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Democratic Party Faces a Reckoning

Democratic Party Faces a Reckoning

By Robert Tracinski - November 2, 2010

November 2 is not just an election day. It is a day of reckoning.

The Democratic Party faces a reckoning for using the financial crisis as a pretext for a government takeover of the economy and for the exercise of raw, unchecked, arbitrary power. It faces a reckoning for spending trillions of dollars of money we haven't even earned yet on a wish-list of big-government programs and paybacks to the public employees' unions. It faces a reckoning for engineering the government takeover of whole industries and for expropriating the rights of bond-holders in order to favor the interests of unions. It faces a reckoning for acting as if there are no constitutional limits on government power, as if they can do anything they like to us so long as they tell us it's for the "general welfare."

The Democratic Party faces a reckoning for not being "shovel-ready"-for being effective only at preventing private economic activity-for enacting, in the first weeks of the new Congress, a stimulus bill that swiftly succeeded in bankrupting the country, but which failed to stimulate anything other than the bloated pensions of state employees and the six-figure incomes of federal bureaucrats.

And most of all, it faces a reckoning for passing a trillion-dollar takeover of our health care against our will and over our loudly expressed objections.

The Democratic Party faces a reckoning for showing contempt for the governed-for telling us that they had to pass the bill so that we could find out what was in it, as if we were too stupid to analyze it for ourselves-for smearing ideological opponents as racists-for regarding all the bitter clingers in flyover country as mentally defective because, in the words of President Obama, they're "hard-wired not to always think clearly" when the issues get too difficult for their poor little heads.

The Democrats face a reckoning for trying to revive the basic principle of aristocracy: the idea that there is a small elite in the nation's capital who know better than us how we ought to work and think and who are therefore entitled to run our lives and spend our money.

It is imperative to vote the Democrats out of power and to do so by a historic margin, as a sweeping and unmistakable national repudiation. If the Democrats are allowed to keep control of Congress after so openly defying the will of the American people, then they will be emboldened to initiate a new and even broader round of assaults on our liberty. And at this point, with expectations high for Republican gains, if Democrats lose control of Congress by only a small margin, they will think they got a reprieve and they may be motivated to cling to their agenda for the final two years of Obama's presidency.

They need to be shown who's boss. They need to taught, in a way they will remember for decades, that they answer to the people. We need a Democratic loss that will go down in the history books, one that will stun even the most pessimistic Democrats. They have to realize they are up against a broad historical movement and not just a temporary off-year protest against incumbents.

We need to make this election into the opening shot of a second American Revolution.

The issue at stake is whether there are any limits on government power-whether the Constitution is a limit and whether the consent of the governed is a limit. In the past two years, the Democrats have made their position on constitutional government clear: they are against it. The Republicans are mixed, but their party contains the only Washington contingent of constitutionalists, and they must be put into power.

The best analogy to the current situation is the old story about the frog in a pot of water, who doesn't notice as the heat is gradually turned up until he is boiled alive. President Obama turned up the heat a little too fast, and a lot of voters have suddenly begun to notice: this water is boiling. And they're not going to be content with just turning it down to a low simmer. I think a significant portion of the public has awakened to the fact that we've been losing our liberty for a century and we're on the brink of socialism. The first step is to pull back from the brink, and the next step is to begin pulling back the government to within its narrow constitutional limits.

In that respect, this election not the end of the struggle for liberty. It is the beginning-and we have so far to go that we need to make this the strongest beginning possible.

Robert Tracinski is editor of The Tracinski Letter and a contributor to RealClearMarkets.

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