Thursday, July 10, 2008
It used to be that we lived in a country with two political parties. One time, one political party, they were called 'The Democrats', elected a leader who vastly increased the national debt, ran large deficits, engaged in disastrous 'peace' negotiations and expanded government enormously; involving it in areas that it had never been involved in before. Of course, when you read that last sentence the obvious name popped into your minds; Woodrow Wilson. Wilson was an arrogant elitist who was his own worst enemy. After he had alienated the Senate into refusing to ratify the Treaty Of Versailles he went on a whistle-stop campaign to gain public support for his position, which caused him to have a stroke. He served the rest of his term as a vegetable, unable to speak coherently for more than a few minutes at a time; a typical Democratic president in every way. But in those simple times we had what was known as a 'Two-Party System'. Woodrow Wilson's successor was from a different political party, one which had a starkly different governing philosophy. Warren Harding ran on the slogan 'A Return To Normalcy'. People who were mad at the Democrats elected Harding. As soon as he got into office he slashed every government department by 40%. He dumped all of Wilson's highfalutin Princeton college-professor ideas and replaced them with down-to-earth common sense policies that favored business, encouraged free trade and disentangled our country from the Byzantine politics of Europe. He cut taxes. The sharp recession that had occurred at the end of Wilson's term was turned into an eight-year boom by Harding and his successor Calvin Coolidge.
Now its nearly a century later. We still have 'elections' where people go cast their votes but we dont have 'choices'. All the candidates for any office share the same educational background, come from the same sector of society and basically promote the interests of a vast and expanding universe of bureaucrats and wards of the state. In one 'budget showdown' in the mid 1990s the 'Conservative' Speaker Of The House advocated a 7.2% increase in the Medicare budget while the 'Liberal' President wanted 7.6%. The President was quoted talking about the conservatives 'taking a meat-ax to the budget'. That particular President was notorious for saying things that weren't true but this was a whopper even for him. It was almost as ludicrous as applying the label 'conservative' to the people who wanted to increase this enormous monster of a program by 7.2% in a year when inflation was 2.5%.
Now we are in an election campaign. The incumbent president, supposedly from the 'conservative' party has so gutted that party of any allegiance to the principles which came naturally to guys like Harding and Coolidge that he could only be described as 'Wilsonian.'
He has vastly increased the national debt, ran large deficits, engaged in disastrous 'peace' negotiations and expanded government enormously; involving it in areas that it had never been involved in before.
The two candidates who are 'fighting' to succeed him are nearly identical. Both talk of huge tax increases. Both vie for new ways for the government to intervene to solve everyone's problems... i.e.- take control of everyone's lives. They both talk of effectively nationalizing the economy; either indirectly through regulations designed to control the weather (!) or directly through price controls (pharmaceuticals, banking, stocks) or outright nationalization (health care). Both promise long rounds of meaningless negotiations with our sworn enemies with no other purpose than to be negotiating with someone.
But there's one little problem. Wilson's misrule was supported by a vibrant free economy with low tax rates. The economy today is a very different story. Half or more of the GNP already goes to pay for state, local and federal expenditures; investment is at a standstill and capital will flee like debutantes from a mouse as soon as any of the policies advocated by the Big Government Party candidates, McLame and Obamarama are enacted. So many people have been promised so much largess from the state that the current economy couldn't be expected to support the load, let alone a moribund economy mired in socialism.
You'd think there would be a coherent opposition to these idiots who are so blindly leading us to Depression and misery. There isn't. The Big Government Party will sweep this election with few exceptions. Only a few Cassandras and fringe lunatics are in opposition and they are too feeble even to present a threat to the status quo. The only threat to the status quo is the status quo itself. The policies that are being pursued with the nearly unanimous support of the electorate will lead to misery and disaster.
Maybe out of the ruins a two-party system will be reborn.