Pew Research published a poll this week that showed Barack Obama, now that he is blundering into his second term, is riding high on a 52% approval rating. Yippee.
Yep, what a gully-washer of public opinion.
Even if our first reaction is one of nauseated revulsion, or outright scorn at the source --Pew?--, we must remember how wrong we were about similar reactions to all the polling data in the election just passed: Obama couldn't be winning, could he? Rasmussen couldn't be wrong...
But, this single poll, which is likely much more accurate than I can emotionally admit, has me more dispirited, more empty, --more sad-- than any single moment since the horrific night he was re-elected.
The stark reality is that the America that so many of us loved, revered, and defended is quite gone. Like Brigadoon in the mists, it has faded, probably never to be seen again. If a majority --even a razor-thin one-- approves of the governing philosophy of this petulant, angry, diabolical and loathsome man, the bridge back to an America I recognize has been blown up, it's moorings ripped from the bedrock.
Oh, we may find another road back from the dark and dismal future ahead-- but it won't be on highways or footpaths with which we are familiar.
In 1970, 1 in 42 Americans was on Food Stamps, or other forms of nutritional assistance from the federal government; now, as we all know, it is 1 in 6. In 1950, 1 in 365 citizens of Detroit (proper) was on any form or social welfare. Now, it is 1 in 3, and if you include Detroiters who derive their livelihoods from the government, it is 2 out of 3. The private sector, which used to be the crown jewel of Detroit, has withered and collapsed.
The maximum length of unemployment insurance in 1980 was 36 weeks. It is now 99 weeks and counting -- and if that runs out, you can become a ward of the Social Security system, as some 12 million new enrollees in the SSI disability ranks this year alone have discovered.
The fact is, if you are a non-productive member of society now, unlike any other time in our nation's history, you simply don't feel the effects of your lack of contribution. You can have a cell-phone, with a pre-paid plan. You can bunk up in Section 8 housing. You can get a free car, or free interurban or heavily subsidized transportation. Meals are free at free public schools for your children, as are "after school" programs. You don't even have to stand in line for these benefits: They are mailed to you in the form of Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, so you don't even have the stigma of looking poor. You can even live the life of a high-rolling Players Club Las Vegas gambler by using your EBT card at casino ATM's.
Hard work, diligence, thrift, frugality, honesty, and humbleness are no longer virtues. Why should they be? You can completely avail yourself of all the appurtenances of our hyper-modern society, without contributing one iota to it. So, why bother?
Even worse, why support governmental leadership that suggests otherwise? It would be counter intuitive.
So, folks, it's over. The Rubicon has been crossed.
We can --we must-- pray for events to swallow this reality. John Boehner can't fix it. Nor, for that matter can Ted Cruz.
America has been transformed. It is done.
Oh, we must fight the good fight, and we must engage-- most appropriately at the local and grass-roots level, where our very families and lives are the most effected. But, the broader culture is lost, and it slipped away like a thief in the night, when no one was looking.
When one doesn't feel the effects of unemployment --because employment holds no particular benefit-- and where the public treasury has been blown wide open in order to enslave the productive, the old order of things is utterly, utterly irrelevant.
No: at the time,we were too focused on defending Bain Capital, and tax havens in Bermuda, and whether Mitt Romney gave some kid a haircut in 1965. Barack Obama, and his band of despicable toadies, set out to fundamentally transform America, and their goal has been achieved. Reaganism is utterly vanguished, and appeals in his name are useless utterances against the bitter cultural winds.
And now, we have so heavily indebted the wage-creators that there is no way out. Taxes will balloon: and that's been the goal all along.
The peaks and valleys of the business cycle have been removed: Mediocrity has replaced it. 15% real unemployment is the new normal: There is no reason for it to be otherwise, for there is no pain associated with joblessness. There will be no more "busts"-- nor will there be "booms". Stocks may rise, but what difference will it make when fewer and fewer people are part of the investor class?
The oceans didn't recede, the lands didn't begin to heal with the election. But, like he told Joe the Plumber all those gray and dismal years ago, Barack Obama spread the wealth around.
And he took away to tools to scoop it up again.