"So while Anglo-Saxons depended on 'enlightened self-interest,' the Europeans felt the need to legislate virtue," writes Lionel Chetwynd, shining a revelatory light upon the fundamentally Un-American underpinnings of the leftist project:
America was born as the former. But a corrupt academy, a narcissistic underpaid media (all of whom slavishly worshiped the Europeans), and a century and a half of immigration brought the collectivist view into the American mainstream. The health-care debate is not really about who should be covered, but about taking decisions that were once the responsibility of the individual and turning them over to the collective.
Although born long after the Civil War, I have lived through this struggle before. In the 1960s, Pierre Trudeau took Canada, then a country of self-reliant, broad-shouldered, rugged individualists, and by sheer force of political magnetism, transformed it into a post-modern society, a European clone of overtaxed politically correct worrywarts subject to heavy taxes designed to redistribute wealth. For a long time, it was a winning formula that even conservatives found seductive. After all, as George Bernard Shaw observed, if you rob Peter to pay Paul you can most certainly count on Paul’s vote. It took almost a half a century for Stephen Harper to reawaken Canadians’ sense of self-respect and begin the first faltering steps toward dismantling the monstrosity that Trudeaupian liberals had created.
"It appears the voters of Massachusetts required a mere 11 months and 28 days," adds Chetwynd, referring to the timespan between Scott Brown's Tuesday election to The People's Seat and Rick Santelli's "Rant for the Ages" — a truth-to-power call for a new "Tea Party" February 19, 2009 in response* to "President Obama's redistributionist mortgage-bailout plan — delivered from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade this morning to the delight of traders and television viewers alike," as we blogged that day in "Santelli reads the tea leaves." Citing Lee Cary's American Thinker essay "Awaiting the Awakening of the Forgotten Man," we wrote:
Looking at the above CNBC poll of readers ready to join Rick Santelli's "Chicago Tea Party," together with a groundswell of pitchfork-bearing bloggers, we'd say the awakening may be happening sooner rather than later. Professor Sumner foresaw where utopianists always go wrong:
All schemes for patronizing "the working classes" savor of condescension. They are impertinent and out of place in this free democracy. There is not, in fact, any such state of things or any such relation as would make projects of this kind appropriate. Such projects demoralize both parties, flattering the vanity of one and undermining the self-respect of the other.
Thank you, Mr. President, for your assist in awakening the forgotten man.
In related thinking, TigerHawk is asking readers to answer the question "Who have been the enemies of business in history, and what have been their arguments or tactics." We left some suggestions in his comments and recommend our readers if so inclined head on over and offer your own suggestions.*"The first revolt [actually] took place on President’s Day in Smurf-blue Seattle," as rabble rouser Michelle Malkin noted at the time, but Santelli caught the nation's attention and soon became primogenitor in the nation's imagination.