You probably don’t need to be told. You probably have figured it out on your own. Yet the answer to the question is profoundly important. It opens the door to the question of limited versus unlimited government, freedom versus tyranny, man versus the state. A certain prominent GOP presidential candidate reminds me, however, on something like a daily basis that he needs instruction in the answer to the question. It’s never too late to learn. Professor Paul Rahe is on the case: “What’s wrong with the individual mandate?”
Professor Rahe’s book Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville, and the Modern Prospect is one of two contemporary books that are key to understanding the Age of Obama. The other is William Voegeli’s Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State. If you are not familiar with these books, please check them out. They provide the intellectual context to the political struggle in which we are engaged and the wherewithal to understand it.
George Kennan gave us the doctrine of containment to hold off the imperial ambitions of the Soviet Union and Communism. We need the equivalent to hold off the imperial ambitions of the welfare state and Obamunism. And then we need to move from containment to rollback, which is the prescription necessary to ward off Obamacare.