Mayday, Mayday, Mayday

The incompetence of the Republicans we’ve elected here in Illinois and nationally has brought us to where we are today. Illinois is controlled by people whose failure doesn’t make a difference on election day. Nationally, the Obama-Pelosi-Reid trifecta will soon be joined by a U.S. Supreme Court that is about to lurch way-left.

I skipped the “100 day” press conference the other day but saw this quote from President Barack Obama:

Republicans, he said, “can’t … define bipartisanship as simply being willing to accept certain theories of theirs that we tried for eight years and didn’t work, and that the American people voted to change.”

President George W. Bush and Speaker Dennis Hastert didn’t govern as conservatives but as proponents of big government. So Obama is certainly correct when he refers to the “certain theories” not working. His answer, evidently, is that while big government didn’t work, even bigger government will. That’s dumb. But not dumber than platform supporting Republicans losing to people who are proponents of such wrong-headed thinking.

April changes to May today but my title above refers to the emergency code word as explained here by Wikipedia:

“[It’s] an emergency code word used internationally as a distress signal in voice procedure radio communications. It derives from the French venez m’aider, meaning ‘come help me’. It is used to signal a life-threatening emergency by many groups, such as police forces, pilots, firefighters, and transportation organizations. The call is always given three times in a row (“Mayday Mayday Mayday”)…”

The Online Etymology Dictionary explains the origins of “Mayday” here.

The rate and intensity of the distress signals being sent by Americans are increasing daily. It’s coming from those of us who learned what our Founding Fathers warned us about. For it to work right, government must be limited, as Thomas Jefferson taught. And our nation was designed for “a moral and religious people,” as John Adams explained.

The Founders knew when government got too big, genuine oversight of it would become impossible. Just wait until the scandal of how billions of the “TARP” money was spent as a prime example of that simple fact.

Obama has started his second 100 days in the White House with a 60 seat majority in the U.S. Senate. In the U.S. House, Democrats have a 257 to 178 seat majority. In the Illinois statehouse, the situation isn’t any better. To say the least, we have a lot of work ahead of us.

As I noted here, you can’t separate culture from economics, and anyone who reads the writings of excellent economists sees morality laced through and through what they write.

One of my favorite economists is Walter Williams, who wrote a column this week titled “Law vs. Moral Values.” In it, he said this:

“A civilized society’s first line of defense is not the law, police and courts but customs, traditions and moral values. Behavioral norms, mostly transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings, represent a body of wisdom distilled over the ages through experience and trial and error. They include important thou-shalt-nots such as shalt not murder, shalt not steal, shalt not lie and cheat, but they also include all those courtesies one might call ladylike and gentlemanly conduct. The failure to fully transmit values and traditions to subsequent generations represents one of the failings of the so-called greatest generation.”

That last line has been my view for a long time.

Williams also writes, “Behavior accepted as the norm today would have been seen as despicable yesteryear.”

If you think the only “culture war” is about abortion and so-called “homosexual rights,” think again. The American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur Brooks writes in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal that the “The Real Culture War Is Over Capitalism.” The subtitle is “Tea parties, ‘ethical populism,’ and the moral case against redistribution.”

“There is a major cultural schism developing in America… The new divide centers on free enterprise — the principle at the core of American culture.”

Our Republican Party leaders – in both public and party office – have done such a lousy job for so long articulatingany of the GOP’s core principles that now we’re engaged in a fight to defend capitalism itself.

Great work, elected lads and lassies. (For ideas on how they might improve their performance, I’ve made some suggestions in articles linked here, and how the rank and file Republicans need to enforce improved performance from them – here.)

Brooks also writes:

“Despite President Barack Obama’s early personal popularity, we can see the beginnings of this schism in the ‘tea parties’ that have sprung up around the country. In these grass-roots protests, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans have joined together to make public their opposition to government deficits, unaccountable bureaucratic power, and a sense that the government is too willing to prop up those who engaged in corporate malfeasance and mortgage fraud.”

“The data support the protesters’ concerns,” he adds. “The Congressional Budget Office predicts $9.3 trillion in new debt over the coming decade.”

Is there any good news? Yes! The fight is on, and more people are joining the fight to clean up the GOP – which is the first task. Here in Illinois the number one battle is to pass SB600 – click here to learn more about how we can throw open the doors of our state’s Republican Party and elect new leadership.

Also in the Arthur Brooks article:

“Advocates of free enterprise must learn from the growing grass-roots protests, and make the moral case for freedom and entrepreneurship. They have to declare that it is a moral issue to confiscate more income from the minority simply because the government can. It’s also a moral issue to lower the rewards for entrepreneurial success, and to spend what we don’t have without regard for our children’s future.”

“This is an exhilarating time for proponents of freedom and individual opportunity,” Brooks writes. The Obama years are much like the Carter era – and “this adversity offers the first opportunity in years for true cultural renewal.”

The fight for a cultural renewal requires all hands on deck – mayday mayday mayday.

Additional reading: “The Death of Democratic Capitalism?” by Larry Kudlow.

©2009 John Francis Biver