Is there any governmental goofiness Democrats won’t support?
Having abandoned limited government, Democrats are left with mere prejudice as a guide: As long as a program uses the power of the federal forces in Washington, and, in at least some backhanded way, increases that power, it just “must” be good.
There’s one exception, I guess — when Republicans think of it first.
So, what’s next?
Charity. Governments now duplicate a lot of charitable efforts. But charities remain somewhat independent. For too many politicians, that’s a bug, not a feature.
When Alexis de Tocqueville visited American shores on his 19th century sociological survey, he was astounded at how vibrant Americans were regarding charity and social betterment. See a problem? Then do something. Americans formed committees. Societies. Projects. They went to work. They accomplished things.
Now, though, after years of government usurpation of many of those causes, and the creation of a vast Leviathan state that Tocqueville did not witness this side of the Atlantic, our voluntary community sector seems weak. But that may be an optical illusion, in comparison with the old days . . . and with that very same federal government. In any case, it is said that Americans increasingly “bowl alone”; and, alone, become increasingly disengaged from their communities, their neighborhoods, etc.
Join a local group, take to the soapbox, ring doorbells, hold festivals and bake sales and seminars? Publicize your cause using the new tools of the Internet . . . or that retro mimeograph machine you bought for 50¢ at the flea market? Raise money, and direct it to specific goals? Lead by example?
No. That wouldn’t do. Can’t have anything like that! Why, such techniques might actually smack of good ol’ American can-do-edness.
What we need, apparently, is more government.
Why? Well, ask Barack Obama, the Democrats’ presumptive nominee for the presidency.
His solution is to bureaucratize charity. Regularize it. Marshal the people of the United States into renewed “service” under massive federal programs.
“Service.” Ah, it sounds almost yummy, at least to the Judging Amy crowd. But it comes with a catch. It would all be organized in Washington.
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