SOLO-International Op-Ed: Corpseman-in-Chief
February 8, 2010
With each new long, drawn out, and substantively empty speech, President Obama's silver tongue has revealed a brain of mush. Most recently, Obama referred to a Navy corpsman as "corpseman", since apparently the teleprompter has not yet incorporated pronunciations phonetically for Dear Leader. Nevertheless, I found the term a wonderfully symbolic moniker for the president himself, and not just applied to his intellectual vacuity, but rather to the entirety of his methods and goals.
Some years ago I remember watching a pointless 60 Minutes piece on a particular folk dance that had become the rage in one of the Scandinavian countries. In the dark, wintery, welfare-statist nights of Northern Europe, the people's grasp at life was done by moving aimlessly in circles. And what an image it was. Expressionless corpses trying to find some measure of joy and individuality in lives bled dry by service to the state, drop by precious drop.
Art, music, dance, recreations of choice are a symptom, a barometer, of cultural health. In my mind, I juxtaposed the image of comatose Scandinavian folk dancing against the image of the feverish Roaring 20’s. Flamboyant dress and energic dancing at luxurious grand balls against the backdrop of newly-minted skyscrapers. The expression of wealth, optimism, and happiness brought forth by the vibrant American Dream achieved, and still achievable.
Although Progressives had made cultural inroads and were on the rise, they had not yet sharpened their knives enough to cut off all outs. To be sure, their desire was to get the American people moving in a Scandinavian circle--from birth to death with little in between.
But America was still riding the wave of the can-do spirit that would do it, which had prevailed up until that time. The story was the same--men from unthinkable poverty by modern standards would achieve the unthinkable in production while stamping out their politically-favored competitors.
Cornelius Vanderbilt, for example, would have to fight political pull-peddlers to run his steamships across the Atlantic and to California against subsidized competitors. Although Congress subsidized Vanderbilt's competitors against his protestations that such a course would ruin trade, Vanderbilt prevailed with a genius for innovation and cutting costs. While the subsidized competitors had no incentive for innovation, Vanderbilt was able to reduce the cost of a passenger trip across the Atlantic by more than half and to California by seventy-five percent of the subsidized rate. Vanderbilt's subsidized competitors would eventually fall via their inability to keep pace with rapid innovation and cost-cutting, and Congress would be forced to relinquish their subsidies.
James J. Hill would eventually triumph over his subsidized competitors in building the first private transcontinental railroad, the Empire Builder through the US northern tier, and through rapid innovation would force his competitors into bankruptcy. John D. Rockefellar would meet with similar opposition, and success, in the steel industry. Likewise for Andrew Mellon in the banking industry, and Andrew Carnegie and Charles Schwab in the steel industry. And the list goes on.
Perhaps that is why I was nostalgic, and somewhat saddened, when visiting the mansions of the titans of industry in Newport, Rhode Island. No longer private homes of private individuals who had built and earned them, but rather museum pieces controlled by the local preservation society.
And this is symptomatic in the modern Age of Obama--the American Dream turned into a museum piece. Progressives have improved upon their methods, however, and will leave no outs this time. Everything inside politics, nothing outside of it.
Banks that did not overextend themselves in the subprime loan crisis were still forced to accept bailout money under the threat and the potential loss of their business. Imagine being a modern day Mellon or Hill or Vanderbilt and forced into the same system that ruined their competitors. Imagine being prudent with one's investments and profiting handsomely from it, only to find that the government wants to cap your compensation and regulate your business because no business should be too Big, too successful.
"Smallness", or more accurately, failure being the new standard that drives government policy. A gilded mansion replaced with a row of identical tin shacks for everybody--that's the Progressive version of the American Dream.
Imagine being a young student with ambitions. You've loved biology and studied hard, while your fellow students have frittered away their potential on video games and parties. You have dreams of being a doctor and innovating in medical science. You are faced with substantial debt in attending medical school and long hours studying and working, but you are driven by your passion for medicine and figure that you will have no problem repaying the debt with your success.
Enter ObamaCare. The time that could be spent researching, exploring, and innovating is replaced with time spent on shuffling through endless paper and dealing with low level bureaucrats in order to obtain "approval" for your actions. Your decisions and your mind are replaced with 2,000 pages of government edicts. You are being turned into a body without a mind--a corpseman.
Here we see the goal of the Corpseman-in-Chief and likeminded Progressives--to snuff out the mind, production, profit, and the American Dream in favor of an army of mindless corpsemen who impose their will by brute force.
If this sounds appealing to you, put on your Scandinavian dancing shoes for the stale, circular march towards misery.
SOLO (Sense of Life Objectivists): SOLOPassion.com