Originally at American Thinker, April 24, 2011
By Chuck Rogér
In January 1981, America’s Jimmy Carter disaster plodded to a merciful close. A new President judged the time right to acknowledge something that people had been realizing in greater and greater numbers since LBJ’s Great Society programs began ruining America. In his first inaugural address, Ronald Reagan declared, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
A nation suffocating under a peanut farmer’s horrific policies inhaled the blast of fresh air. Today, most people who are not big-government liberals understand that Reagan was right.
But not all non-liberals understand.
Though 80 percent of Americans consistently self-identify as ideologically other than liberal, recent years’ polling has shown that as few as 56 percent of likely voters believe that government hatches more problems than solutions. So some people who are not big-government liberals don’t seem to object to throwing taxpayer money at problems that government inflicted on taxpayers in the first place. The contradiction is unsettling.
There are many possible explanations for otherwise clear-thinking people failing to appreciate the cultural decay assured by nanny-statism. One scenario carries particular credibility.
Faced with nationwide economic misery caused by politicians’ runaway deficit spending, some people choose resignation, others, disengagement. Far too many Americans still robotically swallow the left-flavored pabulum which is spoon-fed to audiences by alphabet TV networks, newspapers, and the entertainment industry.
Despite a surge in audience sizes for Fox News, talk radio, bloggers, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, American Thinker, and other libertarian and conservative outlets, the disastrous effects of government intervention in the private sector still appear nowhere on the radar screens of millions of Americans. Busybody politicians have fashioned decades of debacles. And yet many voters continue to cave in to manipulation by government-worshiping “journalists” and the busybody politicians.
Powerful or influential people using falsehoods to manipulate other people’s behavior is not a new phenomenon. More than a hundred years ago, “father” of modern psychology William James observed, “There’s nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it.” The “big lie” technique caught fire in the John Dewey, Woodrow Wilson, FDR days of the progressive era. The concept has found fertile gray matter inside the skulls of American progressives ever since.
Progressives relentlessly preach a narrative assembled from high-sounding fallacies. And the tactic works. Eyes do indeed eventually glaze over. Fiction does gain acceptance as fact. In other words, progressive falsehoods have staying power.
One progressive gimmick after another has darkened the American psyche.
Multiculturalism culturally divides. Affirmative action positions “underrepresented minorities” for failure in roles for which they are under-prepared. Relentless “diversity” efforts decay into emphasis on assembling the races toward one end: the assembling of the races. Diverse thought is diversity’s main fatality. Lopsided taxation moves income from “winners” to “losers” and teaches losers to give up the idea of winning. Crime-reducing incarceration gets painted as an abomination, while feeble “rehabilitation” schemes are repackaged as successes. Sermons on “building” self-esteem dismiss the importance of earning self-esteem through achievement. Casualties of hideous political correctness occur daily, as “choice” ends the lives of tiny humans. Dressing ugly reality in diversionary language erases no ugliness. And now the gargantuan federal debt run up through drunken deficit spending is poised to end all of the games, ending America in the process.
For two years, Obama’s federal agencies, thirty-nine czars, the Democrat Congress, and herds of media soldiers have turbocharged progressive lies. Big government continues to push an impossible vision of socioeconomic perfection. And through it all, among us live people who either condone or see no harm in the insanity. With the 2008 election of a man whose personal history sounded loud but unheeded sirens, no clear thinker can dismiss the likelihood that in 2012 a majority of voters would fall for big lies for the second time in only four years.
But maybe gasoline prices will soar sky-high during the run-up to Election 2012. Maybe the economy will grow unbearably bad. Perhaps the jackass party’s despicable refusal to address the $14.3 trillion national debt will render it impossible for all the fabrications in the world to save Obama and congressional Democrats from a second shellacking in a row. Would that America enjoy the “good” fortune of suffering such bad fortune in order to find relief from so much betrayal.
Then again the economy may continue to improve. Many voters, too emotionally spent to keep staring down the nightmare bounded by January 20, 2009 and November 5, 2012, will take comfort in seductive lies before heading to the polls on November 6. By then the lies will have grown to immense proportions. Democrats and mainstream media will have repeated the lies ad nauseam. Big lies might keep enough big liars in the White House and Congress to perpetuate the biggest lie of all: that a big-spending and yet flat-broke syndicate run by ruling-class mobsters can engineer societal nirvana.