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From apathy to action

By Lisa Fabrizio
web posted October 25, 2010

Every few decades or so, the electorate of our nation manages to produce leaders who almost immediately prove to be so disastrously inept, that many Americans are left asking, 'How in the world did we elect these guys'? That question inevitably morphs into, 'Why don't the voters in this country pay more attention to what's really going on? Don't they care'? And it is these points in our history that produce truly momentous events, for good or for bad.
 
One of these moments is now upon us. Like a splash of cold water in the face, the deeds of Obama Democrats have produced a rude awakening in the land, one that is likely to shake up American politics for years to come. The president says it has nothing to do with his policies, that it's just voter apathy; and although these ideas may seem mutually exclusive, both can be equally correct. But in this case, the policies have been the cure for the apathy.

Because in truth, it is not really the policies of the left which lull folks into happy, apathetic slumber--indeed, the reverse is true, their policies are so radical that they cannot survive the light of day--but the couching of them in euphemistic propaganda allows basically good-hearted Americans to get lazy in their citizenship, armed with the belief that all the fuzzy-wuzzy intentions of the left can't help but be good for the nation; grounded, as they have been so deceptively led to believe, in name of fellowship and goodwill toward men.

After all, who but miserly Republicans would be so cruel as to deny a tiny crumb of their tax money going to help the least fortunate among us? Who but greedy capitalist pigs would deny American workers the opportunity to unionize in order to protect them from corporate wolves? Who but hateful, religious freaks would deny equal rights and privileges to those who have a different sexual agenda?

Who but misogynistic bigots would protest leveling the playing field in education and jobs, which only tips the scale of opportunity in the direction of those who for so long have been kept from dining at the big table? Why would anyone fear a benevolent government that is the only hope for those uneducated masses who are ill-equipped to raise their children or even themselves properly; after all, we are the government, are we not?

Except that every once in a while, events combine that make folks see through the sloganeering that disguises their dangerous and hidden agenda; when their policies are exposed for what they are and more importantly, when they begin to affect the electorate. When things actually hit home; when it's you who cannot get a job, you who loses your healthcare, you who finds yourself in deep debt, it becomes personal.

And this is their dilemma. People may feel that they are liberal in theory--the island where their philosophy resides--but when real feet-on-the ground issues like taxes and national defense intrude upon the kumbaya world they inhabit, things change. The old adage that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged has never been truer. And mugged has our nation been indeed.

Making matters worse for Democrats is the fact that Barack Obama has gone from prodigy to preachy; the last thing Americans want from their president when things are bad. To this day, Americans of a certain age still cringe when they picture in their mind's eye--or anywhere else--the image of the commander in chief, the leader of the free world, sitting in front of a fireplace dressed like Fred Rogers lecturing us, not on how to confront and solve our problems, but how we should give in and change our lifestyles in defeat.

And now we have another defeatist in the White House; one who goes about apologizing for the American way of life to a world that has, for the most part, benefited from this most singular way. At heart, this sort of talk sticks in the craw of all but the most radical of left-wingers. So Barack Obama and friends can do us all a favor and continue lecturing voters to shake off their apathy: it is the surest path to their defeat. ESR

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut. You may write her at mailbox@lisafab.com.

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