Inexorable, creeping statism (WARNING: Not really gun related)

I’ve pretty much gotten out of the habit of weekend blogging (when readership is way down anyway), but there’s something I want to talk about. Since it isn’t really directly connected to the main point of this blog (gun rights), I figured the weekend would be a good time to bring it up.

I am, as far as I know, the only member of my immediate family (a fairly large family–I have four siblings, all married, with children) who is not a Democrat. If we spread the net a bit beyond immediate family, I have an uncle (my father’s brother) whom I believe to be a pretty staunch Republican, but for the most part, even my extended family is almost exclusively Democrat, and range from fairly enthusiastic about Obama to quite enthusiastic.

This doesn’t lead to a great deal of tension between me and the rest of the family, perhaps in part because I am, although not a Democrat, also not a Republican, and do not support McCain.

After the last presidential debate, my mother disdainfully pointed out something McCain said (which was indeed pretty wacky–something about turning returned combat soldiers into schoolteachers, without the cumbersome process of first certifying them as educators). My response (referring to the entire debate not very politely, as a “Clash of the As . . . [a term that could be interpreted as ‘donkey orifices’]”) displeased her, and she asked what, specifically, I objected to about Obama.

While the issue of gun rights would be enough all by itself to earn Obama (and McCain, for that matter) my contempt, there’s a whole lot more to it than that (and she doesn’t care about gun rights, anyway). I soon discovered that actually articulating my general opposition to both candidates was an exercise I probably needed.

I decided that my main objection to both of them, as it is to the vast majority of politicians, is that they keep trying to offer governmental “solutions,” and refuse to acknowledge that government is, in fact, generally the problem. It occurred to me then that legislators see it as their primary job to, well . . . legislate–that is, write and pass laws. Laws, though, are almost by definition limitations on personal freedom (you must do x; or you mustn’t do y). Some such limitations are clearly necessary–the “freedom” to rape or murder, for example, is one that quite obviously needs limiting (right out of existence).

The problem is that our Constitutional government is two-hundred twenty years old–there simply aren’t very many freedoms in need of limiting anymore. Society evolves; technology expands–I get that, and realize there will always be a need for some new laws, to deal with changing realities. Still, Congress sees thousands of bills every year, many of which become laws. The result of this can only be a reduction of freedom.

I wish I had a solution. I’d love to see H.R. 1359/S. 3159, the “Enumerated Powers Act,” pass, along with some version of the “Read the Bills Act,” but am not so gullible as to either believe I’ll ever see that happen, or that even with both bills signed into law, a determined Congress won’t find a way to ignore them.

Still, that would be some “Change We Can Believe In.”

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