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July 3, 2023

(Partially adapted from the book “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy,” which you can buy here: “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy” - Mike Huckabee)

It seems as if every day’s news brings a story of some egomaniacal politician, bureaucrat or billionaire with another harebrained scheme for how the rest of us should live. We all need to be eating bug paste instead of hamburgers, living in caves, driving cars powered by windmills (when the wind is blowing), and living small, contained, pre-planned, freedom-free, government-monitored lives to “save the planet,” while our superiors (at least, that’s how they see themselves) keep living in mansions and flying around on private jets to “climate conferences” at five-star resorts with surf ‘n’ turf buffets.

What’s almost as galling as the utterly unearned sense of moral and intellectual superiority among this clique of trust fund babies and second husbands of wealthy widows is their smug assertion that we will “own nothing and be happy.” This notion that people are happier when Big Brother Government does all their thinking for them is anathema to basic American values, but they keep coming up with new ways to sell it, as if it were another overhyped and underperforming consumer product.

Remember “The Life of Julia?” That was an early attempt at selling the Nanny State that was rolled out during Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. It was an animated online video that depicted a woman named Julia who was dependent on government for all things from cradle to grave. She could live her life only thanks to the ever-present benevolent hand of Uncle Sugar. This was meant to make people feel grateful for all those “government services” (or more precisely, the administration of those “services”) that have contributed to our $32 trillion national debt and demand more and more.

To most self-reliant Americans, the sad, dull, empty life of “Julia” was a disturbing combination of insult to our intelligence and revelation of what the “nannies” in government really think of us poor, feckless Americans — and their desire to train and condition us to love government more than freedom.

I felt sorry for the people who thought Julia’s sad little life was something to be envied, or celebrated as a tribute to the wonderful, all-encompassing role that government plays in our lives. In my own role as a parent, it was never my hope that I would raise my three children in a way that would make them dependent on me for their entire lives. I would be heartbroken and distraught if my three able-bodied adult children felt unable or unwilling to leave the nest and try their wings; or that my parenting left them paralyzed and clinging to their mother and me for the rest of their lives. (Note: I don’t think I had to worry about that.)

Friends of mine who have children with incapacitating physical or mental disabilities have no choice but to keep them at home for their entire lives. But they provide never-ending care out of love and necessity. The willing sacrifices they make are extraordinary, but they would be the first to say that it’s not the life they would have chosen for their children.

“The Life of Julia” was a startling revelation of how proponents of big government view life and hope to sell their vision of total dependence to the public (the first of many, since Hollywood has recently been cranking out lots of animated movies with leftist messages, and they have the red ink on their balance sheets to prove it.) Intervention by government at each stage of Julia’s existence is all that makes her life possible, from food stamps to Medicaid to rent subsidies to tuition assistance (no doubt to a college that teaches her to love socialism) to the Women and Infant Children (WIC) program to welfare checks to Medicare to even a government-subsidized community garden to putter around in during her sunset years (I’m surprised they didn’t tout the Social Security burial stipend to put the cherry on top), just to name a few of the many programs that act as a cozy, federal hammock. Poor, helpless Julia survives only because she is a tranquilized ward of the state her entire life, as is her child.

But where is Julia's husband/spouse/partner/baby daddy? We never find out. In the minds of those who love Big Daddy government, an actual participating father is so irrelevant, he’s not even worth mentioning. Government is both protector and provider. Who needs dad when you’ve got Uncle Sugar? (Maybe he even fathered Julia’s kid through a Planned Parenthood sperm donor grant.)

I’ve discussed “helicopter parents,” who hover over their children to swoop in and protect them from every scrape, bump, and bruise, who insist they’re special little angels who are always right and who must have their feelings protected at all costs. If you want to see the results of that, look at all the nose-ringed Antifa brats attacking people for daring to express ideas they disagree with, which to them is the equivalent of “violence,” or the snowflake kids rushing to “safe spaces” to squeeze Play-Doh to relieve the anxiety of hearing a different opinion.

Today, we're also faced with the prospect of “helicopter government,” which claims to be ready to swoop in and rescue us from all of life’s trials and tribulations, if we just give them all our money and freedom. Both helicopter parents and helicopter government create whole classes of people who are self-absorbed, weak, dependent, and ripe for trading the hard-fought rights they inherited for false promises of security.

It was shocking but somehow not shocking to read that a recent CATO survey found that nearly 30% of young Gen Z Americans would support putting government surveillance cameras into every home to “prevent crime and abuse.” I guess it never dawned on them that this itself would be a crime against individual rights and a huge abuse of government power.

While helicopter parenting and helicopter government have both warped young people’s minds into not appreciating their precious rights as Americans, only helicopter government can pass the staggering cost of its “hovering” on to those of us who are forced to subsidize their utopian hallucinations. It’s a lot easier to stick people with the bill who haven’t even been born yet and can’t protest, which explains the stupefying national debt.

The best hope for America is that there are still enough of us out here in Bubbaville who are having kids instead of aborting them, and teaching those kids (via homeschooling, if necessary) the real history of America and why their rights are too precious ever to trade away for false promises of security.

We saw “The Life of Julia” and either laughed or recoiled or both. Our taste in films runs more toward things like Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino,” the movie where a gang of punks was threatening a family and trying to force one of their kids to adopt their lifestyle, and Clint held a rife on them and snarled, “GET OFF MY LAWN!”

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