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May 15, 2013

Charles C. W. Cooke On The Virtue Of Political Paranoia

Cooke (follow him on Twitter) has been a revelation at National Review. (link added/fixed thanks to CBD)

On May 5, Barack Obama shamefully told graduating students at Ohio State University: Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

This statement is telling. Contrary to the manner in which both Al Gore and President Obama customarily use the term, “self-rule” does not in fact describe a process by which the citizen submits himself to the state and, in return, is given occasion to cast a vote on how the government may run the more significant parts of his life. Instead, “self-rule” denotes a system in which a free man may maintain control over the lion’s share of his decisions while maintaining some say over the government’s conduct in those few areas where it is necessary for government to operate.

...

Why, you might ask, do I use “paranoia,” instead of the more palatable “skepticism”? Paranoia, after all, is an involuntary reaction — less of a tendency to “wait and see” than a recipe for constant fear. I will tell you why: because reflexive suspicion of government power is a magnificent and virtuous tendency, and one that should be the starting point of all political conversation in a free republic.

Go. Read it all.

Sad that it takes a young man (I think he's in his mid-20s) from the United Kingdom to remind, or more worryingly educate for the first time, so many Americans of their birthright of freedom.

In a better world, Cooke would be at the Washington Post and Ezra "The Constitution is old" Klein would be back at Pandagon (or whatever lefty swamp he emerged from).

By the way, you know who all this talk of tyranny and government overreach benefits? This guy.

Via Monty, Jonah Goldberg takes issue with Cooke's defense of the word "paranoia". I don't know. It's a polemic. A little license is allowed.

Via RD (blogging is a team effort) Cooke responds to Goldberg.


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posted by DrewM. at 11:26 AM

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