When a Republican expands the role of government over the economy, it’s considered ill-advised and stupid (properly so). When a liberal Democrat President does the same thing in principle, only more expansive (and expensive) in scope, it’s called noble and economic. At least, that’s how it was until Obama came along. Although there are liberal Democrats who will defend him to the end, Obama has already (less than two years in office) lost the great majority of Independent voters who put him in office. The real question is this: Are Republicans prepared to reverse course not just on Obama’s policies, but most of the policies of their own party? Are they prepared to begin privatization of Medicare and Social Security, not just because those programs were wrong in the first place, but because they WILL be going bankrupt and the bankruptcy must be faced? Are they prepared not only to cut taxes below even the Bush or Reagan-era levels, but to cut spending even more dramatically? I more than doubt it. But this is all that can save us.
For years I have been saying we need a second party, not a third party. Are Republicans up to the job? Nothing in their actions or even words to date suggests so. But sometimes the times “make the man” as the old saying goes, and perhaps the times will “make a party” — or a movement — as well. By this I mean that the times must get so bad — and believe me, things are getting bad — that people must adapt rational ideas in order to survive and, once again, thrive. America is used to thriving, not just surviving. We haven’t thrived for awhile, and now people are even starting to wonder about long-term survival, for themselves and their children. Most think of Obama as their leader. I certainly don’t, but most still do. Obama greets them not with a Reaganesque smile, or even an FDR-like quirky smirk, but a condescending and unnerving air of arrogance. Arrogance, most people sense, is the void where a great mind and strong character ought to have been. Arrogance is the emotion of fear. Americans: Your supreme leader is afraid. This is not a good thing.
Wait till things get rougher, and you’ll find out what Obama is — and isn’t — made of. But we have to start moving beyond Obama. In time, he’ll be gone. (If he doesn’t go in 2012, and if he’s not severely undercut in 2010, then we’re quite possibly finished). The most pressing and ultimately important issue is: What will replace him? All the Republicans I know, talk to, read about and learn of are nothing more than Democrat-lite. Some of them are even Obama-lite. They think people like Scott Brown, the Senator from Massachusetts who supports much of what Obama is doing (rather than all of what he’s doing) will save us. Or they think that Sarah Palin, who bashed “big business” and capitalism along with John McCain back in 2008, can somehow steal Obama’s thunder this time. (Good luck). Other Republicans think religion will save us. They might as well run on a platform of prayer. This is not the answer to a sane and rational nation, either. What is the answer? Reason, freedom, individual rights — specifically, the restoration and reassertion of these things, including all that this implies. I look around and all I see are (1) insane Democrats and (2) helpless Republicans who say principles, even good ones, are “too ideological” or “too extreme.” OK then. What’s your answer, Republicans? I’m listening. But I don’t hear a thing.