The United States of America was created as an independent nation whose founding ideal was the principle of individual rights. Freedom. Ayn Rand said that “freedom, in a political context, means freedom from government coercion.” America was the first moral government based on individual rights, the nation of the Enlightenment.
In this age of Obama, that ideal has been tossed aside for … “free stuff.”
I have, for some time, struggled with the new reality: America void of her reason, existing without the reason for her existence, her morality. It did not seem possible. And yet what now seems impossible is that America ever was. As we revert back to the age of the primitive, the fact that America happened at all is nothing short of a miracle.
The United States of America was the rational man’s shining hour.
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, N.J., recently wrote an analysis of the 2012 presidential election that is the best thing I have read on Romney’s election loss and the broader question of the loss of America.
“It is a different world,” wrote Pruzansky, “and a different America. Obama is part of that different America, knows it, and knows how to tap into it. That is why he won.” What kind of different America? Pruzansky’s explanation is devastating: “Romney lost,” he writes, “because the conservative virtues – the traditional American virtues – of liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to moral greatness – no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate. The notion of the ‘Reagan Democrat’ is one cliché that should be permanently retired. Ronald Reagan himself could not win an election in today’s America. The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff.”
It is impossible to compete against “free stuff.” As Pruzansky explains: “The adults among the 47,000,000 on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions; those who – courtesy of Obama – receive two full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books while collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote; so too those who anticipate ‘free’ health care, who expect the government to pay their mortgages, who look for the government to give them jobs. The lure of free stuff is irresistible.”
And given Obama’s relentless hostility to Israel, Pruzansky says, “this election should be a wake-up call to Jews. There is no permanent empire, nor is there is an enduring haven for Jews anywhere in the exile. The American empire began to decline in 2007, and the deterioration has been exacerbated in the last five years. This election only hastens that decline. Society is permeated with sloth, greed, envy and materialistic excess. It has lost its moorings and its moral foundations. The takers outnumber the givers, and that will only increase in years to come.” His conclusion for American Jews is stark: “We have about a decade, perhaps 15 years, to leave with dignity and without stress.”
What was once unthinkable is now not just thinkable, but entirely possible. When I was a child, I remember sitting in the backseat of the family car listening in on my parents’ conversation. I am not sure what led to the following exchange, but I never forgot it. My father said, “Nothing is forever.” And my mother said, “Nothing?” He repeated: “Nothing.” And my mother thought for a moment and asked, “Not even America?” He said, “Not even America.”
At that time the idea that America could fall was inconceivable to her (and to me). America – freedom – was forever.
But that is not so. And scarier still is the tenuous status of Jews in America. It’s hard not to draw parallels to persecuted Jews in once-friendly nations and their subsequent persecution, expulsion and slaughter. To think that Poland was once the Israel of Europe. Millions of Jews made Poland their home and had a long history there of over a thousand years. And in three short years … complete annihilation.
German Jews, meanwhile, were so very vested in the motherland they considered themselves Germans before Jews. They were war heroes for Germany in World War I.
How long do Jews have in Obama’s America? How long before we can’t walk down the street with a kippah or a Star of David? This is already reality for Belgium Jews, Swedish Jews and French Jews. Large portions of Norway are already Judenrein.
Proud Jews at Berkeley or the University of California Irvine can give you a glimpse of how things can turn, quickly, in America as well. Now that America itself has turned, everything is up for grabs.
“To be a socialist,” said Josef Goebbels, “is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole.”
Who would have imagined that we would be seeing this very thing in America? Ayn Rand did, although even she thought it improbable. “In America … I don’t think a dictatorship could take hold. Beneath all their errors the Americans’ basic premise is freedom. That is the unspoken emotion – the sense-of-life-atmosphere. Traditionally and historically, the American people can be pushed so far, and then they stop it.”
I am not so sure. Not anymore.