Michael Medved placed Georgia Congressman Paul Broun’s comments about Obama wanting an authoritarian regime into the category of “conspiracies” on a recent “conspiracy Friday” show. He said that such statements did not “help” the conservative cause.
Medved echoes what I hear from some conservative colleagues in the academy who do not want to be labeled “extremist,” who would like to wait for all the evidence, archived and footnoted, to come in before they draw conclusions.
History will tell if Congressman Broun is right. But history most often tells us what happens when individuals are afraid to take action, when they wait.
Last summer many saw a professor and former Harvard Law Review president and could not think of him as harboring any authoritarian tendencies, even though the evidence was there. Several conservatives supported Obama over McCain. Peggy Noonan was waxing poetical about history.
In the meantime, the common folks “clung” to their religion and guns, and bought even more guns and ammunition. Some of these folks have parents who remember what it was like to live defenseless under a communist regime that controlled the media and everything else. Some, having had to live and work in the real world for generations, have a healthy skepticism of elites.
Well, history tells us that most terroristic socialist regimes were started by disaffected intellectuals, who learned their theories in universities and then imposed them on the “people.”
History, however, is less likely to tell about tragedies that are stymied by individuals not afraid to speak up. History will not give us the footnoted evidence about the citizens who were propelled to take action by Congressman Broun’s words.
We will never know what would have happened had decisive leaders like Ronald Reagan not challenged the Soviet Union or invaded Grenada. We don’t know what would have happened if Saddam Hussein were still in power.
We do know the mistakes of waiting too long, of paralysis. We know that by the 10 million killed under National Socialism and 100 million killed under communism.
Could all those post-election presidential well-wishers on the air, the intellectuals, the “moderates,” including the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, have predicted the extreme actions of this president after only seven months in office? Would they have predicted Obama nationalizing car companies and banks, firing the CEO of GM, and setting salaries; stoking racial fires with unsubstantiated evidence, while appointing an attorney general who has allowed voter intimidation; appointing a racist judge to the Supreme Court for her ability to “empathize”; moving the census to the White House; going on an apology tour to all our enemies after declaring himself a “citizen of the world”; using public funding for a civilian corps of youths; seeking to advance his political agenda through the arts and schoolchildren; demonizing private citizens who express criticisms of his policy; attacking the opposition media; and instituting a shadow government of “czars”?