A Response to the Nanny-State Challenge from North Carolina

Jerry Agar
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Posted: Jan 13, 2008 12:01 AM
A Response to the Nanny-State Challenge from North Carolina

Dear Jon,

I accept your challenge, lose/lose proposition that it is.

I am also grateful for the chance to do so in print, what with the threat from my own state of Illinois that should Obama win, he will be under pressure from his senior senator, Dick Durbin, to control me and other radio talk show hosts with the return of the so-called Fairness Doctrine.

Your letter indicated that, as you have nanny-stater John Edwards in North Carolina and I have nanny-stater Barack Obama here in Illinois both running for president, we engage in a cross-country rivalry to see which of us can lose the biggest by having “our” candidate take the Democratic nomination or, God forbid, the White House.  If I win, I lose.  How Orwellian is that?

I will “win” this contest, with Obama besting Edwards not with better ideas, but with style. Edwards is an angry, well-manicured slap at the corporate lobby, while Obama is the smooth seducer, but the result of tangling with either would be the same regardless; America violated and broken in the morning.

They attack capitalism and the concept of individual responsibility and offer as a solution the protective benevolence of government life-management.  They appeal to two groups of voters.

The first is the adult who can’t bring himself to suffer the public humiliation of moving back in with Mom, (I’m talking here about the ones that actually left home in the first place,) but faced with the reality of not being able to tie his own shoes, opts for having the government force us all to move into the basement with him.

The other is the person who thinks of herself as The Great and Wonderful Me.  She knows how the world should operate.  She knows what is fair.  She knows that some people won life’s lottery and that everyone else is lucky, evil, or both.  She is informed, caring and intelligent.  Therefore, she knows that it is entirely reasonable to employ force in order to achieve what she knows to be equality.  The only choice for her then is between the woman, the slap or the velvet mallet.  But either way the choice will be right, as it will be made by The Great and Wonderful Me.

Both Edwards and Obama, as you point out, are the antithesis of freedom.  What they both offer is a tunnel at the end of the light.

I laughed out loud (but not with any pleasure) when Elizabeth Edwards was introducing her husband for his New Hampshire wrap-up speech.  She said, with no apparent irony, “You never get anything you don’t work for.”

How did the woman miss the entire theme of her husband’s campaign?

To be fair, she may have thought that the Edwards’ theme this election cycle was “All We Are Saying is Give Hate a Chance.”  I heard via the grapevine that Edwards picked up liberals in New Hampshire when he let it slip that he thought the state slogan should be “Live Free; At Someone Else’s Expense.”

Obama, on the other hand, offers change and hope.  Or hope and change.  Or hope with change.  Or … oh, stop thinking about it and just vote for the nice man!  Hope for the best.

The only way we can end up in a draw in this contest is for Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination.  What level of Dante’s Hell is that?

It is interesting that you have modeled this political bet on those employed by state governors and their football bets.  I am always amused at how politicians who advocate for ever-increasing socialism will troll for the good will of the voters by attaching themselves to sports, the ultimate meritocracy.  Somehow this year a number of underdog college football teams won the game without a government mandated opportunity to start every drive inside enemy territory, just to make it “fair.”

Should Obama win, making me the loser, I will pay off with the following example of freedom from Illinois:

Reagan, In His Own Hand by Ronald Reagan (edited by Annelise and Martin Anderson).  This is the man who pointed out that government is always right when it seeks to protect us and wrong when it seeks to protect us from ourselves.  Having said that, what more introduction does he need?  He’s Ronald Reagan!  The book is a collection of radio speeches he wrote, including the edits he made, showing his incredible, freedom loving political mind at work.

You have offered three books and I have offered one.  I am not hedging my bet. 

I will poll the listeners to my show on AM 890 WLS in Chicago www.wlsam.com as to what other book I should add and let you out of your offer to send me Thomas Sowell’s “Basic Economics.”  I have it on my desk.  Everyone should.