Saturday, October 11, 2008


Lola LeMieux Kindley - The Bail Out of America

[From a discussion of the proposed Bush administration $700 billion bail out]
I'm with the vast majority of Congressional Republicans and the constituents who are writing in to say Hell, No. My reason is the preservation of the free market, but I'm also astonished to the degree of flabbergastation that the administration would propose a "solution" that puts control of the markets and ergo the economy in the hands of ONE MAN, with, it appears, very little accountability. What! Don't these guys read fairy tales? The Brothers Grimm and Anderson and the global folklore would tell them this is folly.

I heard a great quote from Tocqueville last week: he felt the essence of the American character was two-fold, the demand for freedom and the demand for equality. He perceived that they are mutually self-destructive, and the battle for supremacy between the two values would end with the demand for equality dominant. I think Tocqueville was not only insightful but prescient about the long term outworking of the indicators he was observing, and I think he was right about the conflict between the desires for freedom and equality. Since I am the first person in my father's family to graduate from high school, one would expect that I would come down on the side of equality, but in fact, I find the way this desire manifests itself in the last half of the 20th and the early 21st centuries repugnant. I want the freedom to pursue what I believe I can achieve, on my own merit and with my own effort. I don't want the demeaning, condescending paternalism of fudging the standards and skewing the standards to be the factor that accounts for my achievements. I certainly don't want the implication that I can't measure up, unless standards are lower for me than for those who "can;" I don't want the expectation of whining and protests of "unfair and unjust inequality," if I do not in fact measure up. And I mourn what I perceive as the loss of the boisterous, maybe unsophisticated, can-do attitude that allowed the can't-do rest of the world t laugh at Americans.

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