The Unreality of Obama
With each passing election, we keep getting a more bizarre candidate for president from the Democrats. And, now we get a candidate that actually has a chance at the Oval Office by the name of Obama. Its not the exotic name but the accompanying baggage that’s exotic. His manner and instincts are those of a UN grandee or a EU bureaucrat.
Some of this may be explained by a politicized educational system that concentrates on the range and the subjects of what is permissible thought. But, it leaves our young, especially those who grew up with and after the cultural revolutions of the 1960’s devoid of any sense of history. There is no passing on of a tradition or institutional memory.
But, our Republic has been through the foul thoughts of all sorts of false prophets, particularly in academia. What has really been missing are the hard times that have a way of clarifying one’s mind and giving whole generations a dose of reality. Reality that has a way of brutally demonstrating what is really worth retaining from that college education; and how much of our dorm room bull sessions are exactly that. A brutal demonstration of why thrift matters. A brutal demonstration of the concepts of evil; and that evil is an enemy bent on destroying you, your freedoms and your home.
The last time our country has really faced truly bracing national emergencies would be the decades of the 1930’s and 1940’s. For all the hardships of economic downturns that we’ve had since 1945, none seriously have come close to the kind of privation that was the great depression.
For all of the emotion expended over the Vietnam war, the last time an enemy attacked us, with a plausible chance of destroying us, was during WW II. And, even though a history of WW II now reads like our inevitable triumph, there were many close calls that could have radically changed the outcome. For example, it was squadron commander C. Wade McClusky shrewd guess as to the location of the Japanese carriers that would turn the Battle of Midway and the course of the Pacific war; one man, one guess and the famous four minutes.
The point is, whether Democrat or Republican, much of the immediate post-war policy reflected a conservatism borne of bitter experience. JFK, life member of the NRA, would be laughed out of the modern-day Democratic Party; only in the GOP would he now be a viable candidate. At that time, the home you lived in was what could be bought on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage with 20 percent down and a monthly payment no more than 25 percent of your monthly net income. The granite countertops and designer appliances came into being when we started to fudge the terms of the mortgages–balloon mortgages, variable rate mortgages, interest only mortgages and now, most famously, the sub-prime mortgage.
And, why? Because the bitter experience of those of the generation of the Depression and WW II are greatly aged or dead. A child of the depression is now close to eighty years old. Major Winters, of Band of Brothers fame just turned 90. Colonel Paul Tibbits just died at the age of 92.
As the last really beat up generation fades, what is left are generations who have had no experience with real hardship. (This is not to denigrate those who actually knew hardship in Korea, Vietnam, and now the current war on Islamic imperialism). Whole swaths of American society avoided service in Vietnam. And, those who did tended to be very class specific, as they tended to be those who could, in particular, get a college deferment. So, we have the whole Woodstock generation completely removed from any generational participation with war, unlike the more uniform cross section of American that participated in WW II.
Then we get to the generations that are now in their prime. First, is the high school class of 1972–the last generation to face the draft.
Second is the high school class of 1980 (Obama’s rough demographic). These were the folks who entered adulthood at a time coinciding with the Reagan economic boom. And, for all of their feigned disgust at the bourgeois concerns of that “idiot” Reagan, generally did very well economically.
Even when you factor out the stagflation of the late 70’s (remember that term?), these demographics, represent people, between the ages of 46 and 54 that simply have never experienced real economic hard times or war. War, like at Antietam, where 22,000 soldiers died in a single day.
And, with this lack of sobering reality, huge swaths of the electorate seem to regard the last 30 or so years as an endless birthright. That somehow, a 700 billion dollar bailout is the magic that will fill in this latest pothole in their economic lives of unbroken prosperity.
But, now, despite the siren song of Obama, we may have gone a bridge to far. That 700 billion dollar bailout is not going to stop adverse economic reprecussions. Our economy no longer has the slack for us to “out source” icky, non-green activities like energy production to some obscure, out of sight third world country. We’re going to have to get dirty and drill for our own oil.
We can choose to cut and run from Iraq. We can learn to “live” with a nuclear Iran. But, we’re going to learn that what we abandon will create a vacuum that Islamic imperialism will fill. What we regard today, in blood and treasure, as expensive will be cheap compared to what we will pay when we will have to square off against a nuclear Iran. But, the lessons of the 1930’s, Chamberlain’s appeasement for example, has no echo because, yes, it is no longer taught in school. But, more importantly, it hasn’t been really experienced for the last fifty years.