As we celebrate Independence Day 2015, it is of course disheartening to observe how President Barack Obama has succeeded in his promise to "fundamentally transform" our great nation.
Alas, the transformation has been into a welfare state and police state -- a nation with a leviathan, intrusive regulatory morass that crushes individual initiative and enterprise while wrecking the healthcare system. Wage stagnation and part-time, temporary and minimum wage jobs are the way of the future as a result of the Obama administration's grossly misguided tax and economic policies.
Millions of young people have been brainwashed and indoctrinated in government schools, and millions of middle-aged people got duped into voting for Obama even though their schooling was probably much more substantive than today's K-12 and higher ed swill. Some of them are disillusioned with Obama, yes, but far too many of them still blindly support him.
Despite my alarm, discouragement and disgust at the rapid decline of our nation, I have been heartened to see that liberals (or "progressives," if that's what they prefer to be called) have not infrequently opposed policies their side normally advocates. Some of them have had that "come to Jesus" moment when they recognize the insanity of supporting a policy or law that directly harms them.
In this 2011 posting about Democrat infighting, I focused on filmmaker Davis Guggenheim ("Waiting for Superman") , who had been a longtime supporter of public schools, but because he was concerned about the abysmal state of public education and sent his own children to private schools, he didn't want to be perceived a hypocrite. He also came to know many inner city parents of children whose hope of getting a safe and decent education depended on being winners of the voucher lottery. So he ended up supporting school choice.
Four months ago, I lauded courageous liberals who are not afraid to go against the tide when they recognize insane, irrational policies. These included New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, who criticized Obama for his decision to normalize relations with Cuba and for his administration's naive dealings with Iran regarding nuclear weapons development; the Democrat senators who voted for the Keystone Pipeline; and Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz and many of his colleagues who oppose the Title IX sexual harassment policies that have eviscerated male college students' due process rights whenever females level charges against them.
My point is this: Obama has done a lot of damage to this nation -- perhaps irreparable damage. The Founders would be sickened by the mess he's made. But all is not lost. There is evidence that large enough numbers of those who voted for Obama and have been unaware of the dangers of big government and compromised liberty are intelligent enough to admit their mistakes and courageous enough to do an about-face.
Make no mistake, it's still an uphill struggle trying to preserve the heart and soul of this nation. But the evidence is overwhelming that governments -- not corporations, religious organizations, conservative think tanks or right-wing fringe groups such as the Klan or neo-Nazis -- are the biggest threat to human life and the quality of human life. Government policies have caused far more human suffering, poverty and death than all of the others put together.
Just consider the lengthy list of murderous thugs who have used government to torture and murder millions of poor souls: Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Slobodan Milsevic, et al... Ponder the every day hardships of people living in totalitarian dictatorships -- food shortages, inadequate medical care, power blackouts...
Many people get frustrated that we have so much gridlock in our government -- that achieving things is like turning around a massive barge. The GOP and Democrats lock horns in Congress; the House and Senate disagree on a major issue; Congress passes a law and the president vetoes it; the Supreme Court overrules a presidential executive action; issues get tied up in legal wrangling for years... But that's by design. Our Founders recognized how dangerous it is to put too much power into one institution or one person's hands. Their wisdom is to be commended.
We live in an era where information and news are almost instantaneous. There is no excuse for people to be uninformed -- if not on laws, regulations and proposed policies, then at least on the consequences and quantifiable results of those actions. That is my hope: That millions of liberals will bow to reality (perhaps because that reality deeply affects them and their families) and begin to doubt the B.S. shoveled their way for years by a failed educational system and a corrupt, partisan press.
Let's call it independence from indoctrination and propaganda. And let's hope and pray that millions achieve that independence -- for their sake and our nation's sake.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone.