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At the End of a Dynasty Yes We Can Repeal

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Obama's Grand Strategic Error

by Christopher Chantrill
November 05, 2010 at 12:40 pm

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SO PRESIDENT Obama really is a socialist after all. According to Stanley Kurtz in Radical-in-Chief the young Obama went to socialist conferences in the 1980s and then became participant in the extensive socialist community in Chicago.

In the aftermath of the historic midterm elections it’s safe to say that, whether the president really is a socialist or not, Americans don’t care. Whether or not he walks and talks like a socialist, they just don’t hold with a president in the White House that governs like a socialist. You can judge the depth of their displeasure for yourself by comparing the 2010 midterm election with other notable midterms at usmidtermelections.com.

Of course, the socialists that young Barack Obama palled around with in Chicago didn’t call themselves socialists. They called themselves radicals, communitarians, and community organizers; they didn’t want people to know who they were. Ron Radosh in National Review:

As Kurtz reveals [in Radical-in-Chief], the socialist theorists openly talked about what they called “stealth socialism” or “incremental radicalism,” small steps that move the nation forward until the ultimate goal of a socialist transformation is obtained.

The grand strategy of the Chicago socialist community was Leninist: the worse the better. Lefty thinkers at the Midwest Academy dreamed up plans that would destabilize capitalism and then destroy it. Community-organizing outfits like ACORN would bully the banks and flood the mortgage market with dead-beat borrowers. Same thing on health care. They would load up the insurance companies with mandatory benefits and crash the health care industry. A frightened populace would demand a government takeover of housing or health care, and bingo: full socialism in America. Ron Radosh:

When a crisis finally occurred, especially a “fiscal crisis of the state,” the moment would be ripe to transform the economy into a publicly owned statist entity.

Back in 2008 it all seemed to be working out just as planned. Capitalism had failed; the eevil Bushies were bailing out the banks and letting homeowners go to the wall. Even brain-dead Newsweek could see the writing on the wall. “We are all Socialists Now!” it crowed.

Only something went wrong. It was nobody’s fault, not Obama’s, certainly not the Midwest Academy. It was something nobody in the ruling class could have foreseen. Americans didn’t turn to big government in the crisis of 2008. Instead they turned on big government!

Obama and the Chicago socialists had completely misread the American people. It was a grand strategic blunder.

The story of Jenny Beth Martin, 40, “national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots”, tells us why the experts were wrong. Martin and her husband lost everything in the 2008 crash. They had lost his “temporary-staffing business” and then they lost their home. In February 2009 she heard a snippet of Rick Santelli’s Tea Party rant on CNBC. She was in the car, driving from one job to another. To help pay bills she was doing house-cleaning. It was two weeks after they had lost the family home in bankruptcy proceedings.

Ms. Martin said she and her husband realized they could no longer afford their home, and didn’t try to keep it. "We decided it would be better to just start over." It was maddening, she says, to imagine the government encouraging others not to take responsibility for buying houses they couldn’t afford.

Here is the monumental error that Barack Obama and his socialist pals have made. In the current crisis, tens of thousands of Americans like Ms. Martin have not thrown themselves sobbing upon the breast of the big nanny state. They have not given up their birthright for a mess of pottage. They have not given up on the American Dream. Instead they are picking themselves up, telling themselves that they are just going to have to start over, and they are cleaning houses to pay bills.

Some day the president and his lefty friends are going to have to understand that, in a crisis, most people will not react like peasants with pitchforks, 1930s auto-workers in Detroit, or the laid-off steelworkers that the young Obama organized in South Chicago. Ordinary middle-class Americans do not sit around waiting for some radical suit to turn up and organize them into a “community.” Ordinary middle-class Americans get on the Internet and start to organize on their own.

In the end, of course, it doesn’t matter whether President Obama is a socialist, a crypto-socialist or a liberal. From the point of view of the ordinary American it’s a distinction without a difference. Faced with a problem, President Obama will always opt for a solution that makes government bigger and Americans smaller.

Unfortunately for the president and his grand plan to transform America, the majority of the American people believe that the solution to our problems is to make the American people bigger and the government smaller.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Education

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E. G. West, Education and the State


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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