Grassroots Commentary

The Path to Tyranny

David Nace · May 20, 2013

On May 5th, President Obama told the students at Ohio State University to “reject the voices that warn that tyranny is lurking just around the corner”. That was just a few days before the American people learned that the White House and State Department narratives on Benghazi were a lie, the IRS did actually target groups that opposed President Obama’s policies and the grossly misnamed Department of Justice under President Obama monitored the emails of the Associated Press News Service. These acts certainly appear that tyranny is not just lurking around the corner.

When we look at a host of other actions during the last 4 years, it is clear we are well along the path toward tyranny. The Obama administration and the Democrat controlled House and Senate passed an 800 billion dollar Stimulus Bill in 2009 that largely rewarded labor unions and environmentalists for their political contributions. The bailout of Chrysler and GM violated long standing bankruptcy laws to enrich the United Auto Workers at the expense of secured bond holders. The President violated the Constitution by appointing labor union attorneys as recess appointees to the National Labor Relations Board while the Senate was still in session. We expect this in a dictatorship, not in the United States of America.

Our nation was founded on the beliefs that governments are necessary to protect the inalienable or God-given rights of individuals and that the free enterprise system enables individuals to utilize their God-given ability to their greatest potential. The Founding Fathers created a Constitution to limit the power of government and included a Bill of Rights to preserve the God-given rights of the individual because they understood that the quest for power over others could produce the same kind of tyranny that they had just fought against.

However, not everyone subscribes to the beliefs of the Founding Fathers. The progressive movement that started roughly 100 years ago believes something far different. They believe that individual rights come from government, not from God and that individuals are incapable of achieving their God-given potential on their own. They promote programs of dependency and the intervention of an enlightened few, progressives of course, into the economy to determine who is successful and who is not. However, programs of dependency destroy an individual’s ability to use their God-given abilities and progressive interventions into the economy created the Great Depression and more recently the 2008 housing finance collapse.

Just as 100 years ago, groups within the progressive movement are interested in using the power of government for their own financial gain. Labor unions discovered long ago that political power enables them to use coercion to obtain wages and benefits beyond what the marketplace would provide. Politically connected investors like Al Gore have used the environmental movement and the subsidies it provides to fund ventures that are not financially viable in the marketplace. Programs of dependency may hurt recipients rather than help them, but they do ensure voter loyalty.

However, the growth of tyranny would not be possible without the support of one other group within the progressive movement. Even with the safeguards against tyranny built into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the ultimate defense against tyranny in a constitutional republic is an educated electorate at the ballot box. While it may be understandable that people with a particular political philosophy would want to promote and spread that philosophy, journalists have a moral and ethical obligation to provide news untainted by their personal political philosophy. Unfortunately, when polls of journalists shows that 80% of radio, television and print journalists support one political party, it is understandably why 3 out of 4 major networks and most news services, including AP, selectively edit the news to omit the stories that do not support their political philosophy, or as journalist more eloquently state it, their world view.

However, the longer that journalists blatantly ignore their own Code of Ethics in their desire to promote their world view, the more tyranny will grow. The peril of continuing to practice advocacy rather than journalism is that ultimately the power of tyranny will grow to the point that it will require the rights afforded Americans under the Second Amendment to eliminate it. Isn’t a better alternative a return to journalism to provide an educated electorate which is able to eliminate tyranny at the ballot box?

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