Martin Luther King had a dream. So did I. Mine was different. In my dream, an alien race came to Earth and took over. Everything remained the same except for one change. The aliens functioned as our new bosses. You kept your same job and your same life but you reported to an alien.
At first, people were nervous about the aliens taking over. Eventually, however, they got used to it and everything went on as usual except for one important difference. They no longer had the final say over their lives. The aliens did. If you went along with the program, you survived, more or less. But if you tried to assert your individuality you were in a world of hurt.
My dream is a reflection of what is taking place in America today. Democratic Party administrations from Washington on down are insinuating themselves into our lives in ways never before imaginable. This is what happens with Big Government. An inverse relationship exists between size and scope of government and respect for individual rights. Where there is more of one, there will be less of the other. As we allow the government to be responsible for more and more of our needs, we relinquish more and more of our independence. The Left’s ultimate alternative to democracy is socialism, where the government takes care of everything. Socialism appears to be the aim of the Biden administration and the Democratic Party.
The pivotal event in the advance of bigger government was the COVID pandemic. Before the virus, Trump was moving us away from bloated government and the socialist policies of the Obama administration. Thanks to COVID, many voters decided to replace a strong president with a president who is the puppet of the Deep State. Look at the results. Using COVID as an excuse, we have been told when we can leave our homes, when we can go to work, when we can attend church, when our children can go to school, and when we can socialize with our families and friends. If your loved one is in the hospital, you can’t visit them. That is horrifying. Nothing comparable has ever before occurred in our history.
Democrats are replacing free speech with the thought police, political correctness, and cancel culture. Biden’s Justice Department wants to give police the right to enter your home without a warrant in order to confiscate your private property. The loss of freedom, says economist Thomas Sowell, happens in small ways: “We can’t have a light bulb that we want in our own home, we can’t flush the toilet with the kind of toilet we want, we can’t take a shower with the kind of showerhead we want.” There are people in our government who “think they know better and they ought to be telling us what to do. Those people are the danger,” Sowell warns. It begins with low-flush toilets and ends in totalitarianism.
Now that the government has seized control over our private lives, there may be no going back. Government rarely gives up powers that originally were designed for emergency use only. “Get ready for the new normal,” says Harvard Professor Stephen Walt. “Political opportunism and fear of a new pandemic will lead many governments to leave some of their newly acquired powers in place. Expect to have your temperature taken or throat swabbed when you travel, and get used to having your phone observed, your picture taken, and your location tracked in many countries—with the use of that information not always restricted to matters of public health. In the post-coronavirus world,” says Prof. Walt, “Big Brother will be watching.”
“The personal life is dead in Russia,” says one of the characters in Doctor Zhivago. I have always remembered that statement with fear and trepidation. “The new kinds of surveillance of individuals with which some countries have successfully battled the pandemic may be a harbinger of the future,” says author Robert D. Kaplan. “Privacy will increasingly become an issue in this new age of overbearing government. Our lives may soon become more regulated than ever.”
Will the American public stand for this? “Though Americans tend to have an aversion to big government,” writes Abdallah Fayyad in The Atlantic, “it’s possible that the relief bill, and other aid passed by Congress, will follow the same trend as past social programs: A reluctant public will not only come to rely on the policies, but begin to expect them as a right.” Just look at what Washington is doing as we speak. Biden has proposed almost $4 trillion in new government spending. “That is a remarkable thing to ponder,” writes Chris Cillizza on cnn.com, “and evidence that Biden’s presidency will signal the triumphant return of the government (and government spending) into peoples’ lives.”
The average voter has no conception of the fiscal consequences of massive federal spending. Americans have been bought off with checks for $1,200, $600, and $1,400 free and clear. “Congress has spent half a century promising us that we can all go to heaven without needing to die first,” writes John J. Delulio at brookings.edu. It doesn’t work that way. Eventually, we will receive a bill. As you put on your mask, wash your hands, and maintain social distancing, remember this chilling adage: “The obedient always think of themselves as virtuous rather than cowardly.” The cost of obedience in terms of personal freedom is unacceptable.
Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator, negotiation expert, and author of eight books including Tyranny of the Minority: How the Left is Destroying America and Trump’s Turn: Winning the New Civil War. He is a former US Marine officer, Fortune 500 sales executive, and Hollywood movie actor.