Human Events Blog

The Poverty Of A Nervous Republic

 

Leon Wolf writes today at Human Events of Marco Rubio’s victorious Senate campaign as “a referendum on the greatness of America.”  Rubio brings vital nourishment to a public starved for optimism and the celebration of greatness.  The position of the Democrat Party and its President, on the other hand, is that America’s government has the potential to be great with them in charge, but its peasants are revolting.  This has, in turn, contributed greatly to our economic malaise.

There is no way to reconcile a Big Government agenda with heartfelt belief in the greatness of the American people.  Great people do not need to be micromanaged by an almighty central government.  Federal, state, and local government consumes about half of taxpayers’ income, which means they are only qualified to manage half of their lives.  The explicit premise of ObamaCare was the assertion that free people cannot manage their own health insurance, and are too selfish and greedy to make adequate provisions for the ever-shifting number of uninsured… which, in an aside, apparently has not changed at all under ObamaCare.  How about that?  A trillion dollars of liberty lost, and the “problem” it was all supposed to address remains serenely undisturbed.

Taxation is control.  We don’t all pay a simple flat tax rate, to fund a government that carefully accounts for its expenses.  We navigate thousands of pages of tax law, riddled with incentives for doing what the State deems wise, and penalties for disobeying its wishes. 

Deficit spending is control.  It drops inescapable obligations on a generation that is currently too young to grant informed consent.  They will grow up to receive gigantic bills for today’s wild spending spree, and be told they must find a way to pay them… placing heavier tax chains upon their wrists.  They’ll look back on the time when government took only half their lives as the “good old days,” and be sternly lectured on the heartless greed of wishing to return to them.

All of this control is exercised by a government that has abandoned all pretense of obedience to ordinary people.  They’re about to watch the fabulously corrupt Charlie Rangel skate out of the House Ethics Committee with nothing worse than a sternly worded letter, which might not even be read aloud.  He won re-election to his eternally safe seat with 80% of the vote.  He might only get 70% next time, if voters in his district remember the ethics hearings at all.  Meanwhile, the architect of the financial meltdown, Barney Frank, looked a bit nervous during the 2010 campaign, but wound up sailing to an easy victory over Sean Bielat, a superb challenger.

President Obama betrays little sign of having understood the voice of the people, expressed through the historic midterm elections.  He still thinks his only failures are marketing and packaging his ideas to a populace he keeps overestimating.  The Democrats openly campaigned on the premise that voters are ignorant and crazy.  Today they comfort each other by saying they just didn’t grow the State large enough, quickly enough.

People should understand this loss of control over their lives is inherent under statism.  The belief that massive taxation and spending empower a government that will serve as the collective will of the people is laughably false.  It can’t work that way.  Too much of that massive State is controlled by people like Rangel and Frank, who most of us will never have a chance to vote against.  The fate of Presidents is determined by a thousand factors… not necessarily the ones you care most deeply about.  No wonder the economy is sour.  Frightened and desperate people make poor businessmen.

The Left thrives on this sense of helplessness, rather than fearing it.  They believe they can turn it to their advantage, by directing blame for social and economic problems to their private-sector enemies.  Despair is useful to those who peddle Hope without defining it, and Change without itemizing the bill.  Another trillion dollars worth of your time… and the destiny of your children… is certain to produce Utopia.  When that doesn’t work, the State will never admit it was wrong, and return the liberty it has taken.  Instead, it will present its failures as proof that even more of your freedom must be consumed to nourish it.  When the people have nothing more to give, the leviathan State will die, and crush them beneath its corpse.

Contemplating the enduring popularity of Sarah Palin at the New York Daily News today, S.E. Cupp attributes it to her happiness, which does not sit well with liberals.  “Liberalism, after all, needs to imagine an unhappy populace.  Passing sweeping entitlement programs, and convincing voters that big government is the answer, only works if people are frustrated with their stations in life,” Cupp explains.

Precisely so.  The Left is a perpetual motion engine that runs on its own failure.  A happy and confident public is their worst nightmare.  Confidence does not exist in the absence of freedom.  Let the incoming class of freshmen Republicans begin the task of returning economic and personal liberty to Americans, and we’ll see if a confident people chooses to tolerate the continued presence of a man who pities and despises them in the Oval Office after 2012.


Sign Up