Why is America So Polarized?

Phil Jensen


looking up to governmentWe hear much discussion about the polarization of America and what has caused it.  Some say talk radio has brought it on others say class envy, bigotry and racism is the cause.

One item that is seldom discussed is government intrusion into every nook and cranny of a person’s life and the sense of powerlessness most people feel to do anything about it.  This encroachment on personal liberty progresses without pause under both Republican and Democrat Congresses and Presidents.

Whether you want to install new bathroom fixtures, buy a light bulb, buy a new dish washer, buy a school lunch for your child or buy a new car the long arm of the federal bureaucracy limits your freedom to obtain what you want and replaces that freedom with government mandates.

Rick Kriebel 2016


A recent example of this regulatory madness comes from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  This Department has been around since 1965.  Nameless and faceless bureaucrats who have no chance of ever being held accountable for their actions have opined that if you own a rental property you should be very careful before you refuse to rent you property to a felon.

The Constitution states in Article One, Section One, “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”  Congress has in effect delegated this to the agencies relieving itself from responsibility for the actions of the federal government.

Can you imagine a Congressman or Senator introducing a bill stating that people who have invested their life savings into a rental property must turn it over to a murderer, a thief or a rapist or face the possible consequence of a federal action against them?

Woodrow Wilcox


Such a Senator or Congressman would surely face consequences in the next election.  What consequences will the bureaucrats at HUD face?  We don’t even know who they are and that is how the statists like it.  According to a 2013 study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the bureaucracy creates 56 new regulations which have the same effect as a law for every one law passed by Congress.

Consider the case of Mike and Chantell Sackett Priest Lake Idaho.  They bought a lot in a residential neighborhood and began to fill it in so they could build a house.  The EPA informed them they could not build a house and they had no right of appeal unless they opened themselves to fines of tens of thousands of dollars a day.

This is how Chantell Sackett described a phone call with one EPA official: “I said, ‘So why would I stop building my house. She said, ‘Because we told you to.’”

With the help of conservative public interest law firms the Sacketts fought the EPA all the way to the Supreme Court.  The Court ruled in their favor 9-0.  You would think that would be the end of it but no.  The EPA continues to harass the Sacketts and as of last reports they still are the proud owners of a vacant lot where they had intended to build their home.

Is it any wonder that voters are angry, frustrated and willing to vote for the proverbial man on a white horse who actually talks about issues they care about in language they can understand?

Those who wish to stand in the way of this anger and frustration because they like things the way they are should recall the words of John F. Kennedy, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.”



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Don Todd is director of research at Americans for Limited Government . He previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Labor-Management Programs from 2001-2009.
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