In our first post exploring the dichotomy between Obama’s poor record and strong support we explained that with true believers his record doesn’t count. He’s a Democrat and he is black, and that is good enough. But there is another and more disturbing reason for the apparent dichotomy. We are approaching Tocqueville time in America.
The answer may lie in the very nature of democracy itself. If that’s the case, we can’t say we weren’t warned. Aristotle said democracy would lead to great corruption. Plato warned that the demos (the masses) lacked sufficient understanding to differentiate the charmers from the honest and capable candidates and they would choose the charmers. Given the nature of man and the fact that in any society the masses will outnumber the elites, both philosophers held that democracy would lead to the demos voting largesse unto themselves from the nation’s accumulated wealth to the ultimate detriment of the entire society.
Aristotle and Plato did not have the benefit of history to confirm their opinions because democracy was a new concept in their day. But Alexis de Tocqueville, a noted French writer and historian who came more than 2,000 years later did look back on the rise and fall of great empires some of which were limited democracies.
Tocqueville was born to French aristocracy and lived during the period of the French Revolution. He was a keen observer of the American Experiment that combined free markets, rights to private property and a level of democracy theretofore unknown. The young Frenchman noted at the time that the “experiment” was a great success. However, as our long running sidebar suggests, he also warned that over time the public will vote themselves more and more benefits until the government’s treasury is depleted and the system collapses in fiscal insolvency. Usually to be followed by some form of despotic governance.
Obama is a charmer, Romney is not. Obama promises ever greater largesse to the people, Romney does not. The combination of true believers and largesse voters forms a base of unwavering support. The stable of true believers is relatively static; but the percentage of largesse voters grows over time. The time Tocqueville gave for the American democracy to run its course was about 200 years; we are well beyond that. The 2012 election will answer the question, have we reached Tocqueville time in America ?
First it was a spontaneous eruption by a few members of a group of demonstrators and it was mere coincidence that the raid happened to occur on the 11th day of September. The Libyan people were horrified and even helped carry Ambassador Chris Stevens to the hospital, so said Hillary Clinton in the Secretary’s first public statement about the attack. Then the details morphed a few times until now we are at “Al Qaeda did it” and the ambassador’s body was paraded through the streets in triumph. What was so difficult about saying this was an operation planned for September 11th and carried out by a brand of Islamic extremists whose work is all too familiar to us?
It would not reflect well on Islam, of course. It would place full responsibility for the atrocity on certain elements from the Muslim world and not hold the United States in any way accountable for the overrunning of its Libyan embassy and the murder of its own ambassador. Any other administration would have said something like that. But not this one.
The bombing of trains in Madrid, subways in London, a night club in Bali and the World Trade Center in New York are atrocities in plain sight. They cannot be denied. And these may be the least of it if you add up all the local killings by Islamists that have occurred over the years in schools, airports, markets and even on military bases. If such inhumanities are not acknowledged as an element of the Muslim world, then the only alternative is they must be the Muslim world. That of course is not the case.
Obama’s father was a Muslim. Obama spent some his early formative years in a Muslim country attending Muslim schools. It is understandable that he would be sympathetic to the plights and beliefs of Muslim believers. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact he is in a unique position to bring some understanding between people of the Muslim and Western worlds. But it has to start with acknowledgement and unqualified severe condemnation of Islamic militant Jihad and terrorism. Only then can understanding begin. Sadly, Obama won’t do that.
Someday a great philosophical Einstein may emerge to explain the Liberal mind. The most puzzling dichotomy is the generosity and tolerance Liberal thinkers show toward all manner of human failings and yet are “utterly intolerance of any creed, belief or opinion that differs from their own.” Cheat on your wife in a White House closet and lie about it under oath and it is overlooked. Say you don’t believe in homosexual marriage and they try to destroy you and put you out of business. Excuse the one who actually commits an egregious act; punish the one who simply holds a different belief. How do you explain that?
Demonstrate dressed up to look like giant vaginas to make some vague protest and claim the moral high ground. How do you explain that?
Argue against extremism in the Christian religion then elect Muslim Congressmen to office with ties to anti-American terrorism. How do you explain that?
Complain about how poor our education system is and then support tenure for public school teachers, support policies that undermine the teacher’s ability to maintain discipline in class and support a teacher’s union that cares no more about the product its members produce than does the auto-worker’s union. How do you explain that? As a matter of fact, I think you can explain that. Greed and power seeking on the part of union leadership, ignorance on the part of the general public, and a little bit of both among some of the teachers.
Nevertheless, neither hypocrisy, greed or ignorance explain the other dichotomies — well, perhaps ignorance.
It is interesting to observe how an entire political faction will change the words it uses to further its agenda. Advocates move in unison as though some central agreement had been published forbidding the use of the prior term. For example, using consistent sources for measurement our planet’s warmest year in recent history was in 1998. That’s fourteen years ago and long enough to weaken the political case for global warming. So the “global warming” mantra is dropped in favor of the term “climate change”. It’s a safe bet that the warmers cause will never be threatened by climate stability in the future. Climates simply aren’t stable.
On another point, have you noticed the Democrats are no longer in favor of raising taxes? The public doesn’t take kindly to having taxes increased. Raising taxes on the other fellow is ok of course, but not on me. Democrats now talk about revenue increases.
And the Dems aren’t spenders anymore either. They have given that up. Now they invest. They invest it in things like food stamp programs, stimulus plans and corporate bailouts. It takes a willful suspension of disbelief to call spending “investment” but willful suspension is what they do.
There is however, one thing Democrats do call spending. And that is saving. When the government allows you to save more of your own money than they allowed in the past, it’s called a “tax expenditure”. Confused? Let me explain; your mortgage deduction is called a government expense, the Bush tax relief was called a government expense. Anything that allows you to keep more of your earnings than the government would like you to keep is called a government expense (actually the preferred word is “expenditure”). If you listen carefully you will hear it.
The mindset that views your mortgage deduction as a government expense is a mindset that believes your money belongs first to the government. How else could you explain that a reduction in what the government takes away from you could considered to be a government expense?
You can not stop the world from choosing words inappropriately to distort your thinking, but you can learn to recognize and guard against it when it happens.
The crowds are not coming out. The money is not coming in. The aura of omnipotence is gone. Cracks in the liberal media are beginning to show. The liberal leaning Newsweek covered the latest issue with “We Need a New President.” Unemployment is higher longer than at any time since the Great Depression. The President has revealed some very unpopular beliefs with statements like “You didn’t build that… “. However, the polls don’t reflect the decline. Why is that?
It’s a tough thing for any person to admit they were very wrong; that’s a fact of human nature. Answering a pollster commits you to nothing while it allows you to defer a decision you are loathe to make. But what happens in the voting booth stays in the voting booth. It’s private. For better or for worse, when the chips are down voters vote their pocketbook. As Walter Cronkite famously said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” That does not bode well for Obama.
If the theory is correct, remaining vestiges of it will show up in the exit polls as some voters will be reluctant to admit they voted against their one time hero and a black man.
The Obama team could garner a few more votes if they spread the fear that Big Brother can tell how you voted. Let’s hope they don’t think of it.
Wisconsin is Paul Ryan’s home state and what a rousing reception he received! More than ten thousand plus cheering fans came in threatening weather to greet Ryan and Romney in the town of Waukesha.
Ryan was born and raised about 60 miles away in Janesville which is a modest sized town in fly-over country. That means it is down home America and Paul Ryan is Janesville’s Mr. Smith who went to Washington. Romney called his running mate “someone who is a leader . . . who has real character, who loves America,”. That’s a change we can hope for.
When the cheering subsided Romney got serious.
“If you follow the campaign of Barack Obama, he’s going to do everything in his power to make this the lowest, meanest negative campaign in history. We’re not going to let that happen.
Mr. President, take your campaign out of the gutter and let’s talk about the real issues that America faces.”
Someone near the stage started heckling the candidates Romney handled the heckler very well. Romney faced the person and said “You ought to find yourself a different place to be disruptive because here we believe in listening to people with dignity and respect.”
We are coming to a fork in the road and if we take the path to the left it will be so precipitous there may be no turning back. It will be the proof that Tocqueville was right. One reason Ronald Reagan was so loved is that he had great faith in the American people, in you and I, to do the right thing when all the chips are down. If we choose the path to the right it will be proof that Reagan was right.