Who is Atlas did he Shrug?
Bernie Sanders says that he’s a socialist and that he loves the New Deal. He doesn’t see any discordance there, and neither do a lot of people who support him.
There’s a famous story that was told when I was growing up about a politician who is asked about his position on whiskey. And he says, “If by whiskey we mean the drink we enjoy to celebrate happy events and toast our friends, I’m for whiskey. But if by whiskey we mean the demon liquor that drives families apart, I’m against whiskey.”
That’s where I am. If by socialism, you mean the New Deal, then by golly I’m in favor of it. Obviously, the New Deal shaded into socialism or social democracy, if you will. But in many ways, it’s a foolish argument, because we have socialism for the rich everywhere. Nobody is actually trying to keep the government out of the market. At least, nobody in Herbert Hoover or Donald Trump’s Republican Party.
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As they were, as they still are. Lest one assume that responsibility for the catastrophe that followed rests solely upon Bush and his hawkish circle, remember that the administration’s responses were approved by 90% of the American public, the highest presidential approval rating ever achieved, while a full 80% of them expressly favored Bush’s open-ended war against Afghanistan. That war would eventually let loose mayhem across a dozen other nations (and it’s still spreading), leaving millions of dead, disfigured, displaced human beings in its wake. Most Americans and nearly all of their congressional representatives were complicit in what remains an unfinished global moral, economic, and political calamity that far exceeds anything the grotesque Donald Trump has so far brought about. He may yet start a nuclear war and has already undoubtedly sparked what could become a cascade of nuclear proliferation, yet for now the malign legacy of the 43rd President — that American crusade — exceeds anything the 45th one has yet imagined. And no, God does not will it.
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