American Elephants

So Why is Everybody So Angry? by The Elephant's Child


There is an apocryphal story about Dwight Eisenhower that someone quoted the other day that has stuck in my mind. Supposedly, when he was president of Columbia University, some new building on campus required sidewalks, but there were two warring camps who wanted the sidewalks placed differently. Eisenhower said they should table the decision for a year, and see where the students walked. The decision of the many would indicate the proper placement.

May not be true, but it’s an excellent example of the wisdom of the free market. And of the current battles in Congress. There are a lot of people out there who are angry with Congress because they are fighting so much and not peacefully getting anything done. Those people are wrong, and they should be extremely grateful that Congress isn’t getting much done.

All of the current battles in Congress — ObamaCare, the Budget, the Economy, Spending, the IRS, Defense, the Agreement on Iran, Foreign Policy, the National Debt and so many more issues — divide on the basis of a command and control economy on the left side, and a free-market economy on the right side.

The Left, and the Progressive movement, believe in a government run by wise experts who will manage everything far more efficiently.  With a free market — you can never tell what people might do. There is no certainty, no order, not enough regulation. People might drink Big Gulp sugary drinks and contribute to a national obesity problem. People might not save energy with energy-saving CFL ‘twisty” bulbs. If everyone is limited to flow-restricted shower heads, then we might save water as a nation. Experts can always come up with wonderful ideas for improving the country and its people.

The Right: Conservatives, Tea Party, Libertarians and Republicans, all just want government to leave them alone, and stop interfering with the economy. They don’t believe that there are any “experts” who have better ideas for controlling everybody and everything. They believe that the Left’s urge to control everything is responsible for the economic downturn and the recession that just drags on forever. Overregulation, over-taxation and uncertainty have done serious damage to business, and produced a “recovery” that is 7.3 million jobs below the average for all recoveries. They believe that people cannot be fixed with just the right rules and regulations, and life requires a certain level of plain old stoical resignation.

That’s a huge division between the two sides, and affects everything in politics and government.

However: this simple straightforward division is thoroughly screwed-up with politics, lies and obfuscation. Barack Obama is notably the first black president of the United States, which has been extremely meaningful to black Americans. Most Americans, including those who did not vote for him, wished him well. Black Americans were deeply invested in his success. As the first, they wanted him to be outstanding. And it is somewhat natural that they would take criticism as a form of racism. MSNBC, the hate channel, has left any semblance of journalism in the dust while it devotes full time to the idea that all would be well if the racist Republicans would just stop criticizing Obama.

The people I know who criticize President Obama are not criticizing the color of his skin, but the actions of his administration. The recovery should have long been over, and the administration is at fault. The administration cannot seem to stop or even lower spending, waste and crony-capitalism. ObamaCare was a disastrous mistake and is going to harm most Americans.

Fifty-five percent of Americans say they want to go back to the health care system that was in place before the current health care system. Only 34 percent like ObamaCare. Fifty-seven percent of Americans told the Reason-Rupe Poll that the Obama administration is not the most transparent administration in history, and 52 percent disagree with the president’s views about the proper size and power of the government. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed feel that government is generally a “burdensome part of society that impedes the ability of people to improve their lives.” Ouch.

Nearly ¾ of Americans, 73 percent, believe members of Congress do not understand health care or how health care laws impact Americans. And just 25 percent think members of Congress understand the consequences of the health care laws they pass.

No one is yet operating under their new ObamaCare insurance, which kicks in on January 1st, so they haven’t really experienced it yet — only experienced the bills that they will be facing.  It’s going to be interesting.


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