On Friday, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) saved Americans from the extremely hard and dangerous task of having to manually reduce the volume on their TVs during commercial breaks. Thanks to the leadership of Democratic Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA), the government will now regulate the volumes of such advertisements, since apparently American citizens cannot even be trusted to adjust the sound on their television sets appropriately.
This regulation follows a series of other liberal proposals designed to reduce the individuality of the American citizen by outsourcing all personal responsibility to the federal government. Whether enforcing new smoking bans, using taxpayer money to campaign against obesity, or paying our bills through welfare checks, the government’s role has expanded well beyond its constitutional authority to protect the citizenry into micromanaging their lives. A federal government must provide services that individual citizens cannot, such as national security, trade agreements with foreign nations, and infrastructure construction.
However, the personal decisions of individual citizens, such as how to quit smoking, lose weight, or cover their expenses, are more efficiently handled when accomplished through individual motivation rather than government mandates. Even if the politicians feel that certain citizens are not making the right choices on some of these decisions, they have neither the right nor the ability to protect us from ourselves. The fact that federal politicians feel they have to intervene in our lives to so great an extent, especially on such a trivial matter as the volume of our television sets, demonstrates the lack of trust they have in the average American citizen. We all have remote controls. Why is it necessary for a government miles away to perform a function that we can all do in our own living rooms?
With so many dangerous threats and issues unfolding everyday, the federal government must start prioritizing which to address and spend taxpayer money on since we no longer have the time or revenue to focus on these trivial matters. When interviewed about these new regulations, FCC Commissioner, Mignon Clyburn, said, “For far too long, TV viewers either frantically reached for the remote to turn down the volume when television commercials began or endured what sometimes were frightening decibel levels that resulted in considerable alarm, anger, and spilled popcorn.”
Although I am not entirely sure how many Americans have torn muscles or broken bones desperately grabbing for their remote controls, I know for a fact that “spilled popcorn” is not legitimate concern of our federal government. Unless Representative Eshoo and Commissioner Clyburn actually believe that such loud commercials pose either a security or health risk to their constituents (an even more ludicrous notion), they should trust the citizens themselves to address those concerns that the federal government has no business dealing with. If loud ads are as unpopular with consumers as these regulators claim they are, then private stations and advertisers, anxious to please their customers, will eventually oblige to the popular will. Instead, as a citizenry, we must learn to make ourselves heard again rather than relying on an inefficient, bloated government to fight our battles for us.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioners, from left, Mignon Clyburn, Michael J. Copps, Chairman, Julius Genachowski, Commissioners, Robert M. McDowell and Meredith Attwell Baker listen to a panelist during an FCC open meeting January 20, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Robert Giroux/MCT)
While the regulation itself may be miniscule in its impact, the principles behind it have largely led to the fiscal and financial crises originating from Washington, DC. An increasing concern on the part of politicians towards regulating our businesses, investments, and personal incomes has led to a mass exodus of wealth and entrepreneurship from our shores (as an example of that fact, the implementation of this seemingly small regulation will cost businesses 141 million dollars in cost).
Likewise, politicians’ preoccupation with injecting themselves into the personal matters of citizens caused them to push homeownership regardless of their constituents’ ability to pay. This crusade sponsored the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) and unmonitored securitization of loans by GSEs, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, catalysts for the worst mortgage crisis in United States history. It is often said that those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. Therefore the passage of this regulation, embodying the same principles that have led to our current, sorry state of affairs, indicates we will continue to be plagued by such problems in the years to come, a valid concern for the Coalition for a Conservative Future, which seeks to alleviate such hazards before they are inherited by future generations.
President Thomas Jefferson once said, “A government big enough to supply you with everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.” Whether or not you are annoyed by the decibel levels of advertisements on television, you should ask yourself if addressing such a miniscule problem is worth giving the government more control and authority over your life.
By accepting this regulation, we, as a nation, would be accepting the notion that government is needed to perform for us even such menial tasks as changing the volume on our television sets. Is that the vision that America should project? Is that the image of the individualistic American citizen that the world has come to respect and endear? As young Americans, we already have parents to boss us around and tell us what to do; we don’t need liberals too.