Views on the News – 12/22/2012
By: David Coughlin
The vision and policies and programs of President Obama and “progressives”/ liberals are rapidly creating and nurturing a new government class as a huge and expanding segment of the population (and voters) who are becoming not merely dependent upon government but dependent upon Democrats. The current class, the one that re-elected Obama, is comprised of federal workers; of state, county, and municipal workers; of employees in public-sector unions; of Americans collecting food stamps, welfare, and unemployment benefits; of those looking to government for healthcare; and more. They don’t all vote Democrat, of course, but many do. Incredibly, there is even a rising group of young women suddenly demanding that Uncle Sam (i.e., taxpayers) pay for their contraception and abortions. All of these segments of the citizenry have steadily expanded over the last 100 years of progressivism / liberalism, and have surged under Barack Obama. Under Obama, there are a record 48 million Americans on food stamps, up from 32 million at the start of his Presidency. The welfare rolls have exploded. Unemployment has not only increased but remains stuck and stagnant, with the actual unemployed around 15 percent and rising. Not only do federal workers continue to balloon, but so do employees joining public-sector unions beholden to Democrats: SEIU, AFSCME, teachers organized through the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. It goes without saying that this explosion in size is disastrous for the literal solvency of the republic, but it’s good news for those hoping to expand the boundaries (and collective dependency net) of progressivism/liberalism. Most of those in the new government class become rapidly conditioned to their reality. Easily lured into their situation, they will be easily prompted into vociferously defending their position, especially those in unions. They will defend their status with ferocious loyalty when the right buttons are pushed by liberal-Democrat organizers and agitators (and their media allies) who benefit from their votes. Ronald Reagan said the only guarantee of eternal life in this world is a government bureaucracy, especially once the bureaucracy is unionized; ditto for the bureaucracy’s programs and goodies and this is Obama’s fundamental transformation of America.
(“America’s Growing Government Class” by Paul Kengor dated December 16, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/paulkengor/2012/12/16/americas-growing-government-class-n1467418 )
The idea that we should take from those who have and give to those who don’t is viewed as proper and just among liberals, but the problem is that income redistribution in practice promotes one of the same moral injustices found under slavery. A modern form of slavery is taking place within in the welfare state, and no matter how you slice it, property theft to promote a false ideology of “fairness” or advance a twisted form of “compassion” to gain power is abhorrent. Redistribution ideology is not about a safety net for the truly needy or the necessity of government to tax in order to perform their proper functions of protecting people, property, and enforcing the rule of law. President Obama may call redistributive efforts “economic justice,” or “economic rights,” but in the end, using the power of the state to take one’s property is as immoral as taking the wealth created by a slave to benefit the slave owner. By advancing the welfare state and income redistribution through class warfare, one of the greatest intellectually inconsistent ironies of liberalism is exposed. The indefensible position of trying to defend equality and the dignity of man by violating the human rights of those very people you claim to be defending. The hypocrisy of the left knows no boundaries. The nation’s current trajectory of wealth redistribution will eventually polarize its citizens into a fight between the takers and the makers because entitlement creates resentment, and Americans must find moral clarity on property rights within the framework of the Republic before the battle grows ever more volatile and change occurs.
(“The Bondage of redistribution Ideology” by Dean Kalabar dated December 17, 2012 published by Real Clear Markets at http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2012/12/17/the_bondage_of_redistribution_ideology_100045.html )
While America was founded by the antithesis of peasants, liberals have been working to reestablish the peasant class because liberals view themselves as the modern nobility; wiser, kinder, more knowing than the folk in flyover country and obligated by their superiority to rule over others. The DNA of Americans is such that any attempt to produce a peasant class by convincing folks that liberals are superior to the average Joe or Jane is doomed to failure. As a result, liberals have taken the second path – frighten the people to the extent that they feel the government is the only source of safety. The liberal social experiment began with Obama’s icon FDR. Like Obama, FDR inherited a very bad economy, and like Obama FDR made the situation worse through poorly-formulated government plans, but both men realized that the more that people depended on the government for their daily bread, the more power the government could wield. A bad economy worked in both FDR and Obama’s favor because it put fear into Americans; sufficient fear that they would turn to government largess as a seemingly safe haven in a time of economic despair. The reelection of Obama is not surprising. FDR was reelected even though the U.S. economy didn’t recover until, and because of, WWII. What kept both men in office was the fear of Americans who believed that without the massive government spending on welfare, jobs programs and so on that Obama and FDR supported, they would starve. Prior to FDR, taking care of the poor was an exercise for private charities, and even in the depths of the Depression, only a tiny number of people died due to poverty. FDR started the process of making it acceptable for people to live on the government dole without being ashamed, a change that was crucial to making a new class of American peasants. The momentum picked up under LBJ, whose “Great Society” made it acceptable to spend one’s whole life on welfare while having a series of illegitimate children; destroying the black family in the process. Yet liberals fought tooth and nail to avoid reforming welfare. Bill Clinton only agreed to welfare reform when it became clear he wouldn’t get reelected if he didn’t. Obama gutted welfare reform in order to return as many Americans to economic dependency as he could. Obama was rejuvenating the peasant class. It is not by accident that liberals unleash an unending stream of scare stories in which the only way to avoid a messy, early, and unpleasant demise is by giving the government more control over your life. Even people who don’t need the government to pay for their housing and food can be convinced that government should be all-powerful in order to protect the average American from rapacious corporations and the unending list of new and more horrifying dangers lurking around every corner. A third aspect of the liberal plan was their changes to immigration laws that made it easier for people from countries where they had learned that rights flow from the government not from God to enter this country. Liberals support illegals because illegals are in a precarious situation and massive government, so long as it views illegals as its friends, is seen as a protector. Liberal efforts to break up the family, so successful with Black Americans in the 1960s and 1970s, are based on the need to eliminate a familial support structure. If you have no family to turn to allowing the government to control your life in return for security becomes a more credible option. Finally liberals have worked to make America a land of people, not of laws. The original intent of the Constitution was that it should apply to all people equally and that it should be based on the will of the voters. Liberals have subverted both of those concepts in ways that make people more comfortable with the creeping autocracy of the government. Additionally, the law has been taken out of the hands of the people’s representatives via the obscene concept of judicial activism. The Supreme Court is no longer a court; instead it is a collective monarchy which feels comfortable with remaking the law as it sees fit rather than interpreting the law in light of the intentions of the elected people who passed the law. Once a sufficiently large percentage of the population believes that they need to bow to the government in order to survive, no politician who advocates self-reliance and independence can hope to win. Many of those who voted for Obama did so more out of ignorance than because they belong to the new peasant class but because they were affected, if not controlled, by their fear of what would happen if they had to live without the government being there. A nation cannot exist half peasant and half free because eventually the free will not be able to support the peasants. The challenge America faces is how to turn the peasant class back into the independent people they can be, because if we don’t succeed in the near term it will happen in the long term with the collapse of our economy.
(“American Peasantry” by Tom Trinko dated December 19, 2012 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/12/american_peasantry.html )
Our nation once proudly served as the moral and spiritual foundation for not only our citizens, but for the world, but we have abandoned our spiritual foundation and not only accepted, but invited evil into our lives under the false pretext of societal tolerance. We were once a nation that accepted the true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and built its walls on the cornerstone of just men acting in compliance with the moral and spiritual guidance of a just God. Adherence to our spiritual principles and obedience to the laws of God, not man, were necessary to keep evil in chains. The laws of man, no matter how restrictive, do absolutely nothing to recalibrate our moral and spiritual compass. We cannot fix spiritual problems and repair moral deficits with the legislation of man. We will never be successful in fixing spiritual problems with political solutions, yet few have the courage, insight or willingness to address this very foundation of our existence as a people and a nation. By our own acquiescence to moral and spiritual perversity cleverly packaged as tolerance, we have embraced the very evil that is embodied within tolerance. In that form, tolerance itself becomes evil, and we become enraged at the mere symptoms of a great spiritual problem rather that the problem itself. What should we expect from a nation of men and women who for years and even generations have demanded and subsequently celebrated the successful eviction of God from our lives, our national institutions and country as a whole? All of this is the name of tolerance, of equality, of the perversity of equal rights at the behest of our elected leaders and their spiritually bankrupt appointees and minions. Until we realize that our problems began when we declared God as an unwelcomed guest in our nation and opened ourselves to a coexistence with evil, will be even begin to repair the damage caused by years of spiritual defilement.
(“Confronting our spiritual bankruptcy” by Doug Hagmann dated December 15, 2012 published by Canada Free Press at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/51792 )
The gun control debate, like all debates with the left, is reducible to the question of whether we are individuals who make our own decisions or a great squishy social mass that helplessly responds to stimuli. Do people kill with guns or does the availability of guns kill people? Do bad eating habits kill people or does the availability of junk food kill people? To the left these are distinctions without a difference: If a thing is available then it is the cause of the problem; and the individual cannot be held accountable for shooting someone if there are guns for sale. Individuals have no role to play because they are not moral actors, only members of a mob responding to stimuli. You wouldn’t blame a dog for overeating; you blame the owners for overfeeding him. Nor do you blame a dog for biting a neighbor. You might punish him, but the punishment is training, not a recognition of authentic responsibility on the part of the canine. The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been “liberated” to think for themselves. Individual behavior is a symptom of a social problem. Identify the social problem and you fix the behavior. The individual is nothing, the crowd is everything. Control the mass and you control the individual. That is how the left approached this election. Instead of appealing to individual interests, they went after identity groups. They targeted low information voters and used behavioral science to find ways to manipulate people. The right treated voters like human beings. The left treated them like lab monkeys, and the lab monkey approach is triumphantly toted by progressives as proof that the left is more intelligent than the right. What better proof of intelligence can there be than treating half the country like buttons of unthinking responses that you can push to get them to do what you want. The Nazis believed that they were the master race because they were genetically superior. Liberals believe that they are the master race on account of their superior empathy and intelligence. The defining American code is freedom. Liberal compassion is not the compassion of equals. It is a revolutionary pity that uses empathy only as fuel for outrage. It is the sort of compassion practiced by people who like to be angry and who like to pretend that their anger makes them better people. The clash that will define the future of America is this collision between the individual and the state, between disorganized freedom and organized compassion, between a self-directed experiment in self-government and an experiment conducted by trained experts on a lab monkey, and the defining idea of this conflict is accountability. Social accountability on this scale requires the nullification of the personhood and accountability of the individual, just as the moral organization that it mandates requires removing the freedom of choice of the individual, to assure a truly moral society. When compassion and morality are collective, then everyone and no one is moral and compassionate at the same time. That is the society of the welfare state where compassion is administered by a salaried bureaucracy. Choice is what makes us moral creatures and collective compassion leaves us less than human. The collective society of mass movements and mass decisions leaves us little better than lab monkeys trying to compose Shakespeare without understanding language, meaning or ideas, or anything more than the rote feel of our fingers hitting the keyboard. This is the society that the left is creating, a place filled with as many social problems as there are people, where everyone is a lab monkey except the experts running the experiments, and where no one has any rights because freedom is the enemy of a system whose moral code derives from creating a perfect society by replacing the individual with the mass; a society where there is no accountability, only constant compulsion; and a society where you are a social problem and there are highly paid experts working day and night to figure out how to solve you.
(“Gun Control: Thought Control and People Control” by Daniel Greenfield dated December 18, 2012 published by Canada Free Press at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/51838 )
The TEA Party movement is going through some growing pains including some members’ passions began to wane because of a lack of vision and strategy, and an unclear relationship with the Republican Party. The TEA Party hasn‘t successfully transitioned from an outside pressure group to an inside influence group. TEA Party members don‘t necessarily want to be Republicans. If Republicans want to embrace the ideas of constitutional government and balanced budget, then they are fine with Republicans carrying the message and they will get behind them. Most TEA Party people don’t just want to get merged with the Republican Party, because Republicans have their own “branding problem.” Conservatives advocate re-committing themselves to federalism and states’ rights. The GOP should protect core civil rights, but beyond that, states and localities should be given as much freedom as they can handle. If California wants to become Sweden with better weather, let it. If Texas wants to become Singapore on the Rio Grande, great, go for it. The same principle goes for cities and towns within those states. Of course, conservatives already say they believe in federalism, but they rarely demonstrate it save when convenient. In principle, Republicans should look at the monumental clutter in Washington like a boat with too much ballast to stay afloat: When in doubt, throw it overboard. Republicans should be more strategic and discriminating, which means taking positions that are right on policy, but also highlighting issues that help re-set the political brand running counter to the (unfair) caricature of the GOP as prudish moneybags. The jury is still out because the Republican Party and the TEA Party seem to be far apart on platform or goals, and if they don’t converge soon we may see the emergence of a third party with a lot of libertarian themes.
(“Federalism Could be the Solution to GOP Branding Problem” by Jonah Goldberg dated December 14, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/jonahgoldberg/2012/12/14/federalism-could-be-the-solution-to-gop-branding-problem-n1466574
“Tea Party at a Crosswords” by Salena Zito dated December 16, 2012 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/12/16/tea_party_at_a_crossroads_116438.html )
David Coughlin is a political pundit, editor of the policy action planning web site “Return to Common Sense,” and an active member of the White Plains Tea Party. He retired from IBM after a short career in the U.S. Army. He currently resides with his wife of 40 years in Hawthorne, NY. He was educated at West Point (Bachelor of Science, 1971) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Masters, Administrative Science, 1976).