Tuesday, October 15, 2013
A mainstream journalist is finally saying something that Objectivists (Peter
Schwartz, for example) have been
saying for years: that a third party will not save us from our two-big-government-party system.
Here's the money quote from conservative Cal Thomas:
A third-party president, or a few members of Congress who eschewed the traditional party labels, would likely find themselves in the same rut if attitudes toward government and entitlement do not change. The problem lies less in Washington than in each American citizen.I'd go further: Without significant cultural change, those politicians would be substantially similar to the current lot of bums, anyway. (Consider Ross Perot, John "Unity '08" McCain, and Jesse Ventura.)
Since Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal," many Americans appear to have abandoned self-restraint, individual responsibility and accountability in favor of government as provider, protector and guarantor. The notion that people are "owed" what others have earned is primarily responsible for our enormous and growing debt. We once promoted individual initiative and people who overcame difficult circumstances. Now we seem to punish the successful and treat the unsuccessful as victims who have no hope of improving their lot without government. This is a fallacy of course, based on the results of the failed "war on poverty."
Based on the fact that the public of FDR's time was behind the New Deal, I'd date the start of our problems much earlier than Thomas does. Although Americans were more self-reliant then, they condoned the massive government theft of the New Deal on altruistic grounds. We do need to become more self-reliant again, but we will also need to call altruism into question.
Neverthless, Thomas is dead right about one thing: Our political problems are cultural in origin. To change Washington, we must first begin to change our culture.