What If America Plunged Into Great Depression II?
Matt Lewis poses the question, since references to FDR and The Depression seem all the rage now that Obama is in office. It’s disturbing that the Left thrills at the notion of economic devastation just so their guy can have a platform to shine. If it’s not bad enough, make it worse! President Obama will play FDR and not really save the day, but look sympathetically like he’s trying. People will love that he tries.
… My question is: In terms of the political ramifications, would this scenario repeat itself? Suppose the economy were to get worse — not better — would Barack Obama and the Democrats still be rewarded for merely trying to help things, via the stimulus?
Based on his swagger, Barack Obama seems to think he would. Additionally, it appears that many worried Republicans, at least, fear history would repeat itself (remember Dick Cheney’s warnings of “Herbert Hoover” time?)
Of course, the obvious (though overlooked) point is that times have changed.
Americans — who once looked up to presidents and baseball players, have lost confidence in politicians and institutions. For better or worse, we are less naive and more cynical than our grandparents. The mainstream media is also less likely to censor unflattering portrayals of the president, be it pictures of FDR in a wheelchair — or JFK’s infidelities.
The highlighted text is where I disagree with Matt. Only an idealistic, superficial electorate could put the most inexperienced, liberal politician in the most powerful office in the land based on vague promises of “hope” and “change.” These same people could reward Obama for “trying” very easily–especially if the Republicans keep putting forth willy-nilly, out-of-touch candidates forward.
But another thing occurs to me. A Great Depression Part II is worrisome because America is not the moral, cohesive society it was in the ’20s and ’30s. When my great grandparents endured that time, they were farmers. People walked along the train tracks at the back of their property. They fed countless families and survived on the farm themselves.
How would people do that now? That’s why Obama’s public works language seems laughable. We’re not an agrarian or industrial society anymore. We’re technological and service oriented. Times have changed, indeed, and most people who can program a computer wouldn’t know their way around a jack hammer if they had a week-long tutorial. Even more, they’d have no interest in using it even if they could figure it out.
I’m probably being pessimistic, but I see Americans used to getting paid a certain amount or working in a certain industry, waiting it out or waiting to be saved. If even CEOs are begging the government for salvation, why would the common guy be different? And worse, when those who are irresponsible are reinforced with special financing and for corporations and banks, big bailouts, what reason do law-abiding Americans have for living moral? Why pay taxes? California will see that soon. People will just stop paying since they won’t be getting returns. It will cause a further implosion.
Matt is right, Americans are definitely different, but not in the ways that I think make for a better society. If Barack Obama could be elected once, he can be reelected, because performance obviously is not a criterion. He could be FDR II. Americans are both the same–human nature hasn’t changed–and different. An entitlement attitude that didn’t exist back then exists now, a moral code that used to be widely held is no longer the governing principle, and really Americans are just more superficial and soft.
Let’s hope we don’t find out what happens if there’s a Depression Part II. Leftists need to be careful what they ask for.
Cross-posted at MelissaClouthier.com