We've heard several comments, in particular from Glenn Beck, about the negative and angry tone of Barack Obama's comments last week in Iowa City where he went to celebrate the victory of passage of his health care reform legislation. Beck pointed out that, instead of being conciliatory and showing some semblance of good sportsmanship in victory, Obama was angry and sarcastic. He made fun of those of us who had been on the opposing side. He said that we had predicted Armageddon and, pointing to the sky, he sneered that he it was a beautiful day and he didn't see any asteroids plunging to earth. It seemed that he wasn't satisfied with a legislative victory. He had to poke his finger in the eyes of the vanquished.
But isn't this what is to be expected? Like any totalitarian wannabe, Obama expects that he can change human nature through manipulation of the state apparatus. And when human nature doesn't change in the way he wants it to, he gets angry because things haven't gone his way.
My father, who was the smartest man I ever met, used to tell me the following: If you took all the money in the world and divided it up evenly between all the people in the world and then wait 20 years, you will find that all the money eventually returns to the original owners. Because, he went on to say, human beings all have different abilities and talents and you can't change human nature.
And that is why totalitarian forms of government, such as socialism, never work. And why they inevitably lead to violence. Because, as more and more mechanisms are added to the state apparatus to try to make everyone equal, the more corrupt society becomes as normal human nature asserts itself. Which then leads to more efforts at control by the state. Finally you have a vicious cycle of attempts by the state to control and change its citizens and rebellion by citizens who will not, because fundamentally they cannot, change.
The best we can hope for is a republic based on respect for the law, a healthy competitive society, and the means to take care of the truly helpless. And that is what we used to have in this country and we may yet have, hopefully, in the future.