So what happened for 16 days in October?
Was it just a hiccup in the continually rising “debt ceiling,” a monkey wrench in the smoothly turning wheels of government, a boorish slap at the warm, enveloping embrace of “Obamacare”?
Should Americans now thank their Maker that the conservative revolt has been quelled so the federal government can continue to spend and spend without limits? Should we count ourselves fortunate for having patriots in the Senate and White House who forced open the nation’s coffers to nationalize health care for all Americans — only just not “now” for these same “temporarily” exempted lawmakers, as well as the president, assorted unions and big businesses?
I’m just asking. The triumph in the media, at the White House, is palpable, but what did the American people win? More debt, for sure. A pothole-ridden, bumpy path to Obamacare. More unemployment and higher health care costs. And less fidelity to voters. Yes, President Obama was elected to lead the executive branch last November, but a majority of Republicans was also elected to the House of Representatives, with purview over government spending. If you helped vote that House majority in because your candidate looked you in the eye and promised to defund the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare, aka socialized medicine), you, the American citizen, have been beaten up, just as if the “checks and balances” built into the U.S. government were quaint museum relics and not the mechanism by which a republic is supposed to run.
Republican “moderates” and “sensible” conservatives say to “get out of the way” of Obamacare — stop doing anything at all — because it will implode from its own disastrous weight and inefficiency. Hah. Since when does weight and inefficiency ever count against a government program? Once entrenched, it’s here forever.
Just look at FDR’s so-called New Deal, the brilliantly folksy name for the Depression-era, collectivist revolution in spending, taxation, regimentation and centralization that reorganized the U.S. government along socialist lines in the 1930s. And no wonder: FDR also presided over a massive influx of leftists, Marxists, socialists, “pinkos,” — as well as hundreds of bona fide Soviet agents — into the U.S. government, a shocking development in our history that I examine in my new book, “American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character.” Scary fact: Roosevelt administration official Lauchlin Currie, a confirmed Soviet agent, was the original booster of the first U.S. government “stimulus” spending. Didn’t work then; doesn’t work now — if, that is, “work” means to improve the economy. It works great if the point is to make Americans more dependent on government largesse.
If it’s unlikely that Obamacare will spontaneously “implode,” can it be “rolled back”? History suggests timing might be a factor. New Deal and Fair Deal (President Truman’s programs) bureaucracies were about 10 or 15 years old when Republicans really tried to roll back at least some of them as the post-World War II economy roared. They were not successful. In fact, the U.S. government only continued expanding.
As noted in “American Betrayal,” Norman Thomas, the six-time Socialist candidate for president, wrote the following in 1953: “Here in America more measures once praised or denounced as socialist have been adopted than once I should have thought possible short of a Socialist victory at the polls.” By 1958, well into President Eisenhower’s second term, Thomas was still enthused: “The United States is making greater strides toward socialism under Eisenhower than even under Roosevelt.” In 1962, he explained, “The difference between Democrats and Republicans is: Democrats have accepted some ideas of socialism cheerfully, while Republicans have accepted them reluctantly.”
Just not by name — never by name. As Upton Sinclair, the muckraking author and one-time Socialist candidate for Congress once wrote to Thomas, “The American people will take Socialism, but they won’t take the label.”
A century of unimpeded progress of the so-called progressives — Marxists, statists, socialists, collectivists, leftists, communists, Alinskyites — tells us this is true.
That tells me it’s high time to affix the label, the S-word, to educate voters that this socialist trend — this increasing government control and intervention and supervision and knowledge of every aspect of our lives — diminishes our liberties and strips away freedom. In other words, the Obamacare debate, including the government shutdown, is about much, much more than government inefficiency or rising costs and unemployment. It’s about our destiny as a free nation and our Constitutional right to live our lives as free individuals.
If we are to reclaim that destiny and those rights, it will only be because those 16 days in October were the beginning of something, and not the end.
Diana West blogs at dianawest.net, and she can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.