Politics & Policy

On Many Political Lessons That Need to Be Learned

Hillary Clinton campaigns in Wilton Manors, Fla., October 30, 2016. (Reuters photo: Brian Snyder)
The 2016 election gives us a great deal to think about.

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

There seem to be fewer bumper stickers this year than in previous presidential-election years. People may decide to vote for one of these candidates, but apparently they are not proud of their choice.

It is astonishing that some people think that the answer to the problems of Obamacare is to go to a “single-payer” system. But “single payer” is just another way of saying “government monopoly.” Does anyone pay attention to how government monopolies operate — from the local DMV to Veterans Administration hospitals?

Politics has turned the lofty ideal of equality into the ugly reality of resentments of other people’s achievements — and a feeling that the world owes you something, while you owe nobody anything, not even common decency.

Why should the fate of the economy depend on the guesswork of the Federal Reserve — and the guesswork of the stock market about what the Federal Reserve will guess?

Politicians have learned to call their spending of the taxpayers’ money “investment,” even when it is just pouring money down a bottomless pit, in order to win votes from the recipients.

The NAACP’s decision to back the teachers’ unions, who donate money to them, against charter schools that provide thousands of black children their only hope of a better life, means that the NAACP should no longer be considered part of the civil-rights movement, but just another part of the race-hustling racket.

A few months from now, Barack Obama will no longer be president of the United States. But the same gullibility and frivolity of the voters that put him in the White House will still be there to put the fate of America, and of Western civilization, in other fatally unreliable hands in a nuclear age.

Hillary Clinton has performed the verbal magic of turning her years of repeated disastrous decisions in foreign policy into a political asset called “experience.”

The political Left’s hatred of Donald Trump is ironic, because both he and they have the same pattern of automatic demonizing of those who disagree with their views, rather than confronting opposing arguments with hard evidence or convincing logic.

If the media seriously wanted to report the news — instead of spinning it — they could stop calling rioters “protesters” and stop calling terrorists “militants.”

Letter from a reader: “The socialists want to take the ‘sting’ out of poverty. They don’t understand that it’s the ‘sting’ that got everyone I know out of poverty and not a minimum wage.”

Have we reached the ultimate stage of absurdity where some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born, while other people are not held responsible for what they themselves are doing today?

The plight of Middle East refugees is something that any decent human being can sympathize with. But other refugees have been helped in their own part of the world — with money, food, medicine, and other things, in settings more compatible with their own way of life, rather than being brought across an ocean to a country that neither fits them nor which they fit in.

Each political party has picked a loser this year. Unfortunately, one of them is going to win, and then the whole country can lose, big time.

I am so old that I can remember when liberals were liberal, and when common decency was actually common.

Have you ever encountered even one human being — whether in person, in print or in the broadcast media — who denied that climates change? If not, why do you suppose zealots for the catastrophic “global warming” theory want laws passed to punish “climate-change deniers”? Is it because they are losing the battle of evidence on “global warming” and need to shut up others?

One of the mysteries of the ages is why the political Left has, for centuries, lavished so much attention on the wellbeing of criminals and paid so little attention to their victims.

The monumental tragedies of the 20th century — a world-wide Great Depression, two devastating World Wars, the Holocaust, famines killing millions in the Soviet Union and tens of millions in China — should leave us with a sobering sense of the threats to any society. But this generation’s ignorance of history leaves them free to be frivolous — until the next catastrophe strikes, and catches them completely by surprise.

Thomas Sowell — Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author, whose books include Basic Economics. He is currently senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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