Columns

Tuesday Was a Turning Point

By: Lloyd Brown | Posted: November 8, 2012 3:55 AM
From the Right Coast
"When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you ... you may know that your society is doomed." – Ayn Rand 

One Wednesday morning eight years ago my daughter's political science class at the University of Florida was canceled.

The professor arrived, announced that he was too upset to continue, and left. George W. Bush had just been re-elected.

That was a silly overreaction.

But it is no exaggeration to say that last Tuesday was a watershed.

It is over. America is done.

Having grown up during America's zenith, and seeing a resurgence in the 1980s, I did not expect to live to see the day when the voters would repudiate America, reject its basic principles and vote themselves into decline and, probably, destruction.

In a century, the greatest nation in history will be but a memory. It will be Mexican, or Muslim or perhaps Chinese, and the liberty and freedom our ancestors earned in the 18th century will be gone.

Furthermore, it will not exist anywhere else in the world. Ronald Reagan was right when he said America is the last, best hope of mankind.

But the voters chose another hope; a nebulous, greedy hope, where the Takers outnumber the Makers yet hope the Makers will continue to make.

The individual will be subsumed into the collective and his own interests, dreams and desires will no longer matter. Politicians will not be public servants but our masters.

The seeds for this were sown 100 years ago with the election of Woodrow Wilson. He was not the first to attack capitalism, but he was the first to insist that government was the answer to everything.

One prescient Russian immigrant saw this coming. Ayn Rand wrote her seminal work, "Atlas Shrugged," in the late 1950s while America was at the top. Intellectuals and critics hated the book but the public loved it and today her book remains one of the most influential in history, second only to the Bible.

What she predicted already is coming true. The Makers are shrugging. They are innovating, producing, creating wealth less because the government is taking more, and spending even more than that. It is not sustainable.

But the public education system and the malfeasant media have made sure that enough voters know and care little about our political and economic history. Instead, they are grabbing for all they can, like the people in Greece who are rioting in the streets and burning buildings because of the horrid prospect that they can no longer retire at the age of 52 on a lavish pension, working half their lives and playing for the other half at the expense of others.

Some still believe the excesses of the next four years will bring about a Reaganesque revival. I no longer believe that can happen.

America had a choice and made it. Elections have consequences. The House of Representatives will not be able to stop the tax-and-spend juggernaut. Atlas will shrug.

Pray for the late, great United States of America.


Lloyd Brown was in the newspaper business nearly 50 years, beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. After retirement he served as speech writer for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. 

Comments (17)

Mister B
6:08PM NOV 29TH 2012
Very good article. Barack Obama is leading his parade of sheeple through the library, "The Fountainhead", "Atlas Shrugged", "Animal Farm", "1984" and on to "Agenda 21". Enjoy your trip down the "Road to Serfdom".
Chris in KY
2:13AM NOV 18TH 2012
Most older Americans talk of the 1950s with great nostalgia. And yet, that is the America that Ayn Rand was railing against in her book.

It was a time that was far more liberal economically (regulation was higher in almost all areas of the economy, taxes were more progressive, unionism was high, less free trade, etc.) and much more conservative socially.

What part did you not like about the liberal era (1933-1968)? Was it the 5% to 6% annual GDP growth? National debt shrinking as a portion of GDP? Low unemployment- typically under 4%? Bretton Woods money system?
Other than civil rights expansions, I can't think of much improvement since 1968.
Mister B
6:02PM NOV 29TH 2012
Ayn Rand wasn't railing against the 1950's; the time setting of the story was the 1950's. What happened in "Atlas shrugged" was nothing like the 50's. You ask about 1933 - 1968, well, part of that era brings to mind another book: "The Forgotten Man".
Yes, Lloyd. It was a turning point.
10:34PM NOV 11TH 2012
No longer can you angry old fat and bald white men insult Hispanics, women, blacks, asians, non-Christians, and young people and still win the White House. Now blow away, little man.
Shaz
9:29AM NOV 11TH 2012
Grow up all ready? Hope you had similar words for the many idiots who were proclaiming very vocally on all those Move-on videos that they would 'burn the town down' if Obama failed to get re-elected. I suspect you know deep down in your hearts, if you are the type to be honest, if only to yourself. That if Romney had won , there would have been riots and violence from some of the disenchanted left. And so Obama won and the disenchanted right blogs , and your reaction is to grow up already. Like I said, I hope you uttered those very same words to the morons on the left who advocated for violence if they didn't get their way.
Larry
10:55AM NOV 9TH 2012
The only real contribution Ayn Rand made to our culture is the fundamentally duplicitous "poor, poor put-upon billionaire" rhetoric that you're seeing here. Grow up already. I feel as sorry for an adult who lives by "Atlas Shrugged" as I would for an adult who lives by "Twilight."
Mister B
11:44AM NOV 30TH 2012
I feel sorry for those too ignorant to see the truth in Brown's writings. The realities will hit you the hardest.
Greg
1:48PM NOV 9TH 2012
So basically to you an adult is one who cannot take care of himself and needs to be dependent on others to live. By definition that's a child.
Mister B
11:45AM NOV 30TH 2012
Even more childish are those dependent on Government. Could you fall into that category?
Roger Bennett
3:49PM NOV 8TH 2012
The past five replies are excellent and say it all.. The only thing I can add to characterize the hypocrisy of Lloyd Brown and his reliance on Ayn Rand for spiritual, cultural and political guidance is is that he should also get in line with her views on religion, particularly the Christian faith. Jeb Bush would do well to drop you like a hot rock before he launches his next campaign for public office..
LT Joyce
12:07PM NOV 8TH 2012
A little over dramatic don't you think. I think in this case you are the Political Science Professor canceling the class...
christina wilson
11:45AM NOV 8TH 2012
Hey Lloyd,

How is that medicare I'm paying for? Is your social security check automatically deposited? Hypocrite. You would be selling newspapers on a corner right now to avoid starvation if it weren't for these "progressive" policies you decry. Ayn Rand, herself, relied upon medicare and social security in her old age. She tried to hide it, because she like you is a fool and a hypocrite. Did medicare produce socialism? Did social security produce communism? Does not Obama's health care plan require people to purchase insurance and thereby promotes individual responsibility? Fool. You wrote speeches for Jeb Bush? No wonder our politicians sound like dinosaurs preaching ideals that never existed while trying to lead in a manner that has no connection to our current realities.
christina wilson
11:45AM NOV 8TH 2012
Hey Lloyd,

How is that medicare I'm paying for? Is your social security check automatically deposited? Hypocrite. You would be selling newspapers on a corner right now to avoid starvation if it weren't for these "progressive" policies you decry. Ayn Rand, herself, relied upon medicare and social security in her old age. She tried to hide it, because she like you is a fool and a hypocrite. Did medicare produce socialism? Did social security produce communism? Does not Obama's health care plan require people to purchase insurance and thereby promotes individual responsibility? Fool. You wrote speeches for Jeb Bush? No wonder our politicians sound like dinosaurs preaching ideals that never existed while trying to lead in a manner that has no connection to our current realities.
Frank
11:06AM NOV 8TH 2012
This is totally delusional, right-wing paranoia . . . .with blatant overtones of racial self-superiority, mixed in with continuing politics of the "Big Lie" . . .

Anyone who believes that Atlas Shrugged is "one of the most influential in history, second only to the Bible" is in clear need of professional help to learn about actual reality. It doesn't even make lists of the top 100.

It is relevant to the American experience (hence the Library of Congress's inclusion on its list of 88 most influential publications to Americans), but gross hyperbole is part of the politics of the "Big Lie". Intentional mis-statements of facts are not opinions, they are lies.

Since you hate this new America so much, I have $10 and will help in your emmigration to some other planet where you can find peace and a government to match your conservative views . . . or don't you believe in that old Republican motto - "America, Love it or Leave It!" . . . . . . ok, then I guess you must just be another, shrill right-wing hypocrite, striking out at your frustrations at no longer ruling America in this increasingly multi-cultural nation. . . . .

Pathetic.
Jyrik Johns
2:02PM NOV 9TH 2012
It was in fact the Library of Congress that performed the survey identifying Atlas Shrugged as the second most influential book of all time after the Bible.

Feel free to resume your irrational hatred now.
Frank
8:10PM NOV 9TH 2012
Not on the actual Library of Congress site I looked at.

I believe you're confusing a Book of the Month Club/LOC SURVEY (non-scientific) with a non-existent literary finding and ranking BY the LOC. I'm sure it's #2 among certain types. No scientific literary ranking puts it #2. That's pure Tea Party LaLaLand.

As one extensive "pro Atlas Shrugged" reviewer put it:

"No one knows exactly how influential Atlas Shrugged is, because there has never been a proper study done to check. The "second most influential" claim comes from a Survey of Lifetime Reading Habits conducted in 1991 by the Book-of-the-Month Club and the Library of Congress. Printed surveys were sent to members of the Club, asking them what books had most influenced their own lives. A little over 2,000 responses were received. The Bible ranked first, and Atlas Shrugged ranked a distant second. Because the survey targeted an audience of book lovers (members of the Club) and an active effort was required to mail in a response, it is likely that the results were skewed towards people who were influenced especially strongly by a particular book. Such a result cannot be reliably interpreted as reflecting the entire US population, although enthusiastic promoters of the novel sometimes make such claims. (The survey is also often inaccurately described as a "poll" or "study," and various incorrect sources are cited for it.)"

A few hundreds of responses does NOT make it the 2nd most influential book ever written. . . . . . . . . .that's a pure wishful (and non-supported) desire by far right partisans. . . . . sort of made-up . . . much like the name Jyrik Johns appears to be (i.e. ZERO web presence) . . . .
wbp
9:22AM NOV 8TH 2012
more right wing propaganda.

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.