Tea Party Game Show With Guest Host Cass Sunstein

Cass Sunstein recently published two short essays-here and here-on the current political struggles between “tea-party” conservatives and progressives. In the first essay, Sunstein attempts to link our current political fracturing with the famous standoff between Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss.  His second essay, which compares Whittaker Chambers and Ayn Rand’s divergent philosophies and then links their disagreements to various tendencies within present-day conservatism, is much better. My own thoughts on this precise question of Chambers, Rand, and conservatism are here.

ChambersThe first essay argues that the titanic struggle between Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss that culminated with Hiss’s federal conviction for perjury in 1950 (re: lying about espionage engaged in on behalf of the Soviet Union) is the foundational split between conservatives and liberals in America. Moreover, Sunstein argues that the ‘paranoid style’ both camps evince toward one another, but mostly conservative intransigence to progressives, is best understood through the Chambers-Hiss episode. This seems a bridge too far in my judgment. Moreover, it’s a card that’s been played: queue Sam Tanenhaus.

Sunstein’s real point, though, is to root conservative advocacy in a unique historical episode that conservatives can’t let go of. The Hiss-Chambers affair was an exceptional moment in American political history. Conservatives, cough Ted Cruz, cough Rand Paul, can’t let go of its spirit of paranoia, outrage, and anger at progressives. They have, if only unconsciously, breathed in its sharper edges, and seek to wield this against their contemporary traitorous foes. Thus, their contemporary advocacy is really a dance of whirling dervishes unable to speak coherently to reality.

Now there is some link between the tea party and the nascent conservative movement that squared off with progressives during the Hiss trial. But this is a broad connection, and to make it is to say very little. Yes, American conservatives had a Carl Schmitt moment, they realized they were a force. More significantly, they realized who the ‘other’ was and committed their newly defined movement to victory. For a comprehensive analysis, see George Nash‘s classic account.

In my introductory book to Chambers’s writings, I noted that given Chambers’s experiences with the dramatic attempt to protect Hiss by all manner of political, academic, and legal elites, and the simultaneous attempt to destroy Chambers, which succeeded in part, that both Chambers and his supporters really had a point in being somewhat paranoid. It’s worth noting that on the day of Hiss’ sentencing Secretary of State Dean Acheson read from the Gospel of Matthew’s 25th chapter “For I was hungered, and you gave me meat . . .” to support his judgment that he “did not intend to turn his back on Hiss.” Acheson had worked with Hiss and was his friend, and like many others, he was blind to the crimes Hiss had committed against his own country. Chambers, at great personal cost, had merely documented, based on personal experience, that persons serving in various capacities in the federal government were Soviet conspirators. For this, he was vilified.

Sunstein notes that Chambers wrongly equated New Dealers with communism. Just like those tea partiers who wrongly equate Obama’s policies with communism. But Chambers’ charge that good New Dealers couldn’t see Hiss as a communist because they basically shared the same mind and views of the progressive transformation of America was truer than most progressives cared to admit. Chambers was not charging that they were communists but that theoretical lines between modern progressivism and communism weren’t so clear cut. Where, after all, does progressivism draw its principled line between government control and individual freedom? This problem is evident in Woodrow Wilson’s writings as much as it is in many of FDR’s speeches. On this score, Chambers’s observation was also provocatively made by Alexander Solzhenitsyn in his powerful Harvard Address of 1978. Solzhenitsyn argued that the trajectory of modern rationalism found on the Left easily led to the more extreme forms of materialism and rationalism that promised the human will the ability to perfect existence. So liberalism gives way to radicalism, radicalism folds into socialism, and socialism becomes communism. If nothing is higher than the human will, then what will finally limit it?

And this is the real spirit of Chambers that conservatives of all stripes should remain in conversation with. Humility must ultimately be grounded in the knowledge that man is not God. Failing to understand this leads to what Chambers, following Henri de Lubac, observed as man organizing the world against man.

So choosing the Chambers-Hiss affair as the lens for understanding the Ted Cruz led debacle to defund Obamacare obviously confuses separate historical events and conflicts. Also evident in these types of pieces is the refusal of progressives to confront themselves, that is, to understand where the literally death-dealing rhetoric progressives directed against Bush II, among other conservative politicians, comes from. Perhaps this species of violent progressive talk begins with FDR’s 1944 State of the Union Address equating Republicans with fascists:

One of the great American industrialists of our day — a man who has rendered yeoman service to his country in this crisis — recently emphasized the grave dangers of “rightist reaction” in this Nation. Any clear-thinking business men share that (his) concern. Indeed, if such reaction should develop — if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called “normalcy” of the 1920’s — then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of fascism here at home.

Politics is war, compromise with the conservatives is unthinkable. Isn’t that what FDR is arguing?

Besides, the tea-party movement isn’t really motivated by a purist libertarian spirit or a desire to find the “Lost Constitution” and repeal the New Deal. Its goals are rather more pedestrian and middle class: preserve crucial space for Americans to live their lives apart from the government, and where entitlements are unavoidable, then structure them in a way that is far more in tune with market principles, efficiency, and choice. I could go on.

So Obama is no socialist, but he surely fails to understand the genius of American institutions, Liberty. In the final analysis, that is what opposition to his policies is all about.

Richard Reinsch

Richard Reinsch is a fellow at Liberty Fund and the editor of the Library of Law and Liberty.

About the Author

Comments

  1. David Upham says

    While, during wartime, denouncing his fellow citizens as fascists, he praised the communist dictatorship in the Soviet Union as an authentic expression of the will of the people of Russia.
    “To use an American and somewhat ungrammatical colloquialism, I may say that I “got along fine” with Marshal Stalin. He is a man who combines a tremendous, relentless determination with a stalwart good humor. I believe he is truly representative of the heart and soul of Russia; and I believe that we are going to get along very well with him and the Russian people — very well indeed.”
    http://millercenter.org/president/speeches/detail/3333

  2. says

    Sunstein wrote a book “The Second Bill of Rights,” which contended that FDR’s 1944 State of the Union address was the greatest speech of the 20th century. It alludes to, but euphemizes, the part of the speech quoted here.

    • Orson says

      Duplaintier says “‘So Obama is no socialist . . .’ Where the hell did that come from?”

      Perhaps not, but his biographical and intellectual mettle forged in Marxism is thoroughly documented in biographies on the Right (eg,Jack Cashill, Stanley Kurtz, Paul Kengor), and the testimony of Dr. Paul Drew – later a political scientist – who personally knew Obama ran in Marxist circles at Occidental College
      (http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/10/barack_obama_marxist_student.html).

      Then there is the famous Public Radio interview on a local Chicago station, where Obama – the University of Chicago con law lecturer -explained how progressive objectives are stymied by a Constitution that does not permit unlimited executive powers. (Yes, indeed.) To Him, this is a defect of the Constitution.

      Thus, this likely explains why – until ObamaCare takes hold – redistributive wealth schemes (eg, the young subsidizing the old) have taken a back seat to dirigisme – cf, energy policies – and old fashioned cronyism like an economic “stimulus” that especially benefited unions, through His first term.

      But even that, in the context of the “Hope Change” Mussolini-like rallies, the frequent recursion to campaigns (eg, now, over ObamaCare rollout criticism), and the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal and the opposition organization sabotaging via the IRS, surely the spectre of fascism surrounds Him (cf, “Liberal Fascism” by Jonah Goldberg), too.

      I short, I am far from mollified from the serious worry of my Tea Party alarums by Richard Reinsch’s words.

    • Brutus Fullman says

      Where did that come from? Simple: it’s meant to provide ideological cover. By denouncing the claim that Obama is anything more than a liberal, Reinsch hopes to protect himself against the standard progressive talking-head accusations of rabid, racist, right-wing lunacy. I wish him luck with that.

  3. gabe says

    Richard:
    Excellent piece!

    And now, we all know just how “famously” FDR got along with Uncle Joe. Perhaps, it is more appropriate to say that Eastern Europeans know how well FDR handled Uncle Joe.

    Sunstein has become a Democratic hack employing the never ending trick of ascribing McCarthyism and paranoia to all brands of conservatism. Hey Cass, guess what, Tailgunner Joe was more right than wrong; unfortunately he was a loud-mouth drunkard who destroyed not only his credibility but also that of other anti-communists. I think I would prefer Tailgunner to Cass in any event.

    take care
    gabe

  4. says

    Good analysis. The connection is there: “that theoretical lines between modern progressivism and communism weren’t so clear cut. Where, after all, does progressivism draw its principled line between government control and individual freedom? This problem is evident in Woodrow Wilson’s writings as much as it is in many of FDR’s speeches. On this score, Chambers’s observation was also provocatively made by Alexander Solzhenitsyn in his powerful Harvard Address of 1978. Solzhenitsyn argued that the trajectory of modern rationalism found on the Left easily led to the more extreme forms of materialism and rationalism that promised the human will the ability to perfect existence.” I have examined (American Academia and the Survival of Marxist Ideas) the Marxist theoretical foundation of much of today’s academic discourse, even in the case of professors who have no idea where what they are writing ultimately comes from. Of course not only Chambers but also the vilified Senator McCarthy were right. This was proven by the revelation after 1989 of the Russian Marxist-Leninists’ infiltration of US government, academia, the press, and Hollywood: See the Venona Papers published by Yale University Press.

    • Orson says

      Hello Dr Dario Fernandez-Morera. Good to see you here!

      An Objectivist-turned-anarcho-capitalist friend of mine completed his MA in media studies and political journalism at a School of Journalism – better known as Marxists studies – yet was mentored by a rare and honest Marxist.

      I gave him your book “American Academia and the Survival of Marxist Ideas,” which he almost literally inhaled.

      Impressed and entertained by his depth of analysis, argument, and maybe his eidetic memory, his mentor pushed him on for a doctorate.
      But the rest of the less than honest department refused him admission.

      Your book, Dario, gave him solace about the boredom and deadening routine he would inevitably face refuting Marxists over and over elsewhere had he pursued the doctorate at fields beyond Colorado.

      Every anti-utopian skeptic in the humanities ought to read your fine study. Anything less is like life spent in nonage.

  5. dk says

    “So Obama is no socialist . . .”

    That’s like arguing certain kinds of water aren’t wet, from a certain point of view. His actions to implement redistributionist policy is as obvious as the sun at noon.

    Laughable line and a terrible end to an otherwise decent article.

  6. says

    The conervative/liberal split goes back much further than 1950. It is inherent in the DNA of our founding. The genius of Washington’s creation by example of the nature of an American Presidency was to allow his cabinet to operate almost as a mini parliment, debating and cajoling each other. Great Presidents do a lot of listening while others bicker. Then they act decisively. Poor Presidents are wonkish and rvel in long bullshit sessions that they insist on being the smartest guy in the room. They are micromanagers that offer multifaceted solutions with caveats and backdoors to accomodate political contingencies.

    To be a fly on the wall of Washington’s cabinet would have been to watch the Jeffersonians begin to gel around clever quotations from Condorcet, Godwin and Paine. The Federalists were sharing copies of books by Burke and Adam Smith. Washington saw the radicalism of the French Revolution as a cancer that would strangle the young american nation in its crib. He sided with the Federalists. Washington was the original conservative.

    The radicals never start out by advocating the guilotine, but when the black hole of political obscurity begins to creep in on their utopian dreams of perfecting mankind, the siren call of the silencing blade becomes too tempting.

    The only difference now is that silencing blade comes in the form of a 60 minutes crew on your doorstep with kleg lights, a power pack, 2 cameras and a microphone carrying manhattanite with fake hair, capped teeth and fresh memories of the bad airline food he just ate. Its all the same. He won’t leave until he’s sure your head comes off. Then Spike Lee or some celebrity posts your family’s home address to finish the job. Your done.

    It just seems like it all started in the late 40s because TV just did the job in a new way. Kind of a guilotine with a smiley face sticker on top and ads for Tide with borax running down the side.

  7. Falling Up says

    “Obama is no socialist…” is one of those things one must say if one is to be considered “reasonable”. Likewise, one must stipulate to Obama’s intellectual brilliance if one is to remain in the good graces of the right sort of people. There is much evidence to contradict the former assertion, and damned little to support the latter.

    • says

      Barack Obama has always and will always be in a pepetual state of becoming. He has two embematic pieces of legislattion in 5 years. The failed stimulus and failed Obamacare. His supporters keep telling us the economic recovery is just around the corner and then we will see the genius of his Keynsianism… or lately, the “Tech Surge” will save the website and we will see the full glory of the previously perfect Obamacare. America will experience a new era of Unity if we can just get the IRS to root out those fascists at the Tea Party that are dividing us. Everything is just around the corner.

      America was introduced to Obama’s genius nearly a decade ago and he has provided no evidence that it actually exists. The real danger for him of the “Obama is a liar” crisis that he is experiencing now is that “Hope and Change” was completely reliant on the American people giving an unproven nubbie the benefit of the doubt. It was an appeal to the inherent goodness of the American people and their sense of fair play. It appears the realization is taking hold that Obama and his handlers, like conmen who want to take something away from you, usually appeal to either your sense of fairness or your greed to lead you in to their trap. Once that trust is blown, there is very little room to work together after that and the now well worn blame game falls on flat ears.

      Prepare yourself for a new tactic. It is what is known in the conman world as “Cooling out the mark”. Thomas Sowell pointed out that Obama used this grifter tactic on Benghazi. Con men know the mark or victim will realize he’s been had at some point. Cooling out the Mark is a plan to create a diversion or secondary ruse that comes in to play when the jig is up. The secondary ruse is perpetrated by a shill who consoles the Mark and offers the victim an idea or plan to recover or minimize the damage of the con. The plan requires very little of the victim other than patience, waiting and a small hope of some minor remedy. This buys time for the original team of conmen to skip town safely and with the benefit of time, minimize the intensity of the blow back. As Sowell noted, it worked well in Benghazi.

      The Cooling of the Mark is beginning on Obamacare and expect a Democrat bill called, “Fix the Website” Bill or “Keep your plan” bill. That on the surface will appear to fix ALL the problems of Obamacare, or upon closer analysis the apperance of fixing some of the problems, but in reality it fixes nothing and serves only to provide fog to “Cool the Mark”.

      I’m not afraid to say it. Presidents require a certain skill set and Obama might be clever about some things somewhere, I don’t know what, but no President in my lifetime has been so devoid of this needed skillset. Worse yet, he is one of those people we see in business that has created a reliable strategy of deception and misdirection to coverup his lack of experience and inadequacies. I have actually known CEOs of medium sized succesful businesses that can’t read or write, or barely can, and beleive it or not the skill by which they conceal this secret has contributed to their success in some weird way. It is a desperate survival strategy wrapped in victimhood.

      Obama is not a communist. He is clearly a socialist and furthermore if a team of European socialists wanted to develop a socialist candidate that could penetrate the barrier of American resistance, Obama would be it. LBJ built giant housing projects and they became edifaces to government failure. Hillary and Obama realized, don’t get caught holding the bag. Don’t own the means of production. Force the private sector to build edifaces and if anything goes wrong, blame them. This is closer to national socialism or fascism than communism. It is the same reason Elizabethan monarchs used freebooters as a replacemnt to standing armies. Crony Capitalism is not a byproduct, it is a conscious centerpiece of their strategy. When you hear someone say, “Isn’t it great when business and government learn to work together”, this is not a leftist hoping the businessmen swallow the bureaucrats or an image of a military-industrial leash around the neck of Washington, it is a hostile takeover of industry being forged behind closed doors. Hello 1930.

      Being a leftists means never having to say your sorry. The plan was sabotaged, the plan was underfunded, the plan did not go far enough, we compromised with non- believers too much. As you hear all these things this past week, all it means is we aren’t socialist enough.

      Obama is stupid or at least too stupid for the job. He is a liar and a conman which is mostly a coping mechanism and survival technique, not an inner desire to hurt people. And he is a Socalist that wants to take away freedom from a majority of Americans with benevolent plans to give it back before the winter sets in. You may have liked your plan, but I’ve got something better that I’ll give you next year and you will get generous subsidies. I know it looks like Spinach, but its good for you, you just don’t know it and you’ll learn to like the taste.

      In essence, he is an underhanded nutjob. The fact that the elite ran to prop up Hiss without first asking if he was actually an underhanded nutjob shows that Chambers premise of the “Ice Caps” moving leftward in America was true then and is true now, even if the shills are ignorant of their part in the charade.

      • gabe says

        You are absolutely right. The Enlightened One is simply someone who has been told his entire life “how special” he is by people who confuse memory with thinking and learning with wisdom.
        The whole hoax of the “genius” of Obama is / was propagated by people who believe that rote memorization of the Progressive narrative is wisdom. thus, all persons not in tune with the narrative are “idiots” – and not even useful ones at that!
        Because they are so wise, there is no need to admit mistakes – it is by definition impossible for them to have made any!!!

        take care
        gabe

  8. ameryx says

    May I suggest that the sundering of the American polity predates the Hiss-Chambers hearings by more than a decade? In American Betrayal, Diana West cogently argues that the “Original Sin” is the diplomatic recognition of the Soviet Union in 1933. Justification of the recognition required that the true nature of the USSR be denied; FDR was forced into relating palpable absurdities, such as that the Soviets had freedom of religion much like the U.S. does.
    America has become inured to this lie, to the point that we have trouble distinguishing any lie from the truth. One can easily see how, with one side actively seeking to hide the truth, and the other side sensing that the truth is missing, both sides would behave in ways that would appear “paranoid”. Furthermore, the side propagating the lie has an incentive to portray its opponents as insane. Protecting the core falsehood requires the spinning of an entire web of lies. The end result is a citizenry that has trouble distinguishing any lie from the truth.
    Those citizens who have internalized the lie (perhaps because they were never exposed to the truth) will believe remarkably obvious lies. For instance, the promises that preceded the passage of Obamacare were obvious, and risible, lies. Even now, with reality asserting itself in the implementation of the law, many continue to deceive themselves and others with fantastical tales of Republican sabotage of the Healthcare website.
    I believe that, whether they are conscious of it or not, the Tea Party seeks to restore truth to the public square. They will be no more successful at that than was Whitaker Chambers if they address only the current manifestation of the lie. We have to go back to the source, correct our understanding of the nature of Communism, then work our way forward to the current political environment.

    • gabe says

      Ameryx:

      Why stop at recognition of Russia. i could trace a chain back to Sacco and Vanzetti and the Red Scare of the 20’s.
      These too have their own sacred narratives that require a woeful and willful ignorance of history – but that is what our Progressive friends do.

      take care
      gabe

      • ameryx says

        Gabe, you make a good point. Let me suggest, though, that the lie became embedded in the governance of the country with the diplomatic recognition of the USSR. Earlier instances, such as Sacco & Vanzetti, lacked the government imprimatur. Once the lie was implanted, Stalin became Uncle Joe, Hiss had to be innocent, as did the Rosenbergs.

        • gabe says

          Ameryx:
          You are correct, of course. I was just being a cranky old bugger and wanted to point out some antecedent predilections of the Left.

          take care
          gabe

  9. FrancisChalk says

    Richard Reinsch needs to get his story straight. He writes, “Sunstein notes that Chambers wrongly equated New Dealers with communism. Just like those tea partiers who wrongly equate Obama’s policies with communism.” He then writes, referencing a Solzhenitsyn speech, “So liberalism gives way to radicalism, radicalism folds into socialism, and socialism becomes communism. If nothing is higher than the human will, then what will finally limit it?” The fact is Tea Party members accuse Obama of being a socialist, not a communist, but as Reinsch points out—socialism leads to communism. They were both founded by Marx by the way. Furthermore, Obama spent much of his youth under the influence of a staunch communist, Frank Marshall Davis, and his governing policies are very much of a socialist nature, so it’s not exactly a big stretch to call him a socialist (would-be communist) now is it? Mr. Reinsch concludes with, “So Obama is no socialist”, huh? Not one sentence of his article was spend disproving that “Obama is no socialist”, unless simple assertion is proof by Mr. Reinsch’s standards. A good article to write Mr. Reinsch would be “What Constitutes a Modem-day Socialist?” I suspect, any reasonable and honest attempt at such an analysis would feature Barrack Obama most prominently.

  10. constitution First says

    Responsible Fiscal Policy.
    Accountable Government.
    States Rights.
    Adherence to the Constitution.
    When these things are considered controversial, radical, outrageous, extreme, even terroristic… we are toast as a nation.
    When you hear something that just doesn’t sound right, consider the source.

  11. Publius says

    Such a good article, and yet so far away! “He who says A, must say B.” I’m sorry – perhaps it is the price of political correctness, but FDR, Obama, and all big government types, who believe in the perfectibility of man (so long as they are the ones in charge), are communists in thought. A Socialist is a dishonest Communist (or a Communist not in a hurry). Secular humanists, progressives, whatever the flavor of the day, are all of the same mindset – we are God and we know better and we will make the world in our image. I am 56 – I barely remember enough of the way things used to be, but can’t you see the decay everywhere – illegitimacy, abortion, homosexuality – what has the Great Society done to improve the lives of blacks? Nothing, made it worse, and now is drawing into its maw everyone else as we pay girls to have babies. Then the babies grow up without fathers and all the dysfunction that follows. Feminism and the sexual revolution? One night stands, hooking up and abortions on demand, no fault divorce – what are the incentives for a guy to get married? “Conservatives” need to take back the culture – what we believe as a way to live led to prosperity and happiness, and we’ve been silenced…

  12. John says

    I left this same response at Instapundit …

    This is a very gentle rebuke, and it seems dangerous. Here’s why … if you think a tea partier is for more liberty than she is, and the tea partier gains political ground, then you haven’t lost much. If you think a progressive isn’t quite a socialist, but the progressive gains political ground, then history tells us that you will lose more liberty, more income, and more ability to move socially in America.

    To draw a fine line between conservatives and Tea Partiers and Libertarians is fun. No consequences. In the end, they really want to leave you alone, regardless of how much they want to leave you alone.

    But to find shades of grey between progressives and communists is to find distinctions without differences. The ultimate proof of course is Obamacare. Reinsch’s analysis places Obamacare on a simple operational spectrum with social security, medicare, medicaid, and welfare reform. If he was correct, then the scope would be the same, and the checks and balances that limited those programs would have limited Obamacare as it stands today.

    But we know a few things … first that these social programs are failures at their intended objectives. That means that their existence is more about power by any means. Second, we know that the mechanisms of Obamacare are not limited, that they are intrusive and damaging. This means that the spectrum on which to see Obamacare is not as the “next” social program, but as an opportunistic bid for power that won’t accomplish any of its ostensible aims. Finally, it is nakedly federal in its scope, in a way that medicare never was. How can you look at the governance of Obamacare and not see central planners with punitive enforcement mechanisms? That, in practice, is communism and socialism.

    Reinsch is confusing various individual’s good intentions with actual analysis. This is shoddy at best.

    • says

      ” … if you think a tea partier is for more liberty than she is, and the tea partier gains political ground, then you haven’t lost much. If you think a progressive isn’t quite a socialist, but the progressive gains political ground, then history tells us that you will lose more liberty, more income, and more ability to move socially in America.”

      This is very close to correct, but it fails to acknowledge that there’s an inevitable structural difference between the two movements. Much as I’m suspicious of any movement that has to re-brand itself every thirty years, “progressivism” is the most accurate label for a movement that relies on the irreversibility of its successes. Progressives use history like a ratchet, where each click represents a victory that can’t be undone, even when conservatives regain power. It doesn’t matter if you see progressive strategy as transparent and benign or you view it as deceptive and malignant; progressives only need occasionally to win an additional click of the ratchet to ultimately succeed.

      Conservatives have no comparable strategy to undo progressive wins. The only conditions that undo progressive victories are collapse and/or revolution, both of which conservatives abhor. So they’re stuck with a very small number of tools in the toolbox: constant vigilance, which suffers from the public relations problem of appearing to be boorish, suspicion and resistance to almost all new policy approaches, which is easy to portray as closed-mindedness, and unceasing attempts to pry open the ratchet to release the last few progressive clicks, which appears to be reactionary–because it is.

      Conservative paranoia about the motivations of the Left may be well-founded, but it’s ultimately fruitless. Liberal paranoia about the motivations of the Right, on the other hand, is politically very useful, because any successful attempt to ascribe bad faith to the Right gets the Left that much closer to the next irreversible victory.

      Any casual student of thermodynamics will recognize this dynamic immediately: Freedom is a low-entropy state. Progressivism uses freedom to perform its work for it, resulting in a higher-entropy state, where the polity is exhausted and passive.

      At the risk of over-straining this metaphor, conservatives should take a cue from the mechanical engineers, who know how to harness resources from outside the system to convert irreversible processes into quasi-reversible ones. You may not be able to undo the progressives’ social ratchet, but you can render some of it irrelevant by promoting growth and technological innovation. You may ultimately not be able to win, or break even, or even get out of the game, but you can make the game a lot longer and more fun by making it bigger.

  13. ThomasD says

    “Where, after all, does progressivism draw its principled line between government control and individual freedom?”

    Bingo. It is a question they steadfastly avoid.

  14. libertarian jerry says

    Mr.Obama is certainly not a socialist. If anything I would label Mr.Obama a fascist. With that said, the truth is that the real power in America is the power behind the throne. That power would be the elitists and globalists,mostly bankers,who have bought and paid for most of the politicians and judges plus own most of the Main Stream Media in America. Mr.Obama takes most of his orders from these powerful men behind the scenes. In essence,Mr. Obama’s real political position would be that of an actor playing the role of a puppet. This is the truth that most Americans have chosen to ignore but are slowly waking up to. Let us hope it is not too late. Otherwise America is doomed to repeat the mistakes of many of history”s nations and slide into the abyss of a police state.

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