Lying behind several of the points in the Editors' post below on the changes in America from five years ago was this simple point: Five years ago we did not have in power a politically ruthless administration determined to make political war on the American people and the American way of life. Recently Lawrence Auster has said that you can "begin to sense the impatience" of the liberals in this country:
The liberals want to get rid of us. They may not have yet articulated that thought plainly in their minds, but that is what they feel, and that is why they are not bothered by the astonishing manifestations of all-out liberal tyranny in the last three months, such as the birth control mandate...
This is true. There used to be a saying, probably meant to downplay the true evil of Communism: "A Communist is a liberal in a hurry." Well, our liberals are more and more in a hurry these days. Power has gone to their heads, and they are going to use it to the hilt. One really cannot keep up with the breathtaking moves. No doubt they know that. Who has the money, time, and energy to bring lawsuits against all of their abuses of power? And the administration will be able to use taxpayer money to defend themselves. Moreover, the arguably unconstitutional power already granted to the government over the past decades was to some extent just sitting around waiting to be used. No one knows how to use it like a leftist.
Here are two of the latest. Are these "against the rules" as the rules of executive power have been gradually interpreted? Who knows? But I can say this: They are unjust laws, and they are beyond all doubt and question against the concept of limited federal government as envisaged in the American founding.
1) The Obama administration directly attacks what is left of family farm life and culture in this country by planning to outlaw children's helping their parents with many farm chores they were previously permitted to do. Moreover, the 4-H is no longer going to be permitted to give safety training to minors. That task will be reserved for, you guessed it, the federal government. Not being a farmer, I can only guess at what this means in practice, but it sounds extremely sweeping. Just from having read novels all my life I can get some clue of the way in which this strikes a blow at the normal, gradual, humane process by which the children of farmers are taught by their parents to be farmers themselves, to handle animals. Yes, even to slaughter animals or treat them for illnesses. (The article points out that children would under the new rules not be permitted to see veterinary practice.) Family apprenticeship for kids is out. The bond between young and old is to be broken. The liberals' hatred of such quintessentially American institutions as 4-H and the family farm is to be given a powerful weapon for destroying these entities. The federal government is to be all-in-all to the rural youth of America. The more you think about it, the worse it gets.
This needs to be recognized as the act of all-out ideological warfare that it is. As I have said, I consider this to be an unjust law. I say no more on the subject of whether farmers should obey it or not.
2) Unrelated except in the sense that it is also a breathtaking act of tyranny and ideological warfare, which our Federal Masters do "just because they can"--The EEOC has ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act applies to "transgender persons." This is quite amazing. First of all, if we care at all about legislative intent (which sometimes has been applied to the Civil Rights Acts), it's quite outrageous to claim that Congress has ever intended that non-discrimination statute with its reference to not discriminating "on the basis of sex" to mean "not discriminating on the basis of claiming to be the opposite of one's actual biological sex." Obviously, the sex discrimination aspects of the federal non-discrimination law were meant to be a sop to the feminists. They were meant to prevent discrimination against women. That's got a whole set of problems all its own, of course, but the application to "transgendered persons" is a joke interpretively.
Second, let's remember, what is often forgotten, that as of yet federal non-discrimination law does not unambiguously apply to homosexuals, to "sexual orientation." That is why the homosexual lobby works so hard to put such laws in place at the state and even local level. The non-discrimination agenda for homosexuals has generally been treated as less extreme than the non-discrimination agenda for transsexuals. (I am not granting that it is in some objective sense "less extreme," only that there has been an ordering to these things in the way that they have come up in and been treated in American politics.) The latter is more recent and more "progressive." The EEOC is obviously flexing its muscles. As usual, liberals just hate, hate having to go through a cumbersome process of actually getting a new policy voted into law by a whole bunch of elected representatives. Who needs that hassle? They'd rather carry out their agenda through much smaller bodies of radical judges and bureaucrats. And they hate the democratic process even worse if they have to engage in it at lower political levels. They have been thirsting for a federal law banning "discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation" (which, yes, for all you foolish, naive people out there, does mean on the basis of sexual acts) for a long time. If the EEOC can simply enact federal non-discrimination law for "trans persons" by executive fiat, why not for "sexual orientation"?
Tyranny isn't just around the corner anymore. We've gone around the corner. Tyranny is here now, in our beloved country, which once was the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Update: Under entirely appropriate pressure from the Daily Caller and the outrage occasioned thereby, the Obama administration has withdrawn the proposed new labor regulation for farms. Long live representative democracy and the freedom of the press!