Skip to main content

La-la Land on the Potomac

Written By | Jun 7, 2015

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 7, 2015 — Graduations are over, school’s out for the summer and Americans’ thoughts are turning to barbecues, vacations, and relaxation. Unless you’re in the political class — the government’s attempts to regulate and control our lives rolls relentlessly on.

But you won’t hear about it from the mainstream media.

It hasn’t always been that way.

Has our government and media killed America’s virtue?

In the summer of 2009, protests against massive federal government spending and the pending Obamacare legislation were the order of the day. Congresspeople canceled meetings with the public in a panic. Then on Sept. 12, 2009, the largest crowd ever assembled in Washington met to protest government overreach.

The president didn’t stick around to see what would happen. He flew to Minneapolis to give a weekly radio address—the only time he didn’t give it in D.C. The White House said it was of what was going on.

Uh-huh. Can you say “coup d’etat”?

Six years later, federal government spending, ramped up in 2009, has remained at the same levels, and even increased. If the deficit is no longer so large, it’s because tax revenues have increased. The debt is bigger, too. The economy sputters along at near zero-growth while we wait for—what?

The government has entered Never-Never Land and nobody seems to notice or care. In a graduation speech at the Coast Guard Academy, the president said—very seriously—that global warming is the most serious national security threat we face. “Mark my words,” he said pointedly, global warming is going to change how we fight wars.

Really? Is the federal government about to issue fuel efficiency standards for combat vehicles? Or is that why he prefers to use drones instead of fighter aircraft? Never mind that the globe hasn’t warmed for 17 years.

Did climate change really cause ISIS?

The press, which calls itself the Fourth Estate and prides itself on holding government accountable, has totally abandoned that role in favor of getting in bed with the government. Reporters whined before Congress that the federal government is stonewalling them on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the delays reaching into years.

Rep. Trey Goudy’s committee discovered that all FOIA requests must now be passed through the White House.

Nothing could be further from the spirit of the act—except, perhaps, for the outright lying that goes on. We have finally discovered, almost three years after the fact, that the “offensive video” story was in fact concocted by Hillary Clinton’s people—not State Department people, her people.

And yet everyone moves on as if there’s nothing to see here. Oh, look—Marco Rubio and his wife have a pile of traffic tickets. The horror! Look—Bruce Jenner’s now a woman. Isn’t he/she cute?

Congress is about to give the lawless president massive new trade-related powers, but don’t worry, it’s good for you. After all, Rep. Paul Ryan is working on it. If both Republicans and Democrats agree on something, it must be good, right?

Shhh! It’s a secret! The TPP – Obama’s stealth trade agreement

Wrong. If we have learned anything in the last six-plus years, it should be that when the political class agrees on something—anything—it’s bound to be bad for the average Joe. The press won’t tell you about it. Your representative is unlikely to have read the bill, but you’re going to have to foot the bill.

The sole bright spot lately was Sen. Rand Paul’s blocking the renewal of blanket NSA collection of our communications. Even that wasn’t a complete victory, though it was a giant step in the right direction.

In a month, the Fourth of July will be rolling around again and Americans’ thoughts will be turning to barbecues, vacations and a three-day weekend of relaxation.

Maybe—just maybe—we ought to think a little bit about the state of our country and our liberty. Are we going to continue to allow our federal government to lie to us with impunity? Are we going to listen when the press tries to distract us? Do we even know who we are as a people and what liberty looks like any more?

This summer, in the midst of that barbecue or on that long road trip, take some time to take stock. Think about where you want to go and where you want our country to go.

Because it is certain: If we the people don’t take charge of our destiny, someone in Washington will. It is also certain that you won’t like it.

Al Maurer

Al Maurer is a political scientist and founder of The Voice of Liberty. He writes on topics of limited government and individual rights.