The Democrats just don’t get it. They are busy trying to “spread the wealth,” providing hand-outs hither and yon. Some of that cash will go to people attending tea parties. Whassup, the Lefties wonder?
Michael Barone explains that there’s something a little more basic to the American character. Independence. He writes:
“Do you realize,” CNN’s Susan Roesgen asked a man at the April 15, 2009, tea party in Chicago, “that you’re eligible for a $400 credit?” When the man refused to drop his “drop socialism” sign, she went on, “Did you know that the state of Lincoln gets fifty billion out of the stimulus?”
Roesgen is no longer with CNN, and CNN has only about half as many viewers as it did last year. But her questions are revealing. They help us understand that the issue on which our politics has become centered — the Obama Democrats’ vast expansion of the size and scope of government — is really not just about economics.
It is really a battle about culture, a battle between the culture of dependence and the culture of independence. Probably unknowingly, Roesgen was reflecting the the midcentury sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld’s dictum that politics is about who gets how much when. If some guy is getting $400, shouldn’t he just shut up and collect the money? Shouldn’t he be happy that his state government, headed recently by Rod Blagojevich, was getting an extra $50 billion?
Let’s hope enough Americans care enough about independence that they will take the country back from the redistributionists and social engineers!
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