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01/03/2006 Archived Entry: "10 worst Americans -- who can say?"

THE LATEST BLOG MEME GOING AROUND is making lists of the 10 worst Americans of all time. (I learned about this from Jed's FreedomSight, one of my regular reads.)

I tried coming up with a 10-worst list. Really I did. Had I completed it, the top (that is, the lowest and most verminous) name on the list would have been Father of the Drug War, Harry Anslinger -- as devious, lying, power-mongering a slug as ever oozed across the political landscape. That man and his political and law-enforcement descendants are responsible for more human misery than any individual president, senator, or congressslime. But of course, today's presidents, senators, and congressslime are mostly Anslinger's descendents. And therein lies the problem in trying to list any 10.

My list, had I made one, would have consisted almost entirely of do-gooders -- those people who are so morally certain of their own righteousness that they're willing to use the most powerful weapons of government to force others to go along. Those people who, believing their cause to be more noble, unquestioningly think they have a right to steal from others to implement their own desires.

The list could have included Carry Nation, John Dewey, Sarah Brady and Pete Shields, J. Edgar Hoover, and President Wilson's advisor Col. House.

Although he's not technically in the do-gooder class, I would have made a spot on the list for Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman. Yes, I know in many ways he's the great free-marketeer. But he's also the man who cooked up the "temporary" withholding tax to help win World War II -- immediately tripling (I believe) federal income-tax revenues and making tax paying so painless that millions actually think they get "free money back from the government" once a year. Friedman's "temporary" tax-efficiency innovation certainly enabled a lot more tax-financed do-gooding -- a lot more smothering us with our own money.

But in the end, I couldn't make any such list. Because most of the people who deserve to be on it aren't well-known. And they don't act alone, but in government-loving gangs. I don't know -- or care -- who founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving, for instance. But I do know that that amorphous, all-consuming mass of do-gooders is working hard to destroy the fourth amendment, turn America into checkpoint nation, and arrest drivers who have any sign of recreational chemicals in their breath, their urine, or their blood -- even if there's not the slightest reason to believe those individuals are driving dangerously.

I'm a bit of a prude about drinking myself. And I want drunks off the road as much as anybody else does. But what MADD wants ... that's a whole different thing. That's fanatacism. That's destroying America. And that's what happens when you combine moralizing do-gooders with the power of the state.

But who to name? Who to blame? Sorry to get a tad humorless about this. I know the 10-worst lists are kind of a game. But thinking about these ... people bites. How does anybody identify the individuals most responsible for America being turned from the land of the free into the land of puling whiners who huddle, trembling, afraid, but oh so self-righteous and malignly powerful behind their tax-enforced causes?

Posted by Claire @ 12:48 PM CST

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