02.28.2012 0

Is Theocracy or Democracy the Gravest Threat to Liberty?

By David Bozeman — Whatever the faults of Rick “take-one-for-the-team” Santorum, the notion that he intends to make this election a referendum on banning birth control is not one of them.

In this space, we previously noted that liberalism, which sells itself as the antidote to (cue the fright music) religion in politics, is, in fact, a religion unto itself. Some would argue that it is a cult, but we’ll stick with our original premise — for now, at least. In fact, it is the tactics of modern liberalism that our founders saw as the gravest threats to liberty, more so than, say, a nativity scene on town property.

Liberals flash Jefferson’s “wall of separation” remarks as their trump card, proof that they alone stand for reason and freedom of choice. Opposing Rick Santorum or any self-identified conservative and supporting Obama-care requires no explanation, but like a quick and easy sacrament it confers membership in the cutting-edge cliques of thought and entertainment. Would anyone who passes himself off as cool dare to oppose President Obama or Kathleen Sebelius or staunchly defend a church’s right not to violate its own teachings?

Nothing here is meant to advocate a Christian theocracy. That is clearly not what our founders intended. But neither did they intend for the federal concentration of powers over matters as private as health care, education, retirement, nutrition, etc., etc.

It is by no accident that the first ten amendments to the Constitution safeguard the rights of individuals and severely rein in the tendencies of a central government to overreach. Our founders sought to prevent a single group from tyrannizing everyone else by virtue of being a simple majority.

Yes, you’re reading it right, unlimited democracy is as grave a threat to your liberty as an official Day of Prayer. That is partly why our founders initiated checks and balances, limited powers, the Electoral College and why senators were not popularly elected until the early 20th Century.

Author and professor Steven F. Hayward writes in 2012’s The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents that our founders sought to create “a certain type of democratic republic, one that did not run by simple majority rule, but one whose institutions would create. . . a deliberative majority — a majority less prone to the unsound populist passions of the moment and to popular interest.”

It was not the will of the people our founders feared but the dictates of mob rule. Hayward also notes that the president, as originally intended, was largely an administrative figure. Early chief executives seldom gave speeches, and State of the Union addresses pre-Woodrow Wilson were just as often delivered by mail in letters to congress. In the 19th Century, when land was given to favored interests, President Franklin Pierce vetoed one particular act, noting that “I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for making the federal government the great almoner of public charity.”

Today the federal reach includes Obamacare, Solyndra, Cash for Clunkers, bailouts, crony capitalism, “too big to fail,” cabinet-level bureaucracies, executive orders, etc. Whereas earlier Americans emphasized the “general” in “general welfare,” entire blocs now focus on the latter word, voting for whichever party will continue their government subsidy, job or entitlement.

Like the oiliest televangelist, demagogues in the media and the Democrat Party (and no, the GOP is not faultless) deliver the day’s commandments: “Tax the rich!” “Occupy Wall Street!” “Nationalize Big Oil!”

Today’s lamentations on the editorial page include — you guessed it — Republicans Hell-bent on banning birth control. Not true and they know it, but their daily cant is their gospel, much more so than our founding documents.

Speaking of which, Melinda Henneberger of The Washington Post recently remarked on MSNBC “Maybe the Founders were wrong to guarantee free exercise of religion in the first Amendment, but they did.” Oh, really?

True, not all liberals share that sentiment, but neither do they share a faith in the limitless potential of their fellow citizens unencumbered by the state — such thought is blasphemy in the sanctimonious trifecta that is MSNBC, The Washington Post and the Democrat Party.

David Bozeman, former Libertarian Party Chairman, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer.

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