Ed Driscoll

A Vision of the Vision of the Anointed

Neo-Neocon links to Peter Robinson’s October 21st 2008 interview with Thomas Sowell, and Sowell’s predictions for what was to come once Barack Obama took office. Key passage here in the final segment:

Peter Robinson: All right. If the current polls hold the Wall Street Journal and I am quoting the Wall Street Journal now declared in an editorial last week “Barack Obama will win the White House on November 4th and Democrats will consolidate their Congressional majorities. Though we doubt that most American realize it” the Journal continues, “This would be one of the most profound political and ideological shifts in U.S. history.” Would you agree with that?

Thomas Sowell: Absolutely. And the repercussions will extend, the fact that it will create disasters in the economy I think will pale by comparison to what they will do in terms of countries acquiring nuclear weapons and turning those over to terrorists. Which is the point of no return once that happens.

Peter Robinson: Right. Do you, I was talking about this with a colleague of ours the other day, Tom McCurdy who is an economist here at the Hoover Institution and Tom said well remember what happened when Bill Clinton became President. His point is the American people are about to get an extreme illustration of the way government intervention messes things up. Bill Clinton offered only a mild illustration and yet even under Bill Clinton there was only two years before Republicans, before there was enough of a back lash response that Republicans took both Houses of Congress away and the man was boxed in from that point forward. That is a pretty optimistic reading of what might happen. Very optimistic?

Thomas Sowell: Yes, because there is such a thing as a point of no return and if in those first two years, Iran gets nuclear weapons, we will be at that point of no return. The next generation will live under that same threat and as far out as the eye can see. Sometimes people will get very clever and say “it is just as well to let these guys get in there and just run themselves, then we will win on the backlash.” People said that when Hitler was arising in Germany and many of those people who said that died in the concentration camps. Which is a smaller tragedy then a nation dying in a sense.

Peter Robinson: Before the primaries had ended you wrote “Hilary Clinton versus John McCain, I would not know whether to vote Libertarian or move to Australia.” Now we know it is Barack Obama versus John McCain. You will vote for John McCain, but hold your nose? What is your fundamental [crosstalk]…

Thomas Sowell: Yes. The Clinton’s had the saving grace of utter lack of principles which meant that when they saw which way the political winds were blowing, that is the way they would go regardless of what they had been saying before. This man has been a far left ideologue for 20 years and not just a man of ideology, I mean people, truly vile people, we are not talking about just people who have a certain theory.

Peter Robinson: Bill Ayers.

Thomas Sowell: Bill Ayers. Acorn. We are talking thuggery as the way to get your ideas across. Father Pfleger, go down the list and I judge people by what they have done, not by what they say, particularly when what they say is the direct opposite of what they have done. So I think this many really does believe that he can change the world, and people like that are infinitely more dangerous then mere crooked politicians.

Peter Robinson: Final question. Let us suppose that the Wall Street Journal is right, let us suppose that Barack Obama wins and that the Democrats pick up, increase their majorities in both the House and the Senate, let us suppose all of that. What would be your advice to young people, dedicated to free markets, individual liberty and broadly speaking, to the constrained vision that you write about in A Conflict of Visions? What do you do if something like this happens?

Thomas Sowell: You do whatever you find you can do under those conditions which you can only learn by experience. But if by saying what advice are you giving to someone on death row and they come to take them to the gas chamber.

Peter Robinson: Tom I am trying very hard here to find a question to end this show on an upbeat, but I do not seem to be succeeding.

Thomas Sowell: Well, one good thing is the economist predictions have been proven wrong before and you can always hope that this one will be one of those many predictions.

Unfortunately, as with many of Sowell’s warnings, this one was all too spot-on.