Many people out there tend to view “The Andy Griffith Show” as a piece of Americana, when life was simpler and we didn’t have to worry about so much about “Big Brother” meddling in our business. I think it happens to be one of the top five shows in the history of American television.
Now we did have the song “Dooley” from episode 94, “Mountain Wedding,” where the mountain family the Darlings criticized “the revenuers” for trying to close down a simple still and collect the necessary back taxes that Dooley owed from other, “legal” enterprises as a trader. Who in the world are Andy Griffith and executive producer Sheldon Leonard trying to tell me about what should and shouldn’t be a legal enterprise? I think they are a bunch of statists, mind you, encouraging harassment of the working men and women of North Carolina on their show at every turn.
How many actual stills did they break up on that show? I can think of at least two. There was the operation that Jubal Foster was running out of his barn for one. Mr. Foster was just a working class farmer trying to make a little extra income and here Andy and Barney (central planning scum) just trying to break the back of an honest man once again. Mr. Foster was already having a hard enough time and this was even before the farm crisis of the 1980’s or the crazy stuff that ethanol subsidies can do to your corn feed!
Then there was the still that little old ladies were running out of their flower shop as a side business. The only way Andy and Barney a.k.a. “The Whiskey Gestapo” were able to get a lead on this case is due to the fact that they harassed poor Otis Campbell to death.
There was an honest consumer who simply wanted to put whatever he darn well pleased into his own body. Productive citizen always, no doubt. Of course why can society define “productive” for us, we get to define it for ourselves–it’s all moral relativism, baby!
Now some of you would say, “None of this is an example of central planning–it’s all done on the local level. It was clearly done with adherence to the Tenth Amendment. ” You naive people, if you ever watched the show you know doggone well how excited Barney would get whenever the F.B.I or the Governor of the state of North Carolina was considering coming to Mayberry. You would also realize that Barney was the kind of man who loved to throw the book at a prisoner.
You don’t think he would love to attach federal or state penalties according to some “trumped up” statute put together by a bunch of legislators?
There are tons of examples out there of Andy and Barney constantly quashing rebellions against their regime. Think of the many feuds that they had with Ernest T. Bass who no doubt could be considered a man who rejected conventional ways of living. There was also the episode where they forced Raef Hollister to get a tetanus shot.
This is the kind of indoctrination and collectivist ideas that kids were subjected to in the 1960’s. The Andy Griffith show was no doubt in the hands of a bunch of Hollywood liberals.