The Democratic Embrace of Tyranny

The erosion in the belief of individual freedom among the public, particularly the Democrats, is very concerning.  According to the Rasmussen Poll, half or more of Democratic voters believe Americans should be fined or imprisoned for questioning or disagreeing with their dogma.  Not only do they deny others the right to their own freedoms and opinions, these voters want to criminalize those speaking or taking action against governmental narratives.

According to Rasmussen, “Nearly half (48%) of Democratic voters think federal and state governments should be able to fine or imprison individuals who publicly question the efficacy of the existing COVID-19 vaccines on social media, television, radio, or in online or digital publications.”

Take note of this.  Almost half of Democratic voters think people who question governmental policy should be fined or imprisoned.  The primary purpose of the free speech clause in the First Amendment is to allow, if not encourage, people to question and challenge governmental policy.  This ensures the people remain free and that government, which is supposed to be, in Lincoln’s words, “of the people,” remains responsive and subservient to the people. 

Yet now, we have a large group of people ignorant or disdainful of individual liberty and who believe an autocratic government of elites should dictate policy to all Americans.  In the minds of these statist sycophants, and deviation, or even questioning, of governmental policy should result in a fine or jail time.  The totalitarian regimes of the 1930’s could not have asked for a better group of authoritarian bootlickers.

Even worse is the poll’s finding that, “Forty-five percent (45%) of Democrats would favor governments requiring citizens to temporarily live in designated facilities or locations if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine.”

In addition, “Twenty-nine percent (29%) of Democratic voters would support temporarily removing parents’ custody of their children if parents refuse to take the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Just a few years ago, either of these options would be laughed off the table.  But now we have almost half of Democratic voters supporting the relocation of unvaccinated people into concentration camps, and more than a quarter of these voters want their family’s to be ripped apart if they deviate from governmental dictates.  It must be noted that these are the same people who decry putting people who violate in our immigration laws in “cages,” yet support the use of the same cages against American citizens who disagree with extra-Constitutional governmental overreach.

Instead of indoctrinating our citizens into historically oppressive and anti-American ideologies like Marxism, we should redouble teaching our schoolchildren and citizens the rationale for individual liberty and the reasoning for our Constitution.  It seems the memories of the totalitarian dictatorships of the 1920’s through the 1940’s (and beyond) has been forgotten, and the events that led to the Second World War are being ignored.  As a nation, we have tolerated attacks on free-enterprise, individual liberty, and limited government for too long.  As a result, we have far too many people who not only believe that America is irredeemably evil, but that the only solution to our problems is to adopt a totalitarian, authoritarian, and despotic dictatorship of elites.  We have somehow sanctioned the abandonment of personal choice and responsibility in favor of a collectivist dictatorship run by a select few.

Contrary to the beliefs of some (and far too many Democrats), the “common good” does not exist.  Instead, those using the term, the “common good,” are engaging in propaganda designed to obscure their primary goal – implementing, by force, their personal preferences on others.  Appealing to the “common good” has been the watchword of tyrants throughout history, and they have been allowed to rule because of the fearful compliance of their populations.  The goal of these tyrants has never been the good of their subjects.  It has always been about the power they can wield over their subjects.

It is shameful that so many Americans are so ignorant of the lessons of history that they willingly embrace any charismatic individual making appealing promises.  It is appalling that these same Americans are so willing to deny the opposition a voice, and that these Americans are willing to imprison those with differing opinions or priorities.  This not only points to a major deficiency in understanding the purpose of our nation’s values, but also demonstrates a callous disregard for the freedoms and choices naturally held by every human.

What does the Biden Administration and the Venezuelan Dictatorship Have in Common?

What does Venezuela’s desire to adopt a totally cashless society and the Biden administration’s plan to require banks to report all transactions over $600 to the IRS have in common?  They are both about establishing government control over our finances and diminishing personal privacy.

The Biden administration believes that requiring banks to report all transactions over $600 to the government would reduce income tax evasion.  However, the IRS can already gather all the financial information it may need for an audit without adding this cumbersome requirement.  If instituted, the compliance costs to report all transactions over $600 will be enormous and the reporting process will be a bureaucratic nightmare.

In addition to the compliance costs, which would drive up the fees charged by banking institutions, the privacy implications are alarming.  The IRS would have access to information about any banking transaction exceeding $600.  If you’re withdrawing a few thousand dollars to purchase a used car, the government will know about it.  If you received a thousand dollars in wedding gifts, the government will know about it (and try to tax it).  If you spend $600 to attend a protest event, the government will know about it.  Even if you move money from one account to another, not only will the government know about it, it would also likely trigger an IRS audit. There is no telling what the government will ultimately do with the information they collect about individual spending, saving, and earning habits.

It is all but certain the reporting of transactions over $600 will be reported electronically.  Not only will the government have unconstrained access to most people’s financial activities, but so will hackers and other nefarious actors.  Considering the increasing number of data breeches against supposedly secure credit card transaction and personal information, it is inevitable that individual financial data will be leaked.  This data provides a treasure trove of information that may be used by criminals.  Under this proposal, not only will bureaucrats in Washington have access to your private information, but so will criminals in China, Russia, and the rest of Eastern Europe. 

This idea seems to always turn up like a bad penny anytime Democrats engage in a federal spending binge.  In 2010, as part of the so-called Affordable Care Act, Democrats wanted small business owners to submit a 1099 form to any vendor with whom they spent $600 or more in a calendar year.  This would have meant, for example, that a company which ordered a few cases of printer paper and pencils from Staples would have to send them a 1099 form at the end of the year.  Companies whose employees stayed at a Sheraton Hotel on a business trip would have had to send Sheraton a 1099 form (for each separate location).  The list goes on and on.

Had a few sane legislators not noticed this insertion into a massive spending bill, and had not small business owners lobbied against this, every small business owner would have been saddled with huge paperwork requirements and thousands of dollars in additional accounting costs.  The costs to comply with the proposed dictates would have dwarfed the small amount of additional taxes collected by the IRS as a result of these requirements.

Democrats seem to have a fixation with the $600 number.  That was their preference in 2010, and it has appeared again this year.  They believe that infringing upon the financial privacy of Americans is a small price to pay in order to fund their vote-buying programs.  They also totally ignore the costs of maintaining compliance, and the fact that such costs will be passed down to all users of banking services.  If inflation wasn’t already bad enough with gasoline prices more than a dollar per gallon expensive than it was a year ago, this bill will surely send inflation spiraling out of control.

What does this have to do with Venezuela?  Ever since the Venezuelans elected a socialist government, which shortly became a dictatorship, inflation has skyrocketed.  Even their currency could not keep up with the rate of inflation.  Before Hugo Chávez became president, the Venezuelan bolivar typically traded at 3 to 4 bolivars to one United States dollar.  Even after several currency reevaluations, it now takes 4,146,022 bolivars to purchase a single U.S. dollar.

Venezuela can not print currency fast enough to keep up with their rate of inflation.  Their largest denomination bank note, 50,000 bolivars, is now only worth a couple of cents in United States currency.  Bank notes are often obsolete even before they enter circulation.  Because of the huge inflation rate, bank notes are rarely used in commerce, and coins have completely disappeared from circulation.

In light of this, Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro has announced plans to abolish physical cash and go to an entirely cashless society.  In a cashless society, all transactions are electronically recorded and available to the government upon request.  This allows the government to track the finances and transactions of specific individuals and to limit the places in which money may be spent.  If, for example, an opposition party is attempting to raise funds to challenge the incumbent government, the dictatorship could prevent any funds from being used for this purpose.  It will be impossible to purchase books, artwork, newspapers, or anything else not approved by the government.  Electronic records of all financial transactions is the secret police force’s best friend.

Will the proposed reporting requirements in the United States be as intrusive as those used by Venezuela?  Not immediately.  However, we must remember the Patriot Act was ostensibly created to thwart international terrorists.  Yet, its use of secret warrants and indictments has been employed more often to prosecute crimes within the United States, rather than foreign terrorists.  The Internal Revenue Service has been used, not only to collect taxes, but to target political organizations opposing the incumbent administration.  And while the FBI has not yet become as much of a political secret police force as Venezuela’s Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional, it has many times exceeded its authority to achieve political aims.  Granting the government another excuse to spy upon its citizens’ economic transactions does not bode well for the future of liberty.

Will those determined to evade United States taxation be thwarted by the bank reporting requirements?  For the most part, no.  Those with large resources will begin conducting transactions using unregulated cyber currencies, tangible metals (silver and gold), and sophisticated barter systems.  They will remove themselves from the United States fiat currency system.  In fact, the bank reporting requirements may result in a reduction to tax collection by driving many economic transactions underground.

The real victims of the proposed reporting requirements will likely be middle-class wage earners and small-business owners.  The government will use the data collected to harass (often innocent) citizens through intrusive audits and civil forfeiture provisions.  Even citizens who innocently moved money from one account to another may find themselves bullied by zealous IRS agents or local police forces hungry for the proceeds of civil forfeiture. 

And all this damage is being done so the Democratic administration can attempt to buy votes by dramatically expanding social and spending programs.  It’s hardly a good bargain.

The Nation was Devastated to Keep People from Inhaling the Spit of Others

The CDC, who, as we all remember, strongly discouraged the wearing of masks by the general public until they decided everyone should wear masks, is now saying coronavirus “does not spread easily from touching surfaces or objects.”

The geniuses at the CDC are now saying the virus spreads from person to person in the following four ways:

  1. “Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  2. “Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.”
  3. “These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.”
  4. “COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.”

I think the CDC just needed to fill up a lot of screen space so they wouldn’t have to admit they don’t much about the spread of the virus at all. This list doesn’t describe four ways the virus spreads. Number 1 doesn’t describe how the virus spreads; it just describes the typical distance you can catch or transmit the virus. Numbers 2 and 3 are saying the same thing. And, number 4 says the CDC doesn’t know whether or not the virus can be spread by asymptomatic people, as evidenced by the use of the qualifier, “may.”

In basic terms, the CDC is saying COVID-19 spreads by inhaling the spit of other people.

This was the basis of shutting down virtually the entire country – to prevent people from breathing in the spit of others!

Because the CDC didn’t know what they were doing, the government condemned millions to joblessness, destroyed hundreds of thousands of small businesses, and depleted the retirement savings of almost everybody.

Rather than assess whether lockdowns were truly effective at limiting the spread of the virus, states prevented people from being treated for other medical conditions, increased poverty, created more stress, intensified mental illness – causing increased mortality from all these conditions.

Why?

They didn’t know why. Governments reacted to panicked people by implementing policies not supported by any empirical evidence. No one even bothered to assess the potential consequences of lockdown policies or determine if these policies caused more damage than they were designed to address.

Ultimately, it was all to prevent people from inhaling the spit of other people.

I could have figured out how to avoid that without condemning millions to economic, physical, and mental health devastation. It all boils down to the things people should do to avoid any illness.

  • Stay away from sick people and stay home if you’re sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Don’t stick your fingers in your mouth or nose.

We didn’t need to put everyone under house arrest to accomplish the above.