Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Your Philosophy is "On Your Own" Mr. President

The brilliant shallowness of President Obama is an opportunity for conservatives.  In past times, Democrats were smart enough to wrap their lefty dogma in pleasing rhetoric; it wasn't quite clear that beneath the velvet glove of compassion was the iron fist of government force.  But President Obama and his speechwriters don't seem to understand, as Rush Limbaugh reminds us, that liberals can't admit what they really believe, because people would never vote for them if they did.

So now we have two back-to-back speeches in which mild-mannered Clark Obama rips off his shirt and reveals superhero Captain Lefty, faster than a high-speed train, more effective than a $1 trillion stimulus, able to leap conventional energy with a single green bound.  That sort of thing.

The president as Captain Lefty argued on Friday that the philosophy of the Republican Party was "you're on your own".  You're on your own if you don't have a job, don't have health care, born in poverty.  That's what he said.

Then on Tuesday the president argued that the Ryan Budget was "thinly veiled social Darwinism". By "gutting" things like "education and training, research and development, our infrastructure -- it is a prescription for decline."

Thank you, Mr. President.  By drawing a bright line I think you do all of us a favor.  Because, you see, on your philosophy, people really are "on their own."  That was the argument of Peter Berger and Richard Neuhaus a generation ago in To Empower People.

Berger and Neuhaus argued that the problem with big government is that is sweeps away all the "mediating structures" between government and the individual, thus leaving the individual powerless and alone before the mighty power of government.  It was the mediating structures--family, church, neighborhood associations--that really protected the individual by embedding him in these defenses-in-depth against overweening government power.

Berger and Neuhaus made an argument similar to Jane Jacobs and her Death and Life of American Cities.  She argued against the big skyscrapers and their wind-swept plazas bowled people around like sand on the shore.  What made cities livable were the little businesses and sidewalk life that provided texture and safety to the city and defenses against the megastructures.

What could be more social Darwinist than big government, Mr. President?  Under big government you had better have a powerful patron.  You had better make sure that you belong to the right race, or right age cohort, or right gender.  You had better make sure that you are a certified victim.  Otherwise government reckons it can leave you "on your own."

Here's what I mean by on your own.  It's a story by Lee Habeeb about the death of a young black kid, "Too Young to Die", in South Chicago, just south of your well-policed Hyde Park, Mr. President.  He was just helping out at a party for kids that needed a haven from violence.  But then a fight broke out and the kid got hit by a baseball bat.
“He was just trying to do something good for the ’hood because there’s nothing but violence around here,” Sunday Turman, 33, who hosted the party, told reporters. “Next thing you know, he hit the ground right in front of police.”
 Black folks in places like South Chicago are giving up on Democratic governments in the north.  They are heading back to the South.
Between 2000 and 2010, an estimated 1,336,097 blacks moved to seven major southern cities alone, according to the Brookings Institute, which compiled the most recent data from the U.S. Census. Today, 57 percent of the country’s black population lives in the South, a 50-year high.
Here's what I reckon, Mr. President.  I reckon that black folks are giving up on life in the inner cities run by the liberals in the North.  Because they reckon they are "on their own," stuck in violent cities where nobody cares.  Nobody cares about the schools; nobody cares about the black kids getting mown down as "collateral damage" in the gang wars.  Nobody cares enough to get the crime down--except in liberal enclaves like Hyde Park--and nobody does anything about the social Darwinism of gang warfare that turns their life into a miserable struggle against overwhelming odds.

At least these black folks will have the shreds of their old community to fall back on when they get back to the South.  Then they can start to build their lives again.  And maybe they will reckon that community starts with me and my family and my neighbors, and not the preening politicians that just leave you "on your own" in an urban jungle where the powerful rule and the powerless get caught in the crossfire.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent, my friend...
    And the beautiful thing about being
    Christians is that you are NEVER on your own. Obviously the present government does not understand that.