PRINCE/The crisis in America
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 12:00 AM
We now have an American political party and a European one, Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield observed recently in The Wall Street Journal.
"Not all Americans who vote for the European party want to become Europeans," he said. "But it doesn't matter because that's what they're voting for. They're voting for dependency, for lack of ambition, and for insolvency."
Barack Obama won and he's our President, but putting his social and political agenda above nurturing a weak economy nearly cost him re-election, even against a man who was ultimately a weak candidate.
Romneyism is no movement of which he is the standard-bearer and Mr. Romney is not the leader of the Republican Party, as Peggy Noonan, the conservative political columnist, author and former Reagan speech writer, observed.
Romney is a good man who has lived a good life and would have been a better president than Obama, but to be a successful Republican president now requires a political genius he didn't have and wasn't going to develop, she writes.
"His flaws as a candidate would have been his flaws as a president. We dodged a bullet," Noonan observed.
I backed Mr. Romney as well, but confessedly, he wasn't somebody I would have picked first.
Bumping into a high school friend at Subway before the Christmas parade Monday night, he mentioned that he voted for Obama mainly because he didn't like Romney, practically affirming much of the post-mortem analysis of the election.
Mr. Obama won merely by telling voters he needed more time without saying anything about the future. "I'm on your side," he said to the American people without saying how.
Student loans and condoms were among achievements mentioned by the Democrats, but mostly it was attacks.
Dare to disagree with the progressives and they'll label you a racist, accuse you of waging a war against women or having no heart for the poor.
Create a narrative that Ronald Reagan came to The Neshoba County Fair and winked at the Klan and you capture a generation or two of voters who distrust Republicans. Reagan didn't wink at the Klan. It's a lie. Listen to the recording of the speech at neshobademocrat.com/reagan.
But even though it's a lie, people believe the narrative because the media keep saying Reagan winked at the Klan, like The New York Times did this summer.
A reader wrote recently to say that old white men will never control elections in this country again.
They should not.
I'm sad that it all has to be about race if one disagrees with the welfare state and urges a return to the founding principles of the country like smaller, limited government.
Even pointing to the Founders is now apparently politically incorrect because of slavery and women's suffrage.
Speak of founding principles, and the left-wing observers on MSNBC throw up old white men, "white men of property" or the "ruling class" not allowing women and blacks to vote.
Thankfully, those Founders wrote a Constitution that can be amended.
Demonizing conservatives is a cottage industry that sells quite well when the left is raising money.
Rarely does the left ever get around to actually solving problems like public education or race. Liberals want to keep meeting, commemorating or even protesting.
Goodness or justice in our country is not merely the transfer of resources to the poor and vulnerable, as professor Mansfield observes. "We have to take measures to teach the poor and vulnerable to become a little more independent and to prize independence, and not just live for a government check," he said.
And that means, he says, self-government or self-control within each self, and where are we going to get that except with morality, personal responsibility and religion?
But dividing America up into as many victimhood groups as possible and stripping away their liberty with oppressive government programs is the objective of the far left.
Truth is not their objective ever. As with Benghazi, demanding the truth is not a political witch hunt, unless of course you're a postmodern leftist with no belief in absolute truths like good and evil.
How do you think pastors who have served right here in this town have openly questioned the divinity of Christ? They're postmodern.
Refusing to address the future in positive terms indicates the Democratic Party's intent to create an entitlement or welfare state that takes issues off the bargaining table and renders them above politics, the professor observes.
Pass entitlement measures that cannot be revoked and divert the conversation any way you can - whether it be gun control or abortion or whatever.
The left has been all up in arms over guns and a killing and NFL fans were subjected to a bumbling rant from Bob Costas, yet those who murder the unborn are heroes - or victims, whichever.
The hope the professor has and that I share is the ambition we see in our young people. Most Americans for now still want to do something with their lives.
The Founders wanted people to live under the Constitution, but the progressives insist the Constitution must live under the people. Their way is not liberty.
Jim Prince is editor and publisher of the Democrat.