I can tell I would have enjoyed the company of the 30th President of the United States – Calvin Coolidge - if only because Cool Cal was universally recognized as a man of few words.
For example, there is this story I heard on evil AM band talk radio, related to me long ago by radio man (and former congressman and actor) Fred “Gopher” Grandy. Coolidge was at a formal dinner. Some random grande dame of Washington society walked up to him and said she had bet her husband she could get him to say more than two words. Coolidge responded with “you lose.” True story? Who knows? But who can doubt the word of a man with a resume that includes not only writing legislation, but also acting as a man wearing booty shorts and mixing drinks for clueless grande dames on a television show featuring a cruise ship? And, besides, imagine the possibilities if Cool Cal was our President in the Twitter age. The White House tweets would not only be far better, but actually from the man’s own hand, no doubt.
Yes, I can see Cool Cal would have been a good cell mate for me. It would have been … well, mostly quiet. And when he did open his mouth, I could have been certain it was worth paying attention too. In other words, it would be the total opposite experience of being around the standard issue 24x7 grievance politics ranting you get from the average progressive lib. (LAS to progressives: “Yes, yes, I get it. Everybody who disagrees with you is an evil racist. I’m still not going on your march to scream at the Koch brothers’ second cousin twice removed, and I’m definitely not giving you money to save the snail darter – whatever the hell that is. Isn’t that what we have the EPA for anyway? What’s their G-D budget – 2 gazillion? Shut up already! And why are you following me into the bathroom still yammering about contraceptives?“)
But I digress. The reason Cool Cal came to mind for LAS was a quote often attributed to him – “the business of America is business.” It came to me while I was contemplating how to treat the Empty Suit Known as Barack Hussein Obama stepping on his crank with the “you didn’t build that” gaffe.
For you see, despite the extraordinary spectacle of a sitting US President pleading the old “out of context” dodge, Obama’s small business smear betrays the core of his Leftist ideology – i.e. “the business of America is to feed the insatiable maw of the big government nanny state.”
Barack Hussein Obama sincerely believes, as all do on the political Left, that prosperity is created from the top-down, by big government experts making monolithic decisions from a centralized command and control apparatus.
The competing view, which carries the label “conservative” in modern times, and which was held by Cool Cal, places far more trust in you, the individual. In this view, prosperity is something that is generated from the bottom-up in a system of free enterprise that grants the freedom to everyone to make rational decisions in his or her own best interests, in accordance with his or her dreams. The government exists solely to soften the edges of the competitive results, to provide a safety net for those who choose poorly or experience the random hand of bad luck.
In this choice election of 2012, I ask you … does anyone really believe there are any truly existentially jagged edges in the modern American economy? An American economy where the so-called “poor” multitudes are said to be experiencing an epidemic of “obesity”? Please. It should be obvious to the most casual observer the government has become so large and overbearing it is well beyond merely providing safety nets … it is well into the Orwellian territory of smothering individual initiative and opportunity.
But, I digress (again). For a slightly deeper dive into the theory and underpinnings of the two competing ideologies; you can read my May 11, 2011 post Stuck On Keynesian Stupid. Much like Cool Cal, I don’t like to repeat myself.
However, in that post from nearly fifteen months ago, I did start a little Excel charting database comparing the economic growth results for conservative icon Ronald Reagan versus today’s progressive champion, Mr. Obama. So, allow me to repeat myself.
If this were an MMA fight, it would be Barry tapping out at 0:30 of the second round. But it’s not an MMA fight. It’s an election. Or, as my personal favorite founding father – Alexander Hamilton – is credited with saying: “A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.” So, which America do you want?
For you see, the dismal 1.5% growth is Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the most recent quarter isn’t just bad news for Obama’s re-election campaign. It is the inevitable result of his Leftist policies. These policies are precisely why there are more Americans than ever on Food Stamps. Not due to anyone’s “compassion,” but due, rather, to the government leviathan’s need for a client base. Period. End of sentence.
Oh, by the way, it seems Cool Cal has been misquoted. (Gee, imagine that). This historian clarifies:
The real statement comes from a speech by Calvin Coolidge called "The Press Under a Free Government" which was given before the American Society of Newspaper Editors in Washington, D.C. on January 17, 1925. The quote is really: "After all, the chief business of the American people is business." However, Coolidge goes on to say that, "Of course the accumulation of wealth cannot be justified as the chief end of existence."Now, that’s “compassionate conservatism.” If only we could find a candidate to articulate it. Mittens? Over to you.
His last paragraph in the speech shows what he really believes motivate Americans: "We make no concealment of the fact that we want wealth, but there are many other things that we want very much more. We want peace and honor, and that charity which is so strong an element of all civilization. The chief ideal of the American people is idealism. I cannot repeat too often that America is a nation of idealists. That is the only motive to which they ever give any strong and lasting reaction."