A friend begged me not to write about the economy or politics in today's paper. She insisted that everyone needed a break from my words on the subject. I have decided to oblige my friend. I give you today, not the words of a linthead school teacher, but of some of the most intelligent, enlightened and respected men in history.
"American Democracy will last until their Congress learns that they can buy the votes of the majority with the money of the minority."
Alexis de Tocqueville said that. He was an early 19th century Frenchman and one of the world's most renowned historians and political scientists - and apparently a prophet.
Thomas Jefferson, who was president of the United States when Tocqueville was born, made a similar comment in 1802. "This nation will cease to exist when we begin to take away from those who will to give to those who will not." He was speaking of work, by the way.
Jefferson's pretty smart, right? I mean, he built that great house and wrote the Declaration of Independence and did a bunch of other neat stuff. Plus he bought Louisiana from Napoleon for a mere $15 million, so, in a way, he's responsible for Mardi Gras in America.
Know who else was pretty smart? Winston Churchill. He, more than any other single individual, kept Hitler from taking over the world while the U.S. was deciding whether to intervene against his mischief. Winston Churchill once said, "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery." He also said, "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy." He also said, "No government will ever succeed in making the poor richer by making the rich poorer." Told you Churchill was smart.
Churchill was a Brit, of course, although any American should be proud to claim him for our own. George Bernard Shaw was a Brit too, I believe, but he was a playwright, not a politician. He was still plenty smart and he once said, "A government policy of robbing Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of Paul." I bet George Bernard Shaw and that Tocqueville fellow would have gotten along quite famously.
These aren't my words, y'all. Don't get mad at me. I didn't say any of this stuff. Smart people did. People a lot smarter than me, and I got more.
"Democracy is indispensible to socialism. The folly of the ballot box makes it possible." Vladimir Lenin.
"Democracy is the road to socialism." Karl Marx.
"From each according to his ability; to each according to his need." Also Karl Marx.
That was downright scary sounding in light of recent and current events in Washington, D.C. Let's say that one again - and think about it really hard.
"From each according to his ability; to each according to his need." Anybody seen the proposed federal budget?
Why all this talk of socialism, you might ask? Yeah. I know. I was just kidding, but for those who don't know what this "socialism" animal is that we keep hearing about I quote Merriam-Webster. "Socialism is any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or government control of means of production (banks, automobile industry, mortgage and housing industry) and distribution of goods and service. (Does healthcare come to mind?)
Of course our elected officials say that we are not moving toward socialism in any way and we know that our government officials would never lie to us. Speaking of lies, here's what someone had to say about that subject.
"The masses . . . in the primitive simplicity of their minds more readily fall victim to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves tell small lies ... It would never come to their head to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others would have the audacity to distort the truth so infamously." Adolph Hitler. Mein Kampf.
The proposed budget for the next fiscal year is $3.5 trillion. Government is getting bigger and bigger. Here's what former President Gerald Ford had to say about big government. "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take everything you have."
Free health care, free college, free retirement savings, government brokered mortgage payments with a $2,000 annual bonus for paying it on time, lower taxes, no budget deficit- anything else anybody wants?
I know. I am using a few of my own words. OK. Back to the words of other folks. "I'm proud that we passed the recovery plan free of earmarks." Barack Obama.
Even the left side of the aisle was shocked into silence after that remark, and there were guffaws and even a few boos from the right side.
One more quote, from the recent address to Congress.
"And I believe that the country that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it."
German automakers will be darned glad to hear that!