“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
Einstein’s genius was not only his ability to see the obvious, but to then use his imagination to understand what it meant. While we may lack Einstein’s boundless imagination, we have the human ability to perceive reality if we allow ourselves to simply observe in order to understand. However, if history tells us anything, it is that we seem more capable of repeating our mistakes than learning from them; the insanity about this is that such dumb repetition inevitably becomes very dangerous.
Given all the bluster from Republicans about the failures of the Biden administration, little is clear or cogent about the reasons for their euphoria. True, Biden’s party now seems as fractured as the GOP under Trump, and Biden’s ratings are even worse than the former president’s; but these are results, not causes. While there are some principled voices on both sides of the aisle voicing concerns if not objections to Biden’s agenda, especially the financially disastrous “Build Back Better” plan, sound financial and economic policies are rarely being discussed, let alone proposed.
Many recent local elections showed the makings of what the media calls a “Red Wave”, which may point to a disastrous showing for the Democrats in next year’s mid-term elections. While much has been made of a popular reaction to the extreme left policies of the Democratic administrations in the country, the characterizations, and to some extent, some legislative actions from various GOP leaders are as dangerous a threat to liberty as those they purport to oppose.
Take for instance Texas Governor Abbott’s banning censorship on social media, supposedly in support of free speech. While it’s true that such censorship is detestable, unfortunately the governor forgot, or chose to ignore the fact that these are private companies, and as such protected under the constitution to publish what they want. Another instance of failures in support of liberty goes to that same state of Texas, and also Mississippi, both of whom have passed draconian and onerous laws about abortion in the hope of getting the challenges to them to the Supreme Court for an overturning of Roe v. Wade. In the case of the Mississippi law, the Supreme Court has agreed to take it on. So far, the media and both major parties are playing to the Choice v. Life divide, ignoring both the vulnerability of the SCOTUS ruling of the 1973 case or the inherent natural and constitutional rights of every American to the life and liberty of their own selves; little judicial prudence or principled debate is on display, with much being made of respect for precedent and precious little about a women’s right to her own biological decisions, as if her physical being is subject to the arbitration of the state.
Americans are rightfully fearful about their economic wellbeing, and the confusion created at the Federal Reserve, and its partner in crime at the Treasury Department. Recently Chairman Powell has had to flip flop on his prior narrative of inflation being transitory as reality has exposed that awful fantasy. Between the Fed’s QE (4, 5, 6, 7…what number are we up to?) policy, and Treasury hyper-printing money to the tune of an increase of 348% in dollar currency since early 2020, the official inflation rate is currently at 6.2%; that’s suspiciously low considering the huge price increases in building materials, food, energy, etc. Even accepting the official account, use it to provide what economists call the “Misery Index”, the sum of the inflation and unemployment rates, which together is 11.2 as of 10/31/21, the highest it has been since the Financial Crisis. Despite this, the administration and the media continue the narrative of a healthy economy; unfortunately for Joe Biden, that Cool Aid is not selling very well.
It’s also increasingly apparent to more and more Americans that the policy of spending from empty pockets has led to ever increasing deficits and massive debt making us more vulnerable to economic failure than any pandemic or natural disaster could. While the administration, through their Office of Management and Budget, tries to sell us on a no cost program with “Build Back Better”, the non-partisan (maybe, sometimes) General Accounting Office shows this is hardly the case, and that increased taxes for all Americans would result. The former relies on its parasitical policy against the rich, the definition of which broadens as the need for revenue increases, and of course the printing press; the later relies more on actual analyses of proposed policies. Given the track record of failed government programs, the former will likely occur. As Will Rogers once quipped, “Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing, and that was the closet our country has ever been to being even.”
Add to these troubles the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, the massive increase in illegal immigration, the divisiveness of racially focused agendas, the rise in international tensions and strained foreign relations, and we have an administration that is seen as a continuation of the Trump chaos that Americans hoped a seasoned political hand would provide the leadership to correct. The failure to do so raises an alarming concern based on historical precedents; when political leadership fails it often looks for ways to deflect and distract, with a focus on crises even where there may be none. We have the COVID pandemic, and while there are and always will be variants, we have the science to address that; instead we get more fear mongering. Then we have China, whom we blame for just about everything. Consider the supply shortage narrative, especially in microchips, as a China issue; reality is that half the world’s chips are made in Taiwan and other Asian countries. Then there’s the oil issue, which of course is OPEC’s fault, even though the US imports only 18% of its oil from them; add to that the inexplicable and contrarian policy of curtailing American oil production at the very time we need it the most.
However, the most troubling deflection, and potential distraction from what really matters, is again the focus on China, the rising and categorically adversarial bogeyman we should all realize is the cause for all our woes. China’s humanitarian, environmental, diplomatic and trade policies show a record of bad faith and aggressive overreach, but rattling sabers to focus blame away from your own failed policies will not lead Americans to a good place, and likely to a very dangerous place where violent conflicts can arise. Unfortunately the same playbook on China is in the Republican library as well. This same scenario existed between the U.K. and Germany that eventually resulted in the Great War. It doesn’t take much imagination to see that the foibles, failures, and competition between the world’s two current superpowers can easily go from distraction to disaster. As Clarence Darrow once observed, “History repeats itself. That’s one of the things wrong with history.”