OPINION EDITORIAL: Freedom under attack in Olympia
In 1838, Abraham Lincoln spoke to the Young Men's Lyceum in Springfield, Illinois, praising the founding fathers for the political system they established, but also warning about the fragile nature of this government of the people.
“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher,” said Lincoln.
The Great Emancipator knew either we must fight for freedom to stay alive or it would be by our own hands that the America created by our founding fathers dies by suicide.
As we move through a 105-day session in which Democratic majorities, largely from the Seattle area, control the House, the Senate and the governor's mansion, I think of Lincoln's words as I fight against the most destructive legislation in our state's history.
New policies are being pressed forward that would make it harder and more expensive for you as an individual to live, work and raise a family. These policies coincide with a movement afoot across our great nation to give government more control over our individual lives, to destroy our freedoms, and to shame and defame those courageous enough to stand up to this attack. It's what I call the “thieving of American liberty.”
The governor's “green agenda” is an example. Gov. Inslee is using Washington state as his testing ground for making climate change the focus of his presidential bid. His Democratic colleagues in the House have passed a California-style low carbon fuel standard that would significantly add to the price of gas and goods, but have little effect on our environment.
Legislation has passed the House that would phase out fossil fuel electricity generation by 2045 and create penalties against utilities. Combined with a carbon tax, people would be paying higher energy bills. They're even going after hydrofluorocarbons used as refrigerant by our Eastern Washington food processors.
These policies are based on a false narrative. It's not about climate change and a cleaner environment. We are already clean. It's about putting government in control of the energy economy. We all rely on energy and are being shamed into accepting climate change policies that relinquish our lives to the government. Should the state take over the energy economy, making it nearly cost prohibitive, we have no choice but to become dependent upon the government.
Let's talk about health care. Majority Democrats in the House have passed the governor's bill that would have the state develop standardized health plans and expressly limit choice over time in favor of one-size-fits-all government plans. This would result in providers leaving networks, destabilize the marketplace and make health care more expensive for many Washingtonians. They've also passed legislation to codify Obamacare in state statute, locking our state into a failed health care system. And they're pushing for a study to establish a universal health care system in Washington.
When government controls health care, where do we turn for help? Again, we have no choice but to become dependent on government for our health care.
We've made it harder for young people to get jobs, and easier to seek government assistance. An entire new generation believes their future is based upon what government can provide – not what they can do for themselves.
When we raise the price on energy, gasoline, food, health care, housing and other basic needs, most people have no choice, but to turn to the government.
Dare I say the word, “socialism”? The dictionary defines it as “a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state.”
The saddest part is that most people aren't paying attention. Like the frog in the pot who enjoys the water as it slowly simmers, but knows nothing about the approaching deadly boil, we hardly notice as our freedoms are slowly, systematically and incrementally removed, one bill at a time.
Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same.”
We must fight now to protect our freedoms. Let's remember a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take everything you have.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Rep. Mary Dye, R-Pomeroy, serves the 9th Legislative District, and is the assistant ranking Republican on the House Environment and Energy Committee.