home  |  book  |  blogs  |   RSS  |  contact  |

Obama's First Fumble Pity a Poor Banker

print view

America's Emerging Liberal Oligarchy

by Christopher Chantrill
February 13, 2009 at 12:23 pm

|

ANYONE CAN make a mistake. But when a parade of Obama administration cabinet picks—Richardson, Daschle, Killefer, and Lynn—turn out to have ethics or tax problems, and are actual lobbyists or lobbyists by any other name, you start to wonder. But why be surprised? You expect stuff like that from today’s Democrats.

The problem started with the Obama campaign, which set up the absurd expectation that an Obama administration would drive the moneychangers from the temple. Then the Obama administration compounded the problem with the Obama ethics policy, published a week ago. First it said that lobbyists needn’t apply, then it said that one of them could.

You might think that this just shows that the Obama people are hypocrites, like all politicians. But I think it goes deeper than that; it goes to the fundamental delusion in the world-view of our American liberal elite. Its members don’t really understand that, at the beginning of the 21st century, they now constitute an American aristocracy well on its way to becoming merely America’s ruling oligarchy.

You Greek scholars will understand that we mean that our liberal elite is transitioning from the “rule of the best” to the “rule of the few.”

There was a time when our liberals friends truly represented the best of America. They offered up political and economic reforms based upon the best ideas that they knew.

The Progressives of a century ago offered up financial reform, the income tax, the primary election, and popular election of US senators. The liberals of the New Deal offered up labor reform and old age pensions. The liberals of the Great Society offered up civil rights, Medicare for seniors, job training for minorities, and generous pensions for single mothers.

Let us give our liberals friends the benefit of the doubt. They believed, as they agitated for these reforms, that they were pushing for social advances backed by the best in scientific and political ideas. And when liberals launched their campaigns to convince the American people of the justice of their cause, the American people, decent and open-minded as they are, listened to them and agreed to let the reforms go forward. Those were the days when liberals truly deserved to be honored as an American aristocracy.

It truly is sad that all that youth and idealism has given us schools that fail the underclass, welfare that has shattered the underclass family, and health care that will bankrupt the nation. But anyone can make an honest mistake.

Right or wrong, the age of liberal idealism is over. We live today in a different era. As the American philosopher George Maroutsos puts it: If you have power and you haven’t abused it, you don’t have power. You just have responsibility. President Clinton was a man who had power. President Bush was a man who had responsibility.

The liberal aristocracy that once knew itself to be “the best” has become, after half a century of power, merely “the few,” just another cabal of ruthless men and women fighting to keep their hands on the levers of political power.

Our liberal friends do not yet understand how their years of political and cultural power have corrupted them; they still imagine themselves as plucky outsiders battling for the people against the powerful. There is a word for a misunderstanding of reality like that. The word is “delusion.”

It takes delusion to issue foolish slogans about Hope and Change, and make ridiculous promises to ban lobbyists from the political process. Think of it. The federal government disposes of $3.1 trillion a year. (That was last year. This year, who knows?) But any practical person understands that no mere sloganeering will bring change to this spending juggernaut, or drive the influence peddlers from K Street.

It takes an oligarchic sense of entitlement—almost like a bailed-out banker—to come into power and immediately give yourself and your supporters a trillion dollar stimulus bonus before you have achieved anything for the American people.

Things were not done that way back when liberals truly were young and idealistic.

In the early 1900s Progressives couldn’t wait to get into power and legislate the exciting new ideas that would reform the creaking politics of the 19th century. In 1933 liberals couldn’t wait to get into power and legislate landmark legislation to improve the lives of workers and old people. In the 1960s liberals couldn’t wait to legislate a civil rights revolution and put the findings of social science to work in helping the poor.

Now fast-forward to today’s liberals.

In 2009 liberals couldn’t wait to get into power and award themselves a trillion dollar bonus.

Don’t be discouraged! Maybe later they’ll get around to saving the planet, and pave over the nation with solar collectors and wind farms.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

print view

To comment on this article at American Thinker click here.

To email the author, click here.

 

 TAGS


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008


Socialism equals Animism

Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Sacrifice

[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


Postmodernism

A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy


Physics, Religion, and Psychology

Paul Dirac: “When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion. However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.”
John Farrell, “The Creation Myth”


Pentecostalism

Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization


presented by Christopher Chantrill

Data Sources  •   •  Contact