Power Line Prize 3rd place winner: satire or just delusional Tea Party fantasy?
In the "Power Line Prize" competition (see that link), Powerline will be redistributing $100,000 (possibly of other people's money) to the person who can best illustrate the so-called "debt crisis". Yesterday they announced that the video "Dawn of the Debt " was one of two third-place winners. The video is embedded below if you want a good laugh. At least, I know I was having trouble typing out the dialog I was laughing so hard:
Son: What was America like before the debt took over?
Father: It was a beautiful thing. People were free back then... could pursue that which motivated them, not some government. It was a time when success was something to be encouraged, not punished. Men were allowed to keep the fruits of their labor. Government left you alone, took only that which it was permitted to spend in the Constitution. It allowed our nation to become prosperous. It was a beautiful thing.
Son: What happened?
Father: Well, we lost sight of those principles that made us a great nation to begin with. It used to be that there was only just enough government to secure your blessings of liberty. No more, no less. But, there came a time when those in Washington started treating those blessings like a curse...
The problem, of course, is that none of that ever happened, at least in the way they remember it. In the words of Ned Flanders: "I wish we lived in a place more like the America of yesteryear that only exists in the brains of us Republicans."
It's an open question whether the filmmaker (David Nussbaum) is having Powerline on or is actually serious. Is Nussbaum making fun of the Powerline/Tea Parties brand of delusion, or not? I'm really not sure.
To help Teapartiers understand why the video is so (unintentionally?) funny, here are some questions:
1. In which exact year was Powerline's fantasy a reality?
2. What else was going on in that year?
3. How are things different nowadays?
4. In which exact years was this true: "Men were allowed to keep the fruits of their labor. Government left you alone, took only that which it was permitted to spend in the Constitution"? As above, what else was going on in that time period?
5. In the 1940s (when we won World War II) and in the 1960s (when we [allegedly] put a man on the moon), was government "leaving us alone"?
6. Was the U.S. going to financial hell in a handbasket during the, say, Nixon or Clinton administrations?
7. During the Clinton administration, was the U.S. experiencing widespread prosperity?
8. Why wasn't Powerline posting videos like this between 2001-2008?
9. Why was Powerline such a strong supporter of one of the main drivers of debt (the Iraq war)?
10. If someone could replicate Powerline's fantasy (such as by moving to remotest Idaho), which major U.S. problems would that person be turning their back on?
11. Are the ideas expressed on the video all that conservative, in that they present doing what you want with minimal responsibility to your fellow citizens as a good thing?
12. Is being delusional now a marker of someone as a True Conservative?