Plenty to fear
It was disclosed recently that the Internal Revenue Service harassed groups it perceived as tea party or conservative. A problem exists in that the government bureaucracy at all levels, including the educational establishment, is overwhelmingly (70 percent to 90 percent) liberal Democrats. They exist in a world where they work with few not like themselves, and those not like themselves are viewed as enemies.
Thus, President Obama’s sentiments to “punch back twice as hard” is translated into IRS harassment of his political opponents, Spokane Falls Community College’s threats and intimidation of Christian students (until stopped in 2009 by a federal court) or clerks in Ohio state government releasing Joe the Plumber’s tax information when Joe embarrasses the then-candidate Obama.
The perpetrators of these actions were faceless bureaucrats, unknown and unaccountable to the public but possessing enormous and arbitrary power. Their victims were the little people generally without the time and money to fight back.
The president recently gave a commencement speech in which he mocked conservatives’ fear of tyrannical government in a democratic society. But the ancient Greeks as well as our country’s founders recognized that the majority and their agents are as capable of tyranny as any other ruling class.