“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
Wouldn’t he quickly have been dragged into an emergency meeting with a handful of panicky leading Democrats? “Barack, did you bang your head on a steel cabinet or something? Are you trying to lose your base? Please, get back out there and get our message right: ‘Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for you.’”
That reversal fairly well gauges where, on the spectrum of evolving political ideology, apparently most liberals have thus far landed since Democratic President John Kennedy uttered those famous words – now infamous, I suspect, to most modern Democrats – in his Inaugural Address on January 20, 1961.
Consider another change, the new trend of Democratic presidents (Obama and Clinton) winning a second term, a rarity for Democrats since FDR.
This trend, along with the Democrats’ shift toward asking for government help, might signal that the USA is lurching toward PIIGSville – the out-of-control spending ways of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain. Hence, PIIGS may soon become PIIGSUSA. I pronounce it pig-soosa.
As with PIIGS, the United States does seem to be witnessing more of what Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly calls people who in our “Where’s mine?” age “want stuff.” To them, the promise-them-something-for-nothing Obama is the perfect president; he is, in fact, the president who made roughly twice as many campaign promises – over 500 – as either George W. Bush or Bill Clinton.
In which demographic groups are there more people who demand stuff they believe can be provided for nothing? (Or can be provided by raising taxes on the rich — which to them is never a bad thing and is maybe always a good thing.)
The young, women, and minorities. The groups that elected Obama in 2008 and again in 2012.
Let’s examine why.
In which of the following two groups are there more of those who are knowledgeable about the economy and politics:
High school grads or college grads? (Notice I didn’t ask, “Which group is more knowledgeable….?” That’s framing it the wrong way. If I had framed it that way and you replied, “College grads are more knowledgeable,” you’d suggest that you might believe and want others to believe, especially if you are a college grad yourself, that every college grad is more knowledgeable than every high school grad. Which is extremely improbable if not impossible. Such a suggestion is the dangerous result of making generalizations,* as the media in particular so often do, without, I think, realizing what they’re saying.)
No doubt many high school grads are quite knowledgeable about the economy and politics, and many college grads are not. In fact, some high school grads conceivably are more knowledgeable than all of the college grads.
But we are talking about which group has the bigger number of the knowledgeable. That is college grads by virtue of their higher education and their likely already greater job experience in politics and the economy.
What about the youth vs. the old? The same analysis applies as above: some young adults know far more than many of the old. But by virtue of the old’s greater free time and longer experience with politics and economics (and bigger viewership of the network evening news**), the number of the old who are knowledgeable is bigger than the number of the young who are.
And minorities vs. whites? Again, the analysis applies. But whites’ greater number of college grads, office holders, and workers in the fields of politics and economics obviously means there are more whites (many more, given their much bigger population) who are knowledgeable about politics and economics.
Finally, what about men vs. women, whose vote Obama won by 11 percentage points? Once again, the analysis holds: there are a lot of women who know a lot more about politics and economics than a lot of men; as a matter of fact, hordes of women may know more than any man in the country.
But men don’t just outnumber women in jobs grounded in politics and economics. Based on my empirical evidence, men also outnumber women among individuals maintaining an active personal interest in the two topics. (My wife admits she doesn’t know anything about politics or economics, and doesn’t care to know. In the ’08 elections, she voted for Obama. We’re still married and talking to each other.) So reasonable people, I think, can say there are more men than women who are knowledgeable about politics and economics. This is supported in a study by the UK’s very liberal Guardian that says, “Women living in developed countries that promote gender equality, such as the U.S. and United Kingdom, either have equal — or even wider — knowledge gaps” than in less developed countries.
It appears the most inexperienced candidate was elected by the most inexperienced voters.
You already know my conclusion: the groups who have the bigger number of the less knowledgeable about how politics and the economy function, and who have the bigger number of those who’d likely adopt the credo “Ask what your country can do for you” because they falsely believe liberal politicians can give them “stuff” with little or no pain – these are the groups who are taking us inexorably down the PIIGSville lane, possibly to Obama’s and Democrats’ glee — and especially to Bernie Sanders’ glee.
*Decades ago, I learned the value of not making generalizations (though I still make them when I’m too lazy, too tired, or too impatient to do it right!). A writer by the name of Gene Marine illustrated in the 1970s: He said you can’t say — and I take great liberties in my paraphrasing — “Men are bigger than women, suggesting to many that every man is bigger than every woman. Here’s how you laboriously must put it: The biggest men are bigger than the biggest women, and the smallest women are smaller than the smallest men. But in between, a huge number of men and women are the same size.” What this importantly means is that millions of big women are bigger than millions of small men.
**The evening network news programs report regularly on the economic riots and protests in Spain, Greece, and the other PIIGS countries. Thus, they serve somewhat as tutors on both economics and politics. Want to know whether the programs are watched more by the young or by the old? Check out the ads on the news shows.
Young voters hit the polls in droves during the 2008 election and most cast their ballots for Barack Obama. And in 2012, 60% of millennials ages 18 to 29 voted for Obama; only 37% voted for Romney, according to exit polls by the National Election Pool. Voters over 40, on the other hand, were more likely to vote for Romney.
“…[O]ur young adults already have been molded to be the first generation of American socialists.
“It’s not some wacko conspiracy theory. It’s just research that shows the influence of our education system, media and pop culture have instilled in most young people a lack of understanding about economics and free markets, as well as a misconception about the proper role of government in our daily lives.”