“They believe in free stuff. We believe in free people.”
- U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin. 2012 vice presidential nominee
When I heard Congressman Ryan utter those words during his speech to the Republican National Convention in Tampa last summer, I thought they would define the 2012 race for the White House. No statement so clearly describes the deep division between the earners and the takers in this country as we stand on the uneasy precipice of another Obama term. As we all try to analyze the election results, it appears that “free stuff” won big.
More than half a century ago, author Ayn Rand — one of Paul Ryan’s social and political inspirations — saw the dangers of socialism in America. In her 1,100-page opus, “Alas Shrugged,” she presciently predicted the direction of the country and the consequences inherent in that course. The book tells the story of how her protagonist, John Galt, has had enough of the leaches who will not work and the bureaucrats who cater to them. Galt recruits the brightest, most productive members of society to go on strike in order to deprive the nation’s parasites of the support they need to continue redistributing wealth they did not earn.
Now that Obama has won a second four-year term to continue his leftist agenda, one has to wonder just how many of the people who actually pay the bills in this country intend to “go John Galt.” I personally know a few.
A doctor in Nebraska has been telling his patients that he intends to close his practice and leave the country if Obama is re-elected. Obamacare, he says, will destroy his practice, and he has no intentions of working for the government. It appears that he has not been uttering idle threats. He has purchased property in another country and he really plans to leave.
An executive for a major Midwestern corporation, which recently merged with a similar firm in a larger city, has been contemplating relocation in order to continue working for the company that has employed her for more than three decades. Obama’s re-election has finalized her decision.
“I’m done,” she says at the peak of her career. “There’s no way I’m going back to this level of work and stress and taxation. I’m going Galt. Elections have consequences. I’m over it. You’d be surprised how cheaply I can live. They can tax somebody else.”
The owner of a Japanese restaurant tells one of his employees, who supported Obama, “If he wins, you will lose your job.” It is not a threat. He simply knows what is coming.
The owner of a picture framing gallery, who has struggled to keep her business afloat for the past three years, will close her doors by the end of this year. The final, deciding factor for her was the result of this presidential election. “No one even has the money to pick up the work I’ve already framed for them,” she laments, “and it’s only going to get worse. I’m not working this hard for nothing.”
A salesman approaching his 65th birthday, who planned to wait until age 66 to file for Social Security, is contemplating filing early. “My intention was to wait another year so that I wouldn’t be penalized for working and earning more than the allowed amount of $14,400 per year,” he says. “But with rising gas prices, regulations and taxes under Obama, I might as well do the minimum and live off the government dole like half the country already is.”
Barack Obama has already done great damage to this country. He will do much more damage over the next four years. Whether America’s producers will continue to stand for it remains to be seen.
In his gracious concession speech on election night, Mitt Romney appealed to business owners and entrepreneurs. “We look to job-creators of all kinds,” he said. “We’re counting on you to invest, to hire, to step forward…”
Perhaps they will, but if they do, it will be in spite of Barack Obama, certainly not because of him.
© 2012 by Doug Patton, Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns are syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to email him with their pithy comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. For info on using his column at your publication or website, please email Cari Dawson Bartley at email@example.com.