by Jim Fedako
"Is not the State an idol? Is it not like any graven image into which men have read supernatural powers and superhuman capacities? The State can feed us when we are hungry, heal us when we are ill; it can raise wages and lower prices, even at the same time; it can educate our children without cost; it can provide us against the contingencies of old age and amuse us when we are
bored; it can give us electricity by passing laws and improve the game of baseball by regulation. What cannot the State do for us if only we have faith in it? And we have faith. No creed in the history of the world ever captured the hearts and minds of men as has the modern creed of Statism." ~ Frank Chodorov (from The Need of a Golden Calf
It's that season once again: the presidential campaign. And the candidates are casting about for every possible vote. Sure, the candidates claim that it's all about issues and an educated electorate, but it’s really just a seemingly endless Dr Phil show.
You know what I'm talking about, the politician, playing the good doctor, intently listens to the each pathetic whine and then contemplates the situation. Finally, the healing begins as, yes, government can ease that ill also. A costless solution at that. This scene repeats as long as the moderator allows questions to be asked by the audience.
Questions? Huh! They’re always softballs even when thrown overhand. The candidate feels the pain and effortlessly spins the question back to a government solution. Never, never, does the questioner ask something as simple as, "But, Senator Clinton, who is going to pay for your solution?" No, just like the Dr. Phil guest, the questioner just wants to be heard, to be healed. That the senator added this new cause to her ever-growing litany of programs is enough. It’s all about hurting and healing, and government of course.
And, like a town meeting that goes on too long, the questions become more personal, and more demanding of government as the evening progresses. It's as if Tocqueville's image of America was a dream, and a utopian dream at that. If you want a raise, Obama will guarantee you one. If you want to sue someone, for anything, Edwards is ready for you. If you want to fight foreign wars and extend the empire, Giuliani and Romney will strike up the band and grab the largest flag to be found; let the marching begin.
It gets even better than that. The candidates are ready to take up the Wilsonian vision of America the Great. Because, in candidate-speak, "The world wants the US to lead the charge to end wars, epidemics, and the common cold."
Forgotten is any mention of economics – the scarcity of means relative to ends. Human wants always overshoot resources. That's the human condition. Yet, Hillary, Barak, Rudy, Mitt, and company, will throw reality aside and provide a solution. These folks are so prepared – so ready to lead – that they can propose new solution off the cuff. They are leaders who do not need talking points. They simply take a moment, and the new program is proposed. No, it's promised, guaranteed.
Watching the audience react leads me to divide the typical voter into one of two classes: the moron, and the bobblehead.
The moron is the one who thinks life is a kindergarten class in any public school. He truly believes that nothing has changed since he turned five. Problems such as Billy chewing gum and not having enough for everyone are solved by confiscation and greater poverty. The teacher forces Billy to spit his gum into the wastebasket as the rest of the class nods in approval. How dare someone have more than the rest? Starving but equal is the motto of the day.
And, there is more. The kindergarten class recycles unwanted stuff – paper, plastic, etc. – at a loss to the taxpayer. But that’s OK since the affective emotions for the environment, etc., are encouraged and soon trump any alternate activity for resources wasted in the recycling process. The affective emotions trump common sense. Starving, but at least you feel good.
What about the bobblehead? They sit in awe of both the candidate and peer pressure. It's always easier to hug the tree than to chop it down. You can forget the real needs waiting for factors of production to be released to the economy by the ax; what is unseen is of little value. To be caught chopping when the PC winds say preserve is a certain way to be lopped from the in-crowd. And, the bobblehead cannot have that.
As the moron jumps onboard the candidate’s latest problem and solution, the bobblehead nods in approval. The bobblehead has rational beliefs, but the mob is forming, and things are getting ugly. Once again, better to join than to make a stand.
Therefore, when Clinton says taxes might have to go up to heal the nation, improve its infrastructure, and provide healthcare to rational citizens who chose not to purchase it, the bobbleheads don't even feign disapproval. They sit as the Soviet apparatchik before Stalin; never once giving any sign that the speaker is muddling through nonsense. No, they stay silent, and even cheer when appropriate.
See, the bobblehead knows the role of the citizen in the collective. Remember the kindergarten class, the bobblehead acquiesced to the collective good; a goal of any government-run education system. Standing outside the group is a sign of a troubled youth, and Nurse-Ratched-as-teacher is ready to break the spirit of any individual who does not conform to the mission of the state; lobotomized into the bobble doll that always nods – from only the slightest nudge – in approval of the state and its agents.
Against this stand the lovers of Freedom. They go by many different names, and wear many different hats, yet they simply want to be left alone to produce goods desired by their neighbors, whether across the street or across the ocean. Their light-in-the-darkness is Ron Paul.
Paul does not look for the morons in the crowd when proposing solutions, waiting for the bobbles to bobble. No, he attacks the problems at their source: government. That means he is challenging everything drummed into our heads while we sat, barely awake, through 12 years of government indoctrination.
That many have not yet come around to his candidacy is understandable. It took me almost 20 years to shed public school’s false teachings and golden calves.
Let’s continue to rally behind Paul so that our children, and their children, will live in the land of the free and brave, not the land of the moron and bobblehead.
Copyright © 2007 LewRockwell.com