Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Mine is going to be a rotten one. I will spare you the details of why and instead focus on one of the biggest problems I see us facing in America: the people that shape and spread the narrative are doing it to protect the ideological agenda, and it is only going to get worse until we admit that what they believe in, no matter how noble they pretend it is, is destructive.
Let’s start with some perspective of how what would become the exceptional American experiment was started. No, it wasn’t the pioneering, hard working, freedom & fortune seeking, and rugged individualist spirit that our early settlers and those that followed them used to first throw off the yoke of a government that treated the colonists exactly like our modern collectivist class warriors treats the productive – an unending source of income to pay for their insane ideas – and then forged the most exceptional experiment of progress and success in man’s history, but a failed experiment. Our first settlers embraced collectivism with gusto, and with near fatal consequences.
That hippy commune the early settlers embraced, out of a sense of moral superiority, turned hard working people into lazy slouches, and then followed disastrous consequences. In fact, our Thanksgiving Holiday would not exist but for the fact that these early settlers learned their lesson and abandoned the idiotic collectivist beliefs that almost cost them their lives. Today’s sanitized and heavily PCed version of how Thanksgiving is about how the natives and the first colonists all turned into a Kumbaya singing hippy commune tells exactly the wrong story about what saved the colonists and made America great.
And that problem of a hijacked and fabricated narrative to serve the left’s agenda persists and has reached epic proportions, culminating in the fiasco that let what is arguably, based on the facts and reality, not the bullshit the left spouts that lays blame everywhere but with them, the worst American president in our history, be reelected. Collectivists managed to convince way too many people that the economic downturn we still find ourselves in was not the fault of their social engineering agenda, but of the perpetual boogie man: George W. Bush. Too many Americans believe the economic downturn really was because of some deregulation during the Bush administration, and have no clue that the real problem was caused by well intentioned social engineering decades before.
During the late and now unlamented campaign of Mitt Romney, the candidate was urged by other Republicans to affect a “separation” from the policies of George W. Bush. They were said by Democrats to have brought on the financial crisis and the “mess” inherited by Barack Obama, which he has been unable thus far to clean up.
They might have done better had they moved years earlier to detach the Bush policies from the cause of the meltdown, since there was little relation between the two. The crash of late 2008 was caused not by Republican dogma, but by efforts going back many years on the part of both parties to facilitate homeownership on behalf of poor people. It seemed like the right thing to do. It pleased both liberals, who wanted to help the downtrodden, and conservatives, who took to heart the old Jack Kemp adage that rental cars rarely get washed.
In 1995, President Clinton launched his “National Homeownership Strategy” (Bush continued it as part of his “ownership society”), designed to increase mortgage lending to low-income Americans by requiring bankers to make loans to people with poor or nonexistent credit ratings. This drew in people who were unable to pay off their debts, and speculators, who were betting housing prices would keep rising forever. In retrospect, we can see it was bound to implode, and it did.
Actually, blaming Clinton, or the politicians of the Clinton years, is also not totally correct, because the whole “Community Reinvestment Act” social engineering fiasco that created the fundamental underlying problem that led to the economic collapse – a problem that still persists despite a 2000 page monster of a bill, ironically produced by the two people most responsible for the economic implosion in 2007, Chris Dodd and Barney Franks, passed to supposedly prevent this from happening again – was started as far back as the Carter administration. If one was to believe in the concept of Karma, the irony that something stupid done during what was considered one of the worst presidents of the 20th century, played itself out during that of another democrat president that is hell bent on stealing Carter’s claim to fame for himself.
The author of this article makes some interesting revelations when she points out that:
Twice, Bush tried to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and twice Democrats (Obama included) moved in to stop him. Especially culpable were Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. Dodd claimed that the institutions were “fundamentally strong,” and Frank said he wanted to “roll the dice a little bit more in his situation” rather than impose stricter regulation on Fannie and Freddie. He did roll those dice, and they came up snake eyes at the end of the Bush years. The same could have just as easily happened in the Gore or Kerry administrations, had they existed, and it would not have been due to their policies, either. It was due to bad sense, bad judgment, greed and a lot of misguided good will.
Bush didn’t create the conditions that led to the crash; he inherited them from Bill Clinton, and a large cast of thousands all played their own parts. Republican policies had no role in the crash; and the Democrats’ policies would have had no role, either.
Where the author fails IMO, is the part where what democrats did or didn’t do wouldn’t matter. Fist off, it was the drive to social engineer our society, to create that giant commune run by government, that allowed people to think lending money to people that couldn’t afford it or where unreliable, would result in anything but disaster. We wouldn’t have needed all the bullshit that allowed Freddie and Fannie to become loan laundering operators, encouraged insane repackaging of bad loans, to then sell them as valuable assets, and created the whole credit default swapping business, if this attempt to ignore the laws of economics could actually work to change human behavior. While the republican party, especially during the GWB administration seemed quite content with the whole nanny state and its social engineering agenda, I do have to point out that this is a fundamental underlying principal and policy of everything that the democrats do: the drive to force society to produce equality of outcome for everyone.
And then there is the problem with how Frank and Dodd used the accusations of racism to shut down any attempt to turn this monster around. While the democrats would consider it insulting if you point out the fact that accusing anyone that tries to point out their collectivist policies are failures of racism, is itself another policy of the democrats. That doesn’t make it otherwise. If Bush is guilty of anything it is of folding when Frank and Dodd cried racism.
Finally, I need to point out that all the conditions that led to this economic implosion, the social engineering bullshit, was left untouched by the monstrosity of a bill architected by Dodd and Frank. Freddie and Fannie are still around, and doing more of the same, with the tax payer forced to bail them out still, while everyone pretends that regulation will change the laws of human behavior or economics. That bill is part and parcel of the democrat party’s policy agenda. And what they did is all but guarantee us we will sooner than later have to face this Hydra again. From the article about our original colony:
But the Pilgrims learned and prospered. And what they learned, we have forgotten and we fade. Now, new waves of ignorant masses flood into parks and public squares. New Platonists demand control of other people’s property. New True Levelers legally occupy the prestige pulpits of our nation, secular and sacred. And now, as then, the productive class of our now gigantic, colony-turned-superpower, learn and teach again, the painful lessons of history. Collectivism violates the iron laws of human nature. It has always failed. It is always failing, and it will always fail. I thank God that it is failing now. Providence is teaching us once again.
Let us hope we can learn and change so we can prosper yet again. My fear is we can not because the pendulum has simply swung too far. Ponder that as you celebrate Thanksgiving. I will be spending mine doing a lot of that and watching football considering where I find myself today, but that is a story for another time.