Have We Reached the New Tipping Point?
To paraphrase Larry the Cable Guy, I don't care who you are -- you have to admit that Thomas Jefferson certainly had a way with words. In this one short section from the Declaration of Independence, he not only describes the duty of citizens to oust an oppressive, despotic government, but identifies the major reason why it hasn't happened already. Take another look at what is arguably the key phrase in the paragraph cited above:
... accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Under George III, the accumulation of abuses hit a tipping point that moved Americans from the "suffer [evil], while evils are sufferable" to viewing those abuses as intolerable.
Under Barack Obama, and those of a similar mind in subordinate positions, such as Eric Holder, Michael Bloomberg, and others, the abuses which we have suffered have accumulated to the same point we were at in 1776. They can no longer be tolerated. We can not afford, as a nation, a continuance of such violations of the underpinning of our democratic republic, the Constitution.
Progressives ignore history in many cases because they feel that they are so much smarter and more intellectual than people were in the past, and that whatever mistakes were made back then (whenever then was) will not be repeated since they are so much smarter that they couldn't possible make those mistakes again.
But any examination of history tells us that it is not the huge screw-ups by the elites that trigger revolutions. It is invariably something that looks minor (to the elites) and yet causes a reaction that catches those self-same elites totally by surprise. The difference is that it is most often the small things that affect people personally.
For example, the Fast and Furious "gun tracking" program is looked on by most citizens as being flawed, and an overreach, and yet it does not rise to the level of triggering a revolt. Why? Because it does not affect most of us individually and personally.
The idea that the White House leaked all that classified information annoys people, but most view it as not affecting most of them individually and personally.
But consider ObamaCare, Mayor Bloomberg's assertion that he has the authority to tell you what size soda you are allowed to buy, Janet Napolitano's TSA "pat-downs," Ken Salazar's "boot on the neck" attitudes that help gas prices climb, the claim that the president can decide what and what is not actually part of a religion, and the continuing economic disaster that surrounds each and every one of our citizens. Each of these things affects most people personally, which is why there is such pushback against both ideas.
It appears that we have finally reached that tipping point, where nearly everything from this point forward is likely to be viewed by voters as impacting them individually and personally -- and that impact will probably not be applauded. Each new thing will be an irritant.
President Eisenhower enjoyed his rounds of golf, and President Clinton enjoyed mingling with the Hollywood elites, yet there was not a groundswell of bitterness toward either man. The economy was humming along, and the ordinary person-in-the-street was reasonably content with the condition of his or her life, and the world seemed relatively safe and stable.
But take a quick look at what the person-in-the-street sees around him today:
- The American economy is still in the tank, and domestic unemployment of 8%-plus appears to be a permanent fixture.
- Nations in the Middle East are building nuclear weapons or are melting down into civil war and starting to involve their neighbors.
- The North African nations along the Mediterranean coast are being taken over by religious zealots with an ax to grind against the United States and a jihadist desire to martyr themselves.
- Europe is on the verge of imploding economically and, perhaps, politically.
- The People's Republic of China is flexing its military muscle in the southwest Pacific, while its economy is reacting to the rest of the globe's economic malaise and beginning to contract.
- Russia has a new president who dreams longingly of become the next tsar (one not appointed by Obama).
- U.S. soldiers serving in Pakistan and Afghanistan are unable to turn their backs on their "allies" for fear of being killed by one of their partners in the war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
With this environment, when compared to the Eisenhower or Clinton periods, is it any wonder why the average American feels that there is something amiss when the president appears to be (a) constantly playing golf, (b) attending yet another fundraiser with the glitterati, or (c) dashing off for a vacation on the taxpayers' dime to revel in another exotic locale -- and accomplishing not much of anything to alleviate any of the above crises?
His mantra of change revolves around raising taxes, allowing anyone at all to stroll into our country and suffer no penalty, and announcing that Catholics must set aside a basic doctrine of their faith to satisfy his desire to look like a hero to women. This, by the way, is the same man who claims to be reading Thomas Aquinas and Saint Augustine in the situation room of the White House while doling out death from the sky on a retail basis, and claiming that such actions make him a really, really gutsy guy.
The Chicago re-election campaign staff of the president seems unable to convince Obama to change his self-centered and insensitive behaviors. That assumes of course that they even notice that his attitudes and behaviors are beginning to grate on the nerves of the ordinary American, who is wondering how he is going to feed his kids this week.
None of Obama's behaviors individually rise to the level of being insufferable evils, but when taken in the aggregate, they appear to be the embodiment of what Mr. Jefferson said so eloquently:
... when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security ...
There is a strong probability that Mr. Obama will be just as surprised in November by election returns that are clearly the result of his ideas of governing a nation as was George III in 1778 was in the reaction to his ideas of governing. I am fairly that George III must have said something (couched in well-educated, upper-class British idiom) akin to "Whaddaya mean, I lost an entire country?" I look forward to hearing how President Obama phrases the same reaction.
Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller for a variety of manufacturing firms, a Vietnam veteran and an independent voter. Jim blogs at http://jimyardley.wordpress.com, or he can be contacted directly at email@example.com.