Saturday, January 23, 2010

The End of Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and liberty are endangered. "America's founding spirit" has come under "devastating attack." Run, don't walk, to the nearest political bomb shelter and tune in Fox News, where "Heritage Foundation analysts appear more than ten times on a typical day."

"Our national identity as the beacon of liberty and hope is dimming toward a flicker. The Left is waging a successful counter-revolution on our nation's first principles. This is no doubt the most profoundly threatening time for our liberties for over three decades."

Can it really be that bad? Yes, it is, according to a recent fund-raising mailing I received (yes, with my actual, real name on it) from the Heritage Foundation, "America's leading conservative organization." No, wait -- it's even worse!! "The Obama Administration has made it clear that...they (sic) see freedom itself as the problem" (italics in original).

That's why the Heritage Foundation has continued its "promotional partnerships with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity."

Grab your muskets! One if by land, two if by sea, three if by Internet!

This litany of allegedly catastrophic facts and meaningless platitudes about freedom, liberty, the "fundamental principles of the country" (that's what my book will be about -- wink), and Big Government goes on for SEVEN nauseating pages.

OK, it's a fund-raising letter. I didn't expect it to be scholarly. But neither did I expect an organization that claims to be a "think tank" to utilize the linguistic legerdemain (yes, I made that phrase up, and I'm mighty proud of it) that is the quintessential opposite of critical thinking.

"Now is the time for you and me and other Americans who are upset by this wholesale abandonment of our nation's fundamental principles to challenge this expansion of government power and make the case for economically sound, truly conservative policies." Policies like deregulation of the financial markets -- the primary cause of the biggest government bailout of private enterprise in our nation's history, unfortunately required by eight years of Bush administration neglect, incompetence, and implementation of "truly conservative policies"?

"It is clear to many historians today that the New Deal did not end the Depression -- and indeed may have prolonged it." All right, I've heard that WW II had something to do with ending the depression, at least partially because the government incorrectly thought the problem was solved in the late 1930s and prematurely started cutting back on job creation programs. But I've never heard anyone say that FDR's policies "prolonged" the depression -- until now.

This is the "America" the Heritage Foundation wants: one that "upholds timeless moral values" and restores the family to its "primary role in civil society" -- one that promotes a "robust economy that rewards hard work." I wish they would just come out and say that it's OK for bankers to receive million dollar bonuses for nearly wrecking our entire financial structure and for heterosexual politicians to cheat on their spouses, but if you're a gay or lesbian in a committed relationship, working for close to the minimum wage, you're not a true American.

Here's the coup de grace! Your contribution to the Heritage Foundation is tax deductible! That's right, folks, even those of us who don't send in money are supporting this monstrosity, because the people who donate get to pay less in taxes as a result. Divine!

Well, I'm doing my part to impact the Heritage Foundation's "ten-year campaign to create an America that is once again animated by its First Principles" -- I'm writing this blog, I'm writing a book, and I sent the Foundation a sweet little note using its postage-paid return envelope.

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