Terence Jeffrey / July 29, 2010

Liberals? Progressives? Just Call Them Control Freaks

Liberals have been looking for a new name, most likely driven by the uncharacteristically sensible realization that most Americans reject their big-government philosophy.

When the Gallup poll asked Americans last year whether they considered themselves conservative, moderate or liberal, only 21 percent said they were liberal, while 40 percent said they were conservative.

Nor was this plurality of the right confined to red states. Self-professed conservatives outnumbered self-professed liberals in every state of the Union – from Massachusetts to Hawaii.

In the face of this, some advocates of big government now call themselves progressives – without specifying exactly where it is they want America to progress.

When that question is answered accurately, a better new name for liberals suggests itself: Control Freaks.

My new book, “Control Freaks: 7 Ways Liberals Plan to Ruin Your Life,” looks at various aspects of American life and asks a simple question: Who is in control? The individual or the government?

Where liberals have already had their way, government is in control. Where liberals are still moving to advance their agenda, their success would mean an increase in government intrusion into the lives of individuals.

As they attempt to move the country on a trajectory toward greater government control of our lives, liberals are also pushing the country away from two great constants consistently advocated by the Founding Fathers: the principles of limited government chartered in the Constitution and the natural moral law enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.

President Barack Obama played perhaps the perfect role of the Control Freak last year when he issued an executive order directing that federal tax dollars be used to fund stem cell research that kills human embryos. Under Obama’s program, the government will take money from Americans who profoundly – and correctly – object to the deliberate killing of any innocent human being because it is a violation of the inalienable God-given right to life and gives that money to scientists who will use it to assume God-like authority over the lives of others, reducing them to mere instruments of their research.

The federally funded embryonic stem cell researcher takes absolute government-approved control of the embryo surrendered to his custody. The only difference between that embryonic human being and the human beings reading this column is age. And the only reason a government that uses tax dollars to kill human embryos would not use tax dollars to kill human grandmothers and grandfathers is if the people running the government concede there is a moment in time between when a human is an embryo and when a human is a grandparent that they attain human rights the government has a duty to protect.

When exactly that happens, however, is not something President Obama cares to specify. During the 2008 campaign, Pastor Rick Warren asked Obama, “At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?”

“Well, you know,” said Obama, “I think that whether you’re looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.”

Since then, Obama’s pay grade has jumped from a senator’s salary of $174,000 per year to the president’s salary of $400,000 per year – but he still apparently does not know when humans get human rights.

American embryos not killed in government-funded research or in legal abortions that Control Freaks justify on the basis of “freedom of choice” can look forward to being forced by the health care law Obama signed in March to buy a federally approved health insurance plan where the benefits they receive will be determined by federal bureaucrats – all of whom, presumably, will have achieved the proper pay grade to make such decisions.

The greatest fiscal danger the nation faces as a result of the Control Freak’s agenda is the coming crisis of the welfare state. According to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s analysis of Treasury Department figures, the federal government now faces $61.9 trillion in unfunded liabilities. That astounding number is comprised of the federal debt plus the cost of entitlements – such as Medicare and Social Security benefits – promised to people now alive that is not covered by the revenue the current tax structure is expected to yield.

This $61.9 trillion in unfunded liabilities, by the way, equals $200,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States – not counting embryos.

Where is the government going to find that kind of cash? The Control Freaks know where to look for it: Wherever you put your money.


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