10 questions with ‘Seize Freedom!’ author Rep. Thaddeus McCotter
McCotter recently agreed to answer 10 questions from The Daily Caller about his new book and other topics of interest:
1. What is your book about and why did you write it?
I wrote the book because people asked me to expand upon themes mentioned in my speeches and media appearances. Succinctly, it traces the roots of ideology that have created and exacerbate the chaos of our age; examines the parallels between the challenges confronted and conquered by the Greatest Generation as opposed to those of our Global Generation; and sets forth the means by which Americans can resist the blandishment of Big Government and, instead, seize freedom to transcend the tribulations of our times.
2. How does one go about seizing freedom?
One resists the siren song of what Chesterton and Belloc described as “the Servile State” – an unholy alliance between Big Government and Big Business that entices citizens to trade their liberty and property for illusory government “security”; and, contrarily, rededicate themselves to practicing self-government and facilitating the self-reliance of their fellow citizens.
3. How can America achieve, in your words, “a free and humane twenty-first-century?”
Washington must stop taxing, borrowing, spending, and regulating to prop up the outdated, unsustainable model of Big Government and “Too Big to Fail” Big Business. In the Age of Globalization and its communications revolution that empowers individuals to purchase goods or contact people around the world in seconds from the palm of their hand or their desktops, the decentralized, horizontal “consumer driven economy” has compelled private enterprises and, indeed, families to make the difficult restructuring of operations and priorities to compete and thrive. Only Big Government and its cohorts in Big Business have been able to resist such restructuring and, when in trouble, borrow and/or bail each other out. This is non-sustainable; ergo, to achieve ‘a free and humane twenty-first-century economy” requires transforming the highly centralized, vertical Big Government into a “citizen driven government”; allowing the new economy’s competitive energies to force highly centralized, vertical Big Businesses to be smaller, more entrepreneurial, responsive and accountable to consumers; and holding both accountable to the taxpayers.
4. You write about the danger of China in the book. How serious a threat is China in your estimation – and what exactly is this threat?
While more stealthy than the braggadocious Soviet Union, Communist China (their term for themselves) is a strategic threat and rival model of governance to the United States. Bluntly, Communist China believes the state can provide its subjects with prosperity and security without liberty; we know liberty undergirds sovereign citizens’ prosperity and security. Thus, in the same manner as Imperial Japan before them, the Beijing regime believes our nations will inevitably clash. I do not agree; consequently, we must take the steps laid out in my book to constructively contain them to avoid such a conflict.
5. Why has the House leadership not come out with a detailed plan yet for serious reform of social security, Medicare and Medicaid – or at least endorsed Paul Ryan’s plan? Do you favor serious, structural reform?
House leadership will speak for itself, though to date it has indicated it will put forward a plan for entitlement reform. As for serious, structural reform, it will either happen or the system will implode beneath its unfulfilled promises. Therefore, for instance, I laid out my “personalization” of social security in the book.
6. Do you favor cutting defense? If so, how would you realign America’s military posture to deal with such cuts? Or do you believe that you can cut defense and somehow have the military do as much as well with less?
Waste and inefficiency in military spending endangers our troops in the field; as a result, every dollar must be maximized in the cause of supporting them; facilitating their difficult missions; and getting them home to their loved ones. Further, we must reassess our current status of forces in light of the transnational threats we face, namely terrorism, and ensure we have a military that can both deter and defeat traditional nation state and terrorist enemies. Only by doing so can we ensure every dollar is purposely and properly spent enhancing and advancing our national security.
7. Mitch Daniels called for a truce on social issues this election cycle. What do you think of that?
A truce with whom? This constitutes an unprincipled unilateral surrender to the left that initiated and continues to wage its “culture war” against Americans’ traditional and cherished way of life.
8. What three books have most influenced your worldview?
My family has provided my moral education.
9. How many people do you know named Thaddeus, other than yourself?
I know a few, notably St. Jude Thaddeus, Patron Saint of lost and desperate causes.
10. Do you plan on writing another book? If so, about what?
I may scribble a terse tract on why one should never write a book.