While the details of the IRS targeting of conservative groups are important, it is also beneficial to take a step back and think about what the scandal says about conservative or libertarian philosophy. Really I think the IRS scandal as well as the DOJ collecting of Associated Press phone records vindicates what many on the right have been warning about for a long time. The government is either too big and bureaucratic to handle, or it is big enough for power hungry people to use it for their own gain against their enemies. Essentially conservatives have been right all along that the government needs to have more oversight, and any crazy-paranoid delusions they had that the government was out to get them–well it turns out that it wasn’t so crazy and paranoid to think that.
I say this because some on the left seem to be thinking about these scandals in terms of minimizing damage to the democratic party. Isn’t it time that people take a step back and really think about what these revelations mean for America? I think that if people are honest with themselves this can be a wake up call that the country needs to be taken in the direction of a limited government bound by the Constitution. The fact that the government was used by various agencies to intimidate political groups and the press is proof that we have gone too far in abandoning the restrictions on the government and separation of power in the Constitution.
Thomas Sowell wrote a good article yesterday about how 100 years ago, in 1913, it would have been considered crazy and paranoid to think that the next 40 years would see two world wars with unprecedented death and destruction, and regimes in Russia, Germany, China and elsewhere murdering and starving millions of their own people.
What can we take away from all this? First of all, the fact that things seem to be going along pretty well does not mean that we can ignore storm clouds on the horizon — of which there are more today than there were in 1913. Second, the crucial question is whether our leaders have the wisdom, integrity and commitment to avoid being overwhelmed by events.
So that we don’t “ignore the storm clouds on the horizon”, now is the time to reign in the government and take America down a safer path of limited Constitutional government. We can start by not forgetting about these scandals at election time, and voting for people with more than rhetoric to offer.