I seldom miss anything by Peggy Noonan. I wait for her Saturday column in the Wall Street Journal to complete my own thinking on important political developments. That’s because her clarity of thought and of expression is irreplaceable. Peggy Noonan is one of my four or five thinking guides. Here is what she had to say on Sat. January 27th 2013 in the WSJ about President Obama’s domestic program for his second term. I wouldn’t change a word or a comma.
He means to change America in fundamental ways and along the lines of justice as he sees it…. He does not care if you like him-he’s just as soon you did but it’s not necessary for him. He is certain he is right in what he is doing, which is changing the economic balance between rich and poor. The rich are going to be made less rich, and those who are needy or request help are going to get more in government services, which the rich will pay for. He’d just as soon the middle class not get lost in the shuffle but if they wind up marginally less middle class he won’t be up nights. The point is redistribution.
I am wondering, I keep wondering about two things:
1 Are there any Obama supporters who disagree that this is, in a capsule, the president’s domestic program?
2 Are there any Obama supporters who disagree with the program itself?
Peggy Noonan continues, pointing out the fears of conservatives like me vis-à-vis an Obama second term that would actually unfold along the lines she indicates.
The great long-term question is the effect the change in mood he seeks to institute will have on what used to be the national character… .Don’t you change people when you tell them they have an absolute right to government support regardless of their efforts? Don’t you encourage dependence, and a bitter sense of entitlement? What about the wearing down of taxpayers? Some, especially those who are younger, do not fully understand that what is supporting them is actually coming from other people. To them it seems to come from ‘the government,’ the big marble machine far away that prints money.
I would change one thing to the above: Many young liberal college graduates I know are well aware of the fact that the government does not just print money. Rather, they think that “the rich” control vastly more of the whole pie than they actually do. They believe that more taxes can be extracted from others without causing damage to the American economic machine. They believe, in a capsule, that there is no relationship between high taxes on others and their own difficulties in finding a reasonably well-paid job.
I wonder if there are any liberals who share this kind of concern. I even wonder if anyone who voted for Barack Obama’s second term had given this any thought at all. I am curious, eager for answers.
By the way, I think that complete self-assurance about the rightness of one’s ideas is not fascism itself but that it’s the antechamber of fascism.