Bozell Column: America on the Brink
Terence P. Jeffrey has written a new book. It is required reading for any conservative worried about, but perhaps not understanding, exactly what the Obama regime is trying to do to America. That demographic includes every conservative who hasn't yet read Jeffrey's new book.
First, there are disclaimers. Jeffrey is a friend and a colleague, and editor-in-chief of CNSNews.com, a division of the Media Research Center, which I head.
The second disclaimer is more an admission: When I read the title of Terry's new book, "Control Freaks: 7 Ways Liberals Plan to Ruin Your Life," I didn't much care for the title. Control Freaks -- a little too hyperbolic, maybe? Then I read it. There is no hyperbole here. If anything, the problem's with the subtitle. Liberals aren't planning to ruin our lives. They're well on their way.
"Control Freaks" is a book a serious conservative will have a hard time putting down. It's a book that will make a serious liberal rethink his worldview.
Jeffrey's formula is simple. His interest is not in a discussion of the what or even the how. He is interested in the why. He takes seven broad themes -- movement, retirement, health care, property, speech, life and conscience -- and explores the left's desire to control each one.
Each theme undergoes etiological triage. He delves deep into the Federalist Papers and countless other historical artifacts (he has some 50 pages of "notes" attached) to explain exactly why the Founders believed each issue to be one of supreme -- and here's the rub -- personal importance.
Then Jeffrey fast-forwards to present times and performs the same exercise. By studying the writings and speeches of today's leftist leaders (most prominently President Obama, of course), he paints a most disturbing portrait of a movement seeking total federal control over the individual.
Jeffrey begins with the simple idea of movement. How important was this to the Founders? When King George III declared that the colonists could not settle west of the Appalachians, it became one of the reasons the colonists went to war, such was their desire for the freedom to move and settle in the place of their choosing.
Today the president gives speeches proclaiming that the federal government should plan the neighborhood in which you'll live; and the state, for purely pecuniary reasons, now has the right through the Kelo decision to take away your home.
Jeffrey quotes a legal opinion from Thomas Jefferson that cites the 10th Amendment as the cornerstone of the Constitution:
"I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of the boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition."
That, alas, is precisely what has been the outcome because the left has shredded that sacred document, inserting into our private lives one government regulation after another, nowhere permitted by the Constitution. Worse, these regulations are fiscal disasters, slowly killing the United States of America.
Franklin D. Roosevelt butchered the meaning of the General Welfare Clause to justify a national Social Security program that now will require the government to borrow an additional $7.7 trillion over the next 75 years to stay afloat. Add to that $14.5 trillion in public debt and unfunded promised benefits, $2 trillion for federally guaranteed programs like student loans and deposit insurance, and $38.2 trillion for Medicare, and you end up with a very quiet government report, released this year, showing the federal government facing $61.9 trillion in unfunded liabilities. It's a figure so big as to be incomprehensible. The control freaks truly are out of control.
But as Jeffrey documents, this control extends far beyond the pocketbook issues. The left is busily at work controlling, even banning the exercise of free speech, whether through nefarious efforts like the so-called Fairness Doctrine or outrageous legislation like McCain-Feingold, which banned free speech during campaigns. Such is their disdain for the democratic process.
Which matches their disdain for the moral order. So fanatical have they become that they -- President Obama himself -- not only support the horrific practice of partial-birth abortion but also the practice banning any effort to aid a baby that has survived the attempted massacre. So much do they want to control life itself that they are now supporting the cloning of human beings as expendable laboratory fodder. And so much do they want to control our lives when they allow us to live that the courts are upholding state mandates on immorality taught to adolescents in public schools.
On and on and on it goes. "Control Freaks" screams to be read. It means to frighten, and it succeeds.