So it’s four more years of Obama. What can we expect?
Obama makes me, a libertarian these last 40 years, nostalgic for the sort of “liberals” who until recently dominated the Democratic Party. At least those folks have some respect for facts and tolerance for other points of view. Obama is different. I know longer think it an exaggeration to say that Obama hates America, as Rev. Wright preached to him for twenty years. I have a new understanding of Obama thanks to Dinesh d’Souza’s book “Obama’s America.” Barack Obama had an epiphany at the grave of his father, a man who was a leader among the anti-colonialists of Kenya. The man was a no-good drunkard who deserted and abused more than one wife and child, yet Barack was able to put aside these faults and hitch his star to his father’s cause. His first term in office gave us numerous actions that exemplify his quest to bring America down. He likes to stir up class hatred. His tax proposals are all about fairness, as defined by him, of course, and never mind the ensuing economic damage. That they punish the most productive among us is all to the good; that they damage all of us in the long run doesn’t matter. He has seized control of health care. He has acquiesced in a brutal war on medical marijuana patients, waged by his Northern California District Attorney and others. He has ordered assassination of U.S. citizens and condoned domestic spying. The CIA continues its massacre of civilians in Pakistan, a supposed ally. All of this would make a high-class liberal like Adlai Stevenson gasp with horror.
Thank God we still have a Republican House and a Senate where they can filibuster. Gridlock will probably prevent any new atrocities of the scale of Obamacare. But the door remains open for a great deal of evil-doing.
First off, there will be at least three Supreme Court appointments in the next four years. It’s a sure bet that Obama will appoint “social justice” types, the sort who have no concept of the Constitution as a document intended to limit the powers of government. These are life appointments so the new appointees could be wreaking havoc long after Obama is gone.
Second, the President has a great deal of latitude in foreign affairs. Just look at the damage George Bush inflicted on the world with his senseless wars in terms of casualties, hatred of America, and insolvency. But there is a ray of hope here. The warmongering neo-cons are on the sidelines and Obama’s ineptness in foreign affairs may spare us some future dustup that Romney might have provoked.
This isn’t the silver lining I had in mind, however. I present here, with misgivings, a viewpoint suggested by my colleague Jeff Hummel. He likes Obama’s victory because he thinks it will hasten our Götterdämmerung – the collapse of Social Security and Medicare and default on Federal debt. Out of the ashes will come a new order in which Social Democracy has been rooted out of the polity, as the paroxysm that was the Civil War put an end to slavery. This is a viewpoint with which I have a great deal of sympathy while continuing to hope for some sort of “soft landing” instead.
Social Democracy is the idea that individual choices of all sorts must be decided by voting and enforced by the government, the agency of compulsion and coercion as Mises called it. I wouldn’t contest the proposition that Social Democracy is a cancer on our society that ranks with slavery in its banefulness. I dearly hope that a future upheaval might root it out but I’m not so sure.
I hasten to emphasize that I say “ashes” metaphorically. We will survive the demise of the Federal government. The sun will still rise and physical assets will remain in place. The damage done to the social fabric will be lessened if people see the collapse coming. That private individuals can and do step in when government collapses was illustrated on a small scale by a recent incident involving the California park system. A list of parks scheduled for closure was published and it looked like private groups had raised enough money to keep at least some of them open. (Then some bureaucrat found $50 million lying around in the Parks Dept. and the private groups gave up in disgust.)
I confess to being a bit more conservative than Jeff Hummel. I’m slightly older and may have more to lose as things get worse. I continue to hope that libertarian ideas will continue to infiltrate the public discourse and that the respect for productive people that is still held by a substantial though declining segment of the population will rein in Obama and his hangers-on.