by Gary Spina
In April 2011, Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13571 “Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service.” Think about that a minute. And think about Obama’s November 5, 2014 news conference when he again referred to the people as customers of the government, asserting his commitment to “make customer service better in every agency.”
Of course, the people seem to like such references, forgetting that we are not customers of a government that distributes goods and services to us from the store shelves or from behind a store counter. We the People are the boss, and the government officials are our employees. If there is a store, we own it.
Both political parties are guilty of this self-serving arrogance – aided by a complicit press corps. Priorities and assumptions have changed since the days when the father of our country would sign his letters, “Your most humble and obedient servant, George Washington.”
But sadly, many people find comfort in waiting in line to be served by their government. P.T. Barnum of circus fame said: “The bigger the humbug, the better people will like it.”
As we contemplate the madness of the employees we’ve entrusted with the “store,” some of us are encouraged by the words of Abraham Lincoln (incorrectly attributed to Barnum): “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
Lincoln’s words ring hollow today as it is not necessary to fool some of the people all of the time, or all of the people some of the time. To deprive a free citizenry of liberty, it is only necessary to fool enough of the people enough of the time.
Fortunately, it goes both ways. As British subjects in the thirteen colonies, our founding fathers were a minority – perhaps as few as a dozen key men — advocating armed rebellion against the most powerful army and navy in the world. The overall numbers did not matter then, nor do they matter now.
Simply stated: America will again be free when enough of the people stand up against tyranny enough of the time.