Fourth of July reflective people have to suffer through a lot of
blather about freedom, rights, and liberty, and bucketfuls of spread-eagle
self-celebration about what a wonderful and special country America
is, conceived in liberty and dedicated to, blah, blah, blah. And
oh, that beastly George III and what a tyrant he was! those pestilential
British! and on and on. This year's Independence Day will be more
insufferable than most, since our President and his privy councilors,
having smitten the Iraqis with the edge of the sword – men,
women, children, cattle, every crawling thing – are wallowing
me out. If I do any goofing off July 4, it will be with a biography
of King George III.
anyone who's actually read up on him can tell you, George III was
a devout Christian, an unswervingly faithful husband, a fervent
patriot, a gentleman, and a painfully conscientious ruler who meant
well and did his honest best. His insanity was due to an unfortunate
blood disease called porphyria. Who among the pack of knaves, villains
and – at best – mediocrities who have governed us for most of the past
century is worthy to touch the hem of Good King George's coronation
robe? FDR? JFK? LBJ? Nixon? Clinton? Bush I? Bush II? Oh please!
to the point, by every measure, our government is more tyrannical
towards Americans than King George's at its worst.
the British did some harsh stuff. They send regiments to Boston,
closed the port, and quartered soldiers in colonists' homes. But
only after repeated attempts to conciliate the colonies had gotten
them nowhere and had prompted only more defiance. There is no comparison,
absolutely none, between the final British crackdown and what's
happening in "free" America.
Bostonians asked for what they got. We didn't.
the rights it supposedly exists to protect (or so the Declaration
of Independence would have you believe), our government routinely
commits tyrannies that Good King George never dreamed of.
tyrannies are sufficiently familiar to this web site's readers to
render enumeration superfluous. One comparison is instructive: Lincoln
and Congress gave us the draft just "four score and seven years"
after the founding of the nation "conceived in liberty";
the beastly British didn't get around to it until the middle of
World War I. Woodrow Wilson persecuted and jailed dissenters even
before we actually entered the war. Eugene Debs, his most famous
victim, was released by, yes, Warren G. Harding.
Roosevelt made it illegal to own gold, foisted a corporate fascist
scheme called NRA on America, got generations hooked on the drug
of Social Security, and tried to pack the Supreme Court when it
got in his way and enforced the Constitution he had sworn to "preserve,
protect and defend." He inflicted other tyrannies during the
war he dragged us into, such as confiscatory taxes, price control,
and on and on. When Sewall Avery of Montgomery Ward defied a diktat
from the caped megalomaniac, his thugs carried Avery out of his
office in his chair. Revered by lackey scribblers and Americans
with short memories, Harry Truman seized coal mines, railroads and
other businesses in response to strikes and tried to draft striking
workers into the Army. He committed us to war in Korea on his say-so
and didn't even ask Congress for an opinion, let alone a declaration
of war. He wanted socialized medicine and when American doctors
objected he said "I think they ought to be hit over the head
with a club." Give u2018em hell, Harry. Yeah, right!
enforced school integration at bayonet point. Jack and Bobby Kennedy
tried to control prices with their mouths, and when steel prices
weren't set to suit them, sent the FBI to make dawn raids on the
homes of steel executives. LBJ dragged us into another undeclared
war, vastly expanded the welfare state Roosevelt had started, tapped
telephones, and planted bugs. Nixon authorized no-knock drug searches
(so much for the protection against "unreasonable searches
and seizures"), and used the IRS to hound folks on his "enemies
federal judges were ordering forced busing of helpless children
to achieve something called "racial balance" in public
schools – something eerily reminiscent of Stalin's forced relocation
of ethnic groups and nationalities within the USSR. Meanwhile the
judges, along with the liberal politicians and columnists who advocated
busing, were sending their own children to private schools where
they wouldn't have to worry about being held up at knife point for
their lunch money or getting kidney damage because they were terrified
of using the restrooms. A pattern was shaping up: one law for America's
ruling elite, another one for the peasants (that's you and me, reader).
pattern was emerging through such court decisions: a few people
imposing their will on everybody else with despotic arbitrariness
and finality, thumbing their noses at the American people and democracy.
And court decisions for the last forty years have institutionalized
the revolution in mores of the 1960s, normalizing things like cohabitation,
pornography, radical feminism, perverse sex, and so on, and largely
driven Christianity out of the public square. Damn King George all
you will, he never tried to overturn, demolish and "reconstruct"
Christian civilization by decree.
courts have also upheld the abomination of affirmative action for
thirty years. King George opposed slavery and boycotted sugar to
protest the slave trade. But it never crossed His Majesty's mind
to persecute his subjects for the sin of being white or force them
to atone for historical sins they didn't commit.
III took seriously the Christian admonition to succor the poor,
and personally gave away thousands of pounds of his own money to
the poor of London and Windsor. The welfare state's methods are
different: our politicians salve their social consciences with our
money, and take good care to look out for #1 (why is it they invariably
leave Washington multimillionaires?).
though he was cruelly lampooned here and in England, and foully
insulted to his face, and even assaulted, by London mobs, King George
never tried to impose thought control and geld everybody into politically
correct ciphers with such things as speech codes and hate crime
laws. Nor did he try the cultural equivalent of ethnic cleansing.
Here in "free" America, we experience such things as suppressing
Columbus Day and the Confederate flag and renaming schools named
after famous slave holders like Washington. George may have been
a madman off and on depending on the chemicals in his blood, but
he wasn't lunatic – or hateful – enough to go in for sensityranny.
the furniture in other people's minds by force apparently never
occurred to him. The poor guy had his hands full managing his own.
did George III ever do anything as despotic as wetlands and endangered
species laws and regulations. If you find a spotted owl on your
land, or a species that might become endangered, your property
rights evaporate. And as James DeLong has masterfully shown in Property
Matters, if you try to uphold your property rights in court
in a wetlands or endangered species case, you'll get the mother
of all runarounds and may go broke in the process.
how many foreign wars did King George drag us into on a humbug?
does it say about us, that our forebears took up arms over a tea
tax, but we submit like sheep to things like this?
of the thrippence in the pound tea tax, it looks better all the
time. Clinton and Congress raised taxes retroactively in 1993. Americans
typically work almost half the year just to pay their taxes. Working
Americans of modest means can't save for their own old age because
they're being taxed black and blue by Social Security to pay for
the retirements of total strangers. King George was burned in effigy,
and His Majesty's revenue agents beaten up, tarred and feathered
by mobs of goons, for far less.
Old England's taxes weren't popular over here. But when America
complained, London listened. The 1765 Stamp Act was repealed by
Parliament the very next year after the colonists protested. Parliament
tried again in 1767 with the Townsend Acts, taxing imported glass,
paper, lead, and tea. The colonies roared again, and the British
backed down again, repealing everything but the tea tax in 1770.
Yet these are the guys who get smeared as tyrants!
I just wish to God that our Congresses and Presidents were so responsive
to the American people's wishes. We have been seething literally
for decades about high taxes, affirmative action, immigration, being
forced to fund obscene and blasphemous "art," overregulation,
and on and on. We might as well take our complaints to the man in
the moon. For our pains we get kissed off by statist elitist scribblers,
who equated any criticism of our sainted government with the militia
movement, the Oklahoma City bombing (remember?) and treason, and
who just can't understand why so many of us are so bitter about
our government. Our rulers are no better. Write to George W. Bush
or a Senator or Representative complaining about immigration, Social
Security and so on and see what happens to you.
indifference sends an unmistakable message: You don't count,
you want doesn't count either. Your purpose in life is to pay taxes
and breed cannon fodder for foreign wars. Take up your cross and
if you do something Uncle Sam doesn't like, such as have drugs or
illegal guns in your house – or are even suspected of it – your house
can be broken into and you can be terrorized or roughed up or even
killed. ( Remember Randy Weaver?) During the so-called Boston Massacre,
the mob attacked the British sentry, he called for help, and the
British fired in self-defense. Crispus Attucks, one of the worst
thugs in the mob, has gone down in history as a martyr for liberty.
What do we call Randy Weaver?
you plan to spend the Fourth celebrating the liberty you haven't
got, by all means go ahead. Me? I'm going to drink a loyal toast
to one of the most benevolent rulers this suffering country ever
had, a small-government man and a pillar of constitutional rectitude
compared to despotic megalomaniacs and reckless warmongers like
Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, LBJ, Clinton, and George W.
Bush. His Majesty, God bless him!
Attarian (send him mail)
is a writer in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with a Ph.D. in economics. His
Security: False Consciousness and Crisis, which treats the
myths and realities of Social Security in detail, has just been
published by Transaction Publishers.