It has been a year and a few months since Barack Obama took office as President of the United States. This is a good time to look back to compare what we expected with what we got.
Most voters voted their hearts and chose a younger, better-looking candidate with a better-looking wife. I think they got what they wanted and expected. If you don't believe me, then try Google with "right to bare arms" and see how many Michelle Obama hits you get. The Princeton Alumni Weekly had an article about that where the author was trying to change her physique "from Jello to Michelle-O." I would have hoped for a higher standard of decision making from the lower electorate. Besides, if you're going to vote that way I think Sarah Palin is cuter and more fit looking than either of the Obamas.
Those who voted the party line, those who vote for democrats no matter how bad they are, got a democrat, no matter how bad he is. Good for them, not so good for the rest of us.
Young people voted for their future and will likely get the future they deserve. Good for them, not so good for the rest of us.
The basic premise of the 2008-democratic-party platform is that a McCain presidency would
• maintain a military presence in Iraq,
• continue the Patriot Act,
• allow torture to continue, and
• permit off-shore drilling for oil.
The big difference is the economy. The last two years of the Bush administration, when the democrats controlled congress, many really-stupid things were done. There were bailouts and stimulus packages and all kinds of New-Deal programs designed to spend our way out of trouble. While the New-Deal programs in the 1930s actually produced some wealth, none of these programs did anything other than transfer wealth from people who produced and earned it to people who didn't. Clearly, these programs weren't helping our sagging economy and they created tremendous risk of waking the sleeping giants in Asia whose productivity was keeping our country running.
Obama campaigned on the platform that he was going to continue all these mistakes, more stimuli, more bailouts, and more programs. In addition to saving the incompetent management of badly-run companies in America, he was going to pander to the corrupt unions whose aggressive non-producitity moved so many jobs overseas in the first place.
The best prediction of an Obama presidency was that he would be one hundred times worse than Bush, that it would take him one month to equal eight years of Bush bungling. In fact, he was twice as good, half as bad, in that it took him two months to do as much damage as eight years of George W. Bush. So Obama was only fifty times worse.
The other change is a more long-term evil, the dramatic increase of government intervention into just about everything. Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged had a sequence where the failing companies had government agents at their board meetings telling them what they were allowed to do. That's exactly what we have now at General Moters and other big, failing, mismanaged, corrupt companies. They may be too big to fail, but aren't they too inept to succeed? Is it worth 25% of our economy to save these companies? Is it worth another 8% of our economy to pander to the health-care industry?
So we have an economy one-third worse off than it would have been with none of the social-political advantages people voted for. Think about that, one third of the U.S. economy, six percent of the wealth and productivity of the entire planet, is gone because of this election's outcome. Think how many millions of lives that will cost in lost medical care or how many hundreds of millions will go hungry because of lost food production. Jimmy Carter is no longer the worst president in history and there's still a good living to be made scraping off Obama stickers for people who now know better.
The other angle is the corruption of the Obama administration. One of the most corrupt denizens in U.S. public service would be expected to be a similarly-corrupt president and the big-bang expansion of government is opportunity only a saint could resist. Huge bailouts and stimuli are going from working-people taxpayers to somebody else. Who is this somebody-else? How are they chosen? Somebody paid over a billion dollars in campaign money to put an ultra-corrupt, ultra-liberal senator into the White House. Is it going to surprise anybody that the somebody receiving all that unearned bailout money is the same somebody who paid to get this guy elected?
A final word: The Obama administration has reminded us frequently that their actions are the will of the majority, just as many terrible things in history have been. There are limits to what a majority should be allowed to do so a 51% majority can't walk over the other 49%. In extreme cases majorities have exterminated minorities and a less-extreme case was American race relations prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Are the left-wing liberals willing to cede reproductive rights, drug use, military service, and marriage choice to the will of the majority? Me neither.) We have rules that supercede majority will just as smaller organizations have mission statements and follow rules of order in their interactions.
Our country has a constitution that specifically limits government no matter what the majority thinks it should do. By living in the United States one has agreed to respect the rights in that constitution. Besides the rights specified in the ten amendments of the Bill of Rights, there are rights specified and implied in the body of the constitution as well. The writers made it clear this was not to be a social-welfare state, and those who come here and those who stay here consent to that. This was to be a place, perhaps the only place on earth, with a healthy respect for mine and thine.
Anybody who comes here and votes for social programs and bailouts and government controls is in the same class as somebody who comes into my home and steals from me. Maybe you didn't mean it, but the victims of your crime really don't care if you meant it. When a teenager beats up and old lady and takes her pension cheque, do we debate his opinion versus hers? When a voting majority similarly turns a free country into another mad scramble for public dollars that rightfully belong to those who earn them, should we debate their rights to that money? Those who whine about the Patriot Act without similarly protesting the Internal Revenue Act are hypocrites because it all goes together.
I believe that, ultimately, this destruction of the free society of the United States will be the greatest, most-enduring legacy of the Obama presidency.
13:27:32 Mountain Standard Time (MST).
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