The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Marching behind their newly re-elected President with beatific smiles of joy, some Democrats and virtually everyone on the Left see a utopian America where "taxing the rich" and doing nothing to change our near-bankrupt entitlements will lead to social justice, full employment and reduced debt. Maybe they're right, and if they are, their perception of the future reflects one end of a spectrum of expectations for the second Obama term and beyond.

Unfortunately, the President and his supporters have not proposed anything substantive to achieve their utopia other than more taxes (by the way, that's more taxes on everyone,), more regulation on an already over-regulated economy, and more spending to ensure that their broad and growing constituency of government dependents will become ever larger. Spending cuts (with the exception of "elimination of fraud and abuse" and defense) are anathema to those who strive for social justice.

There is, however, another view that represents the other end of the spectrum. In a response to a long commentary on the consequences of the election by Victor Davis Hansen, a commenter calling himself "Stallion" makes the following dark assessment:
Even with the MSM overwhelmingly flying air cover for him, someone with the record of ‘achievement’ like Obama could not have won the election if the electorate was like that of 20 or 30 years ago. Consider also that despite an abominable record, the democrats actually increased their hold of the senate and gained some seats in the house.

We’re no longer a center–right nation. Those days are gone. We are now distinctly leftist, especially in the 44 and under group. That’s why the election was treated by 52% of the voters with all the seriousness, careful consideration, deep analysis, common sense, thoughtfulness and judgement as picking the winner for American Idol.

We are no longer a nation whose majority believes in the individual, personal achievement and personal responsibility. We are a majority collectivist country who actually believes that the government has its own money and should be taking care of us and regulating what we do, say and think “for the greater good” ...

The Majority publicly professes to be willing to pay more in taxes, while quietly avoiding tax burdens in every way they can, including illegally, and enthusiastically agreeing with demagogic calls to tax those who have more than them.

We’ve crossed the threshold to becoming a European state with a socialist economy and a soft fascist political and social environment. And we’ve made that crossover at the worst possible moment – when the nation’s private consumer finances are a disaster (with a huge percentage of mortgage holders underwater, a $1T and growing student loan burden, and unemployment at least twice the ‘official’ rate), it’s private financial market finances are an apocalyptic catastrophe (nearly all the top 50 banks insolvent by strict GAAP rules and carrying a minimum $760T in liabilities from the derivatives trade, in addition to 10′s of trillions more in the shadow banking system), and it’s state and federal finances on the edge of Armageddon ($16.2T federal debt, with additional uncounted GAAP liabilities of $206T and rising, and state debt rising above $11T, [and unfunded government pension liabilities in the trillions])

... [E]ven a cursory analysis leads to the inescapable conclusion that we are on the edge of a great precipice, and there is no way to avoid tumbling into the abyss below. The emergence from that abyss simply cannot take anything less than two full decades, and the earliest we might see light at the end of the tunnel would be 2030 or thereabouts. But that light is not guaranteed to be a welcoming beacon, because history shows that collapsed and ruined societies – especially democratic ones – most often transition to militaristic authoritarian regimes.

Face this. It will make things somewhat less painful along the road we must travel.

I still cling to the faint hope that there is a future, and that it may still be a bright and promising one. That possibility, faint as it is, does exist. But if in that future, the Union is still whole, I will consider it a bona fide miracle.
So ... a spectrum whose left edge is utopia and whose right edge is ruin. Which will it be? Likely, somewhere in between, but I have the gnawing feeling that the things that Barack Obama has put into motion will lead us closer to the spectrum's right end. I have a "faint hope" that that won't be the case, but it's fading with every passing day.