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Recently, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin presented an idea that caught my attention. In a nutshell, he wants to require city contractors to disclose money contributed to political groups. The result would be that the mayor could then cherry pick which groups the city works with based upon political ideologies and not who is the best company for the job.
Obviously, this is a violation of the Constitution. Besides this obvious concern, the government isn’t allowed to pick sides. Government provides the opportunity for success, it doesn’t choose who succeeds. Free market capitalism dictates that competition and innovation determine winners in the marketplace. Success shouldn’t require tacit governmental approval based on political leanings.
The irony here is that while Socialists like Soglin refuse to accept certain parts of the Constitution they disagree with, they’re more than happy to cling to the same document while justifying behavior and views on other issues. In short, if a company pays taxes and offers jobs to citizens in the area, it’s exactly ZERO business of government what the specific political beliefs may be of any business.
The recent infringement of privacy on all fronts by the federal government ties in nicely to Soglin’s utopian proposal. Let’s take this idea and incorporate it into all segments of real life. Since this is the government, you know the program will become bloated and unrecognizable compared its original form. Example A: The Illinois Tollway was a temporary tax when it was created.
In this experiment, we’re going to get rid of privacy and political freedom all together and see what type of system we can come up with. Let’s imagine a political state with no privacy of any sort.
The first thing we’ll need to do is find a way to categorize and divide citizens into easily identifiable groups. One rudimentary method would be to use the same system Hester Prynne was subjected to in the Book, "The Scarlet Letter."
What we’ll do is have everyone wear the same type of shirt. These American-made shirts would be uniform in color and could have exaggerated lapels that would allow citizens to wear pins or patches to identify certain social, political and economic distinctions.
For instance, a giant red "R" would be required to wear on the lapel for all conservative voters. Conversely, a giant blue "D" would be required for Democrat voters to wear. Since there’s no privacy, there’s no need for anyone to hide who they vote for. All elections could be 100% transparent with results posted online by address.
How about a red cross to signify health concerns? Small distinctions on the cross would let people know what type of health history someone possesses. Of course, potential employers will want to know this information before hiring employees. Now, we’ll all know if someone had the shingles recently, had an abortion once or has a history of problems with alcohol or drugs. Since freedom and privacy are extinct, how about requiring ladies to post their current daily weight proudly on their lapel?
We could have symbols to indicate if someone is a net taxpayer or a tax moocher. Sexual offenders certainly need to be identified for the safety of others. How about a symbol for anyone convicted of theft in the past, in the interest of public safety?
Instead of privacy and freedom, we’ll have a world of full disclosure. We could know someone’s political affiliation, health history, weight, criminal record, IQ, education, religious preferences, sexual orientation, tax liability and ethnic background before ever officially speaking to that individual.
People could walk around like five-star generals with all of the different distinctions and classifications. The possibilities are endless!
Since this a government program, we’ll need millions of special American-made high tech cameras that are equipped with facial recognition software. These cameras could cross reference a face to a lapel, thereby ensuring everyone is wearing the appropriate identifications at all times. Of course, any non compliance would be met with swiftly and include harsh penalties.
Think of all of the waste eliminated. No more deadbeat dads wandering through society anonymously. No more political discussion wasted on someone who is actually a certified moron. Ladies, you’ll know immediately if that hot guy in the gym is married, has a girlfriend, or is gay. Think of all of the people we’ll be able to identify, categorize and divide by removing the obstacles associated with the freedom of privacy.
This world may sound outlandish and farfetched, but I’d argue no more so than the idea 15 years ago of having the government conducting surveillance on citizens not suspected of a crime. Protecting the amendments in the Constitution and the rights they afford is of paramount importance. If we fail to resist the political overreach happening in all areas of the federal government, we’ll be left with a world void of freedoms and privacy. That’s a world in which no one wants to participate.
John Mumper is married with two young daughters. He was born in Wisconsin and grew up on various types of farms throughout the state. John was educated at UW-Whitewater with degrees in Political Science and History and has traveled extensively throughout the world.
Today, he works closely with various types and sizes of manufacturers and building products suppliers as an outside salesman. In his spare time, he enjoys the Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers, politics and brewing his own powerful beers.