Rep. Fred Keller’s Sept. 12, 2021, op-ed is a study in contradictions regarding the role of government.
He starts by criticizing the Democratic Party because it wants to “expand the scope of government control of Americans’ lives.”
Then he lists four proposed government bills he supports that will “expand the scope of government control of Americans’ lives:” The POWERS Act, the GIVE MILK Act, the RECORDS Act, and The American Broadband Act. These bills certainly have merits, but they also, by definition, expand the scope of government involvement, or as Mr. Keller refers to it, “control of American’s lives.”
After touting his support for these bills to expand government, Mr. Keller then commends them for “making government ... work for you.”
But in the next paragraph, he criticizes the Biden administration for “seeing more government as the solution rather than the problem.” Isn’t that what the bills he supports are doing? If he supports expanding the scope of government via the above bills, isn’t he also “seeing more government as the solution rather than the problem?”
As for Mr. Keller’s meetings with his constituents, if he had truly listened without a predetermined agenda, he would have heard them say that they want, in fact expect, government involvement in their lives. Furthermore, they do not view it as “control.”
For instance, he would have heard that his constituents want their children to have: The education they need to compete on the world stage; affordable housing to raise their families; Clean air and water; a country with secure borders; a safe internet to conduct business; a business environment that promotes small business entrepreneurship; a society that takes care of its military veterans; access to affordable medical care and lower negotiated drug prices when they qualify for Medicare.
All of these “wants” are included in the Build Back Better (BBB) Bill Mr. Keller criticizes in his op-ed.
Is the price tag, $3.5 trillion, too high? Absolutely. But instead of criticizing the bill as too expensive, Mr. Keller criticizes it as too controlling, using phrases like “less individual freedom” (the latest go-to phrase whenever someone doesn’t have a legitimate concern) and “fewer opportunities for our kids.” Really? Expanding public education will limit children’s opportunities?
While it is not clear whether Mr. Keller actually read the BBB Bill, it’s a moot point since his goal is to simply follow his boss’s, our ex-president’s, order to criticize anything promoted by the Democratic Party.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Keller letter if it didn’t include an unjustified attack on our president. In this case, blaming President Biden for inflation, when in fact inflation is due to a shortage of goods resulting from the COVID lockdown last year, a lockdown that occurred during the administration of Mr. Keller’s boss.
The intent of this tactic — blaming the Democratic Party for something it has no control over — is to show loyalty to our ex-president, or at least, not get on his bad side (that death threat thing).
Ironically, the one example where our government is indeed “expanding control over American’s lives” is the mask mandate. And while no one is happy with this, Mr. Keller has only his boss to blame for the need to require this mandate to protect our children.
If only our ex-president had promoted getting a vaccine as enthusiastically as he did taking credit for its rapid development — a false claim as pharmaceutical companies were already developing the vaccine in January, 2020 using the new mRNA technology before our ex-president even acknowledged COVID existed — then our secondary education schools (children aged 12-plus and staff) might have had a significantly higher vaccination rate, thereby reducing the need for the mask mandate.
In fact, not promoting the vaccine as a public health issue will go down in history as one of the moral failures of our ex-president. And yet, Mr. Keller continues to take his marching orders from him.
Such is the obsequious behavior of today’s politicians.
Peter Engstrom lives in Danville.