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    Since When Does Patriotism Mean Love Of Big Government?

    Published: Friday, September 6, 2002

    Patriotism seems to have taken on a strange new definition. Love for country has been replaced with love for big government. At one time, American patriotism meant love for liberty, love for family, love for faith, and love for the principles articulated in America's founding documents. No more. Today, only people who demand increased government protection, increased government handouts, and increased government bureaucracies are considered patriotic.

    Today's Americans look to the federal government to solve virtually every problem, to protect them from virtually any adversary, and to even subsidize their own personal welfare. In exchange for this new insatiable appetite for serfdom, such people are more than willing to surrender their individual freedoms and personal responsibilities.

    There doesn't seem to be Republican alive who remembers Ronald Reagan's famous quote, "Government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem!" Instead, today's Republicans appear just as anxious to invoke the heavy hand of government as Democrats - maybe more so.

    Virtually no one in Washington is calling for less government today. The only undecided question being debated now is how much to increase the size and scope of the federal government. The founders' concept of limited government has been repudiated by the vast majority of this me-first generation.

    Even so-called conservative leaders (including Christian conservatives) on radio and television will fight anyone who dares suggest that the federal government has become a behemoth with virtually no resemblance to the country that was created back in 1776.

    No one in Washington wants to dismantle any federal program or department. Even the once-despised National Endowment for the Arts gets a huge spending boost from these "conservative" Republicans. Ditto for federal spending for education, energy, agriculture, commerce, etc., and ad infinitum. And if you think all that's bad, wait until this new Homeland Security Department grows up. There won't be a shred of freedom left! Taxpayers have allowed themselves to be forced into financing a federal leviathan that is in the process of swallowing every liberty and personal responsibility in sight; and few people seem to mind.

    Beyond that, if anyone dares suggest that the federal government is too monstrous, too oppressive, and too invasive, they are called unpatriotic. Worse still is the fact that many such people are paid personal visits from a variety of government goon squads in order to intimidate or silence them. (Yes, this practice continues under the Bush administration.)

    This is not the America that tens of thousands of brave men fought and died for. This is not the country I grew up in. America has become an alien nation. It is a country completely foreign to the one bequeathed to us by our Founding Fathers.

    I am very confident that if George Washington, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, James Otis, Paul Revere, Sam Adams, and the rest of those great patriots of yesteryear were alive today, they would be treated by our own government the same way they were treated by old King George of England: as traitors and criminals.

    Yet, the real traitors and criminals are the ones in Washington and other places who have worked (and are working) feverishly to dismantle and destroy the fundamental principles contained in our U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence.

    If despising an overbearing, overreaching, Orwellian-style federal government complete with its "swarms of officers" intent on harassing and stealing my liberties makes me unpatriotic, then I will gladly wear the moniker.

    © Chuck Baldwin

    This column is archived as http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2002/cbarchive_20020906.html

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