Government and Freedom

Last week, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. asked me to moderate what he called “The Real Debate.”

Kennedy was angry with CNN because it wouldn’t let him join its Trump-Biden debate.

His people persuaded Elon Musk to carry his Real Debate on Twitter. They asked me to give RFK Jr. the same questions, with the same time limits.

I agreed, hoping to hear some good new ideas.

I didn’t.

As you know, Joe Biden slept, and Donald Trump lied. Well, OK, Biden lied at least nine times, too, even by CNN’s count.

Kennedy was better.

But not much.

He did acknowledge that our government’s deficit spending binge is horrible. He said he’d cut military spending. He criticized unscientific Covid lockdowns and said nice words about school choice.

But he, too, dodged questions, blathered on past time limits and pushed big government nonsense like, “Every million dollars we spend on child care creates 22 jobs.”

Give me a break.

Independence Day is this week.

As presidential candidates promise to subsidize flying cars (Trump), free community college tuition (Biden) and “affordable” housing via 3% government-backed bonds (Kennedy), I think about how bewildered and horrified The Founding Fathers would be by such promises.

On the Fourth of July almost 250 years ago, they signed the Declaration of Independence, marking the birth of our nation.

They did not want life dominated by politicians. They wanted a society made up of free individuals. They believed every human being has “unalienable rights” to life, liberty and (justly acquired) property.

The blueprints created by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution gradually created the freest and most prosperous nation in the history of the world.

Before 1776, people thought there was a “divine right” of kings and nobles to rule over them.

America succeeded because the founders rejected that belief.

In the Virginia Declaration of Rights, George Mason wrote, “All power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people.”

By contrast, Kennedy and Biden make promises that resemble the United Nations’ “Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” U.N. bureaucrats say every person deserves “holidays with pay … clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.”

The founders made it clear that governments should be limited. They didn’t think we had a claim on our neighbor’s money. We shouldn’t try to force them to pay for our food, clothing, housing, prescription drugs, college tuition …

They believe you have the right to be left alone to pursue happiness as you see fit.

For a while, the U.S. government stayed modest. Politicians mostly let citizens decide our own paths, choose where to live, what jobs to take and what to say.

There were a small number of “public servants.” But they weren’t our bosses.

Patrick Henry declared: “The governing persons are the servants of the people.”

Yet now there are 23 million government employees. Some think they are in charge of everything.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, pushing her Green New Deal, declared herself “the boss.”

The Biden administration wants to decide what kind of car you should drive.

During the pandemic, politicians ordered people to stay home, schools to shut down and businesses to close.

Then, as often happens in “Big Government World,” people harmed by government edicts ask politicians to compensate them.

After governments banned Fourth of July fireworks, the American Pyrotechnics Association requested “relief in the next Senate Covid package to address the unique and specific costs to this industry,” reported the NYT. “The industry hopes Congress will earmark $175 million for it in another stimulus bill.”

Today the politically connected routinely lobby passionately to get bigger chunks of your money.

For some of you, the last straw was when the administration demanded you inject a chemical into your body.

When some resisted vaccinations, Biden warned, “Our patience is wearing thin.”

His patience? Who does he think he is? My father? My king?

At least Kennedy doesn’t say things like that. But he does say absurd things. In a few weeks I’ll release my sit-down interview with him, and you can decide for yourself whether he’s a good candidate.

This Fourth of July, remember Milton Friedman’s question: “How can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect?”

Photo by Nils Huenerfuerst on Unsplash

12 thoughts on “Government and Freedom

  1. Instead of just saying he lied, why don’t you fact check and provide a list of exactly what each candidate lied

  2. RFK Jr is the only candidate advocating for a Constitutional Amendment to reverse the Supreme Court’s Citizens v United decision.
    Lobbyists and Donors have come between Congress and the Will of The People.

  3. Why wait to release your interview with Kennedy? If there is something needed to be learned let’s hear it now. I qualify as a non Covid vaxed boomer conservative female. When he called the healthcare a cartel he got my vote.

  4. Well said. Couldn’t agree more. I just can’t understand why people are so short-sighted and fall for “free” stuff and empty promises. While I do understand it’s counterintuitive at first to think that allowing the government to do nothing will fix a problem, but how bad does it need to get before people wake up?

  5. “For some of you, the last straw was when the administration demanded you inject a chemical into your body. When some resisted vaccinations, Biden warned, “Our patience is wearing thin.” His patience? Who does he think he is? My father? My king? At least Kennedy doesn’t say things like that. But he does say absurd things. In a few weeks I’ll release my sit-down interview with him, and you can decide for yourself whether he’s a good candidate.”

    I think, when you do that, you will find his “absurd things” are not so absurd. The COVID virus really DID affect Blacks, Caucasians, Hasidic Jews & Finns differently. Wi-fi DOES damage the mitochondria and common sense precautions need to be studied & practiced. Atrozine does act like a hormone disruptor. And there is no “genocide” in Gaza. The only issue I personally disagree with him on is the climate change “crisis”. My son doesn’t like his position on Ukraine.

  6. I wanted to hear more direct answers to all those questions because I have listened to almost all long form podcasts where he is interviewed. In fact, one day ago 19keys release a 3.5 hour interview of RFK and 40 into the interview RFK gets asked about how he will help the middle class and specifically the black poor communities. 19keys asked him to give him a direct answer and RFK did not do that. He discussed his plan in theory but didn’t say how. So in the debate with the 2 minute limit to answer questions I thought for sure RFK would be more direct with answers.

    I think that is what is needed. RFK has all the long form discussions for every issue all over social media. Now we need those direct short answers.

  7. It’s hard to remark on your conclusions when you only gave us part of the content that led you to your opinions. At this point this is just an editorial without sources.

  8. It is too bad that Kennedy has such a hard time with his voice since I am sure that this gets in his way many times … even on this past “REAL DEBATE”. For me, he was very hard to understand … and he seemed to have to use lots of extra energy just to get the breath which he needed to be able to talk. He is healthy, but he really needs to work on how people may better understand what he says … like maybe better, crisper, microphones, or even captions in videos. He has often made himself clear on earlier videos in the areas which you mentioned … but seems like he is not so quick when it comes to fast thinking on debates.

    John, you did a wonderful job keeping your observations out of the debate … I liked that!

  9. Since you took the time to express your thoughts, I will share mine. It’s obvious that our elected officials don’t give a shit about we the people, and the corruption has grown exponentially since 11/22/63.
    Our border is wide open, and the cost is added once again onto the backs of the taxpayers. Hundreds of billions to other countries if not more, stolen ,or just plain waisted while American’s struggle.
    Thirty five trillion in debt, which in all reality considering the track record for honesty is probably a lot more.
    At 64 years old I have seen the finger pointed back and forth with no results, just excuses. The bullshit is never ending.
    It also seems like society has embraced stupidity with both arms, gender ,pronouns, and not knowing what bathroom to use. No responsibility, or accountability.
    America doesn’t have a gun problem, it’s social decay. It’s what happens when you took moms out of the house, not for equal rights , but for doubling the tax base. A person doesn’t need to be Einstein to connect the dots to see the direction we’re heading, and it’s not good.
    So John. The bullshit is deep, and Americans have justifiably lost trust. The only thing that will drain the swamp is the truth. And it better come quick. We either have the dumbest administration ever, or they’re destroying America by design.

    P.S. I’m not right or left I’m American

  10. I think very few people are happy with the US government now and where it seems to be headed. We have a entrenched two party system that does not represent the common people, but instead caters to the big corporate donors and lives in fear of the unrestrained military/surveillance agencies. The situation cannot be repaired without two fundamental reforms- Campaign finance and term limits. None of the candidates are talking about either one, so I’m not holding my breath that anything will improve. That said, RFK jr is clearly the best of the three candidates this time around, and he’s got my vote.

  11. It is reported that over 60% of Americans live on less than what their lives require. Our government fed bureaucracy won’t allow our government to do the same. What ordinary Americans want is government policy that is responsible enough to take less from us, not bullshit us under false pretense into giving up more and taking from our families what’s rightfully theirs.

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