On the Brink

After Richard Nixon defused the 1960s student revolt by abolishing the draft, the brain trust of the revolutionary left shifted its strategic focus to Antonio Gramsci's teachings. They realized that it is the intelligentsia, not the proletariat, who are the true revolutionary force in society -- that cultural dominance, not violent revolt, is the true path to power. A project known as the Great March through the Institutions was launched. Nearly four decades later, in November 2008, the left triumphed in a historic electoral victory; the revolutionary wave crested and deposited into the White House Barack Obama, the most radical president in the history of the republic.

It is a favorite parlor game on the right to speculate whether Obama is a free agent or a puppet. Actually, whether he is the leader of the "progressive" movement or merely its hood ornament is beside the point. The point  is that the radical left came to power eager to take advantage of the rare moment when all the stars were aligned in its favor, offering the revolutionaries a realistic chance of achieving their long-cherished goal of turning the U.S. into a European-style welfare state. It was now or never. Full speed ahead, and damn the torpedoes!

And so Barack Obama sallied forth to usher in the Age of Aquarius. No one should have been surprised that the man whose entire life up to his campaign recommended him as a fervent far-left radical would turn out to be exactly that (after all, the past is prologue). What did come as a surprise to many was his zeal, his devil-take-the-hindmost approach. President Obama threw caution to the wind and at breakneck speed set about remaking America in the socialist mold.

In fact, he had little choice. Obama came to power in no small measure thanks to an economic collapse. But it is this very recession that makes his window of opportunity extremely narrow, at most 'til the beginning of the 2010 election campaign. Off-year elections nearly always deal a blow to the ruling party, most certainly during economic downturns. Come election time, Obama's honeymoon will be long over, and the electorate will be sure to further undermine his clout by taking out its frustration and anger on his party. Just ask Bill Clinton after the Democrats' electoral debacle in 1994.

Given the political landscape, the left decided on a drastic approach: President Obama and his congressional allies would take advantage of their temporary preponderance and go all in on their program to take control of three major sectors: health care, education, and energy. Speed was of the essence; while the Republicans are in post-electoral disarray, attack, attack, attack. Overwhelm the enemy's defenses, give him no time to regroup, and push through the coveted legislation. All the chips were placed on a blitzkrieg. To use a football analogy, the Democrats threw a Hail Mary pass into the enemy's end-zone, pinning all their hopes on one daring toss.

In short order, a 787-billion-dollar "stimulus" (actually, little more than a slush fund for the Democratic Party and its allies) was passed, a cap-and-trade bill began its march through Congress, and the White House opened a massive campaign to advance the centerpiece of Obama's program: health care reform. If the revolutionaries succeed in pushing through their radical environmental program and socializing the public health sector that makes up one-sixth of the national economy, America will be transformed beyond recognition. The destiny of the free, capitalist society hangs in the balance.

However, Newton's Third Law of Motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Extending the football analogy, when the offense floods the zone, so too does the defense, and both sides have a chance to come down with the ball. The all-out assault on the American capitalist system launched by the Democrats, with Obama as the battering ram, has run up against stiff resistance. The unwashed masses have woken up and growled in anger. 

The flyover country, as liberals contemptuously call Middle America, has sensed a real threat to its freedom and risen to defend the American way of life. And for the first time in memory, the stranglehold of the left on the media market has been broken down by the emergence of talk radio, the conservative blogosphere, and Fox News TV. The liberals now find themselves in uncharted waters. Unaccustomed to resistance, they thrash helplessly about. Goaded by the so-called "mainstream" press, which is to mainstream as Cambridge, Massachusetts is to Peoria, Illinois, they fitfully condemn the opposition as "troglodytes," "Nazis," "KKK," and, of course, "racists." But this time it's not working. The situation is too dire for the old reliable standbys to have the desired intimidating effect. 

The enormous public debt endangering the future of the country; the sky-high unemployment numbers showing no signs of coming down any time soon; the serial blunders of the Obama administration, showing its ineptitude and confusion; the arrogance of congressional Democrats who are apparently intent on shoving the extremely unpopular reform on a reluctant citizenry -- all feed discontent and cement opposition. Obama's plummeting popularity and the rebellion of a previously loyal segment of the Democratic electorate -- seniors -- coupled with the devastating defeats in the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia, are a grim warning to the Democrats of the disaster to come.

The only hope for Obama and his allies is that the American people, unaccustomed as they are to prolonged activism, will soon get bored and go back to slumber. Will the enraged electorate have the stamina, the staying power to continue the fight to the bitter end, until the internal aggression is beaten back? If it does, and the socialist conspiracy is decisively defeated, the radical left will be dealt a crushing blow from which it might take decades to recover. If not, America as we know it, in all likelihood, will be finished.
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