When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ [Hitler] said in a speech on November 6, 1933, “I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already.’”
-As reported by historian William L. Shirer
It’s not easy being a parent in the American police state.
Danger lurks around every corner and comes at you from every direction, especially when Big Brother is involved.
Out on the streets, you’ve got the menace posed by police officers who shoot first and ask questions later. In the schools, parents have to worry about school resource officers who taser teenagers and handcuff kindergartners, school officials who have criminalized childhood behavior, school lockdowns and terror drills that teach your children to fear and comply, and a police state mindset that has transformed the schools into quasi-prisons.
In your neighborhoods, you’ve got to worry about the Nanny State and its network of busybodies turning parents in for allowing their children to walk to school alone, walk to the park alone, play at the beach alone, or even play in their own yard alone.
And now in the last refuge for privacy—one’s home—parents are being put through the grinder, their actions scrutinized and judged by government goon squads armed with outrageous, overreaching, egregious laws that subject families to the hyped-up, easily offended judgment of the Nanny State.
The latest slap in the face comes from the Arizona Supreme Court whose 3-2 ruling in Arizona v. Holle paves the way for parents to be charged as child molesters or sexual abusers for such innocent acts as changing their children’s diapers or taking baths with their kids.
Now the court is not fully to blame for this idiotic ruling.
That prize goes to the well-meaning idiots in the Arizona legislature who drafted legislation that criminalizes any contact between an adult and a child’s genitals, whether or not improper sexual intent was involved.
By allowing this legislation to go unchallenged, however, the Arizona Supreme Court has created a paradigm in which parents are de facto sexual predators who, if formally charged, have the burden of proving their innocence “after a lengthy, expensive, and reputation-tarnishing trial,” as legal reporter Mark Joseph Stern writes for Slate.
Not only would a parent accused under this law have to prove his or her innocence to the jury “by a preponderance of the evidence,” but they could be forced to spend an undetermined amount of time in jail just waiting to prove their innocence.
The message is chillingly clear: your children are not your own but are, in fact, wards of the state who have been temporarily entrusted to your care. Should you fail to carry out your duties to the government’s satisfaction, the children in your care will be re-assigned elsewhere.
In other words, the government believes it knows better than you – the parent – what is best for your child.
This criminalization of parenthood has run the gamut in recent years from parents being arrested for attempting to walk their kids home from school to parents being fined and threatened with jail time for their kids’ bad behavior or tardiness at school.
This doesn’t even touch on what happens to your kids when they’re at school—especially the public schools—where parents have little to no control over what their kids are taught, how they are taught, how and why they are disciplined, and the extent to which they are being indoctrinated into marching in lockstep with the government’s authoritarian playbook.
The harm caused by attitudes and policies that treat America’s young people as government property is not merely a short-term deprivation of individual rights. It is also a long-term effort to brainwash our young people into believing that civil liberties are luxuries that can and will be discarded at the whim and caprice of government officials.
This draconian mindset that sees young people as wards of the state is in keeping with the government’s approach towards individual freedoms in general.
Surveillance cameras, government agents listening in on your phone calls, reading your emails and text messages and monitoring your spending, mandatory health care, sugary soda bans, anti-bullying laws, zero tolerance policies, political correctness: these are all outward signs of a government—i.e., a monied elite—that believes it knows what is best for you and can do a better job of managing your life than you can.
This is tyranny disguised as “the better good.”
Indeed, this is the tyranny of the Nanny State: marketed as benevolence, enforced with armed police, and inflicted on all those who do not belong to the elite ruling class that gets to call the shots. This is what the world looks like when bureaucrats not only think they know better than the average citizen but are empowered to inflict their viewpoints on the rest of the populace on penalty of fines, arrest or death.
Unfortunately, even in the face of outright corruption and incompetency on the part of elected officials, Americans in general remain relatively gullible, eager to be persuaded that the government can solve the problems that plague us—whether it be terrorism, an economic depression, an environmental disaster, how or what we eat or even keeping our children safe.
We have relinquished control over the most intimate aspects of our lives to government officials who, while they may occupy seats of authority, are neither wiser, smarter, more in tune with our needs, more knowledgeable about our problems, nor more aware of what is really in our best interests. Yet having bought into the false notion that the government does indeed know what’s best for us and can ensure not only our safety but our happiness and will take care of us from cradle to grave—that is, from daycare centers to nursing homes—we have in actuality allowed ourselves to be bridled and turned into slaves at the bidding of a government that could care less about our freedoms or our happiness.
The lesson is this: once a free people allows the government inroads into their freedoms or uses those same freedoms as bargaining chips for security, it quickly becomes a slippery slope to outright tyranny.
Nor does it seem to matter whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican at the helm anymore, because the bureaucratic mindset on both sides of the aisle now seems to embody the same philosophy of authoritarian government, whose priorities are to remain in control and in power.
Having allowed the government to expand and exceed our reach, we find ourselves on the losing end of a tug-of-war over control of our country and our lives. And as long as we let them, government officials will continue to trample on our rights, always justifying their actions as being for the good of the people.
Yet the government can only go as far as “we the people” allow. Therein lies the problem.
The choice before us is clear, and it is a moral choice.
It is the choice between tyranny and freedom, dictatorship and autonomy, peaceful slavery and dangerous freedom, and manufactured pipedreams of what America used to be versus the gritty reality of what she is today.
Most of all, perhaps, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the choice before us is that of blindly obeying, never questioning, and marching in lockstep with the police state OR asking hard questions, challenging injustice, standing up to tyranny, and owning up to our responsibilities as citizens, no matter how painful, risky or uncomfortable.
As Franklin D. Roosevelt observed, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”