'Middle of the Road' Leads to the 'End of the Road'

"...There are in this country many periodicals which in every issue furiously attack economic freedom. There is hardly any magazine of opinion that would plead for the system that supplied the immense majority of the people with good food and shelter, with cars, refrigerators, radio sets and other things which the subjects of other countries call luxuries.

The impact of this state of affairs is that practically very little is done to preserve the system of free enterprise. There are only middle-of-the-roaders who think they have been successful when they have delayed for some time an especially ruinous measure. They are always in retreat. They put up today with measures which only ten or twenty years ago they would have considered as undiscussable. They will in a few years acquiesce in other measures which they today consider out of the question.

What can prevent the coming age of totalitarian socialism is only a thorough change in ideologies. What we need is neither anti-socialism nor anti-communism but an open positive endorsement of that system to which we owe all the wealth that distinguishes our age from the straitened conditions of ages gone by."

This is the conclusion to an address delivered by the famed economist Ludwig von Mises at the University Club of New York on April 18, 1950. If you were to substitute "smart phones" for "radio sets," you could make this statement today and it would, to a large degree, be spot on. Today, ObamaCare wreaks its designed havoc across the country and harms ever greater millions of people with increased joblessness, higher health costs, lost coverage, and impaired medical care. Increasingly, Republicans and Democrats alike are waking up to realize the true costs of socialism as the state asserts its newfound power to make life and death decisions concerning the health of American citizens. With the perspective of von Mises' insight, it becomes evident that all of the "wizards of smart" who constantly profess how clever they are as they tack to the center have in fact been complicit in helping President Obama effect his disastrous socialist policies.

Thirty-three years ago this month, Ronald Reagan took over the reins of a country brought low by the Left-leaning economic plans set by Presidents Johnson and Carter. The middle-of-the-roaders Presidents Nixon and Ford did not fundamentally change course. President Reagan broke the vicious circle. He set the USA back on the path to prosperity and eventual peaceful victory over Soviet Communism.

How was he different? In his First Inaugural Address in January 1981, he said these words:

"In the days ahead I will propose removing the roadblocks that have slowed our economy and reduced productivity. Steps will be taken aimed at restoring the balance between the various levels of government. Progress may be slow, measured in inches and feet, not miles, but we will progress. It is time to reawaken this industrial giant, to get government back within its means, and to lighten our punitive tax burden. And these will be our first priorities, and on these principles there will be no compromise."

Today, as in 1950 and 1980, the socialists appear to have the upper hand and are on the march; but now, they are ascendant at home, not abroad, and politically, not militarily. So then, the middle-of-the-roaders are also back in force. The torch has now been passed to the next generation; but the path has already been trailblazed for us. Reagan was right. There can be no compromise on first principles when it comes to safeguarding liberty and, correspondingly, creating prosperity.

Von Mises' words were prophetic. He effectively predicted Nixon and Ford's failure to change course on the economy and the necessity of a bold leader. President Reagan was that leader and his policies provide the template. The success of Reagan's leadership is beyond dispute. It is also incontestable that the Republican Establishment has consistently failed to make the case against Obama's socialism. As such, the historical record is clear that the "Middle of the Road" leads to the "End of the Road".

President Reagan concluded his First Inaugural Address as follows, quoting an American WW I soldier named Martin Treptow:

" ...'I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the whole struggle depended on me alone.'

The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds, to believe that together with God's help we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.

And after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans."

It falls to each one of us every day to work, save, sacrifice, endure and fight cheerfully as if this struggle depends on each one us because it does. If we proceed down the middle of the road, we will arrive at the end of the road. If we follow Reagan's path, we can emerge again out of the shadows and arrive at that "Shining City on a Hill".

It will be difficult. We will face times of darkness and doubt. Yet, we have performed great deeds before. It can be done. And why shouldn't we prevail? We are Americans.

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