Neal Gabler: Land of the free, home of the timid

  • Article by: NEAL GABLER , Los Angeles Times
  • Updated: October 26, 2010 - 7:43 PM

Americans like to think of themselves as bold. They're proud of dreaming big and taking big chances -- and as far as individual feats go, it may be true. ¶ But the larger truth is that, foreign military adventurism aside, American government hasn't really acted boldly since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal and Lyndon Johnson's Great Society.

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rockpile12Oct. 26, 10 8:55 PM

Neal Gabler would have us believe that Americans and in particular the Tea Party, are fearful of government. I would suggest it is more of a mistrust but let’s go with his theory. If it is indeed fear that keeps American government from growing even faster than it currently does, I would offer a quote for him. Someone once said “When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.“ That person was Thomas Jefferson. How striking these times are when one of the Founding Fathers foresaw the dangers of big government and those who stand to gain from it. If Neal Gabler’s viewpoint was dangerous 235 years ago, it is surely dangerous now.

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kastorOct. 26, 10 9:24 PM

what may ask you happened to self reliance in this country? have we gotten to the point where we must be taken care of by the government cradle to grave? If the author had not noticed we have a massive debt, and high unempolyment: but lets focus on the debt for a second. We are thirteen trillion dollars in debt, we spend 400 billion dollars on just interst which is as much as we spend on medicare, or social security. Both of which will be bankrupt twenty five to thirty years. Probably sooner because so many people are not paying into the system. Yet you want to raise my taxes no to pay down the debt but fund all these wet drems that people have had for years. how about you bring this up when we can afford it.

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goferfanzOct. 26, 10 9:38 PM

The country did tire of W and Repubs during their uncontested run of 2002-6, with trillions in new debt, war, sluggish job growth. Why does any liberal, or anybody, wonder why the country wouldnt be sickened by Pelosi's 5 trillion in new debt run of 2007-now, 2 war surges, job contraction, and rewarding bankrupt companies' execs???? And since the Dems added the White House in 2009, all of the economic measures have only worsened from 2007-8...................

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HuckleberryFinnOct. 26, 1010:00 PM

Neil Gabler asserts that Americans are timid because we prefer to trust our individual selves to know what's in our best interest rather than trust an ever-expanding federal government to tell us what's in the best interest of each individual citizen. Gabler sings the siren song that, history has shown, has brought many a nation to ruin: "put down the burden of self-reliance," Gabler whispers behind his prose. "Rest yourselves against the velvet-covered iron fist of government…it can be trusted into your home and deep into your heart, your thoughts, your dreams." The leadership class of this nation's founders had a deep and abiding distrust of government; they knew their history. Among those vigorous Federalists Gabler rightly says "looked toward shaping an expanding nation in a changing world," was George Washington, a man who famously said, "A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master.” To Gabler, trillions of dollars in stimulus is too small; and the government's nationalization of one sixth of our economy – our healthcare delivery system – was but a half measure, even though it was enacted with immoral kickbacks, buy-offs, and false claims about costs being reduced. Gabler wants the government to enact the crippling-and-trade legislation – never mind that the science upon which the legislation is based was knowingly faked and the scientists discredited. Gabler is of the left, and for them there is no limit to governmental power; for them, all property – including citizens – belong to the state.

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HuckleberryFinnOct. 26, 1010:12 PM

Gabler sings the praises of Democrats. Here are some of their other accomplishments: > The marching to death of thousands of Cherokee Indians on their "Trail of Tears" > Slavery, and a civil war to protect that monstrous institution > Jim Crow laws > The Ku Klux Klan > Vietnam, and our defeat there > Tammany Hall > The enervation of millions of blacks, whites, and others who were encouraged to become dependent on the state > and on it goes, always there is less freedom and more government

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rockpile12Oct. 26, 1010:31 PM

When Neal Gabler writes "We blame politics, deficits and bad leadership, when perhaps we should be blaming our national genes" not only does he apparently think we Americans are sheep-like but he seems removed from the core of the American Dream. This country was started largely over unfair taxation and big government. Those brave patriots who stood up to the tyranny of the time built what we enjoy and take for granted in this country today. Yet Neal Gabler derides the very people who seek to stand up to the modern day version of a similar tyranny.

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garagewineOct. 26, 1010:34 PM

designed a constitution with provisions to protect us against people like Mr. Gabler.

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Guppy35Oct. 26, 1010:38 PM

...the comments folks didn't even read the article. All folks see is what they want to see. If you are from the right, all you need is to see a word or two that screams liberal. If you are from the left, all you need is a word or two that screams conservative. All the guy said, is we get exactly what we deserve and have no one to blame but ourselves.

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merthyrgirl9Oct. 26, 1010:49 PM

Same old story, both parties spend beyond our means, only difference is Republicans Borrow and spend and Democrats tax and spend. The easiest way for either party to stay in power is to spend (Bring home the bacon, its pork if it goes to another district/state). Our debt has been growing since 1837 and will finally stop when we declare national bankruptcy. Guaranteed if the Republicans take control, our national debt will increase, if Democrats stay in power, the deficit will increase. Just a simple fact played out for the past 173 years, somethings never change......

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kastorOct. 26, 1010:58 PM

all of which are conservative proposals.Guppy35 i read the article just so you know.

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