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Giving up Our Freedom, One Turkey at a Time

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
The first object of government, wrote James Madison in Federalist Paper No. 10, was to protect the American people from deep turkey fryers. Oh, wait. That was Janet Napolitano, who this week had her Department of Homeland Security release a two-minute video highlighting the incredible danger to Homeland Security posed by these kettles of horror. "We recently tested several models of deep fat turkey fryers," a bureaucratic-looking fellow wearing a hardhat tells the camera, "and find that this method of cooking can be very hazardous." A man-made disaster, if you will.

Undoubtedly, the American people must be protected from the scourge of misused turkey fryers. If we burn ourselves on Thanksgiving dinner, the terrorists will have won.

A people that believes its government's duties include warning them not to burn themselves on the fryer is a people that has lost the will to survive. We are now plagued with government-induced Perpetual Toddler Syndrome, in which we expect the government to protect us from ourselves. That's why the so-called Super Committee couldn't find $1.2 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years, despite the fact that in that same period, we will rack up another $10 trillion in additional debt. Babies are expensive. And today, we are all children.

Who, then, are the parents? The federal government, of course. Who should feed us? The feds. Clothe us? The feds. House us? The feds. Take care of our healthcare? The feds. As columnist Mark Steyn pointed out, it's no wonder that U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, D-Conn., has proposed the Diaper Investment and Aid to Promote Economic Recovery (DIAPER) Act, which funnels federal cash to subsidize diaper buying for poor families. Now provided with the security of diapers, the American people can now feel free to fiscally crap themselves -- and we are. Undoubtedly, the feds will soon create a blue-ribbon commission designed to hire posterior-wipers in order to stimulate the baby wipes industry. In fact, we could call it the WIPER Act: the Whining Imbeciles Petitioning for Endless Rewards Act.


There's only one problem with being a toddler: You are controlled from above. With endless bottom wiping, comes restrictions on everything from diet to education, from playtime to naptime. And that's precisely where we're headed. If we're good -- if we appease Mommy and Daddy Government -- we get limited liberties, such as Obamacare waivers. If we're bad -- if we insist, as Wall Street did, that we remain in charge of investment strategy -- we are grounded. The tyranny of paternalism is tyranny nonetheless.

There are many in this country who are perfectly satisfied with a life of serfdom. They don't feel hemmed in by their swaddling blankets -- they feel warm and safe. But there are those of us who still want to live free. We want to be adults, and we want the responsibilities of adulthood. It is we who have been deprived of our choice.

Here's the good news: At least we know now not to break Archimedes' principle of buoyancy while frying our turkeys. The rest of humanity picked that up in 212 B.C.E. If our educational system keeps this up, at this rate, we'll find ourselves back in the Stone Age attempting to literally recreate the wheel. Which, come to think of it, is a pretty dangerous mechanism. Do we have any regulators keeping an eye on those round demons?

In our topsy-turvy world, the left insists that those of us who want fewer taxes and services are the tyrants. The paternalism of the state has, counterintuitively, become "freedom."

A friend of mine recently proposed a fascinating thought experiment. Why not let everyone define his or her own tax code? If someone wants lots of services, let them pay for it with higher taxes. If someone wants to live without the comforting safety net that warns them of murderous fowl cookers, let them opt out of the tax burden. The outcome of the experiment is obvious. The right would buy into this proposal immediately. The left would protest. Why? Because the right doesn't need the left to subsidize its agenda; the left needs the right to subsidize its agenda.


Which means that if anything is to change, we will need to grow up. We will need to fight back against the Turkey-Frying-Warning crowd. The Department of Homeland Security is designed to ensure our security from enemies foreign and domestic, not to save us from the crime wave of red-hot poultry. We can fry our own damn turkeys, thank you very much.

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