Early Sunday, longtime Detroit Lions owner and noted philanthropist William Clay Ford Jr. passed away, six days short of his 89th birthday. By all accounts, he was a kind, generous and humble man who treated his employees well and cared deeply about his community. May he R.I.P.
But Ford's patience and gentle heart also were drawbacks when it came to firing inept coaches and general managers, as any Lions fan will tell you. It also never seemed to dawn on him that maybe he needed to let someone else (someone with a proven track record of success) make the hiring and draft choice decisions. During his 50 years of ownership, the Lions won just one playoff game. They are one of only four NFL teams never to play in the Super Bowl, and the only team in league history to complete an entire season without one victory (the 0-16 catastrophe in the 2008 season).
Ford and the Lions are not what this blog will be about; however, I can't help but see how his decades of good intentions leading to poor results parallel closely an abundance of liberal policies and philosophies that have created disaster, corruption and fiscal ruin time and time again. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as the adage goes.
Leftists have a long track record of failed policies, arrogance, a lack of accountability and an utter inability to learn from mistakes.
We could start 80 years ago, when Keynesian economics did nothing to bring us out of the Great Depression, and FDR's Social Security program, which worked well until the demographics blew up, would eventually contribute toward looming fiscal insolvency.
Thirty years later, LBJ's Medicare would become the next money pit that would hasten our nation's march toward fiscal armageddon. As is typical of big government programs, Social Security and Medicare are inefficient, rigid, bureaucratic millstones around the taxpayers' neck. The possibility for implementing significant, meaningful reforms on these two dinosaur programs is regrettably minimal.
Moving on in the 20th century, leftists railed against DDT for years, bursting with pride over their bible, Rachel Carlson's "Silent Spring," published in 1962. The book is widely credited for helping ban this important pesticide. While DDT did have some adverse effects on wildlife and humans, the idealistic dreams about the benefits of halting its use have been greatly outweighed by the downside. Banishing DDT has caused the deaths of millions of people from malaria. As the late author and physician Michael Chrichton wrote in "State of Fear," the DDT ban "has killed more people than Hitler."
I could spend a great deal of time dwelling on the false promises of the left with regard to casting off traditional mores regarding human sexuality and drugs, a movement that exploded in the 1960s. But drug abuse and addiction, epidemic venereal diseases, AIDS, unwanted pregnancies, abortions and rapes have been covered ad nauseam, so let's move closer to the current day...
In New York City, far-left Mayor Bill de Blasio still subscribes to the fairy tale notion that showering more money on public schools will help them improve their performance. He bitterly opposes charter schools -- to the detriment of thousands of poor black and hispanic children consigned to miserable public schools. While sucking up to teachers' unions for their cash, he sends his own children to private schools. Blasio also wants to raise taxes on wealthy New Yorkers to increase spending on the Head Start early childhood education program, a longtime failure. While you're at it, Mr. Mayor, be sure to set up a budget for purchase of 8-track tapes, turntables and rotary dial telephones.
Meanwhile, the left's longtime love affair with electric vehicles continues rolling along. Generally the "little guy" can't afford Chevy Volts, which cost in the range of $35k to $40k. It's the snooty university types who smugly drive around in Volts and Priuses. Do they even realize that the electricity to charge their batteries usually comes from burning fossil fuels? So much for reducing CO2 emissions. Do the green energy fanatics realize that drivers and passengers in small cars involved in accidents are much more vulnerable to serious injuries and death than those in mid-sized and larger vehicles?
And don't get me started on the ethanol fiasco. Ethanol production has spiked food prices (especially hurting those of modest income) and actually puts more CO2 into the air than is reduced with use of ethanol, which gets worse miles-per-gallon and offers lower acceleration power than regular gasoline. If President Obama has his way and can eliminate coal as a fuel for electric power plants, electricity prices will also skyrocket.
Compounding the higher food prices are the insane environmental policies of the federal and California governments that have worsened a severe drought in that state's formerly fertile Central Valley. To preserve the lives of certain obscure species such as the delta smelt, water is often diverted straight into the ocean rather than into reservoirs that sustain agriculture.
Speaking of California, far-left San Francisco has long had a reputation for coddling the homeless while not demanding proper behavior from these people. In many cases, the homeless are mentally ill and/or have drug or alcohol addictions. Their behavior is often erratic, offensive and dangerous. Proper programs and services should be provided for these poor souls, since liberal laws prohibit institutionalizing them.
In the San Francisco Public Library, patrons have had to put up with disgusting behavior by homeless vagrants, who have bathed in bathroom sinks, changed clothes in restrooms and dealt drugs in or near library buildings. Public defecation has been a real and serious problem. Isn't progressivism wonderful?
Repeatedly we see a pattern: The elitist leftists think they're smarter than the rest of us and that they have the answers. When their policies fail, they refuse to admit their mistakes, instead choosing to blame others (George Bush, Republicans, the Tea Party, the Koch Brothers, Wal-Mart, "haters," insufficient tax revenues...you name it.)
Sadly, tens of millions of Americans don't connect the dots and tend to vote on name recognition or emotion. Or they believe the Democrats' asinine and absurd bullshit (war on women, evil Koch Brothers, climate change, etc.)
Republicans continue bumbling along with inept, ineffective leaders, speechwriters and candidates. And the whole, sad train wreck continues unabated.