I’ve reached the sad conclusion that the 21st century liberal is like a virus that is resistant to previously effective medications. A stronger prescription is required.
Most sensible politicians of any ideology would take the drubbing the Democrats endured this past electoral cycle, lick their wounds and absorb the lessons from it, and seek to change in response to the expressed will of the people.
After all, this was not a garden variety mid-term election setback; the breadth and depth of their defeat was historic. One has to go back to 1948 to find a whipping of this magnitude in an election cycle, and the Republicans’ net gain of 63 seats is the highest of any midterm election since 1938. The Democrats’ gains of 2006 and 2008, the voters’ response to Republican missteps, were completely wiped out.
To some extent, the Republicans are taking halting steps toward the people’s wishes as a result of those previous elections, in which the people punished them for essentially promising one thing and doing another.
Incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said, “This is a second chance for us. If we blow it again, we will be in the wilderness for a very long time. We have to deliver." The next Speaker of the House, John Boehner, declared the "new majority will be prepared to do things differently, to take a new approach that hasn't been tried in Washington before by either party." Message sent, delivered and received.
Not so with the Democrats and their liberal allies. They are brushing off their electoral “shellacking”, to use President Obama’s term, with lame excuses about poor messaging or not enough communications, incredible claims that they didn’t go far enough in imposing their radical leftist agenda, or condescending statements about the electorate’s inability to grasp the complexity of their agenda, or their susceptibility to well-funded misinformation campaigns by the opposition.
In fact, I’m drowning in their communications, and I’m tired of hearing from them or seeing their faces peering from every magazine, television set or web site. The notion they weren’t liberal enough makes my head ache, and their continued insults of the American people, challenging their veracity, integrity or intelligence, makes me question how smart they really are. Nowhere in the annuals of human interaction are we advised to win over those opposed to us by calling them names.
We should have known what was coming when the Democrats, in contravention to precedent, reelected the same slate of leaders in Congress who ran the ship aground.
Only in the bizzaro world of liberalism is Nancy Pelosi worthy of continuing as the leader of the Democratic congressional delegation. So determined were she and erstwhile House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to maintain their “Sheriff and Deputy Dawg” roles that they thought it worth the risk of alienating their most loyal constituency, the black community, and the Congressional Black Caucus, by pushing outgoing House Majority Whip James Clyburn out of what would have been the number two position in the Democratic hierarchy. They then created a token position for him so they could still claim they care about black people.
What followed this indefensible retention of failed leadership has been a strident and frantic attack on every principle for which the American people voted on November 2nd – individual liberty, free enterprise and limited constitutional government.
In the process, they are trampling on Thomas Jefferson’s prescription for good government, given at his first inaugural address as president in 1801:
“With all [our] blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens—a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”
Had Mr. Jefferson spoken those words today, he would have been branded a “hostage-taker” by the sitting President, and accused of “political terrorism” by a state chairman of the political party that claims him as their honorary “father”.
Regarding freedom of the press, Mr. Jefferson said:
It is so difficult to draw a clear line of separation between the abuse and the wholesome use of the press, that as yet we have found it better to trust the public judgment, rather than the magistrate, with the discrimination between truth and falsehood.
In today’s America, he would have been dismissed by the Rev. Al Sharpton, who believes “The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has the responsibility to set standards to say the public cannot be offended” over the public airwaves, his definition of offense being anything uttered by Rush Limbaugh or anyone with whom he disagrees.
Unfortunately, he appears to have an ally in FCC commissioner Michael Copps, who thinks it’s the government’s job to ensure the media is “producing the body of news and information that democracy needs to conduct its civic dialogue.”
Those of us who take offense at race-baiting purveyors of false theology, however, can’t kick Rev. Sharpton off the air and, frankly, wouldn’t push for it because our remedy doesn’t require government fiat, just the manual dexterity to turn off or change the channel on the radio or television set. Perhaps, as a public service, we need to teach the reverend and the commissioner how to use their remotes, rather than trying to force people to listen to or watch only what they think is important or right.
Mr. Jefferson was an advocate of legal immigration, saying:
Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, conforming, as I doubt not you will do, to our established rules.
Yet the House of Representatives, ostensibly the people’s house, this week passed the Orwellian-named DREAM Act to reward illegal aliens, who did not conform “to our established rules”, to remain legally and permanently in the United States. Had Mr. Jefferson stood in the well of the House to denounce this legislation and advocate the rule of law, he would probably have been branded a nativist, a racist and “un-American”.
The offenses against liberty have been numerous and frequent in the month since they were rejected at the polls:
- A child-nutrition bill that gives the government the power to ban bake sales, pizza and doughnut fundraisers, and other fundraisers selling unhealthy food during school lunch hours.
- A resolution allowing the House to rapidly bring any bill without normal procedural delays until Dec. 18 so they can rush their legislation through before they are officially out of power.
- Their use of regulatory agencies like the FCC and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to bypass Congress and advance initiatives like net neutrality and card check, despite the fact that all 95 net neutrality proponents were defeated in November, and most Americans, including 1972 Democratic presidential nominee and liberal icon George McGovern, are against card check votes for unionization as an infringement on workers’ rights to free expression through the secret ballot.
- Their continued insistence on pursuing special interest issues like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, despite the voters’ clear message that the economy and jobs should be their first and highest priority.
- Their defense of the “death tax”, a fundamentally immoral levy on already-taxed income, exemplified by a tempestuous rant by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who said the deceased citizen isn’t affected by the tax because “They’ll be dead. No, they’ll be dead. Those people will be dead”, and their heirs aren’t deserving of the inherited wealth because it’s “unearned income.” He obviously never read Ezekiel 46:18, or has forgotten his religious training:
The prince shall not take from the people's inheritance, thrusting them out of their possession; he shall give his sons inheritance from his own possession so that My people will not be scattered, anyone from his possession.
Rep. Weiner’s comments essentially sum up the attitude of most liberal elected and appointed officials, and the people who voted for them. Scrape away the pretense of patriotism and do-gooding, and this is their message to the American people:
You do not have exclusive or even primary rights to the money you earned, nor do you have the right to determine its disposition after you’re gone. The more you make, the less you deserve, even if you earned it legally and ethically, because the wealthier you are, the greedier you are, unless you agree with us. Only the government has the wisdom, altruism and moral character to decide what to do with the money you earned. Therefore, even though we had nothing to do with you earning the money, it is ours to take and dispose of as we see fit. It’s for your own good, even though you are not intelligent or moral enough to discern that fact.
If that is your vision of how we are to be served by our elected officials, then I have nothing further to say to you.
If, on the other hand, you believe a free society does not begrudge its citizens their “sweat equity”, nor does it “take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned”, that the people freely saving, spending, or investing their money, or paying down personal indebtedness, does more for the economy than government ever can or will, that a free society creates the opportunity for all to prosper and celebrates success and the risk-taking, toil and sacrifice that lead to it, and that government serves the people best by governing least, then I have a message for you.
The fight isn’t over.
Rest and rejuvenate yourself this holiday season, and reconnect with your faith, family and friends to remind yourself of what’s important in this life. Then come back in 2011, mindful of who and what you’re fighting for, and leap back into the fray. Let’s make 2010 look like a tea party – pardon the pun – compared to what will happen to these petty autocrats in 2012.