Sunday, December 25, 2011

Barry Rubin: In The Liberal-Conservative Debate Where’s the Common Sense?

New York Times 1871 cartoon on corruption.

Caption: Who Stole the People’s Money? Twas him!
By Barry Rubin
It never ceases to amaze me—especially since I seem to be one of the very few people pointing this out—that both liberals and conservatives in the American debate are missing the most important point, the essential but simple argument that spells the difference between victory and defeat, right and wrong.
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This is what Obama thinks. Wealth is a zero-sum game. Anything America has was stolen from others. Proof? Obama said so himself.
What people on both sides don’t understand is that it is the historical situation and not an eternal ideology that makes for the right policy. What was appropriate for a time when the United States didn’t have enough regulation and government was too weak is not appropriate for a time when the United States is overregulated, government is too strong, and the country is ridiculously deep in debt.
For example, Theodore Roosevelt was a great president and what he did was right and necessary. But that was a century ago. It is most telling that President Barack Obama in making a speech for what amounts to statism tries to pretend he is a man who is dealing with a situation in which the federal and state governments were helpless against massive corporate monopolies and when neither any serious government regulation nor effective trade unions existed!
Greedy capitalists suck the people’s blood. Let’s get them!
In other words, Obama is running the country and running for office as if it were 1912, not about to be 2012. He is trying to convince people that massive greedy rich corporations that hate big government (like General Electric, General Motors, and all those green job con-men?) control the country. These millionaires wear big top-hats and smoke cigars as in some left-wing cartoon from 1912.
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Harper’s Cartoon, 1892. Capitalist robber barrons

handpick the Democratic presidential nominee
A lot of conservatives seem to think that to explain where the country is going wrong and fix it they have to prove that Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt were completely wrong.

Continue reading In The Liberal-Conservative Debate Where’s the Common Sense?
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, to be published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand now on his new blog, Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media

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