As long as government is controlling freedom under the guise of “workforce training” and “economic development” then expect to hear a lot more from “various freedom movements.”
I’ve been quick to personally commend syndicated columnist Bill Crawford when I felt he wrote a strong commentary on a particular subject. I have to say his most recent article is one worth reading. But, I have to take exception to Mr. Crawford’s recent judgement of “the various freedom movements” as being somehow the perpetrators of “fear and hate” politics, when he writes:
“Consider the various freedom movements. Those behind them have convinced blocks of people that government is trying to take away some freedom. As a result, more and more Americans now alternatively fear and hate government.”
First, the blanket approach and the general description of “various freedom movements” means Crawford can be as right as he wants to be by waiting to point out specific examples of “fear and hate” when he decides he has seen it. He also spares himself the responsibility of deciding what constitutes a “freedom movement” for the time being.
There must be little quite as personally satisfying as the conscience that allows one to paint with a broad brush so as to cozily fit into nearly any ambiguous category.
Ever disagree with some group you might classify as a “freedom movement”? Well then, Bill Crawford is on your side.
Which side is that? Whichever side it needs to be, of course. That depends on the details, and those apparently haven’t materialized enough for Mr. Crawford to share.
Secondly, this statement ignores the fact that in many cases–actually, in numerous cases–government is, in fact, “trying to take away some freedom.”
Perhaps Mr. Crawford was taking a nap when the United States Supreme Court ruled on marriage equality, setting up numerous legal battles that have threatened and have restricted religious freedom in many cases across the country. As freedoms go, one has to assume if it’s listed in the first few sentences in the Bill of Rights then it’s a pretty good example. Or maybe he can’t remember that the Mississippi Legislature just passed a law further restricting the ability of law enforcement to seize property without due process. He might have missed the debate over businesses using government to restrict competition through occupational licensing.
Fear Political Data Collection But Government Collection Is A-Okay
Since his commentary begins by anxiously noting his own fear of how politics now uses data as a means to monitor and manipulate public opinion, maybe he would be just as fearful of how data collection is now being put into place to map out a persons entire life from cradle to grave.
This data is collected beginning in government-schools following new federal education mandates. This personal data is maintained by an organization funded by government. It’s maintained from the besginning of K-12, through secondary education, and then right on into “placement” in a job– thanks to the decisions made by the bureaucrats who know best in that ‘big ole, not-scary government’ Mr. Crawford admires.
They call this “workforce training,” which is a much handier and less scary sounding way to describe government monitoring and manipulating people into specific careers or technical jobs.
Of course, one has to wonder how government gets to decide what type of work will be available to begin with. They call this “economic development”. Government, especially in Mississippi, hasn’t shown a very good track record in making that work lately, or really, as a whole . . . ever.
What Mr. Crawford “Cherishes” Most
Turns out both workforce training and economic development are subjects Mr. Crawford are quite familiar with, which may be why he doesn’t find it all that scary. As President of The Montgomery Institute, Crawford oversaw the organizations competion for a WIRED grant through the U.S. Department of Labor. WIRED stands for the Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development. The grant created a 37-county economic development area spanning East Mississippi and West Alabama.
Heck, Crawford even received an award for it back in 2010, at the same time the economic development community in East Mississippi was preparing for the biggest government promoted economic development project they have ever seen.
What project was that? They billed it back in 2010 at the EMCC Industry Awards Luncheon as “the point at which an economy still struggling to overcome recession meets the promise of better times as Mississippi Power begins construction of a $2.88 billion power plant in Kemper County.”
Crawford sums up his sermon on not fearing government by writing:
“Once most Americans took pride in our unique Constitution and the representative form of government it empowers, a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” The powerful manipulators who utilize” . . . “fear + hate = power” formula have turned cherished government into the enemy.”
He’s right about one thing. The “powerful manipulators” did turn “government into the enemy”.
And it’s still happening every single day. Until that starts working in the opposing direction Mr. Crawford should prepare himself for a lot more action from “various freedom movements.”