Any guesses as to which Presidential candidate got this demographic’s vote?
George Lakoff, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, recently stated that “the moral mission of government is simple: no one can earn a living in America or live an American life without protection and empowerment by the government.”
Thirty-four percent (34%) of voters nationwide agree with Lakoff’s assertion while 46% disagree in a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Twenty percent (20%) are not sure.
Half (51%) of Democrats agree with the professor while Republicans and unaffiliated voters strongly disagree. Republicans reject Lakoff’s statement by a 3-to-1 margin, unaffiliateds by a 2-to-1 margin.
Stop for a moment and consider what Lakoff’s statement means. Essentially, it means that none of us is responsible for our own success. We haven’t earned anything. We’ve just been giving things. And unfairly too, to hear the liberals tell it. Which is why they’re always on about redistributing wealth from one group of people to another.
Now, Lakoff’s statement is a little slippery because it is true in some regards. Government protection does facilitate success and prosperity to some degree in that fire departments and police officers and infrastructure like roads and bridges all serve to make going about our daily business easier. But in that capacity government is in a support role. The government isn’t doing our business for us by building and maintaining roads. The government is just making it easier to get to work and conduct our business. Which is why infrastructure is a perfectly acceptable role of government.
Where there’s a divergence, for me and most on the center-right I’d imagine, is when it comes to the government doing things like telling us who we can and can’t hire. What products we can and cannot purchase. What countries we can and cannot trade with. What benefits and entitlements certain demographics get.
Liberals tend to believe that the government should care for us. Should be some father figure who will provide and entertain and make everything ok. The problem, of course, is that there are no angels in the world who we can trust with that kind of power. That’s why socialism has never worked. Because in order to have government take care of every single aspect of day-to-day life requires a level of authority and power that is inherently corrupting.
That’s why our founding fathers created our Republic where the power of government is (or was) distributed to the masses. Gerald Ford, though no paragon of limited government himself, once said that the government that’s big enough to give you everything is big enough to take everything away. And science fiction author Robert Heinlein wrote: “The purpose of government shouldn’t be to do good, but simply to refrain from doing evil.”
We shouldn’t want government to take care of us, because we might not always like the people doing the caring. And/or the way they’re doing it.