Skip to comments.A Victory for Creatures of the State
Posted on 11/09/2012 5:13:03 AM PST by Kaslin
The Progressives won on Tuesday.
I don't mean the people who voted Democrat who call themselves "progressive." Though they won, too.
I mean the Progressives who've been waging a century-long effort to transform our American-style government into a European-style state.
The words "government" and "state" are often used interchangeably, but they are really different things. According to the founders' vision, the people are sovereign and the government belongs to us. Under the European notion of the state, the people are creatures of the state, significant only as parts of the whole.
This European version of the state can be nice. One can live comfortably under it. Many decent and smart people sincerely believe this is the intellectually and morally superior way to organize society. And, to be fair, it's not a binary thing. The line between the European and American models is blurry. France is not a Huxleyan dystopia, and America is not and has never been an anarchist's utopia, nor do conservatives want it to be one.
The distinction between the two worldviews is mostly a disagreement over first assumptions, about which institutions should take the lead in our lives. It is an argument about what the habits of the American heart should be. Should we live in a country where the first recourse is to appeal to the government, or should government interventions be reserved as a last resort?
These assumptions are formed and informed by political rhetoric. President Obama ran a campaign insisting that Democrats believe "we're all in it together" and that Republicans think you should be "on your own" no matter what hardships you face. We are our brothers' and sisters' "keepers," according to Obama, and the state is how we "keep" each other. The introductory video at the Democratic National Convention proclaimed, "Government is the one thing we all belong to."
Exactly 100 years before Barack Obama's re-election victory, Woodrow Wilson was elected president for the first time. It was Wilson's belief that the old American understanding of government needed to be Europeanized. The key to this transformation was convincing Americans that we all must "marry our interests to the state."
The chief obstacle for this mission is the family. The family, rightly understood, is an autonomous source of meaning in our lives and the chief place where we sacrifice for, and cooperate with, others. It is also the foundation for local communities and social engagement. As social scientist Charles Murray likes to say, unmarried men rarely volunteer to coach kids' soccer teams.
Progressivism always looked at the family with skepticism and occasionally hostility. Reformer Charlotte Perkins Gilman hoped state-backed liberation of children would destroy "the unchecked tyranny ... of the private home." Wilson believed the point of education was to make children as unlike their parents as possible. Hillary Clinton, who calls herself a modern progressive and not a liberal, once said we must move beyond the notion there is "any such thing as someone else's child."
One of the stark lessons of Obama's victory is the degree to which the Republican Party has become a party for the married and the religious. If only married people voted, Romney would have won in a landslide. If only married religious people voted, you'd need a word that means something much bigger than landslide. Obviously, Obama got some votes from the married and the religious (such people can marry their interests to the state, too), but as a generalization, the Obama coalition heavily depends on people who do not see family or religion as rival or superior sources of material aid or moral authority.
Marriage, particularly among the working class, has gone out of style. In 1960, 72 percent of adults were married. Today, barely half are. The numbers for blacks are far more stark. The well-off still get married though, which is a big reason why they're well-off. "It is the privileged Americans who are marrying, and marrying helps them stay privileged," Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University, told the New York Times.
Religion, too, is waning dramatically in America. Gallup finds regular church attendance down to 43 percent of Americans. Other researchers think it might be less than half that.
In the aftermath of massive American urbanization and industrialization, and in the teeth of a brutal economic downturn, Franklin D. Roosevelt promised to fight for the "forgotten man" -- the American who felt lost amidst the social chaos of the age. Obama campaigned for "Julia" -- the affluent single mom who had no family and no ostensible faith to fall back on.
In short, the American people are starting to look like Europeans, and as a result they want a European form of government.
Let's just have a Constitution Convention and get it over with.
Our current form of government is synonymous with old white men... Washington, Jefferson.Adams Madison for example We might as well flush the Constitution down to toilet because it is not worth the paper we wipe our behinds with. Parliament anyone?
It occurred to me how hard it’s going to be to reverse Obamacare now.
It’s extremely unlikely anything could happen in the next four years now - I can’t imagine we get a supermajority in the senate next election - only 1/3rd of the senate runs at a time and a good portion of them will be Republicans and Democrats in secure seats. So, nothing’s going to happen with it until the start of 2017 at the earliest.
Most of Obamacare has not yet taken effect yet. Come the start of next year a series of similarly seemingly insignificant portions of the bill hit - medicare payment bundling, extensions to CHIP, etc. But it’s the start of 2014, just over a year from now, that all of the major provisions hit - preexisting condition bans, coverate limit bans, the creation of the “exchanges” (which include a stealth public option), expansion of medicare, health tax credits for uninsured individuals making under $43k and married couples making under $88k, a corresponding credit for businesses, and of course, to go with those, the mandates to buy coverage.
These will be in place for nearly three years before the election. You know how hard it is to get people off the government’s teat once they get hooked to it (social security, medicare, etc)? 3 years is more than enough time to get people used to it. They’ll simply get used to being poorer and it’ll be easy to scare them about going back to a free market system.
It gets worse if we lose the house in 2014, and I know we don’t want to think about that, but as this election showed, whether from fraud, apathy, or complacency, we can’t simply count on votes to just go our way. If they get the house, or worse if they get enough RINOs to give them “bipartisan” cover, they’ll increase the subsidies for buying insurance while keeping the mandate and gaming the exchanges against the private insurers for the promotion of the public option. It’d end up a full-fledged European-style national health service, and could be in place for a year and a half before the 2016 election.
In an ironic way, Obamacare may actually be our path out of this.
Everyone knows that the CBO LIED LIED LIED LIED about all of the cost projections. It is quickly going to go viral and consume nearly all of the Federal Budget and then some. The day of reckoning will come sooner not later.
Using the term “tar baby” in respect to Obama is no doubt RAAAACIST. But that’s what’s coming.
McCain, 2008 popular vote: 58,319,442
Romney, 2012 popular vote: 58,163,978
4 years of population growth and Romney didn’t draw what McCain did......
America’s best days are behind her.
0bama voters aren’t all that interested in working for the stuff they want.
This needs to be stated to every 0 supporter you encounter.
America’s best days are indeed behind her and have been for some time.
One of the biggest dangers to America is the professional bureaucrats in State, Defense, Justice and the White House executive staff. Many have an agenda that is "overwhelmingly dominated by the long-discredited left-liberal policies that came to dominate the worst of the Democratic Party in the 1960s and 1970s . . . experts estimate that the federal bureaucracy is overwhelmingly Democrat -- perhaps as much as 90 - 95 percent Democrat." Bill Gertz in his 2008 book, The Failure Factory.
Then of course above the bureaucracy there is the ruling class from that same era -- I remember them as Marxist-Alinsky campus radical, psycho spoiled brats..
Ladies and Gentlemen, all rise.. the ruling class of America and ideological issue, President of the United States Barack Obama..
I totally agree. The die has been cast.
Every day I am thankful that I came of age in the 1950s. I was privileged to experience America in its glory.