Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Want "Hope and Change"? Buy a Goat
pajamasmedia.com ^ | February 18, 2009 | Oleg Atbashian

Posted on 02/18/2009 7:59:44 AM PST by Tolik

As an old joke suggests, inviting socialism into our homes might help us better appreciate the blessings of freedom.

Although the mainstream media won’t report it as such, Obama’s approval numbers are shrinking. Which means that elsewhere, certain numbers are growing — the unreported-by-the-MSM growing numbers of Americans who are kicking themselves for not having bothered to read the small print underneath the word “change.”

The small print was kind of blurry, while “change” was spelled in huge, pleasing letters on the signs they held at the rallies. The fierce urgency of now was in the air. Everybody was in such a hurry to bring about change; there was no time to ask “why” or “what kind of change.” As objectivity faded into the sunset, their individual brains melted into a euphoric collective mush, swirling around the only remaining absolute — change. In the absence of other standards, the truth became a mere matter of taste, subject to change without notice. If it didn’t change, it wasn’t the truth.

So they won the election; now what? Three months later and almost a month into Obama’s presidency, as the nation is beginning to rub its sore, swollen eyelids and finally trying to focus on reality, it looks in the mirror and, with a shock, notices a gigantic hammer and sickle tattooed on its forehead, which clearly wasn’t there before. The bubbling euphoric pulp has solidified into a depressing pile of unpaid bills and warrants. The computer has turned into a shovel and the big-screen TV into a 1930s-style radio, with the disciplined voice of Dear Leader calling for unity and sacrifice in the face of mounting economic hardships. The only thing left unchanged is the Obama t-shirt with the magic word “change” on the chest.

Being an immigrant from the former USSR — the land of equally redistributed misery — I used to cringe when Americans complained to me about the perceived misery and lack of opportunity under capitalism. I laughed at American homegrown agitators who were carping on behalf of “communities” about the lack of “economic justice.” They sounded like ignorant, spoiled brats who hated their rich parents for giving them the car of the wrong color. The whiners either didn’t realize how good they had it or they were being deliberately misleading. Either way their message was a fraud.

I had witnessed the stagnation and the collapse of a centralized command economy that, in the absence of the markets, was fueled by the carrot and stick of coercion and stale motivational slogans. I had lived through the hyperinflation, when I had to pay a million rubles to a guy who fixed the rusty refrigerator in my kitchen. I had seen the old country plunge into the chaos of mass unemployment and crime, while it was being robbed to the bone by crooked unelected officials who profited from the corrupt scheme to merge socialism and capitalism — a half-baked brainchild of Clinton’s economists who are now advising Obama.

In other words, I had been at the end of this road and I didn’t want to take it again.

Like most other immigrants in America, I had discovered a treasure trove of opportunities and was able to provide a comfortable living for my family. I wasn’t rich — but every time I would get into my GM car, turn on my HP computer, or watch a DVD from Netflix, I would give thanks for the perks that only an affluent capitalist society could provide. I didn’t want any change — except, perhaps, towards fewer government regulations.

But Obama managed to convince millions of Americans that they were so destitute and helpless that only a system of government rationing could save them from imminent starvation and homelessness. All of a sudden, previously self-reliant Americans found themselves in the position of neutered house pets, meowing and howling at the prospect of not getting their guaranteed three meals a day.

Opponents of capitalism will tell you that market demand is created, not by necessity, but by sneaky marketing campaigns that generate a false perception of necessity. The same experts have now implemented this perverted theory by running a multimillion-dollar, Madison-Avenue-style marketing campaign, whose goal was to sell to the generally well-off Americans the notion that they were living in misery, poverty, and hopelessness — thus creating a false perception of a need for change.

And change is materializing fast. Every time the new president opens his mouth, the market plunges. The banking crisis, which Obama used to get in power, was nothing compared to the post-election economic meltdown. On February 10 alone, after Treasury Secretary Geithner proposed a new economic rescue plan, the Dow lost 5% of its value. The unemployment is soaring while consumer confidence is sinking. Obama’s aggressive marketing of perceived mass poverty became a self-fulfilling prophecy. As the shadow of the New Deal is darkening the horizon and the heavy steps of the approaching depression are sending tremors throughout the world, the appeal of Obama’s plan is no longer in the eyes of the beholder.

This is where the goat comes in (in case you’re still wondering about the title). Consider this old Jewish joke I heard back in Ukraine:

A man comes to the rabbi and complains about his life:

“I have almost no money, my wife is a shrew, and we live in a small apartment with seven unruly kids. It’s messy, it’s noisy, it’s smelly, and I don’t want to live.”

The rabbi says, “Buy a goat.”

“What? I just told you there’s hardly room for nine people, and it’s messy as it is!”

“Look, you came for advice, so I’m giving you advice. Buy a goat and come back in a month.”

In a month the man comes back and he is even more depressed:

“It’s gotten worse! The filthy goat breaks everything, and it stinks and makes more noise than my wife and seven kids! What should I do?”

The rabbi says, “Sell the goat.”

A few days later the man returns to the rabbi, beaming with happiness:

“Life is wonderful! We enjoy every minute of it now that there’s no goat — only the nine of us. The kids are well-behaved, the wife is agreeable — and we even have some money!”

Obama’s “change” is precisely the goat that Americans bought when they lost the appreciation of how good they had it. But the perception of misery is not set in stone; this self-inflicted disaster may as well serve as a remedy — an unpleasant but necessary shock therapy helping the misguided voters come to their senses and begin to appreciate what they had lost. And once they get rid of the socialist goat, they will hopefully regain confidence in their own system and continue to enjoy liberty and prosperity as they always did — with the head held high and without the silliness of feeling guilty about it.

The trick is not to let the goat grow on you. Don’t settle for socialism. Capitalism may be a self-regulating system, but it won’t be able to heal itself if the socialization goes too far. Then it would be a whole different goat story.


Oleg Atbashian, a writer and graphic artist from Ukraine, currently lives in New York. He is the creator of ThePeoplesCube.com, a satirical website where he writes under the name of Red Square.

      



TOPICS: Editorial; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: obama; obamamania; olegatbashian; porkulus; socialism

1 posted on 02/18/2009 7:59:44 AM PST by Tolik
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Lando Lincoln; neverdem; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; King Prout; SJackson; dennisw; ...


Nailed It!

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for the perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author all 100% to feel the need to share an article.)

I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of the good stuff that is worthy of attention.

You are welcome to browse the list of truly exceptional articles I pinged to lately. Updated on February 10, 2009.  on  my page.
You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about).

Besides this one, I keep 2 separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson and Orson Scott Card.  

2 posted on 02/18/2009 8:00:31 AM PST by Tolik
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: hiredhand

Goats!


3 posted on 02/18/2009 8:19:00 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tolik

Great article. Love People’s Cube too.


4 posted on 02/18/2009 8:22:32 AM PST by penelopesire ("The only CHANGE you will get with the Democrats is the CHANGE left in your pocket")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tolik; Lando Lincoln; neverdem; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; King Prout; SJackson; dennisw
53% already bought the goat.

But very few of them have even thought of selling it, yet. The Obamatrons, or Soetoesuckers, or whatever we call them, are still euphoric.

Obama (now aka Goat-Boy, I guess) has a very good trick up his daishiki. All he has to do is keep paying off his most hardened supporters, so it will take longer and longer for those who do not support him to get rid of the goat.

Since he will be dis-empowering those who do not support him by giving their goods to those who do, it will take even longer to send this goat down the road.

How do you think Fidel managed 50 years of misery?

5 posted on 02/18/2009 8:25:20 AM PST by Kenny Bunk (The Election of 2008: Given the choice between stupid and evil, the stupid chose evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Tolik

We have a few goats for sale (no joke)!!! Darn things don’t stay where they belong and they are eating us out of house and home!!


6 posted on 02/18/2009 8:38:14 AM PST by Man from Oz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tolik
Being an immigrant from the former USSR — the land of equally redistributed misery — I used to cringe when Americans complained to me about the perceived misery and lack of opportunity under capitalism. I laughed at American homegrown agitators who were carping on behalf of “communities” about the lack of “economic justice.” They sounded like ignorant, spoiled brats who hated their rich parents for giving them the car of the wrong color. The whiners either didn’t realize how good they had it or they were being deliberately misleading. Either way their message was a fraud.

It takes someone who lived under true socialistic communist tyranny to tell the majority of Americans of the danger of the road they are travelling. Is anyone listening?

7 posted on 02/18/2009 8:48:05 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tolik

good one!!!


8 posted on 02/18/2009 9:11:56 AM PST by dennisw (Archimedes--- Give me a place to stand, and I will move the Earth)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Man from Oz
We have a few goats for sale (no joke)!!! Darn things don’t stay where they belong and they are eating us out of house and home!!

We have a decent herd. They stay where they belong once they learn the fence (electric) but they do eat. I feed them goat feed, hay and a tree / bush each day. I doubt the environmentalists would like me as I cut down a small tree or bush each day to feed the goats.

So maybe what we need is an electric fence (Republican controlled congress) to make Obama behave? ;-)

9 posted on 02/18/2009 9:14:38 AM PST by Glock19C
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Tolik

The trick, of course, is to get rid of the goat... after all the children have fallen in love with it even though it has metamorphosed into, shall we say, Goatzilla.


10 posted on 02/18/2009 10:16:12 AM PST by Tenniel2 ("When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one" -- Edmund Burke)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tolik

This is already old news from late Jan. He began dropping almost immediately when he messed up the oath and immediately started talking about closing Gitmo and changing abortion policy. In another month I’ll be surprised if he’s at 50% approval rating.


11 posted on 02/18/2009 10:39:09 AM PST by deannadurbin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rummyfan

Selling their soul awful cheap don’t you think?


12 posted on 02/18/2009 10:44:05 AM PST by TomHarkinIsNotFromIowa (Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Kenya.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Tenniel2

“The trick, of course, is to get rid of the goat... after all the children have fallen in love with it ...”

That is a very good analogy, and I afraid may be quite close to the truth.


13 posted on 02/18/2009 11:10:58 AM PST by Tolik
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Kenny Bunk; Tolik
53% already bought the goat.

But very few of them have even thought of selling it, yet. The Obamatrons, or Soetoesuckers, or whatever we call them, are still euphoric.

Right Direction or Wrong Track - 26% Say U.S. is Moving in the Right Direction

49% Trust Themselves More On The Economy Than Obama

Will Welfare 'Unreform' Undo the Dems?

There are a number of reasons already to suspect profound buyer's remorse.

14 posted on 02/18/2009 11:53:38 AM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Tolik
Obama’s aggressive marketing of perceived mass poverty became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. It reminds me of the self-fulfilling prophesies of Joseph Goebbels in Nazi Germany. After years of telling Germans the horrors that the communists would do if given the chance, the survivors lived those horrors with the rapes of Soviet troops. Although he had invented those fears for propaganda purposes, they came true nonetheless.

15 posted on 02/18/2009 12:04:26 PM PST by Hoodat (For the weapons of our warfare are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring
There's a lot of truth in what the Rabbi says about the goat. You do not want this boy in the house! The smell will take your breath away, make your eyes water, and give you the shakes...all at the same time! Besides this, he has some bad habits that we don't have to discuss here. :-)

Pee-U!
16 posted on 02/18/2009 12:31:46 PM PST by hiredhand (Understand the CRA and why we're facing economic collapse - see my about page.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

That there were more people in the States like Oleg.


17 posted on 02/18/2009 12:56:32 PM PST by villagerjoel ("Gun control is a prerequisite for genocide." - Unknown)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Digg it!

http://digg.com/political_opinion/Want_Hope_and_Change_Buy_a_Goat


18 posted on 02/19/2009 4:24:33 AM PST by villagerjoel ("Gun control is a prerequisite for genocide." - Unknown)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: villagerjoel; jan in Colorado

Ping for the Digg list!


19 posted on 02/19/2009 5:44:07 AM PST by netmilsmom (Psalm 109:8 - Let his days be few; and let another take his office)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Tenniel2

Not to make light of our economic situation but we raised a baby goat in the house. They are actually quite smart. She was housetrained just like a dog and went for walks on a leash. The kids and I had a really hard time giving her up once she got to be full grown.


20 posted on 02/19/2009 5:50:10 AM PST by sfimom (I am John Galt. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nmERuCXTyw)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Tolik
... the former USSR — the land of equally redistributed misery ...

Coming to our land as fast as Barack, Harry, and Nancy can pull it off.

21 posted on 02/20/2009 12:41:18 PM PST by AZLiberty (I hope Obama changes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: TheMom
Want "Hope and Change"? Buy a Goat

Hey! There's one right across the street from your vacation house you could buy.

22 posted on 02/20/2009 12:43:04 PM PST by Allegra
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Allegra
The only hope I have for that damn goat is to change it into alligator food.
23 posted on 02/20/2009 1:16:32 PM PST by TheMom (I'm gonna be a grandma!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson