Government is the only thing we all belong to—but, don't worry, you won't have to pay for any of it. That about sums up the Democratic National Convention's case to America, a place where whatever isn't handed to you is actually just being taken away.
Democrats like to claim that Ronald Reagan and William Buckley would be simply horrified if they saw the modern-day GOP; but please take a moment to ponder the spectacular display of bonkers in Charlotte, N.C., this week.
Here you're free to imply or even say that a Republican is unpatriotic (I'm old enough to remember when that sort of thing was frowned upon) for conducting business outside the country. Here politicians celebrate the president's courageous ability to use taxpayer funds to bail out a company that can only avoid another bankruptcy (barely) on the strength of foreign sales. This is called "economic patriotism" or, more familiarly, protectionism or, maybe, Hooverism—the kind of ism Democrats once rejected. Forward!
At the DNC, the head of NARAL argues that being allowed to have free abortions on demand is the high point of the American dream. And a woman whose only claim to fame is demanding free condoms is celebrated as a hero. Julian Castro, who I am assured is the charismatic mayor of San Antonio and a serious person, mocks the "magical" free markets that gave Bill Clinton the soaring economy he bragged about Wednesday night and America 25 years of unmatched prosperity.
Fortunately, Barack Obama evolved on gay marriage a couple of weeks back, or a slew of enlightened speakers would have seemed less so.
But we know that Democrats have a monopoly on caring and a solid grip on a larger moral truth. It frees them up to offer some, um, poetic truths. You know, like, Mitt Romney opposes poor people's owning homes or Paul Ryan wants seniors to be denied medical care and he's all for allowing pregnant women to die in the emergency room. In your hearts, you know it's true.
Outright lies? There were many. For example, the claim that the auto bailout was paid back. Or the claim that Romney-Ryan's Medicare plan would cost seniors $6,400 per year and force them into voucher programs. There is no study—not even one authored by an Obama aide—that backs such an assertion. Ryan's plan allows seniors to stay on the traditional Medicare program if they choose—but we all know that choice only works in tandem with government guidance.
And when Castro, Michelle Obama, Deval Patrick, and Rahm Emanuel assert that the president created 4.5 million new jobs...also not true. If a person were to be extremely generous and pretend that government created productive jobs, he'd still be hard-pressed to avoid the very real fact that though 4.5 million new jobs have been created during the Obama administration, 5.1 million jobs have been lost. As Clinton told us Wednesday night, sometimes we have to use arithmetic.
You know the other accusations: Republicans want to privatize, deregulate, voucherize, embrace unfettered free markets, and cut government down to the bone. And boy, do I wish any of that were actually true.
Democrats say that things are a lot better than they used to be. And if you believe all the things we're hearing, you might wonder: How did we survive in this Godforsaken place before 2008? Were children really left to die on the slab? Were college kids forced to pay for their own journalism degrees? Were people expected to head over to the CVS and buy their own condoms? Did we really suffer through year after year of 5 percent unemployment?
Were we really so immoral before He showed up? Apparently.