It certainly wasn't because of populism or isolationism or more government dependency or any of the hard-left economic policies being preached nightly by speakers at the Democratic National Convention.
No, it was capitalism — more of it, not less of it.
Naturally, every political convention features its share of demagoguery. But buried beneath the idealistic policy talk in Denver is an ugly detail: It's about coercion.
Those who had the inner fortitude to remain conscious through speeches by Bob Casey and Mark Warner surely were entertained by the theatrics of populist Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (a man who represents the possibility of America, a place where even a former cast member of “Hee-Haw” can become governor of Montana).
When Schweitzer claims “we must invest” in projects he likes, he means government will take it and invest it for you.
You see, you must.
Then Schweitzer claimed (in a half-truth) that Republican nominee John McCain voted “against” solar energy, biofuels and wind energy.
Which is weird because I could swear my neighbor has solar panels, so they must be legal. I've seen windmills. So I suppose that Schweitzer meant that McCain voted against some federal boondoggle for wind and/or solar energy.
And frankly, McCain hasn't voted against biofuels nearly enough. One need only look at the corn-based ethanol fiasco to understand how destructive it can be when politicians decide we “must” do something.
Sen. Hillary Clinton later chimed in that she would force energy companies to invest in the projects deemed worthy of the common good. (Imagine if your business were told how it “must” invest its money.) She claimed Americans “give” windfall profits to oil companies. No, we don't “give” them anything; we pay them for a product.
But there were all the customary populist grievances. Corporations are “shipping” jobs out of the country. (Answer: Tax them more to ensure the entire corporation is shipped out.) China is stealing our money. (No trade with China?) We need to liberate ourselves from dependency on foreign energy. (Let's hope other nations do not wean themselves off their “dependence” to wheat, steel or Pixar movies.)
Democratic keynoters spoke of the economy as if it were a static pie that can be divided fairly. Profit, competition, growth, international trade and self-reliance are treated as corrupt thoughts. Financial success, well, it is a moral failing.
Take, if you will, Michelle Obama's speech. In relaying her life story, Obama conveniently failed to mention, in any detail, that she graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. She also failed to mention her six-figure salary.
To do so would have undermined the contrived and condescending “Hey, we're losers, too!” mythology that's been cooked up in Denver. (I don't know about you, but I want someone far more successful than I am, or my neighbors are, running the country.)
Candidates, you see, are just like you. And with their munificent assistance, “we” — whether you want to be a part of “we” or not is irrelevant — can save the world. We can create jobs. Create new energy. We can guarantee fair wages. Health care. Child care.
Well, we can. But we could do it a lot better without Washington.
Bill Clinton once told us that the era of big government is over. This Democratic Party wants to make sure that era has its day once more.
This is a great summary of how the DNC went this year. America sucks, America is broken, America is a disaster…so bring on the bigger government to fix everything. It's the same line Democrats have been spouting for decades. It's that same liberal mentality that blames America first, and then turns to government for the answer. As Harsanyi said, the answer to most of the problems we face nowadays is more capitalism. It unleashes American ingenuity and work ethic, and rewards those who accomplish the best results. It provides incentive to make products and services better, and the competition drives down costs. Making money is not a moral failing or somehow a bad thing – don't we all want to earn more money to provide a better life for our families? If you earn that good living, what's wrong with that? There is nothing to be ashamed of.
The modern Democrat party has a twisted view of the country, seeing it as a broken wreck that is about to collapse entirely. They paint this picture over and over because if people are disgruntled enough, they will seek a change from the current administration, which means the Democrats gain power. That's it, pure and simple. The country has problems, but it's not broken. The answer is not more government, it is less government. While the GOP has done its best to imitate the Democrat party in expanding government recently, the Dems clearly have history on their side. Neither is right. Government needs to take a back seat, and let Americans do what Americans do best: succeed.
There's my two cents.