In his “farewell address” before Congress, libertarian Republican Ron Paul asked in so many words, “why is liberty so hard to sell?”
Congressman Paul answered that question at length in his speech (which you can read here),but in summary, he said that in the early part of the 20th Century, “The majority of Americans and many government officials agreed that sacrificing some liberty was necessary to carry out what some claimed to be “progressive” ideas. Pure democracy became acceptable… They failed to recognize that what they were doing was exactly opposite of what the colonists were seeking when they broke away from the British.”
One of the “progressive” ideas that seemed so right and “fair” was the notion that there were certain groups in American society that were “oppressed” and needed government protection and “benefits” to advance and gain equal status with their non-oppressed fellow citizens.
The list began with African-Americans, former slaves who were indeed oppressed. However, it soon began to expand to include the poor in general -- any minority ethnic group, homosexuals demanding to be accepted, even women, who constitute more than half the population of the country.
Anyone, it seems, with a grievance against the vicissitude of life in American society was suddenly a victim who was eligible, not just for government assistance, but for “protection” from oppression -- which might include the use of government force against the alleged “oppressor.”
In order to gain politically by constantly finding new “oppressed” minorities to liberate (as Rush Limbaugh observed during a recent broadcast), the Democratic Party, and especially Obama and his secular liberal allies, have redefined freedom to mean “Freedom is hedonism. Freedom is your sybaritic pursuits. You do whatever you want, and as long as it doesn't hurt anybody else, there's nothing wrong with it.”
We agree wholeheartedly with Rush on that one, and on his further point that, “…many people think that it's so that they [Democrats] can provide benefits and grow the welfare state -- and that's, in part, true. But there's another hideous reason for trying to put so many people into different groups of victims, and it is that those groups need protection. From whom? Mean-spirited, extremist, radical, right-wingers!”
In other words, they need protection from Sarah Palin, Ron Paul or anyone else who advocates self-reliance, responsibility, taking control of your own life and making the most of it, and have a moral code, as Limbaugh put it.
As a result of the left’s redefinition of freedom, Rush offered a quote from “A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future” by Os Guinness, to make the point that, "Americans today are heedlessly pursuing a vision of freedom that is short-lived and suicidal. Once again, freedom without virtue, leadership without character, business without trust, law without customs, education without meaning and medicine, science and technology without human considerations can end only in disaster."
And here’s where the messages of Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Ron Paul converge – and why they are each seen as such a danger to the radical secular liberal agenda and to establishment Republicans who want to “rebrand” the Party to be more like the Democrats.
Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, and of course Rush Limbaugh, have each been able to activate millions of Americans who believe that freedom without personal responsibility isn’t freedom and to rally millions more to fight the idea of giving up a little freedom in order to be liberated by the left.
CHQ editor George Rasley served as lead advance representative for Governor Sarah Palin during the 2008 presidential campaign.