A Time For Purging
By: Robert E. Meyer
On election night, just after Barack Obama was declared the President-elect, Fox News interviewed Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who is thought to be a rising star within the ranks of the GOP. With a facial expression which telegraphed resignation, Ryan offered a synopsis of the Republican party’s problems, and a sense of resolution, that eerily mirrored a speech given by Ronald Reagan on March 1st, 1975, entitled, “Let them go their way.” More than anything else, Ryan expressed the idea that too many Republican’s had been afraid to stand on conservative principles, and it was time for that practice to end, and it is time for that sort of politician to go.
Several themes from Reagan’s historic speech ring true of our current times and the last election as well, as I comment on Reagan excerpts (in quotation marks).
“Bitter as it is to accept the results of the November election, we should have reason for some optimism. For many years now we have preached ‘the gospel,’ in opposition to the philosophy of so-called liberalism which was, in truth, a call to collectivism.”
The election results are certainly the most bitter of pills for conservatives to swallow. The neo-socialism of Barack Obama is anything but new, but was a temptation to liberals of the 1970′s, also. Conservatives identified the socialist tendencies in Obama â€˜s economic themes. Interestingly enough, Obama shrugged off the criticism with a false analogy. He said that it must have been discovered he shared his peanut butter sandwich in kindergarten. In reality, his policies are more akin to his teacher taking away the sandwich and giving it to another child, based on the presumption that Obama already had his fair share of square meals at home.
“In another recent survey, of 35,000 college and university students polled, three-fourths blame American business and industry for all of our economic and social ills. The same three-fourths think the answer is more (and virtually complete) regimentation and government control of all phases of businessâ€”including the imposition of wage and price controls. Yet, 80 percent in the same poll want less government interference in their own lives!”
Notice the same parallels–today all our current economic problems are said stem from the failure of the Bush administration to regulate Wall Street, or reduce the progressive nature of the income tax to the greatest benefit of wealthy citizens. “Limit CEO pay,” and “cap the profits of the oil companies,” are just the latest among calls to embrace economic controls. We must observe that people are up in arms over government intrusion via the presumption of surveillance occurring against private citizens, yet they want government intrusion in the form of greater regulation of business and markets.
“In 1972 the people of this country had a clear-cut choice, based on the issuesâ€”to a greater extent than any election in half a century. In overwhelming numbers they ignored party labels, not so much to vote for a man or even a policy as to repudiate a philosophy. In doing so they repudiated that final step into the welfare stateâ€”that call for the confiscation and redistribution of their earnings on a scale far greater than what we now have. They repudiated the abandonment of national honor and a weakening of this nationâ€™s ability to protect itself.”
As I discussed in an editorial piece only weeks ago, that Obama’s election might be compared to the first term of George McGovern that we were graciously spared of in 1972. Though there were many similar problems in 1972, people saw the clear choice and soundly rejected socialism. I predicted that Americans in 2008, might be less judicious in their ultimate selection. In months to come, we will hear about plans to weaken our military, by cutting defense spending as a way to help ameliorate deficits in the federal budget.
“This is no time to repeat the shopworn panaceas of the New Deal, the Fair Deal and the Great Society… that market arrangements in our economy have given us inadequate housing, terrible mass transit, poor health care and a host of other miseries… [and some will insist on] socialism as the answer to our problems.”
Our last election just proved that people still haven’t overcome the lure of Fabian fantasies.