by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
More destructive than any specific policy item modern Democrats are pushing this year are the ideas they use to justify their agenda.
The $3.5 trillion bill that President Joe Biden and Democrats are now attempting to cram through Congress via reconciliation is meant to create a European-style, cradle-to-grave welfare state here in the United States. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the bill’s Senate author, has, for years, praised systems across the Atlantic. As have many other Democrats.
There are numerous specific arguments against the agenda that further expands an already onerous bureaucratic state, but it is the idea that traditional American life needs reimagining that should be rejected first. Because the most vociferous champions of the European-style governance are invariably the most passionate critics of the dynamism and glorious messiness of American life. The factors that propel our economic superiority — the unplanned and lightly regulated, individualistic and seemingly disordered free markets — chafe against the technocratic sensibilities of Democrats. For them, even American exceptionalism, the idea that the United States occupies a unique position in world history, is ugly and plainly wrong.
So, they now perpetuate a corrosive culture of victimhood and dependence that already often permeates many European nations. And one of the most destructive untruths of the Europhile is his contention that the meritocracy doesn’t even exist. To convince people of this, he will fearmonger about growing poverty, the shrinking “middle class,” the rise of inequality and the inability of Americans to achieve their dreams without the paternalistic help of technocrats. …
… Americans have long touted the value of personal responsibility, though they have often been mocked by elites as hopelessly simplistic when they do. Yet, according to the World Values Survey, 70 percent of Americans still believe that the poor can escape poverty if they work hard enough — though you wouldn’t know it listening to today’s Democrats.