If there is one thing which stands out perfectly clear in the just-held US election, it is this: Perhaps half of all Americans now expect that the government should look after them and give them free stuff. They believe they are entitled to things they do not deserve or have not worked for.
It is the entitlement mentality, the same one which is destroying Europe and other parts of the West where the welfare state reigns supreme. Simply look at the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain). They are all in economic meltdown as we speak, complete with rioting in the streets, as in Athens. Their love affair with statism, welfarism, and socialism is producing its bitter fruit, big time.
Any nation in which large numbers of people cease producing and expect handouts is a nation that is going down the tubes fast. And what we witnessed yesterday in the US is a perfect example of this constricting entitlement mentality. It is just as addictive – and deadly – as any drug.
When Mitt Romney made the remark recently about 47 per cent of the electorate relying on money handed to them from the government, and therefore people who will only vote Democrat, he was 100 per cent correct. Why would anyone getting free government handouts – taken from the other 53 per cent of hard working productive Americans – want to stop the gravy train?
They have become addicted to and dependent on the state as a cradle to grave welfare provider, and it is a great system for them: no or little work in exchange for government handouts. We have entire generations now who have an entitlement mentality, and they will be hard pressed to be moved from it.
That is the one clear yet bleak message coming out of America yesterday. But it is not just me who has noticed this. Plenty of other commentators are saying exactly the same thing. One of them put it very simply, if crassly: “Nincompoops Elect Nincompoops For Free Stuff…Case Closed”.
In his article, “In a country of children where the option is Santa Claus or work, what wins?” Rush Limbaugh says this: “Conservatism, in my humble opinion, did not lose last night. It’s just very difficult to beat Santa Claus. It is practically impossible to beat Santa Claus. People are not going to vote against Santa Claus, especially if the alternative is being your own Santa Claus.”
He continues, “The world depends on what happens here. The world does not depend on what happens in Spain or Greece or Italy. Not to put them down. But regardless, wherever you go… Look at Greece. Whenever necessary austerity measures are proposed, what happens? ‘No, you don’t! You’re not taking it away from me!’ There is no rising to responsibility. There is no accepting responsibility. There’s just a demand that the gravy train continue, and we have an administration that’s promising an endless gravy train. All you have to do to stay on that gravy train is vote.”
Writer Tom Chantry spoke about the various evil positions of Obama, such as infanticide. He then said this: “Most Americans, though, did not vote for him for those reasons. The majority does not hold his extreme position on infanticide, and every referendum shows that the majority does not agree to the institutional legitimizing of perversion. But on the issues of this election his position is also on the side of evil. As I wrote two years ago in my political credo, fiscal policy is also moral in nature. The unavoidable reality of this election is that when Governor Romney ran on fiscal sanity, the majority decided to cast their votes in favor of more free stuff from the government.
“In other words, last night’s vote demonstrates one fundamental evil that has overtaken our society. Today’s voter is unimpressed by the biblical ethic of work and responsibility; neither is he too ashamed to engage in systematic theft. We have become Greece. Only a nation of wicked thieves could have produced last night’s results. So if I imagined that my countrymen were too good to re-elect this man, I was brought to a rude awakening.”
Or as Andrew Napolitano said in “Four more years to crush personal freedoms”: “What is going on is the present-day proof of the truism observed by Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, who rarely agreed on anything in public: When the voters recognize that the public treasury has become a public trough, they will send to Washington not persons who will promote self-reliance and foster an atmosphere of prosperity, but those who will give away the most cash and thereby create dependency. This is an attitude that, though present in some localities in the colonial era, was created at the federal level by Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt, magnified by FDR, enhanced by LBJ, and eventually joined in by all modern-day Democrats and most contemporary Republicans.”
Commentator Lyn Nofziger put it this way: “The reason this country continues its drift toward socialism and big nanny government is because too many people vote in the expectation of getting something for nothing, not because they have a concern for what is good for the country. A better educated electorate might change the reason many persons vote. If children were forced to learn about the Constitution, about how government works, about how this nation came into being, about taxes and about how government forever threatens the cause of liberty perhaps we wouldn’t see so many foolish ideas coming out of the mouths of silly men.”
Black American economist Thomas Sowell has written much over the years of such a damaging mindset. As he wrote in A Conflict of Visions, “Central to the concept of social justice is the notion that individuals are entitled to some share of the wealth produced by society, simply by virtue of being members of that society, and irrespective of any individual contributions made or not made to the production of that wealth.”
Or as he has said elsewhere: “One of the consequences of such notions as ‘entitlements’ is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence.”
And again, “The entitlement mentality has eroded the once common belief that you earned things, including respect, instead of being given them.” And another: “The welfare state is the oldest con game in the world. First you take money quietly, then you give some back – flamboyantly.”
And one more: “What do you call it when someone steals someone else’s money secretly? Theft. What do you call it when someone takes someone else’s money openly by force? Robbery. What do you call it when a politician takes someone else’s money in taxes and gives it to someone who is more likely to vote for him? Social Justice.”
Of course all these modern day commentators are simply repeating what our forefathers have long taught. All the great statesmen and political leaders know that nations cannot long survive if they degenerate into hordes of people with an entitlement mentality.
Benjamin Franklin for example once wrote, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” Or as Thomas Paine put it, “Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, may your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget you were EVER my countrymen!”
And this quote, attributed to Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor, in 1887, is also most relevant here: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”
Or go back even further. Marcus Tullius Cicero said it like this: “Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions. Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the ‘new wonderful good society’ which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean ‘more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious’.”
We have been warned for many centuries, even millennia now, not to go down this path. Yet that is exactly what we are doing. The US is simply a few years behind its European counterparts. All over the West we see the end of once great and prosperous nations, because the entitlement mentality has latched on to the masses like a viper and refused to let go.
Thus the venom of welfarism and dependency is slowly but surely working its way through the national bloodstream, with only one inevitable outcome: death. Unless Americans – and others – can snap out of their slumber and see the dangers of this mortal addiction, they will not be able to endure for long. And history is replete with examples of this very thing.