Home > Uncategorized > The Democratic Party: any room, any room at all, for individual responsibility?

The Democratic Party: any room, any room at all, for individual responsibility?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’ve racked my brain for a single aspect of life that the Democratic Party does not believe is subject to state control, a single aspect of human happiness that is the individual human’s own responsibility.

This is a terribly important point: Democrats don’t believe in the concept of individual responsibility. It’s that simple. It’s not that Republicans take the concept to a higher level, or that Democrats accept it as crucial but emphasize other principles as higher. It’s that Democrats dismiss the notion entirely. Failures and shortcomings are always qualified: if So-and-So failed, was it because she was abused as a child? If So-and-So is characterized by Shortcoming X, Prior Incident A, B, or C must explain, and therefore justify, it. There’s always a reason. (Except, of course, if you’re guilty of white-collar crime. In such cases, there’s no such thing as a mitigating circumstance and no amount of emotional or physical abuse as a child could possibly explain or justify this evil.)

Totalitarianism is defined very simply: absolute control by a highly centralized government. And there are two kinds of totalitarianism. There’s hard totalitarianism, and there’s soft. The former is easy enough to find – the former U.S.S.R., Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Saddam’s Iraq, and Iran today. The latter isn’t discussed as often, but it’s no less important or consequential because, as the distinction implies, it’s no less totalitarian; it’s simply totalitarianism via the more pleasant, scenic route.

I submit that the Democratic Party platform is the perfect example of soft totalitarianism, since there is no aspect of American life that it sees as beyond state control. Even the single tribute it pays to unadulterated freedom – the right to an abortion – comes with the implicit backing of a totalitarian government that inflicts this vision of freedom on the majority of Americans who want nothing to do with the procedure: women should be free not merely to have an abortion, but to have one on the taxpayer (or insurance-premium payer) dime. So even where Democrats say men should be free, it’s the kind of freedom that comes at a cost — usually borne by someone else or some other group in society that has to go along with the program, or else.

I’d love to be proved wrong. I don’t like the thought that many of my friends believe the state is all-encompassing and human life is subsumed by allegiance to it, but hey, if the shoe fits …

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