Given much of the conversation in Rhode Island, particularly that range of the conversation that I bring up repeatedly in this space, a response of Kevin Williamson to a statement of belief from Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton seems a propos:
Terry Shumaker, former U.S. ambassador to Trinidad (I wonder what that gig cost him) and current abject minion in the service of Mrs. Clinton, quotes Herself telling an audience in New Hampshire: “Service is the rent we pay for living in this great country.”
There is a very old English word for people who are required to perform service as a rent for their existence, and that word is serf. Serfdom is a form of bondage.
Americans are not serfs. We are not sharecroppers on Herself’s farm or in vassalage to that smear of thieving nincompoopery in Washington that purports to rule us.
We don’t owe you any damned rent.
The point is especially clear, as I spotlighted yesterday, when it comes to property rights and housing, but it applies throughout public policy. What’s more, this very distinction is the either-or behind every difference that some of us have with Rhode Island’s current governor, Gina Raimondo: Is government here to serve the people who live in the state, or are we servants and supplicant subjects of government? Is it government’s role to make our local society work for us, or is it government’s role to bring in new residents who and to modify us to better fit the government’s plan? Should our economy and its future be determined by our independent interests and actions, or should the government collect all resources and authority to itself and then distribute “incentives” and make “investments” according to the plans of a small group of insiders? Should we be free to act according to our own interests and dreams, or must we either clear our plans with government or find somewhere else to pursue them?
We’ve reached the point of absolutely no ambiguity on these questions from the people who run state government. They know what’s best; government truly has no limits; and representative democracy mainly means we have the opportunity to pick the people who will make decisions for two or four years (including the likelihood that those people will directly give us special payments or privileges).
If the Rhode Island electorate disagrees with this view, we have to let the state government know by the only means that it believes is legitimate.