As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

An Expatriate Brit Despairs for America’s Future

A acquaintance of mine once sneered at people who travel overseas. Why travel to foreign lands when there was so much to visit in America? It was, he suggested, kind of un-American to traipse off to Europe.

I knew better. I had gone to Europe the summer after college. That was the summer I learned truly what it meant to be an American and to live in America. It was only by seeing the contrast with others that I fully appreciated my country and understood who I am.

Maybe it takes someone born in leftist Europe, someone who has lived at the end of the path to which the United States is headed, to fully appreciate what happened Tuesday. While many Americans understand that we punched a ticket Tuesday on the road to Socialism, perhaps only a European who has embraced this country can fully feel it in his bones.

Charles C.W. Cooke, a British-born writer who left his country for what he still believes is the greatest nation in history – the United States – has written for the National Review an eloquent lament, Why I Despair, which argues sadly that his adopted country is on its way toward a disastrous resemblance to his native land.

However sublime the miracle of Obama’s get out the vote effort – and whatever other technical reasons for Obama’s victory – the fact remains that America willingly and without coercion reelected an unabashed statist to the White House.

Cooke writes:

But, consider this: A president of the United States just ran a reelection campaign based on the promise of government largess, exploitation of class division, the demonization of success, the glorification of identity politics, and the presumption that women are a helpless interest group; and he did so while steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the looming — potentially fatal — crisis that the country faces. And it worked.

Critically, his reelection will enshrine Obamacare, a Trojan Horse that will usher behind the gates of freedom ever greater measures of government control.

Many had hoped that Tuesday would be 1980 revisited. It was not. Instead, in its effects at least, it was more like 1945 in Britain, in which year the Labour party was elected and began to put into place the foundations of a government-owned and -run health-care system that would quickly displace the established church as Britain’s national religion. (If you question the believers’ zeal, take a look at the frenzied NHS worship at the Olympic opening ceremony.) As Mark Steyn has correctly observed, in Britain as elsewhere, the National Health Service paved the way for a “permanent left-of-center political culture” that obtains regardless of who wins office.

And, Cooke suggests, the ascent of Obama could change U.S. society in ways we can hardly imagine.

In 2010, on the BBC’s Question Time — a British current-affairs show on which the guests trip over one other to display the appropriate degree of fealty to whichever orthodoxy is in the news that week whilst the audience tries to be as clever as one can be without doing any reading — the question of impending government spending cuts was raised. One audience member stood up and, waving her hands around, asked who would mow her elderly mother’s lawn if the government no longer did it. The audience clapped. The host looked serious. Not a single person on the panel said, “You!” Neither of the putatively Conservative guests even raised an eyebrow. A particularly oleaginous MP proceeded to tell her that it was a “good question.” I threw a coffee cup at my television.

I hope you get a chance to read the rest of Cooke’s piece. Americans may need to hear a warning spoken in a British accent to truly comprehend the magnitude of Tuesday’s results.

70 Responses to An Expatriate Brit Despairs for America’s Future

  1. Granted we talk to like minded people but I can tell you for certain large numbers of adults in our circles are very concerned. I have cousins in other parts if the country. We are on California. We were not raised together at all and they are equally concerned. Lots of people in California are also very concerned. We now have super majority house and senate. Nothing we can do. Our electorate mirrors what elected Obama. Where do we go?

    No enough jobs in states they are at least less polarized and their economies are better.

    Once again. Shame on those who stayed home because of any reason to make a statement!

    • I think it will take a complete economic collapse in this country to wake people up.
      Many of the people that did not vote in this election will ask ‘what happened’.
      Well,..what happened was your failure to see the train coming straight at you.
      You reap what you sow, no complaints, you missed your chance to make a difference.

  2. I was an American ex-pat living in Scotland back in the early 90s. One has to live outside this country to appreciate it. Travelling abroad won’t expose you to the frailties and bureaucracy of a nanny state. It sounds all well and good, but there’s no place like the USA. Oh, and the NHS is not a system the people here will love – maybe in a few generations when they don’t remember how it used to be.

  3. I’ve never lived or even visited Europeon countries, but my Grandparents were immigrants from those places when tyranny ruled. Their tales of how the horrors started in small degrees, where conformity was required, then demanded. Where certain groups were found to be defective, certain speech meant the death penalty and others just disappeared were almost too hard to believe, but true nontheless.

    I don’t expect to see America turned into a rigid dictatorship, but rather a country that takes little steps to remove the rights of the people and put them in the hands of the government. If there are people in power who can convince the population that certain speech is “hate speech” and certain firearms are unneccesary, then we will start the decline into a country no different from any.
    The regular readers here know that the takeover of our healthcare is just a little step to direct the whole of our lives. Some unknown will decide who is worthy and who isn’t, who wins and who loses. The takeover of educating our youth is being done in small steps, but soon the Federal govenment and it’s powerful unions will decide what is taught and reshape history.

    I’ve seen a few Presidents be elected, but I have never been afraid of them or their agenda. I always assumed that the balance of power decreed in our Constitution was a firewall against tyranny. I believed the power of the Press would keep some of our elected honest and reveal the rest who weren’t.
    Today, the President ignores the law of the land and no one raises dissent, the Press hides the truth and glorifies our loss of freedoms.
    If I were to pick one reason for the state of our country today. it would be the lack of an honest and investigative Press. They have betrayed us and themselves with their bootlicking attitude to those in power.

      • I’ve been quoting JFK’s inaugural lines about “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” to many people. It is the reverse today with a majority of ‘citzens’. And I put that word in quotes: do these people really deserve that positive title?

    • “I’ve never lived or even visited Europeon countries.” And you don’t even want to, do you, to see if your prejudices match reality. That’s your captive audience, Keith, you must be very proud.

      • Sorry to confuse you. “the tales” my Granparents told of the tyranny they escaped were the basis of my comment.
        But, you’re right that I have no desire to leave the USA to visit or live in any foreign country.

        I don’t recall insulting you, so I would appreciate it if you would refrain from insulting me. Let’s all be civil here.

        • I am sick of a couple of you newcomers also–the ones who take no time to gauge the decency of this site and launch right into telling commenters what they are like, what they think, what they really meant, all accompanied by driveby insults. This gives me no information or insight and just a feeling of disgust. You are one of them, Dbb, if I may be ad hom myself for one second.

      • I have both worked and lived overseas. There is no great nation on earth than the United States of America. The rest of the world is just a shell in comparison to our fine country.

        We are now going to go down because of the “give me” society we now have. Hope those mindless people who voted for BO are proud.

      • Dbb – I’m in awe of your flexibiity. You have an amazing ability to put your foot in your mouth and your head up your arse at the same time.

  4. I read that over on NRO. What depressed me the most was his desription of what the parties argue about now, who can be a better manager of the status quo. That’s what we’ve become. We can’t argue over whether people should get welfare or not, we argue over how much they should get. We don’t argue over who should get Medicare, we argue over what should be covered.

    When we become Europe, where will everyone emmigrate to?

  5. I console myself with the knowledge that these crooks and liars did everything they could to win the election…by any means necessary.
    The disgusting complicit press has run a campaign of omission as they cheerlead for their messianic one. They’ve done everything from enabling his usurpation of our Constitution to Fort Hood, TX “work place violence”, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the list goes on.
    The revenge crew blatantly took political donations from foreign sources and not a single law enforcement agency bothered to investigate.
    The revenge crew invited illegal aliens to invade this country by running commercials on Mexican soap operas with instructions on obtaining federal aid once they steal into America.
    The revenge crew took every Southern state that passed voter id laws to their activist courts in order to protect the voter fraud they were planning with said illegals. How long do we have to pay for the sins of our fathers?
    Then they stole the votes of our military every which way they could. From ballots destroyed on some mystery plane from one specific mystery zip code, to the ballots that didn’t arrive until the day after election day.

    Yes, these are dark times for America, but we will persevere. “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance”.

    • Honestly, I am convinced that it was massive voter fraud that got BO elected. From all of the stories and from what I watched, the election should never have ended the way it did.

    • I agree with you that these are ‘dark times’.
      Four more years of Obama will probably increase the welfare roles beyond the 47% that exists now.
      Unless a complete economic failure occurs, there is no way that a conservative will be elected in 2016.
      Instead, people will be taxed to the extent that the private sector will shrivel up and die.
      Obama is getting his ‘hope and change’, and so is Michelle, and Karl Marx is applauding in his grave.

  6. I have enjoyed the discussion groups in this blog.
    In the air of full disclosure, I am in healthcare and run a robust private primary practice within a large mutli-specialty group. The Brit’s observation is correct about healthcare.
    But there are exceptions…
    The level of paperwork I am doing now is so enormous that I and my colleagues have retained and employ many dozens of people to keep us compliant and up to date with the changing regulations now and what will be in the next 2-3 years. We even employ a wonderful staff of 5 Patient Care Coordinators to cold call patients when they are overdue for routine and followup appointments! My group is on the cutting edge of the new Medicine. Still after all of this, the one abiding relationship is between the provider and his patient. Instead of resisting the onmipresence of Obamacare (ACA) we have embraced it for the safety and care of our patients. We determined in 2010 we would not be the “commodity” of healthcare that this law sought to make us. So far, it is working. For now.

    • QA – Can you explain this a little better?

      Instead of resisting the onmipresence of Obamacare (ACA) we have embraced it for the safety and care of our patients. We determined in 2010 we would not be the “commodity” of healthcare that this law sought to make us. So far, it is working. For now.

      Interested to understand what you mean. Thanks.

      • Obamacare seeks to be the final arbiter of the health of the patient. We in the advanced medical community respectfully disagree.
        Buried deep in the ACA is a provision that the govt would be ready to step into a community and set up its own clinics. We adopted the concept of creating a “Medical home” for patients. Rather than complain or resist, we made the hometown provider the patient’s health champion.

      • Here is one concrete example: We recently started an Infusion clinic for our sick patients that just need fluids, some chemo treatments, and antibiotics. Rather than admit the patient for the infusion/chemo/antibiotics in the hospital with all the wasted time in admitting the patient and exposing the patient to possible hospital based infections, we can treat the patient in a safe, private, caring way in our facility. BTW, the Physician-staffed infusion center is on the same electronic medical record system as the primary provider is. All the providers and nurses are looking at the same record in real time, unlike our hospital that uses another system (their choice). Even if we lost money (we don’t) we save the patient’s pocket and healthplan a bundle. Several of our participating healthplans have recognized the savings and continue to work with us. And the patient’s love it.

        • I have a question. Who built and owns the facility? It’s my understanding that physician-owned and operated facilities will not be able to do so anymore and that alll such existing facilities are now grandfathered under Obamacare.

          • That sounds great. I know some of the medical home pilots are not working out so well. I used to consider my primary to be my doctor, but out here in AZ, anyhow, they won’t talk to your specialists, coordinate, or be your advocate. When my right eye began to fill with blood (like a lavalamp in there) four yrs ago on a Sat–I went to urgent care, then they sent me to the ER (the specialist would not come and said to tell me my eye was bleeding), and I finally went home and called my primary–he said, “It’s Saturday, what do you want me to do about it? Come in Monday.” Four surgeries later, I am blind in that eye. So an advocate? Would you say so? I do agree on the infusions thing–my sister needed 10 days of daily IV antibiotics–and going to the hosp was very time-consuming.

          • I am sorry to hear about your eye. That sounded totally unnecessary. Like any enterprise, medicine works on the personal touch. Shame on that doctor for referring you to a stranger. Medicine works best when the provider is caring for not just a person but someone’s family member, and it could his or hers.
            About ownership of facilities. A previous poster mentioned is it illegal for a physician to own a referring center like a lab or imaging center. The ACA made a rule stating we must inform the patient about “other centers.” that can also do the same tests. Most patients opt to have the test done local since gas is so high. STARK II laws also state a provider must not have DIRECT renumeration from the center he or she refers to. We have developed a nondirect payment formula where all the providers support the center and all recieve a small sum each quarter for the services provided at that center regardless of how many tests that provider sent to be done. Our lawyers have tested the rules and deemed the methodology sound. As a primary care provider I give up a little of my practice income in labs just as an ortho provider at his site in our group gives up a little of hisX-ray/ MRI work. Also we’re paid in this way quaterly so there is not a direct day-to-day renumeration scheme.
            Kinda crazy, but we beat STARK II and provider local high quality services for our patients.
            Just so you know, Radiological services have been dramatically cut and we expect labs to also come under the similar cuts.

    • I have a friend who is a PA. She said that the amount of paperwork that she must complete is about killing her. She hardly has any free time at home anymore. Just completely paperwork.

      One of my cousins in a doctor, and he left the clinic where he worked and when to urgent care because there is less paperwork.

      • I am in Pa. and a friend my does the billing for one doctor, who works from home. It’s a nighmare and labyrinth of calls to get answers from Medicare for patients to single pay patient and their providers.

        If anyone is still under 65 and has not done their homework about supplemental insurance and prescription (Part D) insurance, I suggest you give yourself 6 months of training to do so. .

  7. I’m about 3/4 of the way through Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ – seeing rather disturbing parallels between the story and these times. I encourage everyone to take the time and read it.

    • I read it 40 years ago. A circle of friends discussed going Galt then. I saw the writing on the wall following Kent State (1970) and realized after the university built an auditorium at the site of where the four students were killed, that the government would never again, tolerate dissent, unless they were creating and controlling it.

  8. I don’t often do this so forgive me Keith, but I thought this was a good summary of what might be coming down the road.

    “Now that the Obama administration has succeeded in winning a second term, they are cleaning house. The two figures most linked to the disaster in Benghazi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Petraeus, are gone. The figure most linked with Fast and Furious, Eric Holder, will be gone. The figure most linked to the administration’s economic failures, Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, will be gone.

    Only Obama remains. He ran out the clock on his scandals, and now throws anyone associated with them overboard.

    The Petraeus resignation is only the most recent evidence that the Obama administration will lie to the American people to achieve its ends. But with all of his experts gone, Obama’s cabinet will now be staffed by the political C team in a time of crisis, both domestically and internationally.”

    Also thank you for the commentary above and Cooke. A 1st generation American, raised abroad — Army brat, a lifetime of living and working overseas — Russia, EE, Central Asia, work trips to Pakistan etc. I get what is happening here. And it is dangerous. And we need to stand up and fight it. Quite frankly, we are way too polite, IMHO.

    And finally if we make it through this, the complicit and almost treasonous press should be called to answer. IMHO

    • We need a real “Woodward and Bernstein” to stand up and do some investigating, but I don’t think they exist anymore. Yes, I know Woodward is still writing, but I don’t think we can depend on him to expose BO’s crimes.

      • Remember though: back then W&B had SEVERAL ‘major media’ vehicles that joyfully PUBLISHED their reportage – find one today that would so print anything critical of the current regime.

    • grace – thanks for link/affirmation. It had all already crossed my radar.
      Madam Hillary will be “out of town” next week and unable to attend hearings.Surprise-not.

      Beware of the c’ teams – they will surely be the chosen who will occupy SCOTUS and federal courts throughout the country.

      • My opinion about HC is that she should have resigned 9/11/2012. It is a disgrace that she continues on as SOS. As for “inviting” her to the hearings they should just drag her sorry butt in, much like Chris Stevens was dragged through the streets of Benghazi.

        • The congress can still subpoena them.
          This is consistent with the Obama administration ducking anything they can.
          It depends on how insistent members of congress are in enforcing the subpoena.
          I wouldn’t put it past Obama to invoke another executive privilege order to save his sorry butt.

  9. Stayed away from the news since the election. Just had no stomach for it. With the election coming, there was hope that the madness of the fed runaway spending train might come to an end. But the election shows that the US is past the tipping point. Obama won by buying votes from a dim electorate. Promises of free stuff and ‘sticking it to the man’ worked. We are in a real bad spot.

    Our best hope is to beigin an education campaign. Speak plaingly of spending and debt. Ask the rhetorical question: Why is liberalism bad for ALL americans? It may be our only hope.

  10. Brilliant, Keith !
    Like so many other Europeans I and my husband went to the US to live the American Dream in the eighties and it was a wonderful, unforgettable time in our lives. As a European you sense a vitality in the US that is somehow lacking in our societies.
    I think that Marc Rubio sums it up so well :”Obamas ideas are tired old big-government ideas. Ideas that people went to America to get away from. Ideas that threaten to make America more like the rest of the world instead of helping the world become more like America”.
    My country was completely fossilized by socialism in the seventies. Even if the problems were great the moderate parties were not elected. When socialist thinking impregnates a society it is there to stay. However, finally the socialdemocrats themselves realized it, the deficit, the unemployment, the staggering costs of welfare just couldn´t continue and slowly the country started to turn around. Now we have a strong moderate regime since many years but, as in all Europe, the socialists are always out there waiting for their turn.
    I hope that the US will avoid this wandering in the wilderness. There is a ruthless bunch with a dangerous agenda in the White House. I can imagine that many of you feel as if you have been occupied by hostile forces. The only way to fight them is by exposing them and it requires a vigilant media. Is there a glimmer of hope that some journalists start to realize that they have been used ? A holy wrath ?

  11. And the reason why this is happening? Because the GOP is too far on the right on a whole range of issues. The GOP should be talking about eliminating government “waste”, streamlining government agencies so they are more efficient and getting the private sector to be funding others. They also should be talking about personal and individual including stay out of someone’s bedroom!

    If they did this, the GOP would be thriving and you wouldn’t feel as though the country is going into marxism.

    • Sorry, most of the GOP are not talking about other people’s bedrooms. The Dems made it an issue with their insistence that the government should compel some people to subsidize other people’s bedroom habits.

      Democrats claim it’s “extreme” to say, “How about people paying for their own birth control? Or getting it from a voluntarily funded organization? Or letting people choose whether their insurance plan “covers” contraception? (in effect increasing the cost ….).”

      There’s nothing remotely extreme about those views. Leftists press their “change” agenda as inevitable, or as “progress,” and then anybody who simply says “let’s not go that direction” is vilified as an extremist.

    • “They also should be talking about personal and individual including stay out of someone’s bedroom!”

      You are absolutely correct. So from now on the Democrats can nix any conversation around if a Republican supports same-sex marriage or if they are pro-life or pro-choice. Don’t ask any more people about these types of issues. What everyone does in their bedrooms is their business. I think we can all agree on that. Therefore, they should not chase us down expecting our wallets to be opened when they want to make it a public issue. Do what you want in your bedrooms, accept the responsibility and consequences of what your are doing there and leave it at that.

  12. I keep thinking of that viral video of the black woman in Ohio (I think) and how Obama gave her a cell phone so, ergo, vote for Obama. I understand he gave out millions of cell phones, and wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony if he did it on our tax dollars?

    • Ironically, Obama made no attempt to hide that fact that he was using taxpayer $$$ to buy this election. Prior to the ’08 election he told Joe the Plumber in no uncertain terms that he was going to mug him and re-distribute his $$$ to the less fortunate. It’s the only promise he kept. Now, everyone from the middle class on up is going to pay for his $6T spending binge.

      A rolling stone gathers no moss. The scourge of our socio-economic problem is the ever-increasing behemoth entitlement society. Illegal immigration has been the driving force for the last 25 years. We have crossed the Rubicon. Immigration ‘reform’ will only increase the influx, not only from Mexico and South America but from the war-torn countries of the sub-Sahara and elsewhere. The Creeping Sharia website has a chart of all refugees who have come to the U.S. over the past 15 years or so. The Somalis outnumber everyone. Muslims, by the way, are by far the most prolific breeders – out-producing the Latinos. Obama’s re-election has sent a signal to everyone interested in migrating to the U.S. to get here (by hook or by crook) before the next amnesty. Once here, illegal documents are readily available – even on the internet.

      Shame on the 50M potential voters who stayed home last Tues.! Four years from now, it just might be too late to save this Republic.

  13. Happy Veterans Day to all the patriots who have served this magnificent country with honor and integrity. Our Republic has been through tougher times than these. As long as we remain true to our founding principles, we will make it through these dark and dangerous days ahead.

    • Thank you,…it was an Honor.
      Our Country is again plunged into the mire of uncertainty.
      One of the most certain things we have to rely on is our Military.
      The brave men and women that volunteer to serve Her, defend Her in the midst of government stupidity and the incessant proclivity to beat their chest on how they are in support of ‘our troops’ while restraining them from using live ammo, or restricting the rules of engagement to the jeopardy of American lives.
      Many if not most of these troops have wives or husbands and children back here.
      Some are lucky enough to not be in a war zone and have there dependents close.
      Some are single and the moms and dads worry, and are terrified by the knock on the door, or the phone call in the middle of the night.

      America would not exist if it wasn’t for our Military defending Her and Her borders that extend around the globe.

  14. Excellent article and one echoed by others from the UK who came to the US for similar reasons. Sadly, the spoiled “me, all about me” generation who have claimed that president Obama is “just so damn cool” are uninformed, clueless and will be the last to know, if ever, when the damage is done.

  15. I disagree with the premise that Obamacare is government control of healthcare, although it may well end up that way. It was a stealth bailout of the medical insurance companies, whose lobbyists wrote the damned law (remember how we were encouraged to pass the bill to find out what was in it by Pelosi, that witch?). In this, as with other measures over the past 30 years, we have reached a nearly complete approximation of Mussolini’s Fascism, which, according to the latter, rested on a continued coordination and collaboration of industry, government, and military. Mussolini, like Hitler, was a prominent socialist before adopting the nationalist, as opposed to the internationalist (Communist) version of socialism, one “with a human face.” In most of Europe, there were equivalent political brands, or factions thereof. This led to a terrible waste of society in all areas of Europe, from the Urals to Gibraltar and Skye, not to mention the far East. Let us pray that this does not happen again.

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