It’s official: when we choose a President this fall, we will also choose a theory on the role of government. The putative President and the Mayor of New York both said it this week. Voters need to hear and understand exactly what they said and what this means.
What Obama and Bloomberg said
Yesterday, Barack H. Obama traveled to Cleveland, Ohio. He gave a rambling and almost petulant speech in this historic “battleground” State. Mostly he said, “It’s all Bush’s fault,” or something amounting to that. (Maybe he had read this Gallup Poll. Katie Pavlich has some other numbers that should set that record straight.)
But Obama said one thing worth hearing. The New York Times had two reporters on the ground to hear it:
Your vote will finally determine the path that we take as a nation — not just tomorrow, but for years to come.
In other words, Obama said that you will vote for more than a President (or to be technical, Presidential Electors). You will vote for a role of government. You will vote whether government will be your nanny or your monitor and arbiter.
If you doubt that, Mayor Mike Bloomberg should remove that doubt. Last week he made a rule that no convenience store, movie candy counter, etc., could sell you a drink larger than 16 ounces. Soft drink bottlers then took out a full page ad in the Times showing Bloomberg as “The Nanny.” (Or maybe as the title character in the Robin Williams movie Mrs. Doubtfire.)
What’s next? Limits on the width of a pizza slice, size of a hamburger or amount of cream cheese on your bagel?
If [the role of government] isn’t to improve the health and longevity of its citizens, I don’t know what [that role] is.
The mayor then contradicted himself. He told his TV host that he didn’t mean to tell people what to do. But he and his Board of Health are doing just that!
Excuse me, Mr. (putative) President. Excuse me, Mr. Mayor. Obama is half right, and Bloomberg is totally wrong.
The proper role of government
To “improve the health and [long life] of its citizens” (and lawful residents) is not the role of government. The Framers of the Constitution never saw it that way. Nor is the role of government to guarantee you an income, no matter what Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven said 56 years ago.
The role of government is to manage force. This role derives from a basic social principle: so long as humans live together, no one may start using force against another. But humans will start using force, unless some other humans stop them, or deal with them when they do. That is the proper role of government. That is why we have government.
But the Progressive movement began with a new view of the role of government. They first said that government must “improve the health and [long life]” of those who live under it. And they didn’t stay with the Democratic Party, or even start there. The first Progressive President was Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican.
Ayn Rand best explained the three things that government ought to have:
- Police, to protect people from criminals.
- The military, to protect people from invaders.
- The law courts, to settle the people’s disputes.
The police shouldn’t be there to take your soda away from you, just because you bought almost a half-gallon for yourself. (Or your big bucket of popcorn, either.) The army shouldn’t be any place to “build” other countries. And the courts shouldn’t be there to guarantee income or health or anything else.
Yes, Mr. Obama. Voters will choose the role of government that they would like to live under. But no, Mr. Bloomberg, logic does not support your ideas of the role of government.
[amazon_carousel widget_type=”ASINList” width=”500″ height=”250″ title=”” market_place=”US” shuffle_products=”True” show_border=”False” asin=”0451233263, 0452281253, 0451191153, 0452011876, 0451163931, 0451147952, 0451163087, 0451149165, 0452264863, 0452011841″ /]
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
- Christianity Today
- Constitution 101
- Creation Corner
- Entertainment Today
- First Amendment
- Foundation of our Nation
- Guest Columns
- Human Interest
- Ignite the Pulpit
- Let's Talk
- Money matters
- Racial Issues
- Tea Party
- Trump elevator pitch
- World news
Guest Columns5 days ago
Bradlee Dean Taking the Time to Confront Antifa to Their Face! (Video)
News4 days ago
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announces he is bussing migrants to New York City, sparking heavy criticism
Legislative4 days ago
Liz Cheney for President?
Judicial2 days ago
Bodega clerk who defended himself from attacker will be moving back to Dominican Republic
Executive2 days ago
Inflation Reduction Act?
News1 day ago
Albuquerque police arrest man allegedly responsible for murders of four Muslim men
Constitution1 day ago
Trump home raided – are we next?
Constitution7 hours ago
Merrick Garland on the hot seat