By Mr. Curmudgeon:
President Ronald Reagan’s Attorney General, Edwin Meese, told NewsMax that if President Obama issues an Executive Order unilaterally imposing gun control, bypassing Congress, the 44th president risks impeachment. The former top cop is very old fashioned, and out of touch with modern America.
By old fashion, I mean Meese’s presumption that America is a nation of laws and not men. That Obama believes he can rule by royal proclamation is a product of supreme confidence; a confidence born of the eroding force of law on government power. Re-interpretations by the nation’s Progressive high court allow today’s government to ignore the letter of the law. If the Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law” abridging our right to bear arms, that doesn’t apply to the president … right?
The purpose behind restraining government was to prevent its ever becoming so powerful that force is its primary means of governance. This allowed the greatest amount of freedom for the greater number of people. It’s no coincidence that as government grows in arbitrary power, its looming shadow eclipses our freedoms.
And notice that those who call for greater government restraint are deemed “extremist,” while those advocating greater government force are defined as “mainstream” and “compassionate.” This is what George Orwell, in his novel 1984, called “doublespeak.”
In an essay titled Politics and the English Language (1946), Orwell wrote, “In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible … Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness … the great enemy of clear language is insincerity.”
And thus a horrendous, unaffordable government-run health care regime is called the “Affordable Care Act”; Washington’s rifling of national wealth in a time of economic depression is “stimulus”; granting billions of tax dollars to the commercially unviable wind and solar industries are “investments”; and raising the debt ceiling, says Obama, promotes “the financial well-being of the American people.”
Orwell was too kind in labeling political doublespeak an expression of “insincerity.” His assumption was that rhetorical packaging by politicians is responsible for the erosion of freedom. The far darker aspect of doublespeak is how easily people fall for it.
“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves,” wrote Thomas Jefferson, “and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”
That education is just beginning. For now, lawful gun-owners are a small test segment of American society that Obama will “inform” at his “discretion by education.” For the president to pay with impeachment for his executive impudence, as Ed Meese suggests, Americans will have to pay attention during the lessons to come.
And with recent history as our guide, I wouldn’t hold my breath.