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    Not Buying What They Are Selling

    Not Buying What They Are Selling

    Janet Daley at The Telegraph in Britain (h/t POWIP) has an interesting column on anti-Americanism in Europe, and how the Europeans just don’t understand why we feel so strongly about our Constitution and personal freedoms.

    Daley makes some good points, but I particularly liked this portion of the column (emphasis mine):

    So let me have a go at explaining why Americans are not kidding when they talk about the intentions of the nation’s founding fathers, and why their reverence for and constant appeals to the Constitution are not an excuse for prejudice, but the precise opposite.

    The British, particularly – who feel that, for historical reasons, they should be in a better position to understand America than anyone else – find it almost impossible to believe that ordinary, not particularly well-educated, US citizens could be genuinely concerned about fidelity to an abstract notion of freedom embodied in a document that underpins their concept of government….

    What is unique about the US – and indispensable to the understanding of it – is that it is a country of the displaced and dispossessed: a nation which invented itself for the very purpose of permitting people to reinvent themselves, to take their fate into their own hands, to be liberated from the persecution and the paternalism of the old cultures they had left behind.

    Daley’s analysis goes a long way toward describing not only why the Europeans fail to understand us, but why the modern Democratic Party fails to comprehend the push-back taking place in the country. 

    The election of Barack Obama and the Democratic sweeps in 2006 and 2008 were taken to signal a change in the American attitude towards centralized government, but in reality, those events were anomalies in which a variety of unique historical factors came together.

    The modern Democratic Party, beholden as it is to unions and welfare-state sycophants in the European style, embodies attitudes which are alien to this nation.  Three generations of leftist education have resulted in a substantial minority of the population who accept that we should be like Europe, but still a minority. 

    The notion that everything we have and are devolves from the state is not natural to this country, but the modern Democratic Party can’t comprehend why that is so.  It is inconceivable to them that people would not want their form of health care system; it must be that we don’t understand how good it will be for us.

    Our failure to understand how good their handouts are for us really is their failure to understand that we want to take our own fate into our own hands. 

    A government safety net for those who, through no fault of their own, fail is one thing; a smothering net in which — to paraphrase Margaret Thatcher — the state becomes master not servant, is something quite different.

    When Tea Party and other protesters demand to take the country back, it has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with rejecting the alien European model of society being forced upon us.

    They can keep talking, but we’re not buying what they are selling.

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    Eradication of the American Memory

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    > A government safety net for those who, through
    > no fault of their own, fail is one thing; a
    > smothering net in which — to paraphrase
    > Margaret Thatcher — the state becomes master
    > not servant, is something quite different.

    I like that statement. I would like to see the metaphor put forward by a prominent blogger like you, professor, and then repeated and spread far and wide that the social safety net has become a gill net that is now used by the statist machine to scoop up and exterminate the middle class.

    SenatorMark4 – Give the Aussies some credit. The Canadians, too, who have done better than we have in many ways over the last five years. (Hell, even the Swedes are making free market noises now.) Still, point taken.

    I have long maintained that liberals do not disagree with other POV's. They simply don't understand them, but believe they do. Their understanding of non-liberals – not only the various types of conservatives but the regional, ethnic, issue, and union constituencies they try and exploit. They succeed with some of these through fear and bribery, which are effective political tools (so they do understand something), but are ultimately unstable. Liberals are 19% of the population, but leverage that by manipulating black and union (especially government union) votes into Democratic Party dominance, which is leveraged in turn in national politics.

    This is not to say that conservatives or libertarians have a field ripe for harvest. We have smaller core constituencies than the liberals. But separating out the numerous competing interests at least allows us to highlight those principles, as above, that remain common to most Americans.

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