Liberalism is dying before our eyes, not with a whimper or a bang, but with a grand unbathed and so apropos whine-fest. The central tenets of statism are in free-fall, and its benefi- ciaries, namely those who live off the fruits of other people’s labor, are in a panic for one last round of government handouts before they completely bankrupt the nation.
Consider for a moment the tortured psyche of today’s American liberal. The 2008 election promised that “the smartest guy ever to become president” would “fundamentally transform the United States of America” into some liberal utopia. Wars would end. Seas would calm. And Barack Obama would spread the wealth. Instead, all he spread was misery as he unleashed the twin terrors of redistributionist economics and government-controlled health care. Hope and change became despair and more of the same.
The failed Obama presidency, however, is just the beginning. The most liberal president in history, with an assist from his predecessor, has unmasked the structural flaws of liberalism itself. All told, nearly $5 trillion of government bailouts and stimulus spending between the two presidents failed to rescue our economy. Their $5 trillion bought the most expensive lesson in human history: Government cannot create wealth, and an overtaxed and overregulated private sector can’t, either.
Keynesian economics, as it has evolved, is the debunked belief that government can stimulate, direct, regulate and bail you into prosperity. This failed religion is now so thoroughly disproved that it simply cannot survive the collapse of the Obama presidency, except perhaps on the calcified pages of the New York Times. After all, if $5 trillion isn’t a large enough stimulus, what is? And if the smartest guy ever to become president can’t manage liberalism, who can?
Enter the disillusioned “Occupy Wall Street” protesters. Suddenly the 1970s “Me Generation” seems altruistic, and the ‘60s hippies seem hygienic. What a perfect name for their movement: “Occupy” - to take up space. If there’s one thing these overcredentialed but undereducated people excel at, it’s taking up space. They occupy university campuses for years without learning skills that can actually contribute to our society’s economy. They demand to occupy a child’s place on their parents’ health insurance plan and then can’t understand why everyone’s premiums have risen further out of reach. They occupy a place in their mothers’ basements and can’t believe their fathers have become little Eichmanns in a capitalist world. Heck, at this point, I’d be happy if they’d just occupy a shower once in a while.
Somewhere between the occupiers’ curbside sex and public defecation, many of them have begun listing their demands. Brace yourself. Truth is more hilarious than fiction. Years ago, the parody news website the Onion ran a fictitious (but spot-on) point-counterpoint piece. Point: “America’s homeless want a hand up, not a handout.” Counterpoint: “I want handouts! Hey, speak for yourself, buddy. I want handouts! I want other people’s money, I want it in my pocket, and I don’t want to work for it!” Rarely in real life, however, is truth laid so bare - until now. The public sex performers have demands: They want handouts.
Among the occupiers’ demands is a “living wage” of $20 per hour that should be bestowed whether or not the recipient chooses to work. Another demand: Forgive all student loan debt. Imagine this thought process: A hapless student goes $75,000 into debt pursuing a worthless degree in community organizing appreciation and then blames not the university that swindled him out of his money but instead, the bank that gave him a loan. Other demands include free single-payer socialized health care, free college education, open borders and trillions more in spending for infrastructure and the environment.
More than 800 arrests later, the occupiers predictably have become disruptive and even violent. One wishes they opposed violence with the same fervor as they do bathing. Evidently, years of practice denying their mothers access to clean their filthy rooms has finally paid off as the occupiers successfully prevented New York City workers from cleaning their encampment in Zuccotti Park. How did these upstanding citizens celebrate their victory? By throwing bags of garbage at police.
Where’s Mayor Richard Daley when you need him? Maybe Nurse Bloomberg would start cracking skulls if we could somehow convince him that Occupy Wall Street protesters are cooking with trans fats and salting their food. Then again, if this is the face of liberalism, let’s not. Let’s hope these occupiers stay around until Election Day.
The whole thing would be comical but for the fact that, from the president on down, Democrats are openly embracing the “I want handouts!” coalition. At the nexus of the liberal universe, these refugees of their own failed statism are agitating for yet more state control, and the ruling class is eager to oblige them.
“God bless them for their spontaneity,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gushed. “It’s young, it’s spontaneous and it’s focused. And it’s going to be effective.” Yeah, it’s going to be effective, all right. The Occupy Wall Street crowd, while defecating on police cars and demanding giveaways, has effectively become the face of the modern-day liberal Democratic Party.
Dr. Milton R. Wolf , a Washington Times columnist, is a board-certified diagnostic radiologist and President Obama’s cousin. He blogs at miltonwolf.com.