HATS OFF TO Stephen Moore and Peter Ferrara for “The Poverty of Equality” in the April issue of The American Spectator.
While the authors’ arguments are cogent—and thanks also for reminding us about Kurt Vonnegut’s classic story about equality taken to its logical extreme—Vonnegut was actually naïve about (and the authors’ failed to point out) the most likely political outcome.
The Handicapper General and her agents may have been unceasingly vigilant, but don’t forget there would have been a select few with exemptions. All such exemptions—either partial or even total—would have had perfectly rational foundations, but for some unexplainable reason, most of these would have been given to supporters of the Administration.
You see, those with the power to impose draconian laws also hold the power to grant exemptions to those laws, and thereby augment their power, prestige, and wealth.
In the meantime, however, the authors provide a service by
rightly pointing out that if the Left has convinced everyone to
discuss the merits of how income is “distributed,” it already has a
leg up in persuading the public about “fairness.” Indeed, the
correct descriptor for wealth is “created,” which immediately
illuminates the inherent differences that accrue to the
— Bob Tucker, Tucson, AZ
MESSRS. MOORE AND FERRARA give a thorough and lucid analysis of the dysfunction of Liberalism in “The Poverty of Equality.” Using Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” was a nice touch; the image of Handicapper General Diana Moon Glampers self-righteously wielding her double-barreled shotgun has lingered in my mind since college. But, alas, their effort is largely a waste of ink and paper.
It’s like a person carefully and earnestly explaining the terrible consequences of alcohol abuse to an alcoholic, expecting that he will be persuaded to stop drinking. He doesn’t drink because he thinks he should; he drinks because he needs to drink. An addiction is a coup d’état from the heart, not the head. The need makes itself 1st priority; all other priorities are rescinded.
Liberalism is an addiction to power. Liberals don’t seek power because they think that they can really produce the utopia they promise. They seek power because they feel the need to control the rest of us. What we need is intervention, not persuasion, nor negotiation. (Speaker Boehner, can you take the hint?) So what to do?
This road won’t be easy or short, but it does lead to where we
want to be: an America without modern Liberalism. A land where
schoolchildren are as astonished to learn that people once thought
it would be a good idea to have politicians control who gets to see
a doctor, as they are now to learn that people once thought that
skin color should determine who gets to eat at a lunch counter. The
path of persuasion, when dealing with our real-life Handicapper
General Glampers, is a dead end.
— Jeffrey Payne, Winter Springs, FL
MOST EDUCATED AMERICANS vaguely remember that the amendment
granting women the right to vote was passed by Congress in 1919 and
ratified by the states in 1920. But the number of people who know
anything about the forty-year legislative war that preceded that
victory is smaller than the audience of MSNBC. That war began in
1878, when a California Republican named A.A. Sargent introduced
the 19th Amendment only to see it voted down by a
Democrat-controlled Congress. It finally ended four decades later,
when the Republicans won landslide victories in the House and the
Senate, giving them the power to pass the amendment despite
continued opposition from most elected Democrats—including
President Woodrow Wilson, to whom the suffragettes frequently
referred as “Kaiser Wilson.”
— David Catron, Republicans and Women’s Rights: A Brief Reality Check, April 30
MITT ROMNEY might very well be the least hip presidential
candidate since Nixon set foot on a beach. As such he would be well
advised to refrain from asking “Who let the dogs out?” ever again
(unless, of course, said dogs found themselves on the menu of the
next White House State Dinner.… But three and a quarter years of
Obama plus the trillions added to our debt is more than enough
drama for a lifetime. At least four years of boredom is exactly
what this country needs.
— Aaron Goldstein, The Most Boring Man in the World, April 24
An article in the may issue, ‘Incumbency Shakers,’ misstated biographical details of the Texas developer backing the Campaign for Primary Accountability. The CFPA donor, Leo Linbeck III, has not helped promote the Fair Tax. That plan’s booster is his father, Leo Linbeck Jr.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?