April 2010


“Too big to fail” is an idiotic concept that deserves no place in a free society.  This concept implies that a) poor management, bad decision-making, and excessive risk-taking should not necessarily lead to business failure as the natural and cleansing end; b) the state must decide who is “too big” and who isn’t; and c) the state must swoop to the rescue and underwrite the failure of every behemoth that fits this category.  This raw, arrogant, exercise of power by the state should be anathema to a free people.  And who foots the bill for the rescue?  The producer:  the man who has worked and contributed his sweat and tears to the betterment of his family and society; the man who has had nothing whatever to do with the imprudent decisions that caused the “too big to fail” company to fail.  If it’s not immoral to force one man to pay the consequences for another’s failures, then morality has lost all hint of meaning.

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We once visited a church with a very young man as a pastor.  He was probably 26 or 27 but looked about 18.  His ill-fitting suit was too large, as if his mother had bought the larger size at Sears so that he could wear it next year, too.  When he preached he put on an artificially large-sounding manly voice and gestured with exaggerated swoops of the arms, though the oversized suit remained amazingly still.  The suit, the voice, and the arms were supposed to say, “I’m the strong leader of this church,” but everybody knew he was just a boy.  That church visit was years ago, but the image of the boy pretending to be a leader comes vividly to mind whenever Mr. Obama takes the stage.

He displays the insolence of a child when he believes that a few elites (himself included)  in a distant capital can make better decisions for our lives that we can, even though the latest poll shows only 22% of us trust government to do the right thing most or all of the time.

He reveals a childish petulance when he demonizes and vilifies anyone who displays the slightest skepticism of his policies or beliefs.  The latest outbursts are about his attempts to heavily regulate financial firms.  Children have a highly-developed sense of their own rightness but a poorly-developed ability to formulate convincing arguments based on facts and logic.  Hence the need to vilify.

He exhibits the adolescent’s strong desire for control.  Since attaining office, he has indefatigably pushed for more and more control over the economy, over businesses, and over your lives and decisions.  It is an obsession to him.  A mature adult eventually realizes the beauty and freedom in not needing to control your fellow man, even when he does things you find abhorrent.  A mature adult understands that the best protection against oppression is the free market and competition, not governmental control.  Our founding fathers were radicals in this regard.

He doesn’t play well with others.  Republicans have been excluded from every meaningful opportunity for open debate on the stimulus package, the bank and car company bailouts, and the health care bill.  The same course is being taken for the financial regulatory package.  He wants absolutely zero dissent.  The slightest opposing viewpoint makes him bristle with indignation, like a child.

He wants his candy NOW.  In the stimulus package debacle we found the perfect example of a man willing to impose massive, unsustainable burdens on future Americans so that he could spend and control as he wished right now, this moment.  The mature adult forgoes immediate gratification, recognizing from experience that a short-term focus is almost always misguided.

He is unable to deal appropriately with setbacks.  A child, when circumstances are not gratifying his desires, gets mad and blames others.  This trait is on full display in our President.  Every time — and I mean every time — he has not gotten his way, it was the Republicans fault, the media’s fault, talk radio’s fault, the American public’s fault for not understanding him, Wall Street’s fault, the banks’ fault, insurance companies’ fault, and so on ad nauseum.  In contrast, true leaders become even more optimistic and inspiring when faced with a setback, not petty and accusatory.

Mr. Obama needs to realize that he is the President of all Americans, including the grown-up ones.  We can only hope that he himself will grow up very soon.

And [God] will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them.  And the people will oppress one another, everyone his fellow and everyone his neighbor; the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the despised to the honorable.

Isaiah 3:4-5.