Saturday, April 16, 2011
Book Review: Lies the Government Told You by Judge Andrew Napolitano
In the Forward, Congressman Ron Paul writes this of Judge Napolitano, “…he does not pull his punches or excuse any Constitutional violations in order to support any group or political interest” (ix). As a regular viewer of the Fox News Channel, I have found this to be true in his legal analysis for that network. It is definitely true of this book.
In his own Introduction, the Judge admits to having a “chip” on his shoulder. That he has an ax to grind, so to speak, against the government comes through loud and clear. He leaves no era unscathed. Our founders Washington and Jefferson; our heroes Lincoln and FDR; our recent and current leaders George W. Bush and Barack Obama—all are subject to Judge Napolitano’s ire.
I confess, some chapters made me squirm. Lie #11 (We Are Winning the War on Drugs) and Lie #15 (We Don’t Torture) convicted me of my own acceptance, even support, of the government’s trampling of liberty. I can admit the Constitution protects people’s right to use harmful drugs, but I chafe at the idea of legalizing them. I can reluctantly agree that the Constitution makes the detainment of terrorists at Guantanamo Bay illegal, but I still fear letting those men go free. I supported and continue to admire President George W. Bush. I admit to falling for Lie #15. So I had my feathers ruffled by some of Judge Napolitano’s statements about President Bush. His assertions about these topics brought me face to face with my own hypocrisy and made me realize that I don’t know the answers to these hard questions. And I am glad I don’t have to make those decisions.
We like to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world, and we have the greatest government in the world. Judge Napolitano proves to us in Lies the Government Told You that what we have is the greatest Constitution in the world. But when “we the people” fail to uphold that Constitution, we subject ourselves to the whims of leaders whose only motive is “libido dominande” the lust to dominate.
The closing sentence of Lies the Government Told You is both a warning and a call to action. “If we fear our own government, if we accept its deception, its lies to us, if we take no action to redress them, our freedoms are doomed.”