Thanks, Tom, Yellow Dog, and Crank, for posting while I was away.
And now I see that the right-wing think tanks really got the talking points efficiently distributed just prior to the Fourth of July.
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, posting at RedState:
As we celebrate our nation’s birthday this week, it is important to remember and teach our children the Founding Fathers were declaring our independence, not creating a culture of dependence. (They also protested unfair taxation, but that is another story for another day.) This is an especially important lesson, given the Supreme Court's ruling last week on Obamacare....Bill Frezza, writing for Forbes:
As for the causes of revolution, we’ve lost sight of them, too. King George III was a champion of laissez-faire compared to the modern cradle-to-grave entitlement state....Megyn Kelly, on Fox News:
Little by little, the home of the brave and the land of the free has become a nation of rent-seeking dependents clamoring for their share of state largess. Even before the latest entitlement blowout called Obamacare, we crossed the line where more than half of Americans receive some kind of assistance from the government every month....
Well, today, as we celebrate our independence, our freedom, with fireworks, parades, family time, and barbecues, there are new questions about our dependence on the federal government. Research shows that nearly half of the U.S. population now lives in a household where at least one person gets some sort of government benefit. That's up from 30% in the early 1980s. So just how independent are we, really? And where is this trend going? ...Jindal, of course, has deep ties to ALEC; Frezza is a "Technology and Entrepreneurship Fellow" at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has long been funded by right-wing billionaire money; and Kelly, of course, is at Fox News, which has always been a stack of amplifiers blasting out every talking point generated by right-wing propaganda mills.
I've always been amused by the lockstep quality of the right-wing media. They look at American liberalism (or even American centrism) and see totalitarian, North Korea-style communism, with enslaved citizens compelled to chant obediently while troops do scarily precise marches -- but it seems as if our right-wingers want to do that kind of compelled chanting and marching, except on behalf of capitalism. For them, the Fourth of July isn't about remembrance or leisure -- it's a propaganda opportunity, nothing more.
Meanwhile, the "liberal media" gave us the likes of this -- a New York Times op-ed by Kurt Andersen arguing that capitalist excesses and 1960s political and personal liberation aren't contradictory aspects of the American culture but, rather, two sides of the same self-indulgence coin. It's designed to offend the left and the right alike; say what you will about it, it sure as hell ain't lefty propaganda.
That's part of the reason our side loses a lot of political battles -- the big media guns associated (rightly or wrongly) with our side aren't relentlessly on message all the time -- but it's also a sign that we're humans, not 24/7 zombified apparatchiks. We're supposed to be the collectivists, but the other guys seem to embody collectivism much more than we do.