In a column appearing in the Minneapolis Star Tribune (May 10, 2009), George Will gave a history lesson. He reminded us that in 1937, columnist Walter Lippmann spoke out against the rise of “authoritarian collectivism”.
Mr. Will also pointed out that the concern was voiced even earlier than that. He notes that “Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in his book Democracy in America (1835) that he “anticipated people being governed by ‘an immense, tutelary power’ determined to take ‘sole charge of assuring their enjoyment and of watching over their fate’. It would be a power ‘absolute, attentive to detail, regular, provident and gentle’, aiming for our happiness but wanting ‘to be the only agent and the sole arbiter of that happiness.”
According to Will, Tocqueville said, the government would “provide people security, anticipate their needs, direct their industries and divide their inheritances. It would envelop society in a ‘network of petty regulations – complicated, minute and uniform’. But softly. ‘It does not break wills; it softens them, bends them, and directs them’ until people resemble ‘a herd of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd’.”
Does any of that sound familiar to you? This is exactly what happened early in pre-war Germany. It is what is happening today in America. The government is taking away our individual rights, one at a time, but softly, quietly, and with apparent regard for those very rights. The power becomes even more absolute with each day. Government is placing itself in the role of assuring our “happiness”, directing our industries, and doing all that with complicated regulations that are designed to confuse instead of simplify (e.g., the IRS and Health Care reform).
All of this to assure that the government is in complete control of all of us.
We the people need to heed the words of Alexis de Tocqueville written 176 years ago. The slow take over of our individual rights will destroy our nation. While he is not the first, President Obama is the current and greatest threat to individual Americans and to the sovereignty of our nation. He presents as our “shepherd” — our messiah. He has conned many and they too will lose their individual rights and not understand why.
God Bless America and God Bless the Presidency. But please God, let all Presidents see the light and stop destroying what it has taken 235 years to build.