I know that the Beer Conference is all the rage right now, and is a nice (purposeful?) distraction from the health care debate, but I'm not going to talk about either one of them. Instead I want to discuss the war that is waging in our country. If you follow Bill O'Reilly he calls it "The Culture War." Whether you believe it's real or not, you're going to have to pick a side. (Though if you're reading this, you probably already have.) The opposing forces are, in simple terms, those that want to enjoy the fruits of their labor, and those that want to take those fruits, put them in a big basket, and distribute them to the masses as they see fit.
Before I get into the meat of this issue, let me discuss an interaction I had recently. It's no secret that politics divide people faster than a Yankees-Mets world series would split New Yorkers, but I've never seen it as clearly as I did a couple of weeks ago. I recently posted a video to my profile page (before I started The Coyote fan page) that took a street level view of the Canadian health care system, the point being that emulating this system is not a good path for this country go down. One of my friends left a comment that said people should stop drinking the "kool-aid" that Obama is offering. Another friend responded with the following, quoted verbatim: "Drinking the Kool-Aid? Heck I'm showering in it. I brush my teeth with it. I swim in the Kool-Aid! It is good to see people like yourselves going out on a limb sticking your neck out for the most rich and powerful. way to go guys. maybe dick cheney will taking you hunting one day."
At first I was stunned. Someone I friended on Facebook, someone I went to high school with, partied with, and had a measure of respect for, essentially just said he hopes that I get shot. Never one to shy away from a debate, I replied, asking him if he had even watched the video – that it showed pretty clearly that the poor are not helped by socialized health care as only the wealthy can afford to go to the private clinics, etc, etc. His response? He de-friended me. He took his ball and went home. See, without knowing it, I had crossed the line in the sand that he had drawn. I can only assume that he has some deeply held beliefs – maybe a relative was denied care because of a pre-existing condition, or is facing bankruptcy trying to pay for a traumatic illness – that have colored his world view. Or maybe, like he admitted, he simply drinks the Kool-Aid. Whatever the case, he was obviously not interested in a debate. He's closed off his mind to any ideas other than those to which he subscribes, and rather than play nice he found it easier to drop me as a friend. At first it bothered me, because I knew him from before any of us even thought about these kinds of things, and I was honestly happy to reconnect with him after 20+ years. Besides, there's something so final about clicking on the "remove friend" button. It was like being erased. But the more I thought about it, the more OK I became with it. It's a free country, after all, and until the government takes over our social calendars no one MUST be friends with another person, either in person or virtually. Anyway, if it was that easy for him to drop me, we couldn't have been that close to begin with, right? This Facebook friendship became a casualty of war.
This exchange highlights just how serious this war is. Bill Whittle, in a great video piece (1) says that this is a fight to the death between populists and elites. A fight to the DEATH! That may seem like alarmist language, but obviously, since he wants me to be shot by Dick Cheney, people like my erstwhile friend take it pretty seriously. I think it's time that we do the same. In his video Whittle mentions "Rules For Radicals." There's no question that our president is a student of Alinsky. Michelle Obama has spoken (2) about hearing Barack speak, and how his words were so moving. They were almost word for word from Alinsky. In the prologue for Rules, Alinsky writes that the book "is for those young radicals who are committed to the fight" and that "The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away." Let that ruminate for a minute…the original community organizer, who has inspired our president, wrote this book specifically for people committed to the FIGHT to TAKE AWAY from those that have and GIVE to those who don't. Redistribution of wealth? Why not? It evokes images of Robin Hood, standing up for the oppressed, except in Obama's view, the oppressed are a fraction of the population. He knows that government can't make men richer, but that it can make them poorer, thereby shrinking the gap between them and taking power away from the old guard in the process. Once we're made poorer by policies like the stimulus and cap and trade, we'll still have our health, right? Well….not so fast. We could very well be losing control over our very health and well being too.
It gets better. Has anyone wondered why Obama is so perplexingly pessimistic? Why, within days of his inauguration, he says the sky is falling and as a result drives stocks down to prices not seen since 1996? Why is he going on this apology tour of the world? Why is he constantly telling us that our history is horrible, that we've all been lied to and that we're victims of the past administration, or that we're a racist nation, or that the wealthy are horrible people? Why does he play the class warfare card and lie about CEO pay (3) to get people fired up? Why does he tell us that without his plan, health care prices will double, millions will go uninsured and the government will go bankrupt? (4) The reason why is in Rules For Radicals too: "They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution."
Why does, in the White House email regarding health care proclaim that "Over the next month there is going to be an avalanche of misinformation and scare tactics from those seeking to perpetuate the status quo"? Go back to Rules For Radicals: "Any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as being unethical." So we see how effective nationalized health care will be in advancing his radical agenda and we protest; he's thinking a move ahead and predicting the response so he can say "see, I told you so."
But isn't he looking out for us? He says he is…he says what he does will be better for everyone! Again, look to Rules For Radicals: "Goals must be phrased in general terms like "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," "Of the Common Welfare," "Pursuit of Happiness," or "Bread and Peace."
So, fellow conservative thinkers, libertarians, politically agnostic agitators, whatever your stripe is, if you value the freedoms we have too often taken for granted, if you don't want to see the United States made into something else, now is the time to stand up. Thomas Jefferson, a member of a group of men (The Founders!) who would know better than any of us what the boot heel of oppression feels like, said "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." We are there, at that precipice, ladies and gentlemen. It's time to stand and deliver. If you don't think the Obamacrats are going to fight to the death, I will leave you with one final lesson from Rules For Radicals:
"In war the end justifies almost any means."
- White House email correspondence "What Health Care Means To You"