Steyn and decline

Mark Steyn’s latest “Happy Warrior” column for National Review focuses on the signs of incremental American decline. “We know the smell of decay, and we recognize it in America today.”

One sign of that “decay”? The victory of bureaucracy over common sense:

The Transportation Security Administration, which in a decade of existence has never caught a single terrorist, has managed to persuad freeborn citizens to accept that minor state bureaucrats have the right to fondle your scrotum without probable cause. The TSA is now unionizing, which means that this hideous embodiment of bureaucratized sclerosis will now have its fingers in your gusset until the end of time.

What was it they used to say? If we give up our freedoms, the terrorists will have won? Whether or not the terrorists have won, the bureaucrats have. And they’re a more profound existential threat than the terrorists will ever be. My accountant is trying to explain to me the new 1099 requirements of Obamacare, but who cares? In the Republic of Paperwork, there’ll be a new set of new requirements along any minute. I’m ashamed of myself for even knowing what a 1099 is. But that’s the issue: Once you accept the principle that one citizen cannot contract with another without filing paperwork with the state, imposing ever more onerous conditions is merely a difference of degree.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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