The Age Old Struggle Between Winners And Losers
Winners work and save and plan – and somehow manage to overcome the vagaries and pitfalls of life; losers do not. Through bad luck or a lack of discipline, losers fall through the cracks.
Throughout the ages there have always been winners and losers, and there have always been hugely more losers than winners. Dictators have used this to focus the hatred of the losers on scapegoats to gain and keep power – Hitler and the Jews; Mugabe and the white farmers; Stalin and the bourgeois farmers, for example. In democracies, political opportunists scapegoat the winners to gain power – usually by offering the losers the keys to the public treasury.
From their knowledge of history and of the downfall of almost all democracies, our Founding Fathers set up a system of checks and balances – the basic intent of which was to slow down the impulses of the mob, always incited by the opportunists and the demagogues. The electoral college, the two-thirds vote needed to override a presidential veto, the longer terms of senators (who originally were appointed), the life tenure of Supreme Court Justices – these are some of the devices put in place to ensure the survival of the American democracy.
It’s easy for the demagogues to scapegoat the winners and gain power from the losers - after all, they say, the winners wouldn’t be winners if they weren’t corrupt or born with silver spoons in their mouths. Besides, it just isn’t fair that some people have so much more than others. The scapegoating and the attacks on the treasury always come from the left.
Over the past 50 years, Lyndon Johnson not only greatly escalated the Vietnam War (after the “daisy” ad), but empowered liberals to embark on the “Great Society”, the greatest boondoggle in history. George McGovern and Hubert Humphrey tried and failed, but in 1976 we got the worst president in modern times (misery index of 23%, loss of Iran), Jimmy Carter. We escaped Carter after one term, and Ronald Reagan set many things right, but demagoguery won out again in 1992, followed by the largest tax increase of all time, the besmirching of the American Presidency and 9/11.
We are hearing the message of the demagogue once again in Barack Obama, once again promising to turn over the keys to the Treasury to the losers, but substantially raising the stakes by offering those keys to the entire world (the Global Tax). Since he says little of substance, since his followers act like his movement is a religion and since he is an African-American, exposing and defeating him and his message will be hard to do.
In the past there have been some very real instances where liberal movements have had merit – evil can exist in winners as well as in losers, and evil winners can create great harm from their positions of power and their organizational talents. The oil monopolies had to be broken, coal mines had to be made to restore the plundered earth, a balance of power was needed between labor and ownership, and those willing to sell poisons to people for gain had to be stopped. These necessary movements came from the forces of the left, and were beneficial to all.
This is not one of those times.