The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense


“…I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.… It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775


"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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Monday, September 2, 2013

If You Think The Problem Is Obama, You've Missed The Point


Here's the Nonsense:  America was doing well until we elected this president.  If we can just get past this presidency we'll be able to fix things and get back on track.

Here's the Horse Sense:  America's problems are far bigger than President Obama.  Those who think it's about him have entirely missed the point.  We'd be in the same situation even if he weren't the president today.

Many people on the right have thought that the problems America faces are the result of the election of President Obama in 2008.  They see his policies, actions, plans, and deceptions all as the reason we're in the mess we're in.  They may acknowledge on some superficial level that there are people behind the president and throughout our government that are also a problem, but they always fall back on blaming this entire mess on the president.  I disagree.  This whole mess is much bigger than one man.  

Many talk of the incompetence of the president.  Or they talk of the plans he is implementing as being based on poor understanding of America.  Or they may have other things about the president they attribute these things to, but no matter what it is, they are missing the point.  This is not about just surviving his presidency so we can get back to America being America again.  Whether we like it or not, America has changed under Obama, but it's not just because of him.  This goes back decades to a much bigger plan that has been slowly moving forward in our society and it just so happens that at this stage of the plan, Obama is the person who is the figurehead for those changes.

Thomas Sowell once wrote a column called Political Word Games about the lies that Obama tells.  In it he talked about what a slick liar the president really is.  He made the point that people like Richard Nixon are obvious when they lie, but Obama is really slick at it.  So slick, in fact, that unless you are knowledgeable about what he is talking about you won't know if he's lying.  He said that Obama depends on the fact that most people are uneducated on the issues going on in our nation and that the dumbed-down education that people receive in our country allows the lack of knowledge that people have to play in Obama's favor.

He's right.  There is little deep thinking anymore.  There is little critical thinking anymore.  There is little ability for people to think analytically anymore.  They either ignore what's happening altogether or they allow the superficial and usually biased and inaccurate information from the media to be what allows them to draw their conclusions.

Let's go back and get a quick bit of information that will help us understand what is going on.  In my book, No Tomorrows, I defined some terms that most people think they understand, but really don't understand.  Many people think that there are just Democrats and Republicans with the Democrats being liberals and the Republicans being conservatives.  Some of these people add a third category of moderate to the list, with some of those falling into the Democrat ranks, some into the Republican ranks, and many just falling into the Independent category.  That is old school thinking and if you fall into it I will tell you that you're years out of date.  That thinking is so far removed from what is going on in America that you might as well be talking a foreign language. 

The Republican Party is a fractured mix of belief systems and viewpoints among their members.  A discussion of them deserves an entirely separate writing, so for now we'll just focus on the party currently in power, the Democrats, which is made up of liberals and progressives. 

Here's what I wrote in No Tomorrows about liberals and progressives:

Liberalism has changed dramatically over the years.
What was once a term that embraced many of the
core principles of some of America’s founders such
as Thomas Jefferson became virtually the opposite
during the twentieth century. Early in the last
century the term liberalism became associated with
the idea of a government that is part capitalist and
part socialist.

It now stands for group rights rather than individual
rights and responsibilities (i.e., labor unions,
affirmative action, and similar organizations and
concepts). Liberals believe in larger government
funded by higher taxes to expand government
programs and government oversight into most
every area of life. They believe in bypassing the
legislative process by using the judiciary. The
liberal view of law is to go around laws they do
not agree with, such as with immigration. Liberals
believe in the redistribution of wealth by high taxes
on the wealthy. They are open only to viewpoints
like their own which is seen by their disrespect for
free speech rights of people of opposing viewpoints.
Many people are used to Democrats being thought
of as liberal, and many still refer to them as such.
However, in recent decades, the Progressives have
successfully taken over the Democrat party. Some
Democrats have begun to feel left out as they still
cling to the old liberal viewpoints, and they struggle
with the changes within their own party as the
Progressives have moved in.

It wasn’t too many years ago that you could vote
the liberal agenda and plausibly convince yourself
that you were just calling for a change in fiscal
philosophies. Today, you don’t have that luxury.
The Democrat party as been co-opted by the
Progressives and their platform is no longer just a
liberal agenda.

But that isn't enough of an understanding.  We also have to understand the Progressives and Progressivism.  Here's what I wrote about that:

Progressivism and the ideas associated with it date
back to around the late nineteenth century. The idea
of progress came of age when people saw how so
many inventions freed their lives from the limitations
humanity had faced from nature. Inventions such
as the telephone and telegraph changed long
distance communication, trains and automobiles
changed transportation, and electricity brought
light and other modern conveniences. As these
changes improved the quality of people’s personal
and family lives through science, progressives
began to believe similarly that politics might yield
success in improving the society’s economic and
social situations. Progressives thought a group of
intellectuals might be able to come up with the best
solutions for society’s problems.

That was the thought pattern among progressives
in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
They believed that most of the problems in society
were due to the injustice of capitalism, primarily
economic disparity. They saw that some people
lived in poor circumstances while others were quite
wealthy and they felt inequality had occurred due
to the booming economic success that was the
result of the industrial revolution. They judged this
disparity unfair because the industrial revolution
had brought poverty on some due to innovations
and inventions that had (and have) caused some
businesses and occupations to become obsolete.
They also believed the industrial revolution had
brought about greed that had led to the problems
that many people faced, and that only government
intervention could rectify the imbalance.

Progressives defined the wealthy as a greedy class
that lavished a leisure lifestyle on itself, and they
started referring to them as the conservative class.
One of the first to use the term conservative was
Thorstein Veblen in his 1899 book Theory of the
Leisure Class. In 1913 Charles Beard published
United States, which was a Marxist view of history
that attacked the success of capitalism and put
forth a picture of America’s founders as greedy
white men who had created an America to feed their
personal greed.

Progressives became known for economic, moral,
political, and social changes that were supposed
to fix the problems of humanity. Eventually their
scope of ideas became so broad that it called for a
complete transformation of government in America.
They did not want what the founders of America had
put forth in the Declaration of Independence, the
Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, the core belief
that the job of government was to protect the liberty
of the individual. Instead, they wanted it changed
so that it became a government that would handle
any disparity in society, from economic to social.
The government, in their view, would be involved in
whatever the immediate circumstances needed to
be rectified.

The intellectual progressive elite believed they were a
select few who were far more qualified to decide what
was best for Americans than the citizens themselves
were. Unlike socialism, which was a movement of
so-called common people, progressivism, though it
does place the right of the government above the
right of the individual, was a movement of elitists
who saw themselves as intellectuals. Progressives
believe in the principles of Marx, although they often
call Marxism by other names and they lean heavily
on the idea that they represent democracy. They
believed they knew better than ordinary citizens
what was best for them.

They also started referring to the Constitution
as a “living” document that would evolve as the
circumstances dictated. There were no absolutes
in their view, but rather, the needs of the times
would dictate what the Constitution should deem
correct. Essentially, progressivism was the idea
that situation ethics should become the law of the
land.

The goal of progressivism is larger control by the state
and increased size of government. It moves toward
that goal through a process that evolves the system
to the progressives’ planned end. The progressive
moves into key positions and institutions in society
and slowly takes them over to change them. The
takeover includes churches, media, schools, labor
unions, and government.

A few progressive leaders in American society have
included such people as President Woodrow Wilson,
President Theodore Roosevelt, President Franklin
Roosevelt, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis,
Democrat presidential nominee William Jennings
Bryan, Andrew Carnegie, John Dewey, NAACP cofounder
W.E.B. Du Bois, Henry Ford, Margaret
Sanger, John D. Rockefeller Jr., Upton Sinclair,
and more recently, President Lyndon Johnson,
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President
Barack Obama.

I then wrote that the number of people pushing the Progressive agenda is not small and listed a link to the Congressional Progressive Caucus's website to show a list of them.  Since that time I also wrote a post that gave additional insight and an updated link to the list (Click here to read that post.).

The whole point is that we can't just think the problems we face are about one man who, when his term in office is over, will go away and our problems will be far less after he is gone.  I believe that today we face the BIGGEST problem America has ever faced.  The future of our nation depends on how we handle it.  If we think we'll just get through this presidency and things will be better so that we can turn things around easily, then we've got another think coming.  This problem is not about enduring the time this, or any other single person, is in office.  This is about an infiltration into our government AND society that has done so much damage after decades and decades of influence and undermining of our values that it has become common for people to unthinkingly accept many of their concepts and beliefs because we've been dumbed-down into believing this stuff.  We are self-destructing and to fix this will be a long hard road that, even if we were to start today, will take longer than the remainder of my lifetime.  Maybe those in the youngest generation alive today could see the turnaround if we started immediately with a wholesale rejection of what has overtaken us, but even that might be a bit too optimistic a timetable with so much work that needs to be done.

No, the problem isn't Obama and it's not about getting past his presidency.  When Mitt Romney ran against him I supported Mitt in the end because he was the only other candidate who had a chance to win.  Given that, I felt he was a better choice than Obama, but certainly not the answer to fix our nation.  The analogy I used over and over again was that we're in a ship in the middle of the ocean that is taking on water and in the middle of a terrible storm.  Obama wants to take us further out into the storm and ignore the water flooding in.  While Mitt Romney couldn't get us to a safe haven, he would at least have turned our ship towards shore and started bailing out the water we were taking on while trying to plug some of the leaks in the ship.

Whether Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton had been elected in 2008, we'd still be facing similar problems.  And if John McCain had won in that election it wouldn't be a lot different either.  These people are all either Progressives or progressive-leaning in their views and they would take us down a similar path to the one we are now on.

We're still headed into the storm and we're taking on more water every minute.  Obama may be the captain of the ship, but even if he weren't, we'd still be headed out further into the storm with no leadership that is trying to turn the ship towards shore, stop the leaks, or bail out the incoming water.  The few we do have in Congress who are trying to help are so outnumbered that the work they are doing is hopeless if American citizens don't accept our responsibility and start helping.  Saving our nation is not about the end of Barack Obama's presidential term.  It's about living virtuous lives, teaching our children the proper values, and demanding our nation abide by its own legal foundation, the Constitution.