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July 17th, 2010
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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