A friend recently sent me a list defining the differences between Democrats and Republicans. Because so many people write to me, insisting that they can’t see any difference, I’ll print out my slightly revised version as a public service:
In spite of believing all of that, I still doubt that any of the Republicans seeking the nomination will be able to carry through on their promise to eliminate the departments of Commerce, Education and Energy, and all the federal regulations that Chairman Obama has put into place. It’s not that I doubt their sincerity, but getting rid of regulations means getting rid of regulators. And I simply can’t picture a Republican president adding hundreds of thousands of unskilled, essentially unemployable, bureaucrats to the unemployment rolls.
The fact that liberals are so sheep-like in their opinions has led me to conclude that they’re not born like the rest of us, but merely cloned.
I have spent years trying to get inside the mind of a liberal. I can only explain my failure as an inability to blast through all the concrete. One of the few things I have managed to figure out is that they are not unaware that socialism hasn’t worked out too well in China, the Soviet Union, Cuba, Cambodia, North Korea, France, Greece or Nazi Germany, but they have somehow convinced themselves that the only problem with the alternative to capitalism is that it has never been done correctly. In that way, as in so many others, they’re exactly like those goofballs who assume they can use heroin and cocaine without becoming addicted.
The only reason, I’ve decided, that people can be so easily convinced that day is night, black is white, and up is down, is because it’s only very small lies that are transparent to everyone. To see through big lies, lies that are foisted on us by those who want to peddle us bad drugs and even worse ideas, is that you actually require the ability to think for yourself.
This being an election year, I hear a number of people claiming what they seek in a president or a senator is a statesman. I, for my part, think “statesman” is a euphemism that politicians concocted for themselves in the same way that garbage collectors decided they preferred being called waste managers.
I say, if you got your job by running for office and getting elected, thus avoiding having to prove you’re qualified to do anything genuinely useful, you’re a politician. What’s more, if you owe your job to a politician, you’re a bureaucrat.
The only time a politician should ever be referred to as a statesman is when he dies. After all, nobody expects sincerity in obituaries, and his family will probably appreciate the gesture.
Cyril Northcote Parkinson was an Englishman who gave his last name not to the dreadful disease, but to the Law that states that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. It’s hard not to believe that he had the U.S. Congress in mind when he came up with that notion, but perhaps Parliament served equally well as his muse. Mr. Parkinson also observed that there’s nothing that an official loves more than multiplying his subordinates, which is why bureaucracies regularly rise by 5-7% annually, irrespective of the amount of work to be done, even in the midst of a financial meltdown.
C.N. Parkinson was also the fellow who pointed out that expenditures inevitably rise — and I would add, generally exceed — income. And that holds true for governments every bit as much as individuals.
Speaking of excess, we have an aristocracy in America, but instead of the dukes and lords Parkinson had to contend with, ours consists of actors, rock stars, professional athletes and people like Paris Hilton and the Kardashians, who seem to have glommed onto fame and fortune through the simple but mystifying process of drawing a number out of a cosmic hat.
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