May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
March 17, 2010 / 2 Nissan 5770
An American Divide
John Edwards, when he wasn't fixing his hair or cheating on his wife, liked to talk about "two Americas." In one America, things were pretty bad, somewhere between "The Grapes of Wrath" and Thunderdome. In the other America, where Edwards himself lived in a McMansion, things were going swimmingly.
Edwards was hardly the only one to use this two-Americas formulation. It's been a popular talking point for years. Socialist intellectual Michael Harrington helped to inspire the Great Society with his book, "The Other America."
As serious analysis, this bifocal vision of America has always left me cold. The American economy is too dynamic, the American people too optimistic, to talk so glibly about haves and have-nots as permanent classes, the way French aristocrats talked about the peasants. More than half the people in the poorest 20 percent pull themselves out of it within a decade. Moreover, it's all based on a kind of class envy that has never flourished in the U.S. the way it has elsewhere.
But it's certainly fair to say that our political leaders believe in two different Americas. They even believe in two different Constitutions.
Democrats insist that health care is a "right." It's that conviction more than anything else that is driving their push for ObamaCare.
The notion that health care is a right is an old one, with deep roots in socialist and progressive thought. It achieved its highest expression in FDR's 1944 address to Congress. The president insisted that the old Bill of Rights had run its course, and the new industrial age required new rights. These rights included a guaranteed good job, a good home and, naturally, good medical care.
"Necessitous men are not free men," FDR insisted.
Roosevelt said that opposition to this sweeping transformation of America made you a fascist. If "history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called 'normalcy' of the 1920's, then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home."
Keep in mind that the 1920s was a decade of roaring economic growth. The return to "normalcy" FDR referred to was the return to a more limited form of government (not counting Prohibition). The Republicans released Woodrow Wilson's political prisoners. They shuttered the Democrats' propaganda ministry (the Committee for Public Information). They called off the censorship and the "war socialism" of the Wilson years. And they helped usher in roaring economic growth.
President Calvin "Silent Cal" Coolidge, the poster boy for the '20s, was once asked what he thought of his achievements in office. He replied: "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business."
That was the return to normalcy FDR was talking about. A government minding its own business, according to FDR, amounted to the spirit of fascism.
It's not hard to see why so many liberals today take one look at the vast gatherings of decent, middle-class Americans known as tea parties and instantly think "fascists!" Never mind that fascists, properly understood, don't usually demand less government intervention.
What we have here is a fundamental conflict of visions, to borrow a phrase from Thomas Sowell. One side believes that people are born into their station in life and it is the government's job to make their miserable lives a little better. Indeed, it is the natural order of things for the government to provide jobs, health care, homes to the people. If you object to this concept of government, it must be because you want to "punish" the downtrodden and discriminated. You must be animated by racism, sexism, greed, "fascism!"
The other side says that our rights come from G0d, not from government. That while the government has an obligation to promote the general welfare, it doesn't have a holy writ to design the nation as it sees fit. The Constitution is not a coupon insert in your local paper, brimming with all sorts of giveaways and two-for-one deals. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights delineate what the government cannot do, not what it can. What was so fantastic and revolutionary about that is that for the first time in history, a nation was founded on the proposition that the government should mind its own business. Believing that doesn't make you a fascist, it makes you a patriot.
But the leaders of one America don't see it that way, and probably never will. Which is why, whatever happens in Congress in the coming days and weeks, it will be "two Americas" for a very long time.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
To comment on JWR contributor Jonah Goldberg's column
include "/home/jwreview/public_html/t-ssi/jwr_squaread_300x250.php"; ?>
Jonah Goldberg Archives
© 2006 TMS
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K