It's comforting to project all our anger onto politicians. Lord knows, they deserve a fair amount of it. However, the difficult reality is this: America's biggest problem is its citizens, not its politicians. Indeed, its politicians are a symptom, a reflection, of its people. They may manipulate and coerce and propagandize, but when it comes down to it, in a democratic system, if a bunch of lunatics and scoundrels are in power it's because the people chose to put them there. The sickness originates, then, with the people. And the people's sickness is rooted in the soul.
My mind kept going back to this fact last night as I watched the Democrat debate on CNN. To be honest, I'm not totally sure why I watched it. Clearly, a person must have some serious psychological issues if they elect to spend an evening with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. It's like choosing to be mentally water boarded for two and a half hours. Only a troubled man would willingly subject himself to such torment. I'll be making an appointment with a therapist later today.
But whatever my masochistic motivations, I watched, and although I wasn't terribly surprised by anything that occurred, I was nonetheless deeply disturbed and grieved. This is what's become of my country, I kept thinking to myself. This is America. These are mainstream, popular, beloved Democrat politicians participating in a presidential election on national TV, yet from what they're saying, you'd be excused for assuming they were just a handful of fringe crazies campaigning to be the next leader of some hippy commune in upstate Oregon.
There wasn't a single good or feasible or coherent idea offered at any point from anyone not named Jim Webb. Just hard-left hokum and naked socialism, because that's precisely what millions of American voters demand. I'm old enough to remember when Democrat politicians in national elections had to pretend to be capitalist and at least vaguely Christian and constitutionalist to get elected. Now, it's a race to see who can play the most convincing godless commie demagogue.
With the frazzled Muppet from Vermont leading the way, all of the candidates (except Jim Webb, who apparently stumbled into the wrong debate) spent the first several minutes complaining about "income inequality." This was a theme they'd all return to incessantly throughout the evening, because there's nothing more exhilarating than listening to old rich white people complain about old rich white people. Bernie Sanders lamented again and again that the "middle class is collapsing," but never expressed any interest in seeing us poor middle class folk move up and out of the middle class. For Sanders and the rest of them, the "middle class" should be all we peons aspire to. Success and wealth ought to be solely possessed by the left wing ruling class. Wealth is evil, you see, so that's why we should let our great and generous protectors carry the burden.
Middle Class! Inequality! Greed! Middle Class! Inequality! Greed! I can't really blame them for shouting socialist catchwords all night. This is what their voters desire. They don't desire capitalism, because capitalism means opportunity and freedom, and opportunity and freedom mean hard work. Economic freedom is so unpopular among liberals that Bernie Sanders openly disavowed it to the sound of roaring applause. Clinton was hesitant (for now) to fully label herself a socialist, so instead she said she's a sorta-capitalist who thinks "capitalism has to be saved from itself." This is another way of calling American people children who need to be rescued by benevolent bureaucrats, but that's OK because Democrat voters fervently wish to be treated like children. They want their own failures and struggles in life to be the fault of "the rich" and they want a president who will magically make it better.
It's a bit awkward, of course, because they already voted for a guy who promised to do just that, yet the "income inequality" has only gotten worse. This, as Hillary asserted several times, is still the fault of the Republicans. Even when we had a Democrat president and a Democrat Congress, all of our economic woes could be laid at the feet of Republicans and "the rich." But not every "the rich." Just "the rich" who aren't Democrat politicians, or Democrat donors like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, or union leaders, or Planned Parenthood executives, or Hollywood liberals, or university administrators, or any other group comprised mainly of wealthy left wingers.
Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders gestures as he tries to exit the Spin Room following the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 13, 2015. US Democratic underdogs sparred with presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton in their party's first debate of the 2016 campaign, challenging her on gun control, military intervention and the former secretary of state's credibility. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN
Anyway, the fact that the most prominent critics of "the rich" are themselves rich is of no concern to the Democrat voter. Consistency, logic, and sincerity are not priorities to this crew. They just want to be coddled and cuddled and soothed. That's why the candidates pivoted back to "inequality" and mythological, phantom issues like the gender wage gap over and over again, but never once, so far as I can remember, even mentioned the word "liberty" or "freedom." This is where we are, culturally speaking. Five presidential contenders can spend 150 minutes blabbering on about their supposed principles and plans for America, but never once pretend to be even moderately concerned about protecting and preserving liberty.
Why? Because Democrat voters don't want liberty. It's really that simple. They want easy answers and free stuff. On the free stuff end of the spectrum, all of the candidates received massive applause when they, often entirely out of nowhere and in response to completely unrelated questions, endorsed making college education free or much cheaper for citizens and non-citizens alike. And not only free college, but free health care, and more paid leave, and a doubled minimum wage.
I felt like I was in fifth grade again watching our class president promise us bi-weekly pizza parties. Even then I knew that kind of pledge was unrealistic and disingenuous. Even then I knew the school couldn't possible pay for 70 pizza parties if we were going on field trips to the freaking post office because they couldn't afford to take us to the zoo or the aquarium. Even then I knew you need money for things. I was 10. Democrat voters are adults.
[sharequote align="center"]Because Democrat voters don't want liberty. They want easy answers and free stuff.[/sharequote]
Naturally, nobody ever explained how a country with $18 trillion of debt and over $127 trillion of unfunded liability might manage to suddenly become Santa Claus for 320 million Americans and illegals. Indeed, along with "liberty," the phrase "national debt" was never uttered. And if they weren't going to explain how the government would start handing out full ride scholarships, paid vacations, "living wages," and free medical care to every human being who happens to exist within our borders, they certainly wouldn't attempt to explain why.
The idea that college in particular should be free is not only absurd and unworkable but incredibly offensive to any self-sufficient adult (a small minority, I admit). I've got news for you, my fellow young people, college isn't a human right. It's also not a necessity. I pay a mortgage and support a family of four by myself, with no government handouts, and I do it without a college degree. It is possible. If you can't afford college -- and God knows it's obscenely expensive and not worth the investment for most people -- don't go. Forge your own path. Think for yourself. Do something different with your life. You really want to drive down college costs? That's how you do it. You can eliminate your own college expenses by simply choosing not to take on any college expenses. Crazy how that works, isn't it? But that's not what liberals want to hear. They want to hear about the crusty old socialist genie who will make free stuff appear out of thin air.
The gun control portion of the debate was the most instructive. All of the candidates (except Webb, it goes without saying) fiercely and passionately competed over who most opposes the Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment. Bernie Sanders was accused -- accused! -- of being not completely against our Constitutional rights to keep and bare arms, and had to take great pains to assure liberal voters that these were unfounded rumors. It was a scene that would have made Thomas Jefferson weep had he been around to witness it: presidential candidates rushing to distance themselves from the Constitution.
Later, the topic turned to foreign policy, and Hillary was only tentatively and briefly asked about her role in the Benghazi fiasco. While attempting to dodge the question, the moderator interrupted and reminded her that "Americans lost their lives." Clinton curtly shot back, "I'll get to that," and proceeded to explain how her policies in Libya worked out splendidly because the Libyan people were able to hold an election.
The problem, of course, is threefold: 1) She again callously dismissed the deaths of four Americans, because, put simply, she doesn't care about any human life that isn't her own. 2) She forgot to mention the "democratic Libyan government" is now in exile, hiding away on a boat in Tobruck while militias run the country. 3) The real issue is that Clinton and Obama were running guns through Benghazi to Syrian terrorists. This is what got our ambassador killed, and it's why both Clinton and Obama lied about it. Obviously, this incredible scandal should be enough to disqualify someone from the presidency and land them in prison for the rest of their lives, but here in America they aren't even asked about it during a presidential debate, much less prosecuted for it.
Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton waves on stage during the first Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 13, 2015. Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton will finally square off with top rival Bernie Sanders in the party's first debate of the 2016 campaign as she seeks to prove she is the candidate to beat. AFP PHOTO/ FREDERIC J. BROWN
Instead, the candidates were told to name the biggest national security threat we face, and two of the candidates said climate change. These, I remind you, are adults running for president of the United States who believe our greatest enemy is the weather. Islamic State is overseas torturing and decapitating women and children but, according to Bernie Sanders, the real problem is that temperatures get a little balmy in the summertime. God help us.
This moment of sheer dementia was eclipsed only by a question posed later on in the debate. The candidates were asked whether "black lives matter or all lives matter," and those who answered agreed that only black lives matter. The question alone shows you how far the Democrat Party and the culture as a whole has fallen in just the last few years. During Obama's first run, you would have been flabbergasted by such an inquiry. Do black lives or all lives matter? What? Huh? Really? Talk about a false dichotomy.
Now you barely bat an eye at the full frontal stupidity of the question or the insanity of the answer. You aren't in the least bit surprised that Democrat politicians cannot simply affirm the value of all human life without upsetting a significant portion of their base. When "do all lives matters?" becomes a difficult gotcha question in politics, you know things have gone severely off the rails.
Perhaps the most unsettling moment came when Clinton was asked about her decision to commit a serious federal crime by conducting classified business on her private email servers. It should be no surprise that a pathological crook who spent decades intimidating and silencing her husband's rape victims would think this, in comparison, is rather small potatoes. That's to be expected. It's the Democrat voter's cooperation that's the real outrage here.
[sharequote align="center"]It's the Democrat voter's cooperation that's the real outrage here.[/sharequote]
Clinton said the whole thing was a right wing conspiracy and then started babbling about free college tuition. Sanders got on his knees and kissed the feet of Her Highness, insisting that Clinton's rampant criminality is a distraction. The audience of trained seals burst into applause at the sight of two powerful people agreeing that powerful people shouldn't be required to obey the law. Then the auditorium nearly exploded in a fit of joy and exuberance at this exchange between Lincoln Chafee, who is a person who apparently exists, and Her Highness:
CHAFEE: ... There's an issue of American credibility out there. So any time someone is running to be our leader, and a world leader, which the American president is, credibility is an issue out there with the world. And we have repair work to be done. I think we need someone that has the best in ethical standards as our next president. That's how I feel.
COOPER: Secretary Clinton, do you want to respond?
Her Highness refusing to address her illegal activities was, by far, the most popular response, or non-response, of the night. I felt like I was watching some sort of strange reimagining of a George Orwell book. It was creepy, really.
Of course, there were a few other big applause lines, like when Hillary defended the baby killers at Planned Parenthood and when Bernie promised to raise taxes (a promise he repeated 16 times or so). Hillary scored points on several occasions by noting that she has a vagina. When asked how her administration won't be a third Obama term, the only difference she could highlight is her genitalia. Hillary has made it clear that she'll bust out the "I'm a woman" card anytime her back is against the wall, and it will always work with her supporters because her supporters are profoundly immature.
There was one genuinely good line, courtesy of the sore thumb Jim Webb. All of the candidates were asked who they'd consider their number one enemy. Chafee said he was proud to make an enemy of poor coal miners. Clinton said her greatest enemies are not Islamic State or the Iranians, but Republicans. Sanders said something about corporatebankersWallStreetyaddayadda. Webb, the Marine veteran, said his number one enemy would be the Viet Cong solder who threw a grenade at him, but "he's not around anymore."
It was a fantastic moment, particularly in contrast to the fools before him who bragged about fighting with coal miners and Republicans. Webb actually fought with his life on the line and defeated his enemy on the battle field. In a Republican debate, his answer would have brought the house down, as well it should. But in a Democrat debate, it was met with awkward silence, just like the silence that followed Webb's earlier declaration that all human lives matter.
This is the Democrat Party, ladies and gentlemen. Behold it and weep. Just remember to reserve most of your disgust for the people in the audience or at home who cheered as politicians promised us death, tyranny, and free crap. To give you an idea of how enthusiastic some of these people are, consider this: I offered criticisms of the candidates on Twitter last night and one liberal responded by saying she hopes my children kill themselves (she's since deleted her account). I got an email from a Hillary fan this morning telling me she'll "pray" I get leukemia. You'd like to think these reactions are isolated, but they aren't. It's pretty common.
The Democrat Party exists in its current state because this country is infested by evil, fear, stupidity, and hatred. Clinton and Sanders are but manifestations of it. And never forget that they are just that: manifestations. Expressions of the spiritual malady that's eating this nation alive, not the source or cause of it.
The voter and the politician are, in the end, one and the same, both equally to blame.
Speaking of Orwell, I'm reminded of the last line in "Animal Farm":
The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
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