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Worse Than Rejecting Obama

America has spurned the philosophy of leftist statism.

By Petrarch  |  November 16, 2009

The echoes from the recent election are still reverberating throughout the political arena.  Was the shellacking of Democratic candidates in Virginia and New Jersey a repudiation of the Obama administration?  Is this a warning of Democratic devastation coming next year?  Is the fact that Mr. Obama's heavy support of the losers did them no good a worrying portent?

The Republicans are crowing as you'd expect: America has woken up to the socialist, Chicago-style brutalist tactics of Obama and his far-left extremists, and Republican capture of Congress next year is all but in the bag.

To hear the Dems talk, it's nothing of the sort.  These were minor off-year races; the ruling party always loses something at the next election.  Anyway, how about that New York house seat picked up by the Dems for the first time since the Civil War?

The fact is, the Dems are right: These electoral defeats were not a referendum on Mr. Obama.  Mr. Obama is still personally popular; the liberal governors lost due to local concerns, not national.

Democrats should take no comfort in that, however.  Democrats would actually be in a better position had Mr. Obama caused the losses.  The losses came about, not by a rejection of Mr. Obama himself, but by a revulsion at the entire Democratic philosophy of governance that has driven the party since the days of FDR.

Who Knows Best?

There are some things for which governments have been responsible for since the dawn of time: national defense, international trade, national-scale transportation, and commonality of exchange (common currency, weights and measures, that sort of thing.)

Beyond that, though, there are not just an infinite array of different methods of governance, there is a wide variety of things to do which might or might not be done by government.  Should government provide food?  Housing?  Education?  Health care?  And on and on down the line.

All these questions are different ways of asking one key question: Who knows best?  Does the government know best what sort of education you should receive - or, do you, or perhaps your parents?

Does the government know best how to spend the money you earn and which it confiscates via taxes, or do you?  Are you able to choose what sort of TV you'd like to watch, or should the government control the choices presented to you?  Do you have the ability to decide which toys are safe for your kids, or should the government take care of that via regulation?

Obama, the Left, and the Democratic Party believe as an article of faith that they know best.  After all, they (the leaders anyway) have the most elite of educations; they are Smarter Than You Can Even Imagine. They know more than you ever will.

They are not limited by narrow-mindedness or a tendency to "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment," as Obama so trenchantly described the solid middle Americans of Pennsylvania to an audience of his fellow far-left wealthy elites in San Francisco.

You might foolishly think you'd like a Hummer or big SUV, but the government knows that's bad for you; what you really need is a Prius, or actually, a bike.

You might selfishly believe that Grandma's life is worth saving at almost any cost.  Not so; government bureaucrats consider that the money would be better spent treating a half-dozen children of illegal immigrants who'll grow up to vote for Democrats.

You might feel that you work hard and should be entitled to keep whatever pay you earn.  Nothing could be further from the truth: it's the sheerest luck that allows you to earn a good paycheck, not any personal merit or effort.  There are others more deserving of your own earnings than you are, and those wise and just authorities will decide to whom your money ought really go.

But, you ask, was there not a very large nation on the other side of the world that tried this approach and it didn't work out so well?  No, the problem with the Soviet Union was just that the central planners were not as well-educated, smart, and wise as Mr. Obama and his appointees.  Central planning is not the problem; we just need better central planners, that's all, and now we've got them.

Stuck On A Limb

It is not possible for the Democrats to move very far from this philosophy; it is their guiding light and the key logical underpinning to everything they do.  There is no tax they do not like; no new program or bureaucracy that is unnecessary; no government spending that is truly a waste.  It's all good, because They Know Best.

Alas, all too many Republican politicians feel much the same way.  No true conservative does.

The lesson of Tuesday is that, when faced with a clear choice, most Americans would rather make their own mistakes and waste their own money, thank you very much, than allow a crooked, arrogant, utterly corrupt and authoritarian political class to do it for them, regardless of what party they claim.

Draw the contrast in a convincing way, and Republicans cannot lose.  Let the truth be known - and it is being known, despite the best efforts of the liberal media - and Democrats cannot win... even if their standard bearer's name is Barack Obama, gifted with the tongues of men and of angels.

It would be better for the Democrats if the voters had rejected Mr. Obama, but they didn't; after all, Obama could be easily swapped out for Hillary Clinton if need be.  No, they rejected the Democrat's core philosophy - as working voters always do when they have been enabled to understand the Democrat's real agenda.