I wanted to let some time go by before giving you my takeaway from Tuesday's historic election. I call it historic because you have to go back to the 1920's to find a higher number of Republican representatives that are about to reside in the "People's House". You have to ask why such a huge margin now? And there are more Republican Governor's and Republican state legislators today than in memorable history; and oh yes, the Republicans took the Senate in a surprising sweep, outdoing even the wildest expectations of almost everyone. They are likely to end up with nine new seats, many in Democratic strongholds.

 

The message of this election, in my view, is a resounding anti-government message to Washington: "get out of our faces!"  In every poll, the American people by a two-thirds majority say this country is going in the wrong direction. It's more than economics. It's in foreign policy, in healthcare, in immigration, in the amount of laws that control us and regulate us. The direction we have been going is away from more freedom and toward less.

 

There are two major concerns by most Americans today: 1) the government is all over us, telling us what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and what we can and can't do. And 2) Government and government bureaucracy is incompetent. The ideal of a smarter government has been repudiated by the facts of reality. The result was a backlash against big government and an explicit move by the electorate towards the practical rather than the “Ideal”. People want what works.

 

Everybody, whether rich or poor, women or men, immigrant, black, oriental, or Hispanic likes to move forward. No one likes to move backwards. What has been working and not working is eloquently visible on the state and local level where we have seen energy booms, better educational results, and real problem solving wherever greater freedom has been allowed. And the exact opposite where the heavy hand of government has taken over.

 

This is why Illinois chose a Republican Governor in a predominately Democratic state. Individuals are choosing the prosperity of Texas over the disintegration of society in places like Detroit and Chicago, the bluest of Democratic cities. The Democratic Governor lost in Michigan and for the first time in years a Republican was voted in. The American people are rejecting the progressive philosophy of government almost everywhere as they see its results.

 

Barack Obama said before this election that every one of his policies were on the ballot this year and urged the people to go out and vote. They did. They repudiated his policies, his approach, and his incompetence and that of big government in general. Obama responded with "the Republican's had a good night" and moved on. He handled this disappointment just like he handled every other crisis and scandal he's faced in the last 6 years: He evaded the results. American's are learning what works and what doesn't. Obama refuses to.

 

There can be no doubt the winner in this election was freedom. In every voting bloc from Hispanics, to blacks, to the rich and the poor, there was a move away from the progressive political philosophy of Barack Obama and Liberals, toward a more limited, less intrusive government. People have had enough of incompetence and the intrusion into peoples’ lives.

 

But the battle is far from over, due to the results of another blatant trend of this election: the use of the referendum. In a truly free society, there is no “right” of some people to violate the rights of others. Yet, that is exactly what a referendum does. It allows the majority to take away the property or the freedoms of others. It is a doctrine that decrees that the “majority rules”.

 

Last Tuesday on election night, five states passed minimum wage laws, thereby interfering with the right of an employee and employer to freely determine a fair salary in the marketplace.  It is now law that the majority can eliminate the employer and set the terms of employment and wages by edict. The employer and market conditions no longer have anything to say about it. This blatant act of intervention is a violation of the very essence of freedom. It replaces rights with the dictates of a gang. It isn't new --we have been violating individual rights since this countries inception. It's just that it has become more acceptable today, and a lot easier.

 

As long as you take away someone's freedom or property by vote, it is considered "fair". Remember the old saying, "I stole that fair and square"? It used to be a clever joke. Now it has become a political strategy, cleverly stealing money and freedoms in elections. How many people would vote to raise taxes on themselves? Not as many as would vote to raise taxes on others and not themselves. This is what our Founding Fathers called “Legal Plunder.” They were against the doctrine of “Majority Rule.”

 

We talk about "fairness" and "inequality" at the same time that we institutionalize a tax system that takes from the rich and gives to the poor. That used to be called “discrimination”. Today, it's called fighting inequality. If it’s legal it's fair, and the process of referendum says “it’s fair.” We have a tradition in this country of tolerating grotesque contradictions. We were for freedom, but not freedom for slaves. We are for fairness, but we’ll confiscate a person’s home under the laws of Eminent Domain and never blink an eye. And we steal a person’s money with a vote and call theft “equality”.

 

Tuesday's election brought with it an explicit move away from the notion that the Federal Government has the answers to all our problems, and is smarter than us. We know now this is not true. But at the same time, we moved from voting down federal edicts to voting in state edicts. We cling to the erroneous notion that the majority is wise and should rule. Majority rule is as dangerous as government dictatorship.

 

We need to learn once and for all that freedom means freedom for everybody. We need to get out of people’s lives, their bedrooms, their businesses, and their pocket books. Government does only one thing well: it does a fairly decent job of protecting us from force and fraud and the threats from abroad. If we just kept governments focused on that one function -- protection of rights and the establishment of courts of law that justly resolve disputes and punish those that violate the rights of others -- we would have a far better, more prosperous, and fairer society.

 

But we are now seeing governments getting into the wage setting business. They’re in the financial business, the healthcare business, the insurance business, the energy business, the restaurant business -- you name it, they’re in it. Not even the government can understand the thousands of laws, regulations, and controls they've passed, many of which are contradictory and incomprehensible. Yet, they think that they can set wages. Next it will be prices set by referendum!

 

Ridiculous? Not given the new polarity of the referendum. It is the new tool of those that want power. If the majority rules, there is no limit to what they can do, no freedom that they cannot take away, and no right they cannot violate.

 

The election is over but the battle has only just begun.

 

Paul Nathan

Paulnathan.biz