America Is the Problem

July 17th, 2010

By Brianna Aubin

You know how my earlier article was about how it was all the Tea Party’s fault that Obama’s presidency wasn’t going to plan?  Well, forget that idea.  Turns out the problem is bigger than that.  The problem isn’t just the Tea Parties.  The problem is the whole darn country.

According to Bill Press, a liberal talk show host (yes, they do exist), America just doesn’t appreciate all the great things Obama has managed to accomplish.  Yes, there was the oil spill, and Obama shouldn’t have increased troops in Afghanistan.  But when you look at all the stuff he’s gotten done — financial reform, health care, saving the economy, and getting the troops out of Iraq — Obama’s actually done a pretty amazing job, which America really is failing to be properly grateful for.  But when it comes right down to it, America is worse than ungrateful; it is spoiled.  According to Bill:

I think this [lack of acknowledgement] says more about the American people than it does about President Obama. I think it just shows once again that the American people are spoiled. Basically, spoiled — as a people, we are too critical. We are quick to rush to judgment, we are too negative, we are too impatient. Especially impatient. We want it all solved yesterday, and if you don’t, I don’t care who you are — get out of the way.

And again, basically spoiled. To the point where it makes me wonder if it’s even possible to govern today. I gotta tell you, I don’t think Abraham Lincoln — who certainly didn’t get everything right the first time — could govern today. I’m not sure Franklin Roosevelt could govern today, the way we are again. Just about like spoiled children. And it’s Americans, and it’s the media, and if we don’t get instant gratification, then screw you is basically our attitude.

And then the Left turns around and wonders why liberal talk radio never seems to catch on with America.  Well, if the commentators I listened to regularly told me I was nothing more than a spoiled child, maybe I’d start to tune them out, too.

This is just another example of the Democratic Party trying to find something, anything to blame for the failure of their policies besides the ideas behind their policies.  The Republicans, the Tea Parties, America itself… the Democrats would rather do anything than examine the true causes for their failure.  Or in the words of one of the leading lights of the libertarian movement, Friedrich Hayek:

When the course of civilization takes an unexpected turn – when, instead of the continuous progress which we have come to expect, we find ourselves threatened by evils associated by us with past ages of barbarism – we naturally blame anything but ourselves.  Have we not all striven according to our best lights, and have not many of our finest minds incessantly worked to make this a better world?  Have not all our efforts and hopes been directed towards grater freedom, justice and prosperity?  If the outcome is so different from our aims – if instead of freedom and prosperity, bondage and misery stare us in the face – is it not clear that sinister forces must have foiled our intentions, that we are the victims of some evil power which must be conquered before we can resume the road to better things?  However much we may differ when we name the culprit – whether it is the wicked capitalist or the vicious spirit of a particular nation, the stupidity of our elders, or a social system not yet, although we have struggled against it for half a century, fully overthrown – we all are, or at least were until recently – certain of one thing: that the leading ideas which during the last generation have become common to most people of good will and have determined the major changes in our social life cannot have been wrong.  We are ready to accept almost any explanation of the present crisis of our civilization except one: that the present state of the world may be the result of genuine error on our own part and that the pursuit of some of our most cherished ideals has apparently produced results utterly different from those which we expected. — F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom

As an aside, I’d just like to mention that The Road to Serfdom jumped to the number one slot on Amazon bestseller list after Glenn Beck spent an hour talking about it on his show last month (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).  As of this writing, it is still at number 31, which is astonishing for a book of Serfdom’s age and heavy-duty intellectual content.  Not bad for a boorish clown speaking to a clutch of knuckle-dragging, gun-clinging rubes.

Obama is earnestly doing what he thinks is best for the country.  And the country is up in arms over it.  The Left is scrambling to pin the blame on Republican obduracy, Tea Party racism, a spoiled citizenry — anything but the very real possibility that there may be a flaw in the idea that the best way to govern a country is by having a strong, wise, and benevolent federal government watching over the hopeless children who make up its population.

I hope for America’s sake that the Obama administration learns the true cause of their failure through intellectual means, rather than by carrying their experiment to its logical and historical conclusion.  Or in the words of Ayn Rand (who also got her own Glenn Beck show):

…we tried it – and we learned.  Our agony took four years, from our first meeting to our last, and it ended the only way it could end: in bankruptcy.  At our last meeting, Ivy Starnes was the one who tried to brazen it out.  She made a short, nasty, snippy little speech in which she said that the plan had failed because the rest of the country had not accepted it, that a single community could not succeed in the midst of a selfish, greedy world – and that the plan was a noble ideal, but human nature was not good enough for it.  A young boy – the one who had been punished for giving us a useful idea in our first year – got up, as we all sat silent, and walked straight to Ivy Starnes on the platform.  That was the end of the noble plan and of the Twentieth Century. — Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

The Left’s intentions are good… but there’s a reason for the saying that the road to Hell is paved with them.  I only hope that the Left manages to pinpoint the true cause of their failure before it is too late.


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21 Responses to “America Is the Problem”



  1. Brian Bagent |

    Ingrate. :^)


  2. larry ennis |

    I to am awash in a sea of sorrow for not understanding that selfishness is the true villain in American society.

    I recently listened to a Bill Press type MSNBC talking head that once again questioned the ability of those without proper education (at least a Phd) being able to fathom the responsibilities of being a contributor to our society. Was he speaking for all of liberalism, claiming that many of us not only don’t understand but also don’t belong? Doesn’t this have a vaguely familiar ring.


  3. Aearlath |

    Progressives are really only good at blaming. They can’t really get any results other than that. The problem is the blame game is so clear these days normal people (meaning those Americans that just don’t have time for all this political crap) are seeing just how bad it is. Now they have nowhere to run or hide and in a last ditch effort attempt to put the blame on anyone but themselves. Americans spoiled indeed! A spoiled child doesn’t take responsibility and blames others. Hence the spoiled children are in fact, the progressive zealots. ;-)

    @Larry:
    So you need a PhD to properly understand? Um… what if you happen to have a PhD and still don’t buy the progressive junk? I wonder what that MSNB talking head’s reason is then? Oh right, you can only have a liberal arts PhD. Boring stuff like the sciences probably doesn’t count. ;-)


  4. Clarissa |

    What makes you think that Obama is more in favor of a strong federal government than Bush was? It wasn’t Obama who gave away hundreds of billions to Goldman Sachs and Co. And it wasn’t Obama who introduced the Patriot Act that stripped Americans of their constitutional rights.

    People keep saying that Obama is in favor of a strong government. As a liberal, I sincerely hope he were in favor of it. But I see absolutely no evidence that he is, compared with the previous administration.

    And again, if, as you say, Americans don’t like the idea of a strong federal government that treats them like children, how on Earth did they manage to swallow four years of Bush? Bush, who thought he knew better how they should worship God, what they should do with their bodies, what and when they should die for, when they should have children, etc.?


  5. Clarissa |

    “So you need a PhD to properly understand? Um… what if you happen to have a PhD and still don’t buy the progressive junk?”

    -That’s not possible. :-) A person who is smart enough to get a PhD from a good school is always progressive. Conservative positions are intellectually unsustainable and anybody who has a good education will see immediately the glaring contradictions in them. That’s why 94% of college professors are liberal. The 6% who are not are simply spousal hires, etc. :-)


  6. Aearlath |

    @Clarissa
    Of course, you are correct. Four cousins, and an uncle don’t exist. :D (Physicists are always spousal hires… Don’t get me started on the ineptitude of astrophysicists either! Simpletons the lot of them!) Also, the 3 MD’s in my family… They’re just medical doctors! Hmph! What do they know about politics and important stuff! They just don’t count! :D Oh wait, I can’t include 3 of the cousins. They have PhD’s but aren’t American. But they are European and that means they know everything and are smarter than us all… Um.. *progressive brain fail* Oh well, guess I’m not cut out to be a progressive. I think I’ll just join my cousins and uncle who don’t exist and all those unwashed American knuckle dragging spoiled masses. ;-)

    On a slightly more serious note, while I think the idea that Obama isn’t for big government is… shall we say… ingenuous… Bush was clearly a proponent of big government also. I’ll probably also run afoul from other conservatives with this next comment: America might be imperialistic in a way. Yes, the definition of imperialism clearly is not how the US works. However, consider what is going on with Iraq and Afghanistan. (I know, just bear with me.) It’s not that we’re there to occupy, and not to really extend power, but to create a little clone of the US. Little borked “democracy” and all. Isn’t that sort of imperialistic in a way? *runs* :-D


  7. Brian |

    That’s why 94% of college professors are liberal.

    In formal logic, that’s what we call “affirming the consequent,” and is a big no-no. Apparently, being a liberal, logic is not your strong suit.

    FWIW, I’d bet my next several paychecks that I know a great many more PhDs than you do, and almost without exception, they are conservative.


  8. Brianna Aubin |

    “What makes you think that Obama is more in favor of a strong federal government than Bush was?”

    Hmmm… suing AZ over their immigration law on the spurious charge that it clashes with federal law (it doesn’t), passing massive health care reform, spending trillions in stimulus, passing a 2300 page financial reform bill, trying to pass a blanket moratorium on oil drilling.

    “People keep saying that Obama is in favor of a strong government. As a liberal, I sincerely hope he were in favor of it. But I see absolutely no evidence that he is, compared with the previous administration.”

    And you manage to avoid banging into walls… how, again?

    “And again, if, as you say, Americans don’t like the idea of a strong federal government that treats them like children, how on Earth did they manage to swallow four years of Bush?”

    8 years of Bush, you mean. Because it was a better alternative than Gore or Kerry. I voted for Bush mainly because I felt that whether or not we had gone into Iraq legitimately, it would be irresponsible of us to pull out of Iraq prematurely. And to my credit, the main reason we’re able to leave now is because of Bush’s surge, so at least that more-or-less worked out. As for religious and compassionate conservatives, don’t get me started on Mr. Bailout “I’m going against the free market to save the free market” compassionate conservative, anti-abortion (read: reluctant liberal) George W. Bush.

    “Bush, who thought he knew better how they should worship God, what they should do with their bodies, what and when they should die for, when they should have children, etc.?”

    Bush did not make anyone become Christian. He did not reinstate a draft. He was anti-abortion, which I disagree with but oh well. I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you say he told people “when they should have children.”

    “That’s not possible. :-) A person who is smart enough to get a PhD from a good school is always progressive.”

    Someone needs to visit the science department at their university, Ms. Hispanic studies.

    P.S. I consider +90% liberal arts doctorates to be nearly worthless professional exercises of intellectual lint-picking. That percentage goes up to +99% for any degree in gender or ethnic studies programs.


  9. Brianna Aubin |

    “FWIW, I’d bet my next several paychecks that I know a great many more PhDs than you do, and almost without exception, they are conservative.”

    You actually could lose that one. Whatever her other faults, Clarissa is a university professor. In Hispanic studies, if I remember correctly, but for some reason they’re still allowed to put Ph.D. on their doors.


  10. Aearlath |

    “P.S. I consider +90% liberal arts doctorates to be nearly worthless professional exercises of intellectual lint-picking. That percentage goes up to +99% for any degree in gender or ethnic studies programs.”

    Sadly, you’re probably spot on regarding that. I’ve observed quite a few liberal arts PhD’s that can’t quite cut it in the private or even public sector. Meaning they have trouble competing with employees with less education but more experience. (Or in some cases, even less education and less experience!) Whereas scientists with real PhD’s are an entirely different level. My theory is they wear their PhD on their sleeve and also use it as a crutch to explain lack of experience. The worst case of this recently was a PhD that was passed over for someone with a simple bachelor’s. The bachelor’s guy knew his stuff. The “doctor” was rather sanctimonious and clueless. At least they didn’t make the mistake of insisting being addressed as Doctor . With liberal arts doctorates that is particularly corny. ;-)


  11. Dan Miller |

    Here is an excellent article by Victor Davis Hanson, who has a Ph.D. degree by the way, on our cultural elite. It fits right in with the subject here and with some of the comments.


  12. Clarissa |

    “Hmmm… suing AZ over their immigration law on the spurious charge that it clashes with federal law (it doesn’t), passing massive health care reform, spending trillions in stimulus, passing a 2300 page financial reform bill, trying to pass a blanket moratorium on oil drilling.”

    -Compared to authorizing illegal searches, access to one’s medical and banking records, library records, authorizing torture, and giving out billions of dollars to your Wall Street buddies everything you list is child’s play.

    As for the PhD, for those who don’t know it means ‘Doctor of Philosophy.’


  13. Brianna |

    And at what point did you fail to notice that Obama extended the patriot act and gave billions of dollars to his UNION cronies? Why is that any different than giving money to business cronies?

    “As for the PhD, for those who don’t know it means ‘Doctor of Philosophy.’”

    Yet another reason to characterize them as useless and worse than useless.


  14. d |

    Good Golly,you guys are so snobby.PhD,wise,that is,glad I don’t have one to be torn apart. I bet it still takes a whole bunch of reading,riting and rithmetic,even to be a doctor of philosophy,maybe even a bunch of years at school. Might even be intelligent,even if not conservative,I know,hard for you guys to even consider.:)


  15. Brianna |

    I never said they were stupid. I said they were useless. As in, they have spent years and years in school and they have no practical value to show for it. That goes double for people who spent those years learning the language of professional victimhood (gender and ethnic studies majors).


  16. Dan Miller |

    Gosh Darn!, based on this, I thought people (at least 94 perent of them) who had Ph.D. degrees were pretty smart:

    “So you need a PhD to properly understand? Um… what if you happen to have a PhD and still don’t buy the progressive junk?”

    That’s not possible. :-) A person who is smart enough to get a PhD from a good school is always progressive. Conservative positions are intellectually unsustainable and anybody who has a good education will see immediately the glaring contradictions in them. That’s why 94% of college professors are liberal. The 6% who are not are simply spousal hires, etc. :-)

    Perhaps I misunderstood. Oh well. Those of us who don’t have that degree can’t be expected to understand the subtleties of higher education.

    (Hides head in shame and slinks off to read a comic book (or at least try to comprehend the cartoons).


  17. d |

    I really think the smiley face usually means it’s supposed to be humorous,but I don’t have the degree either,so maybe I am confused. Funny,Dan. Some of those comics are really complicated for us hicks.


  18. d |

    For example Spongebob Squarepants? Does anyone,anywhere understand why a squirrel lives underwater? Fire under there,too,has me puzzled,maybe Brianna can explain that one to me. Seems like physics or rocket science.


  19. Brianna |

    Actually, if something gets hot enough when it burns, the heat from the fire will actually separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in water, which will then serve to fan the flames. Never try to put out a metal fire with water, because you will only make things worse.


  20. d |

    Lol,thanks,Brianna,knew you’d know. How about the underwater squirrel?


  21. Tom Carter |

    I think we should give PhDs a break (except for gender and ethnic studies, of course). Maybe there should be a different degree title for those who studied hard sciences and those who studied everything else. But in any case, there’s a hell of a lot of work involved in getting a PhD of any kind, if it’s a legitimate one, and I respect those who’ve done it.

    Given that Spongebob proves that squirrels can live underwater, maybe we should put all 540* of those squirrels in Congress in a giant aquarium somewhere. There’d be lots of gurgling, but it wouldn’t be nearly as offensive.

    *That’s the right number — you can look it up. :)


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