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Sliding down a slippery slope

By Dr. Robert Owens
web posted May 25, 2009

Some people act as if America is about to morph into a European- style socialist state by the time they wake-up tomorrow or at least before they finish reading the latest edition of the New York Times.   These unreconstructed Reaganites have the nerve to walk around carping and complaining that the Constitution is being left in the dust.  Acting as if some extreme leftist clique has somehow duped the American public into giving the executive branch to an  inexperienced, unknown commodity backed-up by a shoot-from-the-lip knee-jerk liberal with a rubber-stamp Congress drooling at the prospect of getting five more Ruth Bater Ginsbergs on the Supreme Court.  If you fall for their caterwauling you'd think we had a President who insulted our best friends the Brits, bowed to the Saudi King, and announced we're no longer a Christian nation while apologizing for America's arrogance in what he recognized as a Muslim nation. Or one who hung out with Chavez and Ortega as he opened the doors for Castro.  How preposterous!

Where do these moss-back radical Founder worshipers get this stuff?  Although with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Fox News and the Internet shining lights into areas of government the poor unwashed just aren't sophisticated enough to understand it's little wonder there are Committees of Correspondence springing up all over the place.  Maybe it is time for a new Fairness Doctrine or as America's caricature of Foghorn Leghorn Senator Fritz Hollings used to say when speaking of people doing what they want without government guidance, "Letting y'all regulate yourselves is like delivering lettuce by way of a rabbit."  How can anyone expect the media to be free without the government telling them what to do?  We need a Fairness Doctrine just to, you know, make it Fair.  And if the Fairness Doctrine is too Orwellian for the squeamish perhaps we could accomplish some good old fashioned localism and control with neighborhood committees?

These politically incorrect finger pointers engage in crazy-talk like trying to make people think any move towards insuring the 40 to 50 million unfortunates who lack healthcare will lead inevitably to a nationalized single-payer system and the rationing of health services.  They point to stories like the one about a woman suffering from lung cancer informed through a form letter from a faceless bureaucrat that her state-run Health Plan won't pay for life-extending cancer drugs but will pay for doctor-assisted suicide.  Haven't they ever seen Sicko?  Why even Cuba has better health care than we do!

How are we supposed to choose between the haters who don't want children to have free lunches and those who want everyone to have everything?  How will we know if we've fallen into the hands of a demagogue who'll say anything and do anything to enact a radical agenda?  Some road signs or red flags might help us to know if this ever happened.  I must warn you I'm getting as far out as I can here.  You might even laugh out loud at the thought of any of these things ever happening.

How about if we ever elect the chosen candidate of the Communist Party USA who appoints as White House Counsel the same person who represented Castro in the Elian Gonzalez case and as Attorney General the point man in seizing the boy and sending him back to enjoy the many benefits of growing up in Cuba.

Or maybe if we ever have a Chief Executive who wants to micro-manage our economy deciding how much money companies can spend on advertising.  Or one who fires CEOs and seeks to influence the make-up of corporate Board of Directors.  Perhaps if we ever find ourselves with a President who thinks the Constitution allows him to set the wages and compensation packages of employees in private firms.  What about a President who bullies people using the tactics of intimidation and fear, people like bondholders, bankers, or one who effectively takes companies from those who own them and gives them to people of his own choosing stepping over the line, which traditionally separates American government from private enterprise. Or maybe if we ever see a President giving tax cuts to people who don't pay taxes while actually raising taxes on everything in sight. Or one who orchestrates the return of welfare as we've known it buried in the belly of an unread pork-barrel stimulus package which includes stimulus checks for dead people.   

Just for the record, the off-the-wall crazy-talk example of nationalized healthcare leading to rationing of life-giving care wasn't from Communist China or the old Soviet Union.  It wasn't even from progressive Europe, England or Canada it's from Oregon.  Where are we headed?  The destination may not yet be clear to those looking through Rose-colored Obama Lenses, but it should be apparent we're sliding down a slippery slope. ESR

Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, Religion, and Leadership for Southside Virginia Community CollegeContact Dr. Owens. © 2009 Robert R. Owens. Dr. Owens is available for speaking engagements.


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