As Michael Ledeen observes: This fear is extremely broad-based. It is not limited to social class nor to domestic or foreign policies. Banks are not lending, companies are not hiring, because they are afraid of what Obama will do next.
It is very clear that Obama/Pelosi/Reid view America primarily as a playing field for a neo-Hobbesian struggle of group against group. And the winning and losing groups at any given moment are determined not only by the elements of the “progressive” creed, but also by the social prejudices of the the leading promulgators of that creed…and by the political exigencies of any given moment.
If you are a union worker in a well-paid industry, for example, you probably thought you were in good shape with the Obama administration…
Yeah, a pro-union President, that’s nice…But wait…here’s a proposal to put a special tax on our contractual health care benefits! That’s not an expense we were counting on! Oh…okay, now they’ve dropped that idea. Hope they don’t change their minds again.
Which they might, if the political tradeoffs point in that direction.
If you’re an investment banker (a very significant proportion of whom supported Obama), you probably felt that underneath the populist rhetoric, Obama and his advisors held you in a lot higher regard than he did the factory workers and small-town residents (remember those “bitter clingers?”) and ditto, that he had a lot more respect for you with your Ivy League MBA than he had for people with state college degrees who are running manufacturing companies. Almost certainly true…but it doesn’t mean that he won’t sacrifice your interests for a small boost in the polls. On the other hand, he may decide that Wall Street contributions matter even more than next month’s polls, and throw you another bailout instead of throwing you under the bus. Either way, your future depends more and more on Obama’s attitude toward you and less and less on your own business ability.
If you’re a small businessperson, you’ve heard a lot of talk about how valued you are and how much the government is going to help you. But you have friends whose businesses have been crippled and even destroyed by ill-thought-out regulations…like the dreadful Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act…and you know that the people running Congress don’t care enough to make responsible adjustments. So you wonder when your turn to be sacrificed will come up.
The reality is that Obama, with the complicity of Pelosi and Reid, is in the process of creating an economy and a society in which the primary factor affecting the success of every individual and every business is the attitude of the federal government toward that individual or business. See, for example, this: Remember when we used to care about P/E ratios? Now we’re all political science majors. And don’t kid yourself that this explosive expansion of the political realm affects just corporations and Wall Street players. It will, if allowed to continue, affect and increasingly dominate the lives every of every individual in the country.
A commenter at the Michael Ledeen link quotes Thomas Jefferson: “When the people fear their government there is tyranny. When government fears the people there is liberty.” We now have an environment in which increasing numbers of people have very valid reasons to fear what their government will do to them…and in which the attitude of government toward the majority of the people is, increasingly, one of contempt.
In a previous post, I quoted Benjamin Franklin:
There are two passions which have a powerful influence in the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice—the love of power and the love of money. Separately, each of these has great force in prompting men to action; but, when united in view of the same object, they have, in many minds, the most violent effects.
The whole direction of the country, under the direction of Obama/Pelosi/Reid, is toward the uniting of ambitiona and avarice in precisely the manner feared by Franklin. When moneymaking is principally accomplished by grabbing hold of the power of the state and using it to club rivals over the heard, it is no longer a mutually-beneficial positive-sum game. The uniting of ambition and avarice erodes the spirit of a country as well as its productivity.
We are in the hands of a group of people who for the most part know nothing about business or about any form of economically-productive activity, who know nothing about technology, who wilfully fail to understand the seriousness of the threats of international terrorism and of rogue regimes, whose offices and/or credentials have given them a total lack of humility, and who–despite the aforesaid credentials–are mostly very shallowly educated. There is plenty of reason for fear.