Will Freedom Die?

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." - Ronald Reagan

The IRS Scandal hits at the core of our Democracy as we see the most feared federal bureaucracy attacking or being used to attack political opponents. Nor can we say this was a work of a few rogue agents as we are now seeing the tentacles of this conspiracy derived from Washington itself. For those of us who have followed Obama and his team over the past six years, this isn’t a surprise. In his Illinois political career, Obama used dirty tricks and political hardball to win elections. In his 2004 run for the Senate, potential candidates who were favored to win found their sealed divorce documents unsealed while dooming any real challenge to Obama's run to the Senate.

And the present attack on conservatives had their origins in the 2008 campaign. Kimberly Strassel from the Wall Street Journal reported on a conservative group, American Issues Project, which became a target for the left. General Council of the Obama campaign, Bob Bauer, wrote to the Justice Department and demanded an investigation into the group. The Justice Department not only stated that the group was not doing anything against the law, but they even noted that they released a leading donor, which many similar leftist groups did not.

Bauer then changed tactics and demanded tax documents of Harold Simmons, the donor in question, and then hounded the conservative group, American Issues Project, for additional information. This was part of a larger strategy to intimidate conservative donors and reduce money flowing to Republicans and conservative groups. Strassel noted, “In early August 2008, the New York Times trumpeted the creation of a left-wing group (a 501(c)4) called Accountable America. Founded by Obama supporter and liberal activist Tom Mattzie, the group—as the story explained—would start by sending 'warning' letters to 10,000 GOP donors, "hoping to create a chilling effect that will dry up contributions." The letters would alert "right-wing groups to a variety of potential dangers, including legal trouble, public exposure and watchdog groups digging through their lives." As Mr. Mattzie told Mother Jones: "We're going to put them at risk."

This has been the exact strategy that the left has put in place with their IRS campaign. While there is no direct evidence that the IRS' abuse of power was engineered by the White House or Democratic operatives, it is similar to the strategy that the Obama campaign conducted during the 2008 elections. Democratic legislators like Senator Dick Durbin have actively campaigned for the IRS to investigate many of these conservatives groups while the IRS director visited the White House some 150 plus times (obviously to discuss the Presidential egg roll).  It is not hard to imagine that the White House and Democratic operative is cooperating with the IRS on this. (Common sense will tell you that IRS agents would have not have gone rogue unless encouraged by outside operatives. If they did act as rogue agents, then this is even more dangerous for this shows a bureaucracy out of control and not accountable to anyone!)

If you want to understand the absurdity of it all, American Spectator Jeff Lord tells the story of a half-brother of a President who starts a non-profit organization with association with leaders designated as terrorists and a woman who built a business with her husband who put together two groups: one dedicated to ensuring free and corruption-free elections. Guess who gets abused and audited by the IRS and targeted by the FBI Domestic Terrorist Unit? The woman who lives in Houston and started her own business while the President's half-brother's organization was up and running in record time with no harassment from either the FBI or IRS.

The IRS targeted conservative organizations, many of whom were started by everyday folks who simply wanted to make a difference, and audited major donors with the idea of reducing money available to conservative groups. The side benefit is that many groups were strangled in the crib before having a chance to influence the election. If this scandal broke out in August or September of 2012, could this have turned the election? We will never know, but there is no doubt that there was an effort to squash voter turnout among Republican leaning voters and intimidate grassroots activists. It succeeded.

The IRS scandal is part of a larger problem, the rise of the Bureaucratic state which threatens our liberties. As mentioned in a previous article, the Bureaucratic state has more influence on our lives than either the President or Congress and now many individuals fear their government more than they respect or love it. The price of the Bureaucratic state is diminishing respect for government itself as government is now involving itself in aspects of our lives unthinkable a generation ago. Every generation must decide on whether they will protect freedom or surrender it in the name of security and goodies from the government. We are now at a threshold of a society in which liberty will be something we talked about once having. The IRS scandal is a reminder of how far we have traveled in which the Bureaucratic state has become more powerful than our elected officials. That path leads to a road marching toward serfdom.

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