A warning this time- not for conservatives, but for progressives.
Earlier in the year, I wrote about a trip I took to Cambodia and witnessed firsthand the legacy of destruction wrought by the Khmer Rouge. When the Khmer Rouge took power, they began by emptying the cities under the auspices of making the country safe from Vietnamese and/or American Forces. Then the Khmer Rouge began rounding up doctors, lawyers, college professors and anyone who appeared to be of the educated or political class.
Not long after, it turned its attention to citizens who did not produce enough for the state, or owned a radio or possessed too much fabric; or worse yet, were seen laughing or conversing on the streets- all things that marked one as a potential subversive in Pol Pots regime. But what is generally not known is that following these actions, the Khmer Rouge began to feel the icy grip of paranoia. Soon the bones of would-be faithful members of the party were added to those of the millions of men, women and even children slaughtered by the Khmer Rouge.
Pol Pot and his supporters suffered the same fate of all totalitarian regimes- eventually you run out of enemies to persecute, and things to regulate. But by that time your ship of state has sailed, and your doctrine is in place. To maintain power, you must exert power. Punishment must be doled out and lives must be regulated in order to maintain the status quo, even if it comes at the expense of your loyal members.
For you on the left, every setback for the right is seen as win against old white conservative men. And I understand your mindset, I truly do. Even though I am currently a middle aged white conservative man, I was once a young angry liberal white man. In fact I was a hot headed left winger when GW Bush was in office, while many of you younger progressives were still enthralled with Nintendo. So yes, I understand your point of view. I had it drummed into me throughout the 70’s and 80’s. I marched in the streets chanting “Women have died because of Hyde” and I owned a t-shirt that said “Join the Army Travel to Exotic Distant Lands, Meet Exciting Unusual People…and Kill Them.” I joined in with my parents who used to say “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” So you see guys, I filled up my progressive card long before you were occupying anything.
How and why I became a conservative is another story for another time, and I have told it in previous columns. For now, suffice it to say that I had my Road to Damascus Moment and the scales fell from my eyes.
Right now you are taking a victory lap over the D.C. Court of Appeals decision on the EPA regulating greenhouse gasses. You cheered the passage of Obamacare, you agree wholeheartedly that any attempt to implement voter ID is racist, ditto for SB1070. The details don’t matter, you oppose anything conservatives are for on spec. Your position reminds me of a conversation I had back in the 90’s with a friend of mine who was even more left than I was. I was trying to convince him of the great qualities of the Bruce Springsteen song “Born in The USA”. A cursory reading of the lyrics indicates that the song does not laud America. But to my friend the anthem-like, martial tune and the chorus told him that the song was a tribute to a war-obsessed nation and he wouldn’t listen to any other argument. “But if you just listen to the lyrics…” I began. He slammed his fist down on the bar and said “I don’t have to read the lyrics! I know I’m right!”
My friends, you are not reading the lyrics.
How does this tie in with the Khmer Rouge? Glad you asked because I was intending to get back to that. Pay attention now, and don’t quote me out of context. (Who am I kidding, of course you will.) I don’t believe for a minute that this administration will resort to rounding up people and shooting them in the head. But the mechanics are the same. Just as the Khmer Rouge amassed power and ran out of enemies and eventually turned its guns on its own; so will Big Government eventually get around to regulating and taxing you. Eventually Big Government will run out of old white conservative men (and women) and evil corporations. If conservatives are ultimately taxed, harassed, regulated or chased from the national scene, do you really expect that Big Government will say “Well that’s that. You folks can take it from here.”?
No it won’t. A president who panders to a demographic of voters sounds like a good idea, when it is over an issue with which you agree. An attorney general hiding behind executive privilege is okay, as long as the conservatives are the ones objecting. Regulating soda is well and good, just as long as it makes conservatives howl. Government run health care is a great thing, since it cracks down on evil insurance companies. Higher taxes are great, because we are redistributing wealth.
EPA regulations are great because they are protecting the environment. And you don’t need to read the lyrics because you’re running the show. But a government by the government, of the government and for the government, ome can go to those excesses in order to advance an agenda and control lives won’t stop once it has implemented the items on your wish list. Because at that point, the genie is out of the bottle, and the day will come when you will run afoul of the government, and you will wonder why no one tried to put a stop to it. And sadly at that point it will even be too late for you to blame Bush. It won’t matter that you voted for Obama. An overreaching government is an overreaching government.
And when it is done taxing and regulating us, it will start in on you.