The Age of Envy and Entitlements: A New Kind of Civil War

Now that all the excuses, rationalizations, analyses, number-countings, hand-wringings, finger-pointings, and tear-sheddings have largely passed, I feel that I can say something about why, on November 6th, Mitt Romney lost his bid for the presidency and Obama retained it. It seems that all that is left to do, for someone who realizes that a second Obama term will be more destructive, vindictive, and malicious than the first, is fulminate anew at a succession of fresh assaults on liberty, freedom of speech, property, wealth, standards of living, national security, the military, and on America from without and from within.

I’m guessing that about half the people who voted for Romney voted for him because he wasn’t Obama. The choice can be likened to voting for Barney Fife because he isn’t Hannibal Lecter. That was why I voted for Romney. Other than recommend that everyone who opposed Obama just stay home and let the Obamatons monopolize the polling places, there wasn’t much choice in the way of action. Fife in the White House could have at least stalled the movement to full statism and allowed some serious steam to build up against big government – or of Hannibal Lecter not making a meal of everyone.

But Hannibal Lecter had the Chicago machine working for him and a brainwashed, idolizing fan club that could be counted on to vote for him. They turned out to vote early and often.

Romney’s campaign, on the other hand, was reminiscent of a large-scale drive to get people to buy Girl Scout cookies.

Many who opposed Obama stayed home because Romney waffled on what he really believed and charged Obama with being an “extremist.” Which is exactly why many disliked Obama, because he was an “extreme” advocate of policies and programs that were eating them alive or had targeted them for the cannibal’s cooking pot. They already knew he was a Marxist extremist. What they wanted from Romney was a counter-extremism, one that was point for point the exact opposite of Obama’s ideology. What they heard instead were approximations and equivocations and denials of being an “extremist.”

What many who stayed home observed was that Romney’s touting of financial independence and freedom of choice contradicted his enactment of RomneyCare in Massachusetts, which the administration has confessed served as the boilerplate for Obamacare. What, in these voters’ minds, could be the difference between a state-enforced socialist program and a federally-enforced socialist program? There was no difference, except in scale.

Obama garnered the states with the most Electoral College numbers. Those are what count. And over the years Democrats were “hollering” for the abolition of the Electoral College because they said it was an anachronism and unfair, just as they hollered for and got the popular election of Senators (formerly appointed by the states), which, from a political mechanism perspective, undid the work of the Founders. The Senate was created as a bulwark against populist movements originating in the House. The Senate, as a result of this election, has become an unofficial departmental adjunct of the White House. I’m betting the Democrats are grateful they didn’t succeed. Now it’s the House that will need to act as a bulwark against the Senate and the White House.

But House Speaker JohnBoehner has telegraphed that the House will not stand against Obama and the Senate.

“Mr. President, this is your moment. We’re ready to be led,” said Boehner. “Not as Democrats or Republicans but as Americans. We want you to lead not as a liberal or a conservative but as president of the United States of America.

“We want you to succeed,” said Boehner. “Let’s challenge ourselves to find the common ground that has eluded us. Let’s rise above the dysfunction and do the right thing together for our country.”

When I read that, I kept hearing Hitler saying the same thing to masses of uniformly clad zombies held rapt by his oratory. Or Evita Peron addressing her adoring Argentines. Or Mussolini daring anyone to smack his jutting jaw.

The people who voted for Obama are morally corrupt. You would have thought that the Benghazi debacle alone would have convinced voters that he was no good, that he was indeed a nihilist prepared to sacrifice American lives to protect a failed policy. You have to then examine what that means, which is that they don’t mind seeing him destroy things, things on which their lives depend. You must grasp that they don’t know what their lives depend on.

Or don’t care to know. They just want it their way. They see no relationship between Obama being willing to see American lives sacrificed in a pesthole and sacrificing American lives at home. Or, if they do see the relationship, they don’t care to dwell on it, because that would lead them to conclusions about Obama’s character and intentions which are not pretty and which they don’t care to dwell on. One of those conclusions would be that Obama is a moral monster, a Moloch to whom everything must be sacrificed, even their children. And that would imply that they, too, are moral monsters.

They didn’t want to go there. They wanted to believe that Obama and his policies are a causeless cornucopia of free things and social justice and multicultural enrichment and diversification. And if some Americans have to be sacrificed to make their fantasies come true – tough.

You would have thought that the disasters and outrages of the last four years – including the lying and posturing and being stuck with the tab of the First Family’s million dollar vacations – would have somehow penetrated the skulls of the most grotesquely slobbering Obamaton. But you, the individual who had always assumed that you own your own life and are responsible for it – not the state, not the collective – reside in a moral universe that is an anathema to Obama and his Obamatons. They are old and young, stupid and savvy, ignorant and learned, naïve and street-smart, the clueless and shrewd, the educated and indoctrinated – but all beholden to the state, to the collective.

They all want to go Forward, and if that means trampling on your dreams, effort, plans, and life – tough.

They will have nothing to do with reality. TARP, $16 trillion and counting national debt, Solyndra and other “can’t fail” green businesses, Jeremiah Wright, Czars, rising prices at the gas pump and the supermarket, these are all irrelevant. Many voted for Obama because they’re Democrats – can’t you see the tattoos on their wrists? – and because Obama gives them that old-time religion feeling.

They’ll be gathering at the river until it runs dry because you can no longer carry their water or have no more water to pour into the river. They’ll be basking on the beach on your dime and will remark on how pretty the tsunami is on the horizon before it sweeps in and washes them and us away.

And they will blame you for the drought and the tsunami.

You’ve warned them for four years that four more years of Obama will see the collapse of this country. They replied that everyone sees things differently, reality is just a subjective “construct” and that your “perception” of things isn’t any more valid than theirs, but because their perception is “better” they have a right to impose it on you and everyone else. They’re “differently” abled, you see, and you’re just a bigot and a racist and prejudiced against their crippled minds, and you ought to be penalized for it because you’re fully abled and have a duty to respect their flawed metaphysics and warped epistemology and to help make their delusions become true.

To them, it was absolutely imperative to preserve and perpetuate the welfare state and all the premises that sanctioned it. Romney only seemed to threaten it (and he wouldn’t have actually begun to dismantle it, either, because he believes in it). This is in light of the soaring national debt Obama has generated, the failure of his programs, the cronyism of his rich and poor supporters, his thuggish and adolescent behavior, in short, every evil thing that has happened in this country since he took office – you would have thought that any one of those things would have torpedoed his chances for a second term. But none of those things mattered.

The election has revealed not just an electoral division, but a division that goes deeper. The people who voted for Obama in light of and in spite of all his transgressions are the ones of whom one can’t say that they “let it go.” They never had it to begin with.

What is it that they either “let go” or never had?

The American “sense of life.” Decades ago novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand wrote an essay, “Don’t Let It Go.”

Just as an individual’s sense of life can be better or worse than his conscious convictions, so can a nation’s. And just as an individual who has never translated his sense of life into conscious convictions is in terrible danger—no matter how good his subconscious values—so is a nation.

This is the position of America today.

If America is to be saved from destruction—specifically, from dictatorship—she will be saved by her sense of life.

America is now divided between those who have retained that “sense of life” and an alliance of those who did let it go and those who never had it to lose.

Since November 6th, I have severed ties with anyone I know voted for Obama a second time. There was nothing to gain by continuing friendships or even civil relationships with them, because they have shown that they are proof against reason and reality. I know of no other way to demonstrate that I mean it.

Thus making it a philosophical civil war. It’s the children of the Age of Enlightenment vs. the spawn of the Age of Envy and Entitlements.