Alan Moore, author and social critic, asserts in “V for Vendetta” that “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” When a young director in Karachi, Pakistan, adapted “Vendetta” for a live theatrical performance 10 years ago, he repeated the line during the play’s curtain call to raucous applause from the audience. Moore’s simple words reflect poignantly the human desire to be free from government tyranny.
Moore’s statement is widely embraced in the United States, where “the people” are constitutionally vested with power over government. It is doubtful, however, that today’s permanent bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., would concur.
This philosophical divide between the American people and their government is an important one. Should the American people be afraid of the U.S. government? Of course not. Yet a new army of IRS agents that will be used to audit middle-class Americans and a partisan DOJ and FBI that routinely ignore leftist violence while throwing the book at MAGA voters strongly suggest otherwise.
Does the federal government still work for American citizens, or have American citizens become nothing more than subjects expected to obey Washington’s bureaucratic regime? For many Americans, the answer to that question is glaringly obvious.
After Chris Wray’s FBI launched an unprecedented raid of President Trump’s private residence at Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8, the director’s immediate concern was not his agency’s appearance of impropriety but the denouncement of his lackeys’ behavior by the American public.
“I’m always concerned about threats to law enforcement,” Wray declared while saying nothing of threats to Americans from federal law enforcement. Who is more of a threat to American liberty: citizens using their constitutionally protected free speech to criticize the FBI or wayward FBI agents acting under the color of law?
Clearly, those with great power represent the greatest threat to freedom. For those such as Wray, who believe the FBI is the real victim, it is the citizen expressing himself who must be held accountable.
Wray’s decision to shield his agents from criticism while obliquely intimidating citizens is hardly a departure from the federal government’s standard operating procedure. Before the Democrats’ recent addition of 87,000 new prying IRS agents to hound American taxpayers, including the hiring of agents who will “carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force,” Barack Obama’s IRS was already targeting and harassing conservative organizations.
Why should Americans expect a greatly expanded and well-armed IRS to behave any differently this time?
A similar abuse of power during Obama’s presidency occurred when his Environmental Protection Agency released “sensitive, private, and personal materials on more than 100,000 farmers and ranchers” to outside environmental groups in what was seen as an intentional effort to promote “eco-activist tyranny.”
It was not enough for the EPA to harass America’s farmers with endless agricultural, livestock, and water regulations; the agency decided to permit outside “help” to further its interests in enforcing “green” regulations.
Now that congressional Democrats have succeeded in finding a path for greatly expanding the Green New Deal “climate change” agenda, it is likely that the EPA’s harassment of farmers will continue in the future.
The FBI, the IRS, and the EPA are but three agencies with tremendous powers that can be used to intimidate or imperil Americans. There are more than 400 departments, agencies, and sub-agencies within the federal government, and “no one knows definitively how many agencies, components, and commissions exist.”
Each of these authorities is constantly issuing rules, regulations, and guidelines that affect Americans’ rights and liberties without their knowledge. Each of those bodies exercises jurisdiction over the American people in ways that most don’t even realize. Does this sound like a government afraid of its citizens or tyranny?