Eat my peas? Screw you, Obama – I’m not a child for you to raise
Obama says it’s time for us to “eat our peas“. Well, here’s the problem, jacka$$ – I don’t like peas.
I’m an adult. Been one for almost thirty years, in fact, so I have a lot of practice at it. I’m older than you, jerk.
So take your sage advice about how we adult citizens just have to suck it up and bend over for your political friends one more time, and shove it in Joe Biden’s cheek pouches.
If I were a political consultant for a Republican, tea-party-oriented candidate for president (or indeed for any federal office), I would suggest that a central campaign theme be “It’s time to start treating Americans like adults.”
I believe Obama’s condescending smarminess is grating and offensive to a lot of voters. The Republicans are fools if they don’t offer a counterpoint to it.
This “treat us as adults” theme encompasses many things. It means allowing us to make our choices about our lives and our jobs, and be responsible for the outcomes. That includes a whole host of areas that the federal government has completely screwed up in their attempts to treat us like irresponsible children.
— We need to be responsible for our own retirement. We don’t need to be treated like children who don’t understand the value of money, can’t see the future, and don’t have the self-discipline to save.
— We need to be responsible for our own healthcare. We don’t need to be treated like children who must be told what to eat, when to exercise, and what treatment they are to get when they are sick, without any thought to how to pay for it.
— We need to be responsible for our own businesses. The vast majority of business owners are adult enough to know what safety precautions to take, and what accounting standards to use. The small minority that doesn’t understand safety should have their butts sued off and lose their businesses when they are negligent. The tiny minority that commits accounting fraud should be put in prison.
— We need to be responsible for our property. That starts with allowing us to keep our own money, and spend it as we like. It also implies some stability that is not currently in evidence, so that we don’t lose huge sums in real estate and stock investments because of governmental incompetence and cronyism with the executives of large companies.
— We need to be more responsible for our own safety. Sure, there’s always a need for law enforcement, but it can’t be the first resort for personal safety. Any law enforcement that could do that would be indistinguishable from a police state. Therefore, we need the right to buy, possess, and use the weapons that provide that safety.
— We need to be responsible for raising our own children. We need to have more influence over their education, and we particularly need to stop wasting our time reversing the indoctrination they suffer at the hands of the educational bureaucracy.
— We need to be responsible for treating other people appropriately. If we are stupid or obnoxious in our treatment of others, we need to suffer social consequences, not legal ones.
I know transitioning to treating Americans as adults would be hard. We’ve now had a couple of generations of government dependents, and they have been actively discouraged from learning the skills and responsibilities of adulthood.
The problem is that we’ve reached the end of our rope on supporting this class, which has a natural tendency to grow.
The fundamental problem we face (and that all societies face) is that there are plenty of people who don’t want to be adults. They want to go on being children. It’s easier, at least superficially. Being an adult is hard; you have to make agonizing decisions sometimes. You sacrifice your own pleasures for your children. You deal with random outcomes, such as acts of nature. You have setbacks, and you only have yourself and those who will voluntarily help you to deal with those setbacks.
So these folks have made a pact with the devil. They get to go on essentially being children, with their housing, food, and healthcare guaranteed at a certain level. They can have children without the trouble of getting married and taking on a long term commitment. They can slough off their education. When things go bad, they can do the equivalent of a toddler’s temper tantrum by blaming any convenient third party for their own lack of capability to deal with life.
They never gain the satisfactions of being an adult, but they do get to avoid the responsibilities – at least, until the whole thing comes crashing down around them, leaving them completely unequipped to deal with the wreaked society into which they will eventually be thrust.
Some of them go one step up the ladder. They take jobs in the public sector. OK, at least they are willing to work, and a lot of public sector employees do work pretty hard. But they still exhibit many of the same childlike expectations. They expect that their job will always be secure, with no thought or concern for where the money comes from. They expect constantly rising compensation. They expect to be insulated from any real criticism by those outside the bureaucracy, i.e., the common citizens.
It’s no wonder that we’re having trouble as a society facing reality. We have created a large class of people whose entire daily existence is based on avoiding the real, adult world.
However, I believe that group is still a minority. At least, I hope it is. With its natural tendency to grow, however, it won’t be a minority for much longer.
So, while we still have a majority of people who prefer to be treated as adults, we need to appeal to that desire. We need to leverage it to shame some people into dropping their something-for-nothing expectations. For example, we need those archetypical self-sufficient farmers to give up every single subsidy they get, and run their farms like the self-sufficient adults they pretend to be. We need to shame businessmen to stop sucking at the government teat and provide goods and services that people will voluntarily purchase, without subsidies, special favors, or restrictions on their competition.
No society constituted with a majority of childlike adults is stable. Greece is the most obvious recent example.
Obama is never, ever going to treat American citizens as adults. He is psychologically incapable of it. Where Bill Clinton could give in and sign welfare reform, Obama can’t. It’s simply inconceivable to his leftist soul that society could move further from his leftist principles instead of closer to them.
The short term, then, is for Republicans to stand firm against his desire to turn more Americans into childlike adults. No more taxes. Insist on spending cuts, using whatever leverage comes to hand. Endure stalemate, if necessary, because it’s worse than the alternative. Giving in to Obama just means more ground to retake later.
The medium term is to realize that a complete turnaround is absolutely necessary in the relationship between American citizens and their federal government. Citizens must be allowed and required to be adults.
I believe if the GOP embraces this as a guiding principle, we would see a bigger electoral triumph than 2010, bigger than 1994, bigger than 1980. I believe there is latent demand in our citizens for being treated as equals instead of wards. I think they’re sick of condescending lectures on eating their peas from incompetent, smug Democrats who have failed at everything they have tried. I think many are disheartened that they want to take on the mantle of adult responsibility, but they can’t because they can’t find jobs.
However, if we get another Republican candidate who is from the same vein as authoritarian Democrats – say one that believes government control of healthcare is just fine and showed his true colors by implementing it in his state – then the GOP will forfeit a lot of that latent demand.
The GOP might still win with such an authoritarian-minded, political class approved, “to the manor born” candidate. Bill Quick thinks his Pomeranian could beat Obama, and it’s hard to argue with his reasoning.
But without sweeping majorities, clarity of mandate, and courageous, principled leadership at the top, the Republicans won’t be able to get anything of consequence done. They’ll fritter, attempt to look “bi-partisan” to please the mandarins at the Washington Post and New York Times, get gamed by the Democrats, and lose what is probably our last chance to make a real reversal before the debt resulting from our social welfare failures sends the economy into complete meltdown.