President Obama took aim Saturday at the angry rhetoric of those who denigrate government as “inherently bad” and said their off-base line of attack ignores the fact that in a democracy, “government is us.”
Oh please. The government and its allies have long since learned to thwart the will of the people. The public (that’s “us”) didn’t want the bailouts, the stimulus, or health care nationalization. The government did it all anyway.
But that’s not even the point. Even if we stipulate the absurd proposition that our government always — or even usually — carries out the will of the people, that still doesn’t mean the government is good. On the contrary, the majority is often more than happy to trample the rights of the individual. That’s why the government’s power must be limited, whether it’s carrying out the people’s will or not.
Alas, the mechanisms our system used to provide to limit the power of government (delegated powers, checks and balances, separation of powers) have failed. Today, everything is called interstate commerce and the government does whatever it chooses.
Oh, but that’s not even the worst of President Obama’s remarks:
Obama used his commencement speech at the University of Michigan to respond to foes who portray government as oppressive and tyrannical — and to warn that overheated language can signal extremists that “perhaps violence is … justifiable.”
Back to this canard again. If you’re angry at government, you’re promoting violence. Even if you’re not promoting violence, you’re still promoting violence. (But that’s just for now. When Republicans are in power, “overheated language” is merely dissent.) This sort of cynical attempt to marginalize a mainstream movement opposed to government overreach is a good example of why people are so angry.