Robert Meyer
October 13, 2008
Obama's platform recapitulates George McGovern circa 1972
By Robert Meyer

Back in the fall of 1972, dark storm clouds were massing at America's horizon. The Watergate scandal was in its infancy.

We were on the threshold of a steep economic downturn that brought nearly two years of stomach-churning stock market declines. The country was in the throes of an unpopular war in Vietnam that had dragged on for longer than anyone expected. To top it off, international tensions were high as the Cold War lingered on, and turmoil raged in the Middle East, culminating in an oil embargo against America.

In spite of all that was wrong, America's sitting president, Richard Nixon, won reelection in the 1972 presidential race by a landslide. This election result happened not because Nixon was such a great statesman, or that the mood of the country was euphoric, but because the alternative to Nixon was the ultra-liberal candidate named George McGovern.

America wisely rejected a dalliance with socialism and leftist political policies, at a time when adopting radical change might have been a tempting prospect. Likewise, the call for "change" today is a resurrection and simplistic appeal to the same failed paradigms of the past.

Today's political and economic challenges parallel those of the 1972 election, but unfortunately it is doubtful that America has the character and discernment to spurn its flirtation with socialism this time around.

Many people claim that the recent bailout of Wall Street was socialism for the wealthy. I would agree with them in part, though it is also a socialist solution to rescue those who showed abysmal financial stewardship.

But if Congress passed the "Wall Street bail-out" bill with a majority of Americans kicking and screaming, why should the same citizens then voluntarily select a presidential candidate with a platform which views government intervention of that nature, business as usual?

The fact that the current economic crisis has seen McCain falling in the polls, thus apparently blaming him for the economic crisis, is a sure sign that many people have misplaced their reality glasses. Nobody is seriously asking the question of how Obama's policies can actually make a constructive difference.

Claiming that Sen. Obama's economic plan is "socialism light" isn't some capricious political slur, but an honest appraisal that his policies reflect a deliberate march toward stateism.

We are giving the federal government too much authority when we let them decide who deserves tax reduction, and who pays to subsidize "tax cuts" for those who pay no income taxes. Simply calling such policies "fair" doesn't mitigate a violation of limited government mandates inherent in our Constitution.

For those who score political points by facetiously claiming that candidate John McCain would merely be the third term of President George W. Bush, I offer a far more pressing and reasonable concern.

The election Barack Obama promises to be like the second term of Jimmy Carter, or perhaps even the first term of George McGovern, which we graciously were spared of 36 years ago.

It's not too late to learn from the past.

© Robert Meyer

 

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Robert Meyer

Robert Meyer is a hardy soul who hails from the Cheesehead country of the upper midwest... (more)

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