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Thomas Sowell Quote

History is what happened, not what we wish had happened or what a theory says should have happened. One of the reasons for the great value of history is that it allows us to check our current beliefs against hard facts from around the world and across the centuries.

ideas > Barack Obama's Plan for America Part 1

Barack Obama's Plan for America Part 1
I recently began reading Barack Obama’s Blueprint for Change, a 64 page pdf document posted on his website that outlines his plan for America. I wanted to see what change Barack had in mind for America and here is what I found out. I wonder how many people who are voting for him know anything about the change he is offering.

I would like to share with you the first two pages of this document (pages 4 and 5) and provide some commentary about what he says. Before I speak about what I found, I would like to address what I believe is Barack’s most special quality and why Americans should be wary of it. There is no doubt that he is a charismatic, inspiring speaker and that he is sincere in what he said. He is able to make people feel good, giving them hope, while at the same time offering them solutions to their problems with him in the middle, which ultimately means less individual choice and freedom. This is a speaking gift. It is a troubling quality and very hard for people who love freedom to overlook. It is my feeling that we must deconstruct what he says in order to uncover the change that he is really offering. People like Barack may be sincere, but the solutions they offer, at least judged by history, seem to lead to less freedom and ultimately tyranny and totalitarianism. Let’s turn to what he says within his plan for America. You will see what I am talking about as we uncover the hidden meaning within the flowery prose, where he often contradicts himself within the same sentence.

On page 4, Barack states “It’s time to put government back in your hands, where it belongs. If we want to have policies that are good for the American people, then we need the American people to help shape those policies.” He first states that the government should be in the hands of the people, but then states that the people should help shape those policies. If the government is in the hands of the people, shouldn’t they be able to more than shape the policies, shouldn’t they be able to create the policies. If they only shape them, then who is creating them in Barack’s world? It isn’t the people. It has to be the politicians. To put the government back in the hands of the American people would mean to severely curtail and cut government spending. After all, isn’t that what most Americans want. But then that wouldn’t leave too much room for politicians like Barack to run the show, now would it?

Continuing on page 4, he conjures up feelings of grandeur, by stating, “We all know what’s at stake. This is a defining moment in our history. Our nation is at war. The planet is in peril. The dream that so many generations fought for feels as if it’s slowly slipping away. We’ve never paid more for health care or for college. It’s harder to save and retire. And most of all, we’ve lost faith that our leaders can or will do anything about it.” Barack offers hope that he will be able to change things via the government vehicle. But what if the government is the problem? What if the government is responsible for our nation being at war, for the planet being in peril, for health care costs rising, for college tuition rising, and for savings and retirement becoming more difficult? There are many economists that can eloquently explain to you why government intervention has created all these problems and why freedom from intervention, not more government intervention, is the only solution. If you take a close look at when this country started experiencing many of its problems you might find that this happened when deficit spending started becoming acceptable, as politicians promised programs and change like Barack is promising in the 1960s and 1970s, continuing even to today. As government expenditures and intervention increase, it seems like it becomes more and more difficult to make ends meet. Could this be the problem? If so, then Barack offers no solution. He would be the problem. I have not lost faith in my religious leaders nor in my business have leaders, but I lost faith in my political leaders. Why? Because they lie and cover up the greatest lie of all, that the government, to a large extent, is responsible for many of the current economic and social problems that we are experiencing and electing someone who believes that government is the solution would be tantamount to jumping off a cliff without a parachute to get to the bottom faster.

Continuing on page 4, he states, “But it is because of their failures that this moment of challenge is also a moment of opportunity. We have a chance to bring the country together into a new majority- to finally tackle problems that Washington has ignored for too long. And that is why the same old Washington textbook campaign just won’t do in this election.” Barack cleverly sets the stage; he mentions that the system is broken, that it is a defining moment in history, a chance for change, and that the opportunity to make that change is to create a new majority to finally tackle the problems. He offers a new campaign, but not new solutions. His solutions are the same old solutions of past. They are the solutions imposed by the government which have been the same solutions that have got us into this mess. Each demagogue that makes these same promises always believes that those who tried to implement the solutions in the past didn’t do it right, but that they, through their wisdom and insight can do better. It’s a weakness or blind spot in the human nature of some to believe that they are wiser than others and therefore should be controlling others. Too often it ends in tragedy as the history of China, North Korea and Russia attest. I’m sure that Lenin, Mao, Stalin, and Kim Il Sung were intelligent, well-meaning people when they first began. They probably believed they knew better than anyone else how to run things, but look what happened. They ended up killings tens of millions of people and enslaving billions along the way.

Continuing on page 4, he says, “The Democratic Party has always made the biggest difference in the lives of the American people when we’ve led not by polls, but principles; not by calculation, but by conviction; when we summoned the entire nation to a common purpose-a higher purpose. And I run for the presidency because that’s the party America needs us to be right now. I run to offer this country change we can believe in.” Barack’s subtle play on words reveals the true agenda of the Democratic Party, which is socialism and I’ll explain why and how. First, socialism is nothing more than government that doesn’t listen to the will of the people, but instead follows the dictates of the benighted bureaucracy who know better than the people how to run their lives. It is a government of the elite for the elite. Barack states that the Democratic Party is best when they “led not by polls, but principles”. What are polls, but nothing more than the will of the people? What are principles, but nothing more than the will of the politicians or elected officials? Barack is saying that the principles of the governing officials within the Democratic Party trump the will of the people. He continues “we’ve led…not by calculation, but by conviction”. When I hear calculation, I hear math or hard evidence. When one governs, not by scientific facts or evidence, one never knows whether one’s programs work or not. But if one governs by conviction instead, then facts really don’t matter. The Democratic Party will govern by conviction, not by facts or evidence about whether or not what they are doing works. Socialist always must govern this way, because the evidence that capitalism is superior to socialism is overwhelming. To committed Socialists and people like Barack, evidence does not matter. Conviction trumps calculation or evidence. What Barack is offering you is a world where the elected official makes the decisions based on his or her principles, not your will; based on his or her conviction, not on any kind of evidence or calculation that it is working or not. In the world of a socialist, this must always be the way things are, because evidence and reality dictate otherwise. You must deny reality to be a socialist.

He continues on page 5, “I’m in this race because I want to stop talking about the outrage of 47 million Americans without health care and start actually doing something about it.” If there are 47 million outraged Americans, where are they at? I have yet to see someone burning down a building because they don’t have health insurance. The reality is that every American has access to some kind of health care right now and if you take care of yourself and make good choices then most likely you will very rarely have to use it. There is no outrage among the masses without health care. If there was, there would certainly be more chaos right now. The outrage is only among the politicians who are trying to create a wedge issue with which to bring them to power so they can increase the size of government and their control over you and build their socialist utopia where they make the decisions based on conviction, not on what you want.

He continues, “I’m in this race to end our dependence on Middle East oil and save our planet from the crisis of climate change so we can give our children a planet that’s cleaner and safer than we found it.” Anyone that has studied climate change deeper than Al Gore’s movie or watching a CNN special knows that the data that is used to prove that humans are drastically affecting the climate is very suspect. The climate change hysteria is being built upon the foundation of suspect computer models. Ask yourself one simple question, “How far ahead of time can the weather man predict the weather?” Perhaps a few days. If the weatherman, armed with the most up to date scientific technology cannot predict the weather further than a few days ahead of time, then how could a scientist predict the temperature 50 to a hundred years ahead of time? It makes no sense. It is true that the world needs to pollute less, because the a cleaner environment is better for all of us, but this has to be balanced with the reality that we need to dirty the environment in order to bring wealth, prosperity, and a better standard of living to people. We cannot have both. So the climate crisis that Barack speaks of seems a little suspect. I would bet that the solution he has for it would be government imposed. Socialists of all ages have been looking for ways to cripple capitalism for decades, even centuries. What better way to cripple it than to remove the life blood of capitalism, the energy that makes it all go, oil. Barack’s solution will only further depress our standard of living. Oil is a cheap form of energy that has allowed you and me to enjoy a standard of living that the world has never known before. Why would we want to destroy that? It makes no sense.

I realize that Barack is most likely a nice man, but I would submit to you that his ideas are nothing new. They are the ideas that have been taught by socialists of the past. The great battle going on right now is the battle of individualism versus collectivism or capitalism versus socialism or freedom versus government interventionism. Individualism, capitalism, and freedom lead to a higher standard of living for all. Collectivism, socialism, and government interventionism lead to something far less. Just take a look around the around the world. What country has the highest standard of living? It is America. But this is quickly fading as we swallow more and more of the socialist philosophies that Barack and others with the Democrat and Republican Party (as well) offer. Their philosophies and ideas sound great, but destructing them reveals their true nature and the outcome that they will lead to. I hope that you take this commentary on only the first 2 pages of Barack’s plan for America seriously and reflect on this one last thought. What is causing America’s problems right now? Is it the government that produces nothing that we consume? Is it business that produces everything that we consume? Or is it something else? Thank you for reading this and go take a look at Barack’s plan for change and make your own judgments. I look forward to reading the rest of it and commenting on it as well. He certainly is a fascinating character, a powerful political figure for some, but then again all great socialist thinkers and politicians were the same way. I suspect that it will be a treatise on socialism, for the great war of our time is between freedom and tyranny, capitalism and socialism, and individualism and collectivism.
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