Barry MacDonald - Editorial
I conclude from the presidential election that more voters were seduced by the Robin Hood ideal than those who believe in liberty, responsibility, and constitutional principles.
Clues to the event came from the two national conventions: the personal story of Senator Mark Rubio, a star in the Republican party, rising from family hardship through hard work to prominent position and power, meant too little. Even though he is Hispanic, an ethnic group lavished with attention by both parties, his story did not resonate. The core Republican approach did not impress.
The Democrats received a lift from a convention promoting women's rights, the demise of Osama bin Laden, the hypnotic charisma of Bill Clinton -"Listen to me now: No president, not me, not any of my predecessors, no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he found in just four years" - and the empty words of Barack Obama.
Mitt Romney based his campaign on repairing the economy and creating jobs. His was a simple message, and he was the perfect spokesman, with his business experience. But he was successful demonized as a rich, heartless, capitalist - unconcerned with the fate of ordinary Americans.
The progressives/liberals have occupied the cultural high ground long enough for the values and principles espoused in The St. Croix Review to be incomprehensible for too many young people. When Mitt Romney talked about the stifling effects of government regulation on business he was not understood. Barack Obama was able to demonize Mitt Romney's work at Bain Capital because greedy and polluting businessmen have been made stock villains in our movies and on T.V. for years.
How many voters have heard of Milton Freidman or have an understanding of free market economics, or can appreciate the wealth-producing power of capitalism? We have an educational challenge of explaining our point of view. The free market ideal is a precious truth that must be communicated through the generations.
We are working against a tide of influence emanating from the arts, education, entertainment, and media dominated by the left. Our challenge will be to neutralize the march through the nation's institutions that the left has made. Fashions change: Fashion is a destructive, acidic, churning, never ceasing pursuit of "the new." And an intolerant leftist establishment will make great fodder for satire and parody. We could do with an updated version of Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal," on the subject of late-term abortion.
Eventually the young are going to figure out they are being stuck with the geezers' bills: How will they react? How then will they use their still-considerable American freedom? We must look forward to the day when the liberal establishment is overthrown.
But as conservatives we have to sharpen our thinking, so that we are clear in our own minds: how can affordable healthcare be brought to those without the means to afford it? We can't know the answers abstractly. If the fifty states were allowed to experiment, various methods and means would emerge - methods and means emerging under pressure of necessity - and the best ways would be discovered.
Change is coming. The policies of Barack Obama and the Democrats lead to inescapable national bankruptcy. Eventually rising interest rates on servicing the national debt will crush the presumption of the arrogant left. There will be stagnation and suffering.
Leftists are shallow, their motive is power, their method is deceit, and their victory will encumber the nation. We hold a hard-won faith in liberty and humility before God. We are on the cusp of the exhaustion of their system (watch Greece), but we are also in the midst of a technical and information revolution, the successor of the industrial revolution, that will produce unimaginable new industries - human enterprise and inventiveness persist. New technology combined with economic suffering will produce unimaginable new ways and means - there will be tension between imposing government and pioneering enterprise: Don't underestimate enterprise. Besides, pretty soon, we won't be able to afford the pensions of politicians and bureaucrats anymore.
We have to remain prepared for the future. *
We would like to thank the following people for their generous contributions to The St. Croix Review (from 9/7/2012 to 11/14/2012): John D. Alt, George E. Andrews, William D. Andrews, Gordon S. Auchincloss, William G. Buckner, Mary & Fred Budworth, David Bundsen, Thomas M. Burt, Dino Casali, John B. Charlton, Laurence Christenson, William D. Collingwood, Garry W. Croudis, Joseph R. De Vitto, Dianne C. DeBoest, Jeanne L. Dipaola, Alice DiVittorio. Paul Dynis, Donald R. Eberle, Neil Eckles, Francisco Figueroa, Joseph C. Firey, Reuben M. Freitas, William W. Frett, James R. Gaines, Richard P. Grossman, Weston N. Hammel, Elizabeth R. Harrigan, James E. Hartman, Paul J. Hauser, John H. Hearding, Bernhard Heersink, Gregory A. Hight, David Ihle, Margaret Kearney, William H. Kelly, Robert L. Kemper, Alan H. Lee, Leonard F. Leganza, Cary M. Maguire, Howard S. Martin, Peach McComb, Karen McNeil, Roberta R. McQuade, John M. Nickolaus, Jeanne I. Reisler, Patrick L. Risch, Steven B. Roorda, Philip E. Rosine, Richard P. Schonland, Richard L. Sega, Richard H. Segan, Alvan I. Shane, Philip Stark, Lee Stoerzinger, Frank T. Street, Norman Swender, Michael S. Swisher, Paul B. Thompson, Edmund B. Thornton, Elizabeth E. Torrance, Jack E. Turner, Donald E. Westling, Robert C. Whitten, Robert L. Wichterman, Florence T. Wiechecki, Gaylord T. Willett, Robert F. Williams, Lee Wishing, and W. Worman.