Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not those of St. George News.
OPINION – Ever notice how the number of people waiting in line to hear comfortable lies is always much greater than the number of folks lining up to hear uncomfortable truths?
Perhaps it’s just a defense mechanism that kicks in when our views are challenged, but too often our attachment to our beliefs trumps our commitment to truth. This phenomenon is especially common during an election cycle.
If, for example, someone were to suggest that a Mitt Romney presidency could conceivably produce a greater threat to our remaining freedoms than would be found during four more years of President Obama, how would you react?
Would you immediately switch into kill-the-messenger mode? Would you experience a flash of anger and step forward to defend your point of view? Would you think, “I’ve never considered that before” and ask clarifying questions? Would you simply roll over and go back to sleep?
Those who tend to default to kill-the-messenger mode may wish to stop reading at this point. Truth-seekers who aren’t as threatened by a differing point of view are invited to read on.
There’s no shortage of American conservatives who rightly view Barack Obama’s socialist policies and power grabs as incompatible with liberty and prosperity. They are galvanized and more than willing to stand up for smaller government and greater personal freedom when a Democratic president is in office. But too many of those same individuals have a peculiar blind spot that excuses and even cheers the abuse of federal power when it’s being done by a Republican, in the name of national security.
Conservatives tend to bristle at this suggestion, but when they abandon their principles in order to wield the force of the state to achieve their goals, they’re morally no different than their socialist counterparts who also abuse the state’s power as the means to their ends.
The uncomfortable truth that few are willing to acknowledge is that the actual differences between the presumptive presidential candidates are negligible. Obama and Romney are both enthusiastic proponents of unlimited federal power. They only differ, in minor degrees, on how they wish to use that power.
They both support the U.S. government’s claim to the power to detain indefinitely or assassinate at its whim, anyone, anytime, anywhere, without due process. Both support domestic spying and an aggressive foreign policy based upon military interventionism and preemptive war in order to project American influence around the globe. Both support centrally planned solutions to health care and a continuation of deficit spending. Each of these policies requires a corresponding abandonment of key principles of good government such as fiscal responsibility, moral foreign policy and the protection of inalienable rights.
Neither of these candidates poses any type of credible threat to the status quo, and that is why we are being told that they are our only legitimate choices come November.
The greatest danger of a Romney presidency is that the same conservatives who are currently decrying Obama’s abuses of power will almost certainly change their tune—just like they did under George W. Bush, when a Republican president is abusing those same powers.
Both parties have clearly shown by their actions that they are equally committed to consolidating governmental power, spending without limit, and extending the state’s control over the citizenry at the expense of individual liberty. Right now the American voter is being presented with a classic false dilemma regarding their choice for president. This is a fallacy of reasoning that presents us with an artificially limited number of options when, in reality, other reasonable options exist.
The political-media establishment has once again carefully screened and sidelined those candidates whose principles are based in limited government, individual liberty, and free market capitalism. And once again, the partisan craving for power is blinding voters to the dangerous lack of principle in those candidates promoted by those who set the boundaries of acceptable opinion.
Many individuals recognize, to some degree, just how hostile both major parties have been to liberty. But it’s sad how many will nonetheless justify holding their noses to vote for someone who they hope will make the ongoing evisceration of liberty a bit more gentle.
They fail to recognize that by supporting false choices, they lend legitimacy to a rigged system that, while giving them a sense of participation, still carefully denies them any possibility of affecting actual change.
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Copyright 2012 St. George News.