Big Government

The U.S. Has Strayed Far From Its Founding Ideals

Governments at the state, local, and federal levels can obstruct our pursuit of happiness and at times even jeopardize our safety.

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Declaring their independence from British rule 245 years ago, the American colonists held "these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." They went on to announce, "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

During the recent holiday, I reflected on how we've strayed from the ideals expressed so eloquently by Thomas Jefferson. You don't have to be a Reagan Republican to see how governments at the state, local, and federal levels can obstruct our pursuit of happiness and at times even jeopardize our safety.

Consider the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the virus's perils, governments abused their authority through lockdown policies and onerous outdoor mask mandates. Many schools remained closed despite data that revealed safe ways to bring the kids back. And when schools did reopen, the priority wasn't education but, instead, hygiene theater.

At the federal level, the pandemic response was plagued by incompetence, including the two main public health agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Talking to Reason, George Mason University economist Alex Tabarrok noted that the agencies' response to the pandemic is "a failure of historic proportions."

The CDC, whose mission includes preparing for pandemics, failed to see this coming or at least share the information it had with the public in a timely manner. It then issued frequently changing or confusing messages about the virus and masks. Its mistakes were compounded by the FDA's refusal to adopt already available COVID tests from abroad, and it then failed to deliver a test that worked.

The FDA also refused to authorize the use of home tests, arguing that they aren't as safe as the government ones. This unnecessarily slowed our ability to limit the coronavirus's spread. These repeated failures led to more deaths and left authorities with a perfect excuse to implement government lockdowns and close schools.

It's too easy for critics to blame these mishaps on former President Donald Trump. These agencies have a history of failures that long predate his presidency. For instance, thanks to the FDA's hyper risk aversion and overly restrictive rules, thousands of people every year suffer and die while treatments that could have helped them sit on shelves awaiting FDA approval. The CDC is also renowned for its repeated failures—from its nonsensical war on vaping and failed nutritional recommendations to its botched responses to previous disease outbreaks.

But pandemics are not the only excuses governments use to violate our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Governments of all stripes pass many well-intended rules that thwart the achievement of our full economic potential.

For instance, zoning and other land-use rules slow growth by restricting the construction of housing, thus increasing the cost of living in places that would offer those who could move there higher wages and better lives. One result is that people are kept in places less conducive to their own prosperity. The same can be said of restrictive immigration rules. Tariffs, farm and export subsidies, and most occupational licensing requirements increase the prices paid by consumers while making it harder for lower income and younger workers to enter the labor market and compete with protected workers.

These are just a drop in the ocean of bad rules imposed on us by our governments. But no actions have been more detrimental to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence than the states enforcing slavery, "black codes," Jim Crow laws, and other discriminatory rules on minorities while the courts—including the Supreme Court—shut their eyes to the rights violations. This was compounded by the counterproductive war on drugs, with its militarization of the police and a justice system that destroys the lives of thousands of Americans every year, simply because they consume and trade a substance the government disapproves of.

It's time that we rediscover the promise of the American Founding and build upon it to make America truly the land of the free.

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    2. A good article. “HAS STRAYED” does not begin to describe the deliberate efforts of the progressive movement’s attempts to stamp their socialistic agenda onto my beloved America.
      It is interesting that all congress persons as well as senior civilian and military officers swear an oath to “protect and defend” the Constitution. It is especially interesting that so many members of congress openly seek to change our basic document.
      Perhaps more remarkable is that conservatives attach so little importance to this betrayal of this sworn oath.
      I have read extensively about the philosophical and practical roots of LIBERTY, as well as about our nation’s founding (and comparative analysis of our revolution with that of France). I hold no esteem for that of France … but their willingness to find solutions with their Guillotine provides a good model for us in our efforts to restore our Constitution’s rightful place in the minds and heats of all Americans … and perhaps more importantly, to instill fear in those so eager to ignore this wonderful document.

  2. Yet Reason supported a woke, ultra-liberal, left-wing socialist, dictatorial, life long beuracrat for President in the last election. They reminds me of the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it!” You would think Reason would be celebrating not whining.

    1. a woke, ultra-liberal, left-wing socialist, dictatorial, life long beuracrat for President

      Wait, Bernie Sanders got elected President? Since when?

      1. Senile Joe Biden is president. You know that fatty.

        1. That sort of bullshit is jeff’s idea of ‘clever’; it’s among the reasons he’s despised here.

          1. So many reasons to hate Jeffy. Let’s start a list. I’ll go first.

            1. Shameless sophistry

      2. Wait, Bernie Sanders got elected President?

        He said bureaucrat, not Marxist. I admit that the distinction between Biden and Bernie is vague, but Liberty Lover was clear.

      3. Not Bernie someone much worse. Biden make Bernie look like a Right-wing militiaman.

    2. Yet Reason supported a woke, ultra-liberal, left-wing socialist, dictatorial, life long beuracrat for President in the last election.

      Trumpistas love equating any criticism of Trump with supporting his opponents.

      1. I don’t love Trump, never have, as I hated both his domestic spying and excessive spending. Yet policy by policy, Trump wins on every point. Whatever I didn’t like that Trump did, Biden is doing much worse. I equally despise both major parties, that is why I am a libertarian (no I am not a Libertarian, that party is irrelevant).
        This would be a better country if people like you could give up the right/left, conservative/liberal, Democrat/Republican unquestioned support and actually think for themselves as to what is good for the country.

        1. He’s just saying Reason never endorsed Biden. Just the Trump cultists in the comments think any criticism of Trump is an endorsement of his opponent.

        2. As jgress correctly surmised, I was pointing out that Reason did not actually support or endorse Biden in any way. I can’t recall a single article published here that could rightly be called an endorsement of Biden for President, let alone some statement that reflected the judgement of the whole publication. Do you have anything to contradict this? Any articles or statements that the country would be better off with Biden than with Trump or that voters should choose Biden? Like I said, criticizing Trump is not endorsing or supporting Biden unless you actually believe it to be a strict us vs them matter.

          It is true that our government’s structure and method of electing people to single-member districts in a first-past-the-post manner tends to produce a two-party system. But just like you were trying to say, that voters buy into and show loyalty to this binary choice is mostly on them.

          Yet policy by policy, Trump wins on every point. Whatever I didn’t like that Trump did, Biden is doing much worse.

          There’s too many different policy areas and issues for any one politician to always be better than a particular opposing politician. As much as I despise Trump personally and opposed most of his policies, I would probably agree that his administration had the better plan in some areas than Biden’s administration. I can’t think of anything off hand, but if I went through a list of two dozen or more specific policies and issues, I’m sure I could find one. I suspect that you aren’t really saying that Trump was much better than Biden on everything, but that you prefer him on those few things that are the most important to you. And that is fair. That is generally how a reasonable person makes their voting choices.

          This would be a better country if people like you could give up the right/left, conservative/liberal, Democrat/Republican unquestioned support and actually think for themselves as to what is good for the country.

          Trump and his fans have conflated what is good for Trump with what is good for the country. “Democrats will destroy everything that is good and right about America, and only Trump can save it.” That is the clear thinking behind the MAGA brand. We saw on Jan. 6 where that thinking leads. Too many Republican politicians have clearly decided that their power is necessary for the good of the country, so anything that furthers their power is in the public interest. At least, that’s the charitable interpretation of some of their actions. It is giving them the benefit of the doubt that they actually believe that, rather than just wanting power for its own sake.

          1. “Democrats will destroy everything that is good and right about America, and only Trump can save it.”

            Democrats have destroyed just about everything that’s good & right about America. Trump did his best, but I am not sure anyone can save it now.

    3. Did they though? I don’t remember the magazine endorsing Biden.

    4. I believe in their poll of staffers only two said they were voting for Biden, one of which was the comically unhinged and now fired Shikha Dalmia. It would hardly describe that as “Reason supported…”.

  3. Lol. Of all the tens of millions of violations of constitutional governance you pick the government’s alleged failure to force people to receive medical treatments against their will as the sole example of the United States straying from its founding. Fuck yourself with a machete you pants on head retarded stupid fucking cunt.

    1. I see somebody didn’t read the article.

      1. We’re supposed to read the articles?

  4. If only all of us could live just one day 245 years ago, we’d all instantly see how much better life was. The founders (and the framers) pandemic response was utterly perfect back then. The schools were kept open during all of them, and some fragment of children actually went to them rather than spending their day engaging in manual labor. It was a form of bliss that we can hardly imagine today.

    And there were no rules or disputes about land-use or other constraints on liberty. Everyone was realizing their full economic potential without any interference. That realization was so full that the wealth generated by the masses is simply beyond our comprehension today.

    It was an exceedingly utmost form of bliss. We have have lost our way today, but at least we have accurate portrayals of history from 245 years ago to reminisce about today.

    1. This appears to be sarcasm.
      Is your point that life was tough back then and more primitive so we should give a pass today to modern tyrants because – wealth?

    2. Sorry, public schools closing for COVID isn’t tyranny, the fact that public schools exist and you are forced to pay for them whether you have a child in them or not is tyranny. The CDC’s incompetence isn’t tyranny, but it’s existence in direct violation of the 10th amendment is. Lockdowns are tyranny. Government selecting and closing “non essential” businesses is tyranny. Government expropriating private rental properties and mortgaged, bank owned houses into free public housing via eviction and foreclosure moratoriums is tyranny. Government mandating masks is tyranny.
      Well before COVID we had enough tyrannical policies in place to dwarf anything King George ever did to trigger the American revolution. 90% of what the federal government does is not an enumerated power and thus unconstitutional. The 1000s of regulations on firearms at all levels of government is a direct violation of the 2nd amendment. The amount of information the government has on you (that you would never choose to publicly share with almost everybody you associate with) is a violation of the 4th amendment. 90% of taxation is in direct violation of the takings clause of the 5th amendment. There are 1000s of laws that apply unequally based on a variety of factors in direct violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.
      Gradually over the last century, the US government has morphed into having more in common with the USSR and Karl Marx than the founder’s vision for America. Doubly so in the COVID era.

      1. The CDC’s incompetence isn’t tyranny, but it’s existence in direct violation of the 10th amendment is.

        The CDC’s existence is not an affront to the 10th Amendment. The CDC having power to enforce it’s guidelines would be, which is why the eviction moratoriums and such are likely illegal, but the CDC has not enforced any mask mandate that I have ever seen. State and local governments did that, simply using CDC expert guidance as justification. Agree or disagree with such guidance, based on scientific reasoning, but state and local governments clearly have the authority to act in public health crises, by that very 10th Amendment you so love.

        When you say that “90% of what the federal government does is not an enumerated power and thus unconstitutional” that is hyperbole, at best. The existence of the FAA is clearly within Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce, for instance. If the FAA wants to use CDC guidance to mandate that airline passengers wear masks, that would be within its authority.

        The 1000s of regulations on firearms at all levels of government is a direct violation of the 2nd amendment.

        Even Justice Scalia in Heller said that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t give a completely unrestricted right for every person to own whatever firearms they want. No rights are absolute, because each person’s actions that affect other people can interfere with their rights. That is why we have government at all, of course.

        90% of taxation is in direct violation of the takings clause of the 5th amendment.

        This is just seriously confused. The Takings Clause requires that a person’s property cannot be taken for public use without just compensation. It has absolutely nothing to do with the general tax power of government.

        Most of your rant is pretty confused about how the Constitution works.

        1. I take it you’re one of those living document (aka the constitution means nothing) type statists? Can I please ask you what you don’t think the federal government has power over if you pervert the general welfare and commerce clause enough.
          Please show me the explicitly enumerated power of public health in the constitution. No? Ok, the existence of the CDC is unconstitutional.
          Same with air travel, or hell, I’ll settle for an enumerated power over transportation. No? The FAA is unconstitutional. Even with the perversion of the interstate commerce clause, what if it’s recreational aviation (not for hire) and the flight never crosses a state border?
          2nd amendment, it says, infringed, not prohibited. ANY infringement on the people’s right to own firearms is illegal.
          If the government forcibly takes your property (including money) and doesn’t give you something of equal value in return (just compensation), it’s a violation of the takings clause. Please explain to me how I’m justly compensated when I pay for other people’s welfare checks, rent or food with my tax dollars.

        2. BTW, both the general welfare and commerce clause are justification clauses, not enumerated powers as they are extremely general and do not state any specific actions. The general welfare clause is justification for things like providing for the common defense (an enumerated power that is indeed in the interest of the general welfare). The interstate commerce clause is justification for establishing the mint and the dollar as a currency shared by the states (an enumerated power).

    3. 245 years ago we were constantly beset by plagues. Smallpox, yellow fever, malaria, the actual plague. Nobody shut anything down and everybody kept working.

      1. Exactly. You burned the witch that was causing it, and then moved on with your life.

        1. But you had to make sure she was a witch with the duck scale to see which was heavier, the accused or the duck.

          1. Who are you, who are so wise in the ways of science?

  5. You skipped the relevant line in the Declaration: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” – i.e., the purpose of government is to protect your rights. Nobody believes that shit any more, the purpose of government is to solve all the problems in the world. What’s the use of government power if you can’t use that power to do Good Things? It’s the meaning behind the both the saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely and the saying that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. It’s the hardest thing in the world to leave bad enough alone, to not engage in mission creep, to not decide “well, as long as we’re here, we should do this other thing as well”. And pretty soon, you’ve forgotten what you set out to do in the first place.

    1. In fairness, liberty didn’t exactly stop the Leftist threat, did it?

    2. This!

      Another fundamental change is that in the 18th century, people at all levels in society, were expected if not required to think for themselves.

      Now independent thinking is discouraged, in favor of a nasty hybrid of collectivist-corporatist-statist bureaucracy, with various ideological religions fighting for control.

      1. with Critical Race Theorists fighting for control.

        FTFY

    3. You skipped the relevant line in the Declaration: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” – i.e., the purpose of government is to protect your rights.

      The biggest innovation in the American Experiment wasn’t the idea that people had rights, or even that government exists to protect those rights. The biggest innovation was that the only way to make sure that government would work to secure those rights was if government had the consent of the governed. As soon as those in power realize that they don’t need to work hard in service of the people and their rights in order to convince them to give them power, they will stop caring about the rights of the people and only serve that power.

      This is why maintaining confidence in free, fair, and open elections is the first duty of republican government. And despite what Trump and the GOP would have you believe, maintaining that confidence isn’t about fraud. At least, it isn’t fraud that is the biggest threat to that confidence. That is because fraud on a large enough scale to tip an election is likely to be discovered. There’s too many people involved in elections, so any conspiracy is going to involve too many people that might talk or screw up and expose the whole thing.

      The biggest threat to the people having confidence in elections is when they see those in power manipulating election rules to favor themselves. Anyone that really wants to improve the confidence of all voters that our elections are free, fair, and open should be insisting on rules that make it easier to vote and more difficult for those that won the last election to tip the next one in their favor.

  6. “The CDC, whose mission includes preparing for pandemics, failed to see this coming or at least share the information it had with the public in a timely manner. It then issued frequently changing or confusing messages about the virus and masks. Its mistakes were compounded by the FDA’s refusal to adopt already available COVID tests from abroad, and it then failed to deliver a test that worked.”

    I like how you conveniently skip over that Trump dismantled the CDC pandemic team in early 2018.

    Worthless garbage, like usual. Go sell your bullshit narrative elsewhere.

    1. An aggrieved Leftist whining about a message that’s insufficiently Leftist?

      Film at 11.

    2. It’s a good start. The existence of the CDC is a violation of the 10th amendment.
      She’s right about the CDC’s incompetence, but that’s not tyranny. The huge violations of liberty and the pursuit of happiness put in place by the CDC for COVID are absolutely tyranny.
      And can we stop at this point pretending that COVID is some horrible disease? We have a ton of data at this point that all says the same thing, it’s not statistically very dangerous to most of the population. The only people it is dangerous to are people who are already old, frail and/or sickly. These people will likely die in the next few years (if not sooner) anyway due to a more common cause of death. From a man days of life lost perspective, not number of deaths, COVID isn’t very deadly.

      1. But that’s typical leftist rhetoric: not allowing a desired level of tyranny is oppressive.

        1. Freedom is slavery after all

      2. “The only people it is dangerous to are people who are already old, frail and/or sickly.”

        And fat people, which technically might be considered sickly.

        1. I am fat (within reason, about 50 pounds overweight) and in my early 40s. I’m not remotely worried about covid making me seriously ill.
          Besides, being fat is absolutely a choice. There should be 0 expectations for anybody else to accommodate or do anything special to lower the risk to transmit a virus to someone who actively chooses to increase their own health risks through poor lifestyle choices. Same goes for smokers.

    3. “failed to see this coming”

      This is the only part that can be blamed on the dismantling of the pandemic team. Everything else was after-the-fact. And FDA’s refusal to approve tests has nothing to do with it.

      But you already knew that, shitlunches.

    4. He was stopping nonsense like spending taxpayer money on studies as to why lesbians are fat (real study), or their desire to spend money to frame gun violence as a public health issue.

      Worthless garbage, like usual. Go sell your bullshit narrative elsewhere.

    5. Can the failure really be attributed to that though? Are you saying the FDA would have approved home tests if not for the absence of that special team?

  7. During the recent holiday, I reflected on how we’ve strayed from the ideals expressed so eloquently by Thomas Jefferson.

    Surely Dr. de Rugy can do better than this. Here is something else the great Thomas Jefferson said: “I consider a woman who brings a child every two years as more valuable than the best man of the farm. What she produces is an addition to the capital, while his labors disappear in mere consumption.” (Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes, June 30, 1820 (“I consider”), Founders Online, National Archives (http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/98-01-02-1352)). I found this gem in Alan Taylor’s excellent study, “American Revolutions”, published in 2016. At the time of the American Revolution, about 40% of Virginia’s population were the “capital” of men like our beloved TJ. All men are created equal, except for those that aren’t. Also “interesting” that Dr. de Rugy doesn’t comment on Tom’s ultimate “self-evident truth”, one so self-evident that he didn’t bother to state it: that men and women are not equal. Yes, the American Revolution was a true “world historic moment”. But it had grievous flaws and hypocrisies, and the immense opportunities that North America presented to the European settlers derived first of all by the conquest and oppression of the indigenous inhabitants and, throughout the southern states, the brutal, racist enslavement of Africans, probably the most oppressive form of slavery that had ever existed. Something else to think about on “Independence Day”. As Frederick Douglass said, “It’s your Fourth, not mine.”

    1. everyone is created equal before the law

      obviously, men and women are not the same, and, roughly speaking, the races have different talents, skills, and abilities.

      denying this is borderline ridiculous.

      1. And individuals are not functionally equal. Look at shitlunches, Tony, Jeffy, Buttplug, etc.. An argument could be made that they don’t even qualify as human.

      2. BTW, Slavery existed in Africa before 1492. You know which continent still has de facto slavery? I do not mean low wages which are akin to slavery, but actual plantation type slavery. HINT: It is not North America.

        There is only one race of human beings who has had the institution of slavery — the human race!

      3. I am sorry that you have it wrong if you are referring to the declaration of Independence. The Declaration makes a political philosophy statement that each person has certain inalienable rights including Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness. Thus, no matter what system of government we have, each person has inalienable giths. Black slaves had inalienable rights. Making certain that everyone may exercise his/her inalienable rights is more complex. As an extension of the inalienable rights, our legal system operates upon the concept that each person is “equal before the law.”

        One could easily say that inalienable rights and “equal before the law” are such closed concepts as to be indistinguishable. There are recondite reasons that we need to be far more careful how we use the word “equal,” since equality is not an inalienable right. Equality is not an individual rights but a right which only exists in terms of Groups. Equality requires the measurement of achievements between groups which is in reality the opposite of each individual’s being equal before the law.

    2. and, throughout the southern states, the brutal, racist enslavement of Africans, probably the most oppressive form of slavery that had ever existed.

      So no slaves in the Northern States and the slavery in the Southern states was somehow exceptional beyond the slavery that existed from the time of ancient Egypt, to the Gulags and forced labor camps of Europe and West Asia to the slave trades that exist today? What an uninformed and uninformative viewpoint.

    3. You have a weird way of reading that passage. He literally says a woman is more economically valuable than a man and you somehow spin that as patriarchal.

  8. And WHO enacted slavery again?? Democrats.
    And WHO keeps pushing for MORE government violations?? Democrats.
    And WHO keeps pushing every ant-hill into National Territory?? Democrats.
    And WHO stole all the U.S. Land and turned it commie?? Democrats.
    And WHO enacted U.S. ‘fiat’ money?? Democrats.

    Today perhaps they don’t name their “Big Plan” with the term “slavery” but the goal is still the same — Use Gov-Guns and *steal* all those peoples creations of labor.. Same thing different method.

    Sure, Republicans screw up all the time too but at least their goal-post is in line with this countries foundation.

    Democrats on the other hand *ignores* the USA and it’s foundation and instead champions “democracy” which is essentially [WE] mob’s rule/enslave ‘those’ people.

    1. Didn’t you hear? The parties were switched. I can never get an answer for when, but rest assured all the Democrat’s past transgression are really the fault of Republicans.

      1. lol… “Democrat’s past transgression are really the fault of Republicans.”

        Stamped just underneath every Democrats forehead foreskin.
        50,000 excuses to steal by the point of Gov-Guns.
        50,000 excuses it wasn’t their fault.

      2. I am told it was sometime in the 1960s. Which would mean that FDR was actually a Republican, or would have been had he lived longer, and yet he’s framed as the most admirable, and worthy of emulation, of Democrats. I’m not clear on how that works exactly, though I suspect it could be summed up in three words: “Never my fault.”

      3. No switch. Only one current party has always been based on elite white people knowing what’s best for all black and brown people.

      4. They didn’t switch, the Democrats used to have (roughly speaking) two factions. When the Democrats passed landmark civil rights legislation in the 1960s, the Southern faction of the Democrats abandoned the party, as one does from time to time.

        The Republican party, under beta Trump Richard Nixon, decided that it was going to win power by absorbing Southern racists and running on white racial grievance forever more. Build a wall. Build a wall.

        Isn’t the relevant question which party is currently in 2021 enjoying approximately 0% support of black Americans and actively trying to disenfranchise them?

        What’s with treating everything as a word game? You learned that Southern racists used to be Democrats, and all of a sudden the universe makes sense? Do you know how political parties work? Neither of them has the same platform they did 10 years ago, let alone 100.

        1. LMAO!! Wait, wait; Democrats filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964… I see you’re still eating and spewing up B.S. propaganda by the truck loads.

          https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/06/on-this-day-in-1964-democrats-filibustered-the-civil-rights-act/

    2. “And WHO enacted slavery again??”

      They haven’t enacted it again, but they’re trying.

  9. We haven’t strayed. Never even came close to living up to those pretty words.

    1. Closer than any people in the history of humanity. Too bad we are bending away from that arc now.

      1. This is the truth. It’s a shame things are getting worse now,…

        …but…

        …it’s still the best country on Earth (though this is very much a competition for the tallest midget). As bad as the USA was last year, every other place on the planet was somehow, incomprehensibly, even worse. As broken as our politics are, at least gunmen aren’t assassinating the president (on the regular) and the political party on the out isn’t being purged communism style. American democracy is the most awful and ineffective, corrupt, and tyrannical form of government there is, excepting all the other ones that have been or are currently being tried.

        1. The very propaganda-brainwashing idea of, “American democracy” is what is turning the USA into an awful, ineffective, corrupt, tyrannical form of government.

          The USA is a Constitutional Union of Republican States.

          1. Article IV Section 4 The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.

        2. I’m not sure of that. It is a great country in many ways. Other democratic governments work just as well.

          We rank #15 for freedom in the CATO study.

          https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/human-freedom-index-files/cato-human-freedom-index-update-3.pdf

          1. We’d probably do a little better if we adopted Haiti’s electoral system.

            1. It has been tried and done.

              My biggest criticism is the two party system. It has got to the point where it is unworkable and just partisan bickering and attacks. I think a multiparty system would be better but it just did not evolve in a meaningful way.

              1. How about we all stop trying to conquer the USA with various “ideologies” and start being patriotic citizens by insisting the USA (as defined by the U.S. Constitution) doesn’t perish into some alternative Nazi-Nation??

                I mean really; that is the ‘root’ of the ever-growing problem in this nation all the way down the totem-pole. First step being the elimination of the Anti-American party who doesn’t support the USA as defined. Then; and only then can the nation proceed correctly with multiple “party” ideologies within those boundaries/limits.

                1. ….And just in case the very foundation of the USA has been completely forgotten — boundaries/limits preventing violations of Individual Liberty and Justice.

                  The foundation really is perfected; It isn’t “broken”. The building of a Nazi (National Socialist) government elsewhere is the failure.

                  1. “The building of a Nazi (National Socialist) government elsewhere is the failure.”

                    Where?

                    1. DNC headquarters and just about every one of them that gets elected yet lies blatantly on their sworn oath to uphold the USA.

                2. “First step being the elimination of the Anti-American party who doesn’t support the USA as defined.”

                  Which one would that be?

                  And if one were eliminated how many would you be left with?

                  1. Democrats – of course you knew that… We don’t live in a “democracy”; we elect representatives by democracy who are suppose to be held liable to the USA definition – that’s the end and very minor and insignificant part of the democratic story.

                    Considering 1/2 or better of the Republicans are RINO’S and Constitution violators you’d have but maybe 1/2 of that party left with 50 differing positions (Within the Constitutional Limits of Gov).

                    You want to pretend that if everyone wasn’t Anti-American that there would be a problem (Oh the horror; A whole “party” that doesn’t want to DESTROY the USA) when in fact neither party has 100% consensus across the board. BUT there should be; 100% consensus the Peoples Law over them is to be adhered to.

                    Here’s your B.S. storyline — If the USA was under attack by the CCP you’d say; but if the CCP left then……….

                    And if one were eliminated how many would you be left with?
                    Urr, Uhh, I don’t know; ONLY the USA and it’s patriotic citizens.
                    Oh how horrible.

                  2. Paraphrased as:
                    Heaven forbid every elected representative of The People’s government actually be honorable and uphold EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEIR Oath of Office by adhering to The People’s law over them… /s

                    They’d ALL agree to the same “party” of not attempting to DESTROY the USA…

                    1. …And that is the horror of thinking “democracy” is some gooses golden egg. The USA’s definition by the People demands politicians defend Individual Liberty and Justice (i.e. “One Party”). Yet those who think unlimited “democracy” *POWER* think it’s a battle of who get to control ‘those people’ by Gov-Gun [WE] mob gangs.

                    2. The USA was founded on the very underlining principle the gooses golden egg was KEPT by it’s citizens (The People). Not sold down the road the politicians who could “win” the beauty queen contest.

                      Selling Individual souls to the [WE] foundation; Because you don’t own you, the [WE] foundation owns you.

                  3. Keep going TJ

                    You are on a roll.

                  4. Democrats think they can “VOTE” to have the USA conquered and replaced with Nazism… (def; National Socialism).

                    Call me a liar; I dare you. The truth is so clear it’s undeniable.

                    1. Dude I never realized that one could translate the act of tweaking into dialogue so well.

              2. There are many other political parties, but they’ve been blocked from participating by the duopoly.

        3. The data does not support your claim that the USA was better than all other countries. In fact, we had the most Covid-19 deaths with 621,293 dead. On the other hand, there is an argument that the virus is not the true culprit, but rather arrogant stupidity which is impervious to facts was the real killer of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

          Here’s an irony: it seems that the two groups which are dying in the greatest numbers of Woker Blacks and Trumper Whites.

          1. Really? How could you know that? I haven’t even seen statistics broken down by race, much less political affiliation.

            Haha. What a doosh. You’re full of shit.

  10. Yes, the US has strayed from its founding ideas.

    And Reason Magazine has strayed from its founding ideas.

  11. This article is bonkers. It’s arguing that masks and lockdowns are worse than genocide and slavery. America’s founding ideals included some HORRIBLE features which still threaten to plunge us into Civil War II.

    1. Explain those “HORRIBLE features” that supposedly caused so much grief to people.

      1. Genocide and slavery = bad.

  12. While the Wokers promote group rights above the individual inalienable rights of the Declaration, the zealots on the right recognize only two rights: (1) right, their right to abuse others, (2) Their right to not cooperate with others.

    It is hard to image a more effete lament than to whine about wearing a mask to save other people’s lives. If you want to die, then go jump off a ferkata bridge, but don’t push other people off the bridge. Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were slave owners, yet they signed the Declaration knowing for a fact that they were laying the foundation to end slavery. About 75 years later, thousands of men fought the civil war to make certain that the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness included Blacks. Today’s self-centered babies fight to protect no one but rather they fight to kill the elderly and others because they think wearing a mask is too onerous a burden.

    The data show that today the unmasked, unvaxed are the ones who are dying and they are spreading death, They are also the ones who are killing their friends and family members. It’s almost as if GOD has decided upon a new original sin which carries the death penalty: egregious self-centered stupidity. Don’t pretend you’re a patriot!

    1. ^^^A lesson in how to PROJECT 101 and be completely hypocritical.

      – Forcing everyone into a mask at a national level is…. pretending, “(1) their right to abuse others.”
      – Forcing everyone into “cooperation” at a national level is not only an abuse of others rights its a Nazi Dictatorship.

      If you don’t want to die then YOU wear a mask (according to your B.S. story line). YOUR protection isn’t the responsibility of everyone around you.
      ^^^ Lesson #2: How to be completely self-centered while projecting that one’s own self-centeredness is everyone else’s problem.

      Here you are declaring the great words of the Declaration of Independence while simultaneously inferring it was written by ‘evil’ slave owners and then go on to pretend anyone insisting their individual rights is “fight to kill the elderly”
      ^^^ Lesson #3: How to be a complete hypocrite.

      If there’s one thing stupid people like you are talented at it’s spinning everything on it’s head and projecting all your problems onto everyone else.

      Final Conclusion: “If everyone would just DO what I dictate to them; I’d be just fine — You self-centered jerks.” LOL….

      You’re no Patriot.

  13. Welcome to reality! America is built on false slogans. Try and name something not regulated. The founders were no better at honoring those slogans than we are today! Heck, they might have even been worse than we are today.

    1. How were the founders worse at regulations since there were none when this country was founded. Initially, this country was working from the Articles of Confederation, which were ratified in 1781. But they didn’t specify any rules on how to actually run a country! The Constitutional Convention of 1987 was the direct result of having a country with no rules on how to run it. We weren’t even remotely stable as a country in those days because of a lack of any standardized rules and regulations. Since it took a few years for the Constitution to be ratified by all states, it took a while for the regulations to take effect. The results weren’t always good. Look up the Sheas Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion.

  14. We haven’t strayed. We are off the tracks. I have worked in the medical research field since 1977. I was on Institutional Review Boards in NYC when combinatorial “cocktails” were being found to be incredibly effective at preventing people from dying of AIDS, and yet our surgeons were not allowed to require that their patients be tested for HIV, or even ask them if they had AIDS. Thus, all of our patients in NYC had to be treated as though they had AIDS. I don’t have as much of a problem with that as I do with people having to show vaccine records to get into a concert! This has to be a violation of HIPAA regulations. Strayed from our founding principles? No. In the erroneous justification of a national emergency we have abandoned our founding principles. In NJ, our Gov. Murphy tries to shame people into getting the vaccine under the pretense that “the pandemic only exists for those who haven’t been vaccinated.” Sorry, Gov. Murphy. You need to look up the definition of a pandemic. The definition of pandemic is country or world based. This is no longer a pandemic in the US. And it is only a pandemic in certain parts of the world.

  15. Reason was jogging our memory that we live essentially on an assembly line belt controlled ultimately by legitimate procedures described by laws (even grievance procedures) then further saving us from being run along the same track that Trump supporters naturally chose.

    And so we should be on the same page, that the system chose Biden for President, that the libertarian ballot box revolution continues to observe and follow law, and that when we hear news about President Biden, he actually lives in the White House because the most recent elected President does do so.

    Thanks, Reason, for ruling that people should decide that course for themselves.

  16. Sorry, what the fuck does any of this have to do with the founders? The founders endorsed and enshrined human chattel slavery. They did not believe in a small government protecting individual rights. They believed in a large government that replaced the failed small one, and then it could protect some individual rights, but only if you won the genetic lottery. Be sure to bring your Y chromosome if you wish to apply.

    Nothing has really changed with respect to the basic legal rights. They’ve simply been given to more types of people. We’ve even added a few. And that’s good. Rights are good! Why are libertarians always going around demanding that we have the fewest number of rights possible?

    1. Because delusional “rights” to point Gov-Guns that enslaves others to one’s own self-centered entitlement isn’t “good” rights but are indeed delusional rights of criminals.

      When you speak of the ‘founders’ I know darn well you don’t mean the USA founders because the Constitution is why slavery ended.

      Yet here you are AGAIN! Being THAT stupid as to blaming the founders for slavery of which the founders defined the U.S. Constitution (Individual Rights) and Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal.

      Your head is so loaded with garbage – you should probably allow yourself to think for yourself instead of parroting B.S. from your Nazi-Indoctrination.

      1. It took 76 years for the constitution to end slavery. Was it busy doing something more important all that time?

        Also it took a civil war.

  17. Nice, not one word of blame towards the guy in charge during all that, Trump. In fact this article tries to completely absolve him of any blame.

    Of course when a Dem president is in charge, he is completely responsible for ANY failure, the buck stops with him! Not Trump though, he’s not responsible for anything, even though he explicitly said he “likes to play it down” among many many other lies about Covid.

    This author cites an economist, an ECONOMIST, to judge the performance of scientific agencies. He has NO expertise to make any judgment, except maybe their finances. Go find a respected scientist then get back to us, and don’t forget Trump gutted a lot of those agencies.

  18. There’s a difference between now and when we were under British rule – we have representation.

    There was wide support for the measures taken to contain Covid and had we done it with vigor from the beginning, we could have contained this virus, prevented 100s of thousands of deaths and gotten back to normal a long time ago. But no, too many are selfish and think too highly of their own judgement on matters they are ignorant of.

    The measures taken to contain Covid are not proof we have strayed from our founding ideals because we have representation and those measures had wide support despite the loud objections of a minority. If anything we have strayed from our founding ideals because our system has devolved to minority, not majority, rule.

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