Friday, February 20, 2009

Hill and Bill

I watched in some agony the first part of the interview of Hillary Clinton with Bill O'Reilly. I had hoped for rigorous questioning from the self-styled tough guy of cable news, and came away quite disappointed. Why do commentators and interviewers - even ones adversarial to her - allow Mrs. Clinton to squirm away from the truth of her behavior and positions? One point in particular struck and dismayed me.

O'Reilly asked Mrs. Clinton about her plan to raise taxes. She looked him straight in the eye and averred that she intended to raise the taxes of everyone who makes over $250,000 a year by six percent. He then pressed her on the extent to which she intended to raise the Social Security tax, and though she dodged like a ballerina before bullets, it was clear that her plan is to increase them by another eight percent, for a total tax hike of fourteen percent. Now $250,00 a year these days is not a fortune for a family, especially one that has children in private schools (since responsible parents will not subject their children to most public schools) or families that must pay for college. Yet in Mrs. Clinton's mind, such people are rich and are not paying 'their fair share.' Of course with an income of over $100 million, she and her husband will not notice the bump, but to those in the crosshairs - those who make 250 or 300 thousand, say - the bump will be an Everest.

At this point, O'Reilly pointed out that what Mrs. Clinton was advocating was 'income re-distribution' - confiscating income from those who produce wealth and giving it to those who do not - and that this is socialism. 'No, it's not!' she reposted. And he let her off the hook.

But surely it is socialism: 'From everyone according to his abilities, to everyone according to his needs.' That is Karl Marx, pure and simple - socialism 101: the government decides who shall earn what, and uses its power to enforce the decision. Why, then, does Mrs. Clinton deny that this is so? If she believes in the 'fairness' of confiscatory taxation so passionately, why is she so ashamed of the socialist principle upon which it is based? And why, as usual, did she try to lie her way out of the truth of it?

It is because socialism is inimical not only to American history and values, but to the human spirit. It diminishes individual liberty and assaults initiative, creativity, and the striving for excellence. It has, almost everywhere it has been tried, proved, at best, to be a bankrupting failure, and at worst, a monstrous crime against humanity. And yet, she cannot help but embrace its fundamental principles. Why?

Because she believes, not in the power of the individual human soul, but in the power of the government, as the ultimate power in people's lives - the only power in which she has any real interest. She is not an advocate of people's rights, she is as advocate of government power, especially if she controls that power. And she will claim fairness or compassion or justice, or the sake of children so long as she can use it to get her hands on that power. I say again: watching Hillary Clinton's rise toward the greatest power in the land reminds me of watching that of Richard Nixon. And when Nixon was finally elected, after years of manipulation, pandering and lies, I recall that a prominent journalist wrote that we had just elected as president someone who hates America and everything it stands for.

This is just as true of Hillary as it was of Tricky Dick.