While hanging out yesterday at Ace's yesterday as he was flogging racists, I happened to mention that many if not most black Americans view the federal government as beneficial and friendly. Some other commenters were surprised and I was surprised at their surprise, because it isn't difficult to figure out why this is. Whether it's the Emancipation or the desegregation of the Armed Forces or Brown v. Board or the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, the federal government for the most part had seemed to be on the side of the black American as his constitutional rights were being oppressed by state or local governments.
What needs to be spelled, however is what the federal government did in the above-mentioned areas: it legally removed obstacles to the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of Americans who are black. And that is what it was supposed to do.
The present problem in my unlearned opinion is this: the federal government began overstepping its bounds during the Great Depression and did so most infamously in the late sixties via the Great Society programs. Doing more that getting local racists out of the way, the federal government sought to and succeeded in making itself the suppliers of life, liberty and, putatively, the happiness of many black Americans. (Try telling a senior of any race that Social Security is sending the country to financial ruin. You'll get an earful about her "rights".)
And even many black Americans who do not rely on the federal government still view the fed as our friend because of that history.
What's needed in order to change this perception is obvious: education--not a new education but the old one, one which contains an objective explanation of the role of government.
Simply put, the role of the American government is to remove obstacles to liberty of the People--even when that obstacle is American government itself. Supplying all of one's needs is not government's role. That's God's purview.
We all remember President Obama's statement containing the assertion that one of the flaws of the US Constitution was that is only contained a list of "negative rights," meaning negative government "rights." The idea that a Harvard-trained lawyer thinks that the government has rights or that there was no list of positive responsibilities assigned to government was mockable. (Hey, you voted for him.)
But what the statement betrayed was a widespread misconception present in those of us who aren't lawyers of any variety of a friendly fed whose role is to insert itself between God and man's liberty and to redistribute wealth (aka stealing). The notion that the founders "forgot" to address this is hilarious.
So when the Democrats came to full power this year, they began to build on the foundation that Democrat Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson laid. The good news? Between Socialized Medicine, Cap and Trade, TARP, etc., the federal government's active role in overstepping its bounds--in crippling America--is opening the eyes of Americans of all races. The bad news: there may not be an America left when the federal locusts finish.
UPDATE: Hi, Glenn's readers!