Sunday, October 25, 2009
Dinner's cold, where have you been?
One of the most ironic ideas I’ve heard over the last six months is that President Obama is swinging this country towards socialism. I’ve actually read more than one story where people are hopping mad because they believe Obama is taking America from freedom to socialism in one fell swoop. I’d just like to ask these people where they have been. You don’t go from freedom to socialism (fascism is actually closer to the mark, but I digress) without either one of the following two conditions being met: brute force, as from an invading army (or a domestic army/government gone bad); or because your country has been heading that way for a while anyway. America falls under the second condition, and it has for the last century +.
The Johnny-come-latelys to the (correct) notion that America is already far down the path towards socialism belie their own ignorance every time they open their mouths to blame Obama for our present course. While they are spot on in their assessment of the current President’s intentions, a Barack Obama could not have been elected without the gradual acceptance over the generations that government should insinuate itself more and more into virtually every aspect of the daily lives of Americans because it somehow knows best.
The Tea Party movement was a great display of (some) Americans waking from their decades-long slumber, but it is doomed to failure, ultimately, because it has no real philosophical underpinnings, at least none that I’m aware of. To make it a lasting force to be reckoned with would require it to transcend the usual Democrat vs. Republican partyism and take the moral high ground by stating that nearly everything the government is involved in is anti-liberty, anti-individual, and wholly socialist.
Unfortunately, the same people in the movement today will go back to sleep if the next election cycle produces a Republican majority in Congress, and two years after that, a Republican president. This might slow the run towards socialism to a crawl, but it certainly won’t reverse it, because Republicans, both the elected and the electorate, like big government. Big G brings perks Republicans like (the War on Drugs; a big-stick military; pilfering the productive for the benefit of the retired, etc.) that a government hemmed in by a pesky, adhered to, document of limitations on its actions (such as the U.S. Constitution) wouldn’t/couldn’t. (It’s only in how to use Big G that Republicans differ from Democrats, not in the notion that it shouldn’t exist in its present form.)
Obama is not dragging this country down the path to socialism; all he’s done is merely taken over the controls of a freight train headed that way already. Sure, he’s nudged the accelerator forward a bit more than a Republican might have, but we were going that way anyhow. Those who think everything was hunky dory, or at least tolerable, before Obama’s election have no clue about how much of the problem they really are.
(BTW, I am well aware that the Tea Party movement is not only made up of disgruntled Republicans, so please don’t take me to task for coloring it as such. But I believe disgruntled Republicans form the nucleus of the movement. On another note, it’s nice to see some Ayn Randism has infiltrated the movement [see photo above], as that can only be a good thing.)