Thursday, November 8th 2012, 12:05 PM EST
"Can't wait for the leftards' misery when Romney wins. It will be like eating foie gras to the sound of trumpets." @jamesdelingpole on Twitter last week.
Well: I think that's what they call a 'hostage to fortune.' And, of course, I don't remotely blame all the leftards who've been blowing raspberries in response. I'm sure I would have done just the same had our positions been reversed.
Nonetheless it seems to me that the victory the Obamaphiles have won is entirely Pyrrhic. In what way, I would like to ask them, is a second term for a proven failure a good thing? On the evidence of Obama's four years in power so far, what exactly have they seen that augurs so well for the next four years of the American presidency?
Was it his resolute decision to sacrifice the lives of four brave men in Benghazi, perhaps?
Or was it his truly heartwarming eagerness to reward his friends at Solyndra by handing them $500 million of taxpayers' money for a business that was essentially worthless?
Or his inspired decision to hit the already struggling US economy with the bill for a whopping new, NHS-style disaster in the making called Obamacare?
Under the Obama administration the US economy has shown few if any signs of a genuine economic recovery. Housing remains depressed, unemployment is high, average family income has fallen and America increasingly has about it the moribund, shabby air of third world kleptocracy rather than the thrusting optimism you'd expect of the leader of the free world. The US today is almost unrecognisable from the land of opportunity I fell in love with on my first visit nearly 30 years ago. And the reason for this is really very simple (and especially obvious in basket cases like the People's Republic of California): Big Government has continued to grow and grow; regulations have accumulated; private wealth has been confiscated and squandered, on welfare, on bail-outs for companies like GM which would have been better left to fail, on Ben Bernanke's quantitative easing spree, on stringent measures to deal with the so-far unproven threat of "climate change"….
And this hasn't just been an Obama-related problem. It's been an every-US-president-since-at-least-Calvin-Coolidge problem. Even under Ronald Reagan the size of government grew.
To be honest, I think it would probably have continued to grow under a Mitt Romney presidency too. Romney would certainly not have been my first choice of GOP candidate. (Or indeed my second, third or fourth…..) He always struck me as being part of the same corporatist problem rather than the authentic, red-meat, free market solution. It wasn't so much that I was rooting for Romney, last night. More that I was rooting desperately, passionately against Obama whose statist tendencies – and autocratic instincts – are just a great deal more extreme and dangerous.
One thing I noticed on Twitter today: the quantity of bile being spewed out seemed to increase from very late morning onwards. And I wondered whether, maybe, this was symptomatic of the attitudes and lifestyles and career status of that whole class of person which blindly roots for Obama. I don't mean the welfare class: though of course that rooted for Obama too. I was thinking more of the entitlement class, the bureaucratic and technocratic elite – or trainee members thereof – so brilliantly anatomised in this piece by Joel Kotkin.
Perhaps they're studying "climate science" or "sustainability" at uni; maybe they work in the public sector, with its more generous attitudes to those staff members who arrive late or decide to throw the occasional sickie; maybe they're currently resting while they search for the kind of career which enables them to achieve a perfect work/life balance and helps them feel really good about themselves, perhaps doing something marvellously worthwhile in the charities sector; or maybe they're employed by somewhere unimpeachably nice and on the right side of the "progressive" argument, like maybe the BBC, or the Guardian, or the Grantham Institute; perhaps they're incredibly well-paid stand-up comedians who earn their fortunes pandering to the prejudices of that vast constituency of ex-students, future students and perpetual students I've just described…
What this entitlement class has in common, both in Britain and in the US – and indeed throughout our tottering Western civilisation – is an unshakable conviction that a) the state is a force for good and b) that it owes them a living. So fiercely do they cleave to this faith that they have never stopped to think where this benign and bounteous state actually gets its money from or what might happen when the money runs out. In fact they consider the very act of thinking such unpleasant thoughts tantamount to heresy. This is why they dismiss their opponents as being not merely wrong but morally deficient – evil, even.
Problem is, the money has run out. It happened quite a while back and all our governments and their corporatist and bankster allies have been doing these last few years is finding ever more ingenious ways of disguising the fact. Just so long as they can keep the scam going just that little bit longer, that's all they care about. Then they can pass the parcel on to which ever schmuck comes next.
This can't go on forever. Nor will it. Because no one is prepared to face up to the facts and deal with them – and both Obama's re-election and the GOP's failure to come up with a sufficiently convincing candidate are proof of this; as indeed is the history of our own Coalition – it is all going to end very nastily and very messily.
Buy gold. After last night's spectacularly dumb result, it may be the only hope that's left.
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