Obama-Speak for Socialism
We have come to bury progressivism, not praise it.
The failures of the current president and his congressional allies are so incontestable that they retaliate by demonizing those who have succeeded. Their failures are due not as much to executive ineptitude as to their very creed.
The Obama regime has added nearly $6 trillion to a public debt that has eclipsed the $16 trillion mark for the first time in history. That’s more government debt per person than Portugal, Italy, Spain, or Greece.
After a post-Great Depression record 44 months of 8% unemployment or worse, 23 million Americans are out of work, have stopped looking for work, or are underemployed. The progressives’ excuse: The stimulus wasn’t big enough.
Certainly, Barack Obama is the most leftist president since LBJ, who waged two wars and lost both: one in southeast Asia, the other – the War on Poverty – at home.
The “Great Society” created, in the words of the Manhattan Institute’s Fred Siegel, “an ugly dystopian reality in the cities [and] a violent, nihilistic radicalism on campus” that survives to this day. Those campus radicals achieved tenure and wrote politically correct speech codes. Entire city blocks are gutted by dependents of the welfare state – multi-generational, angry, and often, drug-addled.
It is no coincidence that Obama’s chosen profession, community organizer, is a creation of the so-called Great Society. Or that Occupy Wall Street, the Left’s blame-the-rich answer to the taxpaying and law-abiding Tea Party movement, degenerated into decadence, defecation, disease, and property destruction.
Progressivism, the credo that gave us eugenics and Prohibition and tried to disarm law-abiding citizens of the ability to defend themselves, must be exposed for what it is: a false front for the coercive enterprise called socialism.
Teachers unions, the shock troops of the party of progressivism, embody the horrors of collectivization. Their intransigent hold on the K-12 public school monopoly has helped churn out legions of functionally illiterate, virtually unemployable wards of the state.
Progressivism’s failures are the inevitable wages of its:
• devotion to top-down, central planning,
• perception of people as victims rather than causative agents, and
• hostility to individual choice, the competition of the marketplace, and the creative forces thereby unleashed. (See: charter schools.)
Progressives are self-proclaimed experts who know how much soda pop should be dispensed to a populace and how much free speech to curtail at election time.
With the economy flat-lining, the ruling Democrat(ic) party gave Sandra Fluke its convention podium to demand, as a proper victim, that a private Catholic university pay for her birth control bill. So that this may be given, something must be taken – in this case, freedom of religious practice.
Government as national wet nurse requires huge, honking programs too big to get out of their own way, resulting in “a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us,” warns our next vice president, Paul Ryan.
Washington has taken over health care, one-sixth of the national economy. Obamacare will be dictated by an unelected, 17-member politburo that will replace individual choice. It is no happenstance that its enabling legislation runs to 2,471 pages. We’re still finding out what’s in the bill.
This predilection for a directed economy is rooted in the 1930s, whether FDR’s New Deal, Stalin’s five-year plans on behalf of “the masses,” or Mussolini’s dirigisme. Fascism and socialism, as F.A. Hayek observed, are two sides of the same coin.
The British historian Paul Johnson noted, “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and the destructive capacity necessarily expands, too.” That’s why America’s founders took great pains to limit government in favor of individual freedom.
The Siege of the Wisconsin Capitol in early 2011 may have been progressivism’s noisy wake. That big, fat government-employee temper tantrum unleashed sporadic vandalism, profanity, and death threats. Unionized teachers illegally walked out of their classrooms and faked doctor’s excuses. Businesses were threatened with boycotts. Democratically elected officials were hectored and harassed. Bullhorns, chants, drum circles, and MSNBC’s Mr. Ed shouted down civil discourse.
When the public sector unions and their allies, including the International Socialist Workers party, failed to overturn the elected government, The Progressive magazine editor Matt Rothschild called on his cadres “to make Wisconsin ungovernable.”
Instead, Wisconsin voters showed what democracy really looks like by giving Gov. Walker an even larger mandate in the June recall election. They will choose freedom again on Nov. 6.
Sign up for the free IB Update – your weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. Click here. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.