America becoming a nanny state

Filed under COMMENTARIES

DR. ELAINA GEORGE
GUEST COLUMNIST

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a vision of the federal government as our savior is being perpetuated by the media and the left.

This romanticized vision of the benefits of an ever-expanding government assuming command of everything — from disaster relief to managing our waistlines to promoting breastfeeding to mandatory vaccinations and to how we live and die — needs to be given serious thought.

What price are we paying to allow the government to extend far beyond its constitutional mandate to “provide for the common defense” and “promote the general welfare” to the degree that America is descending into a nanny state that doesn’t “secure the blessings of liberty”?

Despite the praise for the government’s response to Hurricane Sandy, the sight of people standing in lines for hours for gasoline or huddled in their homes with limited or no supplies of food and water seems to provide an answer to the question.

Government intervention
Dependence on the government has led to potentially tragic vulnerability.  As a people, too many of us have voluntarily ceded our individual authority and responsibility to a system designed to treat us as a collective group of children incapable of making decisions for our own good and the security of our families.

Fear is the predominant driving force encouraging so many to remain passive — apparently valuing safety above the freedom to speak, think and strive to achieve the full extent of one’s God-given talent — which is systematically stripped away by government intervention.

Does the good of the many really outweigh the needs of the few when we are moving ever more rapidly towards creating a society that is increasingly more petty, selfish and small-minded in the name of fairness and spreading the wealth around?

Some might consider it a fair compromise if the government actually took measures to protect us from harm.  But the assumption really doesn’t meet the reality.

Remember Katrina
Chest-thumping about the wonders of FEMA and the alleged efficiency of the federal government leaves lingering doubts.  Remember the people affected by Hurricane Katrina who were forced into formaldehyde-laced trailers?  How about the prolonged fiasco surrounding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?

This is the recent past — government has not changed.  And declining goods and services in the northeast may yet reveal that a big government hasn’t really been the solution to Hurricane Sandy’s victims.

Expanding government can still be controlled.  But America is coming to a potential point of no return.  Emotions cannot be allowed to dominate the promulgation of policy.  An explosion of government interference will not help our nation, and — once big enough — cannot be stopped.

Dr. Elaina George, a member of the national advisory council of the Project 21 Black leadership network, is an otolaryngologist and host of a weekly talk radio show, “Medicine on Call.”

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