The recent Obamacare “repeal and replace” debacle shows the truth once and for all: Most Republicans are socialists, too. Granted, they’re not ideological socialists. Neither are most Democrats, aside from the Bernie Sanders types. They support socialism when it’s convenient, but they’re happy to let selected constituents (including themselves) reap the profits from government intervention in the economy, all the while proclaiming support for “the common good.” I’ve read that “Ayn Randian” Paul Ryan lives in a big house thanks to government, and his wife lobbies for companies who make profits off the government. No surprise. It’s called the Swamp for a reason.
If we define socialism as continuous movement toward public ownership of the means of production, then both parties are now socialist. Because both parties are taking us there. We saw it when Obama was President and Democrats controlled Congress. We saw it when Obama remained President and Republicans took over Congress, giving Obama everything he asked, and more. And we see it now that Republicans, for the moment, control everything, and still spend, borrow and control like there’s no tomorrow.
What about Donald Trump? Donald Trump is what Republicans used to be: a pragmatist, rather than an all-out socialist. A pragmatic Republican wanted government reduction in some areas, and government expansion in others. Most often, a pragmatist wanted to slow the rate of increase in government growth and spending. That’s what Ronald Reagan tried to do, and it’s all he ever really wanted to do. Like fellow Republican pragmatists, Trump wants environmentalist regulations cut, some taxes cut, some spending (like PBS, NEA) cut or eliminated, and so forth. At the same time, he wants the federal Department of Education to remain, Medicare and Social Security to expand, if anything (they can’t and they will eventually die), and he wants government to be more involved in things like transportation spending and child care. He’s a pragmatist. He’s fine with the mixture of socialism and capitalism that we have. If you like socialism, he gives a little and takes a little. Not so with Democrats, and not so with the vast majority of Republicans, leaving aside the 15 or 20 in the Freedom Caucus who are the only ones who come remotely close to resembling a principled party. Republicans and Democrats are now mostly socialists. Republicans will throw some red meat words of “limited government” to gain votes and donations, but once in office, as we can see, they are precisely the same as the Democrats. RyanCare took Obamacare and moved the deck chairs around. That’s all it did, and all it was supposed to do: Make it look like they were repealing it, when they wanted to do no such thing.
If it’s liberty, individual rights and the original Constitution you love, then once again it’s time to face the truth: Almost nobody in Washington DC is on your side. The disappointment and frustration with pragmatism – meaning part socialist, part freedom supporter – is nothing new. What’s a bit staggering, though really not surprising, is just how socialist and leftist the Republican Party, by and large, has become.
To paraphrase Pogo, the old cartoon character, we have met the Swamp, and the Swamp is us. Not all of us, but the great majority of us.
Sooner or later, America had to reach the point where enough people became entrenched with government programs, handouts, regulations, subsidies and perks that the entire country would become the Swamp. It has happened. If it took Donald Trump’s presidency to make it clear, so be it.
Does that mean it’s all over, from a liberty and individual rights point-of-view? No. It’s never over. Because swamps are not healthy. The war of “all against all” that American government and society have now become is no more sustainable than all the other civilizations in history who attempted it. We will go the same way, and we’re in the process of doing so now. Donald Trump may go down in ashes, but if he does, he will only have himself to blame — along with the majority of Americans who never wanted to drain the swamp, in the first place.
Remember, the Republican Party is only a nominal entity. Congressional Republicans, except for a tiny handful of decent souls, are nothing more than a swamp of corrupt cronies in debt to their habitual pull-peddling. They are identical to the Democrats. Trump ran against that swamp, but if he now decides to join them, you can be sure he will go down with them. It’s just the way it is.
The good news is that an alternative always remains. That’s not pollyanaism; it’s simply the truth. People can embrace freedom any time they wish. Any time that they’re really sick enough of the Swamp to do so, they can demand a return to economic and personal freedom. But they’re not yet serious. Most still want it both ways — freebies from others, and freedom for themselves — and most still consider it possible. The corrupt charlatans in the Imperial City help them in their delusions to retain their own power and comforts. It’s the sick leading the ignorant.
The Obamacare repeal fiasco revealed the depth of the corruption in a really crucial way. If we can’t even repeal that law, because most people don’t wish most elements of it to be repealed, then America is already done with liberty. It’s over. Good luck to the majority who actually think that the likes of Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi – who will be around long after Donald Trump is gone in 4 or 8 years – can actually take them to the promised land of continued economic growth and prosperity financed by debt, dishonesty and redistribution.
The rest of us will simply have to keep the nearly burnt-out embers of freedom, liberty and individualism burning, partly for our own sanity, and partly for some future generation who will, one way or another, find its way to once again embrace these values so rarely cherished in human history. Remember that it’s always a minority (Communist/Nazi elites) driving a country to ruin, but it’s also a minority (America’s founders) inspiring a society to the courage required to embrace freedom. The good minority will always have a chance. Particularly when you consider the alternative.
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