Government Free Fantasy Pledge

This is what happens when you show up at a tea party with a “no medicare” pledge?

This pledge to stop using governmental programs is very popular with big government advocates. Underneath, the argument is quite simple: if you don’t like governmental control in one area, you should forgo governmental control in all areas.

It’s the updated version of “Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican.” The newer version is The Tea Party Pledge.

The main purpose behind the pledge is to label as “hypocrites” those who would halt the expansion or call for reducing the role of government. The implied argument is that if you think its wrong for the government to be in control of the items listed but do not abstain from using them, you can’t be taken seriously.

In essence, it’s asking people to act as though they live in a world that doesn’t exist. Government is involved with almost every aspect of our lives; it’s impossible to live government-free. The argument is tantamount to telling an environmentalist who complains about air quality to stop breathing.

Those calling for government to stop farm subsidies are not hypocrites for eating. An environmentalist calling for the elimination of fossil fuels isn’t a hypocrite each time they use a fossil fuel, because the fossil fuel free world does not exist. Calling for the reduction of government in a life dominated by government isn’t hypocritical, either.

The hypocrisy here is in ignoring how government has slowly taken away from people the ability to be self-reliant. The money for all the services government supplies comes from the people. A natural consequence of taking  wealth from people is that they become dependent on the entity that now has control of their wealth.

The cruel nature of these attacks is especially clear when asking people to abstain from Social Security. Money taken from paychecks for Social Security throughout the years hinders individuals’ ability to save for their own retirement. These activists then have the nerve to call people hypocrites to accept some of their own money back from the Social Security system in order to survive.

These listed items in this pledge makes a very different point than intended: Government is too big–so big it’s clearly impossible to live without direct involvement in each of our lives.

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