Not a Dime’s Worth of Difference
By Andrew P. Napolitano
What if all the remaining presidential candidates really want the same things? What if they all offer essentially the same ideas couched in different words? What if these primary races have become beauty pageants largely based on personality and advertising?
What if our system of governance is so deep into the fabric of big government in the second decade of the 21st century that all the presidential candidates really believe that most voters actually want the government to care for them?
What if all major candidates in both major political parties promise a federal government that can right any wrong, regulate any behavior, tax any event, solve any problem and borrow unlimited amounts of money?
What if the federal government is broke? What if it is politically committed to spending more money than it collects in revenue? What if all the candidates believe in borrowing money today and again borrowing money next year to pay off today’s debts? What if rolling over federal debt never pays off or even pays down the principal?
What if none of the candidates cares about increasing the inflationary pressures and tax burdens on generations of Americans as yet unborn? What if they all want to spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year more than is collected in revenue? What if they all refuse to address the issue of how to pay back responsibly all the borrowed money from the past 100 years?
What if today we are the victims of this borrowing and spending mentality begun by President Woodrow Wilson and followed by nearly all of his successors up to President Obama? What if all the candidates in the presidential primaries plan to continue this self-destructive process?
What if the modern federal government has never paid back a loan in full without using borrowed money, and none of the candidates running for president cares about that, and all have indicated that they would continue to do the same? What if, as of today, nearly 20 cents of every dollar collected in revenue must legally be paid to lenders to the federal government as interest on their loans? What if American military leaders have argued that the government’s debt is a greater threat to national security than is ISIS?
What if, when these candidates talk about curing cancer or eradicating the heroin epidemic or providing clean water, they are doing so to tug at your heartstrings? What if they are all mimicking President Obama’s politically successful demonstrations of empathy? What if these issues — genuine problems in contemporary America — are not federal problems because they do not spring from areas of governance delegated by the Constitution to the federal government? What if health, safety, welfare and morality are the core of the states’ responsibilities and not the federal government’s?
What if all these candidates don’t care about the Constitution and its guarantees of personal freedom, its checks and balances, and its division of governmental powers, even though, before entering office, they will be required to take a solemn oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution?
What if the candidates all want to rearrange borders of countries in the Middle East using the American military? What if they all think they can use the blood of young Americans to force democratic governmental structures upon foreign peoples whose cultures have rejected repeatedly the concepts of majority rule, due process and natural rights over the course of a thousand years of religious civil wars? What if the candidates all fail to see that the more innocents we kill abroad, the more we use force to tell others how to live, the more harm comes to us — to our people, to our culture and to our freedoms?
What if all the candidates for president favor the government using torture, detaining persons without trial, continuous surveillance of all the telephone calls, emails, and text messages of all persons in America — even though these behaviors are profoundly unconstitutional, morally un-American, uniquely destructive of personal liberty in a free society and fail to enhance public safety?
What if all these candidates — in differing degrees — reject the concept of limited government? What if they all want to bribe the rich with bailouts and the middle class with tax breaks and the poor with welfare? What if these candidates and their supporters and their attitudes about the role of government in our lives have reduced government at this sad time in our history to a game whereby everyone tries to live at someone else’s expense?
What if none of the candidates recognizes that government is an artificial creation based on force and ought to be exercised minimally? What if none of them understands that prosperity comes from the free choices of investors, workers, and consumers, and not from the decisions of the federal government’s central planners?
What if none of these current candidates acknowledges that individuals are sovereign, our rights are inalienable, our property belongs to us, our souls are immortal, and that the government works for us — not the other way around?
What ever happened to the right to be left alone? Where is a candidate who will defend it? What are lovers of liberty to do?