The Right Opinion

Did Freedom Win?

By John Stossel · Nov. 14, 2012

Democrats won big last week. So government will continue to grow. Individual freedom will yield.

At least some people with records of supporting liberty were elected: Sen. Jeff Flake in Arizona and U.S. Reps. Justin Amash and Kerry Bentivolio in Michigan and Thomas Massie in Kentucky.

Also, Washington and Colorado voted to allow any adult to use marijuana. (But users beware. Your newfound freedom may be short-lived thanks to that extraordinary human being in the White House – you know, the one who smoked pot when he was in school. Despite promising that he wouldn't, he has cracked down on pot dispensaries far more often than President Bush did.)

And voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington said yes to gay marriage; Minnesota defeated a proposed constitutional amendment that would have outlawed it.

That's the good news. But overall, the results were bad for freedom. As P.J. O'Rourke says, we need to “fix” government. By that, we mean “fixing” government the way we neuter a cat or spay a dog.

When it comes to foreign policy, we must teach our politicians to stop making messes in other people's yards. At home, they should stay out of our bedrooms.

Term limits would be good. When we give politicians power, they should know they don't get to keep it forever. They have to bring that power right back to us and drop it at our feet. “Good boy. Now go back outside!”

Sadly, President Obama's swooning fans don't want to tame politicians. They don't even seem to think much about freedom. We attended Obama's victory party in Chicago (we go so you don't have to) and asked his supporters what Obama's reelection means for freedom. People reacted as if they didn't understand the question.

“Freedom?” one asked.

“Um, yes, I have no idea,” said another.

It's not on their radar, and that's upsetting. Some wouldn't know freedom if they fell over it. To many, “freedom” means getting the government to force women's employers to pay for birth control.

Sorry, that's not freedom. That's force.

Obama's supporters seem to think it's enough to put this extraordinary man in office. After that, he will take care of everything. Spare us the details.

“Obama is a classic example of this cult of the presidency,” said David Boaz of the Cato Institute. “But the idea that any politician can just fix the problems in society – that there's some magic there – that doesn't start with Obama. It goes a long way back.”

Leader-worship is unbecoming a free people. But are we a free people today? I mean psychologically. Years of government impositions change people. At Obama's celebration, people didn't mention freedom, but they sure mentioned handouts, like taxpayer-financed higher education. It's as if their attitude is: What can government give me? They don't realize that “free stuff” only seems free because the real cost is hidden.

“When you have a $3.6 trillion federal government, that money will absolutely benefit some businesses. That's crony capitalism. It takes money from all of us and gives it to some,” said Boaz. “Maybe a clean-energy or green-jobs company that has not already gone bankrupt might get that money. Similarly, if you're a defense contractor, you'd be in favor of Mitt Romney getting elected, because that would be good for your business. But it's all bad for the American economy to tax some people and then dole the money back out.”

My hope for now: gridlock. People say they like bipartisanship, but bipartisanship usually means politicians conspire to take more of our money and freedom. Bipartisanship gave us the Department of Homeland Security, TSA, PATRIOT Act, Import-Export Bank, war on drug users, ethanol subsides, TARP, No Child Left Behind, foreign wars and an ever-rising debt. When Democrats and Republicans come together, they put us deeper in debt.

Let's have some gridlock!

The outcome of this election is a sea of government with a few islands of freedom. Gay people are freer in a few states, and marijuana consumers in a couple more. But sadly, most of us will be victims of the ever-growing government spider web of higher taxes and freedom-killing rules.

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12 Comments

Howard Last in Wyoming said:

Mr. Stossel: you have it correct, the best definition of bipartisanship is screwing the citizens.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 12:21 AM

Capt. Call in New Mexico said:

"Obama's supporters seem to think it's enough to put this extraordinary man in office. After that, he will take care of everything. Spare us the details." Extraordinary? Hardly! Infamous, criminal, compulsive liar -- definitely!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 1:14 AM

Colorado Pete in Colorado said:

"We attended Obama's victory party in Chicago (we go so you don't have to) and asked his supporters what Obama's reelection means for freedom. People reacted as if they didn't understand the question."

And that, in two sentences, explains it all so well that IMHO you really don't need anything else written about this election.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 2:34 AM

richard ryan in Lamar,Missouri replied:

Colorado Pete, Winston Churchill said that the best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with the ordinary voter. Amen to that.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

In four short years I'm going back to the private sector, where wealth is created. When I must deal with blind sheep (Obongo supporters), I 'll just pray that God will OPEN their eyes to HIS TRUTH & WISDOM. Liberals are an unhappy lot, and they'd like US(A) to join in their sufferings. Saint John's gospel is wealthy/healthy with LIFE: "I came that you might have LIFE, and have IT Abundantly---Alleluia Lord Jesus--Maranatha!! Love Ya, J.S.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 6:18 AM

Anton D Rehling in Olympia, WA said:

Democrats won big last week. So government will continue to grow. Individual freedom will yield.

I find it incredible that any thinking person will believe that Obama won re-election legally. The administration and the media withheld information from the American people that would have resulted in the Dick Morris prediction of a Romney Landslide victory.
Obama will still have to answer to the Benghazi attack and the following deception. If Obama is prosecuted as Nixon was over Watergate and Obama resigns, Biden will be there to pardon Obama as Ford did for Nixon. Moral of story is Obama will never answer to the High Crimes committed while POTUS.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 10:59 AM

JAC in Texas replied:

Nothing will happen over the Libyan situation. We already know more now about Gen. Petraeus' emails than we will ever know about Obozo's actions that caused the four murders of Americans. After all, "he won."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Bruce B in Longmont, CO said:

John I have to strongly disagree on one thing. State voters approving gay marriage is no more or less goverment involvement or control than a state voting to ban such. It is stll government telling people what they must do. Marriage, traditionally, was to define a family, provide stability for children, and is the very basis of society. Marriage ought to be effected and "legalized" at the nieghborhood or town, or maybe city level. No higher level has any right or responsibility. To that effect, the DOMA law was probably correct in that it allowed other states NOT to recognize a marriage ceremony performed elsewhere, in other words, it allwed liberty. Now, we will end up with more law suites like the one in NM, where a photographer was forced to photgraph a gay wedding ceremony (legally recognized or not), so the individual has less person liberty to act upon his own ethics, morals, and motivations.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Tex Horn in Texas said:

"But are we a free people today?"

No. And over the next four years, we'll become even less free. Get used to the idea. The soul of America remains with only a few patriots scattered across the nation. The rest of America can go to hell and they are on their way. Lock and load, good patriots.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Robinius in Broomfield, Colorado said:

Did you throw your vote away on Gary Johnson, John? If so you are part of the problem and are disingenuous to complain about a loss of freedom.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 4:41 PM

PH in DE said:

Gay people aren't "freer" in some states. They always had the freedom to marry--but marriage isn't what they are after and isn't what they have gotten legalization of in the election. They were free to marry any unmarried person of marriageable age of the opposite gender, and always were. But they don't want marriage, because they want something totally outside the definition of marriage. What is "freer" about ripping the meaning from a word and an institution centuries old?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:09 PM

richard ryan in Lamar,Missouri said:

For God`s sake John stop using the word Gay to describe homosexuals. They are not gay. They are not even as happy as normal people in a lot of cases. They can certainly be some of the most violent people on this earth. The word gay has been ruined for use in most cases of perfectly normal conversation.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 7:59 PM