Next year’s presidential election will be a battle to decide who can be more trusted, government or the people, Karl Rove said on Thursday in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
“Political debates don't get much more basic than this,” President George W. Bush’s senior adviser wrote in the piece titled “Obama and the Politics of Condescension.”
Rove argued that confidence in President Barack Obama has fallen as Democrats have shown more and more “disdain” for the American people.
He pointed out that Peter Orszag, the former Office of Management and Budget Director, and North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue have both called for less democracy in recent weeks, while Obama himself said that the country has “gotten a little soft.”
“This liberal lack of faith in the people is combined with a nearly boundless confidence in government, and it can be seen in issues large and small,” he wrote.
“Take taxes: Mr. Obama and his party want to substantially raise them. They trust government to spend that money more wisely than they do the people who earned it.
“Their attitude about health care is similar, believing it would be efficient and cost-conscious if run by Washington bureaucrats rather than doctors and nurses and patients. A 15-member national board, not millions of consumers and providers, should set prices. And reforming Medicare by giving seniors a set sum to help purchase insurance is abhorrent. After all, that assumes older Americans are capable of making their own decisions when it's clear—at least to Mr. Obama and his crew—that they're not.”
Other issues that Rove took issue with are restrictions on advertising for breakfast cereals and other children’s staples like peanut butter and jelly.
“The Democratic nanny-state vision even holds that parents can't be trusted with their kids' breakfast,” he said.
Rove also pointed out that despite the failure of solar panel firm Solyndra, Obama’s Department of Energy was still picking which green companies should receive grants.
“Forget markets: Leave it to a well-educated Ivy League elite to decide what's best for America's energy future.
“This approach to governing is part and parcel of progressivism, a philosophy to which Mr. Obama subscribes,” he claimed, saying the administration’s policies sound similar to the words of Herbert Croly, a key figure in the progressive movement in the early 20th Century who wrote, "The average American individual is morally and intellectually inadequate to a serious and consistent conception of his responsibilities."
“While collectivists such as Mr. Obama may flatter themselves as omniscient, history has shown time and again that these elites lack the knowledge and imagination required to wisely allocate resources and make countless decisions. The way to improve the general level of prosperity is through free markets.
“That's why next year's election will decide more than policy differences and who is president. It is a deeper, more important clash of principles. Do we place our trust in the federal government or the people?
“Progressives have often disguised their true views and intentions,” he added. “But as the political fortunes of Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party have collapsed, their veneer of respect for the America polity is being stripped away.
“This is good to know. My guess is 'round about November 2012 the American people will frame their reply to this liberal condescension.”
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