Ed Hudgins

Fighting for Freedom Against Reelected Obama

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Fighting for Freedom Against Reelected Obama

By Edward Hudgins

November, 7, 2012 -- Barack Obama’s reelection victory, with a narrow popular vote margin, does not constitute a mandate for his future policies; he didn’t give us specifics about them in any case. But we know from Obama's first term that he is a paternalist and a socialist, whether he labels himself as such or not. He wants to push for more government control of our lives and limits on our liberty.

Reject cooperation

In his concession speech, Mitt Romney said “Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work.” After an exhausting and grueling campaign, there are calls for the country and policymakers to come together, to respect the will of the voters.

But friends of freedom, including Republicans who count themselves in this category, should do no such thing. The democratic process is a means to preserve individual liberty, but fewer Americans today value liberty. The consensus about the purpose of government has been seriously eroded. Cooperation between those who accept Obama’s philosophy and those who don’t means a surrender of the latter to the former.

Those who love liberty must continue to struggle against the new tyranny in this country, devising more effective strategies based on sound philosophical principles.

Obama’s limits

If Mitt Romney had been elected, he might have started to reverse some of the damage Obama has done to economic liberty. But that won’t happen. Obamacare is permanent for the foreseeable future, controlling one-sixth of the economy and our personal healthcare choices; watch for shortages of physicians in the future.

The Obama White House will continue to hamper energy production, attacking the coal industry, barring the Keystone pipeline that could bring oil from Canada, and stopping the fracking method for extracting our abundance of natural gas. There are some cold winters ahead.

And many entrepreneurs and business folks will continue to sit on their capital rather than invest it in productive efforts in fear of Obama’s assault on wealth producers.

Republicans still control the House and thus, if they resist the temptation to make peace with the enemies of freedom, they will be able to resist any more of Obama’s more egregious socialist plans. But stopping Obama from committing new abuses of liberty through legislation won’t stop the country’s collapse.

The deep fissure

The fact that a majority of Americans could reelect Obama, with his leftist ideology and policy failures, shows just how deep the fissure in the moral foundation of American freedom really is. Even the election of Romney would not have obviated this sad fact.

We see this divide manifest in politics. Until recent decades, most Americans and the policymakers they elected believed in the legitimacy of the capitalist system of private property and free exchange. Yes, liberals and even some moderates on the left also favored a government-supplied safety net for those who might need temporary help in hard times, and they believed government should tweak the system to deal with what they saw—erroneously—as market failures.

But the leftist political elites today led by Obama are socialists of the corporatist variety. They believe that because individuals face challenges in life from the cradle to grave, government must provide entitlements and guarantees for every aspect of life. And thus the government must control every aspect of life—see Obamacare.

Paternalist logic

But there’s an economic logic working its way out as a result of this paternalist ideology. Government must increasingly take from productive citizens to pay for entitlements which, in turn, will discourage production which, in turn, will mean less wealth to redistribute to the growing army of people in need, which, in turn, will mean even greater burdens on the shrinking productive class. In the end, the system must collapse, as it has in European countries like Greece.

This process has created the dependent mentality of the emerging class of Americans who look to government rather than themselves to pay for or provide for their housing, healthcare, education, you name it.

America is now in a civil war—albeit a bloodless one so far—between the makers and the takers, the producers versus the expropriators

The battle ahead

So what now for the friends of freedom? To begin with, we must recognize that these political and economic battles are at root one battle between the philosophies of individualism and collectivism. It is a battle between those who believe they have a moral right to their own lives and that their own happiness and flourishing should be their goal, and those who believe that, in Bill Clinton’s words, “We’re all in this together” and that service to our neighbors, communities, others, the environment, anything but ourselves should be our moral goal, even to the sacrifice of our own goals, dreams, families, friends, and values.

The solution is to fight for individualism, to restore the moral foundations of the country. It is to seek short-term strategies to show our fellow citizens who elected Obama that he is leading country to destruction. It is to raise the consciousness of producers so that they will refuse to be used as sacrificial animals. It is to awaken the citizens, who are more and more dependent on expropriation, to the fact that this is a way of life unworthy of them. It is to focus on educating young people in economic and moral realities so that they can help make a better future for themselves and the country in the long-term.

Ronald Reagan liked to say that there are no permanent defeats because there are no permanent victories. I won’t minimize the fact that the road ahead will be difficult. Yes, it can be depressing. But freedom must be fought for. Patriots did so in the war that gave America its independence, established on the principle that we each are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We are in community with those patriots of two centuries ago as we fight for freedom today.

--------

Hudgins is director of advocacy and a senior scholar at The Atlas Society.

For further reading:

*Edward Hudgins, “Obama’s Grab-Bag Socialism.” April 4, 2009.

*Edward Hudgins, “Producers vs. Expropriators: America’s Coming Civil War.” April 13, 2010.

*Edward Hudgins, “The Need for a New Individualism.” January-February 2005.

*William Thomas, “Individual Rights: The Objectivist View.” Spring 2009.

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Ed Hudgins wrote:

It is to raise the consciousness of producers so that they will refuse to be used as sacrificial animals.

end quote

Unfortunately, as in “Atlas Shrugged,” there is a huge cost to those of us who try to get along, while the producers are ‘going Galt.’ It will get worse, though Stephen Boydstun’s predictions on a different thread are a bit rosier. He thinks it will all be about Obama’s Legacy now, and BHO (pronounced Boo! as when a ghost scares the female protagonist­) the President will move more to the center and ignore his socialist base.

One of my girls works for a large motel as a bookkeeper and fears downsizing. She is already working for less than her college major projected, though it is not as bad as flipping burgers with a liberal arts degree. Room vacancies are numerous. Many of her coworkers have been permanently laid off so they can collect unemployment. I am not against a modest “safety net,” as long as it is paid for voluntarily as in the case of insurance. My son in law is a waiter and his hours have been cut to two or three days a week. Both of these jobs are in the Ocean City, Maryland resort / hospitality fields and folks vacationing here truly have less cash for extravagances.

It is depressing but your advice is correct.

Peter Taylor

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Ed:

Here is your first answer from these psychos...

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that he will try to push through a change to Senate rules that would limit the GOP’s ability to filibuster bills.

Speaking in the wake of Tuesday’s election, which boosted Senate Democrats’ numbers slightly, Mr. Reid said he won’t end filibusters altogether but that the rules need to change so that the minority party cannot use the legislative blocking tool as often.

“I think that the rules have been abused and that we’re going to work to change them,” he told reporters. “Were not going to do away with the filibuster but we’re going to make the Senate a more meaningful place.”

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Can a case be made for taking Obama out by force on the ground that he violated his oath to respect the Constitution?

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Can a case be made for taking Obama out by force on the ground that he violated his oath to respect the Constitution?

Sadly, no, Jerry. I mean, a 'case' can be made for forceful means to remove him from office short of a visit from DHS/SS or CSIS, but that case would be pretty general, like "I think you guys should take Obama out by force on the ground mumble mumble."

But otherwise yeah, a coup could work, with a plan. A secret plan, hint hint.

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Jerry:

Could you possibly be smart enough to refrain from that incredibly illegal and stupid remark on this forum. Start your own blog if you care to use certain words in relation to certain elected officials.

A...

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I suggest no what speak of the violent initiation of force against anyone. You could land in hot water for a bunch of jibber jabber. Deserved, constitutional impeachment is a possibility though it would not pass the Senate. The threat of a “show” itself could stop the illegal Presidential “executive orders” stuff in its tracks. Libertarians must ensure that Obama has no mandate.

For the future we need a Republican candidate who gets the nod from young women which means a national candidate who supports a woman’s right to an abortion up to the second trimester. Seriously. That means that the dream ticket of Ryan / Rubio in 2016 would lose the election, unless they rethink and change their positions before 2014.

Peter Taylor

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Can a case be made for taking Obama out by force on the ground that he violated his oath to respect the Constitution?

jts,

You may soon be discovering why Lindsay Perigo isn't presently able to travel to the United States whenever he might want to.

Robert Campbell

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It will get worse, though Stephen Boydstun’s predictions on a different thread are a bit rosier. He thinks it will all be about Obama’s Legacy now, and … the President will move more to the center and ignore his socialist base.

I'll comment here, as Mr. Boydstun can't delete this thread.

Barack Obama is, of course, concerned about his legacy. He can't become President for Life. For a politician so narcissistic the base—in fact, the entire Democratic Party—exists only to put him in power or keep him in power. And persons outside the base are complete nonentities, so far as he is concerned. He'll go, not with convictions exactly, but with what he learned earlier in life and found would ingratiate him with authority figures and bring him advancement. And all of that is of the social-democratic variety.

Anyone who imagines that Barack Obama will become more "moderate" during his second term has no understanding of the man at all.

We needn't wait two or three years. There are plenty of early checkpoints for anyone who wishes to assess this judgment.

For instance, he could lift his ban on the Keystone XL pipeline tomorrow, if he wished.

Does anyone here think he will?

Robert Campbell

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Can a case be made for taking Obama out by force on the ground that he violated his oath to respect the Constitution?

Jerry,

Not under USA law.

There is a government's case, however, for calling your post a Class D Felony. I doubt they will do it, but there is a case they can make.

You might want to look at the following Wikipedia article for an overview: Threatening the President of the United States.

Michael

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The fact that a majority of Americans could reelect Obama, with his leftist ideology and policy failures, shows just how deep the fissure in the moral foundation of American freedom really is.

Ed,

I agree that there is the moral fissure you point to. But I think something needs to be added. I believe there is a perception of reality fissure, also, and not just with the other side.

Those who point to the evils of collectivism generally mention the brutal tragedies of last century as example. However, when people look around these days, they see gobs of stuff to consume, increasing life spans, a growing human population everywhere, even a difficulty to starve to death in most countries, meaning you would have to work at it to get the job done, not just be deprived.

In other words, people hear about doom and gloom associated to an ideology, and they are given examples from the past, but they constantly see--in the present--a thriving and flourishing human species. Even in socialist countries.

That is a real and serious communication disconnect.

Theory and practice do not compute.

To me, this points to two problems that need to be addressed. This is serious. Otherwise, we are going to keep doing what we've always done and we'll keep getting what we've always got. To think causality will ever change by repeating the same things over and over is the very definition of insanity.

The first is that the communicators on our side--the ones who are committed body and soul to doom and gloom--need to take stock of reality as it is. I constantly see them ignoring what is evident to anyone who looks. They need to talk about real dangers that can be perceived by the public, not some extremist-sounding projections that contradict the very eyes of the public.

And this leads to the second--framing and storytelling. The current models are not resonating enough to get through to people on the government dole. Some new approaches are in order. Otherwise, the number of people getting government stuff--with every last one bearing the right to vote--is going to increase until a tipping point is reached and the government can't keep up. That then goes to the next stage, a nasty one, but we're not even close to there right now and many people can't see it. To me, it's evident that politicians want to ensure their votes, so they will keep giving out more and more stuff and encouraging folks to get their "fair share."

The only way to get these people to vote for fiscal sanity and freedom is to reach them in terms they can understand, not in terms that only suit the framers and tellers. And, especially, make sure the message is not contradicted by something as easy as a person looking with his or her own two eyes.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about. We have the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy right in front of us. The lack of last-minute preparations in the face of a known upcoming disaster and the sluggishness of response are visible proof of how inept government is. The framers and storytellers should be all over this--there certainly is potential material galore--and bring the following message home to the individual who lives mostly on government benefits: look what could happen to you when the government is your master.

It's true, the news is doing something. But they're framing it as a partisan issue, not a philosophical indictment of the government as provider of the commonwealth (as opposed to protector of the commonwealth).

That's just one easy example and I believe it would resonate. With a little creativity, there are plenty more. But that's not even needed right now. The "what's in it for you" angle is a deep, rich, highly-resonating vein that is woefully un-mined on our side.

Michael

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Or we have a total collapse of the system. Maybe that would wake people up.

It would have done no good to tell the people boarding Titanic how vulnerable the ship really was. It took a collision with an ice-berg to acquaint them with the reality.

People are deluded by phrases such as "unsinkable ship" or "too big to fail".

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Here's an example of what I'm talking about. We have the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy right in front of us. The lack of last-minute preparations in the face of a known upcoming disaster and the sluggishness of response are visible proof of how inept government is. The framers and storytellers should be all over this--there certainly is potential material galore--and bring the following message home to the individual who lives mostly on government benefits: look what could happen to you when the government is your master.

It's true, the news is doing something. But they're framing it as a partisan issue, not a philosophical indictment of the government as provider of the commonwealth (as opposed to protector of the commonwealth).

Michael,

The point should be that FEMA is as ineffective, under Obama, in dealing with Sandy as it was, under Dubya, in dealing with Katrina.

Lots of discredit to state and local officials as well—and they come from both parties.

Robert Campbell

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Michael wrote:

And this leads to the second--framing and storytelling.

end quote

How do we win in 2016? Here are a few cynical ideas.

Minus one. No more bruising expensive primaries for Republicans. Should we go back to the Republican back room system of anointing a chosen one? I hate the thought of that, but it would be expedient.

One. Dissect the election demographically. We need to get “our guys” elected. Race, Sex, Age and Ethnicity are four huge factors. So, starting now, should we groom and support a candidate based on those factors? Those are types of racism but they also define pragmatic politics.

Two. Rush Limbaugh’s take on the election is that too many Americans voted for Santa Claus. They want free stuff. Even the Hispanic vote did not turn on immigration policy. No, Hispanics want free stuff too. Yet the Tea Party is philosophically unable to steal from the haves to give to the have nots. Military spending does not count. What are we to do to turn our nation into producers instead of moochers?

Three. Holy crap, Batman! Around fifty percent of Americans like Obamacare. It will end up being free or more affordable, or so we were led to think. It is never going to be repealed.

Four. The next Republican/Tea Party/libertarian Presidential candidate MUST support Roe v. Wade, at least during the first trimester, to get the women’s vote. That is the ethical position of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. We might be able to ignore race and ethnicity but we cannot ignore the women’s vote if we want to win in 2016. So, a Ryan / Rubio ticket MAY NOT BE the “ideal” blend of principles and politics. Seriously, as I have previously said, abortion is our biggest liability. In 2008 plus eight percent of the women’s vote went to Obama, and plus twelve percent in 2012.

From The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:

Almost half of US women have experienced an unintended pregnancy and about half of unintended pregnancies end in abortion . . . . However, in the United States, even in the case of two completely separate individuals, constitutional law and common law have historically recognized the rights of all adults, pregnant or not, to informed consent and bodily integrity, regardless of the impact of that person's decision on others.

end quote

Michael also wrote:

The "what's in it for you" angle is a deep, rich, highly-resonating vein that is woefully un-mined on our side.

end quote

So we need to find a brunette candidate who will be selected in the backroom by big shot Republicans, who promises free stuff and is pro abortion, and is female, black, Hispanic, tall and good looking, and a great talker. Good luck hunting, because that person sounds like a Brazilian.

Semper cogitans fidele,

Peter Taylor

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The point should be that FEMA is as ineffective, under Obama, in dealing with Sandy as it was, under Dubya, in dealing with Katrina.

Lots of discredit to state and local officials as well—and they come from both parties.

Robert,

This is precisely my point. The idea is to use these vivid images to damn government participation.

You make a story about a dude who lives off big government, believes in big government, preaches the virtues of big government, then put him in a hurricane disaster, maybe even Sandy. He suffers as his big-government beliefs get burst like birthday balloons--one by one. Typical modern story where the stakes constantly rise--and you reflect this philosophically by popping increasingly fundamental beliefs.

To highlight it, you include a cousin or some other secondary character who dislikes big government, who used his own mind and distrusted the "common wisdom" about how the government would respond, made his own preparations, and managed to pull through in much better shape.

Climax it any way you like. The point will have been made. The protagonist ends up seeing what's really in it for him when the crap hits the fan.

Also, you format the protagonist to reflect the person you are targeting for greatest identification and empathy.

That will do the job a lot better than telling those people that they are parasites, bums and brainwashed lefties to boot.

Michael

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This website is guilty of a class D offence.

ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA

http://www.impeachob...sofimpeachment/

Jerry,

Bullshit.

I skimmed it and, from what I saw, it looks like it is completely within the USA legal structure. I saw nothing advocating violence against the President.

Michael

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So we need to find a brunette candidate who will be selected in the backroom by big shot Republicans, who promises free stuff and is pro abortion, and is female, black, Hispanic, tall and good looking, and a great talker.

Peter,

This is the exact opposite of what I wrote. If you need an explanation, I will be happy to provide one, but I believe you have the smarts to see it.

(I admit, your misunderstanding is reasonable when skimming.)

Michael

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Peter,

A couple of less cynical thoughts regarding the aftermath of 2012 and what the Republicans might be advised to do in preparation for 2016:

http://www.thedailyb...hy-destiny.html

http://weeklystandar...ics_662010.html

The comparison to Truman in the second piece, by Jay Cost, is telling. And Truman got the House back in 1948...

Robert Campbell

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Robert:

Very interesting. This is a very long article by a great researcher, her conclusions are brilliant and show just how wrong the Republican analysis on joining the amnesty movement. Most of the illegal immigrants are coming here for the free stuff and not the classical reason that, for example, my grandparents came here for.

Here are the last two (2) paragraphs:

The proponents of amnesty have manufactured an artificial crisis. They say that it is imperative to legalize the millions of illegals here
now
, so that the illegals can “come out of the shadows.” In reality, the minor inconveniences imposed by illegal status are nothing more than what the illegals bargained for. Illegal aliens have no legitimate claim to be legalized
before
the country makes sure that its border control is working. Enforcement must precede a liberalization of immigration rules—which is why “comprehensive” immigration reform (the conservative code word for amnesty and increased levels of immigration) is not the solution to our border crisis but rather a guarantee of continued anarchy. Amnesty and the impossibility of enforcing a complicated new immigration scheme will undermine border control, just as they did in 1986. The first item of business on the conservative agenda should be enforcing the law already on the books.

But the most important value that conservatives can bring to this debate is honesty. Many of the costs imposed by Mexican immigrants are a function of their lack of education, their low incomes, and their own and their children’s behavior, not their legal status. Without question, we must balance those costs against the immigrant generation’s admirable work ethic. But immigration reform that institutionalizes the present immigration mix—or, worse, increases its volume by three to five times—is certain to expand the Hispanic underclass. There are many educated foreigners patiently waiting for permission to migrate to the United States. The United States can better honor its immigrant heritage by accelerating their entry rather than by continuing to favor the most low-skilled of our neighboring populations.

http://www.city-journal.org/html/16_3_immigration_reform.html

A...

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I have given up on the Republicans. The party is hopelessly embroiled with the idiot Christian evangelical movement. They never will back off of their anti-abortion anti-homosexual position. Not in my lifetime and probably not in anyone else's. In addition that are totally committed to the Crony Capitalist perversion we currently live under. Crony Capitalism must die or it will kill us.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Adam,

I didn't notice the date on that Heather McDonald article at first. After reading the first page, I began to wonder how old it is. A couple of present-tense references to the Dubya administration led me to return to the header. Whereupon I saw it was from 2006.

At present total immigration (legal and illegal) from Mexico is probably negative on net.

My view of immigration law has been that you don't dodge around an unjust law by claiming it is the law and that it must be therefore be enforced come hell or high water.

On the other hand, you don't mitigate a bad law by selectively nullifying it, whether the nullification is done locally or by executive order of the President. You repeal it.

Cut back on the welfare state and cut back on immigration restrictions. We need to see both. In the interim, all forms of welfare should be restricted to citizens only.

It's not an accident that California, the only state that never really implemented the 1996 welfare reform, has had so many problems involving illegal immigrants.

Robert Campbell

PS. Many of the countries that like to criticize US immigration laws have more restrictive laws themselves. How welcoming is Mexico to would-be immigrants from Guatemala?

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Adam,

On an issue you often emphasize—getting out the vote—the Breitbart site is promising a series of exposés on the Establishment Republican consultants.

That should be interesting, if they can deliver.

Here's a piece by Joel Pollak on what looks to have been a major failure by the Romney campaign:

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/11/08/Orca-How-the-Romney-Campaign-Suppressed-Its-Own-Vote

Robert Campbell

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The fact that a majority of Americans could reelect Obama, with his leftist ideology and policy failures, shows just how deep the fissure in the moral foundation of American freedom really is.

Ed,

I agree that there is the moral fissure you point to. But I think something needs to be added. I believe there is a perception of reality fissure, also, and not just with the other side.

Those who point to the evils of collectivism generally mention the brutal tragedies of last century as example. However, when people look around these days, they see gobs of stuff to consume, increasing life spans, a growing human population everywhere, even a difficulty to starve to death in most countries, meaning you would have to work at it to get the job done, not just be deprived.

In other words, people hear about doom and gloom associated to an ideology, and they are given examples from the past, but they constantly see--in the present--a thriving and flourishing human species. Even in socialist countries.

That is a real and serious communication disconnect.

Theory and practice do not compute.

To me, this points to two problems that need to be addressed. This is serious. Otherwise, we are going to keep doing what we've always done and we'll keep getting what we've always got. To think causality will ever change by repeating the same things over and over is the very definition of insanity.

The first is that the communicators on our side--the ones who are committed body and soul to doom and gloom--need to take stock of reality as it is. I constantly see them ignoring what is evident to anyone who looks. They need to talk about real dangers that can be perceived by the public, not some extremist-sounding projections that contradict the very eyes of the public.

And this leads to the second--framing and storytelling. The current models are not resonating enough to get through to people on the government dole. Some new approaches are in order. Otherwise, the number of people getting government stuff--with every last one bearing the right to vote--is going to increase until a tipping point is reached and the government can't keep up. That then goes to the next stage, a nasty one, but we're not even close to there right now and many people can't see it. To me, it's evident that politicians want to ensure their votes, so they will keep giving out more and more stuff and encouraging folks to get their "fair share."

The only way to get these people to vote for fiscal sanity and freedom is to reach them in terms they can understand, not in terms that only suit the framers and tellers. And, especially, make sure the message is not contradicted by something as easy as a person looking with his or her own two eyes.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about. We have the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy right in front of us. The lack of last-minute preparations in the face of a known upcoming disaster and the sluggishness of response are visible proof of how inept government is. The framers and storytellers should be all over this--there certainly is potential material galore--and bring the following message home to the individual who lives mostly on government benefits: look what could happen to you when the government is your master.

It's true, the news is doing something. But they're framing it as a partisan issue, not a philosophical indictment of the government as provider of the commonwealth (as opposed to protector of the commonwealth).

That's just one easy example and I believe it would resonate. With a little creativity, there are plenty more. But that's not even needed right now. The "what's in it for you" angle is a deep, rich, highly-resonating vein that is woefully un-mined on our side.

Michael

The Wire, and especially Treme, do exactly what you're talking about; focusing on the ineffectiveness of bureaucracy. Yet the creator, David Simon, voted for Obama. I think what your saying appeals only to the utilitarian side of people's political stances. Yes, government is incompetent, so we need to make it more competent--that's what many people think.

The tricky question is, how do you influence people based on the moral side of what's happening? Rand failed (I should say "is failing", because originally she failed more because of religion probably) because she advocated an ethics that comes across as anti-social. People don't want that because most people base their lives around different levels of socializing.

I think it's faith in human nature that has to be adopted in order for civilization to correct itself and start progressing. People blame "capitalism" for things all the time, but what they're really blaming is human nature--actually, they're blaming a specific person or group of people.

It's incredibly ironic that Obama ran on "Hope" last time, when it is specifically fear that fuels the support of his ideology. Fear of free people... That's what needs to be fixed.

Perhaps it is proof that people can do things better than government can that is missing; for instance a hospital supported by charity that treats people who can't afford private costs--if the hospital chose who got free treatment based on a more legitimate screening process than the government otherwise does, as well as being a much better hospital than ones using Obamacare... that would be a great message.

Imagine a charity that helped Americans in need, and was also openly against government (Obama)? If business people (1%ers in particular) supported this, how could people argue that it is greed that is dragging the country down? Actually, greed is a biggy right now, isn't it?

People need proof that civilization can carry on without forcing people to contribute to the pot.

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