Mitch Daniels Warns Of “The Red Menace”–Red Ink, That Is

Below is the video of Mitch Daniels speaking at the Ronald Reagan Centennial Dinner at CPAC on February 11:

The full text can be found here, but this is the money quote:

Lastly, speaking now for my administration colleagues, we believe in government that is limited but active. Within that narrow sphere of legitimate collective action, we choose to be the initiators of new ideas or, as we have labeled ourselves, the Party of Purpose. In President Reagan’s phrase, “We are the change.” On election nights, we remind each other that victory is not a vindication, it is an instruction, not an endorsement, but an assignment.
The national elections of 2010 carried an instruction. In our nation, in our time, the friends of freedom have an assignment, as great as those of the 1860s, or the 1940s, or the long twilight of the Cold War. As in those days, the American project is menaced by a survival-level threat. We face an enemy, lethal to liberty, and even more implacable than those America has defeated before. We cannot deter it; there is no countervailing danger we can pose. We cannot negotiate with it, any more than with an iceberg or a Great White.
I refer, of course, to the debts our nation has amassed for itself over decades of indulgence. It is the new Red Menace, this time consisting of ink. We can debate its origins endlessly and search for villains on ideological grounds, but the reality is pure arithmetic. No enterprise, small or large, public or private, can remain self-governing, let alone successful, so deeply in hock to others as we are about to be …
If a foreign power advanced an army to the border of our land, everyone in this room would drop everything and look for a way to help. We would set aside all other agendas and disputes as secondary, and go to the ramparts until the threat was repelled. That is what those of us here, and every possible ally we can persuade to join us, are now called to do. It is our generational assignment. It is the mission of our era. Forgive the pun when I call it our “raison debt.”

In short, he views the national debt as an existential crisis to the US, and thinks that Americans should drop everything to fight this threat. In doing so, a whole host of other issues, including abortion, defense spending, and the war on terror, should be set aside–all of our energy should be devoted towards reducing the national debt and getting America’s financial house in order.

Yes, red ink is a problem, and it needs to be dealt with. However, it is not an existential threat to the US. Even if the nation goes bankrupt and the economy is set back for decades, there will still be the American values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. People may be poorer, but still free.

It is very hard–in the light of this truth–to take Daniels seriously, as he makes light of other problems that are existential threats to America. So America balances the budget and gets its financial house in order, but loses its soul. In the meantime, barbarians are at the gate wanting to destroy everything that American holds dear, yet now America is defenseless, because it has disarmed itself both physically and spiritually, having neither weapons to fight with, nor anything to fight for. What then?

Daniels seems to think that America is just finances, but it is very hard to agree with his sentiment. There must be more to America than just money and business–if this is all America is reduced to, then it is not worth defending anymore. Yet, we all know that America is more than this, even if Mitch Daniels is unable to articulate exactly what–beyond business–America stands for.

I find his speech and attitude sickening. If this is what he brings to the table as a presidential candidate in 2012, then America can do better without him.

Update:
Continuing this theme that money is everything, Mitch Daniels came out against end-of-life care:

“We all want to live forever. We want everything done to help us,” he told health care reporters during a discussion of Medicare and its financial pressures. “And we cannot, no one can, do absolutely everything that modern technology makes possible for absolutely everyone ’til absolutely the very last day, the very last resort.”
He added that he understands the urge by families to push for what may be futile care. “It’s the most human thing in the world,” he said. “Your loved one is in desperate shape.” He said “we can try this thing that has almost no chance of working” but questioned whether it is worth it, especially given that “it’s going to cost an incredible amount of money.”

And this man wants to be president of the US? God help us.

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One Response to Mitch Daniels Warns Of “The Red Menace”–Red Ink, That Is

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