A spoke in the news cycle: slow down and join a freedom brigade near you
In the course of his letter, Mr. Asness admitted that "I am indeed fearful writing this. . . . It’s really a bad idea to speak out. Angering the President is a mistake."
"Angering the President is a mistake." Really? What's wrong with that sentence? "Angering the despot is a mistake." We can understand that. But why should anyone fear angering the President in a liberal democracy? This is a theme Mr. Robinson takes in his Forbes piece. Businessmen he has spoken to are "outraged." They are also cowed. They fear for their careers. "Everything's on the hush-hush," said one observer Mr. Robinson quoted. "But they're looking for support. We've been thinking of starting a group like AA, only for people who believe in capitalism."
That is amusingly put, but really what is needed is not a 12-step support group for damaged souls but a network of back-stiffening resource groups equipped to sound the alarm over the governments astonishing encroachments upon prosperity of the United States and the freedoms of its citizens.
As it happens, I am in the mid-West at the moment. A couple of days ago I addressed a group of businessmen, doctors, and ordinary concerned citizens in a suburb of Chicago. Outrage at what the Obama administration had done, and fear of what it was planning to do, to this country was a common theme in the questions I entertained and in the conversations I had with people at the dinner following my talk. Two emotions predominated among the men and women I spoke to. One was a disorienting astonishment at what was happening in the country: Chrysler. The government bail outs. The prospect of nationalized health care. The environmental follies even now being drawn up by the Obama administration. There was a palpable sense of shell shock: a sudden paralysis brought on by the inexplicable intrusion of the incomprehensible.
That was one emotion. The other was anger, inchoate, only half-articulate, but real, growing, and increasingly focused. Mr. Robinson called his piece "The Protest Of A Patriot." The patriot in question was Clifford Asness, whose letter may well be a founding document of a nationwide movement to take back our freedom.
What we need now are additional recruits to the cause. "Two-and-a-third centuries ago," Mr. Robinson notes,
members of the business class played a central role in preserving our freedoms. John Hancock. Tench Coxe. Gouverneur Morris.
Today we have Clifford Asness.
Is no one willing to join him?
I hope and expect that the more we learn about what the Obama administration has planned for us, the more people will stand up to oppose it.