| March 14, 2013

Crushing those who dare to resist

The 19th century French observer Alexis de Tocqueville famously warned of a form of despotism that could one day come to America. He was right, and indeed there are examples of it here in 21st century Oklahoma.

In a column last week in The Journal Record, law professor Andrew Spiropoulos, who is teaching a course this semester on Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, says America has in fact changed since Tocqueville’s time. “Governments, at all levels, have wide-ranging powers to force people and institutions to take actions to which they object,” he writes, “but wise leaders know that the most intrusive of these powers should only be exercised when necessary and even then with care to preserve the different ways of life of the communities that make up their state or nation.”

Regrettably, wise leaders are not presently at the helm. “The government’s attempt to force Hobby Lobby and other companies owned by religious individuals to violate the tenets of their religious faith is an excellent example of what Tocqueville feared,” writes Spiropoulos, who also serves as our Milton Friedman Distinguished Fellow at OCPA. “The government, under current legal doctrine, may prevail against Hobby Lobby. But even if they do, it does not, and will never, make what they have done right. A wise government would never have forced people with genuine religious convictions to subsidize acts they abhor.”

I encourage you to read the entire column here.

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