Thursday, November 06, 2008

Two stories [Hat Tip: Instapundit]

'The Treatment of Bush Has Been a Disgrace. What must our enemies be thinking?'

I would say there are two parallel points. President George W Bush has been cheerful, optimistic, clear and statesmanlike; and yet he has been deluged with insults and smears and perverse misconstruing of his actions. President-elect Obama has been trite, vague, has suppressed evidence about himself and sold a two-dimensional version of himself to the electorate; and yet is treated as if he had climbed Everest, been first man on the moon and discovered the cure for cancer.

When you're in love with someone, their previous felony convictions, their terrible track record in long relationships, their obvious self-obsession and a million other quite awful things can seem tiny and unimportant and obscure. All that matters is the wonderfulness, the shininess, the overwhelming human presence of them. What happens after the gloss disappears? All those tiny, unimportant obscure details start to take on a proper proportion. That is what I predict will happen to Mr Obama. He is who he is. The lazy, hazy crush that millions of Americans (and people all round the world) have for him prevents them from asking any meaningful questions about whether what he is will affect what he does in the White House.

Obama is a machine politician from Chicago, weaned on the extreme left of American politics, dirty politics, fight-to-win politics. He is no pampered lapdog. And if you listened carefully to his words, you heard what his real agenda is. It is the transformation of America from a free-to-create-your-own-wealth society into a government-dictated-government-directed-government-first society which will attempt to overthrow history and abolish poverty.

Jesus said, 'The poor you have with you always'. He was not kidding. Poverty is complex, but it very often reflects very bad life choices. In America as it still is, you are free to fail, and free to succeed. As far as I can tell, Mr Obama wants to make it impossible to really fail. All over the developed world outside the US, you can see the consequences of the attempts to do the same thing- very low productivity, selfishness, immorality, the infantilisation of large numbers of people, breakup of the family, high-dependence lifestyles and a precipitous decline in the birth rate. Is that what Americans want? Fitting in and not being exceptional are very tempting, but in this case truly idiotic.

Exceptionalism isn't always appropriate, but in this case I think it is. It is not a trite commonality that America is strong because it is free. Freedom enabled tiny little England to punch far beyond its weight in world affairs. Its habits of government and mind were bequeathed to America. Will the poison of socialism succeed in destroying the fruit of that bequest?

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