Calvin Freiburger

America’s Ready for an Economic Change. But Is She Ready to Maintain It?

Posted on October 1 2010 6:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.
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Not that anybody here needs to be reminded that the Democrats’ agenda is a bust, but here’s a handy reminder from last night’s “Hannity,” on which former Speaker Newt Gingrich ran down the case against President Barack Obama’s economic policies:

When Congress, the Democrats, voted to leave town without settling the tax question, they guaranteed that every American business is living in uncertainty. And therefore they have crippled job creation for the next three or four months.

And I don’t think they even realized — everywhere I go businesses say to me, how can they have this health bill? How can they have this financial regulatory bill? How can they have this confusion over taxes and expect us to create jobs?

Obama is extending the recession by the destructiveness of his failure. And that makes them the party of food stamps […]

What Obama has done is he’s tried trickle down bureaucracy with a $787 billion stimulus package.

He has imposed gigantic federal controls through the Barney Frank reform bill. He has imposed enormous costs through the health bill and now he has totally muddled the tax situation.

The result is, let me repeat this, the longest, deepest recession since the great depression. No sign that it’s going to end. And the president’s policies are the reason. And so I think it’s fair to say they have by killing jobs become the party of food stamps. And the Republicans have a chance to become the party of paychecks.

Aside from their disregard for individual rights, market forces, and constitutional limitations on their own power, one of the main problems is that our current left-wing rulers simply have no capacity for restraint. They tax the American people more and more to pay for heavy-handed federal “solutions” to everything, despite the fact that it doesn’t work, because they’re control freaks. Economic trouble afoot? It must be because Uncle Sam hasn’t told enough people how to do enough things right! That, and they’re not about to squander the time they’ve got left in power.

You read all the polling data. The American people believe that Obama’s health plan is destructive. The American people believe that all these big tax increases are destructive.

The American people want smaller government, not bigger government.

I just saw a poll that was done by the Creebo Foundation. Ninety percent of the American people believe you have to have the right to fail if you’re going to have the right to succeed. And they believe that that’s what America is all about.

The country certainly doesn’t like what they’ve seen so far, and I think the American people tend to have some generally conservative instincts, but saying they “want smaller government” may be overstating how ideological they are. They’re more pragmatic than ideological—Above all, they want a government that works, regardless of whether it’s big or small. They voted Obama in when they got the sense that government was no longer working under George W. Bush, and they weren’t confident that John McCain knew how to make it work. Likewise, they can see that Obama hasn’t turned things around like he promised. That means that conservatives’ electoral chances in the fall are good, but things could easily change if the next Republican Congress repeats the mistakes of its predecessors, or if Obama manages to moderate himself.

Conservatism will always have a strong pragmatic case to make to the American people, but it won’t be enough in the long term. Our forefathers understood that self-interest alone wasn’t enough to maintain society; it had to be enlightened, united with a conviction in the justness of respecting the principles of limited government and individual liberty. Conservatives still have a lot of educational work ahead of themselves to cement the connection between practicality and philosophy in the minds of the general public.


Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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