Remember the first time you put the keys in the ignition after getting your license?
Oh sweet, sweet freedom.
You no longer needed to rely on your parents to take you places (unless of course, you still needed their car).
Pretty soon, though, the license loses its luster, as you realize that there are still those blasted rules.
It’s the one, nearly universal modus operandi of most teens: “When the heck can I get the HECK out of Mom and Dad’s home??”
And it’s probably not because you didn’t love your parents, or didn’t like the food, or the bed you slept in, or the clothes they bought you.
It was because leaving home meant getting out from under Mom and Dad’s thumb.
It meant you were free to make your own decisions.
So let me ask you this: if you couldn’t stand being told what to do, where to go, and otherwise how to live under your parents’ authority—what makes you think having an all-powerful government to do the exact same thing on an infinitesimally bigger scale is any different?
Here’s what I’m getting at: Millennials love Bernie Sanders.
Let me clearer: Millennials love Bernie Sanders, the unapologetic socialist running for president.
Socialism is pretty simple: It’s basically varying degrees of wealth redistribution, mandated and controlled by the government. And, there’s usually a great deal of cultural engineering thrown in there too.
Bernie Sanders preaches a very clear message of solutions to what we’re all experiencing—especially those of us just now coming of age, and who have no concept of anything but a crappy economy and crippling, burdensome debt.
His promises bring hope to a generation that’s scared to death about its future.
He talks a lot about all the free stuff you’re going to GET.
(And for the record, we could cut the entire military and tax everyone who makes more than $1 million at 100 percent and still not be able to pay for it all—but that’s another story.)
But have you ever really thought about what you’re going to have to give up to get it?
Probably not, since you’ve likely been told it’s conservatism (specifically, constitutional conservatism) and its stodgy religious tenants and insipid obsession with rugged individuality that’ll force you to give stuff up.
Is it, now? Let’s take a look:
1. Constitutional Conservatism Means Your Rights Are Protected. Guaranteed.
We talk a lot about the Constitution—and how its recognition of inherent rights is what makes this whole thing so unique. See, just like Sen. Ben Sasse brilliantly put it, “most governments in the past said ‘might makes right, and the king has all the power, and the people are dependent subjects.’ The American Founders say ‘no, God gives us rights by nature, and government is just our shared project to secure those rights.’ Government is not the author or source of those rights.”
We also talk about it being a static document. Why? Because if it’s a living, breathing document—are your rights really inherent? If it’s moldable and pliable to whatever’s the cause du jour, are the rights you have today for CERTAIN the rights you’ll have tomorrow?
Where’s your guarantee?
Just remember, to get Bernie’s free stuff (which isn’t remotely free), you’re going to do have to do a lot of constitutional twisting and molding.
2. Constitutional Conservatism Means a Government Let's You Keep More of Your Money.
We don’t think all taxes are evil. We think punitive taxes are evil.
At what point in a person’s professional life do they shift from being deserving of their income, to being unfairly in possession of it? Is it $150,000 a year; $500,000 a year; $1 million a year? What’s the offending figure, and who decides?
How is it fair that top earners pay astronomical percentage rates just because, while it’s UNFAIR to suggest we all pay a flat percentage of our income for a government we all use?
But, that’s the only way to even come close to dreaming of paying for all the free things Bernie’s offering—stick the “rich” (however that’s defined) for as much as we can.
3. Constitutional Conservatism Means Actual Concern For The Poor.
There’s nothing wrong with needing a helping hand when there’s nowhere else to turn. But here’s the bottom line: We don’t want people trapped in an endless cycle of government benevolence where they are dependent on the government to give them more; dependent on the government to force some employer to pay them more; dependent on the government to force that employer to provide them with the benefits they need.
We hear a lot about what the government should give to the poor. When we do hear about how the poor will be raised up OUT of welfare? OUT of a minimum wage job? OUT of a Medicaid situation?
And this isn’t all just about the money…
4. Constitutional Conservatism Means You Choose How to Run Your Life.
Look, we don’t care about who you’re sleeping with. I mean, sure, many of us may have religious convictions about it, but really, we largely don't care. We may try to convince you of that conviction, but ultimately it's your business. We also don’t care if you want to celebrate that love with a big, beautiful ceremony and party.
But is it really constitutionally, justifiably fair to force someone whose religious beliefs say otherwise to lend their personal business, property or talent to it? And is it constitutionally justifiable to force a religion to redefine its institution because society has decided it’s no longer that religion’s business?
And it’s not just about marriage and homosexuality. When it’s ok to tell people that they MUST not only accept a certain view, but set their own aside in the process, who says where it all ends? And if you don’t have a Constitution that backs up a set of stationary rights, (see No. 1) what are your rights at all?
5. Constitutional Conservatism Means Equal Protection Under the Law For ALL Americans.
We don’t hate minorities. We hate discrimination.
And separating out which lives are more important than others IS discrimination. We hate that we don’t—as a nation—look at all lives as equal, and equally deserving of attention, of help—of justice. When we look at the biological skin color as opposed to the living, breathing human being, don’t we devalue that person by making them nothing more than one of many?
Let’s get back to the original question: If you couldn’t wait to get out from under your parents’ thumbs—what makes you think being under the government’s thumb (in exchange for a bunch of seemingly free stuff and social reengineering) is any better?
You see, with government calling the shots—from healthcare to education to religion—you get as much freedom as the government TODAY determines you can have.
See how much you’d have to give up?
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show (TheBlaze Radio Network, Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m. ET). She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree
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