Friday, October 3, 2008

Today's "Crisis"

By Alan Caruba

Why is everything we demand Congress and the White House to do involves a “crisis”?

Why, after hours and days of testimony in countless committee hearings, do we learn that our elected legislators are suddenly confronted with a “crisis” they did not anticipate despite being told about it?

I tried making a list of our current crises. There is, of course, the financial crisis resulting from the horrid mismanagement of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It was predicted in congressional committee hearings, but those doing the predicting were subjected to the verbal abuse of legislators who did not want to hear the truth. Democrats like Barney Frank kept insisting everything was fine. Until it wasn’t.

We have a major energy crisis. We can end it tomorrow by allowing oil companies to explore and extract the significant oil and natural gas reserves known to exist in America and offshore of its continent shelf. The Democrat Party has done everything in its power to destroy the nation’s few remaining oil companies.

A subset of the energy crisis is the need for more coal-fired and nuclear plants to generate electricity. In league with many environmental organizations, the Democrats have made it clear that, in most cases, they oppose both.

We have anywhere between twelve and twenty million illegal aliens living in America. The same government that wants to install a program to identify every cow, sheep, and pig on every farm in America has no idea and no plans to identity and track every illegal alien who sneaks across the southern border or simply gets off a plane with a tourist or student visa and disappears. Congress periodically tries to grant automatic citizenship to these people in the form of an amnesty.

Over 40,000 Americans die from auto accidents every year, but when we send our military to address a serious threat from overseas and 4,000 die over five year’s time to protect our national interests, Congress funds them and then turns their valor and service into a political issue. It took over a year to get the Iraq invasion authorized, but it has taken barely a week to throw $400 billion at the credit crisis.

Credit, however, is due the President for having taken the steps to ensure that there has not been another terrorist attack on America on his watch. The catch is that the Patriot Act that was rushed through in response to the 9/11 crisis. The result is that any number of Constitutional protections have been stripped from all of us. Can the concentration camps and gulags be far behind?

Since the 1980s we have been told that the Earth faces a “global warming” crisis when there isn’t a single credible piece of evidence to prove it. The only thing that was happening was the natural warming that followed a little ice age that ended around 1850. Now, ten years into another natural cycle, a cooling, we are still being told we must destroy our economy to stop global warming.

Finally, for these purposes, there is the utterly failed educational system that used to turn out people that knew their nation’s history, understood our system of government, could do sums in their head, had a spattering of knowledge about science, and could actually sing Christmas carols to celebrate that holiday. If that isn’t a crisis, I do not know what is.

Given these and other crises, the natural inclination of most people it to grow weary of the constant alarms and tired of the people who are supposed to anticipate and avoid them. There is a reason why Congress has a lower popularity rating than the President, both of whom have the lowest ratings in history. Both are largely and accurately regarded as failures.

There are, I’m sure, some crises I have overlooked or not mentioned. It is perhaps a cliché to think that the nation is in peril from the very people elected to protect its interests and its future, but I think that a lot of people believe that and for very good reason.


jdgalt said...

This is very old news. Democrats have been practicing government-by-phony-crisis since at least the Spanish-American War (which is the earliest instance I've found in which the media successfully forced the government to "do something" about a made-up crisis).

If you're amoral and don't care what means you use to get your way, the phony crisis is a great tactic. Not only does it make the media your natural allies (because crises, whether real or not, sell ads and newspapers), it also works almost as well as a war in getting the "civic minded" majority to bend over and let you have your way with their lives, property, and rights. A crisis, like a war, is truly "the health of the state."

Scan the front page headlines for any year in the 20th century, and it's been one phony crisis after another. Whenever the news got slow, some Democrat made up another "crisis", whether it's the "fact" that we're all going to be starving by 1970, or an un-called-for health scare over DDT or Alar or nuclear power.

9/11 was the first time a Republican successfully used the tactic. Considering all the harm he did to our Constitution with it, that's just as well.

The lesson to be learned here is one that we all ought to be teaching our kids at a young age: When someone -- ESPECIALLY an authority -- tells you there's an "emergency," STOP AND THINK -- and pay close attention to what selfish benefit HE stands to gain at your expense if you believe him.

We'll all need this talent even more often now that the Democrats are back in charge again.

Alan Caruba said...

Point well made! I agree.