Freedom in the United States

Michael Barone deduces the tendency of Obama administration policies to turn Americans into wards of the state. (He also takes issue with David Brooks’s column arguing that Republicans learned the wrong lessons from John Ford’s classic Western movies.) George Will concludes that the Obama administration’s agenda of maximizing dependency involves political favoritism cloaked in the raiment of “economic planning” and “social justice” that somehow produce results superior to what markets produce when freedom allows merit to manifest itself, and incompetence to fail.

Barone quotes from Professor Paul Rahe’s important new book Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift: “As Tocqueville recognized long ago, human dignity is bound up with taking responsibility for conducting one’s own affairs.” Ed Morrissey’s interview with Professor Rahe last month is accessible here.

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