The Democrats’ Plush Shackles

Speaking at his party’s national convention, the Democrat’s vice presidential nominee described America’s greatness as deriving from government

Sen. Tim Kaine was decrying Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s public statements about his efforts to reduce his personal tax burdens. Kaine said of Trump, he is “too big to have to fund our military, too big to have to fund our schools, too big to have to fund programs for things that we rely on, the things that make this a great nation. The things that stick us together. I guess that’s just for suckers to have to pay for the society have.”

No, the “suckers” are those people, like Kaine, who believe America is “a great nation” because of militaries, schools and programs. As Ronald Reagan once said, the problem with liberals like Kaine isn’t that they are ignorant, “it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

China has a massive military; is it great? Washington, DC, public schools spends tens of thousands of dollars on “education” per kid; is it great? Not even close. The Soviet Union had programs upon programs; it’s not only not great, it’s gone.

Our founding fathers rejected the idea that government was the source of greatness. They believed our greatness would arise from a self-governing people, not a bloated bureaucracy. Our founders believed that “governments are instituted among men” to allow people to be free and find greatness exercising the talents given them by their Creator.

That’s the fight we’re in today. On the one side are the fans of big-government, like Tim Kaine, who wrongly believe society’s greatness is achieved through centralized planning and measured by government spending.

On the other side are the heirs of our founding fathers, “the people,” who correctly understand our nation is only as great as it is free. These are the people who look down the long corridor of history and see that – as the British statesman Lord Acton wrote – “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.”

It is unwise to measure society by its perceived wealth; a society is rightly judged by the freeness of its people. We must never make the mistake of confusing a gilded prosperity with true liberty.

A slave can be well provided for by his master, but make no mistake: he is still a slave. It is the goal of Democrats to have us live in plush shackles.

When I hear autocrats like Tim Kaine sing the praises of government and central planning, I become even more resolute in my support for initiatives like the Article V Convention of States to rein in the federal government.

The solutions to our national ills simply won’t come from Washington, DC. Just as you’d never trust a bootlegger to lead a temperance movement, so we shouldn’t count on those who created the problems to be entrusted to find the solutions.

They have proven themselves to be entirely untrustworthy, 17 trillion times over.

Like the late William F. Buckley Jr., I have greater confidence in the first 2,000 names in the phonebook than in the self-assured central planners.

Margaret Thatcher once observed “Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.” Even as Europe is today in flames due to a radical philosophy, America is in danger of dying if we don’t heed the lessons of history.

America will cease to be great when we put our faith in government. We will grow stronger as we reassert our founding ideals.