From the beginning of the American Republic, there has been an ongoing struggle between those who believe in a bigger, stronger government and those who believe in a smaller and less interventionist government. Starting with Bernie Sanders, many who believe in bigger government have, without embarrassment, started calling themselves “socialists.” And increasingly, those who believe in smaller government with more liberty have been referring to themselves as “libertarians.”
Political language gets corrupted by those who write about politics. Many in the mainstream media lump libertarian Sen. Rand Paul in with Nazi (national socialist) Hitler, as being on the extreme “right,” when, in fact, Hitler had far more in common with the beliefs of socialist Bernie Sanders, a man of the “left.”
Those who believe in limited government and more liberty used to be called “liberals,” and they still are in much of Europe. Bigger-government types started referring to themselves as “liberals” because it was a good word — and so old-school liberals, in response, started referring to themselves as “classical liberals,” which is fine, but most people have no clue as to what it means.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”These are the first words of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. They refer to the era of the French Revolution a little over two centuries ago, but they could equally apply to today. Times have never been better for most Americans. Incomes are at a record high. Jobs are plentiful. People are living longer and better due to both medical advances and increased prosperity. Yet despite the better life that the free-market capitalist system has enabled for billions of people, there are increased numbers of political voices and their media allies demanding socialism. Given the centuries of failure and mayhem resulting from socialism, for all to see, the new socialists are treated as if their ideas are sensible, rather than ludicrous. Why would people choose foolishness over wisdom? Are they stupid, ignorant, mean-spirited, or all three?