Obama's election and continuing popularity isn’t about a a radical American president. It isn’t about Chicago-styled politics. It’s not about socialist or Marxists in the White House promoting their liberal agenda. And it has nothing to do with his campaign “tricking” people into voting for him. He was honest in what he proposed to do.
The significance of Obama’s election runs much deeper than that. The support that he still receives has demonstrated to me that there is a groundswell of pessimism toward the human spirit. This has been building for several decades and has erupted in the current spate of politicians and Presidential advisers who trust more in government than in the capacity of the individual to resolve human problems.
Individual initiative, hard work, personal responsibility, and perseverance are no longer considered adequate to solve problems and improve our lot.
This is the primary distinction between liberals and conservatives. Liberals don’t trust the individual to solve problems. To the liberal, individuals are either a victim, are too ignorant, or are too greedy to act appropriately. Government must take over the responsibilities once held by individual Americans, whether it is their health care or their buying habits. Government must keep us safe and healthy. Government must control what we eat and what we drive. Don’t trust the individual. A “free market” is comprised of individuals unrestrained by government. Therefore a free market is not to be trusted, either.
Conservatives trust the individual more than they trust government. Conservatives believe the productivity, ingenuity, and success of our culture is the result of unrestrained individual initiative motivated by prospects for success and profit. Conservatives believe in the individual; therefore they believe in the free market.
The figurative “iron rod of morality”, essential for a healthy free market, helped restrain greed and dishonestly among individuals. This influence has greatly diminished over the past decades. And with it, the trustworthiness of the free market has also been reduced.
There is a groundswell of pessimism toward the capacity or desire of the individual to solve our own problems. It is no longer popular or uplifting to hear motivational speeches about what the individual can accomplish. That is out of vogue. It is more popular to listen to motivational speeches about what the government should do for us.
Liberals now believe it is too difficult for individuals to problem solve – to pull themselves up and make a go of their lives. They believe things are too hopeless for that to occur. So they redirect their politics, their speeches, their candidates, their government programs, their whole philosophy of life to ignoring the capacity of the individual, and building the capacity of government. They believe it is ok for individual initiative to be stunted, even neutralized, in favor of building a big and benevolent government system to do things that they believe individuals will not do for themselves or their fellow man.
Liberals are selling out the human spirit in favor of an elusive collective that reduces the individual to “useless eaters.”