Skip to comments.An Old Newness (Thomas Sowell)
Posted on 04/28/2008 9:06:13 PM PDT by jazusamo
Many years ago, a great hitter named Paul Waner was nearing the end of his long career. He entered a ballgame with 2,999 hits -- one hit away from the landmark total of 3,000, which so many hitters want to reach, but which relatively few actually do reach.
Waner hit a ball that the fielder did not handle cleanly but the official scorer called it a hit, making it Waner's 3,000th. Paul Waner then sent word to the official scorer that he did not want that questionable hit to be the one that put him over the top.
The official scorer reversed himself and called it an error. Later Paul Waner got a clean hit for number 3,000.
What reminded me of this is the great fervor that many seem to feel over the prospect of the first black President of the United States.
No doubt it is only a matter of time before there is a black president, just as it was only a matter of time before Paul Waner got his 3,000th hit. The issue is whether we want to reach that landmark so badly that we are willing to overlook how questionably that landmark is reached.
Paul Waner had too much pride to accept a scratch hit. Choosing a President of the United States is a lot more momentous than a baseball record. We the voters need to have far more concern about who we put in that office that holds the destiny of a nation and of generations yet unborn.
There is no reason why someone as arrogant, foolishly clever and ultimately dangerous as Barack Obama should become president -- especially not at a time when the threat of international terrorists with nuclear weapons looms over 300 million Americans.
Many people seem to regard elections as occasions for venting emotions, like cheering for your favorite team or choosing a Homecoming Queen.
The three leading candidates for their party's nomination are being discussed in terms of their demographics -- race, sex and age -- as if that is what the job is about.
One of the painful aspects of studying great catastrophes of the past is discovering how many times people were preoccupied with trivialities when they were teetering on the edge of doom. The demographics of the presidency are far less important than the momentous weight of responsibility that office carries.
Just the power to nominate federal judges to trial courts and appellate courts across the country, including the Supreme Court, can have an enormous impact for decades to come. There is no point feeling outraged by things done by federal judges, if you vote on the basis of emotion for those who appoint them.
Barack Obama has already indicated that he wants judges who make social policy instead of just applying the law. He has already tried to stop young violent criminals from being tried as adults.
Although Senator Obama has presented himself as the candidate of new things -- using the mantra of "change" endlessly -- the cold fact is that virtually everything has says about domestic policy is straight out of the 1960s and virtually everything he says about foreign policy is straight out of the 1930s.
Protecting criminals, attacking business, increasing government spending, promoting a sense of envy and grievance, raising taxes on people who are productive and subsidizing those who are not -- all this is a re-run of the 1960s.
We paid a terrible price for such 1960s notions in the years that followed, in the form of soaring crime rates, double-digit inflation and double-digit unemployment. During the 1960s, ghettoes across the countries were ravaged by riots from which many have not fully recovered to this day.
The violence and destruction were concentrated not where there was the greatest poverty or injustice but where there were the most liberal politicians, promoting grievances and hamstringing the police.
Internationally, the approach that Senator Obama proposes -- including the media magic of meetings between heads of state -- was tried during the 1930s. That approach, in the name of peace, is what led to the most catastrophic war in human history.
Everything seems new to those too young to remember the old and too ignorant of history to have heard about it.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy.
It would be instructive for many if Dr Sowell were ever asked to express these thoughts in the mass media. I would think Fox would want to consult him, especially now they are so focused on the topic of Obama. Perhaps he is too intelligent for that forum, perhaps something like the intelligence Bob Tyrrell brings: it is undeniable but also somehow fails to come across in the medium, which seems too shallow to accommodate the experience.
Then again, who would have the temerity to argue with him?
May I say it? Crack! Mr. Sowell hits it out of the park.
If the first black President is someone like Thomas Sowell we would have to count our country truly blessed.
I would believe Dr. Sowell has probably been approached for such Media discussions, but is wary of such “opportunities”. I wouldn’t bother with such circus were I he.
Thanks for the ‘Ping’ Jaz. Once again Dr. Sowell does his best.
That needed repeating!
This is an excellent post. Sowell indeed did hit it out of the park!
I’m fanning this to some of my 30 plus friends for them to think about, I mean really to think about. There are three lefty liberals among them but I haven’t given up hope yet!
Thank you Mr. Sowell!
I couldn’t agree more!
Sorry, I didn’t check to see that the link was still active and it’s not. :-(
Dr. Sowell has been very outspoken in his criticism of Obama in several of his columns. :)
Excellent anecdote to start off this column!
Yes. However, I suspect Dr. Sowell is too smart to want to be President.
More’s the pity.
This remarkable man never fails to get it right, and me right when I read his words.
...And I REALLY am not a sports analogy fan, either. But that really made the point.
By a similar line of reasoning we should not want Shrillary to be the “1st Woman President” either!!!!
Let that great milestone be reached in a manner worthy of honor and acclaim, not disappointment and disgrace!
I told my wife tonight that I ask myself everyday why someone like Obama would even consider running for the Presidency: doesn't he know the President may have to make a decision that could end in the deaths of thousands of people?
His arrogance and foolishness prevent him from making a decision that would kill thousands of innocent people in another country, even if that decision would save the lives of thousands of innocent Americans.
And he doesn't have the ability to protect this nation against a nuclear attack: I strongly feel that he'd sleep better at night knowing that a nuclear bomb went off here in America because he wasn't willing to preemptively go to war against a nation like Iran.