The Election May Show That the Nanny State Is What We Want

July 2nd, 2012

By Dan Miller

Granting President Obama another term in office would guarantee the expansion of the nanny state, perhaps beyond the point of no return.

It is clear that many will vote to reelect President Obama because they like the Nanny State. Some may do so for reasons similar to those clearly stated by this fine young college student:

[I] am a black you man who go to college and also seek for jobs to help my parent also the economy has a better for president obama . i do not like romney because he voke for the rich not the middle class while obama is voke for minority, middle class , student, business people, corporation company to vote for me this election also i ike obama he is the man that can change and forward with ideas to the people in america. romney has several lies which i have the websites below i am send this message for the black people ,latino, corporation, america people to vote for obama for second term because obama has created job for the american people not romney.

It seems likely that rather than choose between Governor Romney and President Obama, more than a few conservatives will vote for a third party candidate who won’t win the election but who might tip it to President Obama whom they probably want even less; those votes might as well be cast here:

Although it is conceivable that voting for a candidate who won’t win this year might help him to become a winning candidate in 2016, to quote our most post-racial, post-partisan President ever, “we can’t wait” until then.


We should not be condemned to wait until 2016 by our own conservative colleagues who probably want another four years of President Obama no more than we do. As Victor Davis Hanson wrote today, the country is already rotting under the rule of President Obama and he may well be reelected. Far too many seem to like the rot or fail to smell it. If we have to wait until 2017 for someone else, the damage done to our country between 2009 and the present will seem insignificant compared to what President Obama will do during his next four years with the increased “flexibility” he craves and will have. The Supreme Court, in the ObamaCareTax decision has shown one way. Even though President Obama’s flexibility is still slightly tempered by his craving for reelection, he ignored our Constitution and our laws at least twice recently in other ways in areas of illegal immigration. He has clearly shown that he well knows how to proceed. He will do so in spades when no longer facing a troublesome reelection campaign; by 2017 the damage he has accomplished may well have become irreversible.

This observation, quoted in the context of the ObamaCare ruling, is applicable here as well:

Perhaps history’s greatest military strategist is Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese general and tactician. Tzu made the following observation:

“Though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.”

And to make it absolutely clear he reiterated it in The Art of War on several occasions:

“He who wishes to fight must first count the cost. When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be dampened. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength. Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain. Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor dampened, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue… In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.” (Emphasis added.)

If we don’t vote for the candidate who can gain enough votes to win against President Obama, we will have helped to reelect him. If he wins, we will have helped to show that the country wants — and because of our collective lack of responsibility may even need — a Federal Government that considers itself all wise and which we will have helped to make sufficiently intrusive to mandate whatever it may desire. Even when we are too “foolish and irresponsible” to agree, it will be deemed to be for our own good. “Elections have consequences” and the consequences of a win by “The Won” would be terrible.  If we fail to defeat President Obama we will all be screwed as the Nanny State becomes even more engorged and as the economy continues to tank — even those who now benefit from and hence think they like the Nanny State.


Sometimes it is necessary to rise above principle.

Some conservatives may not vote for Governor Romney on principle because he is a Mormon. I wrote about that possibility here and here and think that not voting for a candidate because of the doctrinal (as distinguished from the practical) aspects of his religion would be unwise.

To oppose or to favor Governor Romney because of doctrinal peculiarities of his religion, having nothing to do with how he would or could conduct himself in office, strikes me as no less perverse than in comparable circumstances favoring or opposing a candidate because of his race or gender. There are many other, and better, factors to consider. (Emphasis added.)

Some conservatives may not vote for Governor Romney due to their principled objections to RomneyCare. I empathize with that view but find it dubious. My principal objection to ObamaCare lies in it’s inconsistency with the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution (and also with the legitimate taxing authority of the Congress, recently expanded outrageously by the Supreme Court). The Commerce Clause was intended to limit Federal meddling with the rights of the States to control their own intra-state commerce, not to prevent the States from enacting legislation such as RomneyCare to which it does not apply. The States can and should experiment with various initiatives wanted by their citizens and consistent with their own constitutions to see whether they have the desired results. If they don’t, it is easier for the States to repeal them than for the Federal Government to repeal one size benefits few all disasters. If elected President, Governor Romney will be under substantial pressure to work to repeal ObamaCare and he has committed to do so. With conservative majorities in both houses of the Congress, it should not be very difficult.  Should President Obama remain in office that will be very difficult if not impossible even with conservative majorities in the Congress.

Voting for a third party candidate who cannot win in reliance upon one’s high principles can make one feel pleased with one’s superiority to and independence from the common herd.  However, voting for a candidate who will not win, and so cannot save himself or the rest of us from the worst possible choice of reelecting President Obama, is wrong because the consequences can be terrible. An analogy: to help someone unable to swim to dive into the deep end of a swimming pool to save a terrified child thrashing about in the water would be neither good nor principled. He would then likely need to be rescued at the risk of distracting and even preventing a swimmer already in the water, who could have saved the child from drowning, from doing so. With a non-swimmer who cannot rescue a distressed child in the water with him, both thrashing wildly about, it could be impossible for the swimmer who could otherwise have done the job to do it: two people thrashing wildly about might well keep him from saving either. Heroic defense of principle ceases to be either good or heroic when it can only make a bad situation worse. Voting for a third party candidate who can’t win would be much the same.

I rarely agree with “Black Panther leader, civil rights activist and fun-loving rapist, Eldridge Cleaver.” This may well be our only point of agreement:

You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem– there ain’t no more middle ground.

Mr. Cleaver certainly did not intend his comment to be taken in this context, but voting for a candidate who will not win in preference to one who can would help to get President Obama reelected and thereby enhance the chances that the country will thrash about for four more years and perhaps drown. Those doing so would be part of the problem; as to this, I can find no middle ground.

I do not think that Governor Romney is the best candidate we might have had, but he is the only one we now have who can defeat President Obama.  I would like a better candidate but he is better than President Obama. Therefore, I shall support and vote for him with as much enthusiasm as I can muster. The more I see, hear and read of President Obama, the greater will become my enthusiasm.


And now a few words from Governor Palin:

(This article was also posted at Dan Miller’s Blog.)

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2 Responses to “The Election May Show That the Nanny State Is What We Want”

  1. larry |

    Just Plain Old Dan
    Thanks for addressing a “Nasty little truth” about life in these United States.
    We are indeed steadily becoming a nation of free loaders. Far to many college graduates don’t work even though work is out there. The time is fast approaching when the number of citizens receiving Federal assistance will exceed fifty percent of the total population. The “Nanny State” is a reality.
    The last thing we need is a third party. It would undoubtedly hurt the GOP. Romney in spite of his lack of personality has a track record of success in business. Mormon or not? Who cares? I strongly doubt Romney could be more inept than Obama.
    If for no other reason, we need Romney in office to appoint the next Supreme Court Justices.

  2. Dan Miller |

    As noted in the article, my enthusiasm for Governor Romney is tepid but the temperature rises every time I think about President Obama. My enthusiasm for defeating President Obama is already tremendous. In 2008, I voted for Senator McCain with tepid enthusiasm but was not then as afraid of Senator Obama as I am of a President Obama in his second term. The balance for me now far more favors Governor Romney than it did Senator McCain in 2008.

    We don’t need any more ObamaCares or any more of his Supreme Court appointments. We don’t need any more leadership from behind and extreme deference to the United Nations rather than to our own national interests. I can’t think of anything else that he would do with greater “flexibility” in a second term that we need or could even tolerate.

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