Prophesy and Fulfillment

Barack Obama has recently given us his view of the State of the Union.  Like almost everything else he has ever said it was pure nonsense, intended only for consumption by his own low-information voter base.  So please allow me to write a response.  And since I know of two pieces of writing which, taken together, create a perfect essay on the prophesy and fulfillment of our time… the state of our Union… I will quote liberally from both.

The first is purely prophetic.  It is from a May 23, 1857 letter written by British historian and social philosopher, T.B. Macaulay, to an American colleague, Henry S. Randall, author of The Life of Thomas Jefferson.  The latter is a clear and unambiguous exposé of the current state of the union, taken from a November 13, 2012 article titled, Why Romney Didn’t Get Enough Votes to Win, by Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, of congregation B’nai Yeshurun, Teaneck, New Jersey.

In his 1857 letter to H.S. Randall, Lord Macaulay wrote, “I have long been convinced that institutions purely democratic must, sooner or later, destroy liberty or civilization, or both…

“What happened lately in France is an example.  In 1848 a pure democracy was established there.  During a short time there was reason to expect a general spoilation, a national bankruptcy, a new partition of the soil, a maximum of prices, a ruinous load of taxation laid on the rich for the purpose of supporting the poor in idleness… Happily, the danger was averted and now there is a despotism, a silent tribune, an enslaved press.  Liberty is gone, but civilization has been saved.

“You may think that your country enjoys an exemption from these evils.  I will frankly own to you that I am of a very different opinion.  Your fate I believe to be certain, though it is deferred by a physical cause.  As long as you have a boundless extent of fertile and unoccupied land your labouring population will be far more at ease than the labouring population of the Old World.  But the time will come when New England will be as thickly populated as Old England.  Wages will be as low and will fluctuate as much with you as with us.  You will have your Manchesters and Birminghams, and in those Manchesters and Birminghams hundreds of thousands of artisans will assuredly be sometimes out of work.  Then your institutions will be fairly brought to the test.

“Distress everywhere makes the labourer mutinous and discontented, and inclines him to listen with eagerness to agitators who tell him that it is a monstrous iniquity that one man should have a million, while another cannot get a full meal…  Through such seasons the United States will have to pass in the course of the next century, if not this.  How will you pass through them?  I heartily wish you a good deliverance, but my reason and my wishes are at war and I cannot help foreboding the worst.  It is quite plain that your government will never be able to restrain a distressed and discontented majority, for with you the majority is the government and has the rich, who are always a minority, absolutely at its mercy.

“The day will come when in the State of New York a multitude of people, none of whom has more than half a breakfast, or expects to have more than half a dinner, will choose a legislature.  On one side is a statesman preaching patience, respect for vested rights, strict observance of public faith.  On the other us a demagogue ranting about the tyranny of capitalists and usurers, and asking why anybody should be permitted to drink champagne and to ride in a carriage, while thousands of honest folks are in want of necessities.  Which of the two candidates is likely to be preferred by a working man who hears his children cry for more bread?

“I seriously apprehend that you will, in some such season of adversity as I have described, do things which will prevent prosperity from returning; that you will act like people who should in a year of scarcity devour all the seed-corn, and thus make the next a year not of scarcity, but of absolute famine.  There will be, I fear, spoilation.  The spoilation will increase the distress.  The distress will produce fresh spoilation.  There is nothing to stop you.  Your Constitution is all sail and no anchor…

“As I said before, when a society has entered on this downward progress, either civilization or liberty must perish.  Either some Caesar or Napoleon will seize the reins of government with a strong hand, or your republic will be as fearfully plundered and laid waste by barbarians in the twentieth century as the Roman Empire was in the fifth; with this difference, that the Huns and Vandals who ravaged the Roman Empire came from without, and that your Huns and Vandals will have been engendered within your own country by your own institutions.”

In his November 13, 2012 op-ed for Arutz Sheva, an Israeli news network, Rabbi Pruzansky describes the Obama reelection of 2012, the state of the nation today… as predicted by Lord Macaulay in 1857… and his prediction of things to come.

In describing the 2012 General Election, he tells us, “The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff.  Every businessman knows this; that is why the ‘loss leader’ or the giveaway is such a powerful marketing tool.  Obama’s America is one in which free stuff is given away: 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.

“Imagine two restaurants side by side.  One sells its customers fine cuisine at a reasonable price, and the other offers a free buffet, all-you-can-eat as long as supplies last… Now imagine that the second restaurant stays in business because the first restaurant is forced to provide it with the food for the free buffet and we have the current economy… until, at least, the first restaurant  decides to go out of business…

“It is impossible to imagine a conservative candidate winning against such overwhelming odds. People do vote their pocketbooks.  In essence, the people vote for a Congress who will not raise their taxes, and for a President who will give them free stuff, never mind who has to pay for it.

“That engenders the second reason why Romney lost: the inescapable conclusion that the electorate is dumb – ignorant, and uninformed.  Indeed, it does not pay to be an informed voter, because most other voters – the clear majority – are unintelligent and easily swayed by emotion and raw populism…

“Similarly, Obama could hint to blacks that a Romney victory would lead them back into chains and proclaim to women that their abortions and birth control would be taken away.  He could appeal to Hispanics that Romney would have them all arrested and shipped to Mexico, and unabashedly state that he will not enforce the current immigration laws.  He could espouse the furtherance of the incestuous relationship between governments and unions, in which politicians ply the unions with public money, in exchange for which the unions provide the politicians with votes, in exchange for which the politicians provide more money and the unions provide more votes, etc., even though the money is gone.  He could do and say all these things because he knew his voters were dolts.

“As a politician, though, Romney failed because he did not embrace the devil’s bargain of making unsustainable promises, and by talking as the adult and not the adolescent.  Obama has spent the last six years campaigning; even his governance has been focused on payoffs to his favored interest groups.

“But this election should be a wake-up call to Jews.  There is no permanent empire, nor is there 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.  Across the world, America under Bush was feared but not respected.  Under Obama, America is neither feared nor respected.

“Our relationship with God matters more than our relationship with any politician, Republican or Democrat.  And, notwithstanding the problems in Israel, it is time for Jews to go home, to Israel.  We have about a decade, perhaps 15 years, to leave with dignity and without stress.  Thinking that it will always be, because it always was, has been a repetitive and deadly Jewish mistake…  The increased (emigration of Jews to Israel) in the last few years is partly attributable to young people fleeing the high cost of Jewish living in America.  Those costs will only increase in the coming years.  We should draw the appropriate conclusions.

“If this election proves one thing, it is that the Old America is gone.  And, sad for the world, it is not coming back…  During his 1956 presidential election campaign, a woman called out to Adlai Stevenson: ‘Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!’  Stevenson called back: ‘That’s not enough, madam.  We need a majority!’ ”

And that, my friends, is the state of our Union, the truth that Obama dare not speak.

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