A Southern law professor once instructed his class on how to defend Hell in court. “First you admit that the climate is not the most comfortable,” came the advice, “and then you admit your companions are far from the kind of people you’d choose to spend eternity with. Then,” the professor concluded, “you raise your voice, pound on the table and talk about all the good things!”
President Obama has found a new way to foist communism upon the American people that I would like a lot, if I liked communism. Instead of the direct approach he’s used up to now – which translates into, “It’s time we tried what failed in Russia and 36 other countries since 1918!” – Obama speaks about American capitalism like the beloved family horse too tired to plow any more, or the way the CEO who won the power struggle speaks about his fallen rival at the latter’s “resignation” dinner.
It goes something like this (I’m paraphrasing, but not by much): “Once upon a time this American system worked really well. If you worked hard and did your part, you could have a good, secure life and a comfortable retirement. You didn’t even need a high school education in many cases. When you got old enough, you just showed up at the factory and went to work.”
I forget whether Obama mentioned that one breadwinner per family was enough and that Mama could stay home and care for the young. Whether he did or not, things like that definitely “fit” his praise for the American economic system – back then.
What brought this up? My daughter called and wanted details on one of the greatest “freedom” stories to ever fall into my lap. Shortly after World War II a Jewish father in Soviet Estonia gathered his family of four around him and announced, “My friend who works for the Soviet railways told me Stalin has agreed to let the Greeks in Russia return home. He told me, ‘I know what hour and what day those Greeks will gather at the Moscow train station. They will board three passenger cars bound for the free world. I know they will not require papers of any kind up to the departure of the train.
“‘After that, I have no idea. It’s a huge gamble, but if you want, I can admit the four of you into the staging area.’” The father concluded by emphasizing that, if successful, they’d live in freedom. If not, they’d die in Siberia. The vote was four-to-zero in favor of trying.
Everything went smoothly at first. As the train puffed westward with no talk of “papers” and with happy Greeks celebrating their good fortune, the Estonian family began to feel pretty good. Eventually, though, a KGB thug-type, noticing the four Estonians were blonder than the Greeks, accosted the father and said, “Are you Greek?” The terrified father said, “Yes.” The increasingly suspicious KGB agent pressed on. “Are you sure you’re Greek?” “Yes,” gulped the father once more.
Everybody in the drama spoke Russian – the KGB agent, the Estonians and the Greeks. The KGB agent then called one of the real Greeks over and demanded, “Talk to this man – (the Estonian father) – in Greek!”
The Greek said something to the Estonian father in Greek. The father, not understanding a word, said something back to the Greek in Estonian. The Greek smiled and spoke more Greek. The Estonian smiled even more broadly and spoke more Estonian. Then they started joyously jabbering as though they’d been childhood friends who hadn’t seen each other since the fifth grade in Thessaloniki.
They finally fell into each other’s arms amid the cacophony of their Greek-Estonian language cocktail. The KGB thug grunted, stormed into the next car and was never seen again. The Estonian family, along with the Greeks, reached the free world.
Final score: Freedom 4 – Communist enslavement 0.
That still doesn’t quite explain what this has to do with Obama’s new-improved way to make a naïve America open wide to swallow Marxist economics. On the very day my daughter reminded me of my Estonians, Obama let float his revised pitch in a late July series of economic speeches. And that reminded me of why so many Greeks were living in the Soviet Union in the first place.
Before the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union in June of 1941 Stalin was exasperated at the abject failure of the Russian Communists to organize and run an effective limousine service for the Communist big shots. Oh, the cars were there. Drivers were available. The budget was no problem. So why, then, were the Communist bosses of Ulan Bator, Riga, Tashkent and elsewhere staring at their watches and cursing in Mongolian, Latvian, Uzbek, etc. when their limos were three hours late?
Sorry, Comrade. Even Stalin realized that the Communist beehive needed a good capitalist stinger, which is why he invited Greeks to immigrate to the Soviet Union. Greeks (despite their current economic upscuddles) tend to be among the best capitalists in the world.
I’ll bet those Estonians became pretty good capitalists, too!