Pickett’s Charge & American Liberalism
recently visited Gettysburg and had an opportunity to tour the
battlefield with my wife and relatives using a recorded tour CD. The
guide who made the CD did a terrific job of describing the events of
those momentous days. And, of course, part of his narrative included
Pickett’s Charge, which history now recalls as the high water mark of
the Confederacy. Of course, as General Pickett and his 12,500 men
stepped out across that mile long open field on July 3, 1863, no one
then knew that this would indeed be the high water mark of the
Confederacy. In fact, even after thousands had died in that ill-fated
charge at Gettysburg, no one would have proclaimed that the war had been
won. In fact, the war continued for two bloody years. It was only
after the fact, that it was possible for historians to look back and say
that Pickett’s Charge was the high water mark of the Confederacy.
today it is impossible to know with certainty when a watershed event
has occurred. It is only by looking back that we can see that it was
indeed a turning point.
When Jimmy Carter
was elected it soon became clear that his was a disastrous presidency.
Why? Because his policies were completely at loggerheads with the
American people and because it was evident that he was in way over his
head. However, little did conservatives know that the Carter victory in
1976 would lead to a triumph of the conservative movement with the
election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.
can’t look into the future or even read current tea leaves to understand
the flow of human events. However, I’m beginning to feel a great
sameness between the presidency of Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. The
Obama presidency is, as I suspected, simply Jimmy Carter on steroids.
than that, each day the Obama presidency is looking more and more like
the high water mark of not only Obama, but American liberalism. There’s
a certain shock value to electing someone who runs as a moderate
promising bipartisanship, low taxes, and bringing Americans together,
who turns out to be someone who believes in the Marxist values of
redistribution of income.
Socialist movement came to the United States in the early 20th century
and built up a head of steam in the heady days of Franklin Roosevelt.
The Fabians challenged the foundations of American society. They
opposed free enterprise, they sought a welfare state, and by and large
they rejected God as the foundation of a free society.
the failure of many of their utopian programs and the realization of a
real Communist menace, the impact of the Fabians receded for a number of
years until re-kindled under Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. The Great
Society spent billions and billions of dollars in the greatest social
experiment in US history only to make living conditions and
opportunities worse for those in poverty. Johnson tried, in vain, to
substitute entitlement for opportunity and in doing so, sentenced
America’s poor to permanent poverty.
civil rights movement of the 1960’s breathed new life into liberalism.
And indeed, the success of liberalism in supporting equal rights for
African Americans was its one shining success. But liberals saw that
success not as one for Black Americans, but for them to use to create a
permanent Democrat majority. Liberalism corrupted its own success by
taking the focus off of opportunity for African Americans and turning it
into a means of making Blacks dependent upon them for subsistence
living. It was at this point that it became in the interest of liberal
politicians to keep Black Americans in poverty and to limit opportunity
in order to control their vote. In this they have been quite
After Watergate it looked like
the end for the Republican Party. But, in fact, from the ashes of the
Nixon Presidency sprang the victory of Ronald Reagan. Scoffed at as
“just an actor,” belittled by liberal pundits, and discounted by “self
styled” intellectuals, Ronald Reagan had the last laugh.
office at one of the lowest points in American history, Ronald Reagan
restored an economy not only afflicted by Great Depression unemployment,
but inflation that soared past 22%! Deregulation and tax cuts led to
the longest period of prosperity in American history. Contemporaneous
with this success, the Reagan Doctrine not only restored respect for
America around the globe, but brought down the Soviet Union.
the Reagan years the high water mark of conservatism? Perhaps, but I
think it more likely that they were just a harbinger of things yet to
come. Reagan proved once and for all that a nation cannot spend itself
into prosperity. The facts are on the record—tax relief that puts money
back into the hands of the citizens is the key to economic prosperity.
are through the dreary years of Bush ’41, the embarrassing years of
Clinton, and the confused years of Bush ’43. But unfortunately we now
are forced to endure the wrong headed policies of a very young,
inexperienced ideologue who, like Carter, is in way over his head.
problem for President Obama is that what he is selling, the American
people aren’t buying. They were understandably tired of Bush, they were
uninspired by John McCain, but they didn’t vote for “hope and change”
that included government takeover of the American economy.
Obama has had many opportunities to get the American people on his
side, but he has muffed each one of them. He didn’t help himself by
going around the world apologizing for America.
didn’t help himself by cozying up to dictators like Hugo Chavez and
supporting the legally ousted, Marxist President of Honduras. He didn’t
help himself by appointing two dozen non-confirmed “czars,” such as Van
Jones who believes that George Bush and the Israelis destroyed the twin
trade towers in New York City.
President Obama will only fall further in the eyes of the American
public by forcing through a government medical care scheme that no one
wants. To continue advancing such policies is political hara-kiri.
Obstinately continuing down a course that is overwhelmingly unpopular is
a sure road to defeat.
Is that the road
Obama, Reid, and Pelosi are headed down? The early sign will be the
outcome of the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia on
November 3. If the Republicans win convincingly in both contests,
especially in the heavily Democratic state of New Jersey, then Obama and
the Democrats are in real trouble.
that scenario turns into reality it would take a total about-face by
Obama from his current out-of-touch liberal policies to have any chance
of keeping 2010 from being a total bloodbath for the Democrats.
liberalism in America reached its apogee? That’s my bet. Polls of the
American people show that the majority now identify themselves as
conservatives, and only a tiny fraction identify themselves as
liberals. While that’s good news for Americans who treasure individual
freedom, the disaster left behind by this inept and ideologically
motivated President will take generations to clean up. Perhaps, just
perhaps, American conservatism is on the cusp of its greatest triumph,
providing we select a genuine conservative to head up the Republican
ticket in 2012. Is the Obama presidency the high water mark of American
liberalism? May we be so blessed.