Liberty and 2008 – Part Oneby Jason Pye
You can’t help but sit back and look at the current field of Presidential candidates and be disappointed. It’s not like there aren’t distinguished individuals in the field. Out of the seventeen candidates there are some impressive credentials. Nine of them have served as United States Senators. Eight have at some time or another served in the United States House of Representatives. Three have served as Governors of their respective states. Two have been Mayors of major cities. You also have a former United Nations Ambassador and a former First Lady.
Despite those incredibly impressive credentials they have no demonstrated sense of Liberty…and no matter the outcome of the 2008 election, Liberty, and ultimately the American people, stands to lose.
There are a couple of definitions for Liberty. This is the best definition, in my opinion…Liberty is “freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.” I personally do not believe in moral responsibility, not to say that I don’t have certain causes that I feel are worthy of my time and devotion, but I don’t believe an individual has any moral responsibilities with the exception that they do not infringe on the rights of another sovereign individual. Virtually every candidate falls short of meeting this definition.
“Jason, you are just being pessimistic,” you say? I really do wish that were the case. I look at the Democratic field and I see a group of individuals that are so Red they would make Karl Marx proud. I see Republicans that are constantly willing to trade liberty for security, as well as severely overblowing the threat that faces our country…and that is just the beginning with Republicans.
So far there have been several proposals for a government take over of one-seventh of the United States economy through the socialization of the health insurance and healthcare industries. The cost varies between $75 billion to as high as a $150 billion. Some of the Democratic candidates have proposed some form of mandatory “citizen service.” All of them propose increasing the federal government’s role in education, though, to his credit, Mike Gravel did throw out the notion of competition in education, something that is heresy on the Left.
There has even been one crazy proposal Sen. Hillary Clinton to give newborns $5,000 “to help pay for future costs of college or buying a home.” I keep a copy of the Constitution handy and I’m can’t seem to find where one of the delegated powers of Congress (Article I, Section 8) is to give newborns taxpayer dollars.
The cost for this gem of a proposal? To give you some idea, there are around four million births each year in the United States, multiply that by $5,000 and the total comes to $20 billion per year, this doesn’t include interest that would be accrued over the course of eighteen years.
This is not to say that the Barack Obama or John Edwards are any better. Both want will continue to chip away at foundation of Liberty that was laid long ago. Edwards constantly stumps with his “two Americas” rhetoric in a desperate attempt to keep up with the frontrunners. While Obama looks lost on foreign policy and reminds us that no one really knows much about him…and what we do know isn’t anything to write home about.
There has been no mention of entitlement reform, only expanding and adding more entitlements. No mention of lessening the burden on taxpayers, but the plan to soak the rich with even more taxes. No mention of restoring the basic rights of property…and two candidates score very low in on my presidential scorecard on that issue, Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Bill Richardson.
Biden famously held up a copy of Richard Epstein’s Takings during Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings and implied that if he supported the author’s views that he wasn’t fit to serve on the Supreme Court. By the way, eminent domain tends to hurt racial minorities worse than any other demographic. I wonder how Biden would respond to hard questioning on this issue.
Richardson vetoed a property rights measure that would have restricted use of eminent domain in New Mexico. He said the legislation would “bring New Mexicans more harm than good.”
Several of the candidates (Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Edwards, Kucinich) voted (House Roll Call/Senate Roll Call)for the abortion that we call the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, or McCain-Feingold, which is blatant violation of First Amendment guarantee of free speech. Not to be out done, Rep. Dennis Kucinich supports further stifling by promoting the return of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.”
You can’t help but look over these candidates and see that individual liberty will be subverted, our free-market economy (or what is left of it) will be invaded, some civil liberties may be restored, rights that are actually mentioned in the Constitution, namely economic rights, will continue to be trampled on.
But with all this said most of the Republican candidates are no better. I’ll give my two cents on them next week.