The ongoing debt ceiling debate has brought into sharp contrast two divergent views of America. Perhaps no two politicians epitomize those differences more than President Obama and a newly announced candidate for his job, Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, a Republican from Michigan.
McCotter, well-known on The Hill for his intelligence and rapier wit, spoke to a number of conservative supporters in Manhattan last week. No, it wasn’t in a Manhattan phone booth. As in Los Angeles, conservatives generally meet in secret, but meet we do, and our numbers are growing. McCotter seems to understand why.
McCotter recalled that in the 80’s Ronald Reagan had made being conservative cool, and noted that conservatism should be cool again. According to McCotter, every trend in American life, except government, is veering towards greater freedom and greater autonomy. Smart phones, iPads, Kindles, etc. all allow greater mobility, accessibility of information and ease of communication. Entertainment is now “on demand” putting the consumer in charge, and, I might add, frustrating the hell out of programming executives who can’t figure out, or are loathe to supply, the type of entertainment the public wants.
Technology is removing obstacles and empowering individual freedom while providing a multitude of choices. The potential for individual liberty, and one might posit the pursuit of happiness, has never been greater. That is, if government will get out of the way and let America be America. McCotter observes that everything that seems to empower us can fit in the palm of our hands, so why shouldn’t our government?
Contrast McCotter’s vision of a wireless, on-the-move nation where Washington is reduced to the size of an Intel chip with President Obama’s turgid, passive, inert populace weighed down by a voracious, federal Leviathan. With 2011’s Q1 GDP growth revised down to 0.4% and the initial estimate for Q2 landing with a thud at 1.3%, we’re starting to feel the full effects of Obamanomics with its crushing regulation, anti-growth policies and socialist give-aways.
Has Obama gotten the message that runaway spending for government feather-beds does not resonate with the American people? Not on your life. Like the fish who doesn’t know it’s wet, Obama doesn’t know he’s grown government too large. Earlier this week, in frustration over the failure of his opponents to crumble under the weight of his petulant foot-stomping, Obama told an audience of supporters:
“I’d rather be talking about stuff that everybody welcomes — like new programs…”
Is Obama so insulated in his liberal bubble wrap that he actually believes the people are waiting with bated breath for him to roll out his next federal program? Is that what he thinks the people want, even more government than the first $14 trillion has bought us? Obama keeps promising free stuff, but it’s always followed by a litany of, “but this is what you have to do for us!” And that litany invariably details liberties lost. Activist government that serves the people long ago became activist government that serves itself at the people’s expense. Hence, the debt crisis.
But if Obama doesn’t get it, who does? McCotter seems to think the Millennials will. The generation coming of age and exiting college into Obama’s stagnant economy are not going to want to be wage slaves to the Obama Leviathan. They want to be the iPhone nation. They don’t just want their MTV, they want their Lib-er-tee.
In 2012, it will no longer be cool to support Obama. The kids will realize they were lied to, and “hope and change” was just a lot of socialist hogwash that doesn’t fit with their lifestyle. They will know that
Obama is playing them as saps, forcing them to pay into a system of entitlements which, because he won’t reform them, will crash before their generation can ever receive anything back.
Can McCotter make conservative cool? He’s certainly an excellent speaker: articulate, clear, witty and droll. His core values of faith, family and service to an exceptional nation resonate with Main Street
America. Plus, he’s a mean rock guitarist. But for Thad McCotter, the race isn’t about him and his soapbox; it’s about debating core, conservative principles which are essential to the rejuvenation of America. He’s going to have some great things to say. I certainly hope the public will listen.