Paying homage to coercion and to the coercer extraordinaire
By Craig J. Cantoni
Oct. 30, 2008
It’s come to this. It had to come to this. But it’s still frightening that it’s come to this.
We’ve now reached the point in our nation’s history where tens of thousands of adoring fans of Barack Obama show up at his rallies to pay homage to coercion and to ask for even more of it. In a case of mass cognitive dissonance, they hate George W. Bush for the very same trait that they adore in their coercer extraordinaire.
Like GWB, the Chosen One wants to use government force to tell others how to live and to remake the world into his image. The only difference is that he wants to coerce different people and has a different image in mind than GWB did.
Ah, but in the self-righteous, sanctimonious minds of him and his acolytes, Obama’s goals are noble while GWB’s were ignoble. In their thinking, GWB wanted to bomb Muslims and enrich Big Oil. They, on the other hand, want to end poverty, provide free healthcare, achieve equal outcomes, and attain perfect fairness and social justice. And how do they want to do that? They want to do it by treating some folks unequally through unfair and unjust coercion, using the power of the IRS to take their money and redistribute it to other folks.
Hello, do they see the intellectual contradiction?
Of course, the coercers can live with the contradiction, because in their twisted minds, the victims of their coercion aren’t real people. They are caricatures of evil. They are greedy mortgage lenders, fat-cat CEOs, red-necked racists, selfish white suburbanites, rich people born into privilege, and right-wing Republicans. It’s a story as old as the human race: justify coercion by demonizing the other group.
Well, my 88-year-old mom must be a demon. Why else would they want to raise the capital gains tax on her investments and increase the estate tax on her estate?
The problem is, she is a real person, not a caricature. Orphaned as an infant, she was raised by her immigrant aunt and uncle, who worked as a waiter. She worked in clerical and secretarial jobs all of her life, and her husband, my deceased dad, worked in blue-collar jobs all of his. But, oh, did my forebears ever know how to save money. They scrimped so that their progeny, generation by generation, could climb the socioeconomic ladder, finally reaching the rung where my son is the first in the family tree to have the financial wherewithal to attend an Ivy League university, should he desire to be brainwashed in socialism and multiculturalism like Obama.
In heaven’s name, what moral justification is there for using force against an 88-year-old woman? Why do they want to spit on my mom’s dreams? What kind of brainwashing and mob mentality can get people to do things as a group that they wouldn’t do as individuals?
The accolytes don’t even realize that force begets force. When Group A gets in power and uses force against Group B, Group B will retaliate when it gets in power. Or, speaking as an Italian-American, mess with my mom and I’ll bash your face in if I ever get the chance.
The nation’s intellectual elites, most of whom love coercion if it is of the leftist kind, wonder why politics has become so nasty and partisan. Hey, egghead, it’s because you can’t mind your own business.
Speaking of eggheads, a professor is now advising Democrat members of Congress to confiscate 401(k) savings, because, according to her deficient math skills, the rich get a bigger tax break than the poor under that provision of the tax code. It doesn’t dawn on the yolk-for-brain professor that she is advocating coercion to solve an imagined problem that was caused by coercion in the first place. The 401(k) provision exists only because income is taxed twice, once as wages and then again as savings. Do away with the coercive tax on savings and there would be no need for subsequent coercion. There also wouldn’t be a need for armies of bureaucrats, accountants and lawyers to regulate, administer, and litigate the 401(k) provision.
The professor must be confusing America with Argentina, which has recently confiscated private retirement savings to fund the country’s bankrupt treasury.
Her confusion is understandable. Once it became widely accepted by the American public that it is okay to use government force for every purpose imaginable instead of for only the legitimate purpose of protecting life, liberty and property, the yellowed parchments under glass in the National Archives would no longer keep man’s genetic desire for power and control in check.
Coercion isn’t a slippery slope; it’s a cliff of sheer ice. One step in its direction, for whatever high-minded or low-minded reason, and it’s nearly impossible stop the fall and turn back, especially without the ice ax and cleats of the Constitution.
Almost all of American politics is now about coercion---about some group that wants to use government force against another group to achieve some end, usually to take the other group’s money for themselves or their pet cause. Of course, the coercers don’t put it that way and never use the word “coercion.” Tellingly, the media on both the left and right don’t use the word, either, perhaps because they haven’t been educated to think in terms of coercion.
Why would they be educated about coercion? After all, the government monopoly on K-12 education isn’t going to educate students about coercion when it is an institution based on coercion. In fact, the founders of the public education movement wanted to use public schools to coerce Catholics to learn WASP ways, including learning the King James Bible.
The indoctrination is so complete that the word “coercion” has almost totally disappeared from public discourse, although coercion is what Barack Obama and the rest of Congress embrace.
In 1984, George Orwell wrote that the aim of Newspeak was to “make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” Similarly, coercion doesn’t exist in the public’s mind, because the word has been removed from the American lexicon.
An author and columnist, Mr. Cantoni can be reached at email@example.com.