After the 2000 presidential elections, when Katherine Harris presided as Florida secretary of state through the Bush-Gore hanging chads drama, Harris moved on to become this region’s U.S. congresswoman.
Through the hanging chads and after her 2002 election to Congress, the press was merciless. It constantly lampooned her and criticized practically everything she did. Especially the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Harris later told how difficult it was to live through that — until a friend gave her the following advice: “Quit reading the paper and watching TV.”
She took the advice. Not long after, she told us how much her life and happiness had improved. She went about her business in Congress, did her job and ignored the chattering, clattering nabobs. And she was happy.
It works. After the election of Joe Biden, why put yourself through the misery of reading and watching what was about to unfold — and indeed has unfolded?
But in this era of 24/7 commentariats in every medium and from friends and others filling your email inbox with the daily doings of Biden and the “world of woke” in Washington, a newspaper editor can’t turn it off.
A Political Pandemic
You cannot live in denial of what surrounds you. You cannot ignore what has been occurring these past 100 days, nor erase the four years leading up to them. You cannot ignore what seems surreal but is all too real: the social strife unlike any other period of conflict in American history. A political pandemic toward totalitarian socialism spreading at a rapid pace. A rejection of the constitution of individual liberty to the point we hear this refrain daily: “This is not the country I knew and loved.”
But millions and millions of those who voted for Biden and the Democrats are telling pollsters they like what they see. They’re so happy just to get rid of Donald Trump that they’re not complaining about the $3 per gallon and rising gas prices, rising grocery prices, the cancer of cancel culture or the Green New Deal. Surely, no one could be happier than self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.
But at the same time, if you pay attention at all to what is happening now and try to see it from 30,000 feet, surely you see what’s happening: the takeover of America by the socialist Washington power mongers, federal government looters, media propagandists, academic brainwashers, leftist mobs and the corporate globalists. As one email in our inbox put it: “Atlas Shrugged on steroids.”
In Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” the ruling political and academic classes seek to confiscate and redistribute everything from the producers in the name of altruism. But when the producers see how the powerful loot others’ wealth, they leave society and set up a new capitalist society in Galt’s Gulch, leaving behind the destruction, poverty, starvation, unemployment and misery wrought by the ruling classes.
In one of the emails forwarded into our inbox, Mark Jeftovic, the author of the investing newsletter Bombthrower.com, likens what is happening in the U.S. today to one of the themes of “Atlas Shrugged”:
“The social contract no longer seems to be a matter of middle-class protections and living standards but instead becomes starkly authoritarian and one-sided. What is clear is that the existing institutions are now functioning to defend the position of the over class, not to uphold the rights and liberties of the underclass.”
He’s describing what is occurring before our eyes.
Road to Serfdom
Some of you might think we’re just another Trumpian who can’t accept Biden’s victory. But overlay the following context and the content of the accompanying box on what’s happening in America today.
The time: 1958, not long after the most brutal war the world had ever seen and the early, frightful days of the Cold War, the threat of Communist Russia wanting to do what Hitler could not — wipe out the U.S. and spread communism throughout the world.
At Harvard University, one James Lombard, who later became the Republican House leader in the Florida Legislature, was a student in Government 1A. To this day, he has his notes. Based on the experiences of government officials during the trauma of two totalitarian empires, they compiled what they taught in Government 1A: “The Elements of Totalitarian Government” … the six elements needed to bring about a totalitarian-socialist state (see box).
Call us nuts, but the six elements seem to be in parallel with what the Democratic left wants to achieve. Biden and his comrades want to print and print and print trillions of increasingly worthless dollars and hand them out to forgive college loans; to pay for children’s day care, making families increasingly beholden to the state; to pay for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, a Utopian farce that will raise the cost of living for everyone and especially impoverish the poor even more; to tax the producers to make everyone more equal.
The goal is to control every aspect of Americans’ lives from the Central Authority.
It is as famed Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek spelled out in 1944, “The Road to Serfdom.”
How can it be stopped?
It’s difficult to think elections can do it. There is not much difference between the ruling Republicans and Democrats in Washington. Democrats loathed Trump; Republicans loathe Biden.
Reverse course through the long process of educating the next generation? Ha! Public schools are a lost cause.
In Robert Reilly’s recent book, “America on Trial: A Defense of the Founding,” he quotes extensively John Locke, the English philosopher who had a heavy influence on America’s Founding Fathers. In one section discussing Locke’s influence, Reilly quotes Locke on “the liberty of man.” Locke:
“Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence.” This, Locke said, is the right to revolution.