Sunday, January 8, 2012
America's Dark Mood
By Alan Caruba
It is possible for an entire nation to suffer depression? Not the financial, but the emotional kind.
I have not spoken to anyone, however, that has expressed any optimism about the state of the nation and the air is full of conspiracy theories regarding what new action Barack Obama might take. The most popular of these is that he will declare “a national emergency” in order to assert powers that would put him in control of the nation without reference or consultation with Congress.
I would have dismissed such a notion in the past, but Obama genuinely scares me and a lot of other people as well. An example of this was the great surge in gun sales that led up to Christmas. Guns are not generally regarded as the kind of gift you find under the Christmas tree unless you’re a hunter or shooting sportsman.
I cannot shake off the memory of the march on Washington in 2009 when an estimated million Americans gathered there to peacefully protest the pending passage of Obamacare. The President’s chief political advisor, David Axelrod, dismissed the gathering saying, “They’re wrong.” That’s beyond arrogance. It signals contempt for the way a democracy works.
They were not wrong and the Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing in March in response to 26 U.S. State Attorney Generals who filed suit to have Obamacare declared unconstitutional. The manner in which the then-Democrat controlled Congress forced the bill through to passage was scary, along with then-Speaker Pelosi’s statement that we just would have to read the bill “to find out what’s in it.” It was apparent that none of members of Congress who voted for it had bothered to do that.
What’s scary, too, is that Congress has provided the presidency with all manner of virtually dictatorial powers that were intended to be evoked only in the event of a major, national crisis. Even following 9/11 these powers were not used to hamper news coverage, freedom of travel, and other aspects of our lives. 9/11, however, was followed by the Patriot Act and many of us continue to have grave misgivings about some of its provision.
A more recent piece of legislation that permits the President to authorize the seizure, arrest and imprisonment of anyone deemed an enemy of the state is scarier still. Obama says he would not use such powers but modern history is filled with examples of dictators that did.
So, yes, America is in a very dark mood these days. New Hampshire’s citizens are poised to vote for a Republican to be that party’s candidate for the presidency. Adopted in 1945, at the end of World War Two, New Hampshire’s state motto is “Live free or die.” It is my hope that other Americans feel the same way.
Suffice to say that Barack Hussein Obama is not like any other President in the history of the nation. It is more than a little frightening that this unknown quantity was so carefully “packaged” that, along with a mainstream media that were literally enthralled with him, enough voters were found to elect him.
A lot of those voters were young and likely unaware of U.S. history, the Constitution, and the principles by which the nation is intended to be governed. A lot of those young voters, now a bit older, looking for jobs that don’t exist, living at home still, and perhaps also saddled with huge college loan debt may not vote at all or vote for anyone but Obama.
The other group that was instrumental in his victory was African-Americans and one wonders if a majority among them have had a change of heart. I doubt it. A third group was union members and the civil service unions and others have benefited greatly from his Administration despite growing opposition at the state level.
It is worth keeping in mind that there is a hard core of 25% to 30% of voters who are blindly liberal and utterly immune to facts or reality. The “Occupy” movement drew from this group and they quickly wore out their welcome wherever they gathered. If enough liberals are disheartened by their personal situation, they too may not turn out in large numbers to vote.
As for the GOP, it has become fractionalized by its libertarian segment, its evangelical Christian segment, and by what was a cohesive Tea Party conservative segment. They need to set aside their differences to elect a candidate who can defeat Obama and I am inclined to believe that the closer we get to Election Day, they will.
As with any depression, one has to shake it off and find ways to turn dark moods in to bright tomorrows. That’s America’s job. We have done it in the past and we can do it again.
© Alan Caruba, 2012