This is just too strange – read through to the end and you’ll see why.
And, yes, I know that “endarkened” isn’t a word. For now, though, let it stand as the polar opposite of “enlightened.” And let “right” mean not “correct,” but the stupidly polar opposite of stupidly polar “left.”
On May 11 Charles Murray’s essay was published in the Wall Street Journal and is entitled, Regulation Run Amok-And How to Fight Back. His contention is that there are just gobs of government regulations that are strangling the America out of America. Indeed, he tells us in what he appears to believe are self-evident terms,
“Then, with FDR’s New Deal and the rise of the modern regulatory state, our founding principle was subordinated to other priorities and agendas. What made America unique first blurred, then faded and today is almost gone.”
Gosh, that sounds as though instead of melting the Wicked Witch of the East, we liquidated Glinda, the bubble-traveling Good Witch of the North – on purpose. Note, too, how he invokes “the modern regulatory state,” as though it is some agreed upon, fact-worthy construction, like ancient Athens as a city-state. It isn’t.
Murray goes through a litany of innuendo and shadow puppet notions to support his case and then tells us what we good Americans should do about all those terrible regulations: we should just ignore them. Civil disobedience. Do what makes sense to you, even if you break the law, he tells us.
No cars have come down your street for over five hours and it’s 3:30AM. Why in the world should you have to stop at that stop sign? Just blast on through the intersection.
You own the land, so you should be able to do what you damn well please with it. Those regulators can’t tell you what to do, by golly, so you build your boutique toxic chemical plant in your garage and if the stuff sometimes spills and runs down the driveway toward the sidewalk where the little kids are walking to school, no biggie.
Let ’em come after you, because you have your good sense to protect you against those annoying experts the regulators will call as witnesses when your delusional ass is hauled into court. But you’ll be okay financially, because Murray also proposes a Legal Services Corporation (his words) as a kind of people’s insurance against those pesky regulators who strangely think they are supposed to uphold the law.
Look, nobody thinks that we don’t have some stupid regulations and that some have long outlived their usefulness and may now be nothing more than foolish obstacles. But the way to correct those is not to create a nation of chaos-inducing vigilantes pretending that they know better than anyone else. It’s to change the law. Isn’t that what righties say when civil rights activists push the limits?
Can you believe it? As a left-of-center moderate, I’m giving “obey the law” instruction to an endarkened righty. Surely, we are living in strange times.
Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue.
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Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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