Karl Marx's defining statement about communism, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need," demonstrates precisely the problem with what passes for politics in America today.
All we have the ability to offer is fear. Fear is the last thing anyone needs anymore.
Above, we see a bit of The Drudge Report's front page. As the right-wing news aggregator is wont to do, he's thrown in a random "scare quote" on a link to a story about President Obama's makeover of the Oval Office.
You see, the president had some favorite quotes woven around the edges of the new office rug. One -- which Drudge no doubt highlighted to highlight Obama's "socialist" bonafides (What other purpose could it serve, when you think about it?) -- was as follows:
"The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally on the welfare of all of us."YOU MIGHT like to know who was responsible for this scary socialist saying so beloved of our scary socialist president. People like Barack Hussein Obama come from somewhere, and it's only right that you, the "real patriots" of America, deserve nothing less than the truth.
As H.L. Mencken said, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
Well, here you go. The identity of the scary socialist whose pinko sayings our Islamist-Communist-Socialist-Nazi-Athiest president so loves as to have them woven into the Oval Office rug is . . .
Roosevelt -- whose visage adorns Mount Rushmore along with those of Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln -- said this subversive, un-American thing way back in 1903, in a speech at the New York State Agricultural Association's fair.
HERE IS an excerpt from that radical address, being that context is important . . . and that you, the common man, deserve it good and hard:
If circumstances are such that thrift, energy, industry, and forethought enable the farmer, the tiller of the soil, on the one hand, and the wage-worker on the other, to keep themselves, their wives, and their children in reasonable comfort, then the State is well off, and we can be assured that the other classes in the community will likewise prosper. On the other hand, if there is in the long run a lack of prosperity among the two classes named, then all other prosperity is sure to be more seeming than real.
It has been our profound good fortune as a nation that hitherto, disregarding exceptional periods of depression and the normal and inevitable fluctuations, there has been on the whole from the beginning of our government to the present day a progressive betterment alike in the condition of the tiller of the soil and in the condition of the man who, by his manual skill and labor, supports himself and his family, and endeavors to bring up his children so that they may be at least as well off as, and, if possible, better off than, he himself has been. There are, of course, exceptions, but as a whole the standard of living among the farmers of our country has risen from generation to generation, and the wealth represented on the farms has steadily increased, while the wages of labor have likewise risen, both as regards the actual money paid and as regards the purchasing power which that money represents.
Side by side with this increase in the prosperity of the wage-worker and the tiller of the soil has gone on a great increase in prosperity among the business men and among certain classes of professional men; and the prosperity of these men has been partly the cause and partly the consequence of the prosperity of farmer and wage-worker. It cannot be too often repeated that in this country, in the long run, we all of us tend to go up or go down together. If the average of well-being is high, it means that the average wage-worker, the average farmer, and the average business man are all alike well-off. If the average shrinks, there is not one of these classes which will not feel the shrinkage. Of course, there are always some men who are not affected by good times, just as there are some men who are not affected by bad times. But speaking broadly, it is true that if prosperity comes, all of us tend to share more or less therein, and that if adversity comes each of us, to a greater or less extent, feels the tension.
Unfortunately, in this world the innocent frequently find themselves obliged to pay some of the penalty for the misdeeds of the guilty; and so if hard times come, whether they be due to our own fault or to our misfortune, whether they be due to some burst of speculative frenzy that has caused a portion of the business world to lose its head -- a loss which no legislation can possibly supply -- or whether they be due to any lack of wisdom in a portion of the world of labor--in each case, the trouble once started is felt more or less in every walk of life.
It is all-essential to the continuance of our healthy national life that we should recognize this community of interest among our people. The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us, and therefore in public life that man is the best representative of each of us who seeks to do good to each by doing good to all; in other words, whose endeavor it is not to represent any special class and promote merely that class's selfish interests, but to represent all true and honest men of all sections and all classes and to work for their interests by working for our common country. We can keep our government on a sane and healthy basis, we can make and keep our social system what it should be, only on condition of judging each man, not as a member of a class, but on his worth as a man. It is an infamous thing in our American life, and fundamentally treacherous to our institutions, to apply to any man any test save that of his personal worth, or to draw between two sets of men any distinction save the distinction of conduct, the distinction that marks off those who do well and wisely from those who do ill and foolishly. There are good citizens and bad citizens in every class as in every locality, and the attitude of decent people toward great public and social questions should be determined, not by the accidental questions of employment or locality, but by those deep-set principles which represent the innermost souls of men.
The failure in public and in private life thus to treat each man on his own merits, the recognition of this government as being either for the poor as such or for the rich as such, would prove fatal to our Republic, as such failure and such recognition have always proved fatal in the past to other republics. A healthy republican government must rest upon individuals, not upon classes or sections. As soon as it becomes government by a class or by a section, it departs from the old American ideal.