I Don't Want Your Damn Help, Al.
This morning (Thursday, June 1, 2017) while promoting his new book on CNBC, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) said that being a senator was the best job he ever had because “you get to improve people’s lives.” He said he had been inspired by his mentor, the late Paul Wellstone, describing him as a great progressive, who stated that “politics is not about winning, not about money, but about improving people’s lives”.
Ignoring the fact that no one in America in their right mind believes that politics is not about money and winning, the statement that politics (and by implication government) is supposed to improve people’s lives is patently false. As noted in a Wall Street Journal book review on the same day but on a different subject “the purpose of government was to secure the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
The purpose of government is to insure our freedom to pursue our own goals. This personal liberty is the engine that made America the richest, most powerful country on earth. Millions of Americans pursuing their own goals provides a wide, diverse generator of creativity. It is this creativity and innovation that has powered our economic and technological growth. It has also powered academia and the arts.
Now, you might not think that TV sit-coms are high art but not everyone travels the globe to see the latest rendition of Der Ring des Nibelungen as opera buffs are wont to do. But that is what diversity is all about. Sit-coms for Joe six-pack and the ring cycle for the literati. And a plethora of alternatives in between.
It is arrogance on the part of progressives to believe that they know best and that they can improve my life better than I can myself. They don’t know what I need. They don’t know what I want. In their fervor to control our lives for our own good they ban sugary drinks and raise the taxes on cigarettes to astronomical heights. They force me (and you) to purchase insurance for anatomically impossible medical procedures.
I don’t want you to improve my life into your left-wing vision of what my life should be. I have my own vision. I want my government to make sure I have the freedom to try to accomplish my vision my way. So, Al. Thanks but no thanks. I don’t want your damn help.