by Allan Erickson
Anyone familiar with horses has heard the term “barn sour.”
A barn sour horse is fine riding away from home, away from the barn where the hay and grain are stored. However, once that horse turns his nose home, toward the barn, toward the food, he is hell bent to get back there. He cannot be influenced off that path. That horse will set the bit in his teeth and run through fences to get back to the hay and the grain. He has become “barn sour,” essentially useless. He is no longer useful for work or pleasure. The horse is now only focused on his own interests, his own appetites.
Therefore, that horse is headed for the glue factory.
Election results yesterday indicate we have become a barn sour nation. People voted their bellies. They voted self-interest. The rhetoric surrounding the majority march back to the barn is full of references to altruism, but that is obviously window dressing, a kind of gold ring in the pig’s nose. Where once Americans prided themselves as their brothers’ keepers, we now insist government keep us.
People voted for government provision of housing, food, employment and healthcare. They voted for nationalized abortion funded with tax dollars, an ultimate expression of selfishness. Americans voted for federalized adult daycare, cradle to grave sustenance provided by the benevolence of institutionalized liberalism. Indeed, Barack Obama has promised Supreme Court appointments based on special considerations for the ‘dispossessed.’ Consequently, Lady Justice will not be impartial, and the rule of law will give way to a Court now acting like a legislative body.
There are three glaring problems with this popular rush to complete reliance on government.
One is funding. We are already bankrupt. The only way to fund all the promised goodies is to tax companies and productive individuals. Doing so during a recession will drive us into depression. It will destroy the middle class, drive the poor lower, and ruin the means of producing prosperity. Perhaps this is the plan. Perhaps the idea is to level the playing field globally. After all, many radical liberals see America as the problem. Destroying America is therefore part of the solution. The only other way to fund the goodies is to cut defense, and other programs. Cutting defense is obviously foolhardy, and when did government ever restrain itself or actually reduce spending?
The second problem with citizens insisting government become Big Daddy is government will also insist on becoming Big Brother. As the old saying goes, you cannot get something for nothing. The transaction historically takes on a threatening dimension. If people demand government provide everything, then government controls everything, and that means EVERYTHING. When free speech and assembly are limited, when they come for your firearm, and when they start telling you where you can live, where you can travel, and how many children you are allowed, it will sink in you’ve forfeited EVERYTHING, and for what, a few meager meals and the privilege of waiting in line for months to see a doctor?
The third enormous problem with handing over all power to the central government is it is completely contrary to our founding principles. It means the end of America as it was originally defined and created. The Founders created government to serve the people. With the election of Barack Obama and majorities in the Legislature leading to a decidedly leftist Judiciary we have now decided citizens will serve the government. Government is insatiable. It must be restrained. When citizens decide government is the source of power and the solution to all problems, they unleash a hungry beast and shirk individual responsibility, leading inevitably toward tyranny.
We know there are only two forces known to man capable of restraining behaviors such that society enjoys some measure of order, the avoidance of chaos. One force is self-restraint based on virtue person-to-person. The Founders knew our democracy could only function with a virtuous citizenry, and they pointed to the source of virtue flowing from the Creator. Once we forsake the Creator and replace him with government, we cut off the flow of virtue, setting us up for destruction and chaos. At that point, the only option, the only other force capable of restraining behaviors is force itself, a police state, the gun and the bayonet, that is, despotism.
All this, and we haven’t even considered the issues concerning partisan mass media, the relinquishing of American sovereignty in the embrace of globalism, or the new, incomparable and lethal foreign threats we face.
What is required is a bold, fierce resurgence of traditional American values rooted in the ideals of individualism, freedom, private property, enterprise, charity, sovereignty and a Jeffersonian approach to government: small, decentralized.
Instead, we are stampeding in the opposite direction, kicking up dust, running headlong for the barn, and the glue factory.
Voter turnout did not live up to expectations apparently.
Evangelicals stayed home in large numbers, and shame on them. Ethnic minorities turned out in huge numbers, good for them. However, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. looked for the day when people would be judged by the content of their Character, not the color of their skin. What we saw in the vote yesterday was the reverse: the candidate was largely judged by the color of his skin, not the content of his character. How then can he claim linkage to the legacy of Dr. King, especially when his racial roots run directly to Africa, having little to do with the Black experience in America? A partial answer: we are witnessing a preference for symbolism over substance.
Also, taken in perspective, McCain’s performance was miraculous.
In the face of an unpopular war prosecuted by an unpopular President, a hostile national media, strong opposition, being outspent 3 to 1, and an economic hurricane at the eleventh hour, it was a miracle McCain garnered 46% of the popular vote at a time when 57% of people felt the economy was the central issue.
For the future, it is also worth noting that McCain came to an ideological fight as a moderate candidate, and conservatives have long argued that the only viable counter-balance to radical liberalism is traditional conservatism, not moderate Republicanism.