If there is a more idiotic statement by a politician this year than this gem from Nancy Pelosi, I’m not sure what it could possibly be. Sure, Eric Holder’s frantic dance around the words “radical Islam” are way, way up there, and almost anything Janet Napolitano says has to be considered to be in contention, but this one is a beaut.
We see it [Obamacare] as an entrepreneurial bill, a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations because you will have health care.
So here we have the Speaker Of The House telling people, and not for the first time, that if they want to quit their jobs and become rock stars that they should do it because the government will pick up the tab for their inevitable overdoses and stints in rehab.
I’ve always wanted to be a rock star. I’ve spent countless hours listening to music and imagining myself up there on the stage, jamming with Jimi, harmonizing with McCartney, swapping verses with Jagger. The only thing that’s been holding me back, aside from a profound lack of talent, was the fact that my health care is tied to my job. But now I feel like I can finally do it…I can finally tell my boss to take this job and shove it, because Nancy’s gonna pay for my doctor visits and I’m now free at last to play Giants Stadium.
Of course, I still have a mortgage to pay, and car payments to make, and these things might prove difficult while I’m practicing for the big gig. But I’m sure Nancy has a program for that, too. I need the time to settle down and write some tunes, so I’m afraid we’ll have to get those taxpaying chumps to chip in for the mortgage and car. Think of it as a rent party, and I’ll supply the music! You can’t put a price on the toe-tapping melodies I’ll be writing while you suckers pay for me.
Perhaps Nancy didn’t actually mean what she said. Even she’s not stupid enough to imagine that the economy of this country can flourish if we all quit our jobs in order to write epic poems. But once again we have a small glimpse into the Progressive mindset.
The concept goes back probably to the dawn of time and it’s expressed in a multitude of ways. Matthew Arnold, in Culture and Anarchy, critiqued the “exaggerated notion” of “the blessedness of doing as one likes.” Acid guru Timothy Leary exhorted the youth of a nation of to “Turn on, tune in, drop out” of society. The hippies tried to built a society on the premise of “If it feels good, do it.” Mythologist Joseph Campbell smiled benignly at Bill Moyers and dropped the malignant line, “Follow your bliss.” Every day people will say the seemingly innocuous “Follow your heart” or “Listen to what your heart says.” Oprah Winfrey built a media empire telling people to follow their hearts.
The belief is that somehow what your heart wants you to do is purer, and a source for greater happiness. The truth is just the opposite. In the real world, your heart tells you to do what feels good. Your head, on the other hand, tells you to do what is good. While doing what is good usually feels good in the long run, we live in an age of instant gratification and far too many people have no desire to wait for the long run to play itself out. They want to feel good right now, and one of the lures of liberalism is that it promises that what you do will make you feel good. It’s not called “bleeding heart” liberalism by accident.
Liberalism promises you the moral high ground. Liberalism tells you that you are a better person than conservatives because you care. Liberalism offers a way to express concern and help others, but almost never looks at the end result. Liberalism is concerned with doing what feels good to the liberal. Long-term results are unimportant when measured against the demands of the here and now. Many of the liberal policies that have acted as a cancer on our rights, freedoms, and prosperity, from welfare to Obamacare, were conceived with good intentions, but the hideous blind spot of failing to look further down the road has led to untold damage to our nation.
The old Jewish proverb from Maimonides that if “you give a man a fish he will eat for a day; if you teach a man to fish he will eat for a lifetime” is turned on its head by contemporary liberalism. Liberals feel good about themselves when they hand out fish, and their solution to ongoing problems is to hand out ever increasing amounts of fish. The more fish they hand out, the more they feel that they are helping, the more they feel that they care, and the better they feel about themselves. This is the entire concept behind the welfare state.
When you consider this, you start to understand why Nancy Pelosi believes that it’s perfectly okay to leave your job to focus on your dreams. It feels good, so do it. Any potential consequences are unimportant, secondary to the greater good of feeling positive about yourself. It’s why liberals think it’s important to teach “self-esteem” in schools.
It is this moral blind spot of many liberals combined with the libido dominandi of liberalism’s more despotic cousin, Leftism, that has led America down the path we are currently traveling. I believe that America can pull itself off the track we’re on. I believe there’s almost nothing Obama and Pelosi can do that can’t be undone, but it will be a difficult job and there will be no small amount of pain. Liberals believe that the pain is not worth it; better to continue going down this road, and mask the pain with more government handouts and taxpayer-subsidized goodies. “Here, have another fish.”
But then, liberals aren’t really all that interested in where this road ends, as long as they get to continue to drive.