The Old Deal
The left loves to speak of "New," but as Obama's teleprompter-driven debt ceiling addresses to the nation reveal, the left is sterile, tired, and dull. Conservatism, by contrast, really does discover new approaches to problems like the Laffer Curve, which postulated the obvious: tax rates have an optimum revenue-producing level somewhere between 0% and 100%, a demonstrated truth which virtually none of the senile minds of the left have ever seemed to grasp.
So it is no surprise that the left's idea of "novelty" in federal policy is to soak the rich in the interest of fairness. The thinking of the left is manacled in the historical failures of Marx, Stalin, Lenin, and Mao. It simply never occurs to people like Obama, Reid, and Pelosi that all of their ideology put into practice makes life worse and that it has never, ever worked.
They pine for the "New Deal," which is actually the "Old Deal," and those speeches of Obama read every few days to an increasingly bored nation about the selfish rich could just as easily have been given by Hitler or Father Coughlin or any other leftist bigot over the last eighty years. Henry Wallace was writing of "New Frontiers" seven decades ago. Decades before that Ku Klux Klan fan Woodrow Wilson's right-hand man wrote a proto-fascist book, Phillip Dru, the Administrator, which is right out of Obama's playbook.
Obama, who seemed to have learned virtually nothing since his days in the Marxist hothouses of richly endowed academia, not only has nothing new to say, but he would have had nothing new to say in 1948. He has only his Old Deal, whose disciples have transformed the miracles of America into an increasingly dreary people who wonder what happened to the great promise which Reagan left us.
Conservatives (a misnomer for those who believe in ordered liberty, like all leftist semantic inventions -- "capitalist" and "defector" and "homophobe," among many others) are conservative only in this limited sense: we value human experience and grasp that wisdom comes from seeing what those before us have done wrong...and done right.
That is why we love America and its glorious millions of free people discovering genuine improvement in life instead of pseudo-Marxists trying, for the hundredth time, the path of rhetorical "progress" through totalitarian groupthink and the deliberate cultivation of grievances and rage.
Our Conservative New Deal is truly new. It is driven not by academic tirades by folks who have never done a real day's work in their life. It is not the product of vast complexes of well-paid bureaucrats using a vocabulary which would make the Inner Party of 1984 proud. It is not the "new idea" of using windmills for power, which was not new a thousand years ago.
Our New Deal comes from the creative genius and risk-taking of millions of our countrymen and it finds purpose in the most religiously serious people in the Judeo-Christian world, who grasp that wealth created through the blessing of freedom must be used for righteous purposes. Moreover, our New Deal, which is simply a word for American exceptionalism, is forever growing, forever flowering, and forever learning.
The Old Deal is the program created almost eighty years ago by the overlord of a vast political hegemony which happily included nabobs of the Ku Klux Klan, hideously corrupt political organizations like Boss Hague of Jersey City and the Pendergast Machine of Kansas City, a generous sprinkling of Soviet agents and fellow travelers, and a cadre of self-important young graduates ignorant of the real world (especially the life of the American worker and his family).
The Conservative New Deal is full of serious people who have learned from all the lessons of the last seventy years. They see public schools as wasteful, top-heavy gluttons and they see alternatives in charter schools, religious schools, home-schooling, and other real plans. They see the liberation of commerce and labor from the musty rules of fifty years ago as a way of creating wealth and spreading that wealth around. They see around the vast complex of Washington wonderful places to create a Potomac Wildlife Sanctuary.
We, who believe in the dream of our nation, are the revolutionaries offering something new in the world. They, Obama and his dopey friends, are just tired talking heads of a wicked system created by a misanthropic atheist German expatriate who died in 1883. Obama, Reid, and their cronies are the reactionaries, the myopic, and the influence-peddlers reciting the same script line over and over. We are the shining new army of hope, and we ought to be preaching greatness and victory. What could America be? Reject despair. Embrace promise. We are the New Deal, the liberators; whatever ugly names they call us, we -- and more Americans every day -- know that truth.
Bruce Walker is the author of Poor Lenin's Almanac: Perverse Leftists Proverbs for Modern Life.