I believe that the American people elected Barack Obama in a tideswell of angst and anger over decisions perceived to have been made by the Bush administration, and did not effectively vote for the subsequent mandate for change that Obama continues to trumpet almost daily. It did not matter which sides made which decisions in regard to foreign policies, everyone simply hated Bush, and wanted to swing the other way. It also does not matter now to our President that he won the election by a similar margin as Bush did over Kerry, and with less total voters turning out overall. Given the amount of Democrats in Congress, and the fact that he won and has the mainstream media in his hip pocket, he considers himself to have a mandate to do as he pleases. That said, we have already seen the depths to which he will sink to get his way.
The reality of the situation remains, as I have previously pointed out, that Barack Obama is a ghost. He ran as a blank slate onto which people projected their own desires for the presidency. He truly succeeded in being all things to all people. But as he has begun his presidency in as rocky a fashion any of us can remember, it seems more and more that we will see his true nature, as he approaches conflict with the petulance of a small child who has had his fire engine taken away. As he continues to approach the highest office in the land with this attitude, I cannot help but think that there will be many people who consider themselves to be of a Left persuasion to become disillusioned with the man. It is in anticipation of this happening that I ponder the question of when they've realized that they've been following a ghost, an empty suit, where will they go from there?
But let me not be accused of insinuating that Barack Obama is the only ghost we have followed. This has been happening for quite some time.
One of the great myths that currently pervades our politics in this country is that there is a major difference between the Left and the Right as they have come to be established. The idea that there is a major difference between the two is a fallacy in the respect that neither of them, going back to Coolidge, not even Reagan, despite his rhetoric, has physically done anything to promote the idea of a United States of America with citizens who are truly free. The market has not been allowed to operate freely, no matter what the detractors of the free market on the Left would like you to believe. The Right has, at the same time, failed to actually govern from a limited government standpoint, despite what they would have you believe.
Both the Left and the Right, as they have come to be established, trade in the same currency. That currency is Fear, and its bank is Big Government. It just so happens that the Left and the Right, as they have come to be established, simply trade in different denominations of this currency. War and Empire has become the currency of the Right. Hence when we find the Right in control, the predominant issues at hand become the expansion of our influence overseas. Though this becomes the predominantly discussed issue, the denomination of Left still remains at large in the meantime. That denomination is Social Programmatic Spending draped in the spectre of Civil Rights. As the Left comes to power, as we are confronted with now, these are the issues that we have seen come to the forefront. This does not mean, however, that War and Empire have gone away. Indeed they continue unabated, and have merely taken a backseat in the minds of the general public.
Think of the Left as trading in Ten Dollar Bills, and the Right as trading in Twenty Dollar Bills. At the end of the day, they are both trading a thousand dollars, it just happens to pass through the clerk's hands in differently sized stacks at a time. The currency itself is still Fear. The bank is still Big Government.
To be sure there are other issues, such as abortion and gay marriage and racial equality, currently hot-button issues, that continue to pervade everyone's rhetoric, and there are those people that will align themselves with one side or the other over those issues. But the tragedy of those issues has become what the federal government is supposed to do about them. The question is never asked anymore, "What would happen if the federal government were to relieve itself of these issues, to allow them to remain with the states?"
In order that I not go off on a tangent discussion about morality, I will answer my own question. These ideas are not left to be decided by the states because there is no money in it. Our politicians have come to such a level that they are politicians as a career choice, rather than as public servants as they were always meant to be. Abortion, gay marriage and racial equality, among the full myriad of other smaller, relatively inconsequential have become industries unto themselves, and the politicians that make them their primary discussions are serving to temporarily line their own pockets, rather than serving their constituents. These politicians, on both sides of the aisle, are served in these issues only by dragging them out, and continually increasing the size of the government in the process. Their actual stance means nothing in the long run, other than that it gives them a chance to keep working in a position that produces nothing but more argument, and perpetually more government. Therefore let us not believe that either the Established Left, or the Established Right has a correct solution for where we find ourselves currently. Indeed they have both led us down the frightening path of collectivism:
It is true that the virtues which are less esteemed and practiced now - independence, self-reliance, and the willingness to bear risks, the readiness to back one's own conviction against a majority, and the willingness to voluntary cooperation with one's neighbors - are essentially those on which the working of an individualist society rests. Collectivism has nothing to put in their place, and in so far as it has already destroyed them it has left a void filled by nothing but the demand for obedience and the compulsion of the individual to do what is collectively decided to be good.
F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom
We have seen recently, with the passage of the "stimulus" package, a greater single expansion of government than we have ever before known. This bodes ill for those of us who believe in the principles of Freedom and Liberty of the individual. So what are we to do about our expanding Leviathan?
There is only the path of educating as many people as possible over the course of the time we have that will aid in following the correct path. It is incorrect to believe it is the government's job to do anything other than protect its citizens, and a government's citizens are not protected by being given free rides, having their will and self-reliance eroded
Education of the masses on both sides is the task at hand.
We must remain Prometheus and Gaea.
This is the fight we face.
The fight for our Freedom. The fight for our Liberty. The fight for Ourselves.