Biblical scholar Chris Rock breathed the spirit of a Pauline epistle last week, as he urged children to meekly submit to their parents: “The president and the first lady are kinda like the Mom and Dad of the country,” Rock said. “And when your Dad says something, you listen. And when you don’t, it will usually bite you in the ass later on.”
Wait…he wasn’t urging submission to mom and dad, but to Caesar as if he were mom and dad.
If you’ve managed to keep your last meal down, it gets worse. Because, when you reject the parental ministrations of progressive government, you orphan yourself. Or, shifting from patriarchal metaphors to relevant vocabulary, when you reject the smothering blanket of progressivism, the Left insists you are rejecting the very concepts of government and civilization.
Overly harsh accusation? Hyperbolic partisan rhetoric? No. Have you ever heard a liberal play the Somalia card? You don’t like government controlling health care? Government micromanaging America’s diet? Government choosing industrial energy sources, grocery bags or household light bulbs? What?! Do you want to live in Somalia? You say you believe in lassez faire? Really? Do you fancy undeveloped, malarial Africa?
It’s their go-to card. Rather than defend the absurdities and excesses of the modern American state, they accuse critics of advocating barbarism. They know they couldn’t win a straight debate about what we actually want our government to do, so it’s always the false choice: Embrace Big Brother or submit to anarchy.
Happens all the time.
A while back in a Colorado senate hearing, I questioned the need for an intrusive new regulatory scheme in a long-established industry. The witness sniffed back at me: “Well, some businesses would love the libertarian ideal of no regulation at all.”
I see. Question the next bureaucratic power grab and you’re demanding a seven-decade rewind, to the land before administrative rule.
Last week, speaking to a group of executives jointly with the former Speaker of Colorado’s House of Representatives, I criticized increased federal spending, and the incumbent’s odd dictionary that defines “balance” as all tax increases and no spending cuts.
My friend and opponent retorted that the right level of taxing and spending for many conservatives is zero; we just need to strangle government and move on.