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What If Gore Had Won?

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Whenever anyone complains about George W. Bush and his love for big government, someone else can be counted on to apologize, “Sure, but it would be worse under Gore.”

I beg to differ.

If Gore had won in 2000, there wouldn’t be a Department of Homeland Security, that mammoth government agency now equipped with all the resources necessary to spy on the American people.

Why? The Republicans would have sounded the alarm, “Big Government Democrats are at it again! Look out for Big Brother!” And Gore, sufficiently cowed, would have filed that tragic political blunder away … probably right next to wherever it was Bill and Hillary left their plans for socializing the health-care system.

But under a Republican president, that kind of big government proposal is “patriotic.”

And speaking of socialized medicine: Doesn’t a Medicare “prescription drug benefit” count as an increase in government control over our lives? No worries: it’s just “practical politics.” Just ask the Washington Times.

Guns? At least our guns are safer under Bush, right? It’s hard to see how, considering that the “assault weapon” import ban, a Clinton power-grab that Republicans promised to overturn, now has the full support of our “pro-gun” Republican president.

Republicans call that “supporting existing laws.”

OK, but our tax burden would be worse under a Democrat, wouldn’t it? Maybe, but President Bush’s spending is the highest since the Great Society. Combined with his tax cuts, this president’s rich-uncle antics will only lead to higher taxes under a future president — probably a Democrat — who finds himself in the unfortunate position of getting the bill for Bush’s little tea party.

In case you’re wondering, it’s an “economic stimulus plan.”

Thank goodness we have a Republican in the White House to protect us from big government. As P.J. O’Rourke observed, “Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work — and then they get elected and prove it.”

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    Scott McPherson is policy adviser at The Future of Freedom Foundation. An advocate of the Free State Project, he lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.