We have two kinds of politics that seem to be coming to a head in this presidential campaign season: the politics of class warfare and envy and the politics of respect for individuals and for the collective wisdom of American citizens.
On the one side, we have, as one pundit puts it
…to a very real degree, 2008’s candidate of hope stands poised to become 2012’s candidate of fear.
And of jealousy.
This campaign is aimed at those John Agresto described, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed about a related matter, who
…wish to have what others have worked for, those who think there should be “preferential options” for their kind and those they favor, those who believe that they are entitled to have their desires satisfied, [who] only see other people as means to their ends and not as ends in themselves.
They can only see that others have what they do not, that others possess what they want, and they command the redistribution of these things to themselves.
This is a campaign of class warfare, of redistribution for no other reason than that some have and others want it, and of increasing the dependency of Americans on government; and votes are to be had here.
On the other side, we have a campaign of real hope and change, a campaign of a return to a government that fosters individual responsibility and individual opportunity for themselves and their families. Their campaign centers on a return to a small government that does not presume to do for Americans what we can do for ourselves: these campaigners, these candidates, trust Americans, individually and collectively, to make the right choices for themselves far more often than government can for them.
This is a campaign in favor of lower taxes all around, less government spending all around, less government regulatory interference in the affairs of private citizens and our businesses—all to leave more money in the hands of those who’ve earned it. And thereby make everyone better off.
As one campaigner has put it,
Dependency is death to initiative, to risk-taking and opportunity. It’s time to stop the spread of government dependency and fight it like the poison it is.