FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
“Progress” Vs Thinking
Last night Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin was kind enough to thank the diarists at Redstate.com for supporting his unfortunately failed efforts to rise to greater power in the GOP Senate Caucus. He wrote an excellent diary that laid out the choices us as a nation face in 2012. He describes this as Obama’s Economy vs. the Path to Prosperity.
The Obama Economy could also be metaphorically described as the living embodiment of modern “progressivism”. That is, Obama’s Economy and its attendant problems such as debt, regulatory overkill, and the profound disincentivization of volitional risk taking, is what you can expect when you impose anybody’s top-down, command-and-control solution on our current economic problems. The Path To Prosperity is a different road that involves an Aristotelian Mean between regulation and freedom. This will allow our most capable and productive minds to solve specific parts of our economic problems without the fear of a predatory regulatory state casting it’s baleful Eye of Sauron upon anything they do that deviates from accepted norms. The GOP Primaries offer us a similar choice of direction.
Two seemingly capable and electable candidates have assumed a sizeable perception of advantage over the remaining field in the weeks prior to our initial Primary contests. Mitt Romney represents a similar devotion to the false idol of “progress” that brought us the Obama Economy. Newt Gingrich has also polled well of late. He appears to be besting Mitt Romney in several states that cast votes early in the primary season such as South Carolina, Iowa and Florida. He, however, takes a less predictable and more independent approach. Newt Gingrich values intellectual process over the false chimera of socially approved “progress.”
It was no accident that Napoleon Hill entitled his book about success in sales and business Think and Grow Rich. In order to really accomplish anything beyond the confining, fetid swamps of the limiting status quo, we have to try something different. Anyone who has ever tried to take an original thought beyond the realm of the Freshman Dorm Hall male bovine scatology session will concur that this is hard and unpopular work. It endangers a politician’s career, and opens you up to enfilading fire from every mediocre crank that envies your ability and guts to actually think.
This explains why both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama avoid original thought the way the characters in Boccaccio’s Decameron avoided the Bubonic Plague. Mitt Romney gets his ideas from whatever the crowd wants. He is what Brett Stevens of America.org describes as a Crowdist. Whatever the mob demands, Mitt Romney seeks to make the demands of the mob, no matter how inchoate and unworkable, acceptable to Conservatives.
Crowdists work by assimilation because their demands are open-ended. This is the strength of the Crowd: it is not an individual demanding subsidized unlimited freedom, but a Crowd of people demanding it for everyone. This kind of passive-aggressive ploy makes it difficult to counterattack, because then they respond with, “Well why don’t you want ‘freedom’ for everyone?” Their definition of freedom is flawed because it, too, is open-ended. Freedom from what? From everything. From anyone who knows better.
What sets Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, and even Herman Cain apart from Mitt Romney is that each of these four individuals has zeroed in on at least one problem facing America and proposed a solution. Perry’s plan for less expensive Internet Universities, Cain’s 9-9-9 Proposal, Jon Huntsman’s Tax Plans and Newt Gingrich’s many forays into different areas of public policy are all attempts to fix something wrong today in America without reference to what the crowds, or the GOP gate-keepers view as acceptable behavior.
You won’t see Barack Obama or Mitt Romney touch these ideas or anything or their ilk with a 10’ pole. When it comes to taking risks, Romney and Obama both are what Former Quarterback Brett Favre disdainfully referred to as “Check-down Charlies.” Nothing that isn’t poll-tested and parent-approved ever gets consideration for this type of man’s policy portfolio.
I mention Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in synonymy because each man thinks the same way. They each wash their hands of political risk with the amoral blindness of Pilate. I believe neither man thinks or really cares about what will happen to America as long as their children and families continue to have it made. In each case, this causes them to reflexively eschew the necessary, hard-minded thought of what has to be done to reverse America’s current comfortably numb glide path of sclerotic decline.
While I question Newt Gingrich’s moral judgment and impulse control, I’m increasingly hearing his and Mitt Romney’s strong position atop the GOP primary polling as the sound of inevitability. This is the choice we will probably have. While both men are vastly superior to Barack Obama, Mitt Romney is only superior in competence and intellect. Newt Gingrich is truly the better visionary for America’s future.
A GOP Primary between Romney and Gingrich is a contest between safety and unleavened intellect. It is the last chance to vote for a thinker and a leader instead of a boot-licker and a stooge. Choosing Romney to face Obama in the 2012 Presidential Election would demonstrate to the world that America had at least temporarily declared a moratorium on original thought.