My SamSphere sister blog Ft. Hard Knox notes that reference to Barack Obama’s $400-Billion “Civilian National Security Force” appears nowhere in published transcripts of the speech in which he proposed it. Could it have gone the way of his promises regarding public funding and the FISA filibuster? We can only hope.
But the explosion of nannyism proposed in the rest of the speech is just as concerning. In the same, single speech Sen. Obama called for:
expansion of “AmeriCorps to 250,000 slots, and mak[ing] that increased service a vehicle to meet national goals like providing health care and education, saving our planet and restoring our standing in the world, so that citizens see their efforts connected to a common purpose”
“an Energy Corps to conduct renewable energy and environmental cleanup projects in their neighborhoods”
enlistment of “veterans to help other vets find jobs and support, and to be there for our military families”
growth of “our Foreign Service, open[ing] consulates that have been shuttered, and doubl[ing] the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy”
expansion of “USA Freedom Corps to create an online network where Americans can browse opportunities to volunteer”
“a new Social Investment Fund Network … to get the grass roots, the foundations, the faith-based organizations, the private sector and the government at the table so that we can learn from our own success stories[,] … invest in ideas that work[,] leverage private sector dollars to encourage innovation[,] and expand successful programs to scale”
“a new Social Entrepreneur Agency to make sure that small non-profits have strong support from Washington”
“an initiative to give our veterans the training they need to succeed in the Green Jobs of the future”
expansion of “the YouthBuild Program, which puts young Americans to work building affordable housing in America’s poorest communities, giving them valuable skills and a chance to complete a high school education. Because no one should be left out of the American story.”
A good part of Sen. Obama’s appeal is his mastery at cloaking government give-aways in the noble rhetoric of service. But beyond hurling the rocks of socialism through the windows of the free market and adding layers of bricks onto the bowing backs of taxpayers, the double paternalism of these proposals threatens the very spirit of America. Alexis de Tocqueville noted nearly 200 years ago that Americans in particular tend to join together in voluntary service associations. Not only do we not need government sponsorship of this noble national characteristic, but such sponsorship is downright dangerous. Just as the welfare state has created an underclass by robbing would-be workers of incentive, undermining the voluntary charity of would-be givers, and inserting a cold bureaucracy between their two hearts, Sen. Obama’s service state threatens to smother the noble American spirit of sacrifice under the blanket of federal nannyism.