A lot of right-wing Americans are boiling over with fear and loathing over this “health care” bill that just got signed into law. I hear they’re smashing windows, making death threats against legislators and their kids, urging one another to lock and load (Why aren’t some of these people serving in Iraq and Afghanistan?). Listening to them, you’d think this is the first time in American history that “government” ever became synonymous with “tyranny.” It’s going to start making people do things against their will and everything.
They can’t be serious, can they?
Is this new law what it took to slap some sense into them? It seems they’ve never heard of government imposing itself on “the people” before. Or forcing you to do something – or buy something – against your will. That’s what governments do best, right wingers – force people to do stuff. You of all people should know that. Some of you have been telling us for years that government is force. And you are right. The only difference is what things you’re being forced to do by which governments.”
“Well, the government’s gonna force me to buy health insurance!” you protest. Is this the first time the government ever made you buy anything? The government makes people buy all kinds of things – infant car seats, low-flow toilets, car insurance, you name it. I don’t like it, either. But you didn’t notice until now that the government can order you to buy something? For your own good? (It’s always for your own good.)
The government insists on being notified if you want to add on to your house, for goodness’ sake. Your very own house that you own free and clear, that you ought to be able to do whatever you want with. You’ve got to notify them and you’ve got to make sure they approve of what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. Thinking of taking in a renter? There are laws about that. There are laws about how to get rid of him, too.
Were you consulted before you were forced to recycle? My local government makes me do it – which isn’t the worst thing it makes people do, okay – but it won’t do anything about the people who go through my bins confiscating whatever they want, making all kinds of racket and leaving stuff lying around for me (that is, for my husband) to pick up.
In fact, the government is very good at keeping honest, law-abiding types on a leash. It can’t do a damned thing with the others. Lawless types don’t care if the government says they can’t do something, but you’ve noticed that. And government doesn’t care. People who submit will always outnumber those who won’t. Right wingers submit as much as anyone else.
The government can order you to serve on a jury. It tells you that you must pay a minimum wage. It can order you to join the military. It would take forever to enumerate all the things the government makes you do, or forbids you to do. These people who are all up in arms about “government tyranny” are like someone who has been kidnapped and almost completely tied up – but suddenly complaining that his captor wants to handcuff him.
I don’t care what kind of government you live under. The question is, are you on a short leash or a long one? Is there a choke chain? Is your collar standard issue, or is it jewel-encrusted and really pretty?