The government in the United States has increasingly become a powerful weapon that two warring tribes repeatedly seize control of and then use against each other. For those of us who are averse to being smashed, it’s long past time to consider the machinery of the state as nothing more than a bludgeon in the hands of dangerous maniacs.
Dangerous? Indeed. It’s hard to beat the insight into the malicious heart of government offered by Rep. Ted Lieu on CNN in December.
“I would love to be able to regulate the content of speech,” the California Democrat told CNN’s Brianna Keilar. “The First Amendment prevents me from doing so, and that’s simply a function of the First Amendment.”
Lieu obviously takes it for granted that many politicians would muzzle their enemies if it were permitted and that only meddlesome legal strictures prevent them from enacting their dark desires.
Those strictures no longer look so strict. New York state’s blue-tribe government last year repeatedly abused regulatory power in assaults against independent institutions. First, it sought to intimidate financial firms and insurance companies into breaking ties with organizations that advocate self-defense rights. This emulated the Obama administration’s earlier Operation Choke Point scheme by which “powerful bank regulatory agencies engaged in an effort of intimidation and threats to put legal industries they dislike out of business,” according to John Berlau of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. New York officials followed up by threatening to declare “truant” any children attending private schools whose curricula didn’t win state approval.
For his part, Donald Trump, red tribe jefe, demands unwavering personal loyalty. He promised to punish companies that defy his nationalistic economic schemes by moving production overseas. “They will be taxed like never before,” he vowed last summer of Harley-Davidson. And the president, who once described freedom of the press as “frankly disgusting,” doubled down on his predecessor’s hostility to journalistic independence by threatening to retaliate against the critical Washington Post with antitrust action, higher postage rates, and taxes on Amazon, which shares Jeff Bezos as its owner.