How do we explain the predominant ideology of the Democratic Party? Are Democrats communists? Not really. Democrats are not brutally violent. Democrats use “legal” means to achieve their ends. They merely appoint judges to interpret the law the way they think it ought to have been written. Are Democrats socialists? No. Consider how the Social Security System works. The Social Security System is a payroll tax. The system is designed to tax workers, not the rich. In fact, wages above a certain wage limit, about $90,000, are not subject to the Social Security taxes. In practice, Democrats, at least elected Democrats, do not believe in taxing the rich to give to the poor.
So what ideology does unite Democrats? As near as I can tell, the one thing all Democrats have in common is that they are busybodies. Is Busybodyism an ideology? I think so. However, I must admit I could not find the word in dictionary.com. Nonetheless, when I googled it, I got 1,230 hits. So, I decided to go with it. 😉
What is Busybodyism? As the dictionary suggests, Busybodyism is about meddling in the affairs of others, but how does one make that into an ideology? Well, let’s consider the opposite, Classical Liberalism. The classical liberal is content to be allowed to run his own affairs. To achieve such a condition, the classical liberal recognizes the obligation and the need to protect the rights of his neighbors. Nonetheless, the classical liberal sees no need to run the lives of his neighbors. The classical liberal sees government as a tool for protecting everyone’s natural rights, not as a tool for mandating “new rights.”
Democrats like to think of themselves as Progressives or Social Liberals, yet what they propose is often destructive to individual rights. Consider this logical progression. If we assume government exists to protect people’s rights, then for internal threats we need policemen, judges, juries, and jails; and for external threats we need armies, navies and air forces. Since all this protection costs money, we also need taxes. Nonetheless, because each and every citizen benefits by having representation in government and by having their rights protected, we have some justification for extorting money from, or taxing, taxpayers. What happens, however, when we do as Progressives or Social Liberals insist we must? What happens when we tinker with the definition of the term “rights”? What if government gives people a “right” to health care? What if government gives people the right to an education? What if government gives people a right to libraries, recreation centers, stadiums for professional ball players , museums of every kind, welfare programs, public TV and radio, and on and on and on? What happens is that taxpayers start working for the causes of busybodies instead of working for their own causes. As it is, Tax Freedom Day arrived April 23 this year (see here).
What has Busybodyism to do with all this? Consider why anyone would want to be a Progressive or a Social Liberal. How do busybodies behave? If a busybody contributes money to a charity, doesn’t that busybody think you ought to contribute your money to that charity too. So the busybodies get together make a law. If busybodies think their children should watch a particular television show, then they think your child should see that show too. If a busybody believes anything, then that busybody will not rest content until everyone else is doing what that busybody believes they ought to be doing. And they will find excuses. “It is for the children.” “It is for the poor.” “It is for the old.” “It is not fair.” And on and on and on.
What Busybodyism is about is making everyone else do what busybodies think what everyone ought to do. What busybodies cannot figure out is that mature adults do not need to be forced to do the right thing. Instead, it is sufficient to prevent immature and evil people from doing evil and to allow mature adults to set a good example.
Because honest charity benefits the giver and honest good works enlivens the life of the doer, we do not need busybodies to force people to give false charity or to do phony good works. Yet because of Busybodyism, that is the system we are devising.