Hunting, fishing, battle, sin, and politics all have one thing in common, they all use traps. Traps in all shapes, sizes, and forms have the same basic design criteria. In order for them to work, they must appear to be something other than what they are. A hook alone will never catch a fish, it must be baited with something tantalizing. Zhuge Liang of the Three Kingdoms period in Ancient China developed the 36 Strategies of battle, several of which describe traps designed to lure an opponent into a weak or untenable position. The sin of adultery almost always begins with what appears to be an innocent friendship.
The political systems of Statism, which include Communism, Fascism, and Socialism, has its own traps as well. A free population never willingly subjects itself to such a system directly. Humanity longs for freedom. Not merely freedom from something, be it oppression or religious persecution, but freedom of each to chart his own course. For good or ill, gain or loss, happiness or misery, the freedom to choose our own destiny lies deep within every person’s core.
The tyranny of Statism must eliminate that freedom if it is to survive. Survival is the eventual goal of every organization, government included. If Statism must remove freedom to survive, and humanity’s core desire is freedom, then Statism can only be imposed by direct force, or through a trap. While there have been many who would have liked to have forcefully induced the United States into a tyrannical regime, our previous freedoms made that a practical impossibility. To see the goal through, a trap needed to be set. That trap, is Liberalism.
Thousands of pages have been written on this topic, among the best of them are Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny, and Jonah Goldberg’s expansive tome Liberal Fascism. However, neither focused on the “baits” used by the Statist to lure us willingly into bondage. As the hook must be concealed with a juicy worm, so must tyranny’s hooks be concealed.
Once such lure is The Crisis. The structure of this lure is quite simple: Begin with usually an imaginary, insignificant, or easily manageable problem X; through propaganda, inflate the severity of X until the population clamors for a solution…any solution; offer exactly one solution, which is merely government control, but with the caveat that higher revenue is required; finally, use straw man arguments to destroy any challenging solutions. Once you understand this lure, you’ll realize just how many times it has been employed.
Equality, or it’s mirror Fairness, is another bait. As children, we clamor for fairness. Equality is seen as a right, whether deserved or not. If our parents did a good job, we were taught that life is seldom fair. This is a truism etched deep into humanity’s most ancient history. According to Scripture, Cain slew Abel because his sacrifice was not seen as the equivalent of his brother’s and it was not fair. The Statist plays upon our childish desire to see fairness and equality imposed upon the world – whether deserved or not.
“It is not fair that AIG executives receive fat bonuses while you barely scratch out a living,” was one recent cry of the Statist. Details will always be sketchy at best whenever this tactic is employed. What is actually not right is for any person, group, or government to set the maximum income of another person. I have every right to earn as much income as I desire. My income is a product of my physical or intellectual labor and therefore my property. To set a maximum level for that labor denies me access to my property and therefore steals what is rightfully mine. As long as I do not earn income through illicit means, or do so through denying another’s rights, the government has no business interfering with my personal gain.
Protecting The Victim is yet another lure, and a personal favorite of Ann Coulter. This bait places the needs, and often the desires, of a small, hapless sub section, above the rights of the whole population. It is not to be confused with protecting a real victim, which is our duty as human beings. Protecting a real victim usually only requires assistance in monetary form or perhaps time. Both of these can be, and are, freely donated. At most, the needs of the helpless can be placed above the desires of the collective, which is still often good and just.
Forcing one’s need or desire above another’s right, however, is no longer just. The news has been replete with examples of this bait’s utilization. One example would be holding up or negating foreclosure proceedings. While it seems good on the surface to allow a person or family to stay in their home, it cannot be stated clearly enough that it is not their house. The house is the property of the bank until such time as all the contractual obligations of the borrower are fulfilled. The bank and the borrower had the right to enter in to that agreement. Both parties are obligated to deliver their end of the bargain. Denying one party the right to act when the other fails to honor the agreement places a desire above a right. Justice is no longer blind, or just.
These are just three lures in the large tackle box employed in the trap of Liberalism used by the Statist, but these are the most commonly used. In recognizing the bait, the existence of the trap becomes clear. By denying the Statist the power of the trap, he will be unable to once again bring tyranny, and its chains to a population. Freedom must be the overriding metric used in determining the worth of a particular course of action. Freedoms, once lost, are rarely recovered, and therefore should be a most prized possession. And those who do not care about their freedoms, are most likely already in the trap.