The recent furor over President Obama's ill-conceived attempt to nationalize one-seventh to one-sixth of the United States' economy is a good example of an increasingly prevalent phenomenon in American politics. That phenomenon is technological hubris, an arrogance writ large in the faces, words and deeds of our would-be legislative masters. Our elected leaders, who are supposed to represent us and to work for us, who are supposed to answer to the taxpayers, have instead become technocrats. They have become boorish, elitist, arrogant and sneering bureaucratic overlords who believe they know better than do we about how we should be running our lives and spending our money.
These dour technocrats are aided and abetted by modern technology. Technology insulates them; it allows them to hide behind e-mail addresses and switchboards. Technology facilitates their lies; it allows them to transmit their marching orders to those who pose as "grass-roots" activists even as their handlers accuse Republicans of engaging in "Astroturfing" to manufacture contrived dissent. Technology distances them; if ever they speak directly to a citizen, you know the event is heavily scripted and produced to manipulate you. Technology allows them to revise history; they rewrite the past even as they are confronted with it.
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When Americans stand up for liberty they are shouted down and told they are fear-mongering and "manufacturing" outrageous lies in an effort to force President Obama to fail. Conservatives, the leftists tell us, perpetrate evil for the sheer pleasure of rubbing their hands with glee as they dance on the corpses of less fortunate and impoverished Americans, like so many jubilant Somalis on the smoldering hull of a crashed Blackhawk. The idea that American citizens don't want decisions about their medical care decided by government functionaries (who can't even run a cafeteria) simply never occurs to the technocrats. President Obama did slip, however, when he implied that private companies are naturally more efficient. One doubts he realized he was making this damning admission.
Obama's arrogance is shared by every member of his party. Speaking to a group of liberal bloggers at what the press described as an "intimate" gathering of "netroots" Internet activists (and you'll find no better an example of the collision of contemporary politics and technology than in the courting of Internet commentators and agitators, collectively referred to by politicians and pundits as "the blogosphere"), New York Democrat Rep. Eric Massa revealed the palpable, unctuous arrogance that roils beneath the skin of his power-hungry ilk. Bear in mind that Massa, in making the following comments last weekend, was not addressing people who voted for him (or who voted against him) in a town hall setting. He was out of state, in Pennsylvania, colluding with a group of left-wing webloggers regarding how to further their schemes of government intervention and control. These were Massa's philosophical fellow travelers, in the words of talk-show host Bob Lonsberry.
"... I am in one of the most right-wing Republican districts in the country," sneers Massa, his contempt for his constituents evident in his words and in his tone. "I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful." What he's speaking of is voting for "single-payer" health care – completely nationalized, government-run socialized medicine. Lest you think Massa has been misquoted, he underscored his comment moments later. Speaking of the "opinions" of his constituents, he said, "I will vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them."
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So, in other words, it doesn't matter what the residents of Congressman Massa's district think about Obama's astonishing power-grab at their wallets and their (medical, in this case) freedoms. Massa holds them in contempt, because they are a bunch of "right-wing Republicans" who simply don't know what will "help" them. Massa, according to the Swing State Project, won his 2008 race by only 2 percentage points. His governmental mandate is far from overwhelming. Clearly, he also thinks of his district in snide, derogatory terms. Yet he feels more than justified in ignoring the wishes of the benighted rednecks over whom he lords his power, in telling them what is best for them – as he puts one hand in their wallets and the other around their throats. What is the exercise of governmental fiat, after all, if not fingers around your windpipe, a gun in your face, or a boot on your neck? If you don't follow the law, men with guns take you to jail. If you refuse to go, they beat you into submission. If you resist, they kill you. That's the reality of government power.
Massa isn't the first Democrat to shove his foot down his own throat while speaking on this issue. Sputtering before one of the town hall meetings that Democrats say don't represent the will of the American people, reborn Democrat Arlen Specter claimed that the loss of freedoms about which outraged citizens were worrying were simply bald-faced lies, made up by those evil conservatives, no doubt. What he failed to realize, as he slurred and muttered and gargled his way through his denials, was that the citizen confronting him had been reading from the health care bill itself. Specter's newfound comrades on the left side of the aisle have also publicly laughed at the idea they might actually read the bills they pass, when they're not taking phone calls in the middle of questions being asked of them.
It's time to stand, not as a collective, but as a citizenry. It's time to take a stand against this entrenched government arrogance and the bloated, pompous, tin-plated dictators who believe it is their right to run your life for you. It's time to refuse to be labeled "un-American" or as "evil-mongers" for daring to resist the iron fists and the accusing fingers of the Harry Reids and the Nancy Pelosis running amok in houses we built and bought.
It's time to say no to the technocrats.