I wrote the following column in the hopes that the Wall Street Journal will print it.
I’m going to make a prediction about the mid-term elections – in a minute. But first, a quick remembrance of things past.
In his opaque presidential campaign last year, Barack Obama ingeniously implanted in the American psyche a figure of probity, circumspection and stature. The contrast between him and his presidential counterpart, John McCain, was stark. Mr. McCain was strident, explosive, bumbling, erratic, rigid, diminutive, scary, confusing.
More important (perhaps) was the inability of many Americans, including Independents, to distinguish any great difference in economic policy between the two men once the itinerant Mr. McCain scrambled up to Capitol Hill and proclaimed the necessity for larceny of American taxpayers to bail out unscrupulous capitalists. Any true difference between Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama became moot at that point. And the fog-interred Mr. McCain seemed intellectually incapable of pinning down his wily opponent in debate, revealing a great weakness of command were he to become president.
A neighbor of mine who leaned toward Mr. McCain early in the race voted for Mr. Obama at the polls. His reason was that he couldn’t tell what the heck McCain stood for and that Mr. Obama “seemed” to have his head about him. (Seeing the creeping socialism of the Obama Administration, that neighbor now “mostly” regrets his decision – though he can’t be sure.)
Mr. Obama’s illusion of efficacy and rectitude fooled many millions 10 months ago (including a large segment of private business owners), but the magic trick is out of the hat. His opacity was a front for leftist dogma and a sincere hatred of American free enterprise and personal liberty. His aura of invincibility is Third World, as are his political agendas, which call for the immense aggrandizement of government, collusion with trade unions and impugning of America herself.
The opacity is gone – as it inevitably must be when the secretively power-hungry gain power and invincibility. In the biggest spotlight on Earth (the Oval Office), the hyena can no longer wear the sheep’s clothing. He wants you to pay for others’ health care. He demands that you buy health insurance and will punish you, an American, if you don’t. He takes billions of your dollars and gives them to whomever he pleases – and then uses the loot to tell businesses what products to make, how to make them and how much to pay employees. He insists that you are not paying enough to him, his cronies and his constituents. He walks and waves like a caring man, but he talks and acts like a despot.
And so, small-business owners, Independents, conservative Democrats, liberal Republicans and even the I-don’t-give-a-damns now see the hyena behind the opacity, churlishly acting as no U.S. president has done since L.B.J. or perhaps F.D.R. But he’s cannier. He understands that popularity is sometimes fleeting and morale sometimes fickle. He understands, like Hitler, that blitzkrieg overwhelms citizenry and rebellion. He insists on the now, realizing that the now creates inertia that inundates the future. “Give me government health care now – before you go home for recess and before citizens attempt to discuss it and build a Maginot Line that I must circumnavigate!”
It is a discussion for the future on what motivates a man to grotesquely and blithely violate civil liberties with seemingly no public compunction about his misdeeds – indeed, with a superciliousness that borders on megalomania. This man is far scarier than the haplessly benign Mr. McCain.
What is a discussion is what will those small-business owners, those Independents, those conservative Democrats, those liberal Republicans and those I-don’t-give-a-damns think now – now that they clearly see that they have been had, that they are the true victims of this menacing man, that they fell for his empty smile and deep voice and clichéd promises of “hope”? (Talk about people scorned!)
There is genuine anger in a large segment of the American populace that we are witnessing in Tea Parties and Town Hall meetings. Blogs have become hotlines. Neighborhood barbecues have become roasts. Family squabbles have become, well, intense.
But we’re stuck with this rascal for three-plus years, so what do we do? What will Americans do – in the midterm elections?
They will take back the U.S. House and Senate for Republicans. They will deny Mr. Obama his carte blanche on socialism (let’s not give what he does the euphemism of “big government”). All of those alleged automatons that the MSNBC cabal say are mobbing town halls and radio talk shows will get to right a huge wrong committed the first Tuesday of last November. They’ll put a leash on the hyena.
And while they’re at it, let’s hope they remember what this Land of the Free is really about and insist upon further liberties and individual rights – perhaps even greatly scaling back the welfare state and intrusive regulations.
Can we expect as much from desultory Republicans? No. If we are to consider their poor history of fiscal management once in power, it is my hope that the Tea Parties and Town Hall meetings are a precursor of something greater: a move toward intellectual independence, toward politics away from the two corrupt parties, toward a better understanding of liberty that our Founding Fathers envisioned. We need to not just vote out the Democrats in the coming midterms (and Mr. Obama himself 2 years later) and vote in the Republicans; we need to develop a third party based upon Tea Party principles: laissez-faire government, individual rights, unfettered capitalism, non-progressive taxation, abolishment of the welfare state and disarmament or destruction of rogue nations.
Chiding our appeasement-minded European brethren, Thomas Jefferson wiped out the pirates off the shores of Tripoli 200 years ago. In honor of his courageous act and his vaunted ideals, we need to send the pirates on Capitol Hill and in the White House packing in November 2010 and 2012. We liberty-lovers need to take back America.