False Issue of the Randslide
Today’s to-do over government recalls what a book publisher observed half a century ago, when exposes like “The Hidden Persuaders” and “The Organization Man” were topping best-seller lists, “Americans are always astonished and upset to discover that society is organized.”
Back then, amid post-World War II prosperity, the “upset” over threats to individual freedom was mild and came from the Left. Now it has migrated Rightward and escalated into rage, resulting in a crushing victory by the “uncompromising avatar” of Tea Party disaffection, who questions government’s role in everything from racial discrimination to the oil spill.
The Rand Paul issue is framed as “a new culture war” by the President of the American Enterprise Institute, who sees it as a contest between “two competing visions of the country’s future.
“In one, America will continue to be an exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise–limited government, a reliance on entrepreneurship and rewards determined by market forces. In the other, America will move toward European-style statism grounded in expanding bureaucracies, a managed economy and large-scale income redistribution. These visions are not reconcilable. We must choose.”
The falseness of that “choice” stares us in the face daily from TV screens in the impotence of government bureaucracies to control the disastrous results of free enterprise in the Gulf of Mexico even as Paul finds the President’s criticism of BP “un-American.”
It can be seen as well in pending legislation to control “market forces” that almost took the American economy over a cliff, only to be saved by an unavoidable taxpayer bailout nobody wanted.