Our latest Guest Dispatch comes from Arthur Freyre, an attorney and conservative political activist in Miami, Florida. This week Arthur takes the position that two issues are at the root of the U.S. economic crises: tone-deaf leadership from our political leaders as well as and postmodern liberalism. What does that have to do with Spain’s Catalonia? More than you think. Read on.
Out of Many … Scattered
Arthur Freyre, Esq.
Victor David Hanson is a professor of ancient history and a columnist for National Review. He teaches history at Stanford University and works at the Hoover Institute. Hanson recently posted a column on National Review Online that focused on the impact that the Eurozone is having in Europe. Hanson provides a good overview ongoing tension in Venice, Italy and the Catalan region in Spain. It has valuable lessons for us in the United States.
In both Venice and Catalonia, there is a desire to separate from the mother country due to their respective national government’s handling of the economy. Both regions feel like they have to bear the burden of bad economic policies. Italy’s and Spain’s economy are in the brink of failing after Greece. Professor Hanson then proceeded to remind the reader that our current economic health is going along the same path of Greece, Italy, and Spain. Although Professor Hanson points to one main reason, there are two main culprits for our current economic mess.
The first culprit is leadership in the White House, the House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate. I wrote about Teddy Roosevelt’s lecture in France two weeks ago. I had spoken about his warning of the politician whose worldview is based on envy and cynicism. There is no need to repeat the point here. However, there is another aspect of this discussion that needs to be addressed: political tone deafness in executive and legislative branches.
In one of his last articles before he died, Chuck Colson writes about the “Gucci gulch”. The Gucci gulch consists of individuals who either work in the executive branch or the legislative branch. They are the staffers, or the lobbyists themselves. What set them apart are not their jobs, but rather they use their position to gain power for themselves. Some examples are in order.
There is nothing wrong with being a lobbyist or working as a staffer. A lobbyist is an advocate for his client. The lobbyist is paid for his expertise in the subject matter and his familiarity of the process. There is nothing inherently or morally wrong with the profession. As for the professional staffer, his or her position is a position of privilege whereby one should be thankful to serve the constituents of the legislator. The staffer should not view their position as an entitlement.
The problem becomes when the lobbyists and the staffer view potential legislation with their interest in mind instead of their country’s interest. It is this “me-first” mentality from Washington that created this economic crisis and birthed the TEA Party. If Washington wanted to get rid of the TEA Party, then adopt the attitude of putting the country first ahead of their interest.
The second problem that has led to our economic crisis, indeed the global economic problem is post-modern liberalism. Postmodern liberalism views the world through the lens of envy and cynicism. It is a liberalism that divides people in terms of economic class and race. You can see this philosophy when a politician says that we are going to ask the rich to “sacrifice” a little bit more.
You can see it when the President criticizes the “one-percent” and yet vacations at Martha’s Vineyard or flies to Vegas for a fundraiser. You read about it during the “Occupy” movements. The irony is that their professors who inspire them are part of the very elites they criticize. When the post-modern liberal speaks of unity, it is not based out of E Pluribus Unum, but rather under submission.
The combinations of these two factors — tone-deaf leadership and postmodern liberalism — will strain the unity of our country. You may see it the day that California, a state where the governing philosophy is postmodern liberalism will come to the federal government asking for a bailout of its debts. When that happens, do not be surprised when the more economically successful states ask the question, “Why must they bear the additional burden of a state that did not care about its fiscal responsibility?
Shouldn’t California reap the consequences of its failed economic policies?” When California requests a bailout from DC, the talk of succession becomes very attractive. When that happens, out of many becomes scattered.