Wednesday night, Americans witnessed the first debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. By all accounts, Governor Romney soundly bested the failed president both on his command of the facts and in his demeanor. While seeing Governor Romney dominate the debate is very encouraging, it does not change the reality that America is a bankrupt nation that long ago ceased to be a free, constitutional republic.
In the debate about their ideas to improve the American economy, there can be no doubt that Governor Romney’s plan will result in job-creation and economic growth; two thousand years of economic history and scholarship prove incontrovertibly that lower taxes and fewer government regulations result in economic prosperity. The same history has demonstrated the universal failure of all forms of collectivism, Marxism, and statism as enthusiastically embraced by President Obama.
Governor Romney may well win the election this November and slow America’s headlong plunge into economic and political collapse, but (spoiler alert), regardless of who wins the election, here is what we will find four years from now: Mitt Romney has not promised to pay down America’s crushing debt, nor even to balance the federal budget, but rather to “put America on track to a balanced budget.” Sounds great, but we are already bankrupt — we should have put ourselves on that track twenty years ago. Romney wants to “simplify and modify” business regulations — not eliminate them, despite their having no basis in the Constitution. He has promised to “honor the institution of marriage … help you and your family,” and repeal and replace ObamaCare.
Article II of the Constitution does not charge the president with honoring marriages, helping my family and me, or controlling my health care decisions. I think Mitt Romney is a fine man and would make a good president, but I do not want his help with my life, my healthcare, my business, or my marriage. I want him to honor the oath he will take as president next January 20 — to faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. But he will not do that. Four years from that day, the national debt will be far lower than if Barack Obama remains in office, but it will still be higher than it is today. Unconstitutional and tyrannical federal agencies, from the Department of Education to the EPA to the FCC, will get up to a little less mischief for a while, but they will all continue to employ millions of petty tyrants frustrating the creative energy of millions of Americans and degrading the lives of all in the process.
It was demoralizing to watch the spectacle of two men arguing about who would make a better dictator over how much money we are allowed to keep, how we will purchase our health care, how we will educate our children, and how we will conduct our private business affairs with one another. America has drifted so far away from its founding principles that not a single commentator observed the obscenity of two presidential candidates saying such things in front of a rendering of the Declaration of Independence. Its author, Thomas Jefferson, told Americans what their president should promote for the prosperity and happiness of the people: a “wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”
Standing in front of Jefferson’s words that heralded the dawn of human freedom, we witnessed two men argue about what percentage of our incomes they will confiscate at the point of a gun — 35 or 40 percent? When America was still a republic of free men, President Jefferson boasted, “It may be the pleasure and the pride of an American to ask, what farmer, what mechanic, what laborer ever sees a tax gatherer of the United States?”
The American federal government has become a bloated, twisted caricature of republicanism (with a little “r”). Congress and the federal judiciary recognize no limitation upon their power to dictate every aspect of our lives — our incomes, medical care, education, right down to our light bulbs and the flow rate of our shower heads. The presidency is a virtual dictatorship; last night, Governor Romney and President Obama told us they were going to raise or lower taxes, repeal and enact laws, and “invest” the incomes they seize in businesses of their choice. Standing under a giant bald eagle that held a ribbon with the words “the Constitution forever,” our two candidates and every member of the press ignored the fact that the Constitution gives Congress the power to enact laws and lay taxes, and that no power is granted to the president to make business investments.
The stark reality is that on November 6, Americans are electing a king to reign over a bankrupt country. If Governor Romney wins the crown, he will be a wise and frugal king, and his edicts will improve our lives for a time and delay our descent into chaos — but the chains of debt and the machinery of federal tyranny will remain when his reign ends. I have little choice but to cast my vote for Romney’s ascension to the presidential throne — but I’d rather be free.