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65


THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 65, February 15, 2000
State of Disunion

The State of the Union, 2005

by David Roberson
davidr6@ix.netcom.com

Special to TLE

           [The following is an excerpt from the State of the Union Address that President Al Gore will deliver in the year 2005.]

           ... and finally tonight, my fellow Americans, I'd like to speak about an issue of grave personal concern to me. It concerns the continued complaints by subversives and anti-government agitators who continue to whisper that this great nation, the United States of America, is somehow growing less free.
           Less free? The idea is ludicrous, yet we still hear it feverishly muttered by the lunatic fringe. Yes, despite the fact that their charges are proven false again and again, our nation's internal enemies oppose each new progressive step with wild ranting about some imagined lessening of freedom.
           We heard that charge back in 2000, when my noble predecessor, President Bill Clinton, echoed my call for owners of firearms to be licensed and to carry special identity cards. Yet no freedoms were actually eroded when the Gun Owner Identification Act was passed in 2001, the first year of my administration.
           We heard the charge again in 2002, when, under Vice President Diane Feinstein's bold leadership, Congress narrowly approved a sensible amendment requiring that gun owners also wear special yellow patches on their clothing. Again, no freedom was lost - instead, we had greater freedom to know who among us who might be extremists with the potential to wreak armed havoc on our precious and innocent children.
           And we heard the same baseless charge just last year, when the great Senator Charles Schumer led a courageous stand to strengthen the Gun Owner Identification Act by creating a national database of all gun owners, and requiring that each gun owner be tattooed on the forearm with a special federal ID number.
           And have these simple, common sense steps lessened our freedom? Indeed not. Our freedom to live in communities and neighborhoods where people do not own guns is greater than ever, and it will grow even stronger as those who insist on owning guns are relocated into the special federal enclaves we are building for them. There, with their registered single-shot firearms checked daily by courageous agents of the BATF, gun owners can continue their ridiculous hobby, once they pass the appropriate battery of psychological tests and present adequate medical proof that no member of their family for the past two generations suffered from any mental disorders. And those gun owners who secure appropriate personal liability coverage will even be able to apply for the right to purchase ammunition for their firearms, in case some company ever produces ammunition that passes the stringent consumer product safety laws my administration implemented in 2003.
           Less freedom? My administration's reasonable approach to gun safety is partly responsible for many of the other freedoms we enjoy today. A logical outgrowth of the success of the Gun Owner Identification Ace was this year's Voter Identification Act. That important legislation now safeguards the rights of citizens by assuring that they have documented proof of appropriate federal training -- offered every third year in most state capitals for an appropriate fee -- before they face the responsibility of voting. Another giant step for freedom was the Internet User Identification Act, which created the federal database on all individual use of the Internet, therefore helping the FBI's new Committee for State Security fight terrorism and child pornography. And I have no doubt that the eagerly waited Health Care User Identification Bill, which will require adequate documentation of an individual's need for health care services, will receive strong support in Congress when it is introduced later this month by Senator Hillary Clinton.
           No, our country's freedoms are not being lessened. Indeed not! Our freedom to have our government protect us as our leaders see fit, our freedom to let our guiding elite make the hard choices, and our freedom to follow laws crafted by the most qualified government officials -- these important freedoms have never been greater than they are today.
           In closing, I'd like you to think back to a particularly divisive debate here in our country just a few years ago. As you'll recall, there were howls of protest from reactionary right-wing elements when I proposed that the motto "E Pluribus Unum" be removed from our nation's money. As I noted at the time, the motto "Out of Many, One" certainly emphasized our nation's proud heritage as a melting pot for people of all cultures. But that tired and outdated expression of the idea -- in a dead language, no less -- was really inconsistent with the image we wanted to project of a modern, vibrant nation embracing its diversity but celebrating its unity. Now that we've had a chance to get used to it, I believe all correct-thinking people will agree that our new motto -- "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuehrer" -- is a more modern and more accurate way of expressing our national vision of unity. Certainly Vice President Feinstein and I think so.
           But our national debate over that change in motto was not merely symbolic. No, I believe historians of the future will look back on that argument as a milestone in our development as a nation, for it encapsulates the way our view of freedom has changed from the quaint, outdated notion of individual freedom to the more modern view of freedom for the society as a whole: Freedom from the burden of distracting tasks better done by those more qualified. Freedom from having to make difficult decisions. Freedom from choice.
           Tomorrow, I will return to the White House to resume work toward the goals I have proposed tonight for my second term as your president. My wife Tipper will return to her work of helping ensure that your government continues to protect you and your children from exposure to unwholesome music, indecent images, and any ideas or concepts that our trained government experts know would be unhealthy for you. I know that you and members of your family will also go about your own work, secure in the blessings of freedom granted by your government, and mindful of the words of the great philosopher who reminded us so well, "Work Makes You Free."
           Thank you.


David Roberson is a writer living in Lincoln County, North Carolina.


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