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The Spot On Quote Of The Day…

13 April 2012 @ 09:18

…is awarded to Roger Kimball for his insights on the two entitlement mentalities that plague us:

…How would despotism come to a modern democracy? Tocqueville asked. Not through the imposition of old-fashioned tyranny. No, that instrument is too blunt, too crude for modern democratic regimes. Much more effective is the disguised tyranny of infantilization. Turn government into the sole provider of all those “goodies” and you enslave the population far more effectively than an old-style tyranny ever managed.All this is true, and it deserves our constant attention. But Scott Rasmussen shifts his focus to the other side of the equation, one which I tried to adumbrate last week in my column “Wards and Warders.” In order to work, the dependency agenda needs not only to cultivate the sheep, a population of dependents. It also needs to foster a population of controlling bureaucrats, the shepherds or warders of the system. And this brings us to what Rasmussen calls “the real entitlement mentality that threatens to bankrupt the nation: A political class that feels entitled to rule over the rest of us.”

Let’s pause over that observation: “real entitlement mentality” revolves around “a political class that feels entitled to rule over the rest of us.”

As Rasmussen notes, this mentality is not solely a Democratic or a Republican trait. It affects — or infects — “the nation’s political leaders of both parties.” Hence the intractability of the problem. It’s not just our habits of dependency that need to be broken. The habits of control and penchant for feeding dependency on the part of our political leaders also need to be curbed. Rasmussen is right: “While most voters view excessive government spending as the problem, those who feel entitled to rule over the rest of us see the voters as the problem. And that’s the real entitlement crisis facing the nation today. The political class wants to govern like it’s 1775, a time when kings were kings and consent of the governed didn’t matter.”

Our job is to remind them, as vividly as possible, that it matters quite a lot. Tea party, anyone?


Both mentalities need to be fought and destroyed if we are to see a lasting restoration of our freedoms and liberties. This orgy of dependency must end.

Power must be taken out of the hands of those who have no hesitation in wielding it, who believe government is a necessary good.

We addicts have to get clean and then ‘kill’ our enablers, as it were.

Sadly, I don’t seeing either mentality being defeated without us resorting to arms. Only the shock of the ripping away of our comforts will awaken enough people to the fact that America is dying at it’s own hand. A figurative 2×4 upside the head of every American is required.

If you think this can be avoided, please provide a scenario — I’m all ears.

One Comment
  1. tonynoboloney permalink
    13 April 2012 @ 18:52 18:52

    Good stuff! Really good stuff.

    As a recovering addict/alcoholic with 23 years clean, I have only the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to thank for my victory over a seemingly insurmountable affliction.
    By applying these principals to my life, being willing to live according to these precepts I am afforded unbelievable freedom and able to live “Happy, Joyous and Free”.

    Your comparison of a dependent and broken American society to addiction is an appropriate one. Perhaps by applying the principals of AA to this nation we might begin to heal.

    1. We admit we are powerless over our dependency on government, that things have become unmanageable.
    2. We come to believe that our forefathers were correct in the founding of the nation “under God”. That only by divine intervention can we be restored to sanity. (Understanding that “no human power” will relieve us).
    3. Be willing to turn our will and our lives over to a “power greater than ourselves”, a “God of our understanding” (this belief does not exclude ANY deity and as a matter of fact works as well using any power as long as that power is not human).
    4. As a nation do a searching and moral inventory of ourselves. (To once and for all discover our mistakes, holding nothing back. Delve deeply into our national psyche to understand our wrongs)…………………………….

    And on and on through the 12 steps of recovery. How this could ever be accomplished on a national level is alas an impossibility. But many politicians could be led to believe in this “solution” and real change could be accomplished. Again, Tea Party, anyone?

    I was mayor for 6 years in my small Michigan community, retiring 3 years ago. I assure you this works and many fine things were accomplished. It is life affirming to see the fruits of our labors continue, the city independent and successful, fully self supporting, continuing to invest in ourselves. “It works if you work it”.

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