Liberty or Equality?
[As I read through the hundreds of emails pouring in to my inbox each day from conservative watchdogs, emails variously bemoaning the current threats to our national sovereignty, threats to our national security due to a foreign policy that invites challenge, threats to our Constitution’s 1st, 2nd , 5th and 22nd Amendments, threats to our health care system , threats to our economy—an economy strangled by government regulations, crony capitalism, government binge spending and debt—I remember one of my heroes and his thoughts on our country and its founding. An article has been building in me for years now, ever since I first began looking into the demise of our country. So, now is a good time to air this. –mc ]
“If you build a society that values equality over liberty, you will get neither equality nor liberty.” So Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman once said in answer to a young college student at Stanford University many years ago. The student, no doubt, was learning Economics and/or Sociology from the by-then, well-entrenched Marxist ideologues who had infiltrated our American Universities several decades earlier.
The student was no doubt taught to believe the leftist dogma that the equality of economic outcomes in society was a more “worthy” goal than was liberty. One must give up some liberty—a “You can’t always get what you want” attitude—in order for government to ensure that its poor and “oppressed” citizens are raised up to some “minimum standard” of living. As the student had pointed out to Friedman, he wished people had the opportunity for inexpensive housing and education.
Interestingly, what began as the “Progressive” policies Woodrow Wilson and FDR, that were recycled in the 1960s, are today heard from Barack Obama as he argues for “free” pre-school for children. When the government says “free” it is talking to those who will receive—but who will give? In order for one person to be the recipient of “free” goods and services, some other person had to invest time and energy to produce those goods and services. Put another way, one person’s private property must be taken by force. Remember that government produces nothing.
So, is it more worthy to value equality over liberty? Our founders did not believe so, and history has proven this beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt. When a society values the pursuit of economic equality over liberty, government must steal money from some people in order to give it to other people—and, of course, siphon off a fee for doing so. This is a demonstrable outcome. No one willingly gives up their property to thieves, and therefore the threat of force must be used to extract it. In doing this, the government causes prosperity to decline; freedom is lost; the people as a whole produce less, and, after a while, there is less wealth to spread around. This means that the original goal of equality, if met, will result in equal shares of a miserable existence. Every government that has tried this has failed to provide for its people even small fraction of what a free market society has historically accomplished.
Did Conservatism Lose?
Well the GOP lost, but I will not concede that Conservatism lost. I have waited to comment until reading the opinion columns, listening to talk radio and watching the pundits in the news media. And I would say very few have put forth explanations that satisfy me.
With regard to prescriptions for the future, I have heard variously that: Republicans need to move to the center ideologically, that they need to embrace minorities and especially reach out to Hispanics by approving amnesty. Sounds like the failed big tent concept yet again. Sounds like a homeowner taking advice from a burglar on how best to secure his home. Should we let the democrats define what we need to do to beat them?
Even Charles Krauthammer suggests amnesty tied to securing the border. But this time, he argues, amnesty should come first, because the illegals just don't trust the other arrangement. And I ask, why should we talk about trust in a circumstance brought on by a crime being committed? Trust is a two-way street. I would argue here, as has Rush Limbaugh, that, OK fine, grant amnesty to all 24 million illegals (if that is the number) but tie it to voting. You get amnesty, but you can't vote for a number of years. Let us see how many democrats (or RINO republicans) would like that concept.
A close look at the numbers over the years will bear out that if the GOP grants amnesty, they will NOT increase their percentage of the Hispanic vote. Check the stats for Ronald Reagan and thereafter. The question is why does 75% of the Hispanic vote go to democrats? Answer: because of "free stuff."