Thursday, February 9, 2012

Government Dependence Is Killing America

America is in trouble, that’s clear. Our economy is creaking along and has produced no jobs in a decade. Unemployment is soaring. The middle class is shrinking. Inflation is crushing wages and people on fixed incomes. Our national debt is stifling and our deficit tells us the powers that be are running full speed ahead with the same old dysfunction. Now we have some interesting data from the Heritage Foundation which highlights the greatest threat this country faces. In a word: dependence.

According to the Heritage Foundation, dependence on the federal government rose 23% in the first two years under Obama. That’s the biggest rise since Jimmy Carter. What's worse, almost every year sees a rise, and the cumulative effects are staggering. In the last two years, the number of people dependent on the federal government has risen 7.5% to 67 million people. That means 22% of the population, one in five people, is a ward of the state. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg because more than 49% of all Americans, 152 million people, live in a household that gets a check from the government.

Think about that.

Half of all Americans look to the federal government as a source of income, and one in five look to it as their primary source of income. Do you think those people will support cutting government spending? Unlikely. At this point, these people eat up 70% of the federal budget -- they claimed 25% in 1962 and 48% in 1990.

Further, 49.5% of all Americans pay NO income taxes (it was 12% in 1960). Do you think those people have any incentive to stop the growth of government?

America has become a country where the many mooch off the labors of the few. This is a disaster because it gives millions of people a strong incentive to vote to keep taking from the rest. And that is highly destructive to the fabric of the country. Why? Because a culture of dependence is forming where a majority of Americans see the government as provider. They have essentially become useless. . . a drain on society. But they have political power because of their sheer numbers and they have no shame in using the government to steal from everyone else. Essentially, the unproductive are using the force of government to make the productive into their slaves.

This must end and it must end fast because dependence makes people unable and unwilling to change. So long as this continues, these people will entrench themselves further and they will ultimately destroy the country in an orgy of debt.

After I started this article, I ran across an article about Jim DeMint. DeMint is the real intellectual Godfather of the Tea Party and must be credited with shaking Senate Republicans from their slumber. DeMint has put out a new book in which he says what I am saying above:
“Dependent voters will naturally elect even big-government progressives who will continue to smother economic growth and spend America deeper into debt. The 2012 election may be the last opportunity for Republicans to win enough votes to win the presidency and a majority in Congress, and enact policies that might turn our nation around from the imminent threat of fiscal calamity.”
This is a significant point. So long as the GOP lets the Democrats (and fellow Republicans) keep adding people to the government dole, we are making it harder and harder to win future elections. It’s a vicious circle, and it needs to be broken.

Interestingly, when DeMint was asked about the presidential candidates, he deferred, but he made two points very clearly: (1) winning the election trumps everything else because of the need to stop this culture of dependence, and (2) the winner of the primary must adopt/focus on Ron Paul’s ideas of individual liberty, cutting the power of the Federal Reserve, and limited government. Said DeMint:
“If our nominee doesn’t pick up a lot of Ron Paul’s ideas, we’re missing the boat and we’re missing a lot of people who could help us build our party. These are not wild ideas.”
I have to agree. I think that a sane Ron Paul without a surrenderist foreign policy would be an unbeatable Republican candidate in almost any election, and especially in this election. The question is, who is this person? Jim DeMint is about the only name that comes to mind at the moment.


Tennessee Jed said...

We have been steadily approaching the tipping point for some time now which is why we absolutely have to reverse thetrend or it will be gone forever. I don't know if you recall a book I reviewed at Commentarama a year or so back titled "Never Enough" by William Voegeli. It does a great job of outlining the steady march. I think the conclusions he drew were realistic in terms of what the parameters are to the fight. Americans have shown they want a bit of statism, but are never comfortable when we approach the European levels. For folks who have not read it, I highly recommend it.

T-Rav said...

And now I'm despondent to start off the day. Thanks, Andrew. :-(

T-Rav said...

FYI, for anyone who (like me) needs some cheering up, the 2012 CPAC is starting today and is streaming on their website (though only in short clips unless you register). Rubio is speaking right now, and it's awesome.

BevfromNYC said...

Those Greek columns that Obama used in 2008 were more for just show. The Dems were foreshadowing what they would to do to our economy with the help of their friends on the other side of the aisle. The United States of Greco-America...

The problem will always be the same. We know we need to make major cuts to our Federal spending and the cuts are always to the budgets of OTHER programs, not our own. It is making me crazy!!!!

My plan - 15% cut across the board for everyone, period. No budget gets
a waiver, or exception. All federally funded budgets including those that pay and/or benefit federal workers get a 15% cut. All's fair and all is just. The only issue should be the percentage, but not the cuts.

CrisD said...

Hey Andrew!
This is what I THOUGHT was going to be the subject of this election--not anti-abortion. Yet that the abortion and other social issues are buzzing around like crazy.

I thought we were done with a big government that has already spent us into oblivion. The pro=abortions are telling everyone who will listen "you need to be protected from these evil conservatives who are say they want to fix the economy but really want you all to go to their church-and PS you will have to have the baby from a rape and they hate your homesexual brother and will call him names."

rant off :)

Unknown said...

There are many different versions of this, with multiple attributions. But whoever first said it, it is an eternal truth: "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury." The Founders knew that, and counted on an elected government which would have the courage to restrain that impulse. We are now as close to failure as we have ever been, and if we don't listen to DeMint and people like him, we're finished.

BevfromNYC said...

CrisD - This is what is SUPPOSED to be about, but Santorum and the Dems keep diverting the conversation to abortion rights. It is probably why Obama and Sebelius chose to roll out the new mandate that religious institutions will have to provide Ins. coverage for bc/abortion aides to employees during this process. He knew that it would divert the far-right from the REAL issues - his abysmal economic policies. He did this the same time that the new unemployment stats came out.

And we fall for it every damn time. My rant has just started!

CrisD said...

Bev-have been under the weather and tuning into Fox and they are putting on the reactionary Right on a 24 hour reel. Budget and spending discussions are rare stories...

Let's get back on the ball! This is ridiculous! Thanks Rick numb-nuts.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Anytime. :(

On the plus side. . . well, give me a minute, I'll think of something positive. Hmm.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I do indeed recall your excellent review and here is the link for anyone who hasn't seen it: LINK

You are 100% right that this is something we've been headed toward for a very long time but at an increasing rate. There are only two years where this went backwards -- once under Reagan and once under Clinton.

If Republicans don't stop this, this will create a permanent welfare class that sees the government as it's means of living. And they will outnumber the other voters.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Sadly, I am not cheered by much of conservatism these days as it has gone insane.

That said, Rubio does cheer me up a lot! :) Do you have a link?

T-Rav said...

Andrew, they've moved on from Rubio by now, but there's still a live feed at the C-SPAN website. Link

Really, though, the more I think about it, the more depressed I get. Right now, I have zero confidence that any of our candidates could beat Obama in November, or that they would govern in a conservative manner if they did win. Screw it all.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That is so rational a plan that it will never happen. Seriously, that is an entirely obvious solution which both parties should be able to get behind, except that the Democrats will not accept a penny in cuts from anything except the military and the Republicans won't accept a penny in cuts from the military.

It's insane.

And making this worse, the Republicans (e.g. W, Santorum, Newt) help add people to the government roles by creating new programs, new subsidies and new entitlements. This needs to stop. We have become a country of cronies.

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, The abortion issue has come up because it's the perfect defense for the Democrats. They CANNOT win on economics because they've made a huge mess of things. So instead, they raise the abortion issue, which is like a red flag to a bull on our side, and our side stupidly takes the bait and starts ranting about it. Soon the election becomes about who you trust on abortion and in that election, the Republicans lose handily.

Basically, our own fringe is cutting our throats because the Democrats have learned to goad them into being political stupid.

It is very disheartening.

AndrewPrice said...

CrisD, By the way, let me point out....

Jim DeMint is a solid social conservative. But he grasps politics. He knows that leading with issues like abortion is a loser. He also knows that's not the priority.

He has shown exactly how social conservatives can win an election: (1) by being an economic libertarian first and loudest, (2) by making this a referendum on economic and personal freedom, and (3) by putting the social conservative stuff into the background -- not abandoning it, but by not highlighting it.

That's how social conservatives will prevail in this country. The Santorum way is just about the worst of all world: (1) rant about gays, (2) promise to change the constitution to stop abortion and "birth control" to stop people from "doing unnatural things in the bedroom," and (3) promise to use Big Government to do good things.

Santorum belongs on the far left, not the far right. And his focus on gays and abortions is doing exactly what you've said -- it's taken the focus off the economy and it turns off people.

People need to listen to DeMint.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, People often say "we are on the verge of failure as a country" and it's usually just stupid hyperbole. But this is the one time it might be right. When you look at the numbers, we have simply reached a point where:

(1) the system is unsustainable economically,

(2) but no one is willing to even slow the rate at which we are nearing the cliff, and

(3) the voters are being conditioned to vote selfishly and get as much as they can without regard to the effect on the country.

We've reversed the Kennedy formula: "Ask not what you can do for your country, get what you can... somebody else will pay the bill."

DUQ said...

I love Jim DeMint! He is right on about this (so are you). But this is scary stuff.

CrisD said...

Yes, the comments here today show a remarkable similarity. It seems we all have our finger on the problem, so what gives with the RNC or particular campaigns--I mean if I figured it out, it can't take a genious!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, You are voicing my frustrations perfectly.

I am really upset that we have been diverted from the real issues by a side issue that will hand this election to Obama and will discredit the Republican Party with the independents and young people we need to build a permanent majority.

ALSO, it pisses me off something fierce that these people are supporting a jackass like Santorum who loves big government and doesn't give a damn about freedom. This is a man who supports internet censorship, hand outs for cronies, created a new entitlement under Medicare, supported gun bans, supports amnesty, is a foreign policy adventurer, and never met a government program he doesn't love. Ahhhh!

// rant off

Sorry about the swearing.

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, The problem with Fox and the rest is that they are about ratings, so they go for sensationalism.

It's hard to get ratings when you report on economic numbers. It's easy when you bring in both sides to fight over a hot button issue. It's destructive to the cause, but it gets good ratings -- and that's all they care about.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Thanks for the link. Here is the nub of the problem for me:

I have zero confidence. . . that they would govern in a conservative manner if they did win.

That is what frustrates me. It frustrates me that we have good people and they didn't run! It frustrates me that the candidates aren't embracing guys like Jim DeMint. It is frustrating.

I think I'm going to have to start imposing a good news quota in my articles.

tryanmax said...

Santorum held DeMint up as a shield on "Hannity" last night, rather than directly answer a tough question about earmarks. (Didn't see it, but I heard the audio this morning.) Of course, Ricky gets pats on the back for cuddling up to DeMint instead of scolded for dodging the question. None of this is knock on DeMint, BTW.

Santorum is about a sleazy as they come as far as politicians go, but he's held up as the moralist on account of one (okay two) issue. Romney, on the other hand, has convinced me that he's a straight-shooter who's improved his thinking on a few things and he's supposed to be the grease-ball flip-flopper.

To suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. Some days, one pines for the Judgement Day more than others.

tryanmax said...

Good News Quota: *thumbs up!*

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, This is one of those moments of clarity. The future is clear if we don't change course. But few people seem willing to change course for fear of alienating the people are the problem. It is political cowardice dooming the party and the country.

Jim DeMint rocks!

CrisD said...

I really outdid myself with typos today--I'm obviously NOT a genius!!

Please excuse and thanks for the reply re:Fox

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I agree that under these circumstances, the social stuff risks alienating the independents and the youth vote--though that says more about them than it does about our own party, in my opinion.

But I'm sure most of the base is aware of this, to some extent. They care about abortion and gay marriage, but they also care about small government. And despite the wave of support for Santorum on Tuesday, I can't imagine a lot of them actually like him--I know I've never met anyone who is actually an all-out fan. Like I kinda said yesterday, I think this has more to do with a dislike of Romney than it does with embracing the right-wing Big Government of Santorum or Gingrich.

CrisD said...

I guess we're all racists....

NOT lol-ing! :(

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, I suspect the real problem is "the establishment," though that's not what you think.

The establishment is this:

1. The party has an internal structure based on the people who do the leg work. These are the people who control the precincts, who control state and local parties, and who will canvas for votes and make sure people turn out. They are Religious Right. They care about abortion and that's about it. (Their Democratic counterparts are the unions.)

2. The party has a financial arm, which is needed to handle all the other aspects of the party. These are the people who pay for campaigns, pay for ads, pay for the party infrastructure. These people are Big Business Cronies. They care only about keeping the government spigot open.

When a candidate looks at who they need to please, they realize that they need to please the Religious Right, because they are the labor and are the gatekeepers, and they need to please the cronies because they provide the money.

Pleasing the average Republican comes a distant third.

That is why we keep ending up with such horrible candidates. In fact, that's why we get people like Rick and W before him. Rick is the "ideal" Republican Party candidate because the only principles he believes in are opposition to abortion and gays, and he's willing to whore himself to any Big Business which comes along.

That's the problem.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I didn't hear the Santorum comment on DeMint, but Santorum and DeMint are polar opposites except on the so-con issues. So I'm not surprised he ducked... or lied. He's lied his way through this whole election process, like when he suddenly claimed to support eVerify in the last debate.

I also find it stunning that people consider the sleazy Santorum "moral" and don't see Romney as moral. Romney is probably the most moral, straight-laced man to ever run for the office. But I think in this case, "moral" is a proxy for something else, specifically "not-Mormon".

And the attacks on Romney as a flipflopper do offend me on principle. Reagan "flipflopped" just like Romney has. So did half of the most conservative minds in the party. We want people to realize they were wrong and join the good guys. How do we do that when we then forever hold their prior mistakes against them as a permanent stain and further attack them as somehow weak of character for seeing the light and joining us? It's asinine.

AndrewPrice said...

I'll see what I can do about the good news quota. We need more cheer around here! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, No problem with the typos. I make a ton of them. In fact, I find it disturbing how many typos I make these days. It seems the numbers keep going up and I can't explain why.

CrisD said...

I am personally familiar with the local gate keepers as well as at least two big business donors (who btw were talking Romney 2 years ago!) Your story about the caucusing rang so true to the Republicans that I was involved with in NC.

Your insights are terrific.

AndrewPrice said...


But I'm sure most of the base is aware of this, to some extent. They care about abortion and gay marriage, but they also care about small government.

I wish this were true. But it was absolutely clear at the caucus that the only issue those people cared about was "morality." One guy even said "we tried voting for economics and look where that got us." And half the room nodded their heads. Those are not people who cared at all about economics or small government.

Also, how does it show that the base cares about small government when they support a guy like Santorum who has made no promises whatsoever to shrink the government and has instead promised to expand it at every turn (and has a history of doing that)?

I wish I could believe these people had made a rational decision to oppose the liberal RINO, but they've instead made a decision to jump on a RINO bandwagon all because this RINO whines loudly about the one issue they care about -- abortion.

That is not giving me any comfort.

Also, Bev is right above -- Santorum's focus on abortion and gays is taking the focus off Obama's economy. He is helping the Democrats re-define this election in a way which will help them all along the ticket.

But let me make something clear because I don't want to come across the wrong way here: I am NOT opposed to social conservative ideas. I am NOT saying so-cons are wrong for opposing abortion or gay marriage or gay rights. Far from it.

I am saying, however, that:

1. Turning this election into a referendum on social issues is intensely stupid.

2. In a race where each of the candidates claims to be pro-life, it is wrong to pick a guy who is a socialist just because he screams more stridently about the issue. That tells me these people are not genuine conservatives, they are theocrats masquerading as conservatives who fall for political theater.

3. This issue is an issue of futility. There will NEVER be a ban on abortion in this country and Santorum’s promise of a pro-life amendment to the constitution has a 0.0% chance of happening. So they are deciding on a pie-in-the-sky idea rather than looking practically at how to move the ball in the direction of their beliefs. That’s stupid and counterproductive.

And when Obama implements ObamaCare and all the abortion and contraceptive stuff that goes with it in his second term, and that becomes more deeply ensconced in the land and the culture, THESE PEOPLE can thank themselves for supporting Ricky. They will be at fault for aiding and abetting Obama by choosing a loony who makes them feel good rather than a guy who will be good for them.

That is my issue, not that I think gay marriage and abortion are good, but that the approach of these people are taking will lead to the very things they oppose and will lead to the economic destruction of the country in the process.

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, I get so sick of the racism charge. Fortunately, it's impact has worn down to almost nothing. But it still annoys me. It seems that basically any disagreement with something blacks want is now racism. It's pathetic.

CrisD said...

I still feel the racism charge is quite potent. The liberal old ladies I know (and I know a lot of em) equate poor and social programs with black ( I know, I know it's them) but they bully and manage the argument with this world view.

They have the ability to stir up support for Obama in the campaign by accusing us of being racist kitty-cat haters.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks CrisD!

I first started to realize the problem with the party when Focus on the Family moved into the Colorado Springs area.

Before they arrived, the Colorado Republican Party was a mixture of religious conservatives and libertarians. That produced some of the most solidly conservative Republicans in the country, guys like Joel Hefley who was solidly conservative on every issue that ever came before Congress. And they won about 60% of state-wide elections.

Then the FOTF people set about changing the GOP. They drove away the libertarians and changed the focus to gays. This was when Prop 1 came about, the "anti-gay rights thing." Soon, that and abortion became all the party cared about. Suddenly, the GOP started losing all over the state. Their response was to get more strident. And the losing continued. I can't think of the last time we won anything. But their response has been to just keep ratcheting up the stridency.

And the more they've lost the further left the state keeps moving. We now have a "transgender bathroom" law because the Democrats have a free hand to do whatever they want.


AndrewPrice said...

I thought this was a unique Colorado problem because of the influx of FotF and their supporters. I was wrong.

When I went to Virgina, I got involved with the Republicans there. I saw the exact same thing. In a very conservative state, people were still supporting the Democrats because the Republican party was seen as obsessed with one issue: abortion. You simply could not be a candidate if you didn't toe the line that abortion was the end-all-be-all of politics.

Virginia is a very red state that votes blue because the reds scare the hell out of people.

Then, while in Virginia, I got to meet people on the Hill and the money types. I've even dealt with several in my career out there. They didn't care about patriotism, social issues, economic freedom, capitalism, or even the country... they care about keeping the federal spigot open. They were getting rich on taxpayer money and they would support anyone (in either party) who would promise to keep that going.

Since that time, I've paid attention and I've seen some things that appear contradictory until you realize what is really going on.

Take SOPA for example. SOPA makes no sense whatsoever for its intended purpose. It won't stop piracy. So what is its real purpose? And why would someone like MSNBC be a big supporter -- they don't get pirated? Answer: because it lets them shut down the opposition. They see SOPA as a way to kill internet blogging, which will drive people back to television for their news. Why would drug companies support Obamacare? Because Uncle Sam will become a huge, reliable buyer of drugs and will guarantee them that their monopoly pricing can continue. Why does Warren Buffett support carbon regulation? Because he invested in windfarms and wants Uncle Sam to pay to hook his inefficient windfarms to the electrical grid.

Those are the driving forces in politics. And that's why we're in trouble.

rlaWTX said...

"Some days, one pines for the Judgement Day more than others." yep.

T-Rav: I do know a "Santorum super-fan", and she is a proselytizer deluxe. She is not an uneducated political consumer, quite the opposite. But I think she drank the so-con koolaid and takes everything else Ricky-boy says at face value. I don't argue.

Cheerful news quotas are a lovely idea, but like most quotas they'll probably bring more stifling than freeing (just think about Law& Andrew having to bite their tongues on days when the bad just outweighs the good - think of the medical bills for severed tongues. And for the commenters on those same days. Then The Powers That Be will have to monitor the ratios... messy, messy, messy)

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, Yeah, that's true. It certainly still works with liberals. And of course, blacks still fall for it too.

Unfortunately, it doesn't help that a guy like Newt is out there implicitly supporting the charge by saying Romney doesn't care about blacks because of his minimum wage position and that Republicans don't care about Hispanics because of our opposition to Amnesty.

It's frustrating.

T-Rav said...

rla, really? I know a lot of conservatives, and most of them tend to be socons, but I can't say any of them were supporting Santorum because they thought he was the bee's knees.

Wow. I find that truly bizarre.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Ok, we won't impose a quota. I'll just look for more positive stuff. :)

Something that bothers me about the current state of the conservative movement (and this isn't just Santorum supporters) is the willful blindness.

I said this yesterday, but for some time, conservatives have been hopping on bandwagons for people who give a good soundbite and claim to be conservative. They don't look into people's views, they demonize the opponents of their new crush, they let liberals smear all the opponents and even help the liberals out, and they turn a blind eye to the flaws of their own candidates.

Stan said something yesterday that stuck with me -- Santorum's wins will force Romney to be more conservative. That's true and very insightful. But let me turn this around and ask: so how does it help to put blind faith in Newt or Santorum? They have very leftist ideas but conservatives are simply ignoring those and declaring them "conservatives." How does it help us to not force them to repudiate those ideas?

I think conservatism is in real trouble right now.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav and rlaWTX, That's what I've found here as well.

1. Romney supporters are cautious in their support.

2. Newt's supporters hold their noses and say they don't like the others.

3. Santorum's supporters blindly think he's "a genuine conservative" and don't question any aspect of his record.

4. Paul's supporters wish he were different on a couple issues.

CrisD said...

I had a personal run in with the Republicans when I was running for school board in OH. It was R against R in the school district (I know there is no party thing but you know how it is a big stepping stone for wannabees :) ) The issue was who was going to have all the juicy contracts with the very wealthy school districts-Taxpayers be damned!

AndrewPrice said...

UNRELATED ASIDE: Has anyone seen Vanishing Point?

I really want to hear people's thoughts on that movie if they have. Thanks! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, I'm not at all surprised. When I was in West Virginia, getting elected was all about economic cronyism. Let's just say it was a "strange coincidence" that the people who got themselves elected to city and county positions just happened to hold land which eventually became the locations of the new WalMart and Lowes after the city and county decided other land was "unsuitable for development."

Around here, the school boards are made up of union reps on the left and religious candidates on the right. But the city council is all about people who have a direct economic interest various city policies (specifically related to the possible privatization of the power station and the city hospital, and the overseeing of landlords).

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I have in fact seen a vanishing point before. You have to know where to look, though. In da Vinci's The Last Supper, for example, it's in the background landscape, just behind Christ's....oh wait, is this a movie you're talking about?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, LOL! Thanks for getting my hopes up and then dashing them. :(

P.S. I sent you an e-mail.

CrisD said...

Haven't seen it, Andrew, but I IMBDed it and it looks like fun!

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, I've actually reviewed it (LINK), but I've been watching it again and it just fascinates and troubles me at the same time. It's one of those films I WANT to understand, but I'm not sure it can be understood. After last night's (late, late) viewing, I'm leaning toward this being a religious film. But I'm just not sure.

That's why I thought I'd ask everyone here for their thoughts (assuming people have seen it).

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I've often wondered why FotF would take up residence in such a blue state. Learning that FotF turned Colorado blue doesn't really surprise me, I'm sorry to say. The brand of aggressive evangelism that it represents and that many of its "fans" engage in has always rubbed me wrong. I used to think that made me a bad Christian. Knowing now how to judge a tree by its fruit, I no long suffer such insecurity. Given what they've done to Colorado, can FotF really say they've advanced the Kingdom of God on Earth?

The word that keeps popping up in my mind is "obliquity." The trouble with so-cons is that they focus directly and myopically on their hot button issues. Conservative social concerns are best addressed indirectly by focusing on reducing government, which incidentally is the best way to address virtually every conservative concern.

But by only addressing such concerns directly, the so-cons themselves and their ideas come off as very unpleasant.

CrisD said...

Read the review and comments. Tx. Sounds like a dark comedy with religious component for "everyone", that is for non-churchgoers. I like them and have a favorite film "Household Saint" that I would describe the same way. It is a movie I like to watch but can't explain it to others. I watched my movie with my mom and she couldn't even sit through it!

I'll look out to see it.

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, It's not quite a comedy. It takes itself very seriously.

However, I think you are spot on with your description of the film as being "with religious component for 'everyone', that is for non-churchgoers."

There are a lot of religious symbols and a good deal of gospel music, but I'm not sure it is all connected coherently or if it's just a collection of symbols. And the ending is rather oddly ambiguous. The car explodes, that's clear, but the rest is really just a mystery.

I find this film really fascinating, I think mainly because it seems to promise some deeper meaning, but I can't pin it down.

I also find it troubling because while it seems hopeful throughout, it ultimately ends on a rather dark note -- as the guy representing freedom or us kills himself.

I have yet to really figure this movie out and that's why I was curious if other people had thoughts on it? If you do see it, please let me know what you think.

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, I have not seen Household Saints, but it's an interesting looking movie. Good cast. I'll watch for that one. :)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, When you focus on one issue, you become very easy to caricature and you start to scare others who are concerned with broader issues. This has been true with so-cons (abortion/gays), libertarians (drugs), socialists (redistribution of wealth), blacks (affirmative action), and virtually every other "single-issue" group. People will accept a slow and steady change in one direction, they will not accept a jump to the end result.

In fact, if Obama had handled Obamacare differently through just expanding the government a little bit in all directions rather than declaring this huge jump, he could have achieved his goals and only doctors and talk radio would be upset. Instead, he destroyed his party. There is a lesson there.

In terms of Colorado, when I grew up out here, Colorado was almost completely red. Bolder and Denver were liberals, but all the rest of the state was deep red religious libertarians -- Colorado was seen as moral people with a "live and let live Western attitude." In fact, the map was all red with a single blue dot in the middle.

But after FotF chose this as their battleground, that changed. Suddenly blue started showing up everywhere. Even in my home area -- El Paso County -- the most conservative county in the country, we are starting to see Democrats being elected because the Republicans are simply unappealing.

They are picking religious firebrands who ONLY care about religious issues. And even then they in-fight. I've seen people argue that you shouldn't support a particular conservative because "he's a Methodist, they aren't genuine conservatives." How ridiculous is that? And how do you win when people think like that?

And the result has been that Colorado has steadily moved left on every single social issue. In other words, they lost a war that was won before they got here.

CrisD said...

I know what you mean about it not being funny. That is why I brought up my movie which I would describe as pitch black comedy.
And lso, is it merely a collection of symbols that would strike some people or is it the real deal?

I don't have net flix but I will keep my eye out for Vanishing Point.

CrisD said...

Andrew, sorry I am overly chatty today. Had to put my doggie to sleep a few days ago(Congestive Heart Failure) and am in a bit of a tailspin. Needle that broke the camel's back.

AndrewPrice said...

"pitch black comedy" -- well said. :)

On the collection of symbols v. actual meaning question, that's something I often wonder about with films of this nature -- do they really have a great point or are they just using something symbolic to fake it?

In Vanishing Point, the thing I find fascinating is that usually the fakers are much more obvious and use very obvious symbols. For example, you would suddenly see a cloud shaped like a cross to let audience know exactly what the symbol is supposed to mean. None of the normal obvious stuff is present here, but you still get the feeling there's some deeper religious meaning. But at the same time, you're also told he's the last free American, a message with libertarian overtones. So I kind of go back and forth on what they are trying to say.

And then there's the whole rapture idea which people have mentioned, which is possible too in a way.

It's just a lot to focus on and I find I often do think about this film.

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, No problem. Chatty is fine.

Sorry to hear about your dog. That's very difficult. We've been through six in my lifetime, with only one dying naturally. It can be very heartbreaking as they are indeed family.

Best wishes.

And best wishes on all your other issues too.

tryanmax said...

Dear Lord, save us from your followers!

Chris, sorry to hear about your dog. Believe it or not, I'm still not ready for a new dog after 15 years.

CrisD said...

Thanks, TRyan,
I am literally trembling from having had to "make the decision", go through with it and call each kid. I put their father on the phone, of course. We made a power point of 100s of photos and daughter #2 wrote a poem--just a bad scene...but you know...

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, Unfortunately, sometimes, that's the most humane decision. It's very sad, but sometimes it's for the best.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Dogs = totally worth it.

They are the greatest creatures on earth.

StanH said...

I guess when Slick Willie told us, “ the era of big government is over…” he was lying again. I see these numbers as a clarion call to free America to wake the hell up, and stay awake. Team Parasite is growing and fast, but there is great hope. The irredeemable parasitic class is really only 20% who depend on government 100% for their livelihood, there is no hope for these people, we need to focus on the 80% who yearn to be free, and I believe that. Somewhere in the very fiber of our being as Americans, is the want to do good and achieve, it just needs to be nourished, and we will soar as a nation again. Keep the faith, and if your proof look at the 2010 election, when given the choice Americans soundly defeated the statist across the fruited plain…keep the faith.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, "Team Parasite" -- well put!

Keep the faith is right! What we need is for our politicians to wake up to this and start cutting people off before they become dependent on Uncle Sam. Breaking dependency is very hard and can ruin lives forever -- and it creates generations of dependency.

I hope people hear Jim DeMint on this and realize the danger posed by not getting people back off the government dole as quickly as possible. We can't allow this to continue.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, as long as you're doing films you don't understand, you might want to consider The Fountain. I, uh....I had a bad experience with that one.

T-Rav said...

CrisD, sorry to hear about your dog. Our Golden Retriever died a year and a half ago of heartworms, and it was painful to watch him go. My best to you and your folks.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I am not a friend of The Fountain. I've seen it three or four times because it seems like a movie with some deep message that I'm missing. I've ultimately concluded it has no deep message. It's just pretentious. I do like the soundtrack, but that's about it.

By the way, let me warn people, Vanishing Point is not a great movie. It's just one of those movies which sticks with you. So if anyone does decide to watch it, don't expect to be blown away by a great film.

Individualist said...


There is another prong to this that we are missing. In the absence of government who do the poor turn to for charity. The short answer is Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, what have you.

But what are the democrats doing. In Chicago they have used the issue of forcing catholic charites to give children to gay couples to get them to stop providiing adoption services. They are now seeminglyu going to force the Catholic Church to give up their principles or get out of providing medical insurance.

They liberals spend an inordinate time trying to stop church groups from getting political using tax law. When the charity does offer a service to the poor they are regulated by the govnerment making it more expensive for them to do so and oddly enough giveing government power over them.

I see a connection here.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I think you're right.

Liberals are trying to hook as many people on government as possible because that is the only way they can change America -- by making American voters dependent on government.

Taking out churches/charities aids that strategy because it cuts off the other place for people to go for help. Thus, they must look to the government. Why does it matter? Because churches/charities tend to try to impart values that eventually make people independent again. Only the government is happy to make you a ward forever.

In other words, the progressive goal is to make people dependent on government, not use the government to make them independent. The churches and private charities only get in the way of that. So they have turned against the churches and private charities so that people have no choice but to stay with the government program.

That may sound paranoid and cynical, but it is the kind of thinking you will see in progressive literature.

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