It’s more fundamental than just a choice between Trump and Biden.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Last week, Joe Biden called for a nationwide mask-wearing mandate to last “three months at a minimum.” Depending on which “expert” you ask, wearing a face mask either is or is not an effective means for slowing the spread of COVID-19. I have heard good-sounding arguments on both sides.

But assuming that it is a good idea, Biden didn’t explain how he proposes to obtain the legal authority to impose and enforce such a mandate. To my knowledge, there is no statute or constitutional provision on the books that empowers anybody in government to demand that we the people do anything just because they say so.

A king issue edicts. In a constitutional republic, the people’s representatives pass laws.

That’s bedrock principle among conservatives. But among leftists, it’s a technicality – and one that they are increasingly comfortable sidestepping. Leftists by and large believe that if they think it’s a good idea, and if it can be cast in such a way as to give it a virtuous ring, the authority to mandate is implicit.

But let’s nevertheless give Biden credit. He did us a favor in that he revealed the choice we face this election between the leftist impulse to centrally command and control almost every aspect of our daily lives vs. the individual liberty to live our lives as we see fit.

That divide has never been more stark. Thanks to a combination of Trump hatred and a complicit, corrupt media, the Democratic Party has been drawn far to the left and their agenda includes a long list of things that the government is either going to tell us that we can’t do or that we must do.

Among the ‘can’t dos’ are plastic straws. They’re gone. Fracking for oil and gas production; out of here. Your gasoline powered car, truck or SUV; sayonara. Under the command & control lefty vision of America held by today’s Democrats, you’ll drink your Diet Coke in the way they prescribe, the government – and not the market – will dictate energy sources and you’ll drive what they tell you you can drive.

But certain things we will absolutely have to do. If you’re hiring an employee, the payment arrangement to which you and your employee agree will be subject to government approval. The government – and not the market – will decide what constitutes a “fair” wage. The government will dictate what health insurance you must buy whether you like it or not. They almost got this done once. They won’t let it slip from their grasp a second time. (Nor will they pretend this time that you can keep your doctor.)

Joe Biden revealed a lot in that mask statement. He made clear that it’s not really a choice between him and Donald Trump. It’s a choice between bottom-up government constrained by the necessity of possessing the consent of the governed; or top-down government controlled by an elite cabal who see themselves as overlords.

In other words, a choice between liberty and tyranny.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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38 Responses

  1. Jim Lee says:

    Another good editorial my friend.

  2. Pete Fasanello says:

    The mission of the Democrat party is to destroy our republic and turn into post war eastern europe

    • Pete: “the Democrat party?”

      Does that make the other guys “the Republic’ party?”

      • Brendan says:

        I think I’ll cast my vote for the person who can conduct themselves as an adult, a unifier, and as a leader of a nation, instead of a spoiled toddler.

      • Richard Anderson says:

        The Democratic party has declared war on the very word democratic. It is the Republican party which embodies the ideals of American democracy, NOT the Democratic* party.

        I too, refer to them* as the democrat party as I will no longer dignify them with a title which is insulting to millions of Americans who still value the word democratic FAR over and above marxist socialist fascist which is where that party has sunk and now resides.

        It is the Republican party which is the KEEPER of the flame of our American democratic ideals of our Constitutional Republic, not the other*.

        • Down below, Mr. Reagan misspells Mr. Gleiser’s name; last week Mr. Saunders called me “Cook,” something Cookes are accustomed to, and I prefer to regard both as innocent typos, rather than calling Buddy “Saunder.”

          To deliberately misstate the party’s name contributes how?

          However purging this them-and-us recreational anger may feel, it moves us toward solutions how?

          • Richard Anderson says:

            No anger here on my part.

            But why give the democrat party the courtesy of calling them a name –i.e. democratic– , a name which no longer applies to them in any way, shape, or form? Doing so is a contradiction in terms.

          • Michael Reagan says:

            Rot, my dyslexia is flaring up again. My favorite college professor could not spell worth a hoot either.

  3. Michael Reagan says:

    Spot on Mr. Gleizer! Liberty or tyranny is absolutely the choice. Question is, will we all, as free American’s get to have a fair and impartial election?

  4. Richard Anderson says:

    Great piece Mr. Gleiser.

    Yes, the race for The White House is really about FREEDOM or SUBJUGATION.

    The leftist democrat party headed by Biden is indeed all about centralized control.* (*As in like the Central Committee of Communist China which dictate to over a billion people what they can and cannot do). Even worse still, if that’s possible, this often morphs into complete totalitarian control by one man such as Mao under who’s heel millions of innocent Chinese people died or were killed. An evil corrupt Godless cabal. Anyone who challenges or questions anything of a political nature in CCCP controlled mainland China faces imprisonment if not death. We simply cannot afford to do go down the leftist marxist fascist road which is democrat Biden and his fellow socialists. They’re wrong for America, and would destroy the ideals upon which The United States of America was founded [1776].

    The Republican party headed by President Trump, in stark contrast, is all about FREEDOM and small government, government “Of, By, and For The People” as Abraham Lincoln so eloquently spoke those words which would forever become our nation’s standard of LIBERTY and FREEDOM under God in a short phrase. We are a FREE people living in a FREE country, FREE TO PURSUE HAPPINESS and better ourselves, FREE to worship God in our own way without government dictates. We cherish capitalism which is crucial to enable any and all to achieve and advance from the fruit of our own individual labor as entrepreneurs, small business men and women, as employees, all working to improve our lot. All these can only be found in AMERICA! We are a FREEDOM loving Constitutional Republic — only here does the American Dream live!

    However, we are at a fork in the road. The road to the right, not to the “leftists” is the correct path. And President Trump, in my lifetime, has worked harder with more success for us ALL, than any president ever. He is FOR America, FOR our Flag, FOR the Family, FOR Freedom, and FOR our Motto “In God We Trust.” Such things as these NEVER go out of style.

    VOTE REPUBLICAN, VOTE TRUMP, like your life depends on it.. because life as we’ve known it, DOES indeed depend on our making the right choice. And to me, and millions of other Americans, it couldn’t be more clear…

    TRUMP 2020.
    GOD bless the U.S.A..

    • Ron Eagleman says:

      Yes Richard, we need to take the proverbial right and correct fork in the road, which includes the down ballots. These leftists can still create a lot of mayhem with control of the legislature; especially confirming judges, and blocking every policy that could make America even better. As I watch the unhinged misrepresentations of the accomplishments of our president’s first term, it makes me wonder who these idiots think believe this absurd rhetoric? Possibly they hope that their plan of destroying public education and re-education is finally working? The only other thing I can come up with is that they have internal polling that is pushing them into a rage at the probability that the swamp could be set to undergo more drainage. As I watch our former president make such demented accusations, it seems more like expressions of panic, as he dreads the conclusion of the investigation into the attempted coup. Remember, he, Biden, and others never thought there would be a day of reckoning with a Hillary administration, so they all acted with arrogant impunity. Maybe, just maybe, Americans will eventually recognize that electing a community organizer from Chicago did not help shed the racism label; it only elected a community organizer from Chicago.

  5. DEMAND, not Democrats, whacked fracking. @$40-something/bbl it just doesn’t ROI.

    But when it does, thank a deregulation-intent Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, who got-the-ball-rolling ending Price Controls. And you probably wouldn’t be seeing those clever Southwest Airlines billboards if he didn’t shutter the Civil Aeronautics Board.

    This party-filter mania and trigger words like “Liberty” may still animate the angry, but the details blur.

    RE: “A king issue edicts. In a constitutional republic, the people’s representatives pass laws.“ Ya THINK. But not Trump, in that above-the-law arms-crossed Mussolini pose eh?

    RE masks: With 1-in-5 Texans tested + you’re better-safe-than-sorry.

    • Paul Gleiser says:

      You have a GLARING factual error here. It was Ronald Reagan who ended oil & gas price controls. That action was taken via Executive Order 12287 which was signed on January 28, 1981, eight days after Reagan took office. It was his first executive act and was the fulfillment of a campaign promise. The entire order may be seen here:

      The most relevant text from the order reads as follows:

      “All crude oil and refined petroleum products are exempted from the price and allocation controls adopted pursuant to the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973, as amended. The Secretary of Energy shall promptly take such action as is necessary to revoke the price and allocation regulations made unnecessary by this Order.”

      The long lines at gasoline stations through which we suffered for most of the star-crossed Carter presidency disappeared within 15 days.

      • I’ve grown accustomed to being the oldest person in the room, particularly when it’s populated by those who think History page 1 was The Gipper’s Inaugural.

        Gas lines were early 70s (Nixon>Ford, my VW). President Carter was elected in 76 (the sporty 74 Chevy Vega, which never lined-up for gas).

        In addition to deregulating airline, trucking, and railroad industries, Carter nagged a Democratic Congress into passing 3 major energy bills in 4 years. Google that too. The USA soon reclaimed its position among the world’s leading energy producers.

        Keep reading and you’ll also betray the canard about which party is “tax-and-spend,”

        • Paul Gleiser says:

          Gas lines did indeed first appear in 1973 with the Arab Oil Embargo. But they returned under Carter following the seizure of the American Embassy in Iran and the resulting 444 day standoff that, among other things, disrupted supplies of crude oil from the Middle East.

          Carter described this second supply crisis in a single decade as “the moral equivalent of war.” Americans, for their part, feared that intermittent disruptions in crude oil supplies from the Middle East would become a recurring nightmare.

          But what Carter did NOT do was let the market work. He steadfastly refused to allow prices for gasoline to rise and fall with the market for fear of the political consequences attendant to gasoline prices that would inevitably rise. Gasoline wasn’t in short supply. Gasoline at an artificially low price was in short supply. By keeping price signals out of the equation, he removed the mechanism by which supply and demand could be kept in balance.

          Reagan corrected that error on January 28, 1981. Prices for gasoline have since risen and fallen through many cycles. But gasoline has always been available.

          With all of the above said…

          …let us remind ourselves that the central theme of the piece to which you comment is the Democratic impulse to mandate how we live our lives as evidenced by Joe Biden’s pronouncement that we should, all 330 million of us, wear face masks on his say-so — your signature introduction of straw man arguments about the Carter administration notwithstanding.

          • “Let the market work” you plead, as you rail against sweeping presidential declarations?

            Search YouTube for the Oval Office address I saw live, in which Nixon imposed:

            1. a national 55MPH speed limit;

            2. various Price Controls —some ABOVE prevailing levels,to-which prices instantly rose, exacerbating inflation.

          • Paul Gleiser says:

            All of which I opposed at the time and that history has proven to have been horrendously bad ideas.

        • Paul Gleiser says:

          I will give you partial credit on one point. BOTH parties are “tax and spend.” I have written quite forcefully on that point many times in this forum. Here is the link to the most recent such article:

          • Roy G. Biv says:

            One of your more interesting columns on this topic was from April 2010 in which you stated that once the debt to GDP ratio hit 90%, the U.S. would be a third world country. Currently the debt to GDP ratio is 136%. What is that classified as?

          • Paul Gleiser says:

            Scary as hell. That’s how it’s classified. The only thing saving us is that most of the governments of industrialized countries are in more or less the same shape. Fiscally speaking, the United States is the healthiest horse in the glue factory.

            At an economic forum I attended last year the main speaker pointed out that the United States is essentially comparable to a company that is financed via a series of interest-only notes. So long as there is cash flow to cover the interest payments, everything is fine. Cash flow has been sufficient of late in large measure because interest rates are extremely low. Raise those rates to the historic average and things get tight in a hurry.

            But I come back to the answer to your question. It’s scary as hell.

            My only major criticism of Donald Trump is his sanguine attitude toward the two biggest drivers of our fiscal ill health: Social Security and Medicare. He seems not at all concerned about either of them. I am deeply concerned about both of them. This is a subject that George W. Bush got right. I am one of the very few people on the planet who actually read every single word of the Social Security reform proposal that he put forward in February of 2005. I thought it made an enormous amount of sense.

            But since I actually read it, I was able to appreciate the grotesquely dishonest reporting on it by the northeast liberal media. And let me tell you, the reporting was cosmically dishonest. Given the reporting that when it wasn’t completely dishonest was sloppy and lazy, the massive demagoguery that the proposal suffered from the left and the distractions later in the year attendant to Hurricane Katrina — which cost Bush an enormous amount of political capital — the proposal never had a chance.

            And thus the fiscal train wreck that is surely coming yet looms.

            The bottom line is this. You can cut department budgets to the bone. But you still won’t put a dent in the structural deficits the bedevil the federal budget. In order to restore fiscal sanity, Social Security and Medicare have to be dealt with. For all the things I like about Donald Trump, it is clear that this is an issue he is not going to address.

  6. “And while I have you…” THANKS are in order. During last week’s exchange here, I asked your well wishes for KTBB “Into Tomorrow” host Dave Graveline, then approaching a month in the hospital COVID+ with nasty double pneumonia,

    GREAT news: Dave’s home.

  7. Buddy Saunders says:

    This will be an interesting election and certainly among the most important in our nation’s history. The choice couldn’t be more stark as Paul and others (apart from poor Mr. Cooke) so well point out. I’m confident President Trump will be reelected and that the Republicans will do well in both the house and Senate. Surely there aren’t enough idiots out there to elect Biden and the rest of the Antifacrats. The old Democrat party is dead, it’s gone. Standing on that ruin are the Antifacrats with their hate America platform and their eagerness to trade order for chaos (riots, looting, burning of pubic building, mugging and assault, attacking police officers, etc.). Richard Anderson is right. Vote Republican and above vote Trump. AND urge family and friends to do the same.

    • Richard Anderson says:

      Well said Mr. Saunders.

    • HOW “confident” that Trump gets re-elected AND the House flips AND the Senate — where Republicans are defending 23 seats, including 2 appointed temps — will stay Republican?

      Or predicting?

      • Ron Eagleman says:

        Hello, my name is Ron and I am a recovering Democrat. Yes, I was enabled in my early years by being exposed to others who had this addiction. However, the suffering that I observed from this weakness gave me the strength and intelligence to free myself from this illness. I will use the overused, but accurate, logic that “I did not leave the party, it left me”. How anyone who possesses a brain and an iota of integrity can observe the corruption, lack of patriotism, hate, support for lawlessness, disregard for born and unborn life, and downright deceit can still endorse such a party is incredible to me. Confident or predicting? I am neither, as it is clear that the Leftist have no shame in how they gain power, including voter fraud.

        • I am amused by how many predictors DON’T care to “make it intere$ting.”

          • Ron Eagleman says:

            I guess you were not able to either read or understand what I stated? Let me try again: I AM NEITHER CONFIDENT NOR PREDICTING THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP WILL WIN, OR THAT THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WILL BE REPUBLICAN AFTER THE ELECTION. I will predict with confidence that your party (I guess) will try every corrupt tactic that can be imagined to gain power. Since you seem to be infatuated with “making it intere$ting”, why don’t you propose the terms of the wager? Be sure to make it VERY intere$$$ting. Having had experience with pikers, the “intere$ting” usually means you want 10:1 odds or some other advantage. Regardless, let me see what you think is intere$ting? If it is acceptable in this forum, possibly I will be able to satisfy this seemingly uncontrollable infatuation of yours.

  8. Tip: Those long paragraphs cause readers — who might otherwise understand — to wander-off.

    • Ron Eagleman says:

      Nice diversion, Mr. English teacher, are you no longer intere$ted? I guess you wandered off?

      • SINCE you asked…

        After 2 wagers with Mr. Gleiser hisself, I THINK that I can wolf-down ONE more 1.5 pound lobster.
        (2 pounds is gluttony! Urp.)

        But NO odds.
        That’d be greedy of me.


        Since the dang Dallas Palm closed, it’s problematic. Booth #15 was the JR Ewing caricature.

        Option: COME HERE. Google Zip Code 02807.

        OR…Paul could convene an event there. Think “Beowulf.”

        EITHER WAY, I wanna buy YOU…”YOU, cowboy,” as Bill Murray’s character said in “Stripes,” a cocktail.

        Mine? Texas’ own Deep Eddy (NOT Tito’s), up, dry, dirty, ONE bleu cheese olive.

  9. Holland Cooke says:

    Ron: We’re waiting for the Moderator.

    • Ron Eagleman says:

      Brockton huh? Home of Rocco, the “Brockton Blockbuster”, even greater than the “greatest of all time”. So, Mr. Kook…….sorry, I mean Mr. Cooke (do not want to offend such a staunch defender of correct spelling of proper names), a cocktail and a garnish make it intere$ting? I just wanted to know what the intere$ting fetish is all about……… now I know. P.S. very good to know that Dave is on the mend; let him know that this cowboy is pulling for him.

  10. Ron Eagleman says:

    Brockton huh? Home of Rocco, the “Brockton Blockbuster”, even greater than the “greatest of all time”. So, Mr. Kook…….sorry, I mean Mr. Cooke (do not want to offend such a staunch defender of correct spelling of proper names), a cocktail and a garnish make it intere$ting? I just wanted to know what the intere$ting fetish is all about……… now I know. P.S. very good to know that Dave is on the mend; let him know that this cowboy is pulling for him.

  11. PS RE your PS: After 3 COVID+ tests during 3+ weeks in the hospital, Dave was released…then went back to get re-tested.
    Results yesterday: NEGATIVE
    And he’s happy-as-a-clam.

    Still on-the-mend from pneumonia. But SUPER appreciative for your well wishes. He asked me to tell ya.

    His show is on a couple hundred stations, and KTBB is one of his faves. ‘Says he gets “lots of calls from East Texas, interesting questions.”

  12. Ron Eagleman says:

    Yep, Dave is able to communicate well with tech-challenged cowboys such as yours truly. Boy, did this cowboy miss the zip code by a fur piece; no excuse here, I was wrong. Well…. let me give it a shot, how ’bout this excuse…..all yankee zip codes look the same? Sorry, but even with all the dirty tricks that the Progressives will try, President Trump should be re-elected. If Biden is elected, you will not be able to collect on the dirty, dry vodka Martini, as I will be sipping on a Rum Punch in an undisclosed location.

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