Labels: Party Politics
Imagine that you are blindfolded and told that the food you are about to eat is ice cream. It turns out to be chicken liver. Or imagine that you think you are diving into warm water but instead it turns out to be near-freezing.But at least they're still better than Democrats, right? Not by a long shot. The current administration has expanded government and spent more money than the Clinton Cartel ever dreamed:
This is pretty much what it is like to be governed by Republicans, and there is no better case in point than George W. Bush. He, like all Republicans since the 1920s, campaigned as a shrink-the-government man. More incredibly to recall, he blasted the "nation building" of Bill Clinton and insisted that the US needed a "humble" foreign policy.
What we got instead is, well, what we got, which is the polar opposite. The man who wailed over Bill Clinton's big government has made Clinton's spending record look great by comparison. The guy who decried "nation building" has decided that bombs and tanks are a great means to inspire a wholesale upheaval in the Gulf region.
Thus is the government contracted out – and vastly so. Thus are religious charities eligible for public funding. Thus are private schools encouraged to get on the dole. Thus are industrialists eligible for every privilege one can imagine. Heck, if you are big enough and powerful enough, the Republicans might even start a war on your behalf. This gets very expensive indeed, even more expensive than old-fashioned, reformed-minded, repair-the-schools, renew-the-cities, make-the-government-work social democracy!It isn't enough that men like Bush are merely tolerated as the "lesser of two evils" (as ridiculously naive as that notion is); otherwise intelligent people have begun to idolize them:
As for foreign policy, my goodness, the rank and file are gullible in the most ghastly way. These people went from scorning Clinton's exertions in Somalia to calling anyone who doesn't support the war on Iraq a traitor to America itself. The display of Nazi-style jingoism has been nearly unbearable. The flag is worshipped as a holy object, the national anthem is treated as a sacred hymn, every character in a military costume is canonized, and the president himself is exalted as a godhead incarnate. Now we know – because we are living through it – the stuff of which fascism is made.In short, Republicans worship the state. They believe things would disintegrate without the intrusion of government:
This view they get from Hobbes. Not that the average buyer of Ann Coulter's books reads political philosophy. They rather accept a popular version of the fundamental anti-liberal idea: society is a wreck without Leviathan. This is why they celebrate the police more than merchants, why they think that war deserves more credit than trade for world prosperity, why they call drafted killers for the state the "greatest generation," whereas the pioneers of the 19th century are merely historical curiosities.Lord Acton was right: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Labels: Party Politics