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Victor Davis Hanson’s take on the election, the economy, the world, and the war against radical Islam.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

HH: A very special two hours ahead, a prolonged conversation about the state of the election, the state of the parties, the state of the world, the state of the war with historian and classicist Victor Davis Hanson. If you’re just joining in, though, I remind you our good friend, Dean Barnett, is in the fight for his life right now in ICU in Boston, so any prayers that you can offer up for Dean and his treatment would be much appreciated on these special days. We’ll keep you posted as we get word of that. Victor Hanson, welcome to the studio. I’ve probably talked to you a hundred times, a couple of times in person, but never in the studio. It’s good to have you here.

VDH: It’s good to be here, Hugh.

HH: Now you will be talking tonight at Biola University at 7:00 in Orange County, California, Southern California, about Obama V. McCain in the classical context. It’s open to the public, I believe, and people can get there. And I will give directions a little bit later in the show. In a nutshell, in the classical context, what’s the message you’re going to be expanding on for that audience tonight?

VDH: Well, I’m going to try and look at foreign policy, the war against radical Islam, and take into consideration the meltdown on Wall Street, and what lessons we can learn about the human condition, what happened to our education system that didn’t allow us to appreciate these developments, and then like it or not, we’re back in the culture wars, and we’re wrestling with this question – what is wisdom? And after…my favorite illustration of that dilemma is when I saw Barney Frank in the 2003 clip, the overseer of the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac monstrosity, Harvard Law School, interrogate Franklin Raines, Harvard Law School, and he says do you feel that you’re under-regulated at Fannie Mae and he says no, sir. And Barney Frank says why are we here? There’s no reason to be here. And that summed up the best and the brightest got us into this mess. It doesn’t mean that a Harvard Law degree is synonymous with ignorance, but it doesn’t mean necessarily it’s synonymous with excellence. And we’re seeing people that we’ve put our trust in that were educated, highly-credentialed, certified, and yet they had no common sense. And does this involve Sarah Palin? Well, we saw that when she was debating Joe Biden, he was far more impressive with recall of apparent facts, and he seemed that he had gravitas from his years of experience. He was a law school graduate, she was the Idaho commoner. But the more the debate went on, we found out that it would be much better to have someone with common practical sense who knew a few things, and could talk to the American people truthfully rather than to make up a whole plethora of assertions which in retrospect, almost everything Biden said was false. Again, what is wisdom? Is it certification of a particular school? Or is there wisdom to be found having five children and snowmobiling and running a business? And I think at this time of uncertainty about Wall Street, these issues about culture are coming back to haunt us.

HH: Victor Hanson, how old are you?

VDH: I’m 55.

HH: In your…and then let’s say in your 45 years…

VDH: Yeah.

HH: …of being aware of the world, do you recall a time as fraught with peril other than 9/11? 9/11 is of to itself, but other than 9/11, a time such as this?

VDH: I ask myself that all the time. I ask people, didn’t they hate Reagan the way they hate Bush? Or didn’t they hate Nixon, remember the Watergate, gosh, the Vietnam War, I remember I was walking across as a high school student at UC Berkeley. I went up to visit, and it was just almost a war zone. We’re not having that. But I don’t think that we’re still, it’s not so multi-dimensional with the war, with a cultural divide, with a hatred toward a sitting president, with this complex financial meltdown that nobody can make sense of. And then the sense that America is at odds with almost all the world, and there’s these insidious pressures that are telling us here at home you’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’re wrong, you’ve got to emulate the EU, you’ve got to emulate Africa, you’ve got to emulate Asia. And it’s almost as if we’re 5th Century A.D. in North Africa trying to resist a tide that we can’t resist. And so I think you’re absolutely right, it’s a phenomenal time to be alive.

HH: Now do democracies have…we’ve got a lot of ground to cover, and I’m so happy to have a generous allotment today to try and cover this. But do you think democracies have an inability to see beyond their nose, and to always think they’re on either the best of times or the worst of times, to overreact to everything?

VDH: That was the complaint, the classical complaint of thinkers as diverse as Plato and Aristophanes that democracy inherently would always try to satisfy 51% of the people, and it would have an instantaneous referendum in the heat of the moment, that great passage in Thucydides where they vote to execute everybody on the island of Lesbos, and they changed their mind the next day and sent another trireme to revoke that order, or to executing Socrates for gratuitous reasons. So that’s the complaint. But I have…and then this is the hyper-phenomenon of that. It’s energized, fueled by the internet, and this technology that we’ve gotten addicted to with cell phones and the internet and cable television. But that being said, I still have faith in democracy that the average person, if he’s given enough time and enough information, will usually come to the right decision. After all, we rejected Carterism for Reagan, and we rejected a series of people, whether it was Mondale or McGovern or Dukakis, or Kerry who had a very different view of where America should be going.

HH: You know, I’m actually, along with Mark Steyn, one of the few optimists about this election for the reason you just mentioned. Now it’s not much time. It’s four weeks. But there’s a lot of information about Barack Obama, there’s a lot of information about his tax policies, his anti-trade policies, which align him with Herbert Hoover’s misguided approach to the great crash of ’29, that I think the American people are going to step back over the next four weeks. And we saw a little bit in a couple of polls, and say can we really entrust the United States of America to this very outside of the mainstream political figure? Are you as much an optimist as Steyn and myself?

VDH: I am, and I get criticized by a lot of conservatives for that reason. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said time. I think people were mad at Bush, they were mad and confused by the wars and the economic meltdown. And then suddenly, they do not want to vote for Obama, but they feel that they have to to express their dissatisfaction. But that being said, the more they’re starting to learn about all of these various manifestations of…I say manifestations, because we’re talking about FISA, public campaign financing, NAFTA, town meetings, guns, abortion, capital punishment. You and I could go on and on of the things that he’s flipped or moderated or adapted, rejected his former positions because…and the question is why is he doing that? And the fact is he had to go further to the center than almost any modern candidate. He was so far in that coterie of Chicago leftists. And then we find another disturbing pattern is that he only will disown these people when they come to the public attention in sort of a meltdown. So Reverend Wright, he could no more forsake Reverend Wright or give him up unless Reverend Wright is stupid enough to go to Ground Zero at the National Press Club and let the world see what an odious racist he is. Then suddenly, he’s gone. Bill Ayers, this man was e-mailing and phoning Bill Ayers up until 2005 after everybody had known that Ayers had said these ridiculous assertions that he was not going to feel guilty, he was unrepentant. And when did he throw him under the proverbial bus? Only when he ran for Senate, or he was elected to the Senate and he was going to start this presidential run. So there’s a very disturbing pattern that the people themselves intrinsically do not bother Obama. He feels comfortable with them. He only distances himself when he feels that they become a political liability.

HH: Victor Davis Hanson, we’ve got two minutes to our first break here. Would you define for the audience hubris?

VDH: Well, it’s a classical concept, and it’s over-weaning arrogance. And what it means is that when things, it’s a very complex idea, but it means when things are going good, the person feels somehow that those good developments, that positive feeling is because of something he did. And then does something in excess more and more. They have another word, koros, excess. And then this finally is sort of a self-delusional process, and there’s gods in the world that egg this person on because he lacks, the word is sophrosyne or moderation. And then of course, he implodes, and the words atte (sp?). There’s a succession from hubris to atte, destruction, and this is the result of Nemesis. There is a god, Nemesis, that deludes people into thinking that whatever positive things that have happened to them is entirely because of their own rarely-answered genius and not because of accidents or fate or luck. So we all, the Greeks tell us when things start going well, do not think that you necessarily, if you’re a Wall Street financier or a Fannie Mae, that you are responsible, because you’re going to just keep doing to excess. I think Obama’s had that problem when things have gone well most of his life. He’s been able, as he said in his memoirs, to talk people into trusting him, or to talk people into doing things they otherwise might not do given his record of achievement.

– – – –

HH: Victor Hanson, let’s talk a little bit about John McCain. As I watched last night, I shared a frustration with many conservatives that he did not articulate arguments. He almost simply referenced them as though the American public should know of which he spoke, should have the same frame of reference. And I thought to myself, this is very frustrating, but on the other hand, it’s very noble. He just assumes the American people understands what he’s talking about. Did he make a huge error in doing so?

VDH: Well, my problem is incrementalism, that incrementally, he seems that he gains ground on Obama because people in their natural states would prefer his approach. And he’s not by nature mean-spirited or disingenuous. So he doesn’t like to go negative. He assumes people have a certain level of common knowledge. But the problem is that events are overtaking him. The headlines about Wall Street, Fannie Mae, the whole Washington-New York in pretty much a cesspool, and so what happens is Obama shoots ahead because of the events of the day. And you said it a moment earlier when you said it was time. If we had eight more weeks of this campaign, and the focus on Obama, I suppose, McCain could catch up. But he’s going to have a great deal of trouble catching up unless he decides to be much tougher, to draw distinctions between the Obama of Chicago, the Obama that voted the most liberal Senator in the U.S. Senate, the Obama who had a particular view of the world. It’s no accident when Obama’s wife, I don’t want to pick on his wife, but when she serially says that she has no pride in the United States until her husband ran, or she’s mad at the United States, or this is a mean country, all of that is, is just a reification of the type of people they met, the type of conversations that were going on, the type of worldview they had. And that has to come out, or McCain is going to lose. And he’s going to have to tell people this is the biggest contrast since McGovern-Nixon in ’72, culturally, socially, politically, economically. We’ve got a European socialist who believes in statism and collectivized health care, high taxes, entitlements, and we have somebody who doesn’t. We have somebody who believes in world governance and deference to the United Nations, and utopian pacifism, moral equivalence, multiculturalism, oppression studies, and someone who doesn’t. But if he’s not going to walk the American people through that labyrinth and tell people very simply that if you vote for my opponent, the following is going to happen in your lives. And if you don’t, this is what’s going to happen if you vote for me. He needs…he needed to say in five seconds Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are not the entire problem with the economy, but they were the catalyst that started this, and here’s why, because greedy people on Wall Street piggybacked on the assumption that the federal government would back bad loans. Why did they back bad loans? Because Barack Obama and Barney Frank and this whole group of Democratic apparatchiks, under the guise of political correctness, lent money to people who had no business borrowing it, and who walked away from their obligations. And that caused a chain of events that now we’re supposed to think discredited capitalism. And he needs to tell people how that started. And if he can’t, then he’s going to be into this, you know, gecko and Wall Street did this, and this is typical greed, and this is, it’s not going to work for him. If he gets into that paradigm, the Republicans will be just blamed for not believing in regulation or statism, and he’s going to lose. He needs to get back to what caused this meltdown in the very beginning, and that really disturbing circular process where somebody from a Democratic administration is given a plumb sinecure, and that person, to keep his job, gives money from that quasi-public institution to the Congress, who oversee it, and then cooks the books so that he or she and their friends can take multimillion dollar bonuses. And once that’s established at a trillion to two trillion dollars, then the ever-ready profitmongers in Wall Street see that, and they see the guarantees, and then they start to participate in it.

HH: Now that argument is, I’ve been making that argument for weeks now, and it’s an argument I’m familiar with, because it’s an argument against the elites of Manhattan and Washington.

VDH: Absolutely.

HH: And I’ve always been comfortable broadcasting from the West Coast, because I’m not part of the Manhattan-Washington Beltway media elite. But it seems to that that elite, that media elite, has been engaged in a cooperative cover-up that keeps accountability far removed from an elite that’s really not a business, it’s not a Republican elite, it’s not a country club elite, it’s a hyper-privileged elite, Victor Hanson. And as Kissinger said about a different argument at a different time, this argument has the additional benefit of being true. And I think it’s intuited by the American people, but do they connect it with Obama?

VDH: Well, we all know that from all of these informal polls that hedge fund directors, for example, the people who deal in highly speculative and highly remunerative investments prefer Obama. Goldman-Sachs is a sort of liberal Democratic stamp to it. And so people who make the mega-profits, think about it. It makes sense. They’re immune from worries about taxes. They’re immune from worries about making a payroll. The Republican constituency is the guy who owns a hardware store, a paving company, sells cars, because he might make up to $250 or $300K, but to make that $250 or $300K, he’s got to work eighty hours a week, he takes risk, he can lose everything. The man at Goldman-Sachs who takes a thirty, or Franklin Raines at Fannie Mae who takes a $30 million dollar bonus, he doesn’t care if taxes are 50% or 70%. In fact, he feels better when they’re higher because it gives him a psychological cover that he’s liberal, that he’s caring, that he wants the government to do something that he in his own life doesn’t want to do. He doesn’t want to live in the ghetto, he doesn’t want to tutor a kid from the barrio. He doesn’t want to contribute very much money. We saw that with the comparative charities of Biden V. Palin.

HH: Wasn’t that shocking?

VDH: Absolutely, but it’s been repeated again and again. We saw that with the Clintons when they gave their underwear and claimed them as deductions in the 90s.

HH: I think that was the Gores, wasn’t it?

VDH: Gores, yeah.

HH: Okay, okay.

VDH: It’s the same thing. It’s a sort of remote control charity of feeling bad, feeling guilty as long as it’s distant, and it’s the government can do what the individual should.

HH: By the way, you’re going to Europe in 2009…

VDH: Yes.

HH: …and leading a group of people that will be touring what, Athens and Rome?

VDH: Yeah, I do that every year. I take about 60, first come first serve, and then we have a waiting list, and we go to great battlefields. This year, we’re going to do some places outside Rome, Sorrento, and then we’re going to go to Crete and Chania, and talk about everything from the Minoans to World War II and the airborne invasion, and end up in Athens at Marathon.

HH: And extraordinary opportunity at, and an extraordinary conversation continues because Victor Davis Hanson is in it. Don’t go anywhere.

– – – –

HH: Victor Hanson, how many times have you met with George W. Bush?

VDH: I think four.

HH: Have you ever been alone with him for these conversations? Or is staff always present?

VDH: Once alone, but not more than five minutes.

HH: At this juncture, at almost the conclusion of his term, how do you assess him?

VDH: Well, I agree with him that we’re not going to be able to assess him until later on. I think that his chief achievement was that at a time when everybody thought we were going to be struck in succession by terrorists, he and he alone guaranteed that we would not by the things he was willing to do – FISA, Guantanamo, the Patriot Act. All of these are caricatured now that they had worked, and they’ve stopped terrorism. Had he not stopped terrorism, he would have been criticized for not doing enough. He took out the two most odious regimes in the Middle East. There’s constitutional governments there. And I think that’s going to be his chief, he’s going to be like Truman. He’s going to go out in the 20s approval rating, we’re not going to like him for the next ten years. We’re going to look back in the context that he really did dismantle al Qaeda. They’re not able to repeat these assaults on us. And I think that’s the way to look at it, because I think a lot of our criticisms of what he did, my chief criticism is the increase in domestic spending at twice the rate Clinton did. And I think the reason he did that is he was willing to compromise too liberally with Democrats across the aisle, because he thought that in those critical years, 2003, 2004, 2005, and he was right, they would not pull the plug on the effort in Iraq, and he was willing to sacrifice a domestic agenda in some sense for that. I had criticisms with him on his open borders policy originally. There’s other things that I thought…I don’t think that no child left behind was wise, or prescription drug…he didn’t address the entitlement problem, he spent too much. All that being said, I think that there were very few people given the pressures of the office at this particular time and this particular place in history that could have withstood that pressure, and he did.

HH: There’s an aspect of his character I want to throw out to you which I think is under-remarked upon, but will end up being a large part of his legacy, is that he has, though a victim of relentless fury and almost derangement on the part of his enemies, he’s never gone in for that. He’s almost a non-partisan president here at the end of his term, down to 25% approval, maybe even to the detriment of his party, he has refused. And I think it’s because of the briefings he gets every single day, he understands the world, et cetera. What do you make of his character?

VDH: I think that he sincerely believes that history later on will justify what he did when history is given the same facts at he was. I think he actually believes that he gets this frightening intelligence every day. He talks to these leaders abroad candidly that tell him horrific things that could happen. He makes these decisions, and he feels either that people share these same anxieties that don’t have the same information, or there will come a time when they’ll be privy to this knowledge, and they’ll see that he made the right decision. But even Saturday Night Live, if you’ve watched those skits the last five years, he’s never portrayed as Machiavellian. He’s always portrayed as sort of somebody that Nancy Pelosi or a Barbara Boxer or a Harry Reid is taking advantage of because he refuses to get down to the same level. He’s not calling people communists in the way that people are calling him a Nazi or worse even. So I mean, this is a very strange time, Hugh. I can’t think…in the last five years, think of every genre of expression. Novels, we’ve had Checkpoint by Nicholson Baker, who’s them was how to kill George Bush. We had the documentary, the Assassination Of The President.

HH: We have the new W film coming out by Oliver Stone.

VDH: Yes, absolutely. It was about how to kill a president. And we’ve had comedians, we’ve had people who’ve said the most outrageous things about killing him and harm to his person, and he has never retaliated, or he’s never got angry about it, and I think that there’s some kind of philosophical perspective he has that when everything is said and done, and on the rare occasions I’ve talked to him, that seems to be the theme, that Truman’s evoked, Eisenhower’s evoked, as people who…

HH: Lincoln has been evoked when I’ve been with him.

VDH: Lincoln, absolutely. And he seems to be cognizant of critical periods in American history, the summer of 1864, the winter of 1776-77, the period in 1950 after we were almost pushed out of Korea. At key points where a lesser person in office would have capitulated to the pressures and the demands of the age, and that he didn’t, and the people of that age, whether it’s a Robert Taft, or it’s a Horace Greeley, we don’t remember those people. We only remember the people who said no, I’m not going to cater to public opinion.

– – – –

HH: Victor Hanson, if Obama maintains his lead and wins, and the pollsters are correct, he will be joined in Washington probably with a filibuster-proof Senate, or very close, led by Harry Reid, and the House of Representatives led by Nancy Pelosi. I cannot honestly recall a period in American history where three such extremely partisan and differentiated in terms of the extreme of their ideology, conservative or left, would be in charge. And I can’t even come up with anything like it in Great Britain, excepts perhaps immediately after World War II when the Labour Party came in. Can you, and what does it portend for the country if in fact the pollsters are right?

VDH: I think there was a period in 1933 and 1934 where the Roosevelt administration felt that a socialist National Recovery Agency and things like that, a socialist approach, and they went with that pretty much, and it didn’t really bring results until the War, and then the War sort of stopped that. And the Henry Wallace wing of the Democratic Party was shunned aside. But there was a period in the 30s where they were trying things that nobody imagined that Americans would try, and they didn’t work. But they did leave, I think, a pernicious legacy. Same thing, I think, is going to happen here. We’re going to go into a recession, probably. And if Obama’s elected, we’re probably going to see a cap taken off FICA for people over $250K, small businessmen will see their marginal rates and sales taxes in the states, and it’ll give the green light, people don’t remark on this, it’ll give the green light to state governments and local governments that higher taxation is the answer for their own fiscal problems. And so I think that we’re going to see something akin to what Europe did in the 80s, where you’ll have slower growth, larger state bureaucracies, and you’re going to see, if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac frighten people, and they saw the people who were attracted to that type of government service, the elites, and the inefficiency, that model of a quasi-private-public partnership is going to be the model for health care. We’re going to see an expansion of federal control of education. I’m worried about other things that people don’t remark about. He’s rarely said anything about his educational philosophy, but on the rare occasion that he has, it’s quite frightening. He’s said that we needed, for example, more oppression studies. He went to an ethnic school, and I think it in New Mexico, and said this is a model, a Chicano ethnic school.

HH: I think it was Colorado.

VDH: Colorado, yes. And then he, in addition to this, he called for reparations, and he quickly sort of sidestepped that issue. And you get the impression that right now in the United States, the problem that we don’t, the problem is not that we have too much of a therapeutic curriculum. We have these courses – peace studies, ethnic studies, leisure studies.

HH: Gender studies.

VDH: Gender studies. And what’s happening is the public, when they send their children to school, they can’t be ensured that they’re going to have philosophy, literature, reasoning, logic, writing. And so the public itself, and we’re starting to see the deterioration in things as diverse as the post office to the DMV, we’re not turning out an educated, competitive citizen. And the worst thing you could do is A) accelerate that process, and then add more envy, anger, grievance to it, because you’re going to get somebody who will not be able to compete, and then get angry as if he should be able to compete. And I’m really worried about that.

HH: In terms of that dynamic working its way through the political system, though, in the Great Depression, people didn’t get angry. The revolution was expected, it didn’t come. It self-corrected in many respects. Do you see a rapid bounce-back against statist policies if in fact it becomes Obama, Pelosi and Reid? Or do you see a prolonged period?

VDH: I think that’s what you were getting at when you asked the questions about hubris. I think that if you get Reid together, and Pelosi and Obama, and the people who surround them, the legal team, the people who are going to be in the State Department, the people that are going to be at the Attorney General’s office, maybe right below the radar that the public won’t immediately fathom, I think you’re going to see an intensification of an ideology. They’re going to get further and further to the left. And it’s finally going to reach a critical mass, and people as they did in the Reagan revolution, are going to react. But I think that we’re going to have to go through this catharsis, because rightly or wrongly, people right now are blaming the conservative movement, Republicans, for things that I don’t think they’re culpable for. And I’ve never seen a period in my lifetime where all of the engines of the media, PBS, NPR, New York Times, Washington Post, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, the New Yorker, the New Republic, all of these things that while they don’t reach as many people perhaps in terms of talk radio or Fox News, they have enormous cultural capital, and they set the tone, and I’ve never seen them all together working in concert to such an affect, that they’re saying George Bush is a Nazi, George Bush is a buffoon, Sarah Palin is a yokel, these people want to burn books, they want to cram down fundamentalist religion or else down their throat, and they’re scaring the people in a way that I haven’t seen in my lifetime in the United States.

HH: Are they scaring all the people? Or are they scaring what I think it looks to me like, is a combination of critical mass of the underclass, who have grievances.

VDH: Yes.

HH: …and the uberclass, the academic class, with whom you’ve been associated for thirty years, and I’ve been doing it for fifteen, almost uniformly to the hard left, and that they’re taking the margins off, but that vast center remains not at all aligned ideologically. Or have I just got on rose-colored glasses?

VDH: No, you’re right, but I think the problem is that the 51% that we see in the polls that are for Obama, that coalition for some reason is getting larger of the underclass. And they’re not really the underclass anymore. They’re the people in the lower middle class who have grown up on the expectation of more and more entitlements, more educational loans, more home owners relief, more federal money. We’re in a serious situation where 35% of the Americans are not paying any money when they file a 1040. And they’re not necessarily poor. So we’re getting to a situation where that nexus that you described is getting at least 50/50, and what I’m especially disturbed about is I don’t remember what I would call the boutique liberal, the person making $200,000 or $100,000, whose so radically left on the expectation that all of his bromides won’t affect him because of his capital, but he has a disdain for the upper middle class that it will affect.

– – – –

HH: Victor, we’re talking as though the Democrats are going to come in, and I actually believe a self-correction’s already underway, and that some of the polls show that, and that the Senate races will resolve, and Norm Coleman will win, and John Sununu will come back, and that we’ll have a filibuster even if Obama wins. But I want to stay on the prospect for just a moment. It really wouldn’t frighten me if I thought that they had an agenda worth experimenting with. But I don’t…when Reagan arrived, and I was part of that in 1980, he had a number of big ideas. The Heritage Foundation put out the blueprint for America. They wanted to do a number of things. I don’t see the Democratic Party wanting to do anything that I can articulate other than punish and redistribute. Do they have ideas?

VDH: No, that’s why they were so angry at Clinton in the primary. For all of the pathologies of Bill Clinton, you could see that he understood, maybe it was the process of triangulation under the guidance of Dick Morris, but he understood that welfare had gotten out of control, and that there were political benefits, for whatever reason, of having a balanced budget and a surplus. I don’t get that at all from these people. I get the impression, as you said, punitive. I think they’re going to try to have sort of war crimes trials, that they will have Senate and House hearings about the Bush administration. I am very worried about certain things in Europe. They’re going to be closely aligned with European socialists. I think that they’re going to inordinately defer to the United Nations, which after the reception we saw with Ahmadinejad was quite frightening as well. And I think they have a different idea about taxation. They don’t believe the individual creates that capital. If you talk to these people, they believe that because of some nebulous, arbitrary process, somebody who makes $200,000 due to his intellect or his expertise or his value to the economy got lucky, or it was a rigged system in which someone, let’s say, who paints a house and makes $40,000 deserves $200,000. I was recently in Libya, and I had a ruptured appendix, and I was operated on in a country in which by fiat, the person who cleaned the floor made the same as the surgeon. And as I watched the manifestations of that all through the economy, I realized that the reason that an oil exporter can’t fill potholes on the road on the way to the airport was simply that there was no incentive for anybody to do anything. There was no distinction. There was no recognition of talent or expertise or luck or sacrifice. So that’s what I’m worried…I guess it would be summed up under the rubric that people around Obama, from what they’ve said, seem to believe in an equality of result rather than an equality of opportunity. And anytime that happens in history, you know the results of it, human nature being what it is.

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