Election 2012: A lack of vision
By Frank Salvato
Well, the 2012 General Election is in the history books, but for the final absentee ballot counts and splattering of recounts and lawsuits. President Obama survived a number of lethal issues – a disgraceful unemployment rate, an honesty deficit, a scandal involving the death of attachés and a majority unhappy with his ham-handed Obamacare law – to win a second term as President of the United States. And while the mainstream Republican pundits and analysts ramble on about "outreach" and "soul searching," it is abundantly clear to this writer that there is a pretty simple reality that needs to be accepted.
The one truth that is coming out of all the analytical blather – and that's not to say the only truth – is that the United States of America is no longer a Center-Right nation politically. To those maintaining awareness on a daily basis, this shouldn't come as a surprise. With the arrival of the Progressive Movement on the American political stage around the turn of the 20th Century, Progressives have been incrementally moving the ideological center of the political spectrum to the Left. Ever so subtly they have "nudged" the political median to the Left to achieve ideological goals. Two of the more ruinous achievements of the Progressive Movement, for example, come in the form of the 17th Amendment, allowing for the election of Senators, and the now popular contention that the US Constitution is a living document. The 17th Amendment eliminated a built-in check and balance that protected States' rights and the notion of a living Constitution made way for the never-ending expansion of government. The Progressive idea that we are a Democracy comes in a close third.
Through all of the "nudging," we arrived at a moment in time where Progressives targeted the education system. Not long after, our public education system began using the rubric that mandated winning for all; artificially elevated self-esteem for all. There are a few problems with raising generations that believe they are entitled to win; that believe themselves wise without the knowledge to back up that belief.
First, Progressives who foist this untruth upon our children have robbed the entire generation of learning from failure. In the real world the simple fact of the matter is that there are winners and losers and not everyone is equal. In the United States the Constitution guarantees equal opportunity for all, but it does not guarantee equal or equitable outcomes. But in the false-utopia that is the world of the Progressive Movement, everyone is equal and everyone wins. And while our children are in the controlled culture of the American public education system this plays out fairly well. The wheels fall off the bus when our children end their formal education and venture out into the real world.
Without the critical thinking skills developed through the cycle of learning from failure, our children end up collapsing when faced with their first real world failure. Armed with a self-esteem born of conditional rhetoric as opposed to gleaned knowledge, experience and the ability born of both, they are instantly frustrated and always look for the easiest answer – and most often not the best answer – to their woes. Today, the savior for the troubles of those affected by the Progressive's artificially elevated self-esteem comes in the form of the opportunistic amongst the elected class.
This presents the second issue with raising generations that believe they know everything. When they fail without the tools to intellectually regroup and capitalize on the experience, they become vulnerable to the "easy out." That easy out is almost always presented by an opportunistic special interest group of politician vying for "your support." The process is not unlike a drug dealer pushing to the first time buyer. In exchange for their support, the affected "self-esteemer" is "bailed-out" of their problems, whether via a patronage job or a government handout. And not unlike the drug user who falls prey to the dealer, the self-esteemer most often becomes addicted this political and ideological "the crack."
This is how a dependency class is born. What seems like a short-term safety net, in reality – and because there isn't any pain involved with accepting the solution to the problem, becomes comfortable and accepted. And, as humans are wont to do, once something becomes easy, the road to that ease – no matter how whorish – becomes something that can be rationalized. Now, we have arrived at a moment in time when a sizeable number of basically good people have found the easy path to sustainability. With that comes a diminished desire to achieve through diligence and hard work and, through unrealized self-loathing, a sort of ideological Stockholm syndrome fomenting affection for those who have gotten them hooked on the public dole.
This brings us to a third point – and an inevitability – where raising a generation of know-it-all self-esteemers is concerned.
As the Progressive enablers continue to fill the public feeding trough with taxpayer dollars in an effort to satisfy the now established entitlement mentality of their "herd," they create a gulf between the feeders and the producers, and the opportunity for exploiting the gulf for political class warfare is born. The producers – those who, despite the allure of Easy Street, took the longer but more intellectually fruitful path to life – begin to point out that entitlement is not mandated by the idea of equal opportunity for all. That enrages the self-esteemers – who have morphed from those with artificially elevated self-esteem to public trough feeders to the full-blown entitlement class – who immediately resent the producers for their criticism, while arguing a confused logic that equal opportunity somehow mandates equal outcome.
Which brings me to my overall point.
I had a phone conversation today with a friend of mine who happens to be a financial planner. We were talking about the election and the consequences of the choice our electorate has made. He said that he was experiencing an enormous number of clients calling him wanting to not only realign their investment portfolios, but who also wanted to talk at length about health insurance and the requirements and obligations associated with Obamacare.
He told me about one client who was a cobalt-blue, labor union Democrat who was jubilant about Mr. Obama's win. As they talked about his investments, my friend asked him what he was going to do about the new monthly cost associated with the elevating healthcare costs. To my friend's surprise the client said, "Oh, I am in good health so I don't have any insurance. I just don't see the need to pay for something that I don't use."
My financial planner friend chuckled and said, "That's all well and good but the law now says you will be required to have it whether you use it and want it or not." My friend said the look on the clients face was one for the ages. It was quite apparent to my friend that his client had never thought about the consequences of his support for not only Obamacare, but Mr. Obama's re-election where Obamacare was concerned.
This is one of the most devastating things about raising a generation of children who have been exposed and processed through the Progressive utopian system that artificially elevates self-esteem. This tow-the-line labor union Progressive – a mainstay in the political "army" that elected and then re-elected Barack Obama – didn't have the critical thinking skills necessary to think the consequences of universal healthcare through to a logical conclusion. He didn't think about how it would affect the quality of medical care, the structure of the most successful medical community in the history of man, or the number of doctors required to achieve the goal of "free" healthcare for all. He didn't have the intellectual wherewithal to understand "there is no free lunch." He didn't even have the cognizance to understand he was going to go into the red with his monthly personal budget, courtesy of his own vote.
Today, we are no longer a Center-Right country, politically. We are a Center-Left country, courtesy of the Progressive Movements audacious social engineering. And with that "nudge" to the Center-Left we have arrived at a moment in time where there are more Americans who have graduated from the self-esteemer ranks into entitlement culture than there are those with critical thinking skills enough to understand the dangers of accepting and encouraging dependency.
John Edwards was correct, although he meant it in another context. There are two America's: Progressive America and the America where self-reliance and achievement count for something.
Today, Progressive America is winning elections...and that should scare the hell out of everyone in the other America.
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director for BasicsProject.org a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy and the threats of Islamic jihadism and Progressive neo-Marxism. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network and has been a featured guest on al Jazeera's Listening Post, Radio Belgrade One and on Russia Today. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and was featured in the documentary, "Ezekiel and the MidEast ‘Piece' Process: Israel's Neighbor States." He is the author of the series Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam, an educational pamphlet series. Mr. Salvato is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Phoenix Broadcasting and ABC Starguide Satellite Networks, catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. He is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the IRN-USA Radio Network. Mr. Salvato has been interviewed on Radio Belgrade One. His opinion-editorials have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, and are syndicated nationally. He is a featured political writer for EducationNews.org, BigGovernment.comand Examiner.com and is occasionally quoted in The Federalist. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.