(Originally posted January 17, 2009)
At the end of this long weekend, President Bush will finally step down from office. I have mixed feelings about the situation.
Although critics used to call Dick Cheney “Darth Vader,” President Bush is more deserving of that title. The president began his presidential career proclaiming virtuous ideals and fighting hard for principles. Sadly, he has betrayed most of those ideals and laregly destroyed his own conservative movement.
The Evil of Stimulus
Tragically, Bush’s seemingly innocent adoption of liberal rhetoric has been a tragic flaw. Although Bush embraced and popularized the phrase “economic stimulus” in recent years, that notion originates in liberal thought. To “stimulate the economy,” the government unnaturally distorts the market. Stimulation is all about debt and present spending. The government borrows money on your behalf, indebting you. Then the government either 1) gives you a “rebate” so you will spend the borrowed money, or 2) spends the money for you. Government-induced debt grows and mounts. Market forces have no control over the debt because the government has simply created it. Such an unnatural debt system cannot last forever. Right now, everyone in the country owes nine months’ income in debt. Debt makes people feel better now, but at the expense of their future well-being.
Early on, Bush began calling his tax cut plan a “stimulus package.” In conservative thought, tax policy should be about justice, not stimulus. Low taxes create incentives to work. Cutting taxes to levels of fairness is a noble goal, but Bush adopted the liberal rhetoric to pursue that goal.
Adopting the enemy’s reasoning is a risky move. Only the only the strongest-willed, most firmly grounded individuals can adopt the reasoning of their enemies…without endangering their own souls. Eventually Bush began to believe his liberal rhetoric. He developed an intense faith in the government. He began to accept that the government must spend money to “stimulate” things, to make people feel better in the present. His fate was sealed.
Sure enough, true apostacy began about one year into Bush’s second term. In 2005, Bush decided to steal money from future generations so he could give out free medicines. His 2005 Medicare expansion gave prescription drugs to old people and to the poor. (Surprisingly, even the moderate John McCain considered this massive expenditure too reckless and voted against it.) The next year, President Bush began his unpopular crusade to grant amnesty to illegal aliens. By 2008, Bush was even signing off on Democrat-led tax cuts (The “Economic Stimulus Act”) that handed out checks to low-income people. Yes, many people received more money in “rebates” than they actually paid in taxes. Bush realized this situation, but he figured that at least those people would spend the money. Everyone would feel better for the time being. Soon, the “bailouts” began — with President Bush’s open support. The national debt nearly doubled from 2001-2008.
The Evil of Compassion
All these expenditures seemed like nice, “compassionate” gestures, but corrupted compassion leads to the Dark Side. The liberal religion revolves around “compassion.” Liberal compassion, though, differs from biblical virtue. Liberal compassion consists entirely of emotions. For example, a liberal sees a pitiful prisoner on death row and wants to help him. The liberal forgets about the prisoner’s past murders. Liberals simply feel. They usually have good intentions, but they focus primarily on emotions rather than wisdom.
Contrast liberal compassion with the virtue of Jesus. When Jesus roamed the desert, he met Satan, who offered to surrender the whole world to Jesus’s rule (Matthew 4:8-9). To complete the bargain, Christ would merely need to bow down and worship Satan. Jesus refused on moral grounds. If anyone offered a liberal such a deal, however, the liberal would likely imagine all the utopian possibilities in a world under his own control. Worshipping the devil would be the compassionate move.
At first glance, stealing money from taxpayers and giving it to other voters would seem immoral. Stealing from future generations through massive debt would also seem evil. The compassionate liberal tendency, however, ignores these quaint notions of morality. After all, if you only steal for the purpose of making others feel better, is your theft really wrong? Bush succombed to the temptation. He fully embraced his own rhetoric about “compassionate conservatism.” In the president’s own words, he “abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system.” In so doing, Bush has become the infamous advocate of bank bailouts, car bailouts, bailouts in general, redistributive “tax cuts” for the poor, illegal immigration, and free medicine handouts.
The country can no longer afford Bush’s mistakes. His repeated betrayals have become indefensible. He has embarassed, confused, and crippled the conservative movement and the Republican Party. I have mixed feelings about the president’s departure only because I know Obama will embrace the evil religion of liberalism even further.
In Star Wars, Darth Vader helped hunt down and destroy the Jedi. Our well-intentioned president may as well have done the same to conservatives. His fall from heaven has been enormously tragic.
“Very sad but true. Can the nation hold together for two years until voters wake up and cause Congress to change hands? I wonder.
(1-17-2009, 11:55 am)