When Sen. Goldwater ran against incumbent President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, his slogan was "A Choice, Not An Echo." Mr. Goldwater was saying that he was not echoing Democratic political positions and that his programs would be very different from Mr. Johnson's.
Mr. Johnson won, and gave us both an expanded Vietnam War and the Great Society welfare programs. As one disappointed Goldwater supporter said, "Mr. Johnson told me that if I voted for Goldwater, we'd have a half-million men in Vietnam. I voted Goldwater, and sure enough, we have a half-million men in Vietnam."
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The American people had a choice and they made it. Nobody knows what President Goldwater would have done about the Vietnam War, but we do know that he would never have supported President Johnson's expansion of FDR's and JFK's welfare programs into what we call the "Great Society."
The results of Pres. Johnson's social experiments are in. Our acknowledged debt has ballooned to $19 trillion dollars without counting Social Security obligations or unfunded government employee pensions. Several years ago, USA Today estimated our overall debt at $62 trillion, or roughly a half-million dollars per US household. There's no way that amount of money can ever be paid back except by inflating it away and destroying everyone's savings.
The Great Society wasn't just a financial disaster. At the time it was started, roughly 7% of American children were growing up in single-parent homes and that was usually because a parent had died; earlier welfare programs hadn't damaged family structure very much. With the Great Society, however, welfare paid more than uneducated men can earn, so women don't worry as much about getting married. More than half of American children are now being born to single mothers.
We now know that fatherlessness is associated with crime, drug use, and unemployment. Fatherless mobs burned down Detroit, rioted in London, they're starting to burn Baltimore, and they're shooting each other in Chicago and other Democrat Disaster cities. As Thomas Sowell put it, "The black family survived centuries of slavery and Jim Crow. It could not survive liberal welfare programs." Even Time Magazine and The Atlantic Monthly admit that this is a problem.
What's worse is that, in large part, this was intentional:
As a matter of fact, it was Democrat President Lyndon Baines Johnson who stated, “I’ll have those n*****s voting Democratic for the next 200 years” as he confided with two like-minded governors on Air Force One regarding his underlying intentions for the “Great Society” programs.
"An atmosphere of moral mediocrity, paralyzing man's noblest impulses" and a "tilt of freedom in the direction of evil ... evidently born primarily out of a humanistic and benevolent concept according to which there is no evil inherent in human nature."
He also said, "In order for men to commit great evil, they must first be convinced that they are doing good."
Rank and file liberals are so convinced that all welfare programs are good that they may not see the evil they do. Liberal leaders know full well that using affirmative action to put black kids in schools too tough for them and excusing black kids from normal disciplinary standards because they get in trouble more often than white or Asian kids sets them up for failure. This keeps black people dependent on government handouts which increases the Democrat vote at the cost of destroyed lives.
1964 voters didn't know that President Johnson would do us so much harm just to lock in the black vote, but that's how it worked out.
The 2016 election offers us a similarly-stark choice. We have no idea what a President Trump would do about the Syrian war. We have about as many boots on Syrian ground as we had in Vietnam when President Johnson took over after President Kennedy's assassination. The next president will face the same "escalate or withdraw" choice that President Johnson faced, and the Chinese and Russians are a bit more involved now than they were then.
We don't know much about Mr. Trump's policies, but we know a lot about what a President Hillary would do. The failure of the Left to change the Constitution with the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s led liberals to achieve their goals by appointing liberal judges or bypassing the Constitution entirely as Mr. Obama has done. Hillary has said that she plans to appoint Mr. Obama to the Supreme Court to reinterpret the Constitution so that she won't have to bypass it.
She has stated that she plans to appoint other Supreme Court judges to overturn the decision that declared that bearing arms is an individual right. She plans to pass other anti-gun laws such as impossible licensing requirements or huge taxes on ammunition that would effectively destroy the Second Amendment.
She doesn't like the First Amendment either because it lets mere peasants criticize her greatness. She plans to make political speech subject to government approval as Mr. Obama gave control of the Internet to the UN so they would shut us up.
Her vice president has declared that a law to legalize all the illegals would be submitted in their first 100 days. We've explained the permanent harm that would do.
She's spoken favorably of Mr. Sanders' proposal for free college which would expand the ranks of tenured Democrat-leaning academics who delegate most of the actual teaching to ill-paid adjunct professors, and even further lock in the far-left propaganda that is our so-called education system. The economic consequences are difficult to predict exactly, but history shows that any "free lunch" fantasy always turns out badly.
She's made it clear that she intends to destroy religious organizations which oppose gay marriage, won't let men into women's bathrooms, or oppose the leftist agenda in any way. The Washington Post quoted her as saying, "Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed," and went on to say:
This is perhaps the most radical statement against religious liberty ever uttered by someone seeking the presidency. It is also deeply revealing. Clinton believes that, as president, it is her job not to respect the views of religious conservatives but to force them to change their beliefs and bend to her radical agenda favoring taxpayer-funded abortion on demand.
Thousands of leaked emails have shown that her campaign has coordinated with a pro-Clinton PAC, which is illegal; nobody in law enforcement seems to be interested in pursuing the matter, however. It's clear that Hillary regards herself as being above the law, and the FBI has gone along with this wrong-headed notion.
Parts of her secret speeches to Goldman Sachs have appeared on the Internet in which she said, "But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position." Given that we don't know about her "private positions," it doesn't matter what she says, nobody knows any more about what she would really do than they know what Mr. Trump would do.
She also said that the banks were wrongly blamed for the financial collapse for political reasons, while she asked Wall Street financiers for campaign financing. A President Hillary certainly won't be delivering justice for banksters - something both the left and the right should find unacceptable.
At the height of the Watergate crisis, Sen. Goldwater and senior Republican senators called on President Nixon. Having seen the evidence, they told him, they would vote to impeach him when the Democrats brought charges. Faced with the certainty of conviction, Mr. Nixon resigned.
By ignoring Mr. Obama's many impeachable offenses, not to mention the Clintons' decades of corruption, Democrats have shown that they wouldn't impeach Hillary no matter what she does. In contrast, nervous establishment Republicans combined with corrupt, hyperpolitical Democrats would serve as a very real and much needed check on the powers of a President Trump.Karl Marx once observed:
History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.
President Johnson's actions in expanding the Vietnam war and expanding welfare to the point of destroying families has brought us great tragedy. The choices this time are more farcical than tragic although the end result could be even worse than the damage wrought by President Johnson no matter who wins.
If Bernie Sanders voters are real Democrats, Hillary isn't a Democrat. Similarly, compared with what we usually expect from the GOP, ex-Democrat Trump isn't really a Republican. Lyndon Johnson was a dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrat who bought votes through government spending; Sen. Goldwater was a principled conservative who agreed with David Thoreau that "Government is best which governs least."
Both 2016 candidates are egomaniacs who are in it for themselves. For all that voters are in an anti-establishment mood, both Hillary and Mr. Trump are well-established in the .1%. There is a difference, however.
Hillary has grown rich as part of the political establishment which lives by taking money from us under threat of putting us in jail. As a sideline, politicians write laws to encourage "campaign contributions" in return for regulatory relief, access, and other services. Mr. Trump's business establishment gets money only when customers voluntarily choose to spend their own money buying goods or services.
Secondly, Hillary, like Mr. Obama, is convinced that we peasants have no clue how to operate our lives. As a certified Exalted Being, Hillary finds it unquestionably obvious that she must force us to do whatever she thinks best.
During the 1993 fight over HillaryCare, Hillary explained Democratic reasoning to then-House GOP Leader Denny Hastert. If Americans are allowed too much discretion over how they spend their health-care dollars, she said, "We just think people will be too focused on saving money and they won't get the care for their children and themselves that they need."
"The money has to go to the federal government because the federal government will spend that money better."
That's her philosophy in a nutshell - the more money the government takes from us, the better they can take care of us, the more dependent we get, and the more votes they buy. Obamacare was based on HillaryCare and we all know how that turned out.
Mr. Trump, in contrast, knows that the more money consumers are allowed to keep, the more they can spend on his businesses.
The leaked emails show that Hillary has sold billions of dollars worth of taxpayer-funded services to rulers all over the globe. Our final contrast is that Hillary, having been on the world stage for decades, considers herself a "citizen of the world" just as Mr. Obama does.
Mr. Trump, in contrast, for good and for ill, is an American at heart. By now, many voters have learned the cost of having a national leader whose heart isn't with our country.
As in 1964, we have a choice between very different albeit imperfect philosophies: it's either politics as usual or business. This time, both candidates are so disliked that very few voters can vote for either; most plan to vote against the one they loathe the most regardless of policy differences.
We have a choice, but as with choosing President Johnson's ruinous Great Society, we will all have to live with the consequences.
Over the past five years, the editors have been secretly working on a book that summarizes the fundamental viewpoints of Scragged.