But that is what government always does as it becomes more costly, intrusive and intolerant of dissent. As if to drive the point home, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a gag order this week telling all private companies participating in the Medicare Advantage program to shut up. Violators would face fines and jail time. Forget the First Amendment.
The gag order was issued after Humana Corp. sent a letter to its policyholders who participate in Medicare Advantage telling them the facts about Obamacare’s effect on the program. The companies were ordered “to end immediately all such mailings to beneficiaries and to remove any related materials directed to Medicare enrollees from your website.”
The bureaucrats added this blunt threat: “Please be advised that we take this matter very seriously and, based upon the findings of our investigation, will pursue compliance and enforcement actions. ….”
Those, my friends, are the words of soft tyranny. How much longer before it becomes a hard tyranny?
History – and the words of progressives themselves – suggest not long. Consider New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s telling admiration for the communist thugs who run the Chinese government:
“One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonabley enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.”
That in a nutshell is the totalitarian temptation that plagues all who would use the power of the state to impose their vision of the good society on the rest of us.
It’s the ever-present Stalin whispering in the progressive ear: “Ignore those reactionary, loud-mouthed, ignorant Tea Party protesters and decree Obamacare, Waxman-Markey, and all the rest of it. Do it now while you have the power!”
Please go over and read the whole piece. It is the deadly danger of statism, regardless of ideology. The totalitarian instinct is never far below the surface.
The left is anything but liberal – I generally do not use that word to describe the left at all. These are some of the worst authoritarians America has ever produced. They stay out of your bedrooms – mostly – but feel free to mandate what is in your refrigerators, your driveway, your home and your thoughts. They feel it their business to take away your smokes, your Cokes, your choices and your decisions.
And yes, they will be even more draconian if given the chance.