America was built upon the unique premise that its citizens would be willing and able to govern themselves virtuously. If our limited government were to play a parental role, it was to be a strict parent, not an indulgent one nor one who would pick favorites. Neither our citizens nor our economy was to be significantly limited. Our Constitution is a model of restraint: the freedoms it confers are freedoms from governmental interference, not freedoms from hunger, poverty, or financial inequality. The Constitution limits what our government can do, and it assumes that our leaders will be restrained in exercising the powers conferred upon them. It leaves to the private sector the task of pursuing economic growth and prosperity. It presumes that the citizens will elect responsible leaders. Our first President was the prototype of a political leader too wise and modest to explore the limits of executive power.
There has always been a potential weakness in the model, a loophole, understood by both friend (de Tocqueville) and foe (Karl Marx): Once a free, capitalistic republic achieves so much success, and provides so generous a welfare state, that a majority of its voting citizens would rather be treated as indulged children than as self-reliant adults, once people come to think primarily in terms of “What’s in it for me?”, the system breaks down. The free-market, unregulated model is replaced by the central-planning model – a government of the left, one that embodies (even if it pretends to disdain) the key elements of socialism, one that believes that the solution to every problem, the pathway to prosperity, is regulation, regulation, regulation.
A case can be made that America already had a centrally-planned economy before 2009. But this President has now pushed through any remaining barriers and given us the over-reaching federal government that Washington and the other Founders feared. One could argue that the central-planning model of Barack Obama is the optimal model for this country at this time, but it cannot be argued coherently that the model of President Obama has much to do with the vision of the Founding Fathers. The examples are legion: the de facto nationalizations of finance, healthcare, education, the Internet, and much of energy and other critical sectors, plus the Administration’s usurpation of Congress’s authority to amend our healthcare and Immigration laws. This is not your Founder’s Presidency.
But for sheer audacity and scope, nothing matches the President’s recent advocacy of mandatory voting for all U. S. citizens, a project that would apply the coup de grace to the America for which the Revolutionary War was fought. It might have been a tactical mistake for Mr. Obama to let the public in on this dream, given that the only pathway to its implementation would be for the President to suspend the 2016 elections and declare himself President For Life. But he did disclose it, and so it is fair to observe that mandatory voting would elevate, to the status of an electoral majority, millions of people who would not vote unless legally mandated to do so – people whose attitude toward voting shows that they have no political interests beyond their own material prosperity, their own selfish interests. In effect, this would complete the Obama revolution: the transformation of the U.S. from a nation of responsible adults, attempting to behave in a virtuous manner for the benefit of the country as a whole, to a nation of irresponsible children, having no care for virtue or for the welfare of their country.
It is not that most of the new voters would be likely to vote for Democrats, it is that they would be clay in the hands of an Obama – the ideal, flaccid constituency for an intrusive government fixated upon the control and regulation of all forms of human behavior and enterprise.