy, Rudy! You have our vote, Mitt the Magnificent! Put us in your programs so we can be free!"
Next up by popular demand? The government will appoint its agents to brush our teeth.
Yes, we need help and they are lined up to serve the American people.
They will deliver the usual standards of excellence — waste, corruption, conflict and control — hallmarks of the death of liberty, harbingers of the totalitarian state.
Once, we took a leap of faith hitherto untried. Most Americans did not make the cut then, either. The majority, taught to fear, did not want freedom.
A minority fought the king — then and now.
Phil Lucas is executive editor of The News Herald in Panama City, Fla. Contact him at email@example.com. To find out more about Lucas and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
© 2007 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
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