SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Feb 4 (Reuters) - Republican Sarah Palin said on Friday an explosion of government spending and debt under President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats had put the United States on "the road to ruin." ...The first thing Sarah misses is that one could substitute "Bush" for "Obama" and the entire above would still be true. Obama is the biggest spender, but Bush was second. He has run the biggest deficits, but Bush was second. He has the greatest number of foreclosures* since Bush. Sarah neglects** to mention Bush in deference to her Republican audience, many of whom voted for and with Bush in doing what Obama has exceeded Bush at doing***. Obama is Bush on steroids, but he is still Bush. And he is still Bush because Bush is still Woodrow Wilson who is still Teddy Roosevelt.
"This is not the road to national greatness, it is the road to ruin," Palin said of the growth in government spending, budget deficits, joblessness and housing foreclosures under Obama. "The federal government is spending too much, borrowing too much, growing and controlling too much," she said.
Which is the second thing Sarah misses. The road to national greatness IS the road to ruin. The road to national greatness has always been the road to ruin, and that path was set as soon as the original Progressives set us on the road to greatness by giving us something to do in the name of America.
What does "national greatness" demand? It ever and always demands an overweening sense of national purpose, no? Whether it is Making the World Safe for Democracy or waging a Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism, national greatness demands a big government to carry it out. It is no different than the Gorax trying to establish a sense of international purpose with his quixotic campaign against sunshine - what he's trying to do is justify a huge, coercive entity to lead us all into a bold future or our own design. Reagan's national greatness demanded a huge military and huge deficits. Perhaps it was worth it - I tend to think it was - but one cannot deny that all the things Palin complains about are merely the price of what she wants. National Greatness is belligerent by its very nature****. It is self-deceptive, making us think that we are better, smarter, and deservedly more blessed of God than our fellow creatures. And it is prideful above all. As such, it is merely an onramp to the Road to Ruin.
America has no enemies in the world comparable to the Soviet Union that Reagan stared down. We won. Yes, there are terrorists in the world, for the world is a very bad place. There are Kim Jong Ils and there are whoever will end up on top in Egypt. How many divisions can they land in New Orleans? None.
Therefore, rather than seeking national greatness, I suggest we follow in the wise footsteps of Warren G. Harding and pursue a return to normalcy, a policy of shutting up, working hard, and raising our families in relative peace and quiet. Rather than trying to give 19th Century Western government to 6th Century Asian tribesmen, we could pursue a quiet America that does not wave its junk at everyone, which results in us having to hide our junk from the TSA. Give up the pride of greatness and replace it with the quiet pursuit of happiness. Pride is expensive, bigger than even our national credit limit. Ask the Brits and the Spanish and the Dutch and the Romans and the Nazis and everyone else who made "national greatness" a priority how that worked out for them. That we expect our own answer to be different is testament to how far we have already traveled that well-trodden road.
* Not that foreclosures are a problem, they are simply her metric. I actually think foreclosures are a good thing, as they are the undeniable evidence that people have more house than they can reasonably afford. The sooner the foreclosure, the sooner they can escape their debt-slavery to our demonic banking system. The fact that it makes house prices go down is simply icing on the cake.
** and neglected when it mattered.
*** Think of it as T-Jack criticizing Favre for throwing interceptions.
**** or as the theme song to Team America: World Police so crassly put it, the verse that begins "America, Fuck Yeah!" always ends with "So lick my butt and suck on my balls."