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“Statism” at the Root of America’s Modern Political Divide

By Tim Dunkin

Everybody knows that there is a great divide in the American political system. However, many in this nation are incorrect in their understanding of what constitutes this divide. If asked, many would try to point to race or class, even though these would not generally be satisfactory answers to the question. Others would point to the division between the major political parties. Yet others, perhaps a little more accurately, would draw lines between the conventional Left/Right, liberal/conservative dichotomy that dominates the thinking of most observers. However, even this division is not completely accurate, because there are many who would profess themselves to be “conservatives” who nevertheless hold to many big-government, liberty-unfriendly positions on various issues. I would submit that the more accurate division in the American body politic is between those who I term “liberty lovers” (which is not synonymous with “libertarian,” by the way) and statists.

Many people would recoil from understanding themselves using the term “statist.” This term conjures up images of Stalin, Hitler, or Big Brother from Orwell’s 1984. Granted, those are extreme versions of statism, each of which approached the convergence point of pure totalitarianism, regardless of the label (communism, fascism, IngSoc) they went under. But the impulses to statism don’t have to be so drastic – at least at the start. Statism, even if in an incipient form, can be seen among those who simply want the government to act as a “benevolent” protector from the trials of adult life in a chancy world. It can be found among those who want the government to step beyond its legitimate role of protecting us from each other into the realm of protecting us from ourselves. All around us, we see people in our country whose impulses are not to simply let other people be so long as they’re not hurting someone else, but who feel the need to regulate and to expropriate for the good of themselves or of some other group for which they claim to be “protectors.”

Read the Rest @ How to tell if someone is a statist

By Edward H. Crane

Pres. Barack Obama is not a socialist. He is a thoroughgoing statist, perhaps the worst in American history. And with Wilson, FDR, and LBJ, he’s got some serious competition. Republicans in Congress lack the leadership to challenge the president’s audacious power grabs. More important, they lack any serious philosophical basis for doing so. The acronym RINO is an oxymoron, for the name “Republican” in fact designates someone with a commitment to nothing more than maintaining political power. The purpose of maintaining that power is to, well, maintain that power.

There is a reason sales of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged are going through the roof. The book is nothing if not prescient. The “Troubled Assets Relief Program” is straight from its pages. Monday’s New York Times front page suggests Atlas may be starting to shrug. “Doctor Shortage Proves Obstacle to Obama Goals,” laments the headline. Hmm. Wonder why there would be a doctor shortage in the face of nationalized health care? Perhaps bright young people considering a career don’t want to work for the federal bureaucracy?

Related Article @ Obama is a Statist, not a Socialist

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