Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? – William Butler Yeats, 1919
In 1995, Robert Bork published a book that modified the last line of this Yeats poem, changing it to “Slouching toward Gomorrah”. His premise was that the slow drip of liberal incrementalism and the lack of intellectual individualism was moving us slowly toward a loss of the Republic that we hold dear.A few days ago, I published a diary called “This Election is Over”, which a lot of you liked (currently 4th on the recommended list). My contention was that either we have slipped into a socialistic society, or we haven’t, and that the election will be decided by that.
I want to consider the possibility that the voters of this country are in fact now willing to accept Socialism as a political outcome. As we look at the results of yesterday’s vote on the financial bailout, I see three camps of people:
1) Conservatives that hold fast to the ideas of Capitalism and Individual Liberty that include the liberty to fail. This was displayed by 130 Republicans.
2) A middle group of Republicans and Democrats that wanted to adopt a level of Socialistic control over the financial sector in order to avert the $1.1 trillion dollar sell off that occured yesterday. This was a group of around 60 Republicans and 140 Democrats.
3) A group of confirmed leftists that decided that financial failure is a worthy price to pay if it leads to a more socialistic outcome. This was a group of around 95 Democrats.
The media spin has now begun, and the slide in the polls for McCain and the Republicans has begun. Prior to this vote, Obama was already showing as ahead of McCain by 6 in Rasmussen’s poll, based on the economic crisis that is being broadcast by the media (including the online media, we are responsible too). Like it or not, Obama benefits from the chaos. With the failure of legistlation, I expect to see at least a 1 point movement in Rasmussen each day for the next 3 days, resulting in Obama +9 by the end of the week (October 3rd). This is not because the bailout was good legislation, it was because it was a legislative failure that will be blamed on McCain.
If you are familiar with Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs, you will see a familiar pattern to what is occuring. In this psychological model, people do not engage in decision making at the higher levels, until their needs are met at the lower levels. The levels are (from lowest to highest) Physological (food, shelter), Safety (security of yourself and family), Love/Belonging (friends and family), Esteem (self esteem, personal acheivement), and Self Actualization (morality, creativity).
This crisis reminds me a lot of the Foley Scandal in 2006 as a political event. It has caught the Republicans flat footed, without a cohesive response, and the leadership of the party (Bush or McCain) is unable to put forward a solution that averts the crisis in the minds of the voters.
The result is chaos, which drives the voter decision making down to the second level of Maslow’s heirarchy: Security. 62% of the voters are part of the investor class in one way or another. Most of us have a significant portion of our retirement savings invested in the stock market. When we see the values of our portfolios evaporate over the course of a few hours, we become frightened about our security. The result is our opinions about the election are no longer driven by the Self Actualization layer of morality or political philosophy. Instead we worry about the Security of ourselves and our family. We naturally look for a solution that will bring an end to the chaos.
And the Democrats are offering the Siren’s Song of Socialism as the end to chaos. Just elect them, all of this partisanship will end, and your need for security will be met by their government programs. They will make sure you can’t be foreclosed on, that you can’t lose money in the stock market, that your retirement will be guarunteed by the government. All you have to do is give up your personal liberty and pay a few more taxes. They hold up France and Spain as the examples of the stability and security that you can have, if you just accept their socialist solutions.
And as of right now, the voters are buying it
So lets take a look at what the effect of the coming Republican electoral disaster will be on our society:
Economy – We are likely to see a rise in protectionism, where we adopt the European model of stiff tarriffs to protect specific industries viewed as vital to the country (usually determined through who made the largest campaign donations). There will also be a signficant increase in industry regulation, where free market philosophy is replaced by central controls over businesses. Companies will begin to resemble government contractors where profits are dictated by law.
Labor – At a minimum card check will be adopted, and other actions to force the reunionization of the work force. This will end up in the liberalization of benefits and resultant loss of productivity (e.g. enforced 40 hour work week for all).
Healthcare – This will start with a government program to provide nationalized insurance to the uninsured. Then the gradual push to move everyone into the national plan will begin. Once this national insurance system is entrenched, then it will move to the HMO model, where it acts also as a health provider, like the VA.
Media – The fairness doctrine will be applied, immediately leading to the demise of talk radio. This will then lead to the application of political correctness to the Internet. Partisan speech will be equated to racism and marginalized. I doubt you would see outright bans of sites like Redstate, but I can see right wing sites being excluded by the search engines, limiting their impact on political thought.
Taxes – The Bush tax cuts will be eliminated, and new taxes imposed “on the rich”. Over time, the lower limits of those taxes will move lower to continue to raise funds for the social programs.
Political – Democrat grassroots organizations (e.g. Acorn) will get federal assistance to allow them to help in the application of “Social Justice”, and to guaruntee that there are enough voting serfs in the system to maintain Democrat political power.
Supreme Court/Social concerns – Forget it, if you are a social conservative, you are screwed. Ruth Ginsberg is the model for all future judicial appointments, and the social agenda of abortion, sexual liberation and homosexual marriage will become law under the cannard of tolerance and equality.
Education – The liberal indoctrination camps will receive increased funding, and the role of parents will be reduced. Expect the crimilization of parental behavior (e.g. spanking your child) to increase, with the schools as the gestapo. School choice will be severly curtailed through direct legal imperitive, or external pressures (e.g. colleges not accepting home schooled applicants).
I doubt that the voters truly understand the change that they are about to vote for. But their naive perspective is being driven by fear, and they are willing to try “something new”. There are 5 weeks until the change you can believe in becomes a reality, and no one has mounted an effective campaign to explain to the voters what socialism really means, and why it is bad for them.
God help us all