A few months ago, Senator Judd Gregg refused to go ahead with his nomination to Commerce Secretary after he learned that the White House had taken over the work of the Census. “[He] didn’t want to be a powerless GOP token, and that’s where this was headed.” said one friend of his. Judd intimated the Census had “tipped the balance” for his decision. I remember how horrified I was at the time by the very idea and I could understand Judd feeling the necessity for his embarrassing and wrenching action.
The idea of the White House subsuming the Census just seems so wrong on so many levels. Even assuming the probity of any Administration taking such a step, the very act is per se, in itself, a horrible precedent and ripe with potential for, at least, non-intended problems and injustices. ACCOUNTABILITY is a hallmark of our American system. If this Census is taken away from the purview of the Cabinet, we are, in effect, putting our representative power further out of our hands (in that oversight of the process is further removed). To paraphrase one of our cherished ideals, “Enumeration without Representation is Tyranny”! The fact that the Obama group, in particular, was doing it seemed even more worrisome to me and, I’m sure, even to a lot of his more honest supporters. His team, throughout the campaign, kept betraying the “Chicago Way” mentality over and over again (just ask all those Hillary people!). Not only is the action itself almost unthinkable, having THESE people do it made it far worse.
Since then, one shocking and unnerving revelation about these people’s OTHER plans has leaked out bit by bit, making the Census problem one more brick in an ever-rising patterned wall that should alarm thinking patriots in terms of giving them hidden blanket powers. The Census problem worsened. The news came out that the group who caused so much turmoil with their unethical practices during the campaign, ACORN, is going to be asked to be part of the Census! I don’t really care WHAT role they will be playing. If it’s coming out of the White House, and using ACORN, a group notorious for inflating numbers for political gain, the very least we can assume is horribly gauche lack of consideration for the appearance of impropriety. At the least, it is a slap in the face of those who still assume freedom is an American ideal. And shouldn’t history and experience warn us about the worse types of impropriety we have already SEEN?
Just when I thought it couldn’t be worse, we now learn that materials are being sent to children across the country, involving them in the process directly. Previously, teachers had to request such materials. As a teacher, I have received an email already from the government. As a Catholic, the principle of subsidiarity, guaranteeing that the larger organs of society should try not to excessively interfere in the smaller groups such as families and schools seems to be violated. Using the force and prestige of the Government to enroll children in a process that is not accountable doesn’t jive with this sense:
One of the key principles of Catholic social thought is known as the principle of subsidiarity. This tenet holds that nothing should be done by a larger and more complex organization which can be done as well by a smaller and simpler organization. In other words, any activity which can be performed by a more decentralized entity should be. This principle is a bulwark of limited government and personal freedom. It conflicts with the passion for centralization and bureaucracy characteristic of the Welfare State.
Why reach the “Tendrils” of powerful government so far unnecessarily? And children? Pervasive early submersion in powerful government direction is not the optimum way for Americans to ‘be involved’. After what we have seen already on the Census, and, in view of all the talk of mandatory volunteerism, civilian armies, and ‘not being allowed to NOT join in’, perhaps I may be excused for my suspicions without being accused of paranoia. This is yet one more thing that “We the People” have to raise a stink about and not let it be done in darkness. The reach of this Census should not be lengthened if it is being done in the way it is. The goal should be to return the Census to an accountable Cabinet Office; if that is not possible we must unveil it for all to see as we did with the Health Care threat. Shock them back to their SENSES!