Americans Returning To Puritanical Ways?

We can hope. Michelle Malkin notes the tightening of belts everywhere (except Congress and the White House):

Team Obama’s image experts, perhaps hung over from all the Camelot-recreating Wednesday cocktail parties that are now a signature of the new administration, have fallen down on the job. The man who scolded Americans for wasting energy and turning their thermostats too high still hasn’t lowered his own. “He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” senior adviser David Axelrod snickered to the New York Times in January. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”

In flyover country, the mood could not be more different. Party time is over. I heard from a reader in northwest Arkansas, now upside down on her house with two college-age kids who is preparing to tighten the family belt.

Pierre LeGrand talks about the anger of those who did the right thing and now see their life savings going down the tubes:

There is a GREAT deal of anger out in the sticks. We DO see many of these groups as responsible for the horrible mess we find ourselves in and it is OUR savings and our very money that is being destroyed right this very minute by a bunch of thugs with Ivy League degrees. Always wondered why the peasants were so angry at the elite during the French Revolution that they chopped off heads without much distinction. Watching my investments being destroyed by the fecklessness of politicians paying off political debts to everyone with my money I now am beginning to understand where that sort of anger comes from.

When the crap hits the fan, there’s inevitable finger pointing. Blaming Bush is popular even though he counseled against Freddie and Fanny and begged for regulatory oversight. Blaming Congressional Democrats is more accurate when looking at the housing and banking messes. Blaming Congressional Republicans is accurate when you consider that they enabled and encouraged disgusting wasteful spending.

But really, our elected leaders and leadership class generally reflect Americans. Americans lived on cheap credit, bought home with inflated values, spent loads of money on stuff they didn’t need for reasons they don’t even remember, and basically still live, even in a financial crunch at a level that medieval kings can only dream about.

People could spend years using and re-using the junk they already have. They could spend years wearing and re-wearing clothes. When they do shop, they can find beautiful things at decent prices at Wal-Mart and Target or just wait for a sale on the nice stuff at Dillards.

The economic crunch will last for a while because people are still so flush. And if times get really bad, families will move into the big McMansion together and keep chickens in their suburban backyard grass patch.

So, are Americans returning to their Puritanical ways? Not to my way of thinking. They’re just coming down from a high that makes plenty seem like a low.

For those who lived a decent life, they’re angry. Many responsible Americans have lost their life-savings and that is a huge long-term loss that will take years to earn back if ever.

I say, turn that anger into something useful. Fight. Stephen Green (aka Vodkapundit) has an excellent piece about what to do:

Republicans spent the last eight years trying to do the “smart” thing, by buying out the Democratic agenda. It was “smart” to “take Medicare off the table” by expanding it in ways so vast even Democrats hadn’t gotten away with it in 40 years. It was considered “smart” to “take immigration off the table” by forging a grand alliance with Ted Kennedy. It was considered “smart” to “take education off the table” by federalizing it under No Child Left Behind.

Well, we’ve tried the smart thing and all it got us was a bigger, more meddlesome government. Now it’s time to do the right thing.

How very Puritanical for a vodka swilling swell. Puritans escaped religious persecution. They fought economic persecution (hello Tea Parties). Finally, they just fought. They went to war against an oppressive government that made the elites rich and the common man enslaved. Government is on that track again.

I generally distrust populist movements. Still statist movements can only be stopped by an angered populace. America started as a populist movement of common men defending self-evident truths. It’s time to return to our puritanical ways.

Cross-posted at

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