Friday, April 02, 2010

Shrill gloating and its natural timespan

'The signposts in the Republican universe have been abruptly altered. So don't let yourself become desensitized to the sight of conservatives stumbling, lost in the night, the way you avert your eyes when passing poor homeless souls on the sidewalk. Suffering is subjective. There are people on the street who really think they are Jesus. There are Republicans in our midst who really think Obama's version of Romneycare equals socialism. There but for the grace of God -- and maybe a little less sloppy thinking -- go we.'

I'm going to break my own number one rule of blogging, and make a comparison between this post and Nazi era propaganda. Nothing to do with content, but the tone and the psychological motivations of the piece. It has always struck me that Nazi propaganda tried too hard. It was shrill, it was bombastic, and it desperately wanted to convince people that the German Volk were indomitable, resolute and all the other things. But underlying it was a hidden fear, the fear that unless these things were screamed, shouted at top volume, the flaws in the arguments might start to show. Perhaps it isn't just a characteristic of Nazi propaganda but all propaganda. I don't know. But Nazi propaganda is where I noticed it.

This propaganda piece by Matt Miller is basically a schoolyard 'nyah nyah nee nyah nyah, we won you lost, you pitiful losers' taunt. For many Democrats whose whole political existences have revolved around the single fact that America is by a huge majority (approx 80%) conservative and deeply resistant to socialism, it must be terribly tempting to give in and rub salt in the supposed Republican wounds. And yes, many are succumbing to temptation.

What is not clear from either the passage of the Obama healthcare bill or the subsequent orgy of gloating, grandstanding and whooping-up is whether this is really a permanent victory won over the 'Republicans'. I say 'Republicans' because of course, the Obama healthcare bill applies to all Americans (except Senators and Congressmen).

Why should the Democrats be fearful? They are in charge of all branches of government, and the legacy news media are their shills. What could go wrong?

If in 1979 the average pundit in Britain had been shown by some magic the same country in 1990, I think most of them would have refused the evidence of their own eyes. The idea that all the nationalised industries, the huge centrally planned British state would be swept away by one woman and her determined band of ideologues would have been beyond comprehension.

But that could never happen to the vast statist constructions of the Democrats in America, surely?

OK, then, riddle me this: Do most Americans believe in socialist solutions to their problems in 2010? In voting for Barack Obama, did they believe that they were voting in a hard-left ideologue? I'm pretty sure they voted for a nice, well-spoken chap with a nice family who talked all the time about healing divides, making politics transparent and reforming the way business was done in Washington DC. He promised to revive the image of America in the world, and other pleasant things.

Who knew he would be the most partisan president ever? Who knew he would enact the most far-reaching transformations of the US economy since Franklin Roosevelt? Who knew he would enact these transformations in the middle of a very severe economic recession with utter disregard for the consequences?

Not even dogged sceptics like me. I had no idea that he would pursue his leftist agenda with such complete disregard for the economic situation and the political one too.

The reaction has been extreme and instantaneous. For many millions of Americans, they fear for the first time that Washington DC is going to pull the rest of the nation down into the abyss, and they feel a personal need to stop that from happening.

The brazen and provocative misconstrual of the Obama mandate by Democrats has not gone unnoticed by the majority of Americans. The polls tell this story very clearly. And with the rising tsunami of anger about this bait-and-switch comes the ever greater likelihood that Obamacare has a short life expectancy.

So perhaps the flaws in the arguments in pieces like Matt Millers, the truths peeking out from behind the bombast, are these: that while the statist, centally-planned government in America has grown and grown over 75 years, it has never provoked a reaction from Americans like the one we see now; and that when Americans come to scrutinise the real state of their nation, they will see how far down the road to a statist, centrally-planned dystopia they are already. And they are quite likely to hate it. And plan is dismantling.

If you think that is crazy, and could never happen, ask Margaret Thatcher.

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