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Democracy and dissent: you can’t have one without the other

August 4, 2009

It’s a common scenario these days: Obama stands up at the podium during his press conference, pitches some kind of “reform” that commands a massive government-led assault on the private sector, and he warns Republicans to “stop playing partisan politics and get on board with real reform.” These days, anyone who questions Obama-brand Change™ gets labeled as a partisan fearmonger who should stop questioning The Messiah and jump on the bandwagon. To do otherwise would be to harm the American People.

I am reminded of a quote by Jonah Goldberg when I saw him speak on his book Liberal Fascism a few years ago. Someone asked him what he thought of people who questioned the Bush administration’s anti-terror policies. I’ll have to paraphrase what he said because I don’t remember it verbatim. His answer:

“Dissent is the cornerstone of democracy. You can’t have an effective democracy without a free marketplace of ideas and without someone questioning the status quo once in awhile. When you try to stifle or suppress dissenting views, you end up with a sort of soft fascism–sure, everyone’s happy because they all outwardly agree with each other, but everyone is a little less free because of it.”

It stuck with me because at the time, I was in with the “only America-haters question Bush” crowd. Now although I still agree with many of his anti-terror policies, I know better than to think that elected leaders always know best.

Obama is the quintessential liberal fascist. He believes in massive government takeover of the private sector and refuses to permit anyone to question that policy goal. Accusations of “partisan politics” are just another way of saying “free speech has no place here, because we can’t allow popular opinion to interfere with the ambitious goals of the State.”

The passionate and public displays of dissent against Obama’s attempt to socialize healthcare make me proud to be an American. When I watch videos like this one, I know that the Democrats are not going to be able to ram this one down our throats as easily as they once thought (the best part starts at 1:18):

I’m always afraid that America is becoming more like Europe–more content to live off the government dole and not question the sad realities of the social democratic state. But then I see these videos (like this one and this one which were also featured on DrudgeReport yesterday, as was the one above) and I realize that America’s individualist tradition isn’t about to die quietly. Like I’ve said before, the administration’s policies might be the wakeup call everyone needs before they realize that central planning, government intervention and socialism are the antithesis of prosperity and freedom.

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