I have this theory, not a popular one: The experiment that was America failed in the first Great Depression, but not for the reasons you think. You see, it wasn't the wholesale handing-over of American liberty and opportunity that did us in. No, it was the end of the golden age of immigration.

Bear with me.

America, for centuries, even before its founding, was a land of opportunity for those brave enough and smart enough to make something of it. Now, of course, that meant there were plenty of knaves and thieves, and even the most principled of men had to have a streak of pragmatism – but it was a fine dream. Sure, there were powdered-wig fops sitting in their tea houses along the coast the whole time, but they were not the lifeblood of the country, and those that proved most instrumental in the country's founding were also driven by courage and a spirit of innovation. Then, the Golden Rule of America was you win or you die. The harsh realities of the West, the rat race of city life, the scarcity of real wealth – all these things honed the American Spirit into a blade stronger than the finest Damascus steel. With it we turned away all challengers, expanded the possibilities of humankind, and stood as the Shining City on the Hill that we were ever envisioned to be.

But in the 1930's something changed. No longer was there fierce social Darwinism and a spirit of ruthless self-preservation tempered with Christian morals. Instead, there was a sense of entitlement, born perhaps from the fertile loins of compassion in the face of misery, but it grew all the same. Everyone, suddenly, deserved not the dream of American potential, but the reality of American success. The American Dream was no longer to scrape and toil so that your children might learn the value of a dollar and hard work, and maybe even inherit a bit. Instead the American Dream became a home and a dog and a pipe by the fire with an engaging radio drama to brighten the evening hours. Fortunately for America, the generation faced with the crisis of the 20th century still knew the value of hard work and doing much with little. The generations faced with the crisis of today, I fear, do not know these things.

The irony of it all is that we are faced with a new wave of immigration that could promise to vastly improve the American character. A new group of hardworking Christians who believe in the original American Dream are invading en-masse, and we have the arrogance to complain when they bring down property values. Now, I am not advocating illegal immigration by any means, but rather use this to point to the backwards, decadent sense of entitlement that has poisoned America. I fear I am not wrong.

End of Theory, Change of Gears:

This is precisely why Obama wins on economic issues when he really never should. McCain could, theoretically, have deftly and simply stated a few realities about high taxes and mandated prices, and how both result in higher overall prices, layoffs, and reduction in supply of essential services. These theories are not challenging - most elementary students could be made to understand them easily. The problem? We don't want to hear it, and the Soft Fascists know it. Unfortunately, the Soft Socialists have a solid corner on the class-warfare market, and they have played it to the hilt. They know, and by “they” I mean the disingenuous, hateful, elitist ones that set policy, not the daft parrots who repeat their overlords' ideologies. Too much of the population has been here too long. Anyone born into America faces an uphill battle in learning to appreciate what is really available here and nowhere else. Thus, we have lost, in large part, the belief that rights are to be earned by fighting tooth and nail for them. Rather, we believe now in entitlements to be doled out according to need. Indeed, what Biden so recently called “basic fairness” is really a not-so-subtle rehashing of the old Communist ideals – but we know this, I will no longer belabor the point.

What then, is the solution? How do we claw our way back out from under the oppressive malaise that rests atop our national spirit like a pulsing, putrid tumor? The cynic in me says there isn't one. Kiss your country goodbye, because it's over. Either we go to war with the overlords (and a great many of our fellow citizens) or we give up. Perhaps it will be possible to fight the good fight undercover, but if that is to be the case we will need an agenda as wide-reaching and far-sighted as that of the Socialists who have finally, after a century of struggle, won the country. I, for one, would rather not suffer under their regime in the hopes that once their plans fail, there will be enough like-minded youth left to step into the fold and usher in a new era of Libertarian Prosperity.

The optimist in me says that the real Libertarians - the Federalists and Economic Conservatives – will be able to raise their voices above the din, and that the three-party system I envision will truly come to pass. And that with it, the radicals will be marginalized and the remainder, embittered by years of suffering under the Socialists, will be ready to hear their message. But right now, the likes of Ron Paul are laughed off the national stage – and while the crazy factor might be a bit high in his camp, it's sad that the fundamental truths of individualism and federalism weren't better received when he put them forth long months ago. When Obama wins, and I believe he will (pray I am wrong), all we can do is hunker down, pour our money into tax-deferred vehicles to the greatest extent possible (if he leaves such options intact), and continue to put forth the plaintive call for real reform in the form of a simultaneous vote of no confidence in every elected leader. The approval poll numbers would suggest the country is ripe for it. Too bad we're actually mad about losing our entitlements, and not our liberties.


Ben Wheat said...

The problem is that the new immigrants you refer to tend to vote Democrat. Which may indicate that even a new wave of immigration can't help us, and that even immigrants have come to interpret the American Dream as a handout.

But to the thrust of your article, I'm hoping that the Third Party system gets up and running soon. It's REALLY our only hope.

Hariolor said...

The immigrants I refer to are republicans who don't realize they are republicans. They are the real republicans, and through class warfare and the exploitation of unfortunate protectionist policy from the Right, they have been alienated from the very party they should be coming here to save.