A Choice, Not An Echo

Are both political candidates equally toxic to our country?

When Sen. Goldwater ran against incumbent President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, his slogan was "A Choice, Not An Echo."  Mr. Goldwater was saying that he was not echoing Democratic political positions and that his programs would be very different from Mr. Johnson's.

Mr. Johnson won, and gave us both an expanded Vietnam War and the Great Society welfare programs.  As one disappointed Goldwater supporter said, "Mr. Johnson told me that if I voted for Goldwater, we'd have a half-million men in Vietnam.  I voted Goldwater, and sure enough, we have a half-million men in Vietnam."

Are these really our candidates?

The American people had a choice and they made it.  Nobody knows what President Goldwater would have done about the Vietnam War, but we do know that he would never have supported President Johnson's expansion of FDR's and JFK's welfare programs into what we call the "Great Society."

Great Society?  Or Great Trouble?

The results of Pres. Johnson's social experiments are in.  Our acknowledged debt has ballooned to $19 trillion dollars without counting Social Security obligations or unfunded government employee pensions.  Several years ago, USA Today estimated our overall debt at $62 trillion, or roughly a half-million dollars per US household.  There's no way that amount of money can ever be paid back except by inflating it away and destroying everyone's savings.

The Great Society wasn't just a financial disaster.  At the time it was started, roughly 7% of American children were growing up in single-parent homes and that was usually because a parent had died; earlier welfare programs hadn't damaged family structure very much.  With the Great Society, however, welfare paid more than uneducated men can earn, so women don't worry as much about getting married.  More than half of American children are now being born to single mothers.

We now know that fatherlessness is associated with crime, drug use, and unemployment.  Fatherless mobs burned down Detroit, rioted in London, they're starting to burn Baltimore, and they're shooting each other in Chicago and other Democrat Disaster cities.  As Thomas Sowell put it, "The black family survived centuries of slavery and Jim Crow. It could not survive liberal welfare programs."  Even Time Magazine and The Atlantic Monthly admit that this is a problem.

What's worse is that, in large part, this was intentional:

As a matter of fact, it was Democrat President Lyndon Baines Johnson who stated, “I’ll have those n*****s voting Democratic for the next 200 years” as he confided with two like-minded governors on Air Force One regarding his underlying intentions for the “Great Society” programs.

This societal disaster is what Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, author of The Gulag Archipelago, meant when he warned Harvard graduates of:

"An atmosphere of moral mediocrity, paralyzing man's noblest impulses" and a "tilt of freedom in the direction of evil ... evidently born primarily out of a humanistic and benevolent concept according to which there is no evil inherent in human nature."

He also said, "In order for men to commit great evil, they must first be convinced that they are doing good."

Rank and file liberals are so convinced that all welfare programs are good that they may not see the evil they do.  Liberal leaders know full well that using affirmative action to put black kids in schools too tough for them and excusing black kids from normal disciplinary standards because they get in trouble more often than white or Asian kids sets them up for failure.  This keeps black people dependent on government handouts which increases the Democrat vote at the cost of destroyed lives.

1964 voters didn't know that President Johnson would do us so much harm just to lock in the black vote, but that's how it worked out.

Time for Another Choice

The 2016 election offers us a similarly-stark choice.  We have no idea what a President Trump would do about the Syrian war.  We have about as many boots on Syrian ground as we had in Vietnam when President Johnson took over after President Kennedy's assassination.  The next president will face the same "escalate or withdraw" choice that President Johnson faced, and the Chinese and Russians are a bit more involved now than they were then.

We don't know much about Mr. Trump's policies, but we know a lot about what a President Hillary would do.  The failure of the Left to change the Constitution with the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s led liberals to achieve their goals by appointing liberal judges or bypassing the Constitution entirely as Mr. Obama has done.  Hillary has said that she plans to appoint Mr. Obama to the Supreme Court to reinterpret the Constitution so that she won't have to bypass it.

She has stated that she plans to appoint other Supreme Court judges to overturn the decision that declared that bearing arms is an individual right.  She plans to pass other anti-gun laws such as impossible licensing requirements or huge taxes on ammunition that would effectively destroy the Second Amendment.

She doesn't like the First Amendment either because it lets mere peasants criticize her greatness.  She plans to make political speech subject to government approval as Mr. Obama gave control of the Internet to the UN so they would shut us up.

Her vice president has declared that a law to legalize all the illegals would be submitted in their first 100 days.  We've explained the permanent harm that would do.

She's spoken favorably of Mr. Sanders' proposal for free college which would expand the ranks of tenured Democrat-leaning academics who delegate most of the actual teaching to ill-paid adjunct professors, and even further lock in the far-left propaganda that is our so-called education system.  The economic consequences are difficult to predict exactly, but history shows that any "free lunch" fantasy always turns out badly.

She's made it clear that she intends to destroy religious organizations which oppose gay marriage, won't let men into women's bathrooms, or oppose the leftist agenda in any way.  The Washington Post quoted her as saying, "Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed," and went on to say:

This is perhaps the most radical statement against religious liberty ever uttered by someone seeking the presidency. It is also deeply revealing. Clinton believes that, as president, it is her job not to respect the views of religious conservatives but to force them to change their beliefs and bend to her radical agenda favoring taxpayer-funded abortion on demand.

Thousands of leaked emails have shown that her campaign has coordinated with a pro-Clinton PAC, which is illegal; nobody in law enforcement seems to be interested in pursuing the matter, however.  It's clear that Hillary regards herself as being above the law, and the FBI has gone along with this wrong-headed notion.

Parts of her secret speeches to Goldman Sachs have appeared on the Internet in which she said, "But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position."  Given that we don't know about her "private positions," it doesn't matter what she says, nobody knows any more about what she would really do than they know what Mr. Trump would do.

She also said that the banks were wrongly blamed for the financial collapse for political reasons, while she asked Wall Street financiers for campaign financing.  A President Hillary certainly won't be delivering justice for banksters - something both the left and the right should find unacceptable.

At the height of the Watergate crisis, Sen. Goldwater and senior Republican senators called on President Nixon.  Having seen the evidence, they told him, they would vote to impeach him when the Democrats brought charges.  Faced with the certainty of conviction, Mr. Nixon resigned.

By ignoring Mr. Obama's many impeachable offenses, not to mention the Clintons' decades of corruption, Democrats have shown that they wouldn't impeach Hillary no matter what she does.  In contrast, nervous establishment Republicans combined with corrupt, hyperpolitical Democrats would serve as a very real and much needed check on the powers of a President Trump.

Karl Marx once observed:

History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.

President Johnson's actions in expanding the Vietnam war and expanding welfare to the point of destroying families has brought us great tragedy.  The choices this time are more farcical than tragic although the end result could be even worse than the damage wrought by President Johnson no matter who wins.

Must We Choose One Of Them?

If Bernie Sanders voters are real Democrats, Hillary isn't a Democrat.  Similarly, compared with what we usually expect from the GOP, ex-Democrat Trump isn't really a Republican.  Lyndon Johnson was a dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrat who bought votes through government spending; Sen. Goldwater was a principled conservative who agreed with David Thoreau that "Government is best which governs least."

Both 2016 candidates are egomaniacs who are in it for themselves.  For all that voters are in an anti-establishment mood, both Hillary and Mr. Trump are well-established in the .1%.  There is a difference, however.

Hillary has grown rich as part of the political establishment which lives by taking money from us under threat of putting us in jail.  As a sideline, politicians write laws to encourage "campaign contributions" in return for regulatory relief, access, and other services.  Mr. Trump's business establishment gets money only when customers voluntarily choose to spend their own money buying goods or services.

Secondly, Hillary, like Mr. Obama, is convinced that we peasants have no clue how to operate our lives.  As a certified Exalted Being, Hillary finds it unquestionably obvious that she must force us to do whatever she thinks best.

During the 1993 fight over HillaryCare, Hillary explained Democratic reasoning to then-House GOP Leader Denny Hastert.  If Americans are allowed too much discretion over how they spend their health-care dollars, she said, "We just think people will be too focused on saving money and they won't get the care for their children and themselves that they need."

"The money has to go to the federal government because the federal government will spend that money better."

That's her philosophy in a nutshell - the more money the government takes from us, the better they can take care of us, the more dependent we get, and the more votes they buy.  Obamacare was based on HillaryCare and we all know how that turned out.

Mr. Trump, in contrast, knows that the more money consumers are allowed to keep, the more they can spend on his businesses.

The leaked emails show that Hillary has sold billions of dollars worth of taxpayer-funded services to rulers all over the globe.  Our final contrast is that Hillary, having been on the world stage for decades, considers herself a "citizen of the world" just as Mr. Obama does.

Mr. Trump, in contrast, for good and for ill, is an American at heart.  By now, many voters have learned the cost of having a national leader whose heart isn't with our country.

Which Road?

As in 1964, we have a choice between very different albeit imperfect philosophies: it's either politics as usual or business.  This time, both candidates are so disliked that very few voters can vote for either; most plan to vote against the one they loathe the most regardless of policy differences.

We've shown that America will collapse unless spending is cut, and it will also collapse under unlimited immigration.  Hillary will make both of these problems worse than a President Trump would.

We have a choice, but as with choosing President Johnson's ruinous Great Society, we will all have to live with the consequences.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for Scragged.com and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Politics.
Reader Comments

Your title asks Are both political candidates equally toxic to our country?
The answer is yes. You wrote 100 paragraphs explaining the toxicity of one candidate while ignoring the enormous pile of the other. The argument that 'we know what she'll do' is actually a reason TO vote for Clinton since we know he's as bad but don't know the extent to which his bad taste, ugly temper and childish temperament will take him.

October 15, 2016 9:09 AM

The cognitive dissonance in Trumpville is breathtaking. There's so many things wrong here. These days, I typically don't point it out anymore, but...

"There is a difference, however... ...Mr. Trump's business establishment gets money only when customers voluntarily choose to spend their own money buying goods or services."

Nope. He's gotten rich by bilking consumers, while riding an image of wealth created by his family's previous cash and connections. He's conned people over and over again for decades. He's bankrupted projects, once profitable, AFTER convincing local governments to give him $60 million tax deferments (which he then used as collateral to banks).

This is your example of entrepreneurial success? This blustering huckster who sells his family's once-good name for anyone with a few dollars?

Let's take an often-failed businessman who likes using other people's money to finance his own bad ideas (and pay his way around rules) and make him into a politician! What could go wrong there.

"Secondly, Hillary, like Mr. Obama, is convinced that we peasants have no clue how to operate our lives. As a certified Exalted Being, Hillary finds it unquestionably obvious that she must force us to do whatever she thinks best."

You mean unlike Mr. Trump who thinks eminent domain for private use is good because rich people's buildings are better for the area than people's homes?

Or unlike how Trump said "we're just going to pay for poor people's health care and the Republicans won't like it but they'll just have to do it".

Or unlike how Trump will expand Stop and Frisk because "it just works" even though it's blatantly unconstitutional. But hey Trump said "it works" so I guess we peasants should smile at the cops when they start frisking us! After all, greater good and all!

Or unlike how Mr. Trump routinely calls people worthless just because they look too ugly?

Nope, Trump doesn't consider himself to be an Exalted Being at all! Nobody would make that guess! A man of the people!

"The leaked emails show that Hillary has sold billions of dollars worth of taxpayer-funded services to rulers all over the globe"

They don't show that at all. But there's no point in going through all the anti-Clinton hysteria line by line.

The hatred and fear of the Evil Clinton Machine has destroyed the GOP and stripped Christians of their integrity. And the REALLY SAD thing is that, at this point, they can see he's going to lose. At this point there's zero reason to have your fingerprints on the failed Trump trainwreck which will come back to mock conservatives and Christians for decades. Yet they won't let go!! Instead of admitting they were wrong, taking a step back and letting him go down on his own, while retaining some of their integrity, they're going to crash and burn with him.

October 15, 2016 9:39 AM

This article contradicts itself and the analysis is deeply flawed.

How can the author say:

"We don't know much about Mr. Trump's policies, but we know a lot about what a President Hillary would do."

And paragraphs later say:

"Given that we don't know about [Clinton's] "private positions," it doesn't matter what she says, nobody knows any more about what she would really do than they know what Mr. Trump would do."

You can't have it both ways.

Further, the author's paranoid speculations like "[Clinton] doesn't like the First Amendment either because it lets mere peasants criticize her greatness. She plans to make political speech subject to government approval..." begs the question: how do you know that?

There's something to be said about Clinton's position on gun and religious rights and financial reform but Clinton's expressed positions are NOT as extreme as the author says. Clinton has released details about her proposed policies (google it) but I suspect the author would ignore all that and base his conclusions on a few bad statements from Clinton and divine her "real" policy positions from it which is laughable.

As for Trump, well as the author admitted: "We don't know much about Trump's policies..." And what we do know is often deeply concerning (suppression of opposing thoughts, racial profiling, self-interested advancement (which all sounds like a dictator or two)).

The throwaway about illegal super pac coordination is weak in light of this Washington Post article (https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/here-are-the-secret-ways-super-pacs-and-campaigns-can-work-together/2015/07/06/bda78210-1539-11e5-89f3-61410da94eb1_story.html). The non-coordination rules are very flexible which can be seen after a quick search and some critical thinking.

So, since a large part of this article collapses on itself it really comes down to a disagreement over fiscal policy. The author's position that the Great Society and the philosophy that underpins it is deeply flawed is a mere conclusion without support as the evidence he gives really only shows flaws with that philosophy but not failure as the author confidently attests. There's been a lot of research about how the Great Society programs worked out over the decades and they do show flaws, but an overall failure? That is plainly false and I do hope the author knows that (either way he's being deceptive or doesn't think critically).

In the end, the author ultimately sides with Trump because his fiscal plan is not as bad as Clinton's. Wait, what is Trump's fiscal plan? Oh, the author forgot to put that into the article! Let me put it here: EVERYBODY GETS TAX CUTS!* The best tax cuts. They're gonna be so huge and work out so great the economy is gonna be just beautiful!

Wait, isn't that trickle down economics? Didn't that cause a few problems to the economy a few years ago? Oh it was the big banks that did that and not the theory. Well isn't it a problem that Trump said "I disagree" when asked about calls to break up big banks on an interview with Fox News on Oct 20, 2015 (google it!). I wonder what Hillary said about breaking up big banks...^

Well anyway, I agree with the author that "We have a choice...we will all have to live with the consequences." But the consequences from a Trump Presidency is very concerning as he is simply underqualified and can't even control himself and his twitter account. I'd rather not vote for the first potential dictator of the US and go with someone who will keep the status quo (however flawed) than tear it down to whatever it may be in the end (which, arguably, is extremely likely to be not good).

Hope you guys start writing better articles!

*Effects of tax cuts may vary.

^"We now have power under the Dodd-Frank legislation to break up banks. And I've said I will use that power if they pose a systemic risk." — Hillary Clinton, Feb. 4, 2016 Democratic debate

October 15, 2016 3:17 PM

Trump's tax plan actually involves tax increases for some lower earning groups. And huge tax decreases for Trump himself. What a man of the people!

By the way, the hard part is not lowering taxes, but lowering spending. What is Trump's plan for that?

October 15, 2016 4:43 PM

Marc's comment is spot on:

"the author would ignore all that and base his conclusions on a few bad statements from Clinton and divine her "real" policy positions from it"

That's just it. The Evil Clinton Machine is so terrible to the right (from years of drinking in fear from talk radio and sunday school) that they are now utterly incapable of examining facts or reality while "divining" who Clinton and Trump are and what they believe.

It's like watching children stumble through a haunted house with one hand over their face while clinging to the hand of a zombie leading them out the back door.

October 16, 2016 10:37 AM

Jason's comment as well:

"By the way, the hard part is not lowering taxes, but lowering spending. What is Trump's plan for that?"


It's all about attacking the "elites" (well unless you're a billionaire I guess), building walls, expanding military and frisking brown people.

Not a care in the world for shrinking government, balancing budgets, states' rights, abolishing the IRS, local education, etc.

Only so many hours in the day, I guess.

October 16, 2016 10:45 AM

If women are so offended about what Mr. Trump said, who bought 80 million copies of "50 Shades of Gray?" The MSM trumpeted Mr. Trump's words to take attention off Wilikeals' revelations of Hillary's sins.

We already knew Russia had bribed her to sell our uranium and she'd sold face time with our Secretary of State. Wikileaks confirmed Mr. Trump's charge that she'd routed weapons to ISIS, but so what? There was no need for the MSM to cover it.

My friends think Hillary voters are low-information and don't care, but that's wrong. They know what Hillary stands for, and that's what they want.

Liberals want her to weaponize the IRS against conservatives. Powerful people and government employees want to use government power to steal. Mr. Obama's Department of Injustice extorted billions from banks. They asked Deutsche Bank for $15 billion. When they saw that Detusche would go broke, they dropped to $5 billion. There's no reason for the amount, it's based on what they think they can get. The fine is the crime. We no longer have the rule of law, we have gangster government.

People who get "free stuff" want government programs to grow even though fatherless kids subsidized by the welfare system burn down our cities and shoot each other.

This election will tell us whether there are more working people who want to keep their money or people who want government to help them steal from working people.

October 16, 2016 2:48 PM

50 Shades is about consensual sex, not someone attacking you on the street. Is it really that hard for men to understand? You guys don't get why CONSENT is important? 2016 and still so many neanderthals walking around.

October 16, 2016 7:24 PM

Oh look, Trump going big government on yet another issue:


And, ironically, an issue Hillary is small government on.

October 16, 2016 10:14 PM
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