Almost one year ago to date, Rahm Emanuel said in a November 2008 interview to the Wall Street Journal that “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is it is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
Emanuel’s statement typifies the danger that our Founding Fathers foresaw in government and therefore sought to check by means of the Constitution. The Founding Fathers never intended crisis to be a convenient pretext for government to expand its power. This is why George Washington remarked, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
It must be understood that the real crisis we face is not terrorism, war, natural disasters or plagues, but a loss of human liberty via expansion of government authority. The use of crisis as a means to dilate government’s power and to grant government initiative over the people is something that has been abused by both Democrats and Republicans alike. Even before Emanuel told the WSJ that a crisis should never go to waste, in the hours following the 9/11 attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney remarked to David Addington that America would probably have to be a country ruled by men rather than laws.
This “rule by men rather than laws” concept was brought from bunker lockdown to mainstream public acceptance when Cheney appeared five days later on NBC’s Meet The Press to say to a grieved nation, “We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will