As witness after witness misleads, lies to, and stonewalls congressional investigations into Obama administration scandals, I can't escape the feeling that we are witnessing the second coming of Richard Nixon, with all the inglorious Watergate-era trappings. The myth of "Hope And Change" is long gone. President Obama's claim to head "the most transparent administration in history," has been reduced to a cruel irony. It has been replaced by a series of thin denials, doubletalk, and coverups, which are proving to be ever more specious practically by the day. We have people being persecuted by the IRS for their political beliefs, investigative reporters being threatened with prosecution for doing their jobs, and investigations into the deaths of four American patriots in Benghazi being called a political witchhunt, as if the deaths themselves, and the failures leading to them, are meaningless. Is this America ? In the words of Sarah Palin, you betcha.
I remember how disillusioning it was for me as a young man watching the Watergate hearings back in the 70's. I had never been a Nixon fan, but the Watergate proceedings were when it first hit home to me that the government is a dangerous master which must be limited and controlled to the greatest extent possible. That's when I first truly understood the words, "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." That's when I first started trending toward becoming an advocate of limited government, as intended by our wise founding fathers. I have seen nothing in the intervening years to convince me otherwise. If I have learned anything about politics, it is this - any power given to the government will be abused by the government. The more power the government acquires, the worse the abuse will be. This has been proven true not only here in America, but all over the world and all throughout history. Thomas Jefferson, who was likely the first man to advocate the ideal of individual liberty in newly-born America, described it as his life's work "to see the standard of reason at length erected after so many ages during which the human mind has been held in vassalage by kings, priests, and nobles." There are various entities with the potential to enslave the people, but the government is chief among these. The government can take away your money. The government can take away your voice. The government can take away your liberty. The government can do all these things because the government is backed by force. The only thing that can stop the government is "we the people", and judging from recent elections, a good number of "we the people" seem more interested in directing the public treasury into our own pockets than in maintaining independence and integrity. The inevitable result of this attitude is more corruption and an ever-weakening republic.
Last week I was in Washington D.C. There was a small, peaceful protest by Tea Party groups at the IRS building (all Tea Party protests have been peaceful)...and the Tea Party demonstrators were surrounded by a slew of police and Homeland Security personnel. Yes, I said Homeland Security, as if the Tea Partiers, who were the main victims of the improper IRS persecution, are some kind of terrorist entity. This is America today, and it's getting pretty chilly in here.