I opposed Obama on policy grounds before it was cool

8 06 2011

As much as I’ve enjoyed my obscurity, it’s time that people start acknowledging me for what I truly am: a trendsetter.

Yeah, that’s right. A trendsetter. If I ever seem a bit old-fashioned, it’s just because I’m that far ahead of everyone else. Especially when it comes to political and economic theory. Keynesianism? That scene is as dead as our economy. Paul Krugman? Totally sold out after getting his Nobel. Obama? Man, I was over him, like, back in 2008.

I liked big government when it wasn't so, you know, big

It gets lonely out here on the bleeding edge, even if the exclusivity is a nice perk. Still, I can’t say that I’m too miffed that more and more of my peers are jumping the Obama ship. At least that’s what the growing body of evidence seems to be indicating.

From the Atlantic:

A symposium last month called “Oberlin-based Perspectives on the Obama Presidency” noted that students don’t think Obama’s cool anymore–all his cute little quirks have become grating, a polisci professor explained, and the real Obama can’t live up to their idea of him. Students aren’t even impressed that Osama bin Laden was killed, protesting that the world’s most wanted terrorist was unarmed when he was shot.

Obama has been, in many ways, screwed from the start. It’s true that everyone votes for the candidate they want to see in office as opposed to the candidate that’s actually on the ballot. But Obama promised so many things to so many disparate groups that there is simply no way he could have begun to live up to his supporters’ expectations.

College students know little of the real world (from the comfy confines of campus, it’s looking more and more like a jobless wasteland to be avoided at all costs), so it’s no surprise that they fell hard for the heroic picture of Obama painted by the media (and his autobiographies, which were required reading for many). So even if Obama Mania is showing signs of abating, there’s no reason to believe we’re out of the woods yet.

Young people are idealistic; it’s our great strength and our great weakness. Many former Obama supporters have become disillusioned with his Administration because it has not been progressive enough–not because they have realized that progressivism is itself doomed to failure.

That’s why it is so important to propagate the ideas of liberty wherever possible and appropriate. It’s not enough to be able to look at the failed policies of the Obama Administration and say I told you so, nor is that phrase particularly satisfying when we’re all suffering from the same economic stagnation. It’s going to take the shock therapy combination of a poor economy, a floundering figurehead (Obama fits the bill nicely), and bold ideas to shake the country out of its big government-induced stupor and dramatically change direction.

Trendsetter that I am, I’ve been pushing–subtly, of course, to preserve their underground appeal–the great works of the so-called Austrian economists. Sure, they’re old school, but I suspect that Menger, Mises, Rothbard, and their modern counterparts are poised for a revival. If you’d like to invest some time and learn about their ideas, there are plenty of free books available online at the Mises Institute.

Black plastic frames, bowtie, and not a hint of irony



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