How Statists Think (Or, Don't): Their Top 20 Traits

By Lawrence W. Reed | February 27, 2014 | 3:02pm EST

Is it too much to ask of government that it do a small job right before it takes on a much bigger one?

If you're wearing the sight-proof blindfolds that government worshipers wear, the answer is probably "YES."

Take the federal Department of Veterans Affairs (please). Its web site says its primary job is to provide "patient care and federal benefits to veterans and their dependents." It manages more than a thousand hospitals, nursing facilities and health clinics. Horror stories emanating from this socialized medicine sampler are numerous and legendary. They include long waiting lists, staff shortages, death rates that would be unacceptable anywhere else in the country and care so shoddy that many veterans prefer to pay for private alternatives. But that doesn't stop government worshipers from plowing full steam ahead for even more government in health care.

Writing in the February 25 Washington Examiner, Mark Flatten provided the latest shocking revelation: To cover up its massive backlog of orders for medical services, the VA simply cancelled tens of thousands of scheduled exams and appointments. Voila! Get rid of the patients and you get rid of the embarrassing backlogs. Imagine the huge outcry if a private provider behaved this way. Would anyone in his right mind say, "Give that outfit some more patients and money!"?

But don't expect any scandal coming out of the VA to give pause to the apologists for Obamacare. Being a government worshiper means never having to say you're sorry. Apparently, the one thing statists share with us small government folks is a very high level of expectations for the private sector and a very low one for the public sector.

This raises a much more fundamental question about the Big Government crowd: what's up with their thought process? It's so riddled with inconsistencies, non-sequiturs and dubious notions that the rest of us are often left scratching our heads in disbelief. Faulty, illogical or contradictory premises just might be the reason they often come to the wrong conclusions.

Over the years, I've observed quite a few attributes of the statist thought process that are, to be polite, rather questionable. Here's a short list:

1. They spend more time promoting dependency than they do encouraging self-reliance.

2. Lies and deceptions (for example, "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan") don't rankle them because they believe their ends justify almost any means.

3. They think intentions matter far more than actual results.

4. They lump people into groups and assign them fictitious rights.

5. They learn little or nothing from history or economics.

6. They think emotions, slogans and bumper-stickers trump reason and logic.

7. Compassion is their favorite word even as they put a gun to your head.

8. They respect property if it's theirs, but not if it's yours.

9. They'd rather shut you up than engage you in serious debate.

10. Individuals are never among the minorities they say they support.

11. When the first conservative or libertarian faculty member is hired at their university, they think it's a hostile takeover.

12. They think a welfare check is an entitlement, but a paycheck isn't.

13. When their policies flop, they assume no responsibility and demand more of the same.

14. They're always busy reforming you even if their own lives are dysfunctional.

15. They claim to know the future (e.g., which industry to subsidize) while showing no evidence they even understand the past.

16. They dislike business less because they have sound arguments against it and more because they have no idea how to start or run one themselves.

17. They criticize people and companies for not paying more in taxes than they are legally required to, yet never make any "donations" to government themselves beyond their own legal tax liability.

18. They are angry most of the time, have no sense of humor, and can't even tell a joke that's reasonably funny.

19. They've perfected the fine art of the double-standard, exempting their own from the very actions they criticize in others.

20. They appeal to the worst in us by emphasizing racial divisions, pitting class against class, and buying votes with other people's money.

In "The Art of War," Sun Tzu advised, "Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster." Perhaps so, but it sure seems that the more you know about the statist, government-worshiping folks, the harder it is to actually figure them out.

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