7 Apr 2009

America, Through A Glass, Darkly

Peggy Noonan's commentary in the Wall Street Journal on Obama's Domestic Agenda provoked much opinion and my reply was published in the Opinion letters, where it received many positive comments. Noonan seems surprised at the 'grandiosity' of what Obama is undertaking. Herewith what I wrote:

"The directions Obama's domestic agenda takes, and his grandiose ideas to fundamentally alter the American relation between citizen and government from a quasi-libertarian ( "classical liberal") to a European ( "social democratic") one, have always been crystal clear for many years to anyone who bothered to look beyond the celebrity style superficiality of his attractive persona. Or to those who delved behind Obama's disarming happy-talk during the primary and presidential campaigns.

Obama-ism is a simple three legged stool comprising Alternative Energy, Education and Healthcare. There is nothing to suggest he will abandon the first, even were a new Ice Age to emerge (as it might) because it is the revenue generator. By loading America with the omniscient tax-and-expense of costly, unproven alternative energy, Obama pays in large measure for the other two prongs of his plan.

The most basic lesson of economics, that it is wasteful to subsidize one thing to be cheap by making another dear, is something Obama, an otherwise attractive and clever man, shows no sign of swallowing.

In all of this new American social construction, the government will be the lumber provider, carpenter, store owner and salesman. In other words, energy, education and health are to be nationalized, in essence and de facto. That none of this is shown to work any better, or indeed worse in the long run, than risk-reward private enterprise seems not important to Obama.

For Obama is a social egalitarian. and was largely raised in the international anti-American gruppenthink of the extpatriate intelligensia. The collective "fairness" to all Americans (perhaps even non-Americans) and of groups and classes of citizens real of contrived, is more important to him than the classical rights of individuals - rights upon which the nation was found ed.

Did the American people want this? Probably not - but with a supine applauding media and a mood of economic despair to exploit, there is every chance they will get it. Obama seems unworried that his grandiosity will saddle Americans with more public debt in a few years than the Republic has accumulated since 1776. To be indebted to your government to Obama's mind one begins to darkly glimpse, is perhaps desirable.

That the opposite intention was in the minds of those who framed the Constitution is an inconvenience not to be discussed.

To the obvious calculation that Medicare and Social Security will be bankrupted in Obama's daughters prime or there will no money left to fund the Healthcare and Federal education without raising taxation to European levels, the President seems equally unruffled.

For Euramericans like Obama, the new social contract is basically this: the private person must be indebted, financially and morally, to government. Government's prime obligation in return to the citizen is continued displays of public virtue via engineered "egalitarianism". The debt is real, the egalitarianism is fake - but the public, like in 1984, never figure out this simple trick. Thus the Democrats are fated to slowly become Jacobins - indeed some already are.

Though China will be the world Superpower perhaps in 2050, as predicted, Obama-ism merely hastens America along the declining European path of "soft" power, with soft citizens taking neither risk nor reward nor responsibility.

It is hardly what the Founding fathers had in mind, but with a citizenry addicted to easiness and pleasure, all of de Tocqueville's warnings about the consequences of "beneficial" government may sadly come true."

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