Monday, January 07, 2008

Foreboding the Future

It's been awhile since I've posted a good rant, but to be honest, I haven't been in the mood.
I'm all fired up when I wake in the morning, I relate my rant du jour to Denise, and while I drive in to work, the rant dissipates and I no longer have any desire to put it into words. I am not sure why this has been the case.
I think a big part of it is the grim foreboding I have for the future of this country. My anger has gone beyond mere rants into despair and solemn depression.

But anyway, let me relate some of the reasons why I am in this state of mind. First a bit of background. I am a 40 something child of the 80's. I came of age at the time of Reagan's first election and many in my generation felt that we were at the vanguard of an unprecedented rollback in the increasing role of government in our lives. We saw gains in the most unlikely places: England, Canada, Germany, the Soviet Union, even California. Limited government seemed the wave of the future and after the fall of the Soviet Union, it seemed to be the destiny of mankind. But then something went unaccountably, horribly wrong.

It seemed that after the fall of the Soviet Union, humanity and particularly the West, looked at a future of greater freedom and liberty that was just in its grasp and choked. As the 90's progressed, governments that advocated more economic and personal freedoms were voted out of power. This accelerated in the 2000's with these governments expanding their power and influence, until today, where there is no facet of your life that the government doesn't take an interest. Government thinks it has a duty to tell us how we should eat, sleep, shit, screw, raise our kids, spend our money, drive our cars and how we die. There isn't a facet of our lives that government hasn't infiltrated and sought to restrict or regulate. Every day, I read about a new outrage that is occurring in Great Britain; so many that I am inured to it now.

But, the hell of it is, we have only ourselves to blame. The vast majority of Americans and other Westerners voted for the politicians that push these measures and continue to reelect them time and time again. The people of the West seem to have lost the desire for freedom and liberty and want the comfort of the all enveloping nanny who will take care of them from cradle to grave. I am at a loss in how to fight this trend. For example, look at the choices available to us in the upcoming election. Except for Fred Thompson and Ron Paul, the entire panoply of candidates pushes for big and expansive government programs that we are told will "Change" our lives for the better. Notice that I put change in quotes. All of these candidates are going on ad infinitum about change but when you look at their policies, it is all the same old programs that they have been pushing for over 50 years. This is change? Bull. America and other western countries don't want change. We want more government programs and we want to be coddled so we never have to make an important decision again. We want Mommy government to kiss our boo-boos and make everything better. We had a chance for change in the 1980's and we let it slip through our fingers.

But, here is the real reason for my disconsolateness. As I grow older, I've come to realize that all of the change and rollback of government in the 80's was an aberration. Government grew by leaps and bounds under FDR in the 30's and expanded from there during the Great Society programs that were passed when I was an infant. These programs were part of my life from the beginning, but they would have seemed a shocking power grab by the government to people who lived in the 1920's or earlier. It will be the same to people who are born when nationalized health care passes. This intrusion by government will be seen to them as a given and will be as much a part of the fabric of their lives as Social Security and Medicare is to mine. There will be no question of scaling the new programs back and the idea of eliminating them will be laughable.

People want big government and we advocates of liberty, freedom and limited government are too few to even begin to stop them.

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