Hot on the heels of New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio blaming the weathermen and refusing to shoulder any responsibility for the city’s atrocious management of a relatively pedestrian 6″ snow storm last Thursday comes a similar not my fault abdication from New Jersey governor Phil Murphy.

Both De Blasio and Murphy are progressive stalwarts, not only embracing the Left’s current platform and priorities, but looking (with eyes to higher office) to be at the fore of those matters. A core precept of progressivism is that granting greater power to government is the means by which society (as in: our daily lives) is made better. Empowering public servants to control and oversee aspects of our lives that might otherwise be left to the vagaries of the free market is supposed to produce better outcomes. In a rational world, that transfer of power would presume a transfer of responsibility as well. But, politics is not a rational world, and it’s often the most power-hungry that try to dodge responsibility.

The snowstorm finger-pointing is just a blip on the radar compared to the quadruple messes in New York City’s public education, public housing, public transportation, and the homeless, but it is a clear and stark reminder that this is the way of the big-government politician. No “buck stops here” acceptance of the responsibility inherent in high office, and no “I’ll get these right before I take on more responsibility” humility. Merely lust for ever-greater power and pursuit of grand socialistic dreams (De Blasio dreams of having total control of real estate in New York: “If I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed”).

De Blasio also seeks to destroy the merit-based admission policy in the city’s top high schools. He despises the sharing-economy innovators (Uber, Lyft, AirBNB, etc) and is using the power of government to beat them down, despite their popularity. He wants to soak the rich, hard, despite the fact that the richest (very) few of New York already pay a huge fraction of total income tax revenues. On and on, he demonstrates that he wants unfettered power to shape the city to match his vision.

And, yet, “not my fault” has become his mantra. It’s not even qualified not-my-faults, as in “these are our efforts, these are what we achieved, these are where we fell short and why, and this is how we’re going to address matters going forward.” It’s casual, and it’s contemptuous of both those who voted him into office and those at whom he pointed. It’s also far too common in the political realm.

If your response is “this is politics, so what,” I ask why you’d continue to vote for big-government types? If this is how they operate, why in the world would we keep giving them power over our lives?

Perhaps you hold hope for progressive politics by holding to a belief that someone better is going to come along. Or, perhaps, you’d rather hold onto the big-government promise, with eyes tightly screwed shut and desperate hope that someone better will come along, than admit the promise is empty and destructive.

It’s not going to happen. I’m torn between making a Godot reference and quoting Stealer’s Wheel, so instead I’ll simply ask: When politics is chock-full of people hungry for power but terminally allergic to responsibility, why would anyone continue to put faith in Big Government?

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


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