Vote for us – since you can’t take care of yourselves.
August 30, 2008
As I alluded to below, the theme of the Democratic convention was, the American Dream is dying and can be revived only by the grace of government.
The Dems repeatedly invoked their own stories of achieving the American Dream – growing up without silver spoons in their mouths, of overcoming adversity through hard work and perseverance, and of resulting success. So far, so good.
But then the Dems explained that this success is not possible for the rest of us, who are too stupid, lazy, and helpless to achieve the American Dream on our own.
Joe Biden, for example, brags (correctly, I think) about the lessons his parents taught him about realizing success, and about the path Barack Obama took to get where he is:
Again, so far, so good. But then Biden says the American Dream is dead – not because people aren’t working – but because the government is not working for them:
Why shouldn’t people have to ask whether mom will move in now that dad is gone? Since when were families not supposed to take care of each other? Why is it automatically someone else’s – specifically the government’s – problem?
Obviously, there are economic concerns, and people rightly worry about heating bills and stagnant wages. But instead of seeing this as an opportunity to demonstrate just how tough we Americans are, the Democrats whine – on our behalf – that the government is not taking care of everyone. Embarrassing.
Barack Obama was a little better, actually admitting that personal responsibility is something that government cannot replace. But it was about the only thing Obama thought the government couldn’t do.
Again, though, the ultimate cause of just about every problem was the failure of government to do something. Obama listed problems Americans face: unemployment, foreclosures, “cars you can’t afford to drive, credit card bills you can’t afford to pay, and tuition that’s beyond your reach” and put most of the blame for these problems…on the government! (“These challenges are not all of government’s making.”) Really? The government made homebuyers to agree to mortgages they couldn’t afford and to put more and more charges onto their credit cards?
How should we proud, hard-working Americans respond?
Apparently, by waiting for a new administration so that government can take care of us: “the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.”
Obama did concede that “Ours is a promise that says that government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that is that which we cannot do for ourselves.” Who could disagree? The problem is that Obama then lists a number of things that he thinks we cannot do for ourselves and that are within the authority, and expertise, of the federal government: “provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.”
Thus, the ultimate problem with the liberal vision is that in entails the government’s being involved in every aspect of our lives – supposedly for our own good. Biden’s father’s advice to get up when you’re knocked down applies only to the great liberal leaders. It does not apply to the rest of us, on whose behalf Obama and Biden will work to ensure that we never, ever get knocked down.
This is a vision that runs counter to the long, proud history of can-do Americanism and is an insult to hard-working Americans, who should be largely left alone to succeed (or, sometimes, fail) on our own.