The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide
which particular representatives of the oppressing class
are to represent and repress them."-- Karl Marx
Well, it's over. The people have spoken, and they've chosen Socialism. The country we had is not the country we have. I know that some may accuse me of being melodramatic, but the election of Barack Obama represents a fundamental, critical, potentially fatal shift in our government. Both the winner and the loser talked of bringing the country together. However, the manners in which those opposing philosophies would seek to do so couldn't be more different.
Harry Reid referred to last night's vote as "a mandate for change." Given the numbers, the vote was far from a mandate - many states were quite close. Frighteningly, those margins were well within the danger area of the numbers of fraudulent voters reported in some areas. And the election was far from smooth - from Black Panthers with nightsticks, to broken machines (one of them in my town), to wet ballots causing a problem, there were a significant number of issues. And forget the military vote - many of those won't count. John McCain had talked of suing to try and make sure those were counted, but that seems unlikely.
There is some theoretically good news - it appears that the Democrats will be short of the 60 seats they needed to have complete power, but then again, that only means that every failure will be blamed on the Republicans. And as of right now, it looks like Al Franken lost. The race has been called, but the margin is extremely thin, so who knows.
The most nauseating story is that John Murtha keeps his seat. A man who called our Marines cold-blooded murderers, who called Pennsylvanians racists, remains in Congress. The one Republican Senator in New England - Chris Shays from my state of CT - was not so lucky.
If you take away the close margins, and you accept the vote as legitimate, the victory is pretty numerically significant. Voter turnout was extremely high, and the electoral margin was large. As far as making history goes, though, I don't see it the same way as most of the media does. They call it a great victory because he's an African American. I don't see progress in that. Many people voted for him because of his race; some undoubtedly voted against him because of his race. How is that progress? How is that success? Far better would it have been to have seen the vote completely ignore his race. Far more indicative of progress would it have been to see this campaign be absent of any factors other than the content of character, and the values of the platform. This has not been the case.
At any rate, this country has chosen the most liberal Senator we have as President, and number three as Vice President. So liberal, in fact, that voters have happily, knowingly, chosen Socialism. At best, we'll have a President who talks a good game, has high approval ratings, but accomplishes little while blaming it on the party in the minority. At best, we'll have a Congress that talks and talks of fixing problems, but enacts only window-dressing legislation, and takes no risks in a desire to protect its butt at all costs. At best, we'll be looking at a controlled withdrawal from Iraq before things are completed, but without tragic consequences. At worst, we could be looking at the Fairness Doctrine, Universal Healthcare, historic tax increases, and another generation of Heroes who are treated as if they lost a war despite the military realities.
The Progressives rule now - White House, Congress, and in all likelihood, they'll soon rule the Supreme Court, too. Let's face facts - Progressive is the name the Socialists chose for themselves when they realized years ago that no one would vote for someone who called themselves a Socialist (not sure that's the case now). So we have now become a Socialist country - the United Socialist States of America. Welcome to it. And so you're not surprised when you see what we're in for, here's what Socialists believe: (opens in new window)
"In a higher phase of communist society... only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be fully left behind and society inscribe on its banners: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." -- Karl Marx
True socialists advocate a complete lack of societal class. Everyone is equal, and the government controls all production and distribution - in order, of course, to eliminate the evil of competition, and to ensure that no one is any more successful than anyone else. Everyone is equal - except, of course, for those in power.
But they go further than everyone within a country being equal. True Socialists seek to make everyone equal, and see this as transcending race, religion, gender, nation, or any other differentiating factor. Socialism, in essence, seeks to eliminate individuality in favor of communal thinking. It is not 'my' - it is 'our.' It is not 'I' - it is 'we.' No individual's success is celebrated - any achievement is everyone's achievement.
"The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property." -- Karl Marx
Socialism, very closely tied to Communism (and having that as its goal, according to Lenin), seeks the elimination of the concept of private property. Private property means that some have what others do not. That sort of thing makes people see some things as "theirs." Not what you want if you want people to be happy while the fruits of their labors are taken and "redistributed" to others. Socialism advocates 'work for use, not for profit.'
"Without doubt, machinery has greatly increased the number of well-to-do idlers." - Karl Marx
Socialism seeks to employ everyone - for the good of 'society.' People do not work for their own success. They do not keep their own profits. The government knows best how to distribute the goods and funds achieved.
"Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand." "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people [masses]." - Karl Marx
Socialism has a deep and abiding contempt for religion. Functionally, this makes sense. Socialism, like Communism, requires an individual to see nothing as higher than 'society' or 'the state.' Religion teaches a higher value, and a specific set of morals. When religion conflicts with the state, religion views itself as higher. After all, you're talking about eternity versus a fleeting time on Earth. Where religion flourishes, Socialism and Communism historically have not.
New versions of Socialism, or "Democratic Socialism," add in the responsibility to love the Earth, to protect the environment, etc. (Can you say, Kyoto?)
There are other basic tenets, each of them scary. Socialism espouses a hatred of violence and war. Nothing is worth fighting for, because everyone is exactly the same, and has exactly the same things. Individual freedom is nonexistent; it is replaced by communal achievement. And how could a truly Socialist society allow private gun ownership? That would make some citizens capable of enforcing their will - or defending themselves from others seeing to do so.
Socialism, as Ayn Rand describes it, "is the doctrine that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that his life and his work do not belong to him, but belong to society, that the only justification of his existence is his service to society, and that society may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good." In other words, Socialism is the antithesis of the principles this country was founded on.
Of utmost importance to our founding fathers was the right to own property. Also highly prized were freedom of speech, assembly, and religion. Under Socialism and Communism, those are smothered - they have to be.
This is the government we as a country have now chosen. It is not a mandate; it was not a landslide. But it was a choice for change, all right, and a scary one for people who believe as I do:
"You cannot bring prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."
-- Rev. William J. H. Boetcker
Hang on to your Bibles (or whatever else represents your religious beliefs), your guns, and your wallets, folks - this could be a wild ride.