Cultural Imperialism and the Chicago Way of Politics
Chicago politics has gone main-stream. The business of government is no longer concerned with keeping the peace and seeking the common good. Now, those who control the government have a different business in mind. They reward their friends and punish their enemies. Sure, governments have imposed themselves on the weak since, well, since there has been a government. Selling political favors is timeless, but matters of degree matter.. a lot. Welcome to part-time America where the politicians’ excesses are driving Americans out of their businesses and homes. Maybe the pendulum is swinging back towards freedom, but maybe not. Here are a few examples I noticed this year.
Bakers, photographers and musicians are owned in New Mexico. Customers can demand their services and be backed up by the power of the state. The merchants have no right to refuse a customer. The state says the merchants must sell to politically-favored sexual or religious minorities. I guess having personal convictions threatens the power of the state by limiting the political favors the politicians can sell. Now the state can demand these vendors provide services as directed by the politicians. Welcome to New Mexico, and you can close your business or leave if you don’t like their laws. As the Muslims say to dhimmi subjects, you pray to our God or pay the jizzya tax.
States regulate charities in particularly appalling ways. The state sticks its regulatory nose into how charities feed and clothe the homeless even if the food and clothes are free. In Louisiana, rescue missions can’t serve venison donated by hunters, so charity evidently frightens state bureaucrats. And if the government provides free stuff, well, you can forget about the charities having any discretion.
Government cheese for the poor comes with a stack of regulations. Religious sisters can’t display religious symbols as they give the government food away. Obviously God scares some bureaucrats to death.
So do guns. The state of California outlaws modern guns for civilians. And by “modern” I mean firearms designed in the last hundred years. The common rifle used by boy scouts and girl scouts is now called an illegal assault weapon in Krazyfornia. Air rifles that were once legal in New Jersey are now banned and treated like federally regulated machine guns. The Chicago model of gun regulation is held out as an ideal solution by the political progressives and we are told to conform.
That model failed the citizens of Chicago where self-defense is condemned and a rape victim has no right to defend herself with a gun. Chicago is not Mayberry: citizens may need to defend themselves on the streets of Chicago. Of course, the police are exempt from these restrictive laws as long as the cops remain loyal to the politicians. I bet the politicians’ bodyguards are exempt too. Armed citizens must terrify the political class.
Again, you’re free to leave California, New Jersey or Illinois if you dislike living under these political masters. I heard an advertisement today suggesting that “economic, political and cultural refugees” from California would be happier in Idaho. They could be right.
Churches and schools can be taxed or shut down because of their “bigoted” views like Christian beliefs or academic teaching that isn’t approved by the state. Common Core curriculum is setting us up for regulating the amount of class work required in support of global warming and other politically-favored “facts.” We can allow illegal alien sex offenders to repeatedly enter the US. But the federal government went to extraordinary lengths to deport a German family whose inexcusable crime was educating their children at home. Who knew that home school frightens politicians.
The state literally taxes the air we breathe. Businesses in California pay a “pollution tax” even if they don’t pollute. These are the regulations pouring down from “freedom loving liberals”, better known as “patronage progressives”.
The state is not there to protect and serve. The state is no longer there to protect citizen’s rights, but to regulate and redistribute to the politicians special interests. The land of the free and the home of the brave looks more and more like the land of the regulated and the home of the cowering.
A ray of good news is the recent recall election in Colorado. Citizens banded together to recall two Democrat Colorado Senators who deliberately ignored their majority democrat constituents. I hope the recall is a new mandate from the voters for a lighter hand of government controlling peoples’ lives. That mandate must spread to other states if the politicians are going to change their behavior in any meaningful way. The elections in Virginia will be the next test.
Freedom may ring again. Or, maybe nothing has changed.
“Thank you” to ClashDaily for posting an earlier version of this article.
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